The Wall Street Journal has a thought-provoking article this week about efforts to increase polite interactions within the legal profession. The New York Inn of Court recently organized a "Civility Seder," featuring judges belting out lyrics that call for more restrained attorney behavior. Judge Richard Sullivan sang the following lyrics to the tune of "If I Were A Rich Man":
If lawyers were more civil
Daidle deedle daidle daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
They'd treat their breth-er-en with more respect
Wouldn't always yell, 'object.'
Some of the attorneys interviewed for the story blamed the rise in rude behavior among lawyers to the lack of face-to-face interactions, which seems to definitely contribute to less civil behavior. It's a lot harder to be impolite to opposing counsel when you've spent some time with them.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll has been writing about Oakland's crime woes, and our former dean, David Ratner, wrote an interesting response to one of Carroll's columns, discussing past alliances between organized crime and law enforcement in Las Vegas to control crime. Here is an excerpt from Dean Ratner's response -- you can read the entire column here:
As a former Dean of USF Law School, I was intrigued by your 'modest proposal' for reform of Oakland law enforcement. Are you aware that a scheme very similar to the one you propose, in which law enforcement duties would be shared by the city and the leaders of organized crime, was developed and operated successfully for many years in the city of Las Vegas? This occurred during the period when most of the large casinos were run by the 'Jewish Mafia' and before they were taken over by large publicly-held corporations (our new form of 'organized crime').
The Wall Street Journal has a story today, covered by the WSJ Law Blog, about whether posting fake news stories on social media during natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy could be considered a crime. Lots of First Amendment scholars weighed in on the topic, including Eugene Volokh and Frederick Schauer.
Amy Howe at SCOTUSBlog posted her summary, The Fisher Argument in Plain English, after oral arguments today in one of the Court's most-scrutinized cases of the term, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Fisher involves a challenge to the use of race in the UT undergraduate admissions process. For full SCOTUSBlog coverage of Fisher, visit the recap page on SCOTUSBlog.
The Court's October term is about to begin, and a number of legal scholars are weighing in on what to expect from the upcoming term. Above the Law has links to several quick and easy-to-understand summaries of the major issues before the Court this term, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and more.
A: According to a recent news report all of them will be appearing on the upcoming season of Sesame Street. Justice Sotomayor will be reprising last year's visit to the Street. That appearance was made memorable by her controversial on-air ruling on a dispute between Baby Bear and Goldilocks concerning defendant's trespass and subsequent breaking of plaintiff's chair. Her impending appearance will be limited to a discussion of the meaning of the word "career" and is not expected to result in any new rulings.
In the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070, Department of Justice lawyers avoided arguing that any of the law's provisions, including the requirement that state police check the documents of suspected undocumented immigrants, invite racial profiling.
The technocrat lawyer in me might understand this strategy, reasoning that it's too soon to know if Latinos will be targeted by SB 1070 (although there's plenty of evidence already). The cynic in me believes that the Obama administration stayed away from racial profiling allegations because that claim falls too close to home. The framework for SB 1070 mirrors the federal immigration enforcement laws and guess what, ICE engages in racial profiling every day. The immigration historian in me, however, understands that SB 1070 is in fact all about racial profiling given the institutionalized racism under which the law and its copycat statutes across the country have emerged.
Prof. Freiwald specifically addresses a pending case before the Fifth Circuit which could add some clarity to the question of under what circumstances government agents will be required to seek a probable cause warrant for cell phone location data. She is eminently qualified to write on the subject having submitted an amicus brief in the case.
This blog post is only the first of a series of posts that will be appearing in Concurring Opinions by Prof. Friewald on the topic. Scholars and citizens with and interest in civil liberties and digital privacy will be interested in following what promises to be a lively series of posts.