The Portia of our Chambers

adding an imaginative tone to what would otherwise be a dusty, dreary little clerks' office full of barristers, biscuits, and briefs.

When the judge forced me to trial on the first setting, before I’ve been paid.

ineffectivecounsel:

image

Hahahahahaaa yes this has happened to me.  It only needs to happen once before you learn to never let it happen again.  

vivelareine:

Top: A vintage illustration of Charlotte Corday, after an 18th or 19th century engraving

Bottom: A wax museum tableaux of Charlotte Corday being arrested for Marat’s murder

[source: my scan/collection]

Just some historical crimes for your Monday morning. 

“I think - I don’t know - but I think I could be brave enough.”

—   C. S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (via kvtes)

(Source: h-o-r-n-g-r-y, via kvtes)

bitch-media:

Dean Spade, founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a legal collective that provides free services to low-income transgender people and transgender people of color, worries that the lack of any clear policy dictating who should receive hormones can lead to serious and deliberate inequalities. Spade notes that transgender people are among the most severely impacted by racist systems of criminalization, and points to reports indicating that trans individuals, especially those of color, suffer shockingly high rates of arrest and imprisonment compared to other demographics. About 47 percent of black transgender people have been incarcerated at some point in their lives, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“Prisons are, in reality, full of poor people [who] violate minor drug laws,” Spade says. Regardless of the crime committed, “the idea that people in prison in general don’t deserve medical care is a biased and frightening notion.”

Read more of Kristen Bahler’s article on the lives of transgender women in prison on Bitch Media

Charts from  Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

SCOTUS Musings

First hand experience makes a difference:

Since all the Justices have cell phones, they all understood the importance of protecting privacy by curtailing warrantless cell phone searches.

Since only three of the Justices have the ability to reproduce, more than half of the Court decided to limit a woman’s ability to obtain contraceptive health care through her employee health plan. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not amused.

think-progress:

Justice Ginsberg’s epic Hobby Lobby dissent is already a song.  

think-progress:

Justice Ginsberg’s epic Hobby Lobby dissent is already a song.  

“The justices will have to decide how to apply an 18th-century phrase — the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures” — to devices that can contain 100 times more information than is in the Library of Congress’s 72,000-page collection of James Madison’s papers.”

—   

via.

I’m waiting with bated breath for this evening’s summaries of oral argument in Riley v. California and US v. Wurie.  These cases hit so close to my daily practice — I have filed countless motions to suppress cell phone and smart phone searches after cavalier law enforcement seizures.

As a boots on the ground criminal defense practitioner, the issues that I find most disturbing with a cell phone/smart phone seizures are: first, the fact that cell phones/smart phones are not, in fact, phones, but rather small computers capable of holding a lifetime of personal data and GPS tracking information; and secondly, that obtaining a warrant to search takes a bare minimum of time and effort (as you can imagine, it can be done in moments with a cell phone/smart phone — all they need is a barebones statement of probable cause). In essence, the amount of time and work it takes to get a warrant is so minuscule compared to the amount of information a cell phone/smart phone can reveal, that these repeated warrantless searches of cell phones/smart phones are just another example of law enforcement making an end run around the Constitution.

I find the law enforcement counterargument — that cell phones/smart phones can be remotely “wiped” of information while police pause to get a warrant — unconvincing.  First, there are inexpensive ways to store a cell phone/smart phone in a signal-proof protective bag while getting a warrant. Those bags and envelopes are widely available and not expensive.  Secondly — and much more importantly, I’d wager — is that the vast majority of arrested people do not have a co-conspirator sitting at a computer waiting to wipe their phone.  They just don’t.  They are not part of a massive conspiracy or drug cartel with endless resources and a tech guy on the payroll.  They are poor people, or drug-addicted people, or mentally ill people, or people who are driving on a suspended license or forgot to signal.  No one is going to tamper with their phones while they sit in the back of a police car.  That’s paranoid law enforcement nonsense. 

(via portiaofourchambers)

Reblogging myself because I am tickled pink with SCOTUS’ unanimous decisions in Riley and Wurie.  I’m so glad that the justices understood that smart phone technology is here to stay; that carrying tiny computers with our entire lives on them in our pockets is how it’s always going to be and not just a fly by night technological fad.  I’m so glad that they understood that searching a cell phone incident to arrest is a contemporary manifestation of England’s General Warrant over the colonists — a primary reason the American colonies fought for independence.  I’m so glad that the Court affirmed that privacy is important, even in the age of digital transparency.  It gives me hope that the Fourth Amendment will endure.

Chief Justice Roberts gets almost snarky and I love it:

"Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant."

Beauty. 

(Source: twoheadedshark, via newsweek)

floating-world-pictures:

bitterstar:

Two of the classiest guys in hockey.  

Miss you already Teemu, you perfect Finnish elf.

This was such a great game and a touching farewell after it was over.

Also, are there any pictures of Jonathan Quick NOT doing the splits?

He is a ballerina in goalie pads.  

(Source: jonthanquick)

chescaleigh:

This Is The War On Drugs (via “The House I Live In”)

A call to national conscience, the activist documentary “The House I Live In” is persuasively urgent. Directed with heart by Eugene Jarecki, the movie is an insistently personal and political look at the war on drugs and its thousands of casualties, including those serving hard time for minor offenses. It is, Mr. Jarecki asserts — as he sifts through the data, weighs the evidence and checks in with those on both sides of the law — a war that has led to mass incarcerations characterized by profound racial disparities and that has created another front in the civil rights movement. (via NY Times)

Here’s the thing, going into this film I KNEW our criminal justice system was messed up, but I didn’t expect to see politicians, judges and corrections officers chiming in and demanding that the system change. THAT was incredibly eye opening for me and all the more reason that more people need to see this film. If you haven’t seen it already, “The House I Live In” is currently available for rent and instant streaming on Netflix. And if you don’t have Netflix, you’re in luck because April is officially the last month I’m able to offer my followers a free month subscription through netflix.com/chescaleigh

horadecubitus:

The House I Live In (2012)
"The thing with the war on drugs is - and the question we have to ask is - not why is it a failure, but why, given that it seems to be a failure, why is it persisting? And I’m beginning to think maybe it’s a success.
What if it’s a success by keeping police forces busy? What if it’s a success by keeping private jails thriving? What if it’s a success  keeping a legal establishment justified in it’s self-generated activity? Maybe it’s a success on different terms than the publicly stated ones.”
[img]

This is what really haunted me after watching “The House I Live In” (which, by the way, go see it). Everyone acknowledges that the War on Drugs has done absolutely nothing to curb drug use and drug trafficking, yet we continue to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate like its the only choice we have.

horadecubitus:

The House I Live In (2012)

"The thing with the war on drugs is - and the question we have to ask is - not why is it a failure, but why, given that it seems to be a failure, why is it persisting? And I’m beginning to think maybe it’s a success.

What if it’s a success by keeping police forces busy? What if it’s a success by keeping private jails thriving? What if it’s a success  keeping a legal establishment justified in it’s self-generated activity? Maybe it’s a success on different terms than the publicly stated ones.”

[img]

This is what really haunted me after watching “The House I Live In” (which, by the way, go see it). Everyone acknowledges that the War on Drugs has done absolutely nothing to curb drug use and drug trafficking, yet we continue to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate like its the only choice we have.

matthewkeys:

Every American needs to watch Frontline’s “United States of Secrets." 

matthewkeys:

Every American needs to watch Frontline’s “United States of Secrets.

(via wilwheaton)

sleepybrowneyes:

seifukucat:

googled “dog swearing” and wasn’t disappointed

His fucking look of determination. Like, “you’re going to fucking jail Greg.”


If dogs could testify.

sleepybrowneyes:

seifukucat:

googled “dog swearing” and wasn’t disappointed

His fucking look of determination. Like, “you’re going to fucking jail Greg.”

If dogs could testify.

(via a-strong-female-character)

latimes:

Bernie Tiede, a former assistant funeral director from east Texas convicted in 1999 of killing octogenarian millionaire Marjorie Nugent, has been released from prison. A judge recommended that Tiede’s sentence be reduced to time served and that he be released on $10,000 bond pending appellate court approval. 
Among the conditions of Tiede’s release: He will be living in an apartment owned by Richard Linklater, who directed the 2011 film “Bernie,” which starred Jack Black as Tiede, Shirley MacLaine as Nugent and Matthew McConaughey as Dist. Atty. Danny Buck Davidson. The real Davidson supported Tiede’s release.
Reporter Matt Pearce explains how Tiede came to be released — and it’s quite a story — in the L.A. Times today.
Photo: Tiede smiles at the courthouse in Panola County, Texas, after his release is granted. Credit: LM Otero / Associated Press

latimes:

Bernie Tiede, a former assistant funeral director from east Texas convicted in 1999 of killing octogenarian millionaire Marjorie Nugent, has been released from prison. A judge recommended that Tiede’s sentence be reduced to time served and that he be released on $10,000 bond pending appellate court approval. 

Among the conditions of Tiede’s release: He will be living in an apartment owned by Richard Linklater, who directed the 2011 film “Bernie,” which starred Jack Black as Tiede, Shirley MacLaine as Nugent and Matthew McConaughey as Dist. Atty. Danny Buck Davidson. The real Davidson supported Tiede’s release.

Reporter Matt Pearce explains how Tiede came to be released — and it’s quite a story — in the L.A. Times today.

Photo: Tiede smiles at the courthouse in Panola County, Texas, after his release is granted. Credit: LM Otero / Associated Press