Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Another reason to put off that surgery...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Smallish Settlement for Taser Victim

From the article:

A federal lawsuit filed by the family of a man who died after Hollywood police shot him with a Taser has been settled for $6,000. The settlement in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale is a signal that the family of Vincent Del' Ostia has conceded defeat in its wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit. The money will allow the family to get out of the case without winning or losing anything, according to the Del' Ostia's lawyer, Dennis Bailey. . . For [the] police, Friday's agreement validated their solid support for Tasers, stun guns that have sparked controversy across the country.

More than 100 people in the United States and Canada have died shortly after getting zapped by Tasers, but few of the fatalities have been attributed to the stun guns. In the majority of cases, medical examiners have blamed drugs.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Getting Used to Spam

The new study (click on the post title for the Washington Post article) says Americans find spam less bothersome than a year ago. I wonder if there are other factors involved besides self-resignation. Most email providers now filter junk email - not perfectly, of course, but pesky ones about mortgages and another person in Nigeria wanting to give me $10 MILLION usually don't land in my Inbox (except at my work email account, which flags spam but doesn't screen it). Also, one would HOPE that more people are able to recognize immediately the same old come-ons and don't bother opening them.

Fitting, In a Way....

Now-Infamous Boston Cardinal Law conducts memorial mass for JP2 at the Vatican....

Pot in the Home Constitutes Child Abuse, Court Says

Hopefully the link works without subscription (I have a subscription so it is hard for me to tell).

In this case, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a drug dealer could be convicted of child abuse for keeping marijuana at home where his children lived.

I can't disagree with that.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The BLACK BOX in Your Car

Click here for the court's opinion. From the article (linked to in the title of the post):

The little "black box" in [a litigant's] car is a reliable source of evidence that he was driving at more than three times the speed limit when he slammed into another vehicle and killed two teenage girls in Pembroke Pines, an appeals court ruled on Wednesday. In what appears to be the nation's first such appellate ruling in a criminal case, the 4th District Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge who allowed Broward prosecutors to use evidence gathered from the car's "black box" in Matos' 2003 trial.

Again: Big Jury Awards Are Not the Cause of High Medical Costs

Another article on the new Texas study demonstrating that occasional large jury awards have minimal effect on the malpractice-insurance rates of phsyicians (which is the main argument being touted for misguided tort reform). Click on the post title to follow the link to the article.


Adult hosts are now liable in TN if teens drink at their parties.
From the article:

In an opinion with wide implications for parents of teenagers who host parties, the Tennessee Supreme Court this week ruled that adults have a clear duty to ensure the safety of minor guests if they know that kids are drinking — even if the adults do not provide the alcohol.

The longer I teach criminal law, the more it seems that people don't kill people, alcohol kills people. Everyone involved in the production and serving of alcohol reaps the benefits while externalizing the costs of their activities onto others - the victims. Immunizing them would constitute a government subsidy of their private pursuits.

Get the court's opinion here.

The Common Law Applies to Recording Industry Rights?

From the article:
New York's highest court ruled Tuesday that common law protects a record company's copyright on recordings made prior to 1972 — a decision that could have industrywide ramifications for everything from Bach to the Beatles. That lawsuit involved Franklin, Tenn.-based Naxos of America Inc., which restored and marketed 1930s classical records made in England by another company, The Gramaphone Co. Limited, after the 50-year British copyright had expired. Hollywood, Calif.-based Capitol Records Inc., which currently holds the rights to those recordings, sued.
They won on appeal. "Naxos, which bills itself as 'the world's leading classical music label,' said it would appeal." Click here for the text of the Court's opinion.