Monthly Archives: August 2007

Not Dead Yet

The Volokh Conspiracy links to this opinion by Judge Boyce Martin of the Sixth Circuit, where she declares:

Because collateral estoppel precludes future litigation of one specific issue, and because that is what the state effectively asks us to find, we construe their argument as one for collateral estoppel rather than res judicata, despite the substitution of one term for the other in the state’s brief.

Noting in a footnote: “Because Latin is a dead language anyway.”

But wait! Judge Alice Batchelder rides to the rescue! In her concurring opinion, she writes:

I concur in Judge Martin’s opinion.
I write separately only to express my suspicion that, like the reports of Mark Twain’s death, see The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (Third Edition, 2002), the report of the death of Latin in the majority opinion’s footnote 5 is greatly exaggerated.

Hooray for Judge Batchelder! Lingua latina per aeternam!

add to del.icio.us Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank

17 Comments

Filed under Appellate Law, Culture, Humor, Languages

Haditha Update: LtCol Jeffrey Chessani Additional Charges

After having his Article 32 investigation reopened, two additional charges for dereliction of dutyhttp://www.expose-the-war-profiteers.org/DOD/iraq_II/haditha_files/Jeffrey_Chessani.jpg have been add against Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani. LtCol Chessani was the battalion commander of the Marines involved in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in Hadita, Iraq.

The Investigating Officer, Col Conlin, in LtCol Chessani’s case had originally recommended three charges for violations of Article 92 of the UCMJ, for dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Chessani (right) with his lawyers

These additional charges are only recommendations at this point, the decision to send these charges to a court-martial rests with the Convening Authority, Lieutenant General J. N. Mattis, USMC.

According to his attorney, former Marine Judge Advocate Brian Rooney of the Thomas More Law Center, LtCol Chessani plans to sue Congressman John Murtha. See HotAir.

yojoe out

For more information: Haditha Investigations

1 Comment

Filed under Haditha, Law, Military Law

A Toxic Shroud: "China is choking on its own success” and endangering neighbors and American cities

 

Joseph Kahn and Jim Yardley of the New York Times, on August 26th, produced an excellent story on China’s industrial success/toxic pollution nexus. The situation is dire, and China’s difficulties overcoming the Victorian England-like pollution troubles in order to host an Olympics palpable to the rest of the world are well known, and have been covered recently in similar excellent coverage in the Wall Street Journal. Here’s a brief section of the NYT report:

…it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut.

Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.

Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud. Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union. Beijing is frantically searching for a magic formula, a meteorological deus ex machina, to clear its skies for the 2008 Olympics.

Environmental woes that might be considered catastrophic in some countries can seem commonplace in China: industrial cities where people rarely see the sun; children killed or sickened by lead poisoning or other types of local pollution; a coastline so swamped by algal red tides that large sections of the ocean no longer sustain marine life.

China is choking on its own success

And this is not merely a problem for the Chinese. Acid rain containing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from Chinese coal-fired power plants falls on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo. The Journal of Geophysical Research reports that much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China.

The World Health Organization and World Bank independently found that total deaths in China due to pollution have reached 750,000 a year. Chinese experts interviewed claimed that the Western estimates “probably understate the problems.” The World Bank told the NYT that China’s environmental agency asked them to remove this number from the Spring 2007 final report, claiming the numbers could detrimentally impact “social stability.”

The question, of course, is who has the credibility and sway to either guide China toward responsible environmental policies, or model a path forward by example.

Lime

add to del.icio.us Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Environment, International, Science

AltLaw Beta: Free Boolean-searches of SCOTUS/Federal Courts of Appeal Decisions

AltLaw

AltLaw, the newest and one of the more promising internet legal resources to hit the scene, is now up and running and available for free public advanced searches of case law.

It’s a sort of Google for Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal decisions, and clearly holds promise to democratize the availability of relevant and useful case law in the States. LEXIS and Westlaw, of course, have long monopolized the availability of such information in any searchable or useful form, and have charged a pretty penny to those that want to easily search case or other resources (via “Natural Language” or the far more powerful, but underused, advanced/Boolean search engines). AltLaw now makes Boolean searching entirely free.

The catch: at startup, AltLaw’s coverage of SCOTUS case law extends fully only back to May 1991, and the Federal Courts of Appeals in a more irregular spread–the 7th Circuit back only to October 1999, and at best, the 1st Circuit back to 1992. Complete details about AltLaw’s initial coverage are posted HERE.

AltLaw is a joint project of Columbia Law School and the University of Colorado Law School. The site touts, amazingly, advanced searching options akin to LEXIS and Westlaw, including proximity searching, Boolean searches, concentration searches, wildcard searches (my fave), among others. The site also intimates that West Reporter Citations will be added.

Yet another step in making U.S. case law readily available to the citizenry, along the lines of what Cornell’s indispensible Legal Information Institute has done, for example, in making the U.S. Code and Code of Federal Regulations, among LII’s many other items, very quickly searchible and accessible for free.

Thanks to fellow appellate litigator Greg May at The California Blog of Appeal, and Harvard’s Info/Law for the story.

Lime

add to del.icio.us Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank

Leave a comment

Filed under Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Education, International, Law, Supreme Court, Tech

Greetings from Mirkwood

Giant Spider Web

Don’t leave the path!!!

(Explanation of this photo here).

add to del.icio.us Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor, Science

Abu Ghraib Court-Martial: LTCOL Jordan Guilty and Not Guilty

On 28AUG07, a court-martial found Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, USA, not guilty of charges that he was responsible for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail. LTCOL Jordan was found guilty of disobeying an order, UCMJ Article 92, not to talk about the investigation. This order was given by his commanding general.

LTCOL Jordan was acquitted of cruelty and maltreatment (subjecting detainees to forced nudity and intimidation by dogs); dereliction of duty by failing to properly train subordinates; and failure to obey a lawful general order by allowing the use of dogs during interrogations without the approval of higher authorities.Colonel Thomas Pappas, LTCOL Jordan’s superior officer, received areprimand and a fine of several thousand dollars for approving the useof dogs during interrogations.

LTCOL Jordan faces a maximum of 5 years confinement, total forfeitures, dismissal, and a dishonorable discharge. Sentencing should begin tomorrow.

yojoe out

1 Comment

Filed under Military Law

Haditha Update: Article 32 Investigation for Sgt Frank Wuterich

Marine Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich has maintained his innocence.

The Article 32 investigation for Sgt Frank Wuterich, USMC, is set to begin on 30AUG07 aboard Camp Pendleton. LtCol Ware will be the investigating officer. LtCol Ware was the investigating officer for LCpl Stephen B. Tatum and and LCpl Justin L. Sharratt, in both cases he recommended no charges.

Sgt Wuterich’s lawyer, Neal Puckett, a retired Marine Corps lawyer, said Sgt Wuterich “has nothing to hide. We have faith that the military justice system will support split-second decisions made during combat.”Given that the momentum has turned against the government it is likely that LtCol Ware will not recommend charges in this case.

Additionally, in his previous report LtCol Ware cited a number of evidentiary problems with the government’s case that will exist in Sgt Wuterich’s case also. These include inaccurate translations of witness statements, inability of the government produce Iraqi witnesses who would be required at a court-martial, inability to conduct an autopsy on the bodies, and unlawful command influence relating to the statements by the Honorable John Murtha.

yojoe out

Leave a comment

Filed under Haditha, Iraq, Law, Military Justice, Military Law