Saturday, May 28, 2005

That one headed toward the podium is my niece

When she was a month old, she came to my college graduation, and last night I was pleased to attend her high school graduation (notwithstanding my inability to take good photos from afar). Posted by Hello

Reporter's privilege in Virginia

This outline purports to describe the state of the law in Virginia regarding whether reporters can claim a privilege against being compelled to testify about information they learned from confidential sources.

This news article from Utah describes efforts to get the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether a similar "privilege" obtains in federal criminal cases.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Reverberations from the '84 Stafford campaign

This Sic Semper Tyrannis post details how a bunch of the young people who worked on the unsuccessful campaign of the late Jeff Stafford against Rick Boucher in 1984 became Virginia Republican VIPs.

Somewhere in the archives in the basement is the college paper I wrote about that race - they lost despite being on the ballot with Reagan and Warner, and with Boucher only a one-term incumbent, and even though there were something like a dozen debates. Reading of the pep of Stafford's staffers causes me to marvel once again at the outcome of that campaign.

In what circuit was that Moses case?

According to this report on oral argument in an intellectual property/First Amendment case involving the use of Jerry Falwell's name, Falwell's lawyer is quoted as saying, "It's been wrong to steal since Moses came down from the mountain."

The rest of the state shouldn't even bother to vote

In this Chris Graham Accentgate story, one pundit says: "Southwest Virginia may be where this election is decided."

The WV Grinch mask case

Here prosecutors explain their decision to prosecutor a man for wearing a mask of The Grinch on the streets of Wheeling, WV.

I suppose if it turns out he was not actually wearing a mask, but just looked like The Grinch, that would be a defense.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Court of appeals in Bristol on June 2

Here is the docket for cases to be heard by a panel of the Virginia Court of Appeals in Bristol on June 2.

New defense strategy - hope plaintiff's counsel shows up late

According to the LA Times, Tardy Attorney Costs Students Lawsuit "U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour last week threw out a $40-million civil rights lawsuit against a local school district after . . . an attorney for the plaintiffs, was late to a pretrial hearing. [The attorney] said he was five minutes tardy; others said it was more like 20 minutes."

Another lawyer in the case was quoted as saying: "You can be late to your own wedding, but don't be late to federal court."

Bristol paper sues Bristol VA for 911 tape with call from murder suspect

Without dislocating any shoulders, the Bristol paper reports on itself here as having filed a fantastically important FOIA case against the City of Bristol for the 911 tape of the call from the woman who is accused of murdering her son.

I was intrigued by the part at the end, where the City Attorney said no one called him about the FOIA response - which makes me think the City Manager decided to render a legal opinion for the City without the aid of counsel, and might or might not have whiffed it.

On perfection by the Kingsport paper

In this article, the Kingsport paper reports on the resignation of a member of the Lee County School Board.

So far as I am aware, the newspaper never once correctly spelled the outgoing member's last name.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Barils in SW Virginia

It says here the Baril campaign will be in Blacksburg tomorrow, Bristol on Thursday morning, and Norton on Thursday night.

I'm tied up or I would go check him out.

I asked somebody the other day, who I should pull for, Baril or McDonnell. And, so-and-so said such-and-such lawyers we know in SW Virginia are against McDonnell because he supports tort reform, implying that Baril does not. I would not have guessed that there was any difference between the candidates on this issue.

Another great victory

Here one of my entries was declared the Supreme Champion in Commonwealth Conservative's latest caption contest.

If JB was a judge I appeared before, no doubt he would dismiss my briefs as further exercises in creative writing.

SW Virginia prison officials take note

Here is told the tale of how prison officials in Tasmania secured the release of a guard held hostage by the inmates - in exchange for 15 pizzas.

Fourth Circuit approves local jail fee of $1 per day for pretrial detainees

In Slade v. Hampton Roads Regional Jail, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Williams, joined by Judge Wilkinson and District Judge Floyd, approved the practice allowed by Virginia statute of the regional jail charging a fee to the inmates as applied to pretrial detainees, because the fee is not a criminal punishment.

What of the Fourth Circuit in all this?

Wondering what will become of the nominations of Haynes and Boyle, I see here in the NY Times where it says: "Democratic officials said an unwritten aspect of the pact was that two nominees not named in the deal - Brett M. Kavanaugh and William J. Haynes - would not be confirmed and would be turned aside either at the committee level or on the floor."

This statement, if true, would seem to indicate that the run of Mr. Haynes to succeed Judge Widener will soon be at an end.

I was under the impression that Judge Boyle also was among the seven in the current group, apparently that is not so.

NY Times checks out college dropout in Chilhowie

This article reprinted from the NY Times profiles the struggle of a young man from Smyth County to decide what to do about college.

The oddest part was this: "He talked about how he could become an elementary school teacher. The job would take up 180 days, not 280. Teachers do not usually get laid off or lose their pensions."

Former AG and Governor Gilmore endorses McDonnell

The Richmond paper reports here that former Governor Gilmore has endorsed Del. Bob McDonnell to be the Republican nominee for Attorney General.

One thing about Gilmore - I never heard anyone say that he is soft on crime or public safety issues.

Chief Judge Jones denies motion to dismiss in section 1983 of prison guard who filed for workers comp

In Reed v. Sword, Chief Judge Jones ruled that the plaintiff should be given a chance to prove his claims that the termination of his employment as a corrections officer was in violation of his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, where he claimed that after he filed a workers' compensaiton claim, he was denied re-employment without procedural due process and in violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.

When is Princeton cheaper than U.Va.

This Newsday article is about a student from Richmond who found Princeton to be more affordable than the University of Virginia.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My secret plan to go to Memphis

JQ writes here that the Liberty Bowl (in Memphis) might get an ACC tie-in.

It's better than Boise, and I want to check out this place.

Lights out, nobody's home

When I read this article, I thought it should be retitled, what does a fourth-year Virginia Governor do. The answer is, lots of road trips. Evidently, Governor Warner had to stay home a lot for several years, and so he is under his quota.