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Halloween Lawsuits: Scary Stuff

Costumes gone awry, haunted houses, and mean-spirited decorations – oh my!  Have care while celebrating Halloween this week, because as these cases show, Halloween is fertile ground for lawsuits:

Mary and Her (flaming) Little Lamb
Susan and Frank Ferlito attended a Halloween party dressed as Mary and Her Little Lamb.  Frank’s lamb costume consisted of hundreds of Johnson & Johnson cotton balls glued to a set of long underwear.  While at the party, Frank tried to light a cigarette using a butane lighter and set his costume aflame, causing significant burn injuries.

Frank sued. A jury … Continue Reading

Judges are Movie Lovers Too

The Justices of the Texas Supreme Court must be movie lovers.  In the recent Kinney V. Barnes opinion, Justice Lehrmann quotes Walter Sobchak, a character in the cult favorite The Big Lebowski. Lehrmann states that “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is similarly suspicious of prior restraints,” and goes on to point out that “This cornerstone of First Amendment protections has been reaffirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, this Court, Texas courts of appeals, legal treatises, and even popular culture.”  The popular culture reference is to Walter’s statement in … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decisions Are Not as Final as You Think

A new study from Harvard Law professor Richard J. Lazarus has revealed that the Supreme Court Justices routinely make changes to Court opinions that extend beyond fixing typographical errors and spelling mistakes.  In fact, Lazarus asserts that the Justices “correct mistakes in majority and separate opinions relating to the arguments of the parties, record below, historical facts, relevant statutes and regulations, opinions of their colleagues, and Court precedent.  The Justices also, even more significantly, sometimes change their initial reasoning in support of their legal conclusions.”  This is major news, because while every Supreme … Continue Reading

Diane Humetewa Confirmed to Federal Judgeship

Congratulations to ASU’s Diane Humetewa on her historic appointment to the U. S. District Court for  Arizona.  The  U. S.  Senate voted unanimously to confirm her yesterday, Wednesday, May 14th!

National Native American Bar Association statement
Indian Country Media Network article
Statement from the National Congress of American Indians
Senator Heitkamp Statement on Humetewa confirmation vote of 96-0
Today’s Arizona Republic

Collaborative Research for the Digital Age

While there have been significant changes in the realm of legal research (such as the shift from print to digital resources) conducting legal research is still often a solitary endeavor.  Two new websites are trying to change that, however, and have provided platforms designed to make online legal research a collaborative enterprise: Casetext and Mootus.

casetext.14b50743c8b2

Casetext is a “community of lawyers, law professors, and law students helping each other understand the law by annotating key legal documents.”  The website contains a database of over a million cases, statutes, regulations, and contracts … Continue Reading

Celebrate Constitution Day with the New U.S. Constitution App

The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office (GPO) mark Constitution Day today by launching a new app and web publication that make analysis and interpretation of constitutional case law by Library experts accessible for free to anyone with a computer or mobile device.

The new resources, which include analysis of Supreme Court cases through June 26, 2013, will be updated multiple times each year as new court decisions are issued.

Get the App:  The app can be downloaded for free from iTunes. A direct link is here: beta.congress.gov/constitution-annotated. An Android version is … Continue Reading

SCOTUSblog Interviews with Nina Totenberg

SCOTUSblog has conducted a five-part series of interviews with Nina Totenberg, NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent and Dean of the Supreme Court Press Corps.  The videos are excellent and provide a unique insight in to the Court from someone who has been reporting on it since the 1970’s.  Links to each of the five interviews are provided below.

Part One: Totenberg talks about her background, how her career began, and how she first started covering the Supreme Court.

Part Two: Totenberg addresses how the Supreme Court works and how to convey its subtleties.

Part … Continue Reading

New Books at the Law Library – Manifest Injustice

Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom
By Barry Siegel
Law Treatises KF224.M18 S56 2013

Manifest Injustice, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Siegel, details the story of Bill Macumber and the efforts of the Arizona Justice Project, led by lawyer Larry Hammond and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Professor Bob Bartels, on his behalf.   In 1974 Macumber was convicted for a double homicide that occurred in 1962, despite his assertion of innocence, questionable evidence linking Macumber to the crime, and a confession from a violent … Continue Reading

Top Legal Blogs

 

The ABA Journal has announced its 6th Annual Blawg 100, in which its lists its 100 favorite law blogs.  Blogs included in the list focus on a variety of legal topics, from just for fun (Lowering the Bar) to criminal justice (Lawyerist).  In between are blogs on specific topics such as IP, labor and employment, and torts, as well as blogs focusing on legal research and writing.

 

In addition to the list of 100 blogs, this year the Journal named ten blogs to its Hall of Fame:

Above the Law
How … Continue Reading

3Ls Can Now Take Arizona Bar Exam

The Arizona Supreme Court has allowed 3Ls to sit for the Arizona bar exam under a three-year experimental program that goes in to effect on January 1, 2013.  You can read the Court’s order amending Rule 34 of the Rules of the Supreme Court here.

Background information on this change is available in our March 2, 2012 blog post.