May It Please The Court
Quote of the Day - This is like saying we need to have a stricter speed limit, but for now everyone can go faster. It makes no sense to allow pollution to increase when you're saying you need stronger protection.
Diesel Emission Limits Under StudyAn internal EPA report recommends tightening the standards for soot emissions. The Washington Times notes that this report may result in stricter standards for diesel emissions.
The standards already in place from the Clinton era address soot emissons below 15 micrograms of soot per cubic meter of air. Although in place since 1997, these standards have been the subject of several challenges.
In the draft report, EPA staff analysis recommends the allowable concentrations be reduced further, possibly as much as 50 percent for the 24-hour standard and 20 percent for the annual average standard.
Bill Kovacs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims that more regulation will cost U.S. businesses between $50 to $150 billon dollars. American Lung Association representatives seemed pleased with the report. The ALA originally criticized the EPA for failing to adopt these tighter standards in 1997.
Glen Kedzie, Assistant General and Environmental Counsel for the American Trucking Association has been leading the fight against tighter standards.
An EPA spokesperson said that the 442-page report was in draft form and had not yet been reviewed by other scientific peers. New regulations are not expected until after 2005.
Canadian Women Obtain More Law DegreesMore Canadian women than men are graduating with law degress. Today's Ottowa Citizen published a news article citing a recent news article citing a study performed by the Association for Canadian Studies about the results.
While some are excited about the results, the news is not all good. "Only about 20 percent of all women hold university degrees," said Dr. Jo-Anne Lee, a professor in women's studies at the University of Victoria. Even among those with degrees, she doubted many were able to achieve the highest positions in their professions.
Litigation + Budget Crisis = TaxiforniaSome seven months after introducing the bill, California State Senator Joe Dunn's SB 796 looks poised to pass into law. It may be a first for the Left Coast.
The bill empowers workers to sue bosses over wage and hour violations. Given the State's budget crises, it appears that the Labor and Workforce Development Agency doesn't have the budget for enforcement.
Instead, Senator Joe Dunn promises to put that power in the hands of the people. Unfortunately for the worker, however, the recovery is split three ways, with the worker getting only 25%, and the other 75% flowing into the State's hands. Now that's a creative way to solve California's budget crisis. The Assembly just passed the bill, so it's on to the Governor's office.
Will Gray Davis sign it? Does he need votes?
Plenty Of Dogs In This FightDinky the talking Chihuahua can't sport one of those T-shirts that reads: "If you can't run with the Big Dogs, get off of the porch." Previously relegated only to TV commercials hawking burritos, he's now starring in a Michigan courtroom.
Two men, claiming to have created the talking Chichuahua, sued Taco Bell for ownership of the mascot. Plaintiff's attorney Douglas Dozeman stated, "my clients created a licensed character named 'Psycho Chihuahua,' which was then adapted and used by Taco Bell in the ads." Dinky is the name of the actual dog that played the part of the Chichuahua in the ads.
Dozemons's clients won. Big. Now they're the ones on the porch.
But not satisfied with the paltry $30.2M victory highlighted in Justice Bedsworth's weblog, the two men went for the gusto, and ended up with mucho gusto. In post-trial motions, Federal District Court Judge Gordon J. Quist awarded an extra $11.8M in interest on top of the judgment.
Dozeman said: "Sooner or later, Taco Bell is going to run out of issues, and Joe and Tom will finally be able to receive the proper compensation for their intellectual property." Taco Bell Spokeswoman Lauire Bell responded, "We continue to believe that the Chihuahua character was created independently, and we intend to appeal the jury's verdict."
I'm still waiting to hear Dinky's thoughts now that the Psycho Chihuahua is running with the Big Dogs.
My Vote for Remembering September 11, 2001At least two websites, vote.com and CNN Student News, are asking the question whether September 11, 2001, should be declared a national holiday. With the tragic events that make up that day so fresh in our memory, it's an understandable question.
Vote.com argues "A holiday is needed to ensure that the attacks don't fade from memory. This would not only be a tribute to the thousands who died; it would honor the strength of America in its darkest hours." MIPTC agrees with the latter statement, but not the former.
Interestingly, Vote.com also argues that a similar "commeration" occurs based on December 7, 1941 - Pearl Harbor Day. True, and many tributes exist, but it's not a national holiday. We have many national tragedies, and some in very recent memory like the Challenger space shuttle accident. These tragedies stretch back to our very beginnings as a nation in 1774 - the Boston Tea Party massacre. Although I wish for world peace like many others, I am not foolish enough to think that another tragedy will not occur in the future.
Not all of these tragedies can be remembered with a separate holiday. Some would argue that we already have one holiday: Memorial Day.
Surely, as a nation, we all need to pause to remember September 11, and those who lost their lives as well as though who are fighting to preserve democracy and our way of life. We will do so again on Memorial Day.
But, as President Bush has urged us, we need to continue on with our daily lives and not let terrorists gain the upper hand. Although I couldn't review the results of the vote.com site, 56% on CNN vote "No" for a national holiday.
Now, I'll bow my head in prayer, shed my tears in memory of September 11. And then, I'll go back to work and do my duty to my country.
Into the Lap of JusticeIt seems like those who want to escape justice may just find themselves sitting in the very lap of justice sooner than they thought. Ben Rogozensky, a Decatur, Georgia inmate found himself in a precarious position recently during an escape attempt.
Apparently, while in the courtroom and waiting for his hearing to begin, Rogozensky met with his attorney in an empty jury room with a deputy standing guard outside. During the meeting, Rogozensky excused himself to the adjacent restroom and attempted to escape through a ceiling crawl space.
Unfortunately for Rogozensky, he found out that the ceiling wasn't quite as reliable as he had hoped. In the midst of his escape route, he fell through the ceiling into State Court Judge J. Antonio Del Campo's chambers, and was captured by a technician working on the judge's computer.
That's one of the more unique ways to cut through a busy judge's long docket.
It Was A Litte Early for EasterThe Gamma Phi Beta sorority sisters don't exactly have a green thumb, but they have great fashion sense. Since you can't really have a great party without decorations, the sisters went in search of palm fronds to add a tropical flavor to their festivities for last Saturday night.
Unfortunately, they may have gone a little too far. The sisters apparently cut palm fronds from several palm trees on private property extending up and down a path from the sorority house, and did a very poor job of it.
Here's the best part, though. The "mutilation" of the palm trees was discovered Suday morning - presumably after the party was just winding down. When contacted by the police, one of the sisters told them that "Now is not a good time to talk about the palm fronds." Apparently, some parents of sorority pledges were at the house.
Not to be put off, the police offered the sorority sister "other options" for a better time to talk with them about the palm fronds. Eight sisters thought that an immediate discussion was their best option, and admitted to cutting the palm fronds.
It's not like there isn't plenty to do at Cal State University, Chico. Just as one example, instead of cutting palm fronds, the sisters could have attended the "Burning Spear with Mystic Roots" presentation. Don't ask me, I have no idea. Given the choice, I might have considered the fronds, too.
Blawg.com's Featured Site of the WeekThis blog (or blawg) has been up and running just a little over a month. Bill Gratsch of Blawg.com, a source for law and legal-related weblogs, listed MIPTC as it's featured "Site of the Week" (scroll down - it's the sidebar on the left).
I'm grateful for the feature, and likewise note that Bill's site is a wonderful compendium of legal weblogs. It's worth an extended visit. Thanks for the tip of the hat, Bill!