Category: Law


CDs and DVDs Not Worth Stealing

It seems that in Britain, burglars aren’t bothering to steal CDs and DVDs.  Why?

The reason is the falling value of physical media products. The average price of a CD album in Britain fell from £10.77 to £7.32 between 2001 and 2010, according to the BPI, a trade group—almost a halving, in real terms. And the dishonest get their music and films free, via the internet. DVDs are under pressure not just from piracy but also from video-on-demand services.

Instead they’re stealing computers, purses, jewelry, and anything else that has greater value.  Technology has disrupted traditional thievery as well.

Headline shamelessly taken from Radley Balko, but this case of an innocent man turning himself in to police is disturbing.

William Giraldo was threatened with deportation and thrown in the notorious Rikers Island prison in New York when he was mistaken for the ‘Brooklyn Groper’.

He was picked out of a lineup, arraigned on his wedding day and spent a month in jail until DNA evidence cleared him.

In Balko’s words, “Yep, they had the wrong guy. He now has a mountain of legal bills. Oh, and while he was in jail, the actual ‘serial groper’ struck again.”

Yes, you need a lawyer.

As lawyers, we are trained to accept mortality and the myriad of consequences it may have to others.  Lawyers need to accept that we will die… and so will everyone else.  It is in this vein that I appreciate the idea of PassMyWill.

It holds your passwords so that upon your passing, your heirs have access to all your online accounts and can enact your wishes.  It checks your social media accounts for activity, and after a specified period of inactivity sends an e-mail to you to check in.  If you do not respond to that e-mail, it assumes you’re dead and then gives your specified heir access to your passwords.

It’s an interesting idea and I’m sure that we haven’t heard the last of this.  For creativity points, I can even forgive founder Danil Kozyatnikov’s hat (he is from Siberia after all).  However it does remind me of this commercial from 2005.

TechCrunch has a full description and video interview with the founder.

No More Deposit on Kegs in NY

I know this isn’t exactly new news, but it’s good news.  The silly, absurdly-high keg deposits, which were supposed to protect our precious children from binge drinking have expired.

It turns out that the kiddies just purchased 30-packs instead.  My understanding is, of course, that 30-packs are only available in the finest of beers, such as Old Milwaukee Light.

Gov. Christie is moving forward with NJ’s medical marijuana program because he believes that NJ’s program won’t fall afoul of federal law.

Christie has been criticized for the slow pace of the program’s roll-out,  but several dispensaries have been shut down in other states–despite their being in compliance with state law.  The NJ dispensaries will likely still be in violation of federal law, and DOJ has been unclear as to whether they will shut down these dispensaries.

The current guidance?

“It is likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or their caregiver,” the department said.

That’s not a promise to leave the NJ dispensaries alone.

In San Francisco, defense attorneys are using the ubiquitous video cameras to support their clients’ cases.

They have also become a tool exploited by defense lawyers who often seek footage from the cameras to exonerate falsely accused clients. The footage is not monitored in real time, but can be reviewed upon request by attorneys, police and prosecutors.

Nearly one-third of 109 requests for footage made last year came from defense attorneys, according to data supplied by The City in response to a public records request by The San Francisco Examiner.

Criminal defendants have been cleared or had charges reduced when footage proved their alibis or disproved police or witnesses’ accounts of incidents.

Interesting use of technology; particularly one designed to assist the other side of the bar.

In an only-in-New-York kind of story, the plague of parking placards continues unabated.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the phenomenon, parking placards let people park in places where you’re not supposed to park.

In a place like Manhattan, where legitimate street parking is in short supply, placards can save you literally hundreds of dollars a month on tickets and garage parking.

The Daily News and Transportation Alternatives have found that a fake placard, created in under 30 minutes in Photoshop and laminated, was good enough to pass muster and get parking all over town.

h/t: Gothamist

A Juror in a UK drugs trial decided to communicate with the defendant, who was later acquitted.  Now the 40-year-old, mother of three faces up to two years in prison for contempt of court.

So You Can Steal Live Wires Too

Thieves are now stealing live wires in Antioch, California off of the power lines… some of which were live.  So much for the original plans.

Pay Your Student Loans

… or the Department of Education SWAT team’ll get ya.

Well, maybe not quite. Reason.com is reporting that the raid was related to a criminal investigation.

Still, since when does the United States Department of Education have SWAT teams?!

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