Court Upholds Virginia FOIA Restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the information industry and to open-government advocates on Monday, unanimously upholding a Virginia law that restricts the right of access to public documents to in-state residents. Critics of the law said that balkanized information rules like Virginia’s would hamper the growing information industry, which depends, in part, on national access to state real estate, tax and other records. But Justice Samuel Alito Jr., writing for the court, said alternate means of getting the information are available.


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Can You Get Jail Time For Watching A Cartoon?


So do you think someone can get jail time for watching a cartoon? Would it make any difference if the cartoons were sexual? Decide for yourself, after reading this from

Ronald Clark downloaded the Japanese anime cartoons three years ago, setting in train events that would see him in court in Auckland and jailed for three months for possessing objectionable material, and sparking debate as to what harm is caused by digitally created pornography.

That’s a yes. Perhaps a little background will assist you, perhaps not.

Clark has previous convictions for indecently assaulting a teenage boy and has been through rehabilitation programmes, but the video nasties he was watching in this case were all cartoons and drawings. He says the videos came from an established tradition of Japanese manga and hentai (cartoon pornography), a massive, mainstream industry in that country.

They weren’t even depictions of people – Clark’s lawyer Roger Bowden described them as “pixies and trolls” that “you knew at a glance weren’t human”. Bowden said the conviction for possessing objectionable material was “the law gone mad”.

However, while the cartoon characters were elves and pixies, they were also clearly young elves and pixies, which led to concerns the images were linked to child sexual abuse.

So what do you think? If you’re uncertain, you can read more (a fair amount) here.


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Supreme Court upholds Virginia information act that excludes non-residents

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled unanimously Monday in McBurney v. Young [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that Virginia has the right to exclude non-residents from accessing state records under its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text]. The court determined the law did not violate the Privileges and Immunities Clause [text] of Article IV of the US Constitution, as it did not burden any fundamental privilege or immunity. The court also found the information was not part of the…


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Suspect In Ricin Letters Case Could Face Life In Prison (Updated)

Federal agents who are investigating poison-laced letters that were sent to President Obama and others have arrested Everett Dutschke, of Tupelo, Miss. The Daily Journal of Tupelo reports that the arrest occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday.

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Drunk Driver Makes Absolutely Certain He’ll Be Caught


Unlike The Juice’s recent post about the drunk driver who called the police and turned himself in, this gent took a different route. Per The Hunterdon County Democrat (New Jersey):

The driver of an SUV that hit a police car stopped on the shoulder of a road faces drunken driving charges in Lambertville, police reported today.

That certainly makes for an easy arrest.

While the Delaware Township patrol car was disabled in the accident, police said that the patrolman turned on his overhead lights and stopped the driver of the SUV, Gregg Oldani, 37, of Ringoes.

And by the way …

Oldani was also wanted in Bucks County, Pa., in relation to earlier driving while intoxicated charges, Lambertville police said.

Not a good night for Mr. Oldani. Fortunately nobody was injured. The charges?

… drunken and careless driving, possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle and driving with an expired driver’s license.

Here’s the source.


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Social Media and Lawsuits

From “tweets” to Facebook status updates, social media has taken over how we communicate with the outside world. It has also become a large part of our legal system. Social media is now considered key evidence in both criminal cases and civil lawsuits. Lawyer2Lawyer co-hosts and attorneys, Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi examine the surge in social media-based evidence and claims in litigation, as well as the importance of educating attorneys on the ins and outs of social media with Attorney Antigone Peyton, Founder and CEO of Cloudigy├é┬« Law, PLLC and Attorney Ernest Svenson, solo attorney and blogger.


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Supreme Court hears final arguments of term

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments in two cases [JURIST report] Wednesday. In Metrish v. Lancaster [transcript, PDF] the court heard arguments on whether the Michigan Supreme Court violated due process rights [Cornell LII backgrounder] when it recognized a state statute that abolished the diminished capacity defense [Cornell LII backgrounder] and applied it retroactively to defendant Burt Lancaster’s re-trial. The Michigan Solicitor General argued that under Harrington v. Richter [JURIST report], “a Federal court may only…


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Virtual lawyers in trouble?

Virtual veterinarian faces a legal test in Texas. He moved his practice online and talked to distressed pet owners by email and telephone. He charged a flat fee, generally, and recommended treatment options. The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners suspended his license for violating the state law that prevents veterinarians from setting up a medical relationship solely by telephone or electronic means.

The AVMA claims that it is protecting the public’s interest. The vet claims that the regulation is intended to protect the brick-and-mortar veterinarian practices.

Does this sound familiar? Every Bar regulation that I’ve ever reviewed (or testified against) has been sustained on the basis of protecting the public. Where are the interests of the membership, the very professionals who pay dues to keep staff employed? These interests seem to be relegated to the back of the bus, if not ignored completely. In the legal community, this "ship" has sailed. I don’t think anyone would claim that a "virtual" law practice is illegal. It will be interesting to see how the Texas court rules in this matter.


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Best Billable Hour Practices for Paralegals

Are you looking for answers when it comes to billable hour practices? Paralegal Voice co-hosts Lynne DeVenny and Vicki Voisin join Jennifer Karns, Legal Professional Training Manager for Snell & Wilmer L.L.P., as they discuss billable hour practices. Jennifer emphasizes the importance of meeting billable hour goals and adding value to time entries. She also shares essential tips for improving your billing descriptions and capabilities.


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Say It Ain’t So, Batman!


How bad are things in the UK? Even Batman has crossed to the dark side. As reported by

A man who handed his friend in to a police station while dressed as Batman has been charged with burglary.

Stan Worby, 39, made headlines around the world last month when pictures were released showing him taking Daniel Frayne to a police station in Bradford while wearing the Caped Crusader costume.

Clearly Robin, er Mr. Worby, did not hold a grudge.

Worby and Frayne, 26, have now both been charged with burglary after police stopped a vehicle containing suspected stolen property.

The men were arrested shortly after 4am on Sunday on Milner Ing, in the Delph Hill area of Bradford.

Last month, Worby, a Chinese takeaway delivery driver, explained how he had returned from watching Bradford City play in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley in his Batman suit when Frayne asked him to accompany him to the police station in relation to other matters.

Say what? Here’s the source, including a still from that first trip to the police station.


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