William Vogeler, Esq.
Why The Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Abortion Case Is Different
Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, handle many important and controversial cases. As just one example, lawsuits challenging abortion rights are brought in federal court each year like clockwork. Considering the number of federal court decisions involving the pro-choice/pro-life debate in recent years, why is Dobbs v. Jackson's Women's Health, currently…
When Should A Lawyer Acknowledge a Client Is Wrong?
Even when criminal defendants are guilty as sin, defense attorneys advise them to plead not guilty. Everybody knows that, and that's why laypeople hate lawyers. Well, it's one of the reasons everyone hates lawyers; we don't have time to go into all the reasons. We're going to look at just one issue from the public's perspective - how attorneys say one thing even when everybody knows (or thinks they know) the truth.
3 Tips for Becoming a Dangerous Persuasive Writer
Persuasive writing can be a dangerous thing in the hands of a lawyer. It's not just something to play around with in law school. Serious persuasive writing comes from the school of hard knocks. That's because judges don't usually compliment lawyers for their writing -- even when they rule in their favor. If you really want to become a killer writer, do it like your life depends on it.
Court Sends Census Question Back to Drawing Board
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded a case about one census question, and it all goes to show that asking people about their citizenship is complicated. In Department of Commerce v. New York, a unanimous panel affirmed that the Enumerations Clause permits the Secretary of Commerce to include in the census this question: "Are you a citizen of the United States?
Court: Tennessee Liquor Law Violates Commerce Clause
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Tennessee law that required retailers to have two years' residency before they could get a license to sell liquor in the state. In Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas, the justices said the residency requirement violated the Commerce Clause. States may regulate alcohol sales, but they may not engage in economic protectionism.
SCOTUS Says Yes to the Cross, No to Public Access
In a pair of First Amendment cases, the U.S. Supreme Court drew surprising new lines on religious monuments and public access channels. In The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, the Supreme Court held that the Bladensburg Cross monument does not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. In Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, the justices said a nonprofit corporation running a city's public access channel is not subject to the First Amendment.
Man Wins Round Against Facebook for Unwanted Text Messages
To Facebook, Noah Duguid is like those annoying automated text messages. He sued the company for sending him the unsolicited messages, but a judge threw out his case. Duguid appealed, however, and now he's back again. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says he has a case. If it goes forward as a class action, Facebook may never hear the end of it. Unwanted Text Messages In his 2015 lawsuit, Duguid says he didn't have a Facebook account but the company kept sending him texts.
When to Hire Outside Counsel: When They Are Nice
Deciding when to hire outside counsel is more art than science. Sure, there are rules about when you need outside help, like you need certain expertise, you have a conflict of interest, or you just can't handle all the work. But in every case, it comes down to the right fit. It's like getting a good suit (not a lawsuit.) Here's how general counsel can get a nice one. Stand Out Counsel Dennis Garcia, as associate general counsel for Microsoft, has seen a lot of outside counsel.
What to Do With Your Outdated Law Library?
Some people are nostalgic about old printed books. Don't be that person when it comes to your outdated law books. Unless you have a first edition of Black's Law Dictionary, those old books are probably good for little more than decoration at your office. They do look nice along a blank wall, until somebody notices they are criminally outdated. Then they are just embarrassing. In any case, we're not book collectors here. We're just here to tell you what to do with that outdated law library.
Cursing at a Cop Is Protected Free Speech
It's usually not a good idea to curse at police, but it is still a fundamental right. The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said so in a case from Arkansas. As a cop was citing one driver, another motorist passed by and gave the officer an earful. That led to an arrest for disorderly conduct in Thurairajah v. City of Fort Smith. After an unpleasant tour of the local slammer, the motorist was out and in no mood to let it go. He fought the law, and the Constitution won.
Bad News for Double Jeopardy Defendants, But What About Roe v. Wade?
A lone opinion about an unrelated issue in a Supreme Court case doesn't usually hold a lot of weight. But these are unusual times. In Gamble v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that double jeopardy did not spare a man from state and federal charges for illegal gun possession. The justices upheld the "dual sovereignty doctrine," which provides that two offenses are not the "same offense" for double jeopardy purposes if prosecuted by separate sovereigns.