Category Archives: Law

The Court of Appeals believes the victim (even when the jury doesn’t)

Comes now New York’s highest court with the holding that an accuser’s trial testimony constitutes clear and convincing evidence of the truth of her accusations, even though the jury found her not credible and acquitted the defendant of those charges.  In … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons, SORA | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Relax, baby, I’m gay.

The Second Circuit has just held that it was wrong to fire a skydiving instructor for telling a customer he was gay.  Under Title VII of the federal law, a person can’t be “discharged because of a homophobic customer.”  Zarda v. … Continue reading

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Appellate Squawk’s Radiant Institute of Continuing Legal Education

Addition and Subtraction for Attorneys  Explore the mysteries of arithmetic in this empowering seminar guaranteed to improve your ability to calculate everything from billable hours to SORA points. Prerequisite: Introduction to Counting. How to Use Comas and Other Punctuation The nuts and … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged | 8 Comments

The Case of Masterpiece Cakeshop

What’s an evangelical Christian baker to do when asked to design and decorate a custom cake for a gay wedding? If he complies, he violates his religious objections to same-sex marriage. If he refuses, he’s prosecuted for violating the public … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, First Amendment, Law | Tagged | 11 Comments

“The War on Sex”

  As anyone knows who litigates SORA hearings, reason and a dime will get you a cup of coffee. The “research,” endorsed by the Supreme Court, showing that sex offenders have a “frighteningly high” rate of recidivism comes from a … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Law, SORA | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Vwar deer or vor dire? A guest post from the Public Defender of Harris Co., Texas

Alex Bunin founded the first and only public defender’s office in Houston, Texas, replacing the traditional folk custom of appointment-by-donation-to-the-judge’s-campaign. Asked in an interview with Simple Justice how he was received by the Jumbo State’s legal establishment, Alex said, “The biggest obstacle … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Humor, Law, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Do prosecutors know the truth from a lie?

Word is that California plans to make it a felony for prosecutors to hide exculpatory evidence from the defense.  That’s harsh: to the prosecutor cerebellum, “exculpatory evidence” is a contradiction in terms. After all, the defendant is obviously guilty or they … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Humor, Law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Homeland Security announces contest for best sex offender passport design

Last February Congress passed the “International Megan’s Law,” requiring registered sex offenders to have a conspicuous mark on their passports identifying them as such. A federal court summarily dismissed a lawsuit challenging the law, saying that, since the government has … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Humor, Law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons, SORA | Tagged | 2 Comments

SORA: The human cost of junk science

  Of the nearly 40,000 persons on New York’s sex offender registry, 9,679 are displayed on its public website as Level 3, a warning that he or she presents the maximum risk of committing a sex crime of maximum seriousness. … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Law, Law & Parody, SORA | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

The NY Court of Appeals gets its comeuppance

When it comes to federal habeas petitions, never has so much been denied to so many by so few. To the prisoner, a habeas is the last bastion of hope. To the federal judish, it’s the occasion for assuring state … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Judges, Law, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Guest Post: Exoneration after 25 Years Is Great but Competent Appellate Review at the Time Would Have Been Better

When Andre Hatchett was exonerated after serving half his life in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, the deceptively mild-mannered Ursula Bentele, Professor Emerita of Brooklyn Law School, commented that the Appellate Division had every reason to know at … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Law | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Punishing misconduct: Prosecutors can dish it out but can’t take it

Once again the NY State District Attorney lobby has strongarmed the Legislature into not even voting on a bill that would hold prosecutors accountable for misconduct (NY Law Journal 6/22/2016). The idea of “subjecting already busy prosecutors to investigations and hearings … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Law, Law & Parody | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Court of Appeals to Squawk: Drop Dead

Sigh. Another drop-dead letter from the NY Court of Appeals, the second one this week.  The first denied leave to appeal where our client got 107 years after a trial that he spent mostly down in the courthouse pens because … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Judges, Law, SORA | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Time for courts to put their money where their mouth is about eyewitness misidentification

Courts make a lot of chin music about the perils of eyewitness misidentification.  But when it comes to scrutinizing the suggestiveness of lineup procedures. . . . . . everyone is expected to take the cops’ word for it that … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Humor, Judges, Law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Sheldon Silver’s Life Matters: Part 2

Prosecutor Preet Bharara, come to save the day from Injustice and Corruption, howled for a 14-year sentence, saying, “There is no excuse or mitigating factor tempering the seriousness of Silver’s crimes.” A hundred letters to Judge Caproni pleading for a … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Law | 3 Comments

Sheldon Silver’s Life Matters

It’s a bizarre society where a cop can choke a helpless man to death in front of a camera and not be indicted, while 72-year old former Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, who’s devoted his life to public service, … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Judges, Law | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

We find no error “under the circumstances”

 Step right up folks, and guess which shell has the reversible error under it. Pick the right one and you get a reversal for your client’s case. How about you, sir? The one under my hand? Whupp! Nope, that’s harmless … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Humor, Judges, Law, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How the Appellate Division reads your brief

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Happy 20th Birthday, SORA, may you die soon.

Friends, New Yorkers, Countrypersons! Lend us your ears! We come not to praise SORA but to bury it. For the courts say its purpose is not to punish, but to protect public safety. And courts are honorable persons, otherwise they … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Law, SORA | Tagged | 10 Comments

Judge Weinstein at the Brooklyn Historical Society

  We temporarily suspended our judge-panning policy the other night to go see Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District (that’s Brooklyn and some minor surrounding territories). He was at the Brooklyn Historical Society, and not in a glass case either. … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal law, Judges, Law, Satirical cartoons | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments