Category Archives: Law: Everything Else


Warning: This Cereal May Be Hazardous to Your Rights

Warning: This Cereal May Be Hazardous to Your Rights

Really? Firms are going to try to expand browsewrap (or web-wrap) to liking them on Facebook? To opening a cereal box? So claims the NYT in When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue.

From the company’s viewpoint it’s a logical attempt to force consumers into arbitration so that buyers’ rights are more limited than in courts. This would allow the firms to flee liability — especially class action risk — no matter how deadly their products might be.

For courts, I hope very much this rights grab will be held to be unconscionable. Prospects in the 7th circuit must, however, been seen as poor given its approval of shrinkwrap terms for both licenses and sales in ProCD v. Zeidenberg (per Easterbrook). And of course the Supreme Court has been on a pro-arbitration tear for over a decade. This, though, should be a crunch too far.

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UMiami Law Students Doing Good

The Tampa Bay Times has a story about an “alternative spring break program” in which a group of UMiami Law students work in a mobile clinic to help undocumented long-time US residents get deferments from deportation. The story leads with my former Torts student and later research assistant:

Paulina Valanty arrived at the clinic for undocumented immigrants at St. Clement Catholic Church with more than a passing interest.

Valanty, 23, a law student at the University of Miami, used to live in the shadows, worrying about being deported.

“I was undocumented until I was 20. I was very afraid,” she said. “Any time I applied for anything and saw that little box that says ‘Social Security number,’ I was afraid. It was nerve-racking just looking at it.”

Valanty, who today is a citizen, regularly attends clinics like the one held at St. Clement on Tuesday to help young undocumented immigrants seek a change in their status.

Under a modification in federal laws last summer, undocumented immigrants who arrived here as children, brought by their parents, can apply for a deferment to avoid deportation.

Posted in Law: Everything Else, U.Miami | 15 Comments

What the Government is Doing for Us Today

Ban on loud TV commercials takes effect today. A rule that only the hardest-core libertarian or a heartless marketer could hate.

Does this mean that America’s naps in front of the TV will be longer now?

(via Slashdot)

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Chisom v. Jindal Update

Louisiana Governor Jindal will ask the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the decision in Chisom v. Jindal that I wrote about last week.

His office says his concern is purely jurisdictional, and has nothing to do with blocking the ascension of the first black Chief Justice in Louisiana. I suppose it might even be true; if one characterizes the issue as an interpretation of the state Constitution, it would be strange to have a federal court get the final say. But if one characterizes it as an interpretation of the federal consent decree, it doesn’t seem strange at all.

Posted in Law: Everything Else | 3 Comments

A Strange and Sad Dispute

Chisom v. Jindal is odd and sad. A federal district judge is required to adjudicate a dispute between Justices of the Supreme Court of Louisiana as to who has the most seniority. The most senior will become the next Chief Justice of that court.

At issue is the time-in-grade of Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson who, if all her years of service to the Louisiana Supreme Court are counted, will soon become Louisiana’s first black Chief Justice. Her first six years of service on the court were in a special seat created pursuant to a federal consent decree designed to remedy longstanding Louisiana racial gerrymandering of judicial electoral districts that had prevented black majority districts from electing a Justice of their choice.

The sad part comes not only from a state Supreme Court’s members being unable to settle this among themselves but from the fact that this dispute happened at all. At least from reading Judge Susie Morgan’s opinion in Chisom v. Jindal, this doesn’t even seem like a close case: the consent decree said that the new, temporary, seat that Justice Johnson occupied was to be “equal” to all the others and that she would “receive the same compensation, benefits, expenses, andemoluments of office as are now or as may hereafter beprovided by law for justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court.” Thus her seniority began there, and not when (after redistricting) Justice Johnson won further terms.

I don’t know what it means when state Supreme Court Justices are suing each, or choking each other (details here; further proceedings here), but it can’t be good.

Spotted via WSJ Law Blog.

Posted in Law: Everything Else | 6 Comments

A Very Cute Respose to Employer Demands for Facebook Passwords

I hereby (fictionally) resign is a great, if alas so far fictional, account of blowback from an employer’s demand for Facebook passwords.

Spotted via Emergent Chaos, Chaos Emerges from Demanding Facebook Passwords.

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Judge Adalberto Jordan, UM JD ’87, Confirmed to 11th Circuit

That the Senate has bestirred itself from its gridlock and lethargy long enough to confirm Judge Jordan is really great news. Judge Jordan was not only an uncontroversial pick, he is an excellent pick and a great judge. It is not inconceivable he will be on lists of potential Supreme Court Justices some day.

U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jose Jordan, a Miami Law graduate, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to serve on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Judge Jordan graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1987, has been an adjunct professor since 1990, and is a member of the school’s visiting committee.

Nominated by President Barack Obama on Aug. 2, 2011, Judge Jordan is the first Cuban-American to sit on the 11th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. The Senate vote was 94-5 in Jordan’s favor.

"Judge Adalberto José Jordan will bring an unwavering commitment to fairness and judicial integrity to the federal bench," President Obama said when he announced the nomination. "His impressive legal career is a testament to the kind of thoughtful and diligent judge he will be on the Eleventh Circuit. I am honored to nominate him today."

Miami Dean Patricia D. White called Judge Jordan’s elevation to the appeals bench "a magnificent appointment," and said the University of Miami "could not be prouder to have Judge Jordan as its alumnus and regular member of the adjunct faculty."

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who graduated from Miami Law in 1996, told the Daily Business Review in an article published Wednesday that Judge Jordan "has an extraordinary reputation in our community" and that he is "highly regarded for his intellect."

Judge Jordan has been a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida since 1999. He received the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association and has a stellar judicial record. Prior to that, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was Chief of the Appellate Division and Counsel on Legal Policy from 1998-1999. In the late 1980s, after obtaining his law degree, he was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Before that, he had graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with a B.A. in Politics and Public Affairs.

Miami Law Professor Mary Coombs had Judge Jordan as a student in her first class at the school. He later served as her summer intern. "I haven’t found any better since," she said. "I am absolutely fantastically delighted. He is the combination of brilliance and decency and kindness. He is just extraordinary."

Judge Jordan will be the commencement speaker for Miami Law at its graduation ceremonies on May 12.

University of Miami | School of Law – Judge Adalberto Jordan, JD '87, Confirmed To Appeals Court.

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