This Week in Legal News

On Tuesday, President Obama vetoed legislation authorizing the Keystone LX pipeline.

On Tuesday night, a Texas jury convicted Eddie Ray Routh of murder and sentenced him to life in prison for the fatal shootings of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.

Also on Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use, although the sale of marijuana remains illegal.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed the nomination of Loretta Lynch for the position of U.S. Attorney General.  The nomination now moves on for consideration by the full Senate.

Also on Thursday, the FCC approved net neutrality, and will now regard Internet providers as public utilities, subject to regulation.

An appeals court in Utah has granted a widow the right to sue herself for causing an auto accident that resulted in the death of her husband.  Read the full opinion here.

The operator of a defunct revenge-porn website has filed a takedown request with Google, stating that his own photograph and personal information are being used without his permission.



10 Things to do in Columbia in March

We know that law students often live in a bubble, but it’s important to get outside, clear your head, and think about things besides the rule of perpetuity and the commerce clause!  Whether you like art, music, or sports, there’s always plenty happening in Columbia.

Here are 10 awesome things happening right here in Columbia this month:

1)  Check out the Columbia Now: Four Photographers Show Us Our City exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art, an photography exhibit highlighting the city we live in (All month long).

2)  Experience Columbia’s foodie scene and learn a little about Columbia’s history by booking a tour with Two Gals and a Fork.  (March’s tour is on March 7th, so book now!)

3)  Love Broadway?  Go out to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Harbison Theater (March 8th).

4)  Run 10k, 5k, or 1-mile Family Fun Run as part of St. Pat’s Get to the Green event (March 14th).

5)  Then, enjoy being Irish for the day and attend St. Patty’s Day Festivities in Five Points on March 14th.

6)  Journey to Africa at the “From Here to  Timbuktu” exhibit at Edventure (Opening March 14).

7)   Enjoy a fairytale by getting tickets for the Columbia City Ballet’s production of Cinderella (March 20-21).

8)  Celebrate Columbia’s craft beer scene with any of the many events during Soda City Suds Week (March 21-28).

9)  Feel like a fancy night out?  Buy tickets for the Columbia Museum’s annual gala, A Fair to Remember (the theme is the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair) (March 27).

10)  Get colorful while getting some exercise by signing up for the 2015 Columbia Color Run 5k (March 28).


Need something free to do?  Here are some FREE things you can do.

1)  Get some fresh air hiking at Harbison State Forest!

2)  Go to Spring Trombone Night at the School of Music to listen to USC’s elite trombone ensemble perform.

3)  Hit up First Thursdays on Main on March 5, or the first Thursday of any month!

4)  See the United States Navy Band perform at the Koger Center on March 10th.  (Get your free tickets at the Koger Box Office.)

5)  Hear the Jazz Faculty perform at their recital at Johnson Performance Hall on March 26th.

6)  Take a walk at Riverfront Park.

This Week in Legal News

On Wednesday, two U.S. Senators introduced a proposal that would allow for Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominees with a simple majority.

Citing statutory exemptions, the First Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the denial of a FOIA demand by an antiabortion group for documents relating to a federal grant to an agency of Planned Parenthood.

Juror selection began on Thursday in the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, accused of shooting “American Sniper” Chris Kyle.

In Germany, a former SS guard will stand trial as an accessory to the atrocities committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.  The trial is scheduled to begin in April.

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has affirmed genocide convictions arising from the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.  This is the first final judgment for genocide handed down by the ICTY.

Come Try Out Our Chairs!

You may have noticed a few extra pieces of furniture in the library lately.  We currently have samples of potential furniture for the law library in the new building.  Now, we need your help!!!

readingroomAs the people who will be siting in these chairs for hours on end, we really value your input!!!  Please stop by, take a seat, and compare the chairs for us with our furniture survey!

There are three different types of chairs:occasional

1)  chairs for the formal reading room

2)  chairs for the Commons (similar to the law school lobby now, but way more studyroomawesome!), and

3)  study room chairs.

Remember that we’re only testing the style of chair, not the color or fabric, which we can change.

You can find a survey on a black cart as you enter the library!  We thank you in advance for your participation!

Tech Mistakes Lawyers Are Making

By now, you know that lawyers cannot get away from technology; it’s an integral part of their everyday life, from electronic filing to electronic researching to writing documents on their computers.  Clio, a tech firm, released a list of the top “10 Tech Mistakes that Lawyers Make.”

Many on the list are things that law students can start getting in the habit of now:  including backing up your data and being aware of social media and its implications on legal practice ethics.  Others tips include simple things like not leaving your computer on overnight (because anyone could see your information that comes in).

Take a look at the list, and keep an eye out for the IT Department’s Seminar Series, taking place in both the fall and spring semester, on topics like Backing Up, Practicing Safe Computing, and Legal Apps!

Wish I Would Have Known

Wish I Would Have Known

A blog for all those questions you want to, or should want to ask. medium_8687090282

The blog Wish I Would Have Know    attempts to do exactly as the title suggests, tell all the things lawyers wish they would have know while going through law school. It hits all the highlights, from the application process to first year classes to advice for lawyers on their first day. It even breeches the topic of law school dating.

Admittedly the blog is now rarely updated since the writers moved well into practice.  However the insight inside is still golden to anyone attending, thinking about attending, or finishing law school.



photo credit: College of William & Mary Law Library via photopin cc

This Week in Legal News

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded a collective bargaining decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On news icon for blogWednesday, fourteen civil rights activists who staged sit-in protests at a whites-only lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina, had their 1961 convictions for trespassing vacated.  The motion to vacate the convictions was filed by retired South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr., who served as the attorney for nine of the protesters when they were arrested in 1961.

Also on Wednesday, France’s highest court, the Cour De Cassation, ruled that a French/Moroccan same-sex couple can marry legally.  France has recognized same-sex marriage since 2013, although Morocco does not.

Senate confirmation hearings began this week for Lorretta Lynch, nominee for the position of U.S. Attorney General.

In copyright news, singer Sam Smith will be sharing writing credits (and royalties) for the song  Stay With Me with Tom Petty and ELO’s Jeff Lynne, who co-wrote Petty’s 1989 hit I Won’t Back Down.  For summaries of other famous copyright-in-music cases, check here.



cartoonWhat is a courtroom actually like?  Most non-lawyers, or non serial criminals, don’t spend a lot of time in a court room.  Often our impressions of court room activity come from TV dramas and books/movies like To Kill a Mockingbird.  The real thing can actually be a lot more raucous, unorganized, and sometimes even funny.  So, before you start judging your classroom participation or your courtroom demeanor against the likes of Atticus Finch, remember that attorneys and judges can say some really ridiculous things too.

Please Label This THIS WEBSITE  Exhibit 1,

and this video exhibit 2.


This Week in Legal News

The U.S. Supreme Court this week heard oral argumennews icon for blogts in Rodriguez v. United States, a case that asks whether a police officer can extend a completed traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff, absent reasonable suspicion or other lawful justification.

On Thursday, a federal judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona blocked a ban by that state on drivers’ licenses for immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the protocol for lethal injection drugs used in executions.