Thursday, October 30, 2014

Legal mistake: Judge confuses not guilty with guilty

The Los Angeles judge erred during the December 2006 voir dire in the sex-crime trial of Bryant Keith Williams, according to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judge said Williams had pleaded guilty to the charges, though he intended to say Williams had pleaded not guilty.

Article here. (via above the law blog). 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Former Zeeland attorney spent almost all $900,000 of missing client funds

Of the $900,000 that former Zeeland attorney Kenneth Hoesch took from clients’ estate trusts, only a relative pittance has been found.

He had $2,065.57 in a client trust account at Macatawa Bank and had a coin collection, appraised at $3,388, in a safety-deposit box at Huntington Bank in Zeeland.

Article here. (via

Monday, October 27, 2014

Did you ever wonder why lawyers are so expensive? ?

Lawyers are expensive because you get a lot for your money. You get someone who will abandon their precious supercar — or regular car — in rising flood waters so he can attend your hearing. You get someone who will lose sleep worrying about your legal problem so you can finally get some rest.

Article here (via the Lawyerist). 

Or, as my Civil Procedure professor put it: Lawyers are like garbage men: we take your problems, put them away for you, so you don't have to do it yourself. He liked to use graphics and props in class, so sometimes he had a toaster, stuffed animal, garbage bag (or maybe I am misremembering that part, it was 9am on a Sunday when I took that class), or other thing to demonstrate what he was explaining. I didn't score very high in that class but I do remember a lot of it quite well, thanks to his graphics and explanations.

Number of people taking LSAT drops further

The number of people taking the Law School Admission Test dropped 8.1 percent for the test this fall, compared to the fall test last year, after declining 9.2 percent for the June test.

Those latest figures from the Law School Admission Council indicate a downward trend over the last five years, report TaxProf Blog and the Excess of Democracy Blog. The total number of LSATs administered in June and September/October is 52,745, a drop of 40 percent from the totals for the same test period in 2009.

Article here. (ABA Journal). 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Want to go to law school for less? Get into Wayne State Law School.

Wayne State University Law School is battling a drop in enrollment with a tuition freeze and guaranteed scholarships for every incoming student.

The Detroit law school says in a press release that tuition will be frozen at about $28,000 for all incoming and current students through at least the 2015-16 school year. In addition, the school is guaranteeing scholarships of at least $4,000 annually to all incoming students and offering nearly $1 million in new scholarship opportunities to current students. TaxProf Blog noted coverage in the Detroit Free Press.

Article here (via abajournal). 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mom's facebook message to Dad not sufficient notice about adoption, court rules

A pregnant unwed mother can’t use Facebook alone to notify the father about the baby before putting the child up for adoption, Oklahoma’s highest civil court has ruled.

The case was the latest to test the legal weight of communication through Facebook and other social media. Previously, for instance, courts have debated whether a plaintiff in a lawsuit could use Facebook to serve legal papers — such as summonses or hearing notices — on a defendant.

Article here.  (via Wall Street Journal law blog).

Friday, October 17, 2014

Requiring sex offenders to disclose online screen names isn't a Free Speech violation, says court.

A Pennsylvania law requiring convicted sex offenders to reveal their Internet aliases does not violate the First Amendment, according to an en banc panel of Pennsylvania’s intermediate-level Commonwealth Court.

The sex offender, Richard Coppolino, had alleged the law violated his right to anonymous online speech, report the Legal Intelligencer and the Allentown Morning Call. He alleged the reporting requirement was overbroad because it was intended to protect minors, but his crime did not involve a minor or the Internet.

Article here (via ABA journal).