Saturday, April 15, 2006

Print the world over at Kinko's

The Georgia Lawyer links here to the Practice Blog on how to use Kinko's to print anywhere there is a Kinko's.

This is just the kind of thing that I will try, but then I just got back from Hilton Head, where I made use of the Wi-Fi at McDonald's. There is indeed wireless at the McDonald's on the main drag near the Sea Pines Circle, and also at an internet cafe in Coligny Plaza, and I suspect some other places as well, run by this outfit, or so it would appear.

Judge Stump rules for the media in Bristol 911 case

The Bristol paper reports here and here that the City of Bristol lost in the Freedom of Information Act case brought by the newspaper seeking disclosure of the recording of the 911 call placed by a Bristol woman who has since been charged with the death of her child.

The Bristol paper's website remains the worst in America.

Ford Motor Company loses the battle, wins the war in W.D. Va. case

In the latest chapter of the long-running case of Tunnell v. Ford Motor Company, Judge Urbanski recommends discovery sanctions against the defendant but denies the plaintiff's requests for either a new trial or entry of a default judgment.

On the late Justice Compton

The Washington & Lee website has this obituary for Senior Justice A. Christian Compton of the Virginia Supreme Court, on which he had served since 1974.

Some time ago, I met Chief Justice Hassell, who asked me if I had appeared before his Court, and I told him the following story about my second appearance before the Virginia Supreme Court:

Me: "Justice Compton glared at me and said, 'Mr. Minor, what you're saying can't possibly be true."

Chief Justice Hassell: "Then I bet it wasn't true."

Me: "You're right, the Court was unanimous on that point."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

On those loathsome red light cameras

Techdirt links here to "Yet Another Study Shows That Redlight Cameras Increase Accidents," described here.

Then again, this study involves Maryland drivers. People from Northern Virginia all know about them.

The sentencing guidelines as the pinnacle of reasonableness

In U.S. v. Johnson, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Wilkinson, joined by Chief Judge Wilkins and Judge Luttig, explained why it is that a sentence within the federal sentencing guidelines carries a presumption of reasonableness.

Judge Wilkinson wrote:

(1) "The first reason that Guidelines sentences are presumptively reasonable under Booker is the legislative and administrative process by which they were created."

(2) "The second reason that Guidelines sentences are presumptively reasonable is that the process described above has led to the incorporation into the Guidelines of the factors Congress identified in 18 U.S.C.A. § 3553(a) as most salient in sentencing determinations."

(3) "the third reason why Guidelines sentences must be treated as presumptively reasonable . . . [is] that such sentences are based on individualized factfinding and this factfinding takes place in a process that invites defendants to raise objections and requires courts to resolve them."

Professor Berman says, even if all that's true, there still can be unreasonableness.

On Virginia privacy laws from the pharmacists' perspective

Via the HIPAA blog, here is a trade organization for chain drugstores analyzes the privacy laws as related to pharmacies in all 50 states, including Virginia.

On rethinking law school

Various blogs have linked to this article in the U.S. News & World Report questioning the status quo in legal education.

The article notes: "A recent study by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research found that law students are increasingly disengaged and work less as grad school progresses."

It also says: "Still, some detractors believe that ABA requirements are designed to protect professors and current practitioners, as opposed to students, and are tantamount to a monopoly."

It concludes: "However the field of legal education evolves, it's worth pondering the advice of Abraham Lincoln, who famously studied the field on his own in Illinois before acing his "bar exam"--a 10-minute discussion with a local judge--and going on to practice for 25 years prior to being elected president. In an 1858 letter to a young man with dreams of entering the profession, he offered this counsel: "If you wish to be a lawyer, attach no consequence to the place you are in, or the person you are with; but get books, sit down anywhere, and go to reading for yourself." Even for the bulk of students who flock to ABA-approved schools, the notion that it's not so much where you train but how committed you are to that preparation still rings true today."

From the other end zone, this post suggests that the ABA is a more reliable bunch than the association of law school deans.

Why the McDonnell-Douglas proof scheme is unjustified

This Workplace Prof Blog post links to a provocative article titled Flying Without a Statutory Basis: Why McDonnell-Douglas is Not Justified by Any Statutory Construction Methodology.

The abstract notes that "courts have begun to water down or eliminate McDonnell-Douglas' use as an evidentiary standard by juries." That's an understatement. Some might say that the shifting-burden scheme conjured up by the Supreme Court for employment discrimination cases was never intended for use by juries, and cannot be made comprehensible to juries.

State bar exempt from NLRA as a political subdivision

It says here that the NLRB has determined that the workers of the state bar (in New Mexico) are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act.