opinions, everybody's got one...
Saturday, November 29, 2003
Limiting the Cost of Sequestration
What do you do with jurors when they are in the midst of deliberations and it's time to call it a day? Do you isolate them from most of the rest of the world?
Delaware's jurors are sequestered at the discretion of the trial judge. It's an expensive practice that seems to be on the decline in most states.
Newark Cider Mill to be Rebuilt
This is the type of project that I love. When people recognize the importance of history, and try to reclaim it. A cider mill that burned down in May of 1972 will be rebuilt by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
It should make Apple Cider Saturday a whole lot more fun.
AIDS in Delaware
AIDs is a disease. It infects people regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. It's killed countless people, and changed lives forever. Delaware is amongst the worst states in the nation when it comes to "infection rate per capita among intravenous drug users."
The Wilmington News Journal is noting that Delaware will mark World AIDS Day on Monday, December 1st. Candlelight vigils will take place throughout Delaware. AIDsDelaware.org has more.
When is the Public not Public...
...when they aren't citizens of the First State.
Delaware's Freedom of Information Act can only be used by citizens of the State of Delaware. Who are your state's public records open to? Does it matter if they are citizens of the state, or citizens of the United States?
A consumer activists' group is suing the state and challenging the citizenship provision: Lawsuit challenges Del. records law
Which constitutional ground would you proceed under if you pursued a suit like this? Would it matter what you wanted the records for?
Friday, November 28, 2003
Initial Consultation Fees... or Are you Serious Fees
I read an interesting depiction of a disagreement between an attorney and a potential client on bayarea.com, as was handily pointed out to me by myshingle.com.
It is a story about an individual who refused to pay the $35 admin fee for a lawyer referral service (because he felt that there weren't any qualified attorneys participating with that service). The individual was referred to an attorney (for free) who reviewed the matter with the individual and indicated that there would be $25,000 retainer to handle the legal matter. The individual then claims that he should have recieved legal advice as to how to handle his case during the 30 minute initial consultation.
How can an attorney answer all of your questions (with one simple "yes" or "no"), and solve all of your legal problems in the initial consultation? And for free?
It just isn't possible (except in very rare circumstances).
To a large extent, the initial consultation fee can serve the purpose of screening out those persons who want to meet for the purpose of meeting... want to talk to an attorney for the purpose of saying that they talked with an attorney... and who are otherwise not really serious about dealing with their legal matter in a reasonable way.
Had the legal referral service administrator, in the case above, taken the hint and closed the conversation when the potential client refused to pay the $35 admin fee, this blooming exchange would not have occurred.
Carry-On Baggage (The Bag and Baggage Moblog)
Denise Howell's Carry-On Baggage (The Bag and Baggage Moblog) took on a new meaning yesterday?
Congratulations on the BABY!
You will indeed now have much more baggage, carry-on and otherwise. But it is a good thing. :-)
Thursday, November 27, 2003
We find ourselves with many reasons to be thankful for this year, including those who visit the Delaware Law Office both in person and on the Web. Thank you.
A friend has put together a page on some of the history behind thanksgiving, and a few of her ancestors are involved in the telling of the tale. I thought her story was pretty interesting, and I hope that you do too. It's at: Aspects of the History Behind Thanksgiving.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
The Printed Press Postures for Preeminence
Jennifer Howard, whose site looks like a blog but isn't (she protests vigorously), writes an interesting critique about blogs, blogging, and bloggers. She acknowledges the social value, cautions us to take what we read with a dose of salt (and maybe check the sources?), and seems very subtly to protest too much in defense of the established press.
Jennifer hosted an online forum to discuss her article, and it worked a heck of a lot like a comment section of a blog.
I think that blogging and the established news forums interact well with one another, and compliment the good things that each have to offer.
But yes, blogging is not CNN. Thank goodness! Yes, there is a difference. And it is on purpose! Yes you can get bogged down reading lots of blogs, but how many newspapers can you read? How many hours of network news can you watch?
Blogging is useful in and of itself to combat just that problem which she highlights, and blogging offers tools to help us to sort through it all, and unclog our blog, such as XML feeds (a process that I am still learning).
Next, she flatly criticizes bloggers for too much back patting. What I have seen is not so much gratuitous petting, but instead, cordiality, ethics, and etiquette. Maybe the paper press could pick up on this?
Jennifer indicates that she has been highly criticized for her position on blogging. I wouldn't know. But I can see how it would be frustrating for a serious blogger to see such a well read and well written professional such as Jennifer Howard, only almost get it.
Monday, November 24, 2003
Pardoning the Turkey
Whitehouse representative JD Estes is fielding questions about turkeys and the presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey, and includes some great pictures of previous presidents doing so.
The pardoning will be webcast live, today at 9:28 am, EST.
Center for the Art's befriends Middle School
It's good to see the Capital School District teaming up with the the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts to modernize the Central Middle School's auditorium. Nice going, Schwatz Center!
Sunday, November 23, 2003
Something in the Air
Fourteen States surrounding Delaware have filed suit against the EPA, fearing the relaxation of the Clean Air Act, and the impact that will have upon the air we breathe. May it Please the Court takes a look, and presents a nice set of links on the subject. Funny, it's the same air we share in Delaware, which hasn't joined in on the suit.
Delaware's Governor has asked the State's Attorney General to get involved. The Wilmington News Journal surmises why the AG's Office hasn't.
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, and Pumpkins
There have been rumblings from the Delaware Division of Boiler Safety that the power used to hurl gourds tremendous distances poses a real risk to the residents of Delaware. Al Mascitti takes a critical look, and decides that the State is trying to turn into into your mom.
He's not just carving silly faces in pumpkins.
Lessons in California Parole Experiences?
A findlaw article by Barton Aronson takes a good long look at The Results of A Just-Released Study of California Parolees. I imagine that there are probably lessons from this study (130 page pdf file) that could be learned by folks from outside of California.
misguided by voices
How easy is it to recognize a voice that you've only heard once, a few years before? Or through a ski mask? How often is that vocal recognition challenged in court? Just how reliable are earwitnesses?