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Courts

When Going Nuclear Makes Sense

Doug Kendall | Posted 07.28.2014 | Politics
Doug Kendall

The invocation of the nuclear option last November addressed a real problem with the functioning of the Senate, paved the way for a new generation of insightful legal minds to join the ranks of the federal judiciary, and has allowed the president to address the nation's judicial vacancy crisis by accelerating the pace of confirmations. We are all better off for it.

Do Jurors Become Better Citizens?

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 07.27.2014 | Impact
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

What if jury service made you a better citizen? New social science research on juries and democratic engagement makes exactly that argument. Like an immunity boost for our civic constitution, jury service appears to ward off civic apathy.

Now They've Gone Too Far. Time for Harry Reid to Blow Up the Filibuster and Confirm All Nominees Now

Ian Reifowitz | Posted 07.23.2014 | Politics
Ian Reifowitz

Two Republican judges (on a three-judge panel) just issued a decision that would gut Obamacare. The Republican Party has turned the judicial system into nothing more than another part of the legislature. Let's end the charade and call them out for having done so.

Abuse Against Disabled Children -- Courts Allow It

Shayna A. Pitre | Posted 07.15.2014 | Education
Shayna A. Pitre

Some people support corporal punishment in schools. These people think physical discipline is the only discipline that works on some children. However, virtually everyone can agree physical discipline should not be used against disabled children.

The Juror Voices Project

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 06.04.2014 | Politics
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

Every year millions of Americans are summoned to jury service. Yet, no organized, centralized space exists to collect or share what jurors think about this experience. Juror voices are lost. And, this is a loss for the court system and American democracy.

Driving the Point Home: Judges Matter

Nancy K. Kaufman | Posted 07.20.2014 | Politics
Nancy K. Kaufman

Those who would block progress and roll back gains are hard at work. Now is the time to make our voices heard. It may not be too late, but it is later than we think!

Senator Rand Paul Defended

Bruce Fein | Posted 07.13.2014 | Politics
Bruce Fein

Senator Rand Paul is like Horatius at the bridge standing against the serial vandalizing of the Constitution by the President of the United States and his myrmidons at the Department of Justice.

Double Charged: The True Cost of Juvenile Justice

Youth Radio -- Youth Media International | Posted 07.08.2014 | Impact
Youth Radio -- Youth Media International

Double Charged is a special investigation into the U.S. juvenile justice system, produced by Youth Radio. By: Myles Bess This story airs on Ameri...

'10 Angry Men' Isn't Enough: Will the Supreme Court Finally Step in to Stop States From Violating Fundamental Constitutional Rights?

Elizabeth B. Wydra | Posted 06.09.2014 | Crime
Elizabeth B. Wydra

In the film 12 Angry Men, a lone man is able to convince his fellow jurors to switch their votes from guilty to not guilty. But in some places, the movie would have been much shorter and the result different -- because in those states, 10 out of 12 jurors voting guilty is enough to send a person away to prison for the rest of his life.

Affluenza: Plagued With the Complexion for the Protection

Christopher Norris | Posted 06.03.2014 | Politics
Christopher Norris

Affluenza is quite possibly the only sickness on the face of the Earth where those who are afflicted by it show no sense of urgency to be cured.

Italy Agrees to Have Justin Bieber Extradited in Place of Amanda Knox

Spencer Green | Posted 04.02.2014 | Comedy
Spencer Green

Following the Italian appeals court's second murder conviction of former exchange student Amanda Knox, an agreement has been reached in which singer Justin Bieber will be extradited to Italy in place of Ms. Knox.

What Goes on in a Judge's Chambers Conference?

Scott B. Piekarsky | Posted 03.31.2014 | Small Business
Scott B. Piekarsky

Have you ever wondered what goes on when your attorney goes into chambers with other counsel and the judge? Are they busy talking about the weekend football games or basketball games?

An Interview With Sam Dalton, Now In His Seventh Decade Of Criminal Defense Law

Radley Balko | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics

The year 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of two landmark Supreme Court cases in criminal defense law. In Brady v. Maryland, the Court ruled that pros...

Already Backlogged Courts May Soon Be Thrown Into More Havoc

AP | LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ | Posted 12.22.2013 | Politics

MIAMI (AP) — The nation's already backlogged immigration courts might soon be thrown into more havoc as roughly half of their 220 judges will be eli...

Size of Rebuild at Orleans Parish Prison Is Scrutinized

Susan Buchanan | Posted 01.31.2014 | Crime
Susan Buchanan

The jail's giant, new high-tech kitchen can serve between 25,000 to 30,000 meals a day--far more than three squares meals needed for nearly 2,400 inmates now. Meanwhile, the Phase II jail will be able to house 1,438 inmates.

Things to Consider Before Litigating

Mark Baer | Posted 01.25.2014 | Crime
Mark Baer

As you can see, decisions rendered in court are not based on all of the evidence -- just all of the legally admissible evidence

Nuking Obstruction: This Could Be the Start of Something Big

Nan Aron | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Nan Aron

The Democrats needed to act, and they did. The threshold for ending debate is now a simple majority and not a super-majority. It was an astonishing and historic moment.

The Vote That Will Change America

Doug Kendall | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
Doug Kendall

Our federal government was designed as a republic. Within this system, and over time, elections were to have consequences and enlightened public opinion was to govern. Extra-constitutional appendages like the filibuster, abused by minority parties, have moved us away from that vision. Instead, our government is in perpetual gridlock, and the American people have lost faith in their government to even function properly. Even after this rules change, one of our parties must still win the House, the Senate, and the presidency before radically changing our country. That's no small feat. It will often require victories over the course of several elections. That's probably as it should be. Change ought to be possible, but only when one of our parties really earns it. The filibuster gave a small minority in the Senate outsized power to stifle the will of the people.

Lessons I Learned From My Parents: Part VI

Mark Baer | Posted 11.30.2013 | Divorce
Mark Baer

As Justice Harvey Brownstone says, "When you start a court case, you are starting a war." When you think about it, nobody enters into a battle, fight, game, or other adversarial situation with the intent to lose or even tie.

Lessons I Learned From My Parents: Part IV

Mark Baer | Posted 10.26.2013 | Divorce
Mark Baer

The next lesson I learned was that the concept of the 'evil stepmother' developed for good reason. Unfortunately, there is an inherent conflict of interest between a new spouse and children from a prior marriage or relationship.

The Power of Words

Mark Baer | Posted 10.05.2013 | Divorce
Mark Baer

Within the context of family law, the following terms have been found to negatively influence people's behavior: divorce, child custody, visitation, access, sole, and primary.

When the Law Is Involved, Do Notions Of Fairness Matter?

Mark Baer | Posted 09.28.2013 | Divorce
Mark Baer

When attorneys, mediators and others are involved in the process, their concepts of fairness may well differ from those of one or both of the parties and from those of the other professionals involved.

Happy Birthday, ADA!

Joan Williams | Posted 09.22.2013 | Parents
Joan Williams

Expectant mothers risk losing their jobs, their babies or both when employers deny them pregnancy accommodations at work.

Federal Public Defender Sequester Cuts Slammed As 'Ill-Conceived'

The Huffington Post | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 07.23.2013 | Politics

Forty former federal judges and prosecutors are urging Congress to fully fund the federal public defenders program that has been decimated by sequestr...

Trayvon, Zimmerman and Our Motivations

Binta Niambi Brown | Posted 09.13.2013 | Black Voices
Binta Niambi Brown

What if we were motivated by love, not fear? What if, as Nick Surkamp tweeted Sunday morning, George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride, to get out of the rain?