Random thoughts through March 23: Part I/III- The Law World

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Mar 23, 2014 Random thoughts through March 23: Part I/III- The Law World

On Sundays, I sometimes veer well beyond the law in my blog entries, including the following post that collects my last week’s thoughts on the law, government, and beyond from my Twitter postings at and elsewhere.


– SCOTUS pans jury instruction for handgun use during a drug crime for not requiring knowing cohorts would be armed. Rosemond v. U.S., ___ U.S. ___ (March 5, 2014).

– Va. S. Ct. says cops need not tell DWI arrestees the risk of loss of license, to convict for unreasonable refusal. D’Amico v. Va., ___ Va. ___ (Feb. 27, 2014).

–  SCOTUS : Granting a highway easement does not dilute military’s ability to bar people from a protest area there. U.S. v. Apel, ___ U.S. ___ (Feb. 26, 2014).

– SCOTUS: Absent arrested resident’s objection to warrantless search is trumped by consent of the remaining resident. Fernandez v. Ca., ___ U.S. ___ (Feb. 25, 2014).

– Unanimous SCOTUS rules a fed. trial ct. lacked personal jurisdiction over cop over alleged false affidavit. Walden v. Fiore, __ U.S. ___ (Feb. 25, 2014).

In Virginia, one risks a DWI conviction for unconsciously moving from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s side w/ engine on. Case v. Va., ___ Va. App. __ (Feb. 11, 2014).

– Va. Ct. App. confirms an involuntary manslaughter conviction is available for a driver knowing s/he is too tired. Cheung v. Va., ___ Va. App. ___ (Feb.11, 2014). Silence is golden with the cops

– A day before Valentine’s Day, a federal judge ruled against Va.’s ban on same-sex marriages. Here is the opinion. http://www.Bostic v. Rainey, ___ F.3d ___ (Feb. 13, 2014).

– 4th Cir. says an interstate pimping-of-a-minor conviction does not require knowing the minor was a minor. Not minor. U.S. v. Washington, ___ F.3d ___ (4th Cir., Feb.28, 2014).

– 4th Cir: A state may not issue Choose Life specialty license plates without the choice of Pro Choice plates. ACLU, et al.

–  Md. Ct. Spec. App.: A “cellphone may be seized and searched (examined) as a valid search incident to lawful arrest.” Williams v. Md., ___ Md. App. ___ (Feb. 26, 2014).

–  Md.  Ct. Spec. App. rejects convicted defedant’s argument against testimony about a rifle’s firing pattern and bullet’s trajectory. Prince v. Md. __ Md. App. (Feb 26, 2014). http://www.

– D.C. Cir. affirms against complaints about speedy sentencing and considering acquitted conduct for sentencing. Jones v. U.S., ___ F.3d ___ (D.C. Cir. March 14, 2014).

–  D.C. Court App. requires vacating either defendant’s assault or his related attempted sexual abuse conviction. Hailstock v. U.S., ___ A.3d ___ (D.C. March 6, 2013).

CA medical marijuana dispensary manager on his recent federal two year prison sentence for doing such work

– Justice Scalia has it right that legislative history is a swamp, and statutory text is terra firma. Lawson, et  al. v. FMR LLC, et al., ___ U.S. ___ (March 4, 2014) (Scalia, concurring)

Link to field sobriety test training manuals. The 2013 manual.

– Secular Alcoholics Anomymous-type groups include Life Ring, AA Agnostics and SOS. Here is a New York Times article on the topic.

– The Lynchburg, Virginia, prosecutor’s office’s links to commonly used Virginia criminal pattern jury instructions. Watch for alterations.

– Here is an Apple app for the federal court procedural rules.

Blog postings through 2012 of Montgomery County, Maryland, prosecutor Rosalyn Tang.

– Sister Megan Rice at sentencing on her conviction arising from breaking into a nuclear site: “To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honor for me. I met Sister Megan in 2000, and spoke with her last year. Those are hardcore words from a woman who speaks so gently, yet with so much devotion.

Bob Ambrogi lists several blogs by current and former judges.

– Before taking colorful cases, Phil Hirschkop — who came to national attention for his co-arguing against Virginia’s criminal law against interracial marriage — wanted to be a patent lawyer. I won’t represent libel plaintiffs.

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