437 ABA Journal The National Pulse articles.
California became the third state in the U.S. to adopt a law that allows judges to consider what’s in the best interests of the animal rather than treating the pet like other inanimate property, such as a car. Alaska and Illinois have passed similar laws since 2016. The new laws are groundbreaking because they come amid growing interest in protecting pets and settling disputes over them.
Jun 1, 2019 1:30 AM CDT
In 49 U.S. states and the federal court system, a 10-2 vote would not have been enough to convict. Oregon is currently the only state that permits convictions (for felonies other than murder) on a 10-2 or 11-1 vote of the jury. That practice has come under criticism in recent years by people who say it was enacted for racist reasons; it denies minority viewpoints on the jury a voice and removes an important safeguard against wrongful convictions.
May 1, 2019 2:30 AM CDT
A class action lawsuit, pending in federal court for the Central District of California, alleges that the Riverside County Probation Department violates youths’ due process rights, their Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures and their First Amendment right to associate with others. The ACLU argues that placement on “informal” probation leaves juveniles worse off than no intervention at all. One reason is that information gleaned through the program can be used against juveniles in future court cases; another is that children who participate in the program are presumed ineligible for diversion if they’re subsequently arrested.
May 1, 2019 2:25 AM CDT
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a mail-order abortion-drug practice, and abortion foes are vowing to fight back with federal legislation.
Apr 1, 2019 1:45 AM CDT
Parents and school districts have been suing over school funding, using state-mandated performance standards to argue that states aren’t living up to their end of the bargain—and they’re winning.
Apr 1, 2019 1:40 AM CDT
A new California law, SB 1421, makes certain police personnel records available through California’s public records law—not just to defense lawyers or prosecutors, but to anyone who asks. The information available is limited to specific kinds of misconduct and will be scrubbed of most personal information. But some police misconduct lawyers still see it as a win.
Mar 1, 2019 1:45 AM CST
Attorneys are flocking to volunteer for bar association programs that help with probate, child custody, guardianship, victim compensation or trust matters.
Mar 1, 2019 1:40 AM CST
Courts have tended to rule that forced medication should only be used to restore competency in the rarest of cases. A 2003 U.S. Supreme Court case set limits in which a court could order medication. But instead of becoming rare, forced medication has become routine and can prolong cases for years.
Feb 19, 2019 8:30 AM CST
California millionaire Peter Chadwick—free on $1.5 million bail while awaiting trial for the murder of his wife—failed to show up for a court hearing in January 2015. With no new leads, Newport Beach Police Department produced a podcast in hopes of engaging the public in its search for one of the country’s most-wanted fugitives.
Jan 1, 2019 2:35 AM CST
In what’s known as a “gay panic defense,” defendants say victims provoked the crime by revealing their sexuality or making a nonviolent sexual pass. The criminal defense strategy has been used since at least the 1960s.
Jan 1, 2019 2:30 AM CST
A U.S. district judge in Florida ruled in June that a dentist’s before-and-after photos didn’t contain enough of a “creative spark” to merit protection. Some lawyers worry the decision, which is being appealed, could have detrimental effects on other images used in advertising.
Dec 1, 2018 2:10 AM CST
The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires anyone lobbying or doing public relations for a foreign government, company or other entity to register with the Department of Justice and file detailed reports about their work every six months. Violations carry penalties of up to $10,000 and five years in prison.
Dec 1, 2018 2:05 AM CST
Denver’s move is one of the latest examples of programs that have sprouted up around the country, making courts more accessible to homeless people who face lower-level misdemeanor charges.
Nov 1, 2018 2:10 AM CDT
Whoever is elected this November to replace Gov. Rick Scott will take office, which has led to a sticky question: Is it the outgoing governor or his successor who has the right to appoint replacements to the court?
Nov 1, 2018 1:50 AM CDT
The group Still She Rises seeks to address criminalization and incarceration of women in Oklahoma, focusing on helping indigent mothers in northern Tulsa, a historically impoverished and underresourced community. Still She Rises began taking clients in January 2017 as the first pro bono law office in the country specifically dedicated to representing mothers involved in the criminal justice system.
Oct 1, 2018 1:45 AM CDT