A Little Something to Glance over Here and There
A Little Something To Glance Over Here and ThereJanuary 7, 2017Side Note Thoughts: Today is another day, where I get a chance to fix and work on myself as a person. Not only as person, but as a phenomenal attorney. With consistency and persistency, all things shall come to past. After looking at the snow fall, and speaking with a former classmate, I realized that we as a people must come together. Even though President Donald Trump will be elected into the white house in 13 days, which is less than two weeks, we must stop wasting time and win the game. I am tired of going on social media, and watch people not talk about a thing. The way I look at it, is that we have a lot of issues that are unresolved. So instead of posting your whole life for the world and the government to see, why don’t we just start talking about things that matter. May I am wrong for bashing people for their meaningless thoughts on celebrities or the fact they are trying to imitate everything but themselves. I am angered, but fearless, because I know that this black movement, this Black Power shall not be stopped. They have chained us, beat us, raped us, and made fools out of us. When will the day come when we finally drop the act and be real for once. I’m just saying…If this happens to fall upon other eyes other than mines, just know all I was trying to do is live my life and stay true to who I am. This is really a law document…and my teacher always say take your emotions of it…with that being said…. Peace. Love. And Black Power. Case FileCENTERVILLE NEWS: MARCH 10 The following news stories recently appeared in the Centerville Newspaper:Akhn Alston was seriously injured in an automobile accident when he was hit by an uninsured drunk driver who ran a stop sign. Akhn’s attorney sued Bar None, a restaurant and bar, claiming that the business served the driver an excessive amount of alcohol, knowing he would be driving home. Bar None denies all liability.Het Heru recently applied for a job with the town of Centerville. As part of the application process the town requires her to provide the password for her Facebook page. She thinks this is a violation of her privacy.The Centerville city council received numerous complaints from parents about their children purchasing and drinking high “energy” drinks. Parents believe that these drinks cause extreme behavior in their children and they have petitioned the council to ban the sale of these drinks to minors. The city council is deciding whether to do this.Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471 (2008)Maples v. Thomas, 565 U.S. __, 132 S. Ct. 912 (2012)Marshall v. Marshall, 547 U.S. 293 (2006)COURT DECISION Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker,554 U.S. 471 (2008)On March 24, 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez grounded off the Alaskan coast, fracturing its hull and spilling millions of gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound. A civil lawsuit resulted and a $2.5 billion punitive damage judgment was eventually assessed against Exxon. In 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court reduced this amount to $500 million. The Court based its decision on maritime common law and discussed the development of punitive damages, stating it had its roots in 18th-century English law. Before deciding the case, the Court also reviewed the different laws of the states and other nations regarding punitive damages. The following language from the opinion shows the Court’s reliance on common law: “Our review of punitive damages today, then, considers not their intersection with the Constitution, but the desirability of regulating them as a common-law remedy for which responsibility lies with this Court as a source of judge-made law in the absence of a statute.”STATUTE OF LIMITATIONSSuppose Peters, driving inattentively, runs a red light and collides with a truck driven by McDonald. Peters is injured but McDonald is not. If Peters sues for his damages, he would not prevail because the substantive law does not support his claim. This kind of action is governed by tort law, in particular the law of negligence, which requires that one pay for damages that he or she negligently causes. In this case, because it is Peters and not McDonald who is negligent, the court cannot make McDonald pay for Peter’s injuries. On the other hand, if McDonald were injured, he could sue and probably win. Assume, however, that the accident happens in a state that has a two-year statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time limit for filing a lawsuit in court. Even though the substantive law supports a claim by McDonald, if he waits three years after the accident to sue, the court will probably dismiss the action because McDonald did not follow the procedural rules of the state.COURT DECISIONMaples v, Thomas,565 U.S. ____, 132 S. Ct. 912 (2012)Procedural issues often form the basis of an appeal and can result in a court’s refusal to consider an appeal even in a death penalty case. Consider the case of Maples v. Thomas, Petitioner, Maples, was convicted of murder in Alabama state court and sentenced to death. The state appellate courts refused to hear any claims on appeal because neither he nor his attorneys filed a notice of appeal within a 42-day time period as required by state law. Maples then sought appellate relief in the federal courts, but the lower courts (the U.S. District Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals) refused to hear the case relying on a federal rule that prohibits a federal court from granting a hearing where claims were not raised in a state court because of a “procedural error”, unless the error was not caused by something external to the petitioner. Prior case law held that the negligence of a person’s attorney was not “external” because the attorney acts as the agent of his client.
The relevant facts are as follows. Maples was represented by two pro bono attorneys, employed by a New York firm. To handle this case, they associated with a local Alabama law firm. One attorney with that local firm was listed as an attorney of record, but did not work on the case. After trial, Maples’ two pro bono attorneys filed a petition in the trial court seeking post-conviction relief. This petition was denied, and notice of the denial of the petition was mailed to the local law firm and addressed to the two pro bono lawyers. This started the 42-day time limit. However, prior to the court denying the petition, the two pro bono attorneys accepted other employment that prevented them from representing Maples. They did not notify Maples or the court of this new employment. A mailroom employee returned the notice of denial to the court without opening the communication. As a result, Maples did not file any further appeal in a timely manner and the state courts refused to hear claims that he had inadequate counsel at trial. Because of this procedural error, a federal district court also refused to hear petitioner’s claims. The federal trial court relied on a rule that prohibits a federal court from granting a hearing where claims were not raised in a state court because of “procedural error”. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the appellate court ruling and held that when attorneys abandon their client, this severs the attorney-client relationship and the attorneys no longer acts as the agent of the client. Two Supreme Court justices dissented.COURT DECISIONMarshall v. Marshall,547 U.S. 293 (2006)An initial procedural question in all civil cases which court has authority to hear a case. The case of Marshall v. Marshall deals with this question. This case involved the inheritance rights of Anna Nicole Smith from her husband J. Howard Marshall. It was an important case because California federal court had awarded Ms. Smith substantial money and the Texas state court found against her. The case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The background of the case is as follows. Ms Smith’s husband, J. Howard Marshall, did not include anything for her in his will. The will was submitted to the probate court in Texas and Ms. Smith filed an action contesting it. While his estate was pending in state probate court, Ms. Smith filed for bankruptcy in federal court in California. Several matters arose in the bankruptcy case and eventually, the court was called upon to decide if J. Howard’s son did in fact interfere with Ms. Smith’s inheritance rights. The federal court decided it had the right to hear the case and awarded Ms. Smith substantial money damages. The son maintained that the federal court did not have authority or jurisdiction to hear this case. He claimed that the Texas probate court was the only one having jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ms. Smith and found the federal court did have jurisdiction to hear this case.SILVERS V. STEIN AND PEOPLE V. STEINSame Facts – Two CasesConsider the following example. Stein, who is under the influence of alcohol, drives a car and rear ends a vehicle driven by Silvers. As a result Silvers is injured. This factual situation could give rise to both a criminal and a civil action. The state could prosecute Stein for the crime of drunk driving and Silvers could sue Stein for money damages for his injuries. The civil case would be entitled Silvers. V. Stein. Each party would provide his own attorney. In this type of case the parties would probably be allowed to have a jury trial, but they would have to pay for it. If a jury found Stein liable by a preponderance of the evidence, the jury would render a verdict for money damages payable to Silvers. Either side could then appeal. The criminal case here would be entitled People v. Stein, Stein is entitled to a court-appointed attorney if he cannot afford his own lawyer. If he is not indigent, however, he must pay for his own lawyer. The prosecutor must present enough evidence against Stein so that the jury are convinced of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If found guilty, Stein can be sentenced to jail, placed on probation, and/or assessed a fine. Stein can appeal after trial, but the prosecutor cannot.