Aug 29, 2018
At what point is it no longer appropriate for government officials to hide behind sovereign immunity in order to get away with committing crimes? Check out a recent abuse of power story involving Alabama sheriffs pocketing funds earmarked to feed inmates leaving inmates underfed and/or fed unfit food.
What is sovereign immunity?
“Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine that protects a sovereign body (ie, the federal or state government and their respective agencies) from being … Read more
Apr 4, 2018
In a creative if misguided use of the law requiring many occupations to report to the state’s child protective services whenever they have reasonable cause to believe child abuse has occurred, a Pennsylvania dental clinic is notifying parents of children it has treated that it will need to report them for child neglect if they do not bring their children back to the clinic for treatment. In its letter to parents the clinic reminds them … Read more
Feb 28, 2018
With school shootings, threats of missiles from Korea, law enforcement agencies claiming to be “above the law”, and no major sport to watch in February, it’s reassuring to know that the inept criminal, idiosyncratic in the object or method of crime or in his chosen means of escape can still offer a reprieve from the banal rhythms of daily life.
Take today’s news about a man whose meatballs were stolen, for instance. He looked up … Read more
Feb 2, 2018
Inmates in a federal prison were recently charged with escape when they were caught running back to their prison.
You’d think that someone who’d gone to the effort to escape from prison wouldn’t return as a matter of course. Yet that’s exactly what inmates in a federal prison in Jefferson County, Texas were regularly doing as reported here.
Inmates would dash out of the prison to pick up contraband from a passing car and … Read more
Jan 31, 2018
There’s a socially cultivated sense of importance about our judicial system. There’s even an aura among some lawyers of reverence, if not sycophancy, toward appellate judges as though the work of appellate court judges is serious and intellectually demanding so that only the brightest minds can do the job.
It’s refreshing then to see an appellate court struggling with a question of great jurisprudential and social import: Whether a self-propelled lawn mower is a “motor … Read more
Nov 15, 2017
Law school deans often assume an aura of intellectual superiority and moral authority ever ready to opine about how some other person or institution should act. In fact, law schools and their captains seem in an odd sense to be above the law.
The brief abstract confirms that last thought. Specifically, two Emory University Professors note the criminal culpability of many laws schools, their deans and other administrators for wire fraud and other offenses for … Read more
Sep 22, 2017
Hurricane Harvey was a disaster for almost everyone it touched. Yet, showing that no disaster is without profit to someone, lawyers are already thinking of ways to blame damage from the storm on governments, architects, builders and others. As Reuters reports in a recent story by Sebastien Malo, those lawyers are trying to show that certain targets, all with presumably deep pockets, should be legally responsible for the damages and injuries millions suffered in the … Read more
Jul 25, 2017
A recent story in the Oregonian tells how the state of Oregon has taken a married couple’s children because the state claims the couple isn’t smart enough to be parents. In fact, the state took their younger child from the hospital before his mother was even able to see him.
As the story points out, both parents have held jobs and they maintain a household. While neither parent looks like another Einstein, when has anyone … Read more
Jul 5, 2017
In a recent bizarre trip down the rabbit hole, in Twist Architecture v. Board of Architect Examiners, 361 Or. 507 (2017), the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a fine against architects, duly licensed in Washington, for daring to call themselves “architects” on their correspondence and website read by Oregon clients who hired them to prepare master plans for possible commercial development in the state of Oregon.
Even though the drawings the architects here were hired to … Read more
May 3, 2017
In an email to the Oregon State Board of Engineering an electronics engineer argued that yellow traffic lights in the state were too brief and thus put the public at risk. He supported his arguments with calculations and graphs which he prepared at his own cost in his free time.
The Oregon State Board of Engineering disregarded the substance of his email but attacked the author, Mats Jarlstrom, for referring to himself as an “electronics … Read more