Cyberbullying Mr. Chips
By Caitlin Tremblay
In North Carolina it’s now a crime to “intimidate or torment” teachers on the Internet. According to NPR, the new law prohibits students from creating fake online profiles for teachers and makes it a crime to make any statement about a teacher online that could provoke harassment. Offenses under the law are punishable by up to a month in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The law has already come under some scrutiny, however, with the North Carolina ACLU saying it’s too broad and adds “criminal sanctions for a dumb mistake.” Legal expert and UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh told NPR that once the law is challenged in court it will likely be struck down.
By Dan Brillman
The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law
will be the home of a new clinic looking into the practice of executive pardons
in the legal system, reports
The Blog of Legal Times.
The effort has been
spearheaded by former Maryland governor Robert Erlich,
now a senior partner with King & Spalding. During his tenure as governor, from 2003 to 2007, Erlich pardoned
over 200 convicts. A recent report
highlighting flaws in the presidential pardon system prompted him to partner
with a law school to study the practice.
At a Catholic University event last week,
Erlich said the clinic would focus on “public advocacy, executive training for
governors, and (a)
clinical experience for law students.”
Five schools reportedly vied for the opportunity to house the
clinic, which will branch off of the Washington-based
school’s Innocent Project
Clinic starting in August.
By Suhrith Parathasarathy
If a new whitehouse.gov petition reaches 100,000 signatories by Saturday, the Obama administration could be forced to explain a new federal rule that requires consumers to get consent from their service providers before switching mobile phone carriers, reports Wired. The rule follows a decision by the U.S. Copyright Office to make it illegal for consumers to unlock mobile phones purchased after Jan. 26.
Lots of folks are upset by the decision, including Derek Khanna, a Republican Study Committee staffer who, as Summary Judgments reported, has called for copyright reforms. In Khanna’s words, the rule is “ridiculous regulation.” Meanwhile, blogger Mark Sullivan, writing in PC World, complains that the decision was made not by voters, the courts or even Congress. Instead, the Librarian of Congress alone is responsible for interpreting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which Sullivan says is “bizarre at best and absurd at worst.”
The petition against phone locking was initiated by Sina Khanifar, a San Francisco-based entrepreneur who was threatened with legal action by Motorola for launching an unlocking tool in 2004. Khanifar demands that the “White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind his decision, and failing that champion a bill that would make unlocking permanently legal.” As of Wednesday afternoon, the bill was about 13,000 signatures shy of its goal.
By Anna Louie Sussman
Receptionists wanted for fast-growing Atlanta law firm: Only college graduates need apply. The 45-person law firm of Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh is one of many companies requiring all of its employees, even the office courier, to have a college degree, The New York Times reports.
“When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,” headhunter Suzanne Manzagol, who recruits for administrative positions at Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh and other firms in the Atlanta area, tells the Times.
Recent grads working low-level jobs at the firm say they’re grateful for the opportunity to do menial white-collar work. “It sure beats washing cars,” says Landon Crider, 24, who graduated from Georgia State and worked at Enterprise Rent-a-Car before joining Busch, Slipakoff.
What’s more, Busch, Slipakoff is a fast-growing firm and employees who have started in lower positions have been promoted quickly. Laura Burnett went from file clerk to paralegal in less than a year. Crider has been given billing and copying responsibilities - and has an eye on law school for next year.
By Anna Louie Sussman
Cameras are allowed in the courts of almost all 50 U.S.
states, albeit with various restrictions, but across the
Atlantic things are taking a tad longer. The United
Kingdom's criminal justice minister fears that allowing cameras
into courtrooms will lead to "celebrity lawyers" like those in
the United States, the Telegraph reports.
Broadcasters will be allowed into the UK's Court of Appeal
beginning in October, according to the newspaper.
Minister Damian Green said courtroom personae could play up
to the cameras, while the Lord Chief Justice said televised
sentencing could lead to booing from the gallery.
"There are people who don't want to end up with an American
system where you have celebrity lawyers and so on," Green said.
In recent weeks, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor told
the television host Charlie Rose in an interview that she no
longer favored cameras in the Supreme Court because most
Americans couldn't follow the arguments and there was no point
in giving them access, The New York Times reported. By
contrast, New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan
Lippman told WCBS that technological advances made it
"absolutely essential" for New Yorkers to have access to
courtroom proceedings to maintain confidence in the
administration of justice.
Summary Judgments for February 19
Summary Judgments for February 15
Summary Judgments for February 14
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