Saturday, March 29, 2008

The book of Minors

I eventually did receive the reprint of The Minors of Virginia, published in 1926, by John B. Minor. Of course, that is not the John B. Minor, who died thirty years prior.

But, he is in there, along with Virginia Minor, William Lewis Herndon, Matthew Fontaine Maury, John Minor Maury, William Andrew Quarles, James Minor Quarles, Charles Minor Blackford, and William Minor Lile.

And, Charles Landon Carter Minor, the head man of what became the University of Maryland, and then what became Virginia Tech, where he got in a fistfight with James H. Lane.

I liked the reference to Judge Quarles of Tennessee, whose report to the tax assessor included ten children and one skillet.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On broadband in Rose Hill and elsewhere

This article about the coming of broadband to Rose Hill in Lee County features my sister, Joan.

The article says in part:

"The nuts and bolts of how broadband came to Rose Hill is a story of leveraging local funds—cash from the state Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission charged with developing Virginia’s tobacco country—to draw in federal grant monies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural Internet program. The Rose Hill model is being replicated down the road a piece in Ewing (population 436), and the even smaller coal-mining community of St. Charles (population 159)."

Another book

I've been reading Chief Justice: A Biography of Earl Warren, by Ed Cray.

The funniest thing in there, I thought, was the statement attributed to Justice Brennan upon his selection to the Supreme Court, likening himself to a mule at the Kentucky Derby: "I don't expect to distinguish myself, but I will benefit by the association."

Monday, March 24, 2008

More on pleading fraud with particularity

Last year I wrote this post.

So, what good is it?

Look at this opinion and then this opinion. To my own way of thinking, that's how you want to use Rule 9 of the Federal Rules, which rule Middleditch and Sinclair says matches what Virginia law requires. Who knows what will come of that particular case, but it is much different from what I thought at the beginning.

Then again, sometimes I make these same arguments, and a judge somewhere says, nicely done, now go ahead and file your answer and let's get on with it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chief Judge Jones on the U.S. Attorney's blanket approach to crack resentencings

This VLW post notes this footnote in U.S. v. Herndon:

"This district is reported to have the fourth largest number of defendants who qualify for a reduction in sentence under the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s policy on retroactivity of the amended crack cocaine guidelines. Unfortunately, it appears that the United States Attorney for this district is objecting to reduction in every case, even those which provide for a reduction in sentence of only a few months. While the Department of Justice opposed the retroactivity of the amended guidelines, once the Sentencing Commission unanimously decided on retroactivity—a decision which Congress has not overruled—a per se objection to reduction does not serve the public interest. For example, the court is required to consider the public safety in determining whether to reduce a particular sentence, see U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual (“USSG”) § 1B1.10 cmt. n.1(B)(ii) (Mar. 3, 2008), and the government’s blanket objection in all cases does not assist the court in making that decision, and, in fact, hinders it."