December 13, 2008
Can't a Fellow Get a Smoke AND a Drink Anymore?
Yes he can, according to an interesting case from Arizona (nod to Ted Lee!). "We hold that a business which satisfies the definition of a 'retail tobacco store' under 36061.01(A)(10) qualifies or the statutory retail tobacco store exception to the smoking ban, even if the store also holds a liquor license and sells alcohol on its premises." So held the court, in a unanimous but 2/1 concurring case, in Prince & Princess Enterp. LLC v. State of Arizona, __ P.2d __ (Ct. App Ariz. Sept. 30, 2008). The concurrence, interestingly enough, wondered if "bars" were meant to be defined as "retail stores" and so analyzed that additional issue. It's a fun case pondering the various definitions. Ultimately, if you're stupid enough to smoke, you can do so and drink at the same time in Arizona! But, if you smoke, give up for New Years!
December 11, 2008
House Deputy Legislative Counsel Drafts Primer for Judges
M. Douglass Bellis, Statutory Structure and Legislative Drafting Conventions: A Primer for Judges, by the Deputy Legislative Counsel for the United States House of Representatives, is available here. In addition to providing interesting background on what is the official text, it provides some interpretative information. It's pretty basic, but given its audience, probably something of interest to all y'all (the plural of "y'all").
December 9, 2008
Scotland's Rape Statutes: Worst in the World?
There's a fascinating article here about efforts to reform Scotland's rape laws, which (for evidentiary reasons) require corroboration, a requirement that causes about 1/3 of the filed cases to be dismissed, and no doubt many to never be filed. Efforts to reform the statutes are discussed.
Supreme Court Clerks' Politics Affect Outcome. The study is here.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Fined for Illegal Contribution. The article is here. I remember when I first got to Texas and learned they elected their judges, including allowing contributions from lawyers who appeared before them. I thought, "what the...". I still think that.
December 7, 2008
Split Circuits... and so Nationwide Injunction Improper?
Now here's a cool one: messy interpretations of a regulation about allowing wheelchair access to stadium style theaters. Fifth Circuit goes one way; ninth goes another, but district court in the 9th enters a nationwide injunction requiring a theater owner to comply with its interpretation. One judge dissents from the interpretation, but two judges reverse the district court for failing to grant inter-circuit comity to the more lenient Fifth Circuit interpretation. Interesting case, US v. AMC Entertainment, __ F.3d __ (9th Cir. Dec. 5, 2008). I'd never thought about the issues that a nationwide injunction could result in when you have different interpretations. I bet that issue has been overlooked, too, in litigation!