Law blog roundup

scalesofjusticeimageWelcome to Monday, the 92nd anniversary of the first radio broadcast of a baseball game. Here are some news items to get the week started.

– Turkish court sets the price for a failed coup attempt.

– Online gun sales might provide a show-like loophole.

– Buying someone a drink has landed one Texas man in big trouble.

– Court-martial of accused Fort Hood shooter begins Tuesday — nearly four years after deadly rampage.



Law blog roundup

Dzhokar TsarnaevWelcome to Monday, and the 110th anniversary of the first game played by the New York Highlanders (later, and better known, as the Yankees). Here are some news items to get your week started.

– Where should Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be tried?

– Should Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy apologize to gun makers?

– Does a car passenger have the right to leave the vehicle after the driver’s arrest for alleged drunk driving?

– Justice might be delayed but not denied in Brazil.

Law blog roundup

Welcome to the first Monday in a month of madness. Here are some news items to get your week started.

– Wrongful foreclosures on military members exceed estimates.

– Do the opponents of Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California, have standing?

– Red-light camera company faces storm of corruption allegations in the Windy City.

– Michelob maker mounts media campaign amid lawsuits alleging the company waters down its beer.

Law blog roundup

Ray LewisWelcome to the morning after. I hope you enjoyed the game.

Here are some news items to assist in the recovery.

– Supreme Court justice and best-selling author Sonia Sotomayor’s book tour hits New York.

– The California city of Bell encounters legal hell.

– Civil rights attorneys challenge police surveillance of Muslim communities.

– Man’s murder had malty motive.


Legal pitfalls at holiday parties

office holiday partyThe Daily Record had its holiday party over the weekend, and yours might be just around the corner. But before you raise your glass in celebration of the season, I thought I’d pass along some thoughts on legal issues relating to work party soirees.

Getting toasted

What if you’ve had one too many drinks and need a lift home? Does your employer have to pay for your transportation? Your employer only has to keep you safe when you are on the clock, so if the party is not during company time the employer is most likely not responsible for providing a ride.

“Driving home is not normally considered part of the work day unless the employee is paid for that time,” notes John P. Hancock, Jr., a lawyer with Butzel Long in Detroit.

Dancing the Night Away

If you feel like cutting a rug after one too many eggnogs and then hurt yourself — or someone else — on the dance floor, does workers’ compensation apply?

Hancock said it depends on where the party takes place.

“If the company has the party at a restaurant or other public place and there is a cash bar rather than an open bar, the injuries resulting from intoxication may not be covered by workers’ comp,” he says.

“Each state is different, but if it is a party run and supplied by the employer and especially if it is on the company premises, it is likely any injuries at the party will be covered by workers’ comp,” Hancock added.

Ways to Recover

If you get hurt by a drunk coworker, there are a couple of legal recourses.

“The injured employee or bystander could always go after premises liability,” Hancock said. This means he could sue the owner of the property where the injury occurred. And you can sue for negligence.

Careful what you say….

Finally, make sure that you watch what you say, even though you are not in the office. Teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t extremly offensive likely won’t rise to the level of sexual harassment, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted),” the agency has said.

Law blog roundup

david petraeusWelcome to Monday and a week that features Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to family, food and football.

Speaking of which, the Dallas Cowboys will play Washington’s football team on Thursday, which reminds me of a similar game in 1974. Two words: Clint Longley.

But I digress. Here are some news items to get your week started.

– A desperate housewife loses her appeal.

– A retired general hires an attorney.

– A California slaughterhouse agrees to a $300,000-plus settlement.

– A former Chicago detective gets an eight-year prison sentence for two drunken-driving deaths.

Lawyer puts a cork in legal career

A Washington, D.C, lawyer has chosen vino over verdicts.

The Washington Post reports Elizabeth Banker, part-owner of law firm ZwillGen PLLC in the District, has decided to quit the law and go into the wine business. Banker is opening a wine bar on Wisconsin Avenue in mid-August.

Banker has put about $600,000 into Slate Wine Bar, $450,000 of which was her own. Much of the rest of the money came from other lawyers.

The restaurant will serve some food but will concentrate on wine, a menu Banker prepared for by traveling to wineries around the world for two years.

University of Georgia student newspaper editor drinks, gets sacked

I’ll be speaking with some college journalists at my alma mater tonight and next week about social media, but I’m also going to offer this pearl of wisdom: Don’t drink – even a sip – if you’re scheduled to see the university president and governor at a football game.

Just ask Daniel Burnett, editor-in-chief of the University of Georgia’s student newspaper. He was asked to leave the president’s box during Saturday night’s game against Georgia Tech and resigned Monday from his post at The Red And Black.

An assistant to Georgia’s president said Burnett’s behavior was “disruptive enough to the point” he was escorted out. Guests in the box included the governor and governor-elect of Georgia.

Burnett, 22, said he had been drinking at a tailgate prior to entering the president’s box. He said he did not think he was being disruptive but university officials also had the right to remove him.

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Cops rolling in (cookie) dough

The stereotypical sweet for cops is a doughnut, but that has changed in Maryland – at least until the New Year.

My colleague, Liz Farmer, passed along a press release from the state’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter announcing its fourth annual “Cookies for Cops” campaign. From now through Dec. 31, thousands of cookies will be delivered to law enforcement agencies throughout the state, a sugary way of thanking officers for their work.

There were 152 drunk-driving fatalities in Maryland last year, down from 178 in 2007, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

You can visit MADD’s Web site if you’re interested in contributing to the cause. (And if you need people to test the cookies you bake, feel free to send them to our office.)

Law blog round-up

Happy Monday!