News Roundup

I thought that if I delayed this post long enough, I would be able to include something about the John Edwards verdict. But there still isn’t one, so I can only speculate that the jury is attempting to set a world record for longest deliberation. Either that, or they’ve got a heck of a Monopoly game going.

As far as stories in which something actually happened this week:

  1. The News and Observer reports here on continuing efforts to raise the juvenile age to 18. The story indicates that there is a new proposal to raise the age for misdemeanors only, but I couldn’t find the bill itself on the General Assembly’s website. If anyone knows more about it, please weigh in.
  2. The News and Observer notes the resignation of Wake County District Court Judge Kristin Ruth in this story. Without commenting on the troubling events that led to her resignation, I will say that I remember being in Judge Ruth’s courtroom a few times as a brand new lawyer handling misdemeanors by court appointment. She was unfailingly pleasant and kind to litigants and lawyers alike, which goes a long way in my book.
  3. Sentencing Law and Policy notes here the new national registry of exonerations just announced by the Michigan and Northwestern law schools. There are about 2,000 exonerations on the registry. North Carolina’s not in the top ten states with the most exonerations, though of course that doesn’t necessarily imply that we’re not in the top ten states in the number of wrongful convictions.
  4. Last fall, I noted in a news roundup that a lawsuit had begun in Florida over whether motorists have a First Amendment right to flash their headlights to warn other drivers of the presence of police. It seems that the lawsuit has come to fruition: Professor Eugene Volokh reports here that a Florida trial court judge has concluded that the conduct in question is protected speech, though Professor Volokh thinks that the answer is far from cut and dried.
  5. The latest FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin has this interesting article about synthetic cannabinoids, noting that they pose difficulties for law enforcement officers because they do not smell similar to marijuana and don’t respond to field tests for marijuana.
  6. Look, I know that private practice isn’t easy and that you’ve got to think outside the box to advertise effectively in today’s crowded legal market. But be careful not to wind up in this collection of awkward, tacky, or over-the-top lawyer videos. I think the Divorce Deli one is the best, but I welcome others’ thoughts.

Have a great long weekend. In between cookouts, family visits, and sporting events, please do take a minute to think of those who gave their lives in service to our country, and of all the others who have put theirs at risk.

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