October 2009


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Fish Killer Gets Probation

I think I have only seen one other story that I thought was funny although it involved domestic violence, and that one involved a woman beating a man with his own prosthetic leg.  See "Man Beaten With Own Leg by…



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First-Grader Beats Rap for Knife Charge

Zachary Christie, the 6-year-old who was suspended recently after bringing a camping utensil to school, has been granted a reprieve. Christie was facing 45 days in the big house for allegedly violating the school district's "zero-tolerance" policy towards possible weapons….


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“Grand Theft Auto” Insanity Defense Fails Again

I know this has been tried before, and I'd be surprised if it has ever worked, but it didn't work this time.  In an opinion issued on October 14, the California Court of Appeal held that an insanity plea to…


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Woman Learns to Swear in Order to Make Partner

On October 12th the legal newspaper The Recorder ran a story on Judy O'Brien, who is now general counsel at a Bay Area startup called Obopay, and was formerly a partner in the Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich &…


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Can Church-and-State Issues Be Funny? Hell, Yes

I am way overdue in suggesting that you buy a copy of Jay Wexler's book, Holy Hullaballoos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars. At the outset, given that the FTC is now regulating blog endorsements, I…


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Stalin Libel Claim Dismissed

I thought today's proceeding was another hearing in the case, but it turns out the judge was ready to announce his decision.  That decision: it is indeed fair to say that Joseph Stalin was a bad guy. The judge found that…


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“I’ve Come Here to Defend Stalin,” Says Lunatic

The Associated Press reports today that hearings had resumed in Moscow in a libel suit filed by Yevgeny Dzhugashvili.  Dzhugashvili is suing a newspaper that printed some negative comments about his grandpappy, Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known as "Stalin." Now, I…