Saturday, January 12, 2008

Worth reading

Williamsburg's own National Center for State Courts has this report on future trends in state courts. You'd think that with the NCSC here, Virginia's state courts would be the most advanced in the nation, or at least the most considered. I can't get over the Virginia Supreme Court's new font rule (Courier-Verdana) as a metaphor for whatever else ails Virginia's court system; whoever conceived and supported that rule doesn't read or doesn't care what the "experts" think (much less the crackpots like myself). Even Adobe says: "Generally, serif text fonts are dramatically easier to read than sans serif text fonts." (OK, I'll follow Ray Ward's advice and let go of this issue.)

This interesting post from Concurring Opinions talks about some research based on the video that led the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the denial of summary judgment in the case of Scott v. Harris. It is interesting to think about, when is what a videotape shows not a matter of genuine dispute?

This post laments the state of the presidential primaries. From my recollection, having studied this off and on for thirty years, the primaries began as a Progressive impulse in the early 20th century, but were largely ignored by such voices for democracy as Harry Daugherty (Warren Harding's campaign manager, famous for the original "smoke-filled room"), and the "modern" era of the primaries began perhaps in 1960, when Kennedy beat Humphrey in West Virginia, proving his electability in a "protestant" state, but really as late as the 1970s, when McGovern and then Carter mastered the delegate selection rules to the chagrin of party insiders. There's nothing 19th century about the primaries; they didn't really exist before the television era.

In the saga of the Harman Mining case, Harman Mining is now claiming that Don Blankenship was seen having dinner with the Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court a few weeks before the opinion reversing the $60 million verdict against Blankenship's company came out. Also in West Virginia, a lawyer failed to appear at a Supreme Court hearing on whether he should lose his license.

In Florida, a blogging lawyer took on the representation of a criminal defense lawyer in connection with the gag order in a criminal case, and now the gag order applies to him, too.

Here's the liberal line against a Bush appointee to a judgeship in Wyoming, whose website suggests to me he is mostly a plaintiff's lawyer representing injured people.

Reason has this post about a recent NC case, where it was apparently held that the attorney-client privilege ends with the death of the client. Wasn't that the issue in the Vince Foster case?

Speaking of Vince Foster, Wonkette notes here that freaky vampire/witch/mummy writer Anne Rice is enthusiastically endorsing Ms. Clinton. I have read almost all the Anne Rice books, at least the ones written under the name of Anne Rice (and not Rampling or Roquelaure) - and so I conclude that she will not be given a cabinet position in the Clinton administration.

1 comment:

Not A.E. Dick Howard said...

The Justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia don't need experts to tell them what fonts the Justices should find easier to read. The Justices read more briefs in any given period than any single member of the appellate bar, and if the Justices think among themselves that the new font rules ease their reading then no one else's opinion matters. The font rules, after all, are to make the Justices' work easier, not to win the approval of typesetting experts.