By Caitlin Tremblay
The crazy toll of law school debt continues apace. From
North Carolina comes the story of a law school dropout who is
trying to sell his name on eBay to raise money to pay off the
$100,000 he owes for a single year he spent at Charlotte Law
School. According to United Press International, Jason Madsen
dropped out of Charlotte after racking up $100,000 in tuition
bills and other expenses. Masden's eBay listing says he left law
school because he was denied financial aid and didn't qualify
The former JD wannabe first offered his name for $75,000 but
got no takers, so he dropped it to $35,000. Madsen said whoever
bought his name could change it to whatever they wanted, but his
auction ended without a single bid. Poor guy, maybe he should
have started with a garage sale.
By Dan Brillman
The Justice Department defended its decision Thursday not to
release photos of a dead Osama bin Laden, reports Legal Times,
telling the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals that
doing so could put Americans at risk. Judicial Watch, a
conservative activist group,had sued in U.S. District Court last
April after its Freedom of Information Act request to see the
images was denied by the Obama administration.
The photos, which were taken before the al Qaeda leader's
body was buried at sea, were deemed classified by the Central
Intelligence Agency. At the time President Barack Obama said he
was not going to inflame tensions by releasing the images, and
that rationale was used yesterday by government lawyer Robert
Loeb. Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha countered that the
government can't predict how the images might imperil Americans'
safety and that the pictures should be released.
Federal judges historically have deferred tothe government's
claims of national security in refusing to declassify
potentially sensitive material, and it looks as if that will
remain the case. "Top CIA officials said in declarations that
the release of the images would have grave consequences," Judge
Merrick Garland said. "Why should we not defer to them?"
In favor of the death penalty
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
After many years in decline, support by Americans for the
death penalty has plateaued in recent years, according to the latest numbers released by Gallup in the wake of the school
shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. (Hat tip: The Volokh Conspiracy.) Sixty-three percent now favor capital punishment
for murder, not much different from 61 percent in 2011 and 64
percent in 2010, Gallup says.
Support for the death penalty peaked in 1994, when 80
percent of Americans favored it. By 2001, the figure had dropped
to about 66 percent, and since then it has hovered around the 60
percent mark, says Gallup.
Orin Kerr, writing in Volokh, makes an interesting
comparison between Gallup's numbers for support of the death
penalty with its numbers highlighting violent crime rates. He
says both rose until the mid-1990s and then steadily declined.
By Eileen Daspin
In a case of adding insult to the injury of dismal
post-law-school job prospects, a Connecticut attorney is
offering, for a fee, to train newly minted but unemployed
lawyers, reports the blog Law and More (hat tip: ABA Journal).
The lawyer has placed an ad on Craigslist seeking a monthly fee
from law grads who have passed the bar or who are waiting for
the results. "Observe the following types of proceedings, as
they occur; Civil Short Calender motion arguments, foreclosure
mediations, pre-trial conferences, Workers Compensation and
Social Security hearings, real estate closings, discovery
proceedings and compliance, research and general office
operations," the ad states. Bruce Carlton at Legal Blog Watch
compares the idea to Take Your Child to Work Day, only with your
kid paying you. "Actually, it is more like 'Take Someone Else's
Child to Work Day,' and the child's parents pay you since the
child/lawyer is unemployed," writes Carlton.
By Ted Botha
Less than a month after the shootings at Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Connecticut, the debate over how to curb
gun violence is increasingly loud and incredibly nasty -- with
both sides seizing practically any venue they can to voice their
Former president Bill Clinton on Wednesday used a speech at
the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to call for tighter
gun control. "I grew up in this hunting culture, but this is
nuts," he is quoted as saying in the Daily News. On the same
day, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, used his State of the
State address to advocate some of the strictest gun control in
the country, presumably the opening bid for a 2016 run for
president, the National Journal says.
Gun rights advocates, on the other hand, are drawing up
legislation. In Spring City, Utah, a city council member has
drafted a proposal recommending that each of the town's 956
residents get their hands on a gun, according to Gawker. In
Wyoming, lawmakers have proposed a new bill that, if passed,
would nullify any federal restrictions on guns. One of the
bill's co-sponsors, state Senator Larry Hicks, told The Washington Examiner that the legislation sends a message to
Washington."It says that your one size fits all solution doesn't
comport to what a vast majority of the state believes," Hicks
said. In Virginia, citizens, like the National Rifle
Association, are asking for armed guards in schools and tougher
gun laws, reports The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, interactive maps of gunowners have become a new
type of flashpoint. The Journal News in Westchester, New York,
published one such map and sparked fury among gun owners. The
website's staff has been threatened, with some journalists
receiving notes they would be shot on the way to their cars.
Workers at gawker.com, which published a similar list of gun
owners, also have received threats.
Piers Morgan, who repeatedly has used his CNN talk show to
advocate for stricter gun-control laws, hosted gun advocate and
radio host Alex Jones in a segment that went viral because of
his guest's ranting. (Morgan's detractors are so incensed by his
position, they've started a White House petition calling for his
deportation back to the United Kingdom.)
In surely what is not the final word, Jon Stewart on Tuesday
dedicated an entire show to the subject while brandishing an
Summary Judgments for January 10
Summary Judgments for January 9
Summary Judgments for January 8
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