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May 26, 2009

Has Obama made the proper choice by nominating Sonia Sotomayor for his United States Supreme Court nominee?

Sonia Sotomayor’s parents immigrated to New York from Puerto Rico. She has overcome personal obstacles.  She has suffered from diabetes since age 8 and lost her father at age 9. She is divorced with no children.

She graduated Princeton University and Yale Law School.  She served as a prosecutor and an attorney in private practice.  Sotomayor became a federal judge for the Southern District of New York in 1992 and an appeals judge in 1998 for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers New York, Vermont and Connecticut.

At her Senate confirmation hearing more than a decade ago, she said, “I don’t believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it.”

Sotomayor has ruled on two high profile cases. In 1995, she issued the preliminary injunction against Major League Baseball which ended the 1994 Baseball Strike. Sotomayor made a ruling allowing the Wall Street Journal to publish Vince Foster’s suicide note. In 1997, she was nominated by Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After more than a year, she was confirmed and joined the court in 1998. Sotomayor was an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law from 1998 to 2007 and has been a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School since 1999.

Prior to her selection by Obama, Sotomayor had been considered by both Democrat and Republican presidents as a Supreme Court candidate. In 2005, Senate Democrats suggested Sotomayor as a nominee to George W. Bush, who eventually selected Samuel A. Alito, Jr. Prior to Souter’s retirement announcement, there was speculation that Sotomayor was a potential nominee. After Souter’s retirement announcement was leaked to the press, Sotomayor received attention as a possible nominee, and in May 2009 reports had Sotomayor on a shortlist of possible nominees. On May 26, 2009, Obama nominated Sotomayor to the court. If confirmed, she would be the court’s first Latina justice (and the second Ibero-American justice, after Benjamin N. Cardozo).

May 22, 2009

Should dogsitter be criminally liable for dog's attack?

Filed under: Dog Bite Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 1:51 am

Recently, in a California case, the defendant’s dog bit the victim’s leg.  The jury convicted the defendant of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury and the personal infliction of great bodily injury.

The California court held that the evidence supported the finding that the evidence supported the finding that one of the dogs obeyed the defendant’s command to attack and maul the victim.  The defendant knew that the dogs would attack on command, having been present during an earlier incident when the dog’s owner had instructed the dogs to attack a man. The dog’s also obeyed the defendant who cared for them.

When a neighbor told the defendant to stop the attack, the defendant refused to call off the dogs.  The California court held that the defendant directed the attacked and hindered its ending so that the defendant, not the dog, should and could be held responsible for personally inflicting great bodily injury.  People v. Frazier (2009)  173 Cal.App.4th 613.

May 15, 2009

Should the police be able to lie to get a confession?

Filed under: California Appeals Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 10:36 am

In the case of People v. Mays issued on May 8, 2009 [Case No. C057099], the police questioned Mr. Mays about his involvement in a homicide. The defendant denied guilt and asked for a lie detector test. The police agreed to give him the test and then set up a fake polygraph and generated fake results showing the defendant lied. The defendant then made several incriminating statements.

The California Court of Appeals, Third Appellate District in Sacramento, upholds the conviction and finds that the police can lie, unless it’s coercive or is the kind of lie that would produce a false confession. The California Court of Appeals finds the fake polygraph would not have produced a false confession and that the defendant’s statements were voluntary and not coerced.

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