Wynn v. Chanos Dismissed – Judge Does His Job

March 9, 2015

In a defamation case, the judge is supposed to make a determination as to whether the statements are reasonably capable of a defamatory meaning. It happens less often than it should. But, in this case, Judge Orrick in the N.D. Cal. did his job, screened the allegedly defamatory statements, and tossed the case out. (Order)

Massachusetts Supremes say Stun Guns are not “Arms” under 2d Amendment

March 9, 2015

In Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Caetano, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that although the 2d Amendment might protect the right to have a hand gun, it does not protect the right to have a stun gun – because the founders didn’t ponder electric weapons.

I guess they didn’t have the Internet or T.V. in mind either, but whatever.

Latest CNN Column – School Holidays and the Establishment Clause

March 9, 2015

Friday, I published a column at CNN.com on New York City’s recent move to observe Muslim holidays, and why I think that is a bad idea.  Why schools should observe ‘Day of the Dude’

Fuck Daylight Savings Time

March 9, 2015

Dif-tor heh smusma

February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy is dead…. for now.  (source)

Revenge Porn Verdict – $900,000 (Chanson and Bolleart)

February 25, 2015

Eric Chanson and Kevin Bolleart are $900,000 further in the red as of today. (order)

“Argentine Money Trail” Case Order is in, and the winner is…. The Argentine Press!

February 19, 2015

I don’t want to comment extensively on this – but suffice to say that I am delighted to report that evidence in the Argentine Money Trail case will be open to the public.

This is a bright day in otherwise dark days for the Argentine press.

The Order is here.

The court held that matters surrounding the Argentine debt crisis “cannot be litigated in secret. Doing so would limit the public’s understanding of the court’s final decision and, therefore, risk weakening the judicial power, which depends upon public access and trust. See Richmond Newspapers, 448 U.S. at 591 (citing In re Oliver, 333 US 257, 273 (1948))

Just as inspiring:

[T]he court is bound by its obligation to the public, which has a strong presumptive right to access judicial records. This right is a ‘precious common law right’. It protects ‘the integrity and quality’ of the administration of justice by ensuring that the courtroom, ‘even more than city streets, sidewalks, and parks,’ remain a public place’ where ‘representatives of the press and of the public are not only free to be, but where their presence serves to assure the integrity of what goes on.”

Some days, it is a dark thing to be a First Amendment lawyer. Sometimes you get judges who just don’t understand. Sometimes you get judges who understand, but they don’t give a shit. Sometimes it is even worse.

And then you get something like this.

The people of Argentina came to our courts, through Mr. Lanata, asking that we live up to our rhetoric. This Order shows that sometimes we do. It is a beautiful day when you can be tiny part of America living up to its promises.


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