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Category Archives: Courts

EFF Publishes New Whitepaper on the Broken Penalty System

EFF – “Today, the House Judiciary Committee [held] a hearing on “remedies” in copyright law—that is, the penalties, injunctions, and other means of challenging and penalizing alleged infringement. This is hugely important: fixing copyright’s remedy provisions (like excessive, unpredictable monetary penalties and government seizures of domain names) is key to ensuring that copyright does its job—helping to encourage creativity—without unduly interfering with free speech and innovation. To help the Judiciary Committee, and to explain why fixing this part of copyright law is so important, EFF is releasing a white paper today. Collateral Damages explains how copyright’s system of “statutory damages” chills free speech and harms innovation. Statutory damages are automatic penalties of $750 to $150,000 per infringed work that a judge or jury can award to copyright holders without the copyright holders having to present any proof of their actual harm. This system leads to excessive penalties, like $222,000 against a home Internet user for sharing 24 copyrighted songs. It’s also wildly unpredictable, with vastly different amounts being awarded by different juries for the same conduct, making lawsuits a gamble.”

The Evolution of Consensus in the U.S. Supreme Court

Rice, Douglas and Zorn, Christopher J., The Evolution of Consensus in the U.S. Supreme Court (July 22, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2470029 “For small, collegial bodies such as the U.S. Supreme Court, interpersonal dynamics play a key role in the decision making process. Previous work on the Court has focused on the existence ofContinue Reading

The Impact of Judicial Vacancies on Federal Trial Courts

Alicia Bannon – Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law: “In an earlier report, the Brennan Center analyzed national court data on vacancies and caseload in order to document the burden that judicial vacancies create. In this study we dig deeper, analyzing the experiences of 10 districts that currently have judicial vacanciesContinue Reading

Trends in State Courts 2014

“Trends in State Courts 2014 focuses on what courts can do, and are doing, to serve the needs of society’s most vulnerable groups: juveniles and the elderly. Articles in two special sections focus on many aspects of juvenile justice and elder issues, such as the Models for Change Juvenile Justice Initiative funded by the John D.Continue Reading

The Good Society newest issues now open access : Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration

Joshua A. Miller - “The new issue (vol. 23, no. 1) is devoted to a single symposium on the intersection of mass incarceration and democracy. It’s available on Project MUSE for institutional subscribers, and on JSTOR, where all the articles will be open access for the next two months Albert Dzur introduces the issue in “Penal Democracy.” Many of theContinue Reading

New Data on Unaccompanied Children in Immigration Court

“Records just obtained under the Freedom of Information Act offer new insights about government policies governing the handling of the recent surge of unaccompanied children seeking entry into the U.S. As of the end of June 2014, the more than 100,000 case records obtained and analyzed by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) show thatContinue Reading

Juvenile Cases Help Push Immigration Court Backlog to New High

“As of the end of June 2014, the number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts has climbed to an all time high of 375,503 — an increase of more than 50,000 since the start of FY 2013 — according to very timely government enforcement data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC)Continue Reading

Improvements Coming to PACER and CM/ECF

News release: “Beginning August 11, you may notice some changes on the PACER website. These changes will include the opportunity  to upgrade your PACER account. NOTE: This upgrade is not mandatory. Your current PACER account will still function  normally. However, you will need to upgrade your account in order to perform any maintenance functions outsideContinue Reading

Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later

Fencing Out Knowledge - Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later, American Library Association, Policy Brief No. 5, June 2014. “What do Hotmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Facebook, and National Geographic have in common? They offer content and services that millions of Americans use every day to communicate, share content, and seek information. They alsoContinue Reading

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

SCOTUSBlog – Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.  “Linked with: Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell Autocam Corp. v. Burwell Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term 13-354 10th Cir. Mar 25, 2014 Tr. Jun 30, 2014 5-4 Alito OT 2013 Holding: As applied to closely held corporations, the regulations promulgated by theContinue Reading

EPIC – Supreme Court Rejects Google’s Street View Appeal

“The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition from Google to reverse the decision in the Google Street View case. In Joffe v. Google, Internet users sued Google for intercepting private communications, including passwords, medical records, and financial information, of millions of users across the country. EPIC filed a friend of the court brief in support of Internet users, arguing that Wi-Fi communications are notContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Comforting Witnesses, Discomforting Due Process

Via LLRX.com - Comforting Witnesses, Discomforting Due Process “Many of us are aware of, and have had contact with various types of therapy dogs, in places that range from the workplace to our public transportation systems. But we may not be aware of the growing use and integration into the legal system of therapeutic “comfort dogs”Continue Reading