Friday, July 15, 2005

New faculty at Appalachian School of Law faculty

Here is the tale of the new faculty at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy.

The famous ex-Alabama football coach defamation case and the constitutional limits on revealing sources

In Price v. Time, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit in a really fun opinion by Judge Carnes (an Alabama grad), joined by Judge Pryor (another Alabaman) said:

"While the scope of the 'any' adjective is plenty wide to sweep in all of the noun category that follows, it ordinarily does not sweep beyond that category. The term 'any dog' does not mean 'any dog or cat' unless a cat is a dog. Likewise, the term 'any newspaper' does not mean 'any newspaper or magazine,' unless a magazine is a newspaper."

The Court concluded that Sports Illustrated is not a newspaper for purposes of Alabama's reporter shield law. Based on the last post and this one, I'm thinking we should all go one better on Bill Hobbs (and like-minded others) and make this an online newspaper, with a paid staff of one.

The Court went on to conclude, however, that Price was not yet entitled to get the defendants to reveal their secrets, which are not very secret - the ladies from the strip club with whom the coach was accused of partying have been named but not yet to be deposed, and maybe one of them was the SI reporter's confidential source.

Boucher's federal shield law might not protect bloggers

It says here the new federal law being promoted by Congressman Boucher to give some protection to reporters from having to reveal confidential sources to federal prosecutors might not apply to bloggers.

Best title for an article on the Chief Justice

The title is: Chief Justice To Jackals: Nuts.

It has a sort of patriotic aspect, borrowing the famous phrase attributed to General Anthony McAuliffe at Bastogne.

Potts agrees to debate in Scott County

It says here that the Scott County paper formerly published or edited or some such by the fellow running against Terry Kilgore has invited the gubernatorial candidates to debate in Scott County and that candidates Kaine and Potts are willing to be there. The Jerry Kilgore campaign called the invitation "a thinly veiled political stunt by his brother’s opponent."

Where to drive without a license in the Commonwealth?

According to this report: "Federal judges here have dismissed hundreds of traffic tickets over the past several months since a federal appeals court ruled that streets on military bases and their access roads are not public highways."

The 2005 Legal Aid award winner

The Fredericksburg paper has this profile of Bill Botts with Rappahanock Legal Services.

Who wouldn't want to have the life of Jack Nicklaus?

Watching Jack Nicklaus finish his round today at St. Andrews, we talked about the kind of life Nicklaus has had. From his post-round interview comes this:

"'I've been asked, 'What would you do differently?'' Nicklaus said. 'I can't imagine anything.'"

The hard thing about watching this particular stretch golf with the guys from work over lunch at Damon's is that you have to be cool. If I'd been watching at home (like I was earlier in the day when Jack teed off), I could have taken off my glasses and rubbed my eyes (like I did at home when Jack teed off).

To see the special Jack Nicklaus banknote issue this month, click here.

Falwell says he's not recommending anyone for the Supreme Court

How Appealing links here to this article from the Lynchburg paper in which the Rev. Jerry Falwell says he's not making any recommendations to the White House about who should be named to the Supreme Court.

The Coach on the list for Master Coaches Survey

It says here that George Welsh has been invited to participate in the new college football poll of old coaches.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

An order to dispose of clothes I read today

"The United States of America, by counsel, has advised this Court that . . . a defendant in the above-named case, has abandoned clothing, received as a bribe, to agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This clothing is described as One (1) black checkered 44R FUBU Collection Suit; One (1) grey wool 48R S&K Sport Coat; One (1) black wool 38 Robert Villini pair of pants; One (1) size 8M Brutini pair of shoes; and Two (2) size 17 white dress shirts, one being a Taylor's Row and the other a Robert Bruini. It is hereby ORDERED that the designated clothing set forth be donated to 'Thangs', a charity located in Grundy, Virginia."

Docket No. 370, U.S. v. Adkins, et al., No. 1:04CR00056 (W.D. Va. June 22, 2005).

H.S. wrestling coach denied qualified immunity on claim he deliberately got the other wrestlers to beat up the plaintiff

In Meeker v. Edmundson, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Motz, joined by Judge Gregory and Senior Judge Hamilton, affirmed the denial by District Court Judge Boyle of qualified immunity to a high school wrestling coach who was accused of violating the plaintiff's right to substantive due process by causing other members of the team to beat up on the plaintiff to try to get him to quit the team. The Court relied on its earlier decision in Hall v. Tawney, 621 F.2d 607 (4th Cir. 1980), along with cases from other circuits (all but one of which are in accord with Hall), in concluding that the existence of the constitutional right in the relevant context was clearly established.

Red rover, red rover, we dare a new justice over

In this fine post, Milbarge at BTQ ponders who would the "liberal" justices on the Supreme Court recommend to President Bush.

And, Milbarge says he likes Judge Wilkinson as a candidate.

On the passing of Frank Rogers, Jr.

Yesterday's Roanoke paper had this obituary for the lawyer who practiced in Roanoke for more than 50 years.

Does the homeseller have a duty to disclose that there's a sex offender living nearby?

The Williamsburg paper has this article on the theory behind the Virginia law that requires sellers to be told where to find the state police sex offender list, but does not require any more than that.

Tail of the dog

The old dog I think is gradually losing control of her rear end - her legs are bad, her bowels are unpredictable, and her tail has gone crazy.

It is the strangest thing to see - she wakes up, staggers into an upright position (if she can), takes a stretch (hopefully without falling back down), gives us a grin, and then her tail goes off at 100 miles an hour, like windshield wipers at top speed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Not much joy in last 60 years for Fourth Circuit nominees to U.S. Supreme Court

Is that Legal? has this post with a copy of a memo from the then-Attorney General to President Roosevelt, which mentions Fourth Circuit Judge John J. Parker, and Southern Appeal has this link with to Wm. Rehnquist's memo to the White House, about Fourth Circuit Judge Clement F. Haynsworth.

I think these were the last two Fourth Circuit judges nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Senate voted against them both.

In this editorial, George Will pumps up Judge Wilkinson of the Fourth Circuit for the Supreme Court.

NASA launch director is a Wahoo

This Knight-Ridder story relates, among other things, that the launch director for this week's space shuttle flight is a double Wahoo named Mike Leinbach.

Still more on the Virginia reaction to Kelo

The Fredericksburg paper has this article with more on the plans of Virginia legislators to limit the authority of localities in the Commonwealth to take private property.

Supreme Court grants stay in Lovitt case

The Richmond paper reports here that yesterday the Supreme Court granted a stay of execution in the Robin Lovitt case. The AP has this story. The Washington Post has this story. Lyle Denniston has this post from SCOTUSblog.

Yesterday, Democracy in Virginia had this post by a death penalty opponent regarding the Lovitt case.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Another Richmond lawyer profile

The Richmond paper has this article on Donald Butler, whom I've never met, but word of his success reaches even into this far corner of the Commonwealth.

Appeal of $8.3 M verdict dismissed on procedural issue

Via VLW, the Charlottesville paper reports here that the appeal in the Wintergreen case has been dismissed by the Virginia Supreme Court.

The article says:

"In a one-page order, the court announced this week that it would not hear the appeal because Wintergreen 'failed to timely file the transcript or written statement of facts' in the case."

If I liked you last week, why not this week

This post discusses the "same actor" inference, which can be a big deal in litigation employment discrimination cases.

Where it applies, the same actor inference is a basic element of summary judgment practice. There are a bunch of "same actor" cases from the Fourth Circuit - see Proud v. Stone, 945 F.2d 796, 797 (4th Cir. 1991) (“a strong inference exists that discrimination was not a determining factor for the adverse action taken by the employer” where the same individuals who gave a job to the plaintiff removed the plaintiff a short time later); see also Taylor v. Virginia Union University, 193 F.3d 219, 231 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing Proud); DeJarnette v. Corning Inc., 133 F.3d 293, 298 (4th Cir. 1998) (employer’s knowledge of plaintiff’s pregnancy at time of her hiring “creates an inference that [the employer’s] reasons for discharging [plaintiff] are not pretextual”); Evans v. Technologies Applications & Service Co., 80 F.3d 954, 959 (4th Cir. 1996) (citing Proud); Mitchell v. Data General Corp., 12 F.3d 1310, 1318 (4th Cir. 1993) (same) - and elsewhere - see Schnabel v. Abramson, 232 F.3d 83, 91 (2d Cir. 2000) (“where the person who made the decision to fire was the same person who made the decision to hire, it is difficult to impute to her an invidious motivation that would be inconsistent with the decision to hire”); Grossmann v. Dillard Department Stores, Inc., 109 F.3d 457, 459 (8th Cir. 1997) (“To uphold the jury’s verdict, we would have to believe that Franzke, himself fifty-eight, was free of age bias when he hired Grossmann, suddenly turned against older workers four years later, then just as abruptly changed his mind again”); Brown v. CSC Logic, Inc., 82 F.3d 651, 658 (5th Cir. 1996) (citing Proud as best explanation of “same actor” inference); E.E.O.C. v. Our Lady of Resurrection Med. Ctr., 77 F.3d 145, 152 (7th Cir. 1996) (“The same hirer/firer inference has strong presumptive value”); Buhrmaster v. Overnite Transp. Co., 61 F.3d 461, 463 (6th Cir. 1995) (“It is simply incredible that the company officials who hired an employee at age fifty-one had suddenly developed an aversion to older people two years later”).