Blawg Review

It's not just a blog carnival; it's the law! ~ a fool in the forest

Blawg Review Caribana

Welcome to Blawg Review #223, from Toronto, Canada, where we celebrate multi-cultural diversity, hosting one of North America's largest and most vibrant carnivals, Caribana.

It began as the Toronto Caribbean community's salute to Canada's Centennial year. Now in its second millennium, its fifth decade and its 42nd year, the Scotiabank Caribana Festival is one of North America's greatest celebrations, attracting an estimated million participants annually. Rooted in Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, it has become an international festival where you might experience Jamaican reggae, Brazilian samba or African djembe rhythms alongside Latin salsa, Haitian zouk or urban sounds, all blended with calypso and soca vibes.

Between the Caribana Festival in Toronto, Canada, these past few weeks, and the controversy across America over Gatesgate, there's Blawg Review, the carnival of law blogs. This week, filling in for our scheduled host are Ed. and Colin Samuels in this post, and Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice adding his own brand of Blawg Review: Sphincter Rules.

Ainsley Brown at Law Is Cool reminds us that August 1 was a day of remembrance.

Vickie Pynchon wrote a post discussing the cop, the president, the professor and civil harassment mediation, and followed up this teachable moment with another good post.

Patrick at Popehat has some thoughts about the Bartender in Chief, as does Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice, who suggests there are many more who might be wanting the President's brand of mediation. Victoria Pynchon adds, "And I would be surprised if somebody didn't say, 'I'm sorry I acted like an asshole.' Let he who has never been an asshole cast the first stone.

Diane Levin asks if it's time to professionalize the field of conflict resolution and establish more formal mechanisms for credentialing mediators.

Jack Layton, a Canadian political leader interviewed in the Caribana video at the link first above, wrote on the Huffington Post in Defending Canada's Health Care.

John Hirst wonders whether the UK will stand up to bullying by the US to extradite a British hacker under anti-terror laws. They didn't, so the man, who allegedly was infiltrating Pentagon computers looking for information about UFOs, will likely stand trial in the United States.

The crImmigration blog, edited by Carlos Moctezuma García and César Cuauhtémoc García, reports that the “mere fact of a DHS opposition to a motion, in and of itself, should not be dispositive of the motion without regard to the merit of that opposition.”

Dan Harris lauds the FCPA Blog and offers some general Foreign Corrupt Practices Act guidance for companies doing business in China.

Ilya Somin notes the vastness of federal criminal law and suggests that all of us are likely running afoul of such law more often than we'd care to acknowledge. Matt Kaiser suggests that reliance on prosecutorial discretion to check the scope of federal criminal law is misplaced: "the incentives line up wrong for prosecutors. They’re given awards for convictions. Do they get recognized for recognizing good judgment and walking away from a case?"

David Oxenford provides an excellent rundown of the many considerations when a broadcaster winds down temporarily or permanently or transfers its operations to a charity.

Jack Balkin discusses a recent paper which suggests that strong abortion rights for women have undermined traditional marriage by allowing married fathers no greater rights in a pregnancy than unmarried fathers have. Ilya Somin is there to save the day, noting that there's at least one "really romantic" reason to get married -- better property rights in a few states at least.

Rick Horowitz writes that the release of the 911 tape in the Gates arrest matter illustrates a broader issue which is, for once, not race-related -- the tendency of police reports to misquote witnesses to provide clearer support for the police's actions.

David Osborne's faith in the British jury system is somewhat shaken and he's doubting juries' abilities to find the truth in trials more reliably than judges: "Sadly, I must revisit my support for trial by jury, which is now an anachronism. It served a purpose, but no longer, and by persevering with it, we risk making a laughing stock out of the criminal law." Andy Mergendahl hasn't completely lost faith yet and he discusses a few best practices for bench trials in the UK, suggesting when it's better to try things to a jury.

Shawn Foust notes that companies' uses of in-game monitors raise complex DMCA issues but he suggests that these human monitors are still, on balance, of greater value to game companies for their roles in enforcing games' term of use.

Audrey Millemann notes that "Patent law is a complicated area of law governed by a confusing set of statutes and regulations"; she tackles a few of the misconceptions about patent law and attempts to make things a bit less complex.

"Country lawyer" Patrick tears down a few of the more obnoxious negotiation mannerisms employed by his city brethren. My favorite: "Do not “name-drop” famous friends like Gerry Spence, unless you believe that there is a high probability that Mr. Spence or his like will actually intervene on your behalf. Better still, if Mr. Spence is willing to intervene for you, let him make the introduction by himself."

Lyle Denniston discusses a recent suggestion by a lower court that dicta in the SCOTUS' Heller decision has damaged further exploration of some related issues by lower courts.

Brian Tannebaum criticizes the deference allowed to police testimony and the reluctance of many to call lying policemen on their lies, promoting public safety interests over justice.

Scott Greenfield says there is probably no "tool" that has done more for injecting a wee bit of honesty into busts than the dash cam, and posts a police video to prove it.

We're reminded by Tom Kirkendall that police behaving badly is not just an American problem, this video being evidence that it's far worse in England.

Charon QC is reworking one of his contracts treatises and is making it available for free on his website. It's approximately 2/3s complete right now.

Jordan Furlong at has written an article on the implications of "free" on the legal profession and the practice of law.

Simon Fodden at writes of squigglies, pilcrows, and gaspers for lawyers.

Michael Geist discusses the Amazon Kindle and an Orwellian Misstep.

Scott Greenfield has a very thoughtful post about life and death in the blawgosphere.

If you're thinking, great, we'd like more good stuff like that, just link on over to Simple Justice for the rest--the best--of Blawg Review #223 hosted by Scott Greenfield, who said he'd never host again.