Delaware Law Office
of Larry D. Sullivan, Esquire

A Weblog?
The column to the right, is a news/editorial/comment column. It is a weblog, also know as a blog.

The weblog thing comes from www.blogger.com, which offers us a convenient way to manage the posting, administratively. You don't really need to know all of that, but we have included this explanation so that you won't be confused by the term "blog".

Another important topic here is that since the column includes editorials and comments, you can be sure that we are just exercising our free speech rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and as not yet abridged by a reactionary opportunistic vocal minority.

opinions, everybody's got one...
If you would like your opinion published here, forward it for consideration and editorial review to: info@delawoffice.com.
Or add a comment. Comments by: YACCS

We encourage the exchange of responsible ideas.

Friday, June 20, 2003

more blawgers

 

We've been receiving some emails from people who have blogs that they thought might be interesting to us. We're glad they contacted us. I recently added Corp Law Blog to our list of blogs in response to an email sent our way, and no sooner than I did, we received an email from Broc Romanek of TheCorporateCounsel.net Blog. It's good to see these. Especially when they contain posts that might be of particular interest to Delaware readers, like today's post from Broc's blog which includes this nugget:
Compensation committees should heed the warning from Delaware ...Chancellor Chandler in the recent Disney opinion who indicated that directors might have personal liability for a breach of "good faith" if they approve compensation packages without exercising proper diligence. More to come on the Disney opinion soon...
Another surprise email was one from a lot closer to home. Law student to be, Ken Weeks, has been stirring up some dust with some stinging commentary on Delaware events and politics at Blogolution. We need more blogs from Delaware like Ken's. Of course, there's also Fritz Schranck's Sneaking Suspicions which has some great recent posts on Delaware's budget shortfalls.


setting bad examples

 


Senator Orrin Hatch has been sanctioning the use of destructive force to handle illegal file sharing.

It appears that the Senator's web site is using unlicensed softtware as part of its menu system, as discovered by Amish Tech Support. The folks at Wired have picked up on the story, in an article entitled Orrin Hatch, Software Pirate? Might want to duck and roll Senator.


Thursday, June 19, 2003

New Fines for Smokers

 
A new bill has passed the State House to fine smokers caught violating the Indoor Clean Air Act. Currently, the law imposes fines on the owner of a bar or restaurant when a complaint is filed. The new version will create fines for individual smokers who light up at an indoor public establishment.

While I am a huge fan of the Indoor Clean Air Act, I think that there are several problems with this mode of enforcement. First off, it will be incredibly difficult to enforce. Is the state planning on employing undercover smoke cops to slap handcuffs on offenders or are they planning on raiding bars SWAT team style? Generally complaints about people violating the Act are made by patrons after they leave a bar or restaurant. It seems unlikely that people will start calling in complaints while they are still at a restaurant and the owner of the establishment will not want to fine their own customers. The owner would probably be more likely to ask a patron to extinguish a cigarette than to call in the cops. Secondly, this does nothing to stop pro-smoking bar owners that allow their customers to violate the act. And lastly, by saying that the current fines are unfair to bar/restaurant owners, we are taking away their duty to help keep the air clean in their own watering holes. It?s really not that hard to keep smoking under control. When the smell of smoke isn?t in the air, it is much easier to detect one person lighting up. The last time that I was in a crowded bar and someone lit a cigarette, you could smell it across the whole room and the bouncer found the offender within a few seconds.

Maybe the fine for people caught smoking indoors should be to eat a pack of cigarettes. That should solve the problem pretty quick.

Kevin, Law Clerk Extraordinaire


delaware -- last state in speech

 

It's been a couple of hundred years, but we finally have freedom of speech in Delaware. We are the last state.

Here's the text of the Bill that passed into law this week in Delaware:
Delaware State Senate

142nd General Assembly

Senate Bill No. 7

An Act Concurring in a Proposed Amendment to Article I, Section 5 of the Delaware Constitution of 1897, as Amended, Relating to Freedom of Speech.

Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (Two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Article I, section 5 of the Delaware Constitution of 1897, as amended, by inserting in the title of 5 the words "and speech" after the phrase "Freedom of press" and before the semicolon.

Section 2. Amend Article I, section 5 of the Delaware Constitution of 1897, as amended, by inserting the following sentence before the first sentence:

"The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man."

Section 3. Amend Article I, section 5 of the Delaware Constitution of 1897, as amended, by inserting the words "freely speak, write and" between the phrases "and any citizen may" and "print on any subject".

Synopsis

This is the second leg of a Constitutional Amendment. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America prohibits Congress from making a law that abridges freedom of speech. Delaware is one of the only states in the country that has failed to adopt a similar amendment explicitly guaranteeing its citizens the freedom of speech. This Constitutional Amendment guarantees Delaware citizens the right to freedom of speech, which includes spoken or written communications.

The protections afforded Delawareans in this Constitutional Amendment serve to reinforce one of the most basic, fundamental rights upon which this country was founded ? the right to communicate one?s thoughts and ideas without fear of government persecution. Throughout history, people; around the world have struggled and fought for this very right.

Delaware?s Bill of Rights was modeled upon the 1790 Constitution of Pennsylvania. Thus, the language contained in this Amendment closely tracks the Pennsylvania constitutional provision guaranteeing the right to free speech. This will offer Delawareans consistency and continuity in the enjoyment of their State constitutional rights.

Author: Senator Blevins
Free speech. It feels good. We should have done this sooner.








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