Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On whether a man be an idiot or not

In Ingram v. Com., the Virginia Court of Appeals in a published opinion by Judge Kelsey, joined by Judge McCullough and Senior Judge Haley, disposed of Mr. Ingram's claim that he was entitled to a jury trial on the claim that he should be required involuntarily to undergo psychiatric treatment. In reject Ingram's claim, Judge Kelsey noted the following:

"Though wholly unrelated to claims for monetary damages, the ancient common law writ of 'de idiota inquirendo' authorized juries to 'inquire whether a man be an idiot or not' and, if so, to transfer 'the profits of his lands and the custody of his person' to the king or his designee. 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England *303. A similar writ could be issued against a 'non compos mentis,' described in the common law as a mere 'lunatic' who 'by disease, grief, or other accident, hath lost the use of his reason' yet still has 'lucid intervals.' Id. at *304.

These common law writs, however, have little in common with a Code § 37.2-1101 proceeding."

Many is the case in which it might have been asked whether I or other counsel or a litigant or witness whether he "be an idiot or not."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Today Provo, tomorrow the world

This article explains how Google plans to take over wireless internet access from the telcos, one Google Fiber home at a time.

On Judge Lynn Brown

The Johnson City paper has this entertaining story on the retirement of Judge Lynn Brown from Northeast Tennessee.

One of those stories told was this: "Another memorable case was the two murder trials of Steven Allen Jones, who was convicted both times . . . . Jones became enraged after the second conviction and Brown ordered him gagged. The bailiffs used defense attorney Gene Scott’s spare tie as the gag."