All Creatures Great & Small – Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks April 18, 2014

State v. DeMarco, Connecticut Supreme Court (4/22/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Upon following up on complaints from Defendant’s neighbor relating to Defendant’s keeping of animals in his residence, a police officer concluded that a “welfare check” was necessary and made a warrantless entry into Defendant’s home. Defendant subsequently entered a plea of nolo contendere to two counts of

Jackpot!! Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – April 4, 2014

McCutcheon v. Fed. Election Comm’n, United States Supreme Court (4/2/14) Civil Rights, Communications Law, Constitutional Law, Election Law The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, impose base limits, restricting how much money a donor may contribute to a particular candidate or committee, and aggregate limits, restricting how much money a donor may

Tommy Flanagan for the Defense, Your Honor – Justia’s Weekly Writers’ Picks 3/28/14

United States v. Bergman, US 10th Cir. (3/28/14) Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Defendant-appellant Gwen Bergman was arrested when the hit-man she thought she hired to kill her husband was in fact an undercover police officer. After trial, it emerged that defendant’s lawyer was not a lawyer-in-fact, but a con man. Defendant applied for habeas relief on the ground that she

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – March 21, 2014

Bray v. Planned Parenthood Columbia-Willamette, Inc., US 6th Cir. (3/21/14) Civil Procedure, Communications Law, Constitutional Law Bray is an antiabortion activist and wrote a book, A Time to Kill. In 1985, Bray was convicted for a felony relating to physical damage to abortion centers. He spent four years in prison. Planned Parenthood (PPCW) was a plaintiff in a 1995 suit

Rails-to-No-Trails – Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – March 14, 2014

Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, United States Supreme Court (3/10/14) Real Estate & Property Law, Transportation Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use The General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 provides railroad companies “right[s] of way through the public lands of the United States,” 43 U.S.C. 934. One such right of way, created in 1908, crosses land that

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – Jordan Rebounds for the Remand

Jordan v. Jewel Food, US 7th Cir. (2/19/14) Communications Law, Constitutional Law, Entertainment & Sports Law When basketball legend Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, Sports Illustrated produced a special commemorative issue devoted exclusively to Jordan’s remarkable career. Jewel Foods was offered free advertising space in the issue for agreeing to stock

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – February 7, 2014

T.S. v. Doe, US 6th Cir. (2/5/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law Responding to a report of underage drinking in a home, officers found a group celebrating eighth grade graduation. Police asked the teens to step outside individually for breathalyzer testing. Seven tested positive for alcohol. Police arrested them and notified their parents. In the morning, a

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – January 31, 2014

Burrage v. United States, US Supreme Court (1/27/14) Criminal Law Long-time drug user Banka died after a binge that included use of heroin purchased from Burrage. Burrage pleaded not guilty to charges that he had unlawfully distributed heroin and that “death … resulted from the use of th[at] substance,” which carries a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence under the Controlled Substances

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – January 24, 2014

Kosilek v. Spencer, US 1st Cir. (1/17/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Sixty-four-year-old Plaintiff was born anatomically male but suffered from severe gender identity disorder. In 1992, Plaintiff was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2000, Plaintiff filed a complaint against the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC), alleging that the DOC was denying her adequate medical

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – January 17, 2014

Verizon v. FCC, et al, US DC Cir. (1/14/14) Communications Law, Internet Law Verizon challenged the FCC’s Open Internet Order, which imposed disclosure, anti-blocking, and anti-discrimination requirements on broadband providers. The court concluded that the Commission has established that section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 1302(a), (b), vests it with affirmative authority to enact measures encouraging