Pam has come to dependency court on behalf of Jacob, who is four years old. Pam wants the judge to arrest Jacob’s mother.
Pam is a volunteer in the Court Appointed Special Advocate program in juvenile dependency court in California. These CASA volunteers are independent advocates for the child during any court procedure.
“Children’s lives are ripped apart here,” Pam told me, just before the day’s session.
Jacob’s mother, let's call her Tina, is 28.1 She has a decade-long crystal meth addiction. It's kept her bouncing in and out of court-mandated rehab beds and jail cells.
When Jacob was two, Tina’s probation drug test came up [...]
On June 6th, David Adjmi's play 3-C opened Off-Broadway, and the same day, he received a cease-and-desist letter. Without legal counsel, he felt compelled to agree that the run of the play could not be extended—and that it would never be performed again. In this open letter, a group of playwrights, theater professionals and performers explain why this is so wrong.
Playwright David Adjmi, whose play 3-C just closed a run at Rattlestick Theatre, has received a threatening "Protest Letter" from the law firm of Kenyon & Kenyon, which represents DLT Entertainment, the owners of the long defunct TV sitcom "Three's Company." The letter accuses him of [...]
Thank the atheist Cylon God once again for the Ninth Circuit: in US v Nosal, yesterday they ruled (PDF) that, among other things, the ridiculous user agreements that we all "sign" online aren't really something that should be crimes if we violate them. That's not crazy: up until quite recently, the court points out, minors couldn't even "legally" use any Google product. On Facebook, it would have been "illegal" for any user to give another his password. The dissent—and other courts—claim their conclusion is silly, because just because the government can prosecute something doesn't mean they will. But that's not really how America works: "The government assures [...]
I've always worried about the Sergey Aleynikov case. Convicted 15 months ago and sentenced to eight years in prison, Aleynikov's crime, while employed at Goldman Sachs, was uploading chunks of software to an encrypted server for storage—possibly accidentally including proprietary code while trying to retain open-source stuff. (For a good description of what happened, there's this account.) Some of the problems with this case include that juries and judges are crazily out of their depth in figuring out what his actions mean and which are customary and ordinary for programmers, and also the media is way worse: most of the headlines called him a "spy," which is [...]
“The last three years have been a contrarian’s delight—just when you expect the bananas to hit the fan." —Oh my God, right? Although in this case specifically, that is UC Berkeley law professor Frank Zimring, expressing his pleasure that violent crimes are hugely down in the U.S., despite massive unemployment and recession and fewer (well, comparatively fewer) people in prison. Yes it's true! The people are finally satisfied with the reality TV programming, so now there be less hurting of everybody up in here. Speaking of! The two NYC police officers on trial for rape? The case is now on the fifth day of jury deliberations, and [...]
Really quite terrible Redskins sports team owner Dan Snyder claims he is preparing to sue Washington City Paper over a particularly marvelous profile. But apparently they might also sue the Washington Post, for linking to it? "Snyder's attorneys contacted The Post last week and asked the newspaper to preserve e-mails between Post sports blogger Dan Steinberg and [Dave] McKenna," who wrote the City Paper piece. "The attorneys said they intend to explore whether there was any agreement between McKenna and Steinberg to cross-promote McKenna's pieces on Snyder." Dear lawyer friends: can you make some sense of that for us? We assume that is just setting up the [...]
This is a lovely holiday story, about Jabbar Collins, who seems to have been quite clearly set up for a murder conviction by the Brooklyn District Attorney's office. He may not have! Time will tell! Because we'll hear more about this story in another Christmas or two, which will likely end when Collins gets a really big, big payout for the 15 years he spent in prison.