Saturday, April 30, 2005

Virginia once again a battleground site for the national conflict

This article from the Washington Times about outside forces wanting to jump into the Virginia governor's race make me think of the Civil War.

Minor solidarity

The Kingsport paper reports on a recent local government meeting at which Jonesville residents questioned proposed road name changes. Included among the citizen comments was this: "Allen Minor questioned why two streets named after his daughters had to be renamed and countered the argument that streets bearing personal names often had signs stolen with the argument that signs had never been stolen on Linda and Elaine streets. Minor said he donated the right of way for the streets and dedicated the names for his daughters, and he did not believe the streets should be renamed."

I'm with him all the way, not that I'm entirely sure who he is, but he must be related. In fact, there should be more streets in Jonesville named for Minors.

Good thing this blog was not mentioned

In this story from the Richmond paper, a VCU professor says: "Blogs can be very amateurish, unethical hack jobs."

Still no joy getting out of committee for Fourth Circuit nominee Judge Boyle

Again, via How Appealing, I see that the Winston-Salem paper reports here ("Third postponement no charm for judge," 4/29/05) that the Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed yet again taking action on the nomination of District Judge Boyle from North Carolina to the Fourth Circuit.

Rev. Falwell double-dog dares Sen. Warner to defy him on filibuster vote

Via How Appealing, I see that the Lynchburg paper is reporting here ("Falwell lays down marker for Warner," 4/30/05) that SW Virginia's own Rev. Jerry Falwell is challenging Sen. John Warner to come across on the vote to limit filibusters on the President's judicial nominees.

Senator Warner, I suspect, is not going to run again and will do whatever he pleases.

From 1975 - an interview with Kentucky writer and lawyer Harry Caudill

Here is an interesting interview with the late Harry Caudill, from 1975, on the nature and origin of the people of Apalachia.

Last year's most bizarre employment cases

Via Strategic HR, here is a list of the most bizarre employment cases from 2004.

Predicting the outcome of death penalty cases

This ACSBlog post links to a CSM report about a computer program that predicts the outcome of death penalty cases and is mostly accurate but is troubling because it considers all the wrong factors.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Denial of qualified immunity affirmed in Earl Washington civil case

In Washington v. Wilmore, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Chief Judge Wilkins, joined by Judge Motz, and with Judge Shedd concurring separately, affirmed the denial of qualified immunity to one of the defendants sued by Earl Washington in the W.D. Va. The defendant, now deceased, was an agent of the Virginia State Police.

Denial of habeas relief reversed in Walton case

In the case of Virginia deathrow inmate Percy Walton, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Motz, joined by Chief Judge Wilkins, with Judge Shedd dissenting, reversed Judge Wilson and sent the case back to the District Court.

The AP had this report on the decision.

Three sentencing opinions from the Fourth Circuit

Today, in U.S. v. Bartram, the panel of Judges Widener, Niemeyer, and Gregory agreed on the result, and Judge Widener and Niemeyer agreed on part of the analysis, in finding no reversible error in the defendant's sentence following his guilty plea. Judge Niemeyer wrote that the appellant had not met its burden under U.S. v. White, decided earlier this week, and distinguished U.S. v. Hughes.

In U.S. v. Gray, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Shedd, joined by Judge Widener and District Judge Cacheris, remanded the case for resentencing, citing Hughes and Booker.

In U.S. v. McKoy, the Fourth Circuit in a per curiam opinion for the panel of Judges Widener and Wilkinson and District Judge Payne remanded the case for resentencing, citing Hughes and Booker.

Magistrate judge recommends against default judgment in discovery dispute

In Tunnell v. Ford Motor Co., Magistrate Judge Urbanski recommended against the plaintiff's request that a default judgment be entered against the defendant for failure to provide certain information in response to plaintiff's discovery requests.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Results from Rule 11 study: judges like the rule as it is, oppose mandatory sanctions

Here from the Federal Judicial Center is a 2005 study on the attitudes of federal judges toward Rule 11.

Paralegals and legal assistants generally not exempt from overtime requirements

Via Benefits Blog, I see this DOL opinion that confirms that paralegals and legal assistants are generally not exempt under the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Should William & Mary no longer be known as The Tribe?

The AP has been reporting that somebody is after William & Mary to change its nickname.

Perhaps if enrollment is boosted a little bit, instead of the Tribe, they can be known as the 10,000 Maniacs, if that name were not already taken. (A full house at William & Mary Hall is 10,000, which would also be a mostly full house at Zable Stadium.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Honorable mention in the Duck calling contest

Here is the ruling by John B. on his caption contest for the picture of the guy in the Tim Kaine duck suit being confronted by a state trooper at the Shad Planking.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Pittsburgh perspective on Heath Miller

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this fine article on the Steelers' No. 1 draft pick for 2005.

NC lawyers don't get the Boyle debate

The Raleigh paper has this article about Judge Boyle, the N.C. U.S. District Court judge nominated to the Fourth Circuit. The Durham paper has a shorter version of the same article under the headline: "N.C. law community doesn't get debate over Boyle nomination."

Johnson City judges vent on bad conduct in the courtroom

In this article from the Kingsport paper, various judges of the Washington County, TN, courts express their grievances about the appearance and decorum of the litigants (and counsel) who appear before them.

The article begins: "From women wearing swimsuits to their divorce hearings to well-dressed cranky attorneys, no one is above being reprimanded for improper attire, or attitude, in the courts of Washington County."

I once sat in a courtroom in Johnson City for about eight hours, and nothing bad happened to me.

One minute on busting the filibuster

First, I read this CSM article, which quotes Professor Chemerinsky, saying I'm not sure what - that filibusters are sometimes good, and not unconstitutional, but the Senate can change its rules, which is not really what I expected from him.

Then, I googled "Chemerinsky" and "filibuster" and discovered this article by Professor Chemerinsky, which seems to say the same thing, that filibusters are sometimes good (and sometimes bad) and not unconstitutional, but that the Senate can change the rules:

"Our conclusion is that supermajority voting rules in Congress are not inherently unconstitutional. Neither the Constitution's text nor an underlying philosophy of majoritarianism impose a general rule that a majority vote must be sufficient in all instances. However, it is unconstitutional for Congress to bind future sessions of Congress. It is a clearly established principle of constitutional law, supported by fundamental democratic principles, that one Congress cannot tie the hands of future Congresses."

Next, I see this Professor Bainbridge post, which cites the 1997 article, but also that Professor Chemerinsky has been going around saying that retaining the filibuster is a good idea.

Next, I see this ACS post, which is no different.

So, my guess is that the Democrats would change the rules the first chance they get, and Professor Chemerinsky (and friends) would say it's not only legal (as he has already concluded) but also it's not so undemocratic as if the Republicans had done it, because the Democrat states are bigger than the Republican states (or whatever his lame point is, and it is lame, the whole idea of the Senate is anti-majoritarian in favor of small states). By then, perhaps, the Republicans appointed to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush will be very old. (Professor Bainbridge, evidently, fears that such a day will come much sooner than he would like.)

More Google site-seeing - the Triple Crown tracks

Here are Churchill Downs in Louisville, Pimlico in Baltimore, and Belmont Park on Long Island.

Unlikeliest country music fan

Yahoo News has this report of an appearance by Donald Rumsfeld on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, including a picture of him with East Tennessee's own Dolly Parton.

The gardener and her garden before the snow

 Posted by Hello

Earlier in the week, my wife wanted some pictures of her flowers. Today, right here in Southwest Virginia, it has snowed just about all day. The ground was white when I went out to get the paper. The tulips bit the dust.

The kind of law that would bring out the pom-pom tail

 Posted by Hello

Here is a link to the Yahoo news story about a new law in Italy requiring that dogs must be walked three times a day.

In this action photo, our dog wig-wags her satisfaction with yet another walk as she heads back up the driveway.

On Law Day

This David Giacalone post, in the manner of Linus explaining the true meaning of Christmas, articulates the true meaning of Law Day.

Some members of the Bristol Virginia Bar, through the good offices of facilitator emeritus Rogers McCall, go into two high schools for Law Day and appear before groups of seniors to discuss the subject matter raised by this brochure, prepared by the Virginia State Bar. I have done this but once before and will again on Tuesday, if I don't get stuck in court in Lee County.

A playbook of Booker defense strategies

In this Professor Berman post, he links to the manual for Booker defense strategies from the public defenders' office for the E.D. Pa.

One thing I never knew about before I starting reading about Booker is the excellence of the materials prepared by and for the federal public defenders.

Watching Hoos taken in the draft

From, this list shows the five Virginia Cavaliers taken so far in this year's draft, along with the names of a couple of others who might be drafted, and here is a list of all the Virginia players taken in the draft since 1982.

In 1997 and again in 1999, six Cavaliers were drafted. Only one, Matt Schaub, was taken last year.