50 entries in 'Legal Interview'
2019/09/06   Cock-a-doodle-doo! French rooster crows over court win
2019/04/28   Slovak court rejects to ban parliamentary far right party
2019/03/16   Justices spurn Georgia inmate, despite juror’s racial slurs
2019/01/16   Chief justice seeks budget increase for court technology
2019/01/12   Congo runner-up Fayulu asks court to order election recount
2018/12/08   Chinese executive facing US extradition appears in court
2018/12/01   Dutch court rejects man’s request to be 20 years younger
2018/09/19   3 hurt in court shooting leave hospital; gunman identified
2018/09/12   The Latest: International court 'undeterred' by Bolton
2018/04/28   Man tests positive for drugs while appearing in Pierre court
2018/04/06   Court clerk: Despite memo, staff not required to campaign
2018/03/28   Stephen Reinhardt, liberal circuit court judge, dies at 87
2017/12/08   Supreme Court won't hear dispute involving NC TV network
2017/11/20   The Latest: Senate panel approves tax overhaul bill
2017/11/11   Samsung worker killed by brain tumor wins compensation case
2017/11/10   Florida man back at Supreme Court with 1st Amendment case
2017/09/25   Abortion clinic seeks to sue Ohio over budget restrictions
2017/08/15   Former Pakistan PM challenges disqualification by court
2017/08/10   Supreme Court to allow electronic filing in November
2017/06/05   Bill Cosby arrives in court ahead of sexual assault trial
2017/06/02   East Timor court drops premier's libel case against media
2017/04/08   Newest justice joins high court amid competing caricatures
2017/02/13   Supreme Court nominee has defended free speech, religion
2017/02/10   Rolling Stone defamation case over rape story back in court
2017/01/22   Court ponders mass murderer Breivik's prison conditions
2017/01/19   Man accused of killing Orlando officer defiant in court
2017/01/03   Court says convicted killer Skakel's defense was adequate
2016/11/16   Delaware County creates domestic violence court
2016/10/21   Grassley: GOP can't stonewall a Clinton Supreme Court pick
2016/09/16   Appeals court orders judge to expunge woman's convictions
2016/09/09   High court temporarily blocks subpoena over sex ads
2016/09/01   Justice Kagan says court doesn't feel political pressure
2016/07/12   Court orders release of detained immigrant kids, not parents
2016/06/02   Police union defends ex-officer in black musician's death
2016/04/24   JetBlue attendant pleads not guilty to cocaine charge
2016/03/23   Court gives green light to death penalty fast-tracking
2016/02/27   California High Court Allows Gov. Jerry Brown's Prison Initiative
2016/01/17   High court seems skeptical of mandatory public union fees
2015/12/08   Kansas Court of Appeals mulls state protections for abortion
2015/10/19   US appeals court upholds gun laws after Newtown massacre
2015/09/11   OJ Simpson appeal rejected by Nevada Supreme Court
2015/06/20   Texas turns away from criminal truancy courts for students
2013/11/01   Washington, DC Criminal Defense Lawyer
2012/10/05   Illegal immigrant in Fla. fights for law license
2009/10/05   LAs leave 25% of class action settlements unclaimed
2008/10/20   ABA Antitrust Fall Forum
2008/04/03   Hazard Receives 2008 Franck Responsibility Award
2008/03/11   State Bar scolds Robeson DA for media comments
2008/02/29   Former bar presidents support Servaas
2008/02/29   Lawyers ask for more time to redefine practice of law


Cock-a-doodle-doo! French rooster crows over court win
Legal Interview | 2019/09/06 23:49
Maurice the rooster can keep crowing, a French court ruled Thursday, as it rejected a complaint from neighbors who sued over noise nuisance.

Maurice’s case and several other lawsuits against the sounds of church bells, cow bells, cicadas and the pungent smells from farms have prompted a national debate over how to protect rural culture from the encroachment of expectations that are more associated with urban areas.

Maurice’s owner, Corinne Fesseau, will be able to keep the rooster on the small island of Oleron, off France’s Atlantic coast, the court decided. The frustrated neighbors are considering an appeal.

The rooster owner’s lawyer, Julien Papineau, told The Associated Press that Fesseau “is happy. She cried when I when I told her the court’s decision.”

Maurice’s dawn crowing is exasperating Fesseau’s neighbors, a retired couple who moved to the island two years ago. They asked the court to make the animal move farther away, or shut up.

Instead, the judge in the southwest city of Rochefort ordered them to pay 1,000 euros ($1,005) in damages to Fesseau for reputational harm, plus court costs.

“That made my clients feel very bad,” their lawyer Vincent Huberdeau said. He said Fesseau intentionally put her chicken coop close to her neighbors’ window and then turned Maurice into a cause celebre for rural traditions, and that the judge went too far in punishing the plaintiffs instead.

Their case also backfired in the court of public opinion, at least locally. More than 120,000 people signed a petition urging authorities to leave Maurice alone ? and a “support committee” made up of roosters and hens from around the region came to support his owner during the trial in July.

“The countryside is alive and makes noise ? and so do roosters,” read one of their signs.

The ruling may spell good news for a flock of ducks in the Landes region of southwest France, where a trial is underway between farmers and neighbors angry over the creatures’ quacks and smell.

Authorities also ruled against residents of a village in the French Alps who complained in 2017 about annoying cow bells, and an effort last year to push out cicadas from a southern town to protect tourists from their summer song also failed.

Since Maurice’s tale came to light, some French lawmakers have suggested a law protecting the sounds and smells of the countryside as part of France’s rural heritage.


Slovak court rejects to ban parliamentary far right party
Legal Interview | 2019/04/28 23:15
Slovakia's Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a request by the country's prosecutor general to ban a far-right party that has 14 seats in the country's parliament.

In his request filed two years ago, Jaromir Ciznar said the far-right People's Party Our Slovakia is an extremist group whose activities violate the country's constitution and its goal is to destroy the country's democratic system.

But the court ruled the prosecutor general failed to provide enough evidence for the ban. The verdict is final.

"The ruling has clearly showed that our party is legitimate and democratic," party chairman Marian Kotleba said on Monday. He said it was "a political trial."

The prosecutor's office didn't immediately comment. Kotleba's supporters applauded in the court room while the opponents unveiled a banner in front of the court that read "Stop Fascism."

The party openly admires the Nazi puppet state that the country was during World War II. Party members use Nazi salutes, blame Roma for crime in deprived areas, consider NATO a terror group and want the country out of the alliance and the European Union.

If granted, it would have been the first ban on a parliamentary party.

There is a precedent, though. In 2006, the same court banned a predecessor of People's Party, the neo-Nazi Slovak Togetherness-National Party, also led by Kotleba.


Justices spurn Georgia inmate, despite juror’s racial slurs
Legal Interview | 2019/03/16 05:22
The Supreme Court is rejecting a new appeal from a Georgia death row inmate, despite evidence that a juror in his capital case used racial slurs.

The high court had previously blocked the execution of Georgia inmate Keith Leroy Tharpe. But the justices on Monday refused to take up his case after a lower court ruled against him.

The 59-year-old Tharpe is trying to get his death sentence thrown out because of comments the juror made to defense investigators several years after Tharpe’s trial. The juror signed an affidavit, though he later testified that he voted for Tharpe’s death sentence because of the evidence against him. The juror has since died.



Chief justice seeks budget increase for court technology
Legal Interview | 2019/01/16 01:32
The head of the Iowa court system says technology and the need to ensure justice for everyone demands increased spending.

Speaking Wednesday in his annual speech to the Legislature, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady told lawmakers “we simply can no longer proceed into the future thinking it will be a modest linear extension from where we are today.”

The judicial branch is requesting nearly $185 million, a 4 percent increase from the current year’s budget. Gov. Kim Reynolds is proposing nearly $183 million.

Among the new programs Cady proposes is a $1.6 million rural courts initiative to secure courthouses and upgrade services to ensure court services in all 99 counties.

He also proposes a $2.5 million digital upgrade that would allow judges to send search warrants electronically to investigators, improve an internet-based telephone system and upgrade technology to allow for remote video appearances for witnesses, parties in cases and court reporters.

Cady also seeks $1.9 million to pay for a proposed 4 percent increase in pay for judiciary officers.


Congo runner-up Fayulu asks court to order election recount
Legal Interview | 2019/01/12 06:51
Congo's presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu has asked the constitutional court to order a recount in the disputed election, declaring on Saturday that "you can't manufacture results behind closed doors."

He could be risking more than the court's refusal. Congo's electoral commission president Corneille Nangaa has said there are only two options: The official results are accepted or the vote is annulled — which would keep President Joseph Kabila in power until another election. The Dec. 30 one came after two years of delays.

"They call me the people's soldier ... and I will not let the people down," Fayulu said. Evidence from witnesses at polling stations across the country is being submitted to the court, which is full of Kabila appointees.

Rifle-carrying members of Kabila's Republican Guard deployed outside Fayulu's home and the court earlier Saturday. It was an attempt to stop him from filing, Fayulu said while posting a video of them on Twitter: "The fear remains in their camp."

Fayulu has accused the declared winner, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, of a backroom deal with Kabila to win power in the mineral-rich nation as the ruling party candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, did poorly.

The opposition coalition for Fayulu, a businessman vocal about cleaning up widespread corruption, has said he won 61 percent of the vote, citing figures compiled by the Catholic Church's 40,000 election observers across the vast Central African country.




Chinese executive facing US extradition appears in court
Legal Interview | 2018/12/08 02:48
A Canadian prosecutor urged a Vancouver court to deny bail to a Chinese executive at the heart of a case that is shaking up U.S.-China relations and worrying global financial markets.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of its founder, was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport last Saturday — the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed over dinner to a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce.

The U.S. alleges that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It also says that Meng and Huawei misled American banks about its business dealings in Iran.

The surprise arrest, already denounced by Beijing, raises doubts about whether the trade truce will hold and whether the world’s two biggest economies can resolve the complicated issues that divide them.

“I think it will have a distinctively negative effect on the U.S.-China talks,” said Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an economic adviser in President George W. Bush’s White House. “There’s the humiliating way this happened right before the dinner, with Xi unaware. Very hard to save face on this one. And we may see (Chinese retaliation), which will embitter relations.”

Canadian prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said in a court hearing Friday that a warrant had been issued for Meng’s arrest in New York Aug. 22. He said Meng, arrested en route to Mexico from Hong Kong, was aware of the investigation and had been avoiding the United States for months, even though her teenage son goes to school in Boston.



Dutch court rejects man’s request to be 20 years younger
Legal Interview | 2018/12/01 19:01
Dutch motivational speaker Emile Ratelband may feel like a 49-year-old but according to Dutch law he is still 69.

A Dutch court on Monday rejected Ratelband’s request to shave 20 years off his age in a case that drew worldwide attention.

“Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” Arnhem court said in a press statement . “But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications.”

Ratelband went to court last month, arguing that he didn’t feel 69 and saying his request was consistent with other forms of personal transformation which are gaining acceptance in the Netherlands and around the world, such as the ability to change one’s name or gender.

The court rejected that argument, saying that unlike in the case of a name or gender, Dutch law assigns rights and obligations based on age “such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school. If Mr. Ratelband’s request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless.”

Ratelband, perhaps unsurprisingly given his background as self-described advocate of positive thinking, was undeterred by the court’s rejection and vowed to appeal.

“This is great!” he said. “The rejection of (the) court is great ... because they give all kinds of angles where we can connect when we go in appeal.”



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