Monday, October 24, 2016

The Art of Getting Clients to Pay

If someone doesn’t replenish a retainer after it runs out and you continue to represent him or her, thinking that the person will eventually pay, you’ll probably wind up doing the work pro bono even if you didn’t intend to . . . .

Article here (via abajournal) 

Bar passage rates: the ABA approves a 75% passage rate for schools to receive ABA accreditation

The American Bar Association body that accredits law schools voted on Friday to tighten the bar exam-passage standard that schools must meet in order to get the organization’s accreditation blessing. The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar overwhelmingly decided to strengthen its bar pass standard for accredited law schools—a long-debated move proponents said is necessary to ensure law schools don’t admit students unlikely of passing the all-important attorney licensing exam.
The council voted for the stricter standard over the opposition of diversity advocates who warned that schools with large numbers of minority students could lose their accreditation and that the stricter rule would prompt schools to admit fewer minority students. That, in turn, would exacerbate the legal profession’s longstanding diversity problem, they argued.

Article here (via taxprof blog).

Changing times: Immigration in Michigan up 11% since 2010

An estimated 652,090 Michigan residents -- about 6.5 percent of the state's population -- were born outside the United States, according to an estimate released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That's up 11 percent from the 587,787 foreign-born residents recorded in the 2010 Census.

Article here (via mlive). 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Headline News: good-bye to Nancy Grace as "true-crime" host on HLN

Former Atlanta prosecutor Nancy Grace hosted her last true-crime show on HLN on Thursday.

Grace’s last show included clips from some of her most popular segments, including her coverage of the Casey Anthony case, the Associated Press reports. Grace ended the show by thanking her fans and saying, “It’s not goodbye, it’s just good night friend.”

Article here (via aba journal). 

Side note: Nancy Grace, and by extension, the Casey Anthony trial, and by extension Judge Tahvonen, all taught this write Evidence rules one sultry summer. Which I got an A in, but landed two points shy of the book award. //lawnerd alert! 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Supreme Court might let immigrants (detained after September 11, 2001) sue US Officials

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other onetime government officials have immunity in suits by immigrants who say they were rounded up and illegally detained after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The court agreed to hear three consolidated cases brought by mostly Muslim immigrants who were in the country illegally. . . .article here (via abajournal.)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Q & A: Renter's rights: can I break my lease early if I am in a domestic violence situation?

Q: Hi, I am in a bad situation. I started to let my boyfriend live here, and he's gotten into lots of fights with me that have turned physical. Once he gave me bruises on my face, it's been so bad that I am scare to come home. The problem is that I am on the hook for the rent, and he lives here now (even though he is not on the lease). I have started to think about getting a personal protection order on him, what else can I do? I don't want to break the lease.

A: Michigan law has already provided an answer to your situation.

You can find the relevant law here:

If you give written notice, with documentation (the personal protection order would be the best thing to show) that you're reasonably in fear of domestic violence, your landlord is required by law, to allow you to break your lease early. You will essentially be paying for your current month's rent, and 30 days after the written notice is given to the landlord.

I suggest that you do obtain the PPO, serve it properly on the boyfriend (this may require you hiring a process server, money well spent), and then giving a copy of it to your landlord.

Best of luck in your situation.

How to Fix Law School

What's the problem? The problem is that law schools keep having lower and lower enrollment (unless they are top tier schools). But at the same time, law schools are not actively changing how they do their jobs (again, for the most part.) . . . .

Law school needs to stop pretending they are selling some law experience out of The Paper Chase and that they are in the business of training lawyers so they can get jobs.

 I'm glad law school professors have such a love of the law that they teach and have tenure.

Most of us practicing law in the "real world" don't have that luxury; it's hit a certain billable hour requirement or brief requirement or die. 

Article here (via taxprof blog).

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Creepy clown sightings spread, police departments issue warnings

The creepy clown craze has spread to metro Detroit and in several instances has gone beyond creepy to criminal.

In any case, police aren't

Two Detroit area police departments are investigating what could be related armed robberies at three stores within 90 minutes Tuesday night by a hooded gunman wearing a scary clown mark.

Article here (via the freep)

Side note: even if a person dressed as a clown merely "hovers in the background," he or she could be charged with criminal trespass, among other

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Legal procedure: service on foreign defendant via Twitter OK'd by Federal court

A federal magistrate judge in San Francisco has approved service of a lawsuit via Twitter on an overseas Kuwaiti national accused of helping fund ISIS.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler allowed the Twitter service in a suit by the nonprofit St. Francis Assisi . . .
Side note: usually rules of service are governed by the rules in which court the suit is filed -- for example, a suit in Michigan's Circuit Court would be governed by the Michigan Court Rules. In this case, it's in federal court, so it is governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 

If a plaintiff needs to serve a defendant notice of a suit, the rules tell the plaintiff how to do that properly. Typically, the rules will allow for service on a defendant's attorney, or at their address via certified mail, or through a process server. If the plaintiff can't serve the defendant in a typical fashion, he or she must request that the court allow for an alternative service method. 

Beeler said service via Twitter is not barred by any international agreement with Kuwait, and it is reasonably calculate to give notice. “Al-Ajmi has a large following on Twitter,” Beeler wrote, “and has used the social-media platform to fundraise large sums of money for terrorist organizations by providing bank-account numbers to make donations.” His Twitter account is active and he continues to use it, she added.

Article here (via aba journal).