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The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” may not be as true as it once was.
In June 2017, a Massachusetts court found that a person’s words could be the direct cause of another person’s death, which can ultimately result in a verdict of involuntary manslaughter. Read about the potential consequences of Commonwealth v. Carter before the Supreme Judicial Court hears the case on direct appellate review.
Continuing to put the focus on the positive actions of well meaning lawyers can hopefully help change the public opinion of the occupation.
Lets be honest, lawyers do not always have the best reputation in today’s society. The general public loves to hate lawyers, making them the subject of jokes, complaining about legal fees, and creating derogatory names. This aversion toward the legal profession may be due to an increasing amount of attorneys working towards self-interest instead of public interest. That blanket statement, however, only epitomizes a small cross-section of the profession, but places a stigma upon an entire occupation. Catastrophes, large and small, occur frequently, and almost all require the immediate help of emergency responders. But when the exigency fades and the first responders leave, lawyers provide long-term relief for the many people dealing with the catastrophic impact.
Recently, on the morning of October 3, 2017, Justice Ginsburg made an important point for mandatorily detained noncitizens: “there is something in between.”
Under Chapter 8 of the U.S. Code, the government must detain certain non-citizens throughout their removal proceedings. The issue being argued in Jennings v. Rodriguez is whether it is unconstitutional to detain these individuals for a prolonged amount of time without some form of bond review. Many complicated factors, such as the plenary power doctrine, due process issues, and the congested immigration court system left the Supreme Court of the United States befuddled on when it is appropriate to require review for potential release. What has become clear, though, is that something must be done to correct the injustices thrust upon those placed in prolonged detention, even if it requires a new middle ground, much like that which Justice Ginsburg alluded to in her statement at reargument.
Can a condo board’s delay in responding to a service animal request amount to an undue delay under the Fair Housing Act?
While there is no express duty for property owners to respond promptly to service animal requests, this duty may be implied under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Recently, a judge in the District Court of Massachusetts found that this duty may be implied when there is undue delay in deciding to permit or deny a reasonable accommodation, such as a service animal.
When both the insurer and the insured have valid arguments over claim disputes, how does a court decide in favor of one over the other?
In Massachusetts, when an insured’s act falls within an exclusion in the policy, the insurance company may be entitled to declaratory or summary judgment, which ultimately relieves it from its contractual duty to defend. Policies, however, are to be construed strictly against insurers when courts analyze any ambiguity. Insurance companies and policyholders become frustrated with the courts when they attempt to strike a balance between the competing interests: insurance companies believe they should not be required to pay for a policyholder’s litigation when it is the insurance company’s belief that the behavior falls explicitly within an exception. Contrasting the insurance companies interest is that of the policyholders, who, as consumers, believe they are entitled to protection when there are differing interpretations because they did not drafted the policies, but merely assented to them.
One of the weak sides of the republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.
The Emoluments Clause to the United States Constitution frequents the news these days, but what is it and why did the founders include it in the Constitution? The clause states, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or Foreign State.” When the Constitutional Convention met to draft the United States Constitution it was important to the drafters that their new nation leave behind and protect against the corruption they had experienced in some European practices. The brand new Americans wanted to avoid corruption resulting from royalty giving gifts and money to politicians, diplomats, legislators, etc. in order to gain influence. The founders saw this danger in the U.S.’s growing relationship with France and in U.S. generals’ acceptance of money from foreign states during the Revolutionary War.
The Electoral College – that sometimes maligned process by which the United States elects a new president – was initially established as a compromise between allowing Congress to vote for the next leader of the country and allowing the popular vote to dictate who would hold the position. The founding fathers did not believe that the general public should be tasked with electing a leader and instead gave that job to a group of experts who would make the decision. This means that when American citizens go to the polls, they aren’t voting for the President directly, but rather each vote helps to decide which candidate will receive that state’s electors. That state’s chosen electors then meet and cast their votes for President and Vice President.
For any new law review or law journal (law review) staff member, one of the first things you learn is how to properly write and edit footnotes. Staff members spend so much of their time editing and writing footnotes that they often forget to ask why they need twice as many footnotes as text. Footnotes exist to allow “the interested reader to test the conclusions of the writer and to verify the source of a challengeable statement.” The creation of the 2:1 footnote ratio began when law professors, trying to get published as frequently as possible in order to gain tenure, realized that student-editors were editing out their creativity in order to force all pieces into the same style. This caused authors to express themselves in their footnotes, a practice which naturally bulked up the footnote section. Additionally, the strong competition among law reviews for lead articles (excluding only law reviews of top tier law schools) combined with the pressure editors are under to fill each issue with a preselected number of pages, helped create a “longer the better” mentality, which contributed to today’s lengthy footnotes.
For many couples, giving birth to a child is the culmination of their relationship. Parenthood is an integral part of the human experience, and when would-be parents find themselves, for one reason or another, unable to conceive, the options are limited. Adoption is an excellent choice, but the hoops through which aspiring parents must jump are often extensive and the process can last for years. Furthermore, the idea of bringing a genetically-related child into the world is a high priority for some. Even if genetics aren’t important, some prospective parents want to know that the child will be carried by a woman who has access to high-quality prenatal care and a family history that doesn’t include drug abuse or mental illness.
Last month, a minor in Belgium became the first to receive a medically assisted death through euthanasia since the country made the practice legal for children in 2014, renewing the conversation on the issue of assisted death and euthanasia.1 Belgium is the second country to legalize euthanasia and the only country that currently allows minors of any age access to euthanasia.2 (more…)