They also found two 50 cal. Among the guns that were confiscated were bolt action rifles, including a .22, and a pump shotgun. By midday they had brought out five plastic crates of long guns and ammo. The gun owner was arrested on weapons charges. This home invasion by police defies Heller, in which the US Supreme Court affirmed the preexisting right to keep firearms in one’s home for protection. The court decision didn’t limit the amount of guns that one could keep in the home. Under our constitution, there is no limit to the amount of guns a person can own. Cities such as New York, Washington DC, and Chicago still defy the law, the court rulings, and stifle firearm ownership rights at every turn. This small army of police breaking into a private residence searching for guns sends a cold chill, and should be a warning to gun owners everywhere. This, while Bernie Maddoff luxuriates in his new York penthouse, rolling in his stolen billions.
It’s summer and I’ve gotten a little lazy when it has come to blogging. Sometimes it is just preferable to sit out on the front porch, sipping a drink, and reading a bit of this and bit of that. There have been some things I’ve been meaning to comment on but never got around to it. First, regarding Charlottesville, “white nationalists”, the Klan, Nazis, Antifa, and the violence that happened yesterday: when two groups filled full of hateful, violent people that I disdain go at hammer and tong, I say a pox on both their houses. It was the same feeling I had after the “Greensboro Massacre” back in 1979 when the Klan and American Nazis shot it out with the Communist Workers’ Party at a “Death to the Klan” rally. I’m with Miguel on this when he says he doesn’t care much about what happens to either group. Leaving the sensationalism of the mass media behind, one of the bigger stories in the gun community has been the issue of Sig P320s accidentally firing when dropped in a certain way.
Sig has issued a voluntary “upgrade” to fix this. If I owned one of these pistols, I’d send it in for the retrofit with the military trigger. It only makes sense from a civil liability standpoint. You can just imagine the questions that a plaintiffs’ attorney would be asking if you dropped your firearm and someone was injured. It wouldn’t be pretty. This post in The Firearm Blog has more on the story along with a ton of links. While on the subject of recalls, Ruger has issued a recall on some of their Ruger Precision Rifles with the aluminum bolt shroud. The issue is the potential for interference between the bolt shroud and the cocking piece. In legal news, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on Thursday that the Seattle “gun violence” tax did not violate that state’s firearms preemption law. The lawsuit against the tax was a joint effort of the Second Amendment Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation along with two businesses, Philip Watson, and the late Ray Carter aka GayCynic.
Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation called the decision a “slap in the face to the Washington Legislature.” He also correctly noted that gun owners need to get more involved in Supreme Court races (where the justices are elected). Dave Workman, editor of The GunMag, has done superb reporting on the issue at Liberty Park Press and Conservative Firing Line. His posts on the court decision can be found here, here, here, and here. I think Dave is correct when he says that the Washington State Supreme Court may have opened a Pandora’s box. I can see these sort of taxes being implemented up and down the West Coast as well in other gun control paradises. Sebastian had a very thought provoking post on his blog regarding suicide and the unintended consequences of universal background checks. Research conducted at Oregon State University-Cascades found that gun owners were more receptive to suicide-prevention messages if they respected gun rights than if they were neutral.
However, as Sebastian notes, universal background checks make it harder for a person to have their family hold their guns if they experience a mental health crisis. Except Bloomberg has been going state-to-state trying to make that a crime. So don’t give me this bleeding heart shit. If gun control people gave a crap about suicide they wouldn’t be pushing for laws that criminalized gun owners for helping out friends. Hat tip to my friend and podcasting co-host Rob Morse for pointing me to a success in court by NY gun rights attorney Paloma Capanna. Her case, Robinson v. Sessions, is on appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit involves the sharing of information on the Form 4473 for purposes other than purchasing a firearm. The issue before the 2nd Circuit is whether the plaintiffs have standing to sue. Plaintiffs in the Robinson case state that the violation of their civil rights begins the moment the FBI secretly uses their personal information from the ATF Form 4473 for the unauthorized purpose of checking them against the TSDB.
Yes, a person who gets matched to the TSDB during a gun purchase at an FFL might have greater damages, but the harm hits every American attempting to make a lawful purchase at an FFL. My friend Laura Carno has brought the FASTER training program to Colorado. The program involves intensive firearms, defensive, and medical training for school personnel in an effort to protect the students in the case of an active shooter event. FASTER was the brainchild of Buckeye Firearms Association and Tactical Defense Institute. She was interviewed about the program and their successes by Cam Edwards of NRA TV this week. Is firearms training a religion? Regardless of whether it is or isn’t, Kevin Creighton thinks it should be. Looking at the great martial arts, they tend to include an element of religion in them according to Kevin. They helps inspire practitioners to rise about themselves in extraordinary situations.
Situations like a gun fight which is definitely an extraordinary situation. Finally, attorney and Second Amendment scholar Dave Hardy has a new book coming out. The book entitled, I’m from the Government and I’m Here to Kill You: The True Human Cost of Official Negligence, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. I have pre-ordered my copy and would suggest that you might want to do so as well. Dave reports that the official release date is October 10th but it could actually ship earlier. Some of the events covered in the book include Waco, Ruby Ridge, Operation Fast and Furious, and the fallout from atomic testing. One might have thought the premise “the King can do no wrong” would have no application in a nation with no king, but that is not how things turned out. Federal officials have, as we shall see, blown up hundreds of people, spread radioactive waste over enormous areas, and ordered their subordinates to commit murder, all with legal impunity. When the government’s misdeeds were challenged in court, attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice did not hesitate to conduct cover-ups, defraud the courts, and intimidate witnesses—all without worries about disbarment or other discipline. When federal civilian employment was small, the risk of being injured by a negligent governmental employee was trifling. Today, there are over two million federal civilian employees, a workforce that dwarfs those of our largest corporations. This enormous workforce has almost complete legal immunity, no matter how lethal its transgressions.
The reader’s email suggested I take another look at the recently-appointed-then-recalled judges. And so you have the setup for this post. For the 2008 primary, Judge Martin Coghlan was rated qualified by the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) and all of the Alliance bar associations that evaluated his candidacy, including the Chicago Council of Lawyers (CCL). Judge Lauretta Higgins Wolfson was rated qualified by the CBA and all Alliance bar associations, including the CCL. Judge James Shapiro (who has already announced plans to seek election from an 8th Subcircuit seat in the 2012 primary) was rated qualified by the CBA all of the Alliance bar associations, including the CCL, in the 2008 primary. Finally, Judge Kenneth Fletcher was also rated qualified by the CBA and all of the Alliance bar associations, including the CCL for the 2008 primary. Fletcher was also rated qualified by the NWSBA and endorsed by the Chicago Federation of Labor, IVI-IPO, Personal PAC, the Italian American Political Coalition, and the Jewish Political Alliance of Illinois. The Tribune article also mentioned two judges by name who lost primary bids in 2010 and were then recalled to service, Michael Ian Bender and Pamela Leeming. Judge Bender was rated qualified by the CBA and all of the Alliance bar associations, including the CCL, for the 2010 primary. All of the other Alliance bar associations gave Judge Leeming a rating of recommended or qualified.
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the most recent list of disciplined lawyers in the state. Seven were disbarred, nine were suspended, one was reprimanded and three were censured. For the full list of names and the location of their practice go here. California for repeatedly filing frivolous lawsuits, pleadings and appeals. Michigan for settling a personal injury matter without his client’s knowledge or consent. 30,656.73, for lawyer’s own purposes. Michigan for neglecting a client’s immigration case, refusing to refund unearned fees, and failing to be candid with the disciplinary authority. ’s immigration case, making misrepresentations to the client about the status of the matter and failing to appear and participate in the disciplinary proceedings. ’s dissolution of marriage proceeding, resulting in the imposition of monetary sanctions against the client, and he failing to inform the client of the entry of the sanctions. The lawyer who was reprimanded had been informally admonished in Idaho for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law while she was a legal intern employed at a public defender’s office. At the time of the misconduct, she had not yet taken the Idaho bar examination. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and reprimanded her.
Reprimanding lawyers criticising its orders on television debates, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said a trend has started among lawyers to target the judges and this practice, they said, would ultimately lead to the “killing of this institution”. The judge’s outburst came when the lawyers appearing in the matter started arguing simultaneously by raising their pitch. Justice Mishra, who suffered collateral damage in recent controversies concerning the Supreme Court. In January, Justice Mishra found himself in the middle of the controversy when four senior judges of the Supreme Court held a rare press conference to speak out against the alleged arbitrary allocation of cases by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. They claimed that sensitive matters were being allocated to junior judges. Justice Arun Mishra was assigned the petition concerning the death of judge BH Loya on the day Justices Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurien Joseph went public with their grievances. When the reporters asked if their complaints included the case of the death of judge Loya, Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “Yes”. Justice Mishra also expressed displeasure that the Supreme Court Bar Association was silent on the issue. He made the remarks in the presence of the bar association president Vikas Singh, who was appearing for one of the parties.
Feels funny to be writing this piece, but two things have just popped up to get me thinking. FIRST: A potential client met with me yesterday. In 2005 she was buying tea in a coffee shop in Queens County that’s part of a well-known chain. In an unfortunate accident the cup was slid to her on the counter and dropped off, burning her. Luckily, she only suffered first and second degree burns. Like a bad sunburn; nothing that would scar her. Sensing correctly that this accident was due to the carelessness or negligence of a coffee shop employee, she decided to sue. Hiring a local attorney a few days after the accident, she got on with her life, just needing a few months of doctor’s care for her burn injury. And then she got mostly better. The attorney that she hired, an older lawyer, did nothing with the case for 2 years.
And the case moved slowly along. Then it gets interesting. Because the accident victim and the defendant coffee company were both from outside New York State, the coffee shop’s lawyers were able to transfer (“remove”) the case to New York Federal Court. And the game changed. Federal Court requires all documents to be filed electronically. Everything is “email this” and “email that” which is a pain, but that’s how it’s done in the 21st Century. But the accident victim’s lawyer couldn’t seem to get on board with the program. From the papers his (still) client showed me it appears that he wrote to the Federal judge to ask for special permission to not have to file stuff with the court by computer. A simple and proper solution would have been for this lawyer to recognize he was in over his head when the case got moved from state court to federal court and get another, computer-savvy lawyer to assist him.
But, alas, such was not the case. So I had to advise this woman to return to her lawyer and find out if he had managed to keep her accident case from getting thrown out of court. And when she calls me back, whatever she tells me, I’m not sure what I’m going to suggest to her. SECOND: I saw a news piece out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 35,000 because he did not receive an email notifying him of an upcoming fee arbitration hearing. Now I don’t know if this was an accident case or divorce case or what kind of case it was. It appears that this lawyer relied on his wife, who was also his office manager, to work his computer. She had fractured her arm and missed work for a long time. Her husband, the lawyer, did not hire a temporary replacement. Needless to say, this attorney didn’t know how to use Philadelphia’s electronic court filing system. And never advised the court that he couldn’t check, or wasn’t going to be checking, his email for a while. So rather than learn the technology or get help, my Philadelphia colleague did nothing – in his case, only hurting himself and only costing himself money. Like the ostrich, Philadelphia lawyer stuck his head in the sand. Much like the New York attorney who seems to have blown the case of his burn-accident-victim-client who came to consult with me. What have we learned here, Dear Readers? While your attorney doesn’t need the best website or the greatest blog, he or she should be computer literate and not stuck in old technologies. Unfortunately, clients must sometimes protect themselves, which is not the way it’s supposed to be when you hire a lawyer. Ask lots of questions.
A California appeals court ruled this week that dash camera footage is not part of an officer’s confidential personnel record, even though it was used in an internal affairs investigation against the officer. The Court of Appeal ruled in City of Eureka v. Superior Court (Thadeus Greenson) (1st Dist., July 19, 2016) that Pitchess statutes do not protect this kind of video footage from being released to the public. Eureka Police Sergeant Adam Laird and other officers arrested a juvenile suspected of gang activity. After the incident, the Eureka Police Department opened an internal affairs investigation into Sergeant Laird’s conduct, eventually deciding to fire him. And the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office charged Laird with misdemeanor assault by a police officer without lawful authority and making a false police report. Both investigations alleged that Laird used excessive force against the suspect, including pushing him to the ground and then kicking or stomping on him repeatedly.
A key piece of evidence in both of these investigations was the video recorded by the dash camera in another officer’s vehicle. This video apparently recorded the whole interaction between Sergeant Laird and the juvenile suspect. Experts hired by both the prosecution and Laird’s defense attorney determined Laird’s use of force was justified under the circumstances. The prosecution dropped the charges and the Department halted its termination of Laird. However, a local newspaper reporter then filed requests for the video footage. The reporter claimed the video was a public record. A trial judge in Humboldt County agreed and ordered the City of Eureka to release the video. The City appealed the judge’s order, arguing the video was part of Laird’s confidential personnel file and could only be released through the procedures required by the Pitchess statutes. The Court of Appeal rejected the City’s argument and affirmed the order to release the video. The Court ruled that because the video was recorded before any investigation had begun, it was an independent record and was not part of Laird’s personnel file. The Court of Appeal’s decision is a serious setback to the privacy interests of peace officers across the state. Under the ruling, potentially all dash camera and body camera footage could be subject to public release.
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal under the Constitution of India, the highest constitutional court, with the power of constitutional review. Consisting of the Chief Justice of India and 30 other judges, it has extensive powers in the form of original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions. It safeguards fundamental rights of citizens and settles disputes between various governments in the country. As an advisory court, it hears matters which may specifically be referred to it under the Constitution by the President of India. It also may take cognisance of matters on its own (or ‘suo moto’), without anyone drawing its attention to them. The law declared by the Supreme Court becomes binding on all courts within India. The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. 2. that, in the opinion of the High Court, the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court. 3. certified that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court. Parliament is authorised to confer on the Supreme Court any further powers to entertain and hear appeals from any judgement, final order or sentence in a criminal proceeding of a High Court.
Over the last 200 years, the Supreme Court has made decisions that ended segregation, secured women’s rights and protected civil liberties that we cherish still today. Marbury v. Madison is one of the most well-known and studied Supreme Court cases in American history. This Court decision established judicial review, which allows the judicial branch to review and nullify the actions of the legislative and executive branches, therefore, exercising the separation of powers among the three branches of government. Marbury v. Madison challenged this idea, when President John Adams federally appointed William Marbury as the Justice of Peace at the end of his presidential term, but his Secretary of State failed to deliver the documents. When Thomas Jefferson became president, he told his Secretary of State, James Madison, not to deliver Marbury’s commission because he didn’t want members of the opposing political party to take office. Marbury sued Madison and the case went to the Supreme Court, in which Chief Justice John Marshall made the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional, because it gave the Supreme Court authority that was denied within the Constitution. This was the first time the Supreme Court struck down a law because it was deemed unconstitutional.
McCulloch v. Maryland established that sovereignty remains in the United States and not within the individual states. Roe v. Wade was the landmark Supreme Court case that discussed the issue of abortion. Brown v. Board of Education was a monumental case for the civil rights movement and attaining racial equality. During the 1950s, a large amount of schools were segregated by race. This was the case in Topeka, Kansas, where Linda Brown, her sister and other black students were denied access to nearby segregated white schools. The Topeka NAACP filed a case on the behalf of a group of 13 parents and 20 children who believed their Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated by the segregated school system. This class action suit was named after one of the plaintiffs, Oliver Brown. The case was taken to the Federal district court, but segregation was upheld because the court claimed all white and non-white students had similar buildings, transportation, curricula and accessibility. The case reached the Supreme Court and the Browns insisted that segregated school will never be equal. The Court decided that school segregation was unconstitutional because it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The right to have an attorney appointed to you, in the event that you cannot afford one, was not always a constitutional right. In the Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, a Florida man, Clarence Earl Gideon, was arrested after being spotted near a burglary scene and was unable to afford a lawyer to represent him in court. When he asked a Florida Circuit Court judge to appoint a lawyer for him, he was denied and forced to represent himself. Gideon did not defend himself in court, was found guilty and sentenced to a Florida state prison. Gideon pleaded for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case, which it agreed to and unanimously agreed that Gideon’s rights were violated because the Sixth Amendment required state courts to appoint lawyers for defendants who cannot afford counsel. You may know or have heard the following sentences: “You have the right to remain silent.