Articles Posted in Legal News & Commentary

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Remember the 1989-1992 George HW Bush and Dan Quayle “White House Council on Competitiveness”?

It does not have a website (or even a Wikipedia page – do not confuse other competitiveness councils with the GHW Bush, D Quayle White House Council on Competitiveness, which was dissolved in 1993. (White House webpages, and all others, were in short supply back then, in fact virtually non-existent.)

It also should not be confused with the former White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs inside the Office of Management and Budget.

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Scotland’s voters in favor of a second vote for independence have purchased the mothballed U.S. Declaration of Independence.

A Scottish “man on the street” was heard to say, “they weren’t using it anymore anyway, so we bought it. Americans will sell anything for the right price – their liberty, independence, health, and their children’s welfare – and it was going for a song, so we sang. We did refrain from offering them our bagpipes, which might have, ur, scotched the deal.

Read more about Scotland and its Brexit fall-out, aka Scotch Eggsit, ScootVotey McVoteface, and more:

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In a case that will be of interest for those following the Children’s Trust lawsuit:

“In New Zealand, Lands and Rivers Can Be People (Legally Speaking),” by Bryant Rousseau, July 13, 2016

Can a stretch of land be a person in the eyes of the law? Can a body of water?

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Lack of Oxford Comma Costs Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute,” by Daniel Victor, March 16, 2017, New York Times.

A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded — or totally necessary — Oxford comma, perhaps the most polarizing of punctuation marks.

What ensued in The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and in a 29-page court decision handed down on Monday, was an exercise in high-stakes grammar pedantry that could cost a dairy company in Portland, Me., an estimated $10 million….” [Link to full NYT article.]

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Other databases (Lexis, Westlaw, maybe, who knows) may start doing this too for students, scientists, and other researchers, but in the meantime:

ProQuest launches free access to its databases for researchers affected by travel ban

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LawSites’ January 18, 2017, blog post, “Fake Lawyer Blogs Repost My Post About Their Fake Lawyer Blogs,” by Robert Ambrogi is hilarious and worthy of a [TED Talk funny man] James Veitch award – and also certainly deserving of a Chuck Shephard News of the Weird entry. It also sounds like a Borowitz Report! Wowsers – a humor trifecta.

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A country’s financial health, among other measures, depends a lot on views of how corrupt its political and financial leaders and systems are rated. (E.g. would you invest in a country where corruption is high, where you can’t record officially and protect in the country’s courts your financial and real estate investments, where corporate and government employees are “on the take,” etc?)

Here are some Corruption Ranking sources of information:

Transparency International (or select an individual country) and read their “What is (and Costs of) corruption” pages. And the Wikipedia page.

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Portland’s Street Roots newspaper has some terrific reporting on a wide variety of topics. This article is from a November 2016 issue; you can find other articles at their website.

This is not, however, to discourage those of you lucky enough to be able to buy a print Street Roots from their vendors!

Dishonorable: The trouble with Oregon’s judicial elections, by Emily Green, 3 Nov 2016 Street Roots:

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Radio doesn’t get any better than BBC’s World Service program Outlook. Listen to the “The Reluctant Death Row Executioner” episode as Frank Thompson, formerly in charge of the Oregon State Penitentiary, speaks to BBC’s Matthew Banister, about what executions do to the people who have to plan, drill, and carry out those executions.

And listen to other BBC Outlook programs, which are nothing short of inspirational, as are the BBC’s Fifth Floor program episodes.