May It Please The Court

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There are 2034 Journal Items on 255 page(s) and you are on page number 155

Tip Of The Hat To Cornell, Questions About Emory Law School

Bob Ambrogi has a wonderful series on problems with FindLaw links, well worth the time to read. MIPTC may be piling on here, but it appears that Emory School of Law has a somewhat similar problem.

I tried searching for Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal decisions on the law school's website, but the most recent decision listed was from 2001. I ran a search here using the words "grand jury," and while the results read out today's current date and time, this case published earlier on July 18, 2005, did not show up.

Cornell's website, however, did produce results, and found the case linked above.

I guess you can't really expect to get more than you pay for.

This information is for the new podcasting service from Odeo, and you can ignore it.
My Odeo Channel
(Code: e61d56596bea92c0)


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, July 24, 2005 at 12:11 Comments (0) |

How Much Can You Say In Seven Minutes?

Here it is - with a hat tip to SoCal Law Blog for the info and headline - in all it's simplicity:

"7/22/05. Order filed. Rqst by amicus curiae Bear Flag League to participate at orl argmnt is grtd; Cnsl for amicus curiae Bear Flag League is permitted to prsnt orl argmtn when the mttr is set on the crt's clndr whch presentation shall not exceed 7 minutes (CLR)"

So, it would appear that as co-counsel for the SoCal Law Blog" target=_blank>Bear Flag League, MIPTC will be arguing the Apple v. Does case along with Apple and Jason O'Grady about the rights of blogger journalists.

I wonder if it would help if I tried oral argument without vowels?


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 11:33 Comments (0) |

MIPTC Needs A Little Help From Its Friends

One of the Deputy Attorney Generals for California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, sent this letter, received today, asking for my opinion about the journalistic privilege.

I suspect other bloggers may have received the same letter, but it's the first time I've been asked in my 18 years of practice to provide a comment to the AG before the AG issues an opinion. So, I'll put it out there for your comment and opinion, too.

With a little help from my friends, we can probably give the AG some worthwhile guidance, and protect the blogger journalists among us.

The AG wants a response by September 30, so comment away, please.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, July 22, 2005 at 15:32 Comments (0) |

Peeling The Onion Of The AM Law 100. What About The Rest Of Us?

The AM Law 100 and the AM Law Top 10 are a pretty exclusive group.

Impressive, in a word.

But are they really? Americans are wrapped up with the fastest, the highest (jumping), the biggest, and, well you get the idea. It's unclear how it all got started, but it probably had something to do with a bet in a bar that had to get settled.

Let's take a hard look. The 2005 AM Law 100 lists 68,186 lawyers, who collectively grossed $46,042,000,000.00.

What about the rest of us? According to the government, the median salary was $90,280 in 2002 for lawyers in 650,000 jobs. That translates into $58,682,000,000.00, but that's only earnings. Applying the "third-third-third" rule (salary, overhead and money to the firm) to this number places the gross much higher, at $174,786,000,000.00.

Now, even if you deduct the AM Law 100 out of that equation, that puts gross revenue for the rest of us around $128,744,000,000.00.

Apart from the three-year gap, comparing those two sets of numbers, however, may be like comparing apples and oranges. Even so, it's a pretty good indication that the real money to be made is in the big firms - just over 10 percent of the lawyers in the top 100 firms gross just over 25% of the revenue.

That also means that's where there's real money to be spent if you're a client of one of those big firms. That's why I like practicing in a firm this size: WLF.

Additional info added after original post:
Here's Bruce MacEwen's take on the issue.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, July 21, 2005 at 11:49 Comments (0) |

If We Value Public Trials, Why Not Release Juvenile Names?

If we as Americans value the right to a public trial, why don’t we release names in juvenile proceedings? The argument that we are protecting children from the stigma associated with being adjudicated delinquent doesn’t seem to hold much weight if the goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment. How damaging is the stigma of requiring therapy and rehabilitation these days anyway?

Everyday I witness a multitude of advertisements for mental health treatments and see therapy portrayed as almost inevitable. If Tony Soprano and Adrian Monk get therapy, how great is the stigma? Granted, these are fictional adults and not real children, but I still suggest that if delinquency actually equated to therapy and rehabilitation, society would not attach an overly burdensome or undeserved stigma.

My guess is that the majority of states’ juvenile systems are far more punitive than rehabilitative. Whether this is from lack of funding or changed objectives, I’m not sure, but if this scheme is the case, then the juvenile system looks much more like the adult criminal system where the right to a public trial is well entrenched in the Sixth Amendment. (Although who holds the right to a public trial, accused or the public is a question for another day.)1

Without open public proceedings, how do we know if the juvenile system more closely resembles the English Court of Star Chamber or the father figure judge, with his arm around the accused, providing thoughtful inquisition and careful guidance?

1In Estes v. Texas, 381 U.S. 532, 588 (1965), Justice Harlan suggests in his concurring opinion that the right of “public trial” belongs to the accused rather than the public.


Printer friendly page Posted by Michel J. Ayer on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 14:40 Comments (0) |

There's A Mouse In Your Podcast, But No Legal Music Yet

You may be reading this, and some may be listening to me. Right now, I'm grateful that you're a dedicated enough listener of MIPTC's podcasts without music, bumpers or other stingers. It would be nice if it stayed that way, but podcasting is about to take a turn for the commercial.

According to the AP, NPR is negotiating to pay royalties for music on podcasts. Apparently, no one podcaster or group of podcasters have the rights to place music on podcasts - which doesn't stop some podcasts from doing so, illegal as it may be.

The stakes are presumably big - if anyone can figure out how to make money at it. The AP article cited above notes that blogging caught the media establishment off guard, and they don't intend to be caught off guard again. Witness Disney's podcasts.

If the Mouse thinks enough of podcasting to make a go of it, maybe the first law podcaster can figure it out, too.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 at 23:40 Comments (0) |

Justice Bedsworth Honored for 'A Criminal Waste of Space'

This post lifted directly from the Orange County Bar Association weekly newsletter, with apologies to its unknown editor (links from MITPC):

"The California Newspaper Publishers' Association named A Criminal Waste of Space the best work in the field of 'Columns, Commentary, and Criticism' in a paper of under 10,000 circulation for 2004. A Criminal Waste of Space is written by Justice William Bedsworth of the California Court of Appeal, 4th District, Division 3 in Santa Ana. Renowned columnist Bedsworth recently attended a luncheon at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco to accept the award. Justice Bedsworth's column appears monthly in Orange County Lawyer and is syndicated throughout the country."

Beds' column also appears here as a MIPTC companion monthly blog. It's great reading, and well deserving the recognition


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, July 18, 2005 at 12:06 Comments (0) |

No Ticket, No Payment. Unlicensed Contractors Left Out In The Cold.

Heaven help you if you don't maintain your contractor's license at all times during construction because the California Supreme Court won't. If at any time during construction a contractor's license with the Contractor's State License Board lapses or is otherwise invalid, the homeowner or commercial builder doesn't have to pay.

It doesn't matter whether the contractor is in substantial compliance with the licensing requirements.

It doesn't matter whether the contractor was partially licensed while performing work on the construction.

It doesn't matter whether the contractor was licensed before starting construction.

It matters only that the contractor was in full compliance with all licensing requirements all the time.

The Supreme Court has put its collective feet down on this one, and toughened up prior law that allowed a contractor to recover if the contractor had been in substantial compliance with the licensure laws of Section 7031(a) (the article in this link has now been superseded by the decision in MW Erectors, Inc. v. Niederhauser Ornamental and Metal Works Company, Inc.).

The Supreme Court had given us a fairly good idea that it was going to take tough stances against contractors when it decided Hydrotech Systems, Ltd. v. Oasis Waterpark fourteen years ago, and they haven't let up since. They've kept the pressure on contractors, while waiving the flag of "protecting the public" from unscrupulous contractors.

You have to wonder how many of the justices have had problems with contractors, unlicensed or not.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, July 17, 2005 at 13:04 Comments (0) |

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