Deadspin Weighs in on Raanan Katz Suit

December 18, 2012
FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THE SUPREME COURT HAS ROUNDLY REJECTED PRIOR RESTRAINT!!!!!

FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THE SUPREME COURT HAS ROUNDLY REJECTED PRIOR RESTRAINT!!!!!

As some of you remember, Raanan Katz sued Google and others for copyright infringement this summer over a Blogger user’s publication of an “unflattering” photograph of him.  Today, popular sports blog Deadspin has the story.

Beyond the copyright suit, the Deadspin piece goes on to discuss a Florida trial court’s order in separate, concurrent litigation that Katz has brought against the same defendant as his copyright suit. 

This is a very complicated case. You know a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous, but in particular, Deadspin addresses a decision by Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit enjoining the defendant from writing further about Katz, since what the Defendant has written thus far is “arguably defamatory.” (source.)

As Randazza is counsel of record in the case, we provide no comment beyond a link to the appellate brief in the case.


Palfrey Suicide – Katz has the Words

May 2, 2008

I’ve been looking for the words to discuss the Deborah Jean Palfrey suicide. I really haven’t been able to put my thoughts together about it. I sure hope that the prosecutors who were so hell bent on bringing her to “justice” never have a good night’s sleep again.

A reporter approached Jon Katz about this, and this blog post discusses his thoughts on the matter.


Katz on Sterilized Representative Democracy

October 16, 2007

Jon Katz reports on the latest incident of political sanitization of media appearances. Apparently, Laura Bush appeared at an event at a DC public school and a reporter had the audacity to ask a question that probed the fact that the citizens of the District of Columbia are denied representation in Congress.

Bizarrely, and according to WTOP (Washington, D.C.) news radio, on October 11, 2007, WTOP political commentator Mark Plotkin was shown the door out of the White House during an event honoring D.C.’s Ballou High School’s marching band. The attendees included hostess Laura Bush, the high school band, Barbara Bush, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Council Chair Vince Gray, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and School Chancellor Michele Rhee.

Laura Bush gave a short speech, and Mark Plotkin asked: “Mrs. Bush, do you agree with those who say and believe that members of the Ballou High School band should not grow up to become members of the House of Representatives?” Ms. Bush remained silent and walked away.

According to WTOP reporter Mark Segraves, the following events then unfolded: “At that moment, White House staff formed a human wall between the press and the First Lady and pointed to the door. One White House staffer told Plotkin he was out of line because the event was ‘about the kids.’ ‘My question WAS about the kids,’ Plotkin fired back. (source)

The best comment in Katz’ evaluation of the event is this one though:

Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a monopoly on oversquelching others’ speech, in their efforts to obtain picture-perfect media events. (source)

He is absolutely correct. In fact, I hate to say it but Donald Rumsfeld is the only public figure in the past 7 years who has shown any respect for the First Amendment when his “perfect world” was shattered by an embarrassing question. (see video here).


I Hate it when Jon Katz is Right

August 16, 2007

Ok, not really. I actually love that Jon Katz is right. I frequently link to his blog because he has a sense of justice mixed with a Buddhist sense of balance and this Gandhian “be the change you want to see in the world” view.

Jon has a marvelous post about the importance of remaining calm here. I think I am about a decade or two behind him in my spiritual development. But that’s okay… as long as I am calmer today than I was yesterday, right?

Another excellent lesson from elder Katz is here. What can trial lawyers learn and apply from Gandhi, MLK, and the Dalai Lama? I must admit that when I fight on the side of a client who is clearly being abused, and when opposing counsel has clearly forgotten his or her oath of attorney, it gets my hackles up, and I do let anger get the better of me. This is a weakness as a litigator, not a strength.

I recently encountered this weakness in a relatively inexperienced attorney. I’ve finally come to the point that I do not let it affect me when a younger and less experienced attorney behaves badly. This is because I can reflect back on what a bastard I acted like when I had only a few months’ experience. When you can recognize a flaw in an opponent that you once shared with them, it is relatively easy to show compassion.

My next step in my voyage to Katz-ian practice nirvana I think will be much more difficult. That step will be showing compassion and understanding for someone who should know better. I’m working on it.


How to cite to Walter Sobchak

October 11, 2014

If you don’t know what the deal is with prior restraint, here, watch:

There. Simple. Right?

THE SUPREME COURT HAS ROUNDLY REJECTED PRIOR RESTRAINT!

I wish I could just submit that clip to the next judge who even considers granting one. Just hold up a chromebook with that on it, play it, drop it on the floor, and walk out.

Dudeists have known this since 1998, and even most Dudeists were a bit late to the party.

I suppose that should not complain about misguided souls trying to get prior restraints.

If they stopped, I might actually have to find a less enjoyable way to make a living than being able to stand there with my arm around the Constitution, channelling Walter Sobchak. There is not much more career-choice-affirming than that.

Nevertheless, one after the other, they keep on coming — defamation plaintiffs who think that they’ve found the magic bullet that gets them a prior restraint. Hell, sometimes they even convince judges to grant them – which is even more awesome, because it then gets me a chance to get an appellate decision slapping it down.

In fact, I secretly hope that I will lose every prior restraint argument before the trial court. In 99% of those cases, the judge should look at the plaintiff and say “are you out of your fucking mind? Your motion is denied. THE SUPREME COURT HAS ROUNDLY REJECTED PRIOR RESTRAINT!”

Well what fun is that? I guess it would be fun as all hell if the judge actually did that.

But, when they get slapped down for being dumb, it helps get the word around to other judges who haven’t heard about this new thing called The First Amendment. I Each time a judge gets reversed for granting a prior restraint – which is exactly every fucking time unless the speech is about secret troop movements, it could help the next dumbass who managed to get elected to the bench. It could also help lawyers with this other new thing called “client control.”

I, myself, represent an occasional defamation plaintiff or two. Plaintiff’s side cases can be fun. But, they always start with the discussion about prior restraint.

The conversation that goes sorta like this:

Client: “I want a preliminary injunction in my defamation case.”

Me: “Wrong country, dude.”

Client: “Come on, at least try

Me: “FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THE SUPREME COURT HAS ROUNDLY REJECTED PRIOR RESTRAINT! So, no. No. No. No. I’m not even gonna fucking try. You know why? Because it is stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I may not be the smartest lawyer in the world, but I’m not stupid enough to seek a prior restraint. You want an injunction, go hire another lawyer who is willing to look like an idiot and waste your money. After he gets his ass handed to him, come back and I’ll handle your case competently, not like the fuckwit that you finally arrive at after you get to the bottom of the barrel, and then dig your way through the wood to the other fucking side of the barrel, now shut the fuck up about an injunction or get out of my fucking office and take your retainer check with you!

MARK IT ZERO!”

Client: “Ok, ok… just take it easy, man.”

Me: “I’m perfectly calm, dude.”

Client: “Just take it easy.”

Me: “Calmer than you are.”

Now on the other hand, when I get a defense case where there is a prior restraint? Then I get all happy. The first draft of my opposition inevitably has the Walter Sobchak quote in it. But, it always gets taken out. Citing to a fictional character just doesn’t seem like the right call when you’re making a serious point.

The Big Lehrmann

The Big Lehrmann

Not anymore.

Friends, Americans, Dudeists: We have arrived. Justice Debra H. Lehrmann of the Texas Supreme Court gave footnote 7 in Kinney v. Barnes, 57 Tex. Sup. J. 1428 (Tex. 2014).

The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized that “prior restraints on speech and publication are the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.” … This cornerstone of First Amendment protections has been reaffirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, this Court, Texas courts of appeals, legal treatises, and even popular culture(7). (citations and other footnotes omitted)

And that “7” brings us to this… get a handkerchief, because you’re gonna weep.

The Big Lebowski (PolyGram Filmed Entertainment & Working Title Films 1998) (“For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint.”).

Now, of course, The Big Lehrmann (as she shall now be known) can get away with citing it that way. But, I can’t see a trial court in Muskegon, Des Moines, or even Los Angeleez going for that. But, The Big Lehrmann now gives us the respectability and acceptance that Constantine once gave to the early Christians.

So now, I’ll tell you how to cite this. And before you trot out the bluebook, fuck the bluebook.

The next time you are arguing against a prior restraint, this is how you cite to the wisdom of Sobchak:

Kinney v. Barnes, 57 Tex. Sup. J. 1428 at n.7, (Tex. 2014) (citing SOBCHAK, W., THE BIG LEBOWSKI, 1998).

This affects all of us man.

Our basic freedoms!

—-

UPDATE: I personally use the “small caps” option when citing. But, wordpress does not seem to have that option.

Related: The post that inspired this one, How to cite to Buzz Lightyear.


Judge Admonishes Expert Witness – Expert Witness Sues Blogger Who Reported On It

April 17, 2014

By Marc J. Randazza

When a New York Supreme Court Judge told Dr. Michael Katz, the medical expert for the defense in a personal injury case, that he was lying about the medical examination he conducted, Dr. Katz knew the judge was wrong. So, of course, Dr. Katz responded as any aggrieved professional would – he filed a lawsuit. Because suing the judge who called him a liar would be an exercise in futility, Dr. Katz did what he believed to be the next best thing: He sued a blogger who covered the case — a blogger who reported on the judge’s comments, as enshrined in the public record.

Dr. Katz’s complaint is the latest in a long line of sad examples why New York – and every other state – needs a meaningful Anti-SLAPP statute. The 65-page, 338-paragraph long complaint, seeking $40,000,000 in damages, is like something out of the twilight zone. Dr. Katz’s claims are vague and overbroad, including defamation (with particular emphasis on “defamation by implication” – see paragraphs 247-248), injurious falsehood, tortious interference with contract, tortious interference with business advantage, and prima facie tort – a claim that litigants throw against the wall in New York in hopes that it will stick when all their other allegations fail.

Dr. Katz’s complaint makes a headcharge at the fair report privilege, one of the fundamental protections that the First Amendment provides to citizens and the media – including bloggers. New York specifically memorializes this protection in Civil Rights Law § 74, precluding any cause of action for defamation for a “fair and true” report of “any judicial proceeding” or “other official proceeding.”

The blog posts authored by Eric Turkewitz and Samson Freundlich, his co-defendant, are reports of shocking judicial proceedings; in fact, they link to the transcripts of the proceedings themselves. But, linking to the source of your facts is enough to get you out of defamation trouble. See Adelson v. Harris.

So, okay, Civil Rights Law § 74 only applies to reporting on the proceedings – what about statements during the proceedings? Once again, Dr. Katz needs to check his privilege. New York’s litigation privilege provides an “absolute privilege” to parties, attorneys, and witnesses for their statements in the course of a judicial proceeding, “notwithstanding the motive with which they are made, so long as they are material and pertinent to the issue to be resolved in the proceeding.” Bisogno v. Borsa, 101 A.D.3d 780, 781, (2d Dept. 2012), citing Kilkenny v. Law Off. of Cushner & Garvey, LLP, 76 A.D.3d 512, 513 (2d Dept. 2010). Even if in the wildest of alternate realities the defendants intentionally defamed Dr. Katz, their statements during the proceeding would still be protected so long as they “may possibly be pertinent” to the underlying litigation. Lacher v. Engel, 33 A.D.3d 10, 13 (1st Dept. 2006).

Setting aside these privileges and getting down to the truth of the matter, which is an absolute defense to defamation, this litigation is about Dr. Katz’s self-inflicted injuries. After all, it was Dr. Katz’ (testimony at 6:8-10)that the Court opined upon. This testimony, in particular, in which he can’t remember how long a medical examination took.

But there’s a video…

Based on the discrepancy between Dr. Katz’s claims and his actions, Judge Hart was not pleased. As Judge Hart said, “I cannot blame Dr. Katz for the ills of the world, but I can blame him on this case.” (source at 6:18-20) But, now there is another case where Dr. Katz is to blame.

If Dr. Katz dared to file suit in Nevada, California, Oregon, or a growing number of other states with meaningful anti-SLAPP statutes, his litigation campaign would likely end post haste. It would be thrown out of court, and the judge would bruise his ego in the shape of the defendants’ attorneys fees and costs. But this is not California, or even Nevada – it is New York. Without meaningful relief, we are left only with the disinfectant of cleansing light shone upon those who file such censorious lawsuits.

Of all the things mentioned about this complaint, by far the most shocking is that it was not filed pro se (i.e., filed without an attorney). In fact, it was filed by John Sullivan, an experienced partner with Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C., an astonishingly large firm to take on such a questionable case. The firm should have known better, and had higher regard for the First Amendment. On the other hand, pecunia non olet? For an angry Doctor to file this lawsuit on his own would have been foolish, but comprehensible on some level. For an attorney to sign off on this frontal attack on free comment upon the public record – and ultimately, the public record itself – goes beyond that. Dare I use the adjective — rakofsky-esque?

One thing is certain – this case is doomed to fail. Another thing is certain – this case will not be to Dr. Katz’ advantage. Anyone who was considering him as an expert witness will now be treated to a lawsuit-amplified bullhorn reading of what the judge thought of him and his testimony.

Poorly played, Dr. Katz.


Carlos Miller – First Amendment Hero

January 21, 2013

If you don’t already know who Carlos Miller is, you should. You are more free because Miller won’t let newsgathering and photography die under the wheels of a paranoid nation, shrieking with fear at imaginary terrorists, and hiring policies in police departments that seem to favor people with personality disorders that would make Eric Cartman blush.

Miller’s crusade began a few years ago, when he photographed some Miami-Dade officers standing around on the street. Arrested for his “crime,” Miller beat the rap. Then, he did it again, and was convicted, but won his case on appeal, despite representing himself. (source). Since then, Miller has refused to back down when challenged by police officers, TSA Agents, and rent-a-cops who think that they are above the law. He recently beat another charge, over dishonest testimony by the Miami-Dade cops. (source)

Anyone with even a half a brain knows that Miller’s conduct is legal. However, as his case requiring an appeal shows us, judges don’t aways give a shit about the law. And, when a judge and a prosecutor team up to spank a citizen for not respecting authority, that citizen can face serious repercussions. Miller faced incarceration and financial ruin, and does again and again, when he refuses to back down in the face of a pig screaming “respect my authoritah.”

Do you have balls that big?

Last night, Miller was at it again. Taking pictures. For this “crime,” a bunch of gutter swine decided that it was time to punish him. He has a history with “50 state security.” He is involved in a lawsuit against them for violating his rights. Funny enough, they decided to rough him up last night.

As a First Amendment lawyer, I occasionally get mail from people saying really nice things about what I do. I stick up for the Constitution. I stick up for people whose rights have been violated. But, I do so in a pretty cushy way. Yeah, I wind up not getting paid for my work a lot of times, since I can’t turn down a good First Amendment story. Sometimes I even get threatened by opposing counsel when I outclass them in terms of professionalism and ability. Sometimes, I agree to help someone on a pro bono basis, and they turn on me because they want to prove that no good deed goes unpunished. Back in 2006 or so, I had a redneck display a gun to me, to warn me that representing a “dirty bookstore” in his town ran afoul of his christian principles. I have gotten my share of threatening phone calls and emails.

But, I’ve never been locked in handcuffs for the First Amendment.

I’ve never faced financial ruin and imprisonment for the cause.

I’ve never shed actual blood for it.

Miller has done all of the above.

Why?

Because someone has to.

Someone has to say “no” to the flunkies and the petty little tyrants who incrementally chip away at our liberties. Someone has to have the courage to put his liberty and his personal safety on the line. That someone is Carlos Miller.

And Carlos Miller is my hero. He should be yours too.


Bolshy great yarblockos to thee and thine!

June 26, 2012

I am representing a SLAPP defendant. The case has gone viral, since the plaintiff is a part-owner of the Miami Heat. The short version is that the Defendant writes about a rich guy. Rich guy sues, and not too many people pick up the story. Rich guy tries to get an injunction against speech. We opposed the case vigorously, including this opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction.

Plaintiff’s side then filed a copyright infringement suit against my client and Google. (Google!) Rich guy happens to be part owner of the Miami Heat. On the day the Heat celebrated their World Championship, the whole world points at Plaintiff and starts laughing.

The Honorable Carlos Miller

The Miami New Times

Techdirt

Popehat

BoingBoing

Now the Plaintiff wants to sue me. His lawyer really wants a response.

(Here is is)


Ethics Challenge – Come up with an ethical reason for being a carnivore

March 20, 2012

Ariel Kaminer, The New York Times’ “Ethicist” throws down the gauntlet at carnivores — challenging us to come up with an ethical argument for eating animals.

[Carnivores say] they love meat or that meat is deeply ingrained in our habit or culture or cuisine or that it’s nutritious or that it’s just part of the natural order. Some of the more conscientious carnivores have devoted themselves to enhancing the lives of livestock, by improving what those animals eat, how they live and how they are killed. But few have tried to answer the fundamental ethical issue: Whether it is right to eat animals in the first place, at least when human survival is not at stake.

So today we announce a nationwide contest for the omnivorous readers of The New York Times. We invite you to make the strongest possible case for this most basic of daily practices. (Source)

The “challenge” is bullshit.

The fact is, there is only one rational answer to “why do you eat meat?” The answer is “because fuck you, that’s why.”

I don’t say this in jest or irreverence (ok, a little irreverence). I say this because I freely admit that there is no “ethical” justification for eating animals. In fact, it doesn’t even make sense to do so even if they were voluntarily offering themselves up for consumption — well, at least when it comes to land-based animals.

A recent study says that processed or not, red meat is more unhealthy than we previously thought. (source) Red meat is, indeed, awful for you. Pork is no better. Chicken seems to be a pretty “clean” source of protein, but if you know anything about where your chicken comes from, you might puke at the thought of it. Fish? Well, that’s at least a lovely clean source of protein, so I will support the eating of fish as a rational decision — as long as it is wild caught and not that farm raised garbage.

But, the challenge isn’t to come up with a healthy explanation, the challenge is to beat back the moral argument against meat. As The Smiths said, “meat is murder.” It is. You kill another fellow animal just because its dead flesh feels good on your tongue. That may not seem to be the right choice for you. If you agree, you’re in great company. There are some pretty compelling role models on the no-meat side of the equation. Ovid, Leonardo DaVinci, H.G. Wells, Kafka, Plato, Mark Twain, Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Henry David Thoreau, all were vegetarians. Closer to home, three guys I think the world of are vegetarians: Eric Goldman, Venkat Balasubramani, and Jon Katz are all no-meat guys.

Jon Katz presented a very thought provoking piece on how the U.S. v. Stevens case should make us consider our position on eating animals.

I wish for Stevens to be an opportunity not only to celebrate and strengthen the First Amendment, but also for people to re-examine their relationship with and treatment of all animals, both of different species and their own species. Human rights violations continue running too rampant worldwide. Too many people accept violence and the threat of violence as normal for controlling others, for flexing muscle, and for carrying out their daily activities. The human-on-human violence and threats of violence include parents who hit their children lightly or more brutally, police and soldiers who lose a sense of self control over their power to arrest and shoot, governments that mass arms and soldiers, street criminals, and the list goes on.

Physical violence is not the only blight on society. To be sure, a lack of general compassion towards all causes much harm in society, and too often leads to physical violence. (source)

Here’s a hell of a short film showing the horrors of the meat industry.

So lets recap: Eating meat is bad for you. Lots of really smart people decided to be vegetarians. Eating meat is cruel. And, if you ask me to come up with an ethical argument as to why I still eat our furry friends, I got nothing for The Ethicist.

In light of all the authority screaming at me to eat nothing but sunflower seeds and tofu, I still exercise my right to choose to eat a nice rare ribeye with a heaping helping of foie gras on top. I can’t argue that meat is good for me. I can’t credibly argue that it is the “right thing to do.” I can’t credibly argue that choosing vegetarianism would be an impediment to my success or happiness.

Nevertheless, I just don’t feel like my genes went through billions of years of evolution, to get to the top of the food chain, without really enjoying the view. I eat anything I damn well please. And, unless it is super-duper bad for me (like Dolphins — full of mercury) then I’m eating it.

I just love the way animals taste.

And I get to make that choice.

So, to The Ethicist, here’s my argument: “Because fuck you, that’s why.” I know its bad for me. So is smoking cigarettes, snorting cocaine, and working so much that I am a screaming ball of stress all the time. I choose not to smoke cigarettes or snort cocaine. I choose to eat meat and to work all the time. I choose to drive a car that gets 10 miles to the gallon because I like having 771 horsepower and 900 ft. lb. of torque at my command. I don’t need an ethical justification to do, or not do, any of those things.

I just get to make that choice. Now, Mr. Ethicist, mind your own business about what I eat. You go eat your twigs and rocks, and I’ll eat my veal. Unless you can come up with some valid argument as to how my eating meat harms another human being, then the default is that it is ethical, so I win. Either that, or just “fuck you, that’s why.”


Support for Terrence Connor

March 7, 2012

A partner at Hunton & Williams, Terrence Connor, was arrested for pepper spraying his neighbor’s dogs. The dogs belong to University of Miami Student Andrea Lopez, who lives next door to Connor. (source)

Connor says that the dogs bark constantly and the police do nothing about the disturbance. He’s tried calling the police, tried spraying water on them, and now finally broke down and pepper sprayed them. The police responded by arresting him on misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty. (police report)

Naturally, most of the press and blogosphere is piling on Connor’s ass about this. I have his back though. (It was a bit assholish of him to play the “do you know who I am?” card though).

Have you ever lived next door to a yippy dog? How about two of the fucking things? Sure, I understand that it is not the dog’s fault that the owner is an irresponsible piece of shit who thinks there is nothing wrong with letting her dogs bark to the point that it annoys her neighbors. A certain percentage of dog owners are like that. If you dare to criticize them for failing to train their dogs, they take it like you just said that their children should be dragged out into the street and shot.

Hell, even PETA thinks you shouldn’t leave your animals in the yard unattended:

“We’ll watch for the outcome of this case but we’d like remind dog owners not to leave their pets unattended outdoors, even in a fenced yard. Keep animals indoors unless they are supervised at all times. Dogs are like small children.”(source)

If you screamed at the top of your lungs in your yard 50 times a day, the cops would eventually arrest you. If you were cranking music at the same sound and frequency of a dog’s bark, you’d get a ticket. But, in most police departments, barking dogs are not exactly a priority to them — despite the fact that having a yapping dog next door to you is hardly a “victimless crime.” See Barkingdogs.net.. Hell, even dogs don’t like the sound of other dogs barking all the time. (source)

There are methods for owners to deal with barking dogs. Training them might be nice. There are collars that administer a small shock (sorta like when you touch metal after scuffing the carpet), collars that spray out citronella (which dogs hate), or you can have the vocal cords cut. Yeah, you might not like some of those options, but I’m sure that this guy does’t like the fact that he has to live next to some self-absorbed fucking asshole who believes that she not only owns her own house, but the airspace of all the houses around her.

A Florida Court dealt with this very issue. Knecht v. Katz, 785 So. 2d 754 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001)

Appellees sought injunctive relieve in regard to appellants’ Great Pyrenees’ constant barking while it was permitted to remain outside appellants’ home. Appellees’ request was to enjoin appellants from maintaining the dog on their property “in such manner as to create noise sufficient to impair Plaintiffs’ peaceful and quiet enjoyment of their property.” Instead, the trial court gave appellants 30 days to remove the dog from their premises. We agree with appellants that the court went too far. In addition, it granted a remedy not sought by appellees. Appellees never complained that the dog disturbed them when it was within appellants’ home. Some barking must be expected from dogs. Before appellants can be judicially required to remove their dog from their premises, they should be given the opportunity to cure the problem which disturbed appellees. The dog should not be permitted to remain outdoors unattended so that continuous barking might disturb the neighbors. However, if keeping the dog indoors or bringing the dog indoors when it starts barking will cure the problem, the injunction should go no further.

So it isn’t as if there is no legal remedy. Of course, getting that remedy could take months or even years. In the meantime, Connor has to live next to this annoying yapping.

The fact is, all of this could have likely been avoided had the police ever simply issued a $100 citation to the dog owner. It is amazing how “I can’t do anything about it” turns into motivation to actually do something about it when money is at stake. Mr. Connor had a right to the quiet enjoyment of his home. Ms. Lopez is the instigator here. Maybe Connor shouldn’t have pepper sprayed the dogs. Maybe he should have used his law degree and filed for an injunction. But, perhaps a little non-toxic, non-permanent pepper spray on the precious little dogs would get the point across. Personally, I think that he should have fed them laxatives so they shit all over her house.

I hope that Mr. Connor not only beats the charges against him, but that he files suit and gets an injunction so that he can live peacefully.


U.S. v. Stevens and being a vegetarian

April 22, 2010

Jon Katz has a thought provoking piece on how the U.S. v. Stevens case should make us consider our position on eating animals.

I wish for Stevens to be an opportunity not only to celebrate and strengthen the First Amendment, but also for people to re-examine their relationship with and treatment of all animals, both of different species and their own species. Human rights violations continue running too rampant worldwide. Too many people accept violence and the threat of violence as normal for controlling others, for flexing muscle, and for carrying out their daily activities. The human-on-human violence and threats of violence include parents who hit their children lightly or more brutally, police and soldiers who lose a sense of self control over their power to arrest and shoot, governments that mass arms and soldiers, street criminals, and the list goes on.

Physical violence is not the only blight on society. To be sure, a lack of general compassion towards all causes much harm in society, and too often leads to physical violence. (source)

My food consumption is one of my admitted hypocrisies. While I agree with everything Katz has to say about this subject, I simply love eating animals. Even veal and foie gras. I don’t see changing that (but never say never). Nevertheless, I do think the argument is compelling. Believe it or not, I consciously try to be more compassionate every day. I think that Jon makes a very strong, if not indisputable, point.

Nevertheless, I will eat a Ribeye tonight and foie gras every time I see it on the menu. Meh… nobody said I was the buddha.

For a contrary perspective, there is always the ever-entertaining Maddox.


Wonderful Things

November 4, 2009

Science fact of the day: Blowjobs provide an evolutionary advantage. Boingboing.

Quote of the day: “The First Amendment means nothing if we don’t protect reprehensible speech.” Jon Katz.


More Lawyers Behaving Badly

July 29, 2009

When will lawyers learn that they do not have a right to send a cease and desist letter AND to claim that it can’t be disclosed to third parties? Maybe when they listen to Jon Katz.


Virginia Upskirt Photo Case

March 25, 2009

Virginia’s intermediate appellate court today held that Virginia’s anti-peeping photography law applies to upskirt videos and photographs taken in such places as retail stores. Wilson v. Virginia, __ Va. App. _, _ S.E. 2d _ (March 24, 2009). Full Story and analysis at Underdog Blog.

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Dispatches and Link Snatches

February 24, 2009

Zac's Blog Loot!

Zac's Blog Loot!

Editorial and Comment by Zac “Tzantziki” Papantoniou and Marc J. Randazza (the “J” is for “Jefe de Los Satyriconistas”)

Breaking News: Legal Satyricon Award for “Ass-Hat of the Week” Has Been Amended to Include . . .

. . . Lucie J. Kim! Thanks go to Seth, over at QuizLaw, for alerting us to Ms. Kim’s grandiose display of ass-hattery, due solely for the filing of one of the most ridiculous lawsuits since . . . this one. How ridiculous of a suit did Ms. Kim file, you ask? Well, she filed a class action lawsuit against Miley Cyrus (another ass-hat), claiming that Cyrus mocked Asians in a recent photo by slanting her [Cyrus’s] eyes; for this, Kim is seeking $4 billion in damages.

Yay!  I hit the racism jackpot!

'Yay! I hit the racism jackpot!' - Lucie Kim.

Ms. Kim has way too much time on her hands, and not enough common sense to realize how much of an ass she is making of herself. For her efforts in furthering legal-idiocy, Lucie J. Kim is a Legal Satyricon “Co-Ass-Hat of the Week.” She can pick up her award, a free lesson on “How Not to Disgrace the First Amendment” at any time, all she has to do is send in an email and claim her prize.

The award includes all she can drink

The Blind Squirrel Award Goes To….

Ken at Popehat has some unlikely props for the Beckettistas. It looks like they are sticking up for Atheists for once.

Epic Lulz: Asinine Video Game Law Pwned By the 9th Circuit

Somewhere, Jack Thompson is crying . . .

Ya, ve shouldn't have kids playing violent video games.  Now vere ist my check for za last Terminator movie royalties?

Ya, ve shouldn't have kids playing violent video games. Now vere ist my check for za last Terminator movie royalties?

Being that our very own Satyriconista, Christopher Harbin, is working on a detailed post on the matter, we pick up some appetizers from the First Amendment’s uber pwnage of a California violent video game law from Norm Kent and Jon Katz. The law attempted to mandate an additional labeling requirement on “violent” video games, along with, making the act of selling or renting the aforementioned “violent” games to minors, illegal. The idiotic law was struck down by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for being (drum roll please) . . . unconstitutional!

When will lawmakers learn that just because “they” don’t like something, it doesn’t give them (or anyone else for that matter) the right/ability to piss all over the freedoms and rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution?! Thankfully until “they” do learn, the First Amendment will be there, waiting in the wings like a diligent hero, standing strong in stark contrast to the knee-jerk idiocy of the common government lawmaker . . . hip, hip, hooray!

Maintaining Your Health During the Battle of a Trial

Props to Jon Katz, at “The Underdog Blog,” who always gives us the angles that nobody else thinks of. This week, Jon tells us how attorneys can better maintain their physical and mental health during the battle royale, better known as a legal trial.

Many attorneys, both newly sworn in and those who’ve been around the block a few times, underestimate the rigorous toll a trial can take on ones physical and mental well-being. Jon shares some personal tips on how to maintain a “trial ready” body and mind, in his post, “How to stay healthy during trial battle?”

Recent Poll Shows That President Obama Is Capable of Defeating Terrorism and . . .

. . . Jesus? That’s right! HT to Johnny Peepers, at the blog, “Dillsnap Cogitations” for filling us in on a recent Harris Interactive Poll pitting the two men, whose middle names both coincidentally start with the letter “H”, in a battle for America’s #1 Hero; and President Obama emerged on top of Christianity’s lord and savior!

For more on the story, check out Johnny P’s post, President Obama Defeats Jesus as America’s #1 Hero.

Was This Sherriff’s Department Investigation Really Worth Taxpayer Dollars?

Mark Draughn, at “Windy Pundit,” rightfully calls attention to a ridiculous South Carolina Sherriff’s investigation into Michael Phelps’ alleged pot smoking incident. Thankfully, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has stated that he is not going to charge swimmer Michael Phelps (with what, I have no freaking clue) after a photo of the 14-time gold medalist showed him smoking from a “marijuana pipe”. Good, now the Richland County Sherriff’s Department can work on solving real crimes, rather than investigating photographs of someone allegedly smoking something from an alleged

Well, except for Kellogg's

Well, except for Kellogg's

“marijuana pipe” (i.e. a device commonly referred to on “the streets” as a “bong” . . . I mean, really, a “marijuana pipe?” That’s just being a little “loose” on the description of such an accoutrement; everyone knows that stoners can go all “MacGyver” on any old thing lying around their bean-bag chairs, and fashion a “marijuana pipe” in 2 min. flat out of a couple of “Lincoln Logs”, 7 inches of yarn, an eye-dropper and an empty 2 liter bottle of cola).

In related news: No Kellogg’s Munchies

Speaking of Michael Phelps. Phelps picked up a bong, so Kelloggs dropped him. NORML ups the ante by telling its members to…. umm…. oh, yeah, don’t chow down on Kellogg’s products when you’ve got the munchies and you’re watching Super Troopers for the 85th time. For some reason, I don’t think this is going to have much of an effect. When you’ve watched someone with mega munchies eat chipotle peppers covered in peanut butter, you realize that a man with the munchies isn’t about to put down the Corn Flakes over some dude who swims for a living.