AM Roundup: Law Blog rounds up the morning’s news.
Maricopa County (Phoenix) Sheriff and longtime Overlawyered mentionee Joe Arpaio did not keep close track of the military-grade gear the Pentagon gave him — in fact, his office seems to have lost some of it — and now the feds are lowering the boom: “Because of the agency’s continued failure to locate nine missing weapons issued by the Pentagon’s 1033 program, the Sheriff’s Office was terminated from the military-
” … we believe the question is not if we can crack the aging code, but when will it happen.” Keith Powers, director of Palo Alto Longevity Prize told that to Sarah Buhr at Tech Crunch (TC). Here is the TC article “The $1 Million Race For The Cure To End Aging.”
Scientists are confident that at the max, in 100 years, aging will be eliminated. But they don’t stop there. As Buhr reports, they also predict that humans can determine the age at which they want to live their lives. There’s more. Those lives might not end. There might not be any such thng as death any more.
Yes, a Taylor Swift could decide to freeze herself at age 29. By then, she might figure, she would have a sense of self, along with looks that were still intact. Since there would no longer be death, she would stay just that way forever.
This would be bad news for lawyers specializiing in age discrimination lawsuits. The good news is that the end of death could open up new niches in litigation. Lawyers could become advocates for those who have determined they want to die.
n the Journal of Legal Education, soon enough those in the loop at law schools will read the article Brian Clarke. Here you can take a look. Jacob Gershman calls our attention to it in The Wall Street Journal. Here you can read Gershman’s analysis (sub. req.)
Clarke is an associate professor of law at the Charlotte School of Law. Himself a victim of severe clinical depression, he recommends that law students be fully informed about their vulnerability to mental illness while practicing law. Clarke cites the triggers, ranging from the adversarial nature of law to the pressure of racking up enough billable hours.
It can be useful to make explicit to students how the realities of practicing law can become the platform for mental illness. They could be unaware of the correlation. Also they could be in denial that they could be among those who wind up suffering with depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation.
But, I have a hunch it would be unwise to encourage the legal community, especially law students who need to find work, to come out of the closet about mental illness. Like so many aspects of the self we still find necessary to keep hidden, a struggle with mental illness should probably be best kept under wraps. That’s a private matter between the medical doctor and the patient.
For one thing, a state bar association could balk at a diagnosis of bipolar. Maybe the law student who passes the bar can get by with a treatment for clinical depression on the record. But, as Tufts psychiatrist Nassir Ghaemi points out in his book “A First-Rate Madness,” society might give clinical depression a free pass. However, it’s a whole other matter with bipolar disease.
Secondly, what law firm, what prospect for services and what current client would choose to work with a professional known to have had a bout of mental illness? Like alcoholism, mental illness doesn’t get cured. It only can be arrested. Relapse is possible. Also those with it may have more than the average problems with staying centered amidt stress.
And, third, professionals have a right to their secrets. Those who surrender that right can do so. The rest probably figure it’s smart to keep all illnesses in the closet. Sure, heads of public corporations have to disclose maladies. Most other professionals don’t even have to go near that whole can of worms.
Law students should be aware of how stress can develop into mental illness. They should be encouraged to seek out help, on a confidential basis. The data about their treatment usually does not need to be widely shared.
Clarke chooses to be open. Since I am self-employed and in a creative field (Kay Jamison says we’re sitting ducks for mental illness) I too can be open. Essentially, though, that should be the road less traveled.
Falling asleep on the job is never a good thing. But if this is your “job”, you are really in the soup. As reported by The Herald-Tribune:
A man burglarizing a Nokomis home passed out on the bed beside a bag of stolen jewelry and didn’t notice deputies taking his picture, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, a cleaning lady discovered Dion Davis, 29, inside her client’s home in the 500 block of Albee Road on Monday, sleeping on a bed with a bag full of stolen jewelry. Deputies arrived and photographed Davis, who did not notice.
At least he has one thing going for him – he’s a sound sleeper.
Davis, of Nokomis, was arrested, charged with burglary and booked into jail on $10,000 bail.
You’ll find the source, and the photo of the sleeping Davis, here.
An outcry has lately arisen over consumer contracts that purport to ban disparagement of the company that proffered the contract or its products, especially since a few such companies, seeking to silence customers vocally dissatisfied with products or services, have proceeded to sue them, threaten them with suit, or report them as credit risks. Although it is doubtful that existing law in fact permits practices of this sort, California proceeded to pass a new law protecting consumers from retaliation by companies they criticize — a law that appears to go much farther than just banning the practices that stirred the furor. [Volokh]
Read more here: http://overlawyered.com/2014/09/california-just-make-illegal-businesses-stop-dealing-customers-insult/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=california-just-make-illegal-businesses-stop-dealing-customers-insult
- “When I asked them why they decided to sell their [toy import] business, they said that they got out because of Proposition 65 and the CPSIA.” [Nancy Nord]
- State tax regimes are getting more aggressive about grabbing money earned in other states [Steve Malanga, City Journal]
- “Still can’t get over the fact that all [development] permits are discretionary in San Francisco” [@TonyBiasotti linking Mark Hogan, Boom]
- How would American politics change if political parties could expel members, as in many countries they can? [Bryan Caplan]
- Defenders of Wisconsin John Doe prosecutor push back against Stuart Taylor investigation [Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via Althouse, more, related on "blue fist" posters and John Doe investigator, earlier]
- “In Britain, Child’s Weight Leads to Parents’ Arrest” [New York Times in June, King's Lynn 11-year-old; also, Cadbury agrees to "stop making chocolate bars in Britain with more than 250 calories"]
- Should there be judicial remedies — what kind, and for which plaintiffs — when federal spending is politicized? [Daniel Epstein, Federalist Society "Engage"]
“Six justices defend rule banning partisan judicial endorsements”: The Helena Independent Record has a news update that begins, “Six of the seven Montana Supreme Court justices have filed a friends-of-the-court brief asking a federal judge to uphold a 2008 state judicial rule that prohibits judicial candidates from seeking or accepting partisan endorsements.”
I have posted online at this link a copy of the amicus brief.
In somewhat related coverage, earlier this month The Virgin Islands Daily News published an article headlined “Federal court chides V.I. Supreme Court for filing amicus regarding its autonomy from federal court” reporting on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued late last month.
Read more here: http://howappealing.law.com/091514.html#057730
Because most folks in a dispute don’t really understand what mediation is, its brand equity tends to be lousy. The two or more sides feel safer each getting their own lawyers and adopting the traditional adversarial approach.
That could change quickly. U.S. Representative Mark Sanford and his former wife Jenny Sanford have opted to use it in Family Court. Here is the coverage by AP which has been picked up by Politico.
Parents in similar pickles about child custody issues might decide: If the warring Sanfords can cave to mediation, why not try it? After all the conventional way is expensive. Also, with cutbacks for court budgets, it might take a while to get on the docket for a traditional court case.
“Stay extended on Indiana same-sex marriage case pending Supreme Court decision”: The Indianapolis Star has this news update.
And The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a news update headlined “Court puts Indiana gay marriages on hold until U.S. Supreme Court acts.”
Read more here: http://howappealing.law.com/091514.html#057725