Headline News

     Interesting headlines from the past week:
     Judge sentences East Texas man to get married or face jail time
     This is genius on so many levels.
     If you think the death penalty is a deterrent to crime, imagine what a marriage penalty will have criminals thinking.
     Yes, there is the possibility that some will be tempted to commit crimes to find a spouse, but judges can use their discretion. If a defendant seems just a little too eager to be caught, he or she could be forced to go out on blind dates – while blindfolded, with no opportunity for touching or a second date.
     If you read this news story, you’ll see that the prospective bride of the criminal was not exactly happy with the situation, either.
     So what happens when a non-defendant punishment spouse refuses to cooperate?
     The solution is to use the jury pool to conscript a pool of old maid/old butlers to provide marriage partners for convicted criminals.
     Lonely people get company and criminals get punished. It’s a win-win.
     
     Lawyer requests ‘trial by combat’ in real-life Game of Thrones
     Well, that’s one way to reduce the lawyer population.
     
     Donald Sterling Sues V. Stiviano, TMZ for Leaking Audio Tapes
     Some fascinating and perhaps precedent-setting legal issues in this suit.
     For example, can you be contributorily negligent (or responsible) for a divorce?
     And how do you determine the proximate cause of a divorce?
     According to the Sterling lawsuit, the “worldwide dissemination of the illicit recording of a private conversation” caused not only the sale of Sterling’s basketball team but also “the recent filing of plaintiff’s petition for dissolution of marriage.”
     The recording was made when “Sterling met with his former friend, Stiviano, at her place of residency as part of a typical social gathering between them.”
     So did the recording cause the divorce, or was the “typical social gathering” the problem?
     You could argue either way.
     If your social gatherings don’t get recorded, you keep your spouse.
     You also keep your marriage if you refrain from social gatherings.
     Which is the proximate cause, and if both, which party (so to speak) is more responsible?
     There’s also the racism/losing-the-team thing. Same sort of question but without the sex appeal.
     I can’t wait for the appellate ruling on this.
     
     Chastened Ex-Blogger Urges Other Judges To Use Social Media
     I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of appellate rulings as equivalent to blogs. A judge can ramble on about whatever he or she wants to, in public.
     Think of all the attention Justice Antonin Scalia got with “jiggery pokery” and “applesauce.” It trended worldwide.
     So I’m not entirely sure how using regular social media adds anything to judges’ repertoire, aside from the ability to post pictures of vacations and cats.
     (NOTE TO SELF: Start work on that website devoted to cats dressed up like judges and lawyers in court.)
     Anyhow, this National Law Journal interview with former blogger and U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf is a fascinating example of someone urging people to do something he no longer does.
     Favorite quote from the judge: “One could argue that Justice Scalia should take his own advice. But I won’t make such a snarky assertion.”
     We’ll rely on “One” to do that for us.

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