Friday, November 21, 2014

Let's Amend The Constitution

Social protest from the Rockport Maine Opera House, Nov. 9, 2014.

"Five old guys in judges' robes, sold our country down the road... Let's amend the Constitution"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thought Provoking Law Quote: Judge Jerome Frank

Federal Court of Appeals Judge Jerome Frank was one of the leading writers in the Jurisprudence of Legal Realism. His 1949 work, Courts on Trial, is still relevant today as a critique on the ability of our trial system to effectively dispense justice.  From Chapter 6 of that work, The "Fight" Theory vs. The "Truth" Theory:

In short, the lawyer aims at victory, at winning in the fight, not at aiding the court to discover the facts. He does not want the trial court to reach a sound educated guess, if it is likely to be contrary to his client's interests. Our present trial method is thus the equivalent of throwing pepper in the eyes of a surgeon when he is performing an operation.
                                      -Judge Jerome Frank, Courts on Trial, 1949

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Irony of Our Times Seen Through NY Times

In the Thursday, November 13, 2014 edition of the NY Times, the following two articles appeared on page 17:

In Death of Dogs, a Human Story of Loss and Intrigue; Dog owners were understandable upset when, after leaving their dogs for boarding last June, they died tragically holed up in a 9-by-12 foot room with no functioning air conditioner. "The community has been behind us on this," said one of the owners.

Florida Finds Tricky Balance Over Feeding of the Homeless: A 90 year old WWII vet started a charity in remembrance of his deceased wife through which he provides food to the homeless in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. As a result, he has been cited several times for violation of a city ordinance against feeding the homeless in public places. According to the article, local businesses and the chambers of commerce would like the homeless population to be less visible.

So, in one article, the community is understandably up in arms over the inhumane treatment of beloved family pets.  In the other article, the pillars of the business community are up in arms over the humane treatment of their fellow humans.  And in each case, the law supports "the community."

Click here for Reuters report with video.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

He Fades Away: Law's Remedy Too Little, Too Late

I know that I have posted this song before, but the video has been removed from YouTube, so I am re-upping, with options in case it happens again.

He Fades Away was written by Alistair Hulett and illuminates the position of a miners' wife as she watches her husband slowly die of mesothelioma. This was the fate of many who worked at the Wittenoom Blue Asbestos mine in Western Australia.

"There's  a man in my bed, they never told him,
The cost of bringing home his weekly pay.
When the courts decide how much they owe him,
How will he spend his money when he lies in bed and coughs his life away?"

To skip the introductions, start the video at 1:55:

Start this video at 0:35; end at 5:01:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Citizen's United in Song

More social/legal/political commentary from Roy Zimmerman.

"Citizens United puts the 'mock' in democracy."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thought Provoking Law Quote: Mitt Romney

Should government regulate business? According to Mitt Romney, CEO and former (and future?) Republican candidate for President of the United States, the answer is that "regulation is essential." It's just that the devil is in the details.

Regulation is essential.  You can't have a free market work if you don't have regulation. As a businessperson I had to have regula[tions]. I needed to know the regulations. I needed them there.  You couldn't have people opening up banks in their garage (sic) and making loans. I mean you have to have regulation so that you can have an economy work.  Every free economy has good regulation. At the same time, regulation can become excessive.

- Mitt Romney, Presidential Debate, Oct. 2012

Clip with context (first 0:45):

Short clip without the qualifying hedge line at the end: