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Constitutional Law Criminal Law Litigation

Client: “I’m Not Guilty!” – Lawyer: “Yes, You Are!” SCOTUS to Rule on Who Decides in Louisiana Death Penalty Case

Louisiana man Robert McCoy was accused of killing Christine Colston Young, Willie Young and Gregory Colston, who were the mother, stepfather and son of Mr. McCoy’s estranged wife. There was substantial evidence that he had done so. The actual shooting was caught on tape as the victim had called 911 upon the shooter’s arrival and […]

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Constitutional Law Litigation

Making Jurors Understand the Bill of Rights

On this the 224th Anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, I was thinking about what to write about the document that defines our country as much as the Constitution does. It such a grand document covering so many broad issues I was thinking about to narrow my focus. Originally I thought about […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law Intellectual Property Litigation

If You’re A Criminal Be Careful Who Your Friends Are (Or Don’t Be An Idiot and Post About Your Crimes on FB!)

Social media’s insertion into the courtroom continues as a NY Federal Judge ruled that a criminal defendant’s Facebook posts about his criminal activity could form the bass for a search warrant into his home. Federal prosecutors got a look at Melvin Colon’s Facebook profile through the account of one of Colon’s friends, who was a […]

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General

NY Court Rules: Short People Got No Reason to Sue!

Randy Newman can add the title of this blog post as a new line to Short People, his often misunderstood, misinterpreted hit song from 1977, as a NY court ruled that “shortness” is not a physical disability protected by the NY State Human Rights Law. NY State’s Human Rights Law can be found in the […]

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Constitutional Law General Litigation

Prosecutorial Misconduct Causes US Supreme Court to Overturn Murder Conviction -But Justice Thomas Just Doesn’t Get It.

In another blow to New Orleans DA Harry Connick (Father of the singer Harry Connick Jr) the US Supreme Court once again found that his office withheld exculpatory evidence from a defendant in a capital murder trial. There is a long history of problems in Connick’s office. In 1995, Esquire photographed him, for a piece […]

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General Litigation

Anonymous Juries Not Good For System

Recently, a former law student of mine called me to ask my opinion for an article he was writing about anonymous juries. I told him that I was against them in general and that I thought in the long run, anonymous juries did more harm than good.  He boiled down our half hour conversation to […]

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General Litigation

Testing the Limits of the First Amendment

The new Supreme Court term started yesterday and while the docket is once again heavily laden with corporate issues, one of the earliest cases to be argued will be the one involving the Westboro Baptist Church’s practice of protesting at military funerals.  It is a case that is certain to add to the line of […]

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General

In Defense of Thurgood Marshall

Happy Fourth of July! I was lying in  my pool enjoying this fine hot summer day, reading the Times , when I came upon an article about how Thurgood Marshall’s name is being thrown about during the Kagan confirmation hearings.  I was in total disbelief that there could be serious debate about whether Marshall was […]

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General

“Taking the Fifth”

What does it mean when a person invokes his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution or “takes the Fifth” or  “pleads the Fifth”  or “lawyers up” as they say in the vernacular.  Of course, you could actually teach an entire law school semester on the various nuances involved, so this is […]