Category Archive: Legal Life

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A Primer on Disability Law

A student at University of Oregon Law School has sued the school for failing to accommodate his disability. In related news, Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos seemed unaware in her confirmation hearing what federal disability requirements were for disabled students (although the context was primary school). Now seems like a good time to discuss the basics of disability law, primarily focusing on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Amazon Echo and the Fourth Amendment

Our generation is used to giving up control over vast amounts of personal information. From Facebook check-ins to cell site location information, the police have readily ascertainable digital footprints to track virtually all of our movements. The question, which the Supreme Court will likely have to address going forward, is how much digital information can be presented in court without violating either the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches.

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Trials of the Century: Bush v. Gore

The 2000 Presidential Election—where Bush beat Gore, taking 271 Electoral College Votes to Gore’s 266, but losing the popular vote by about 500,000 votes (at least officially) —brought us Bush v. Gore.

An automatic machine recount revealed that the margin of victory in Florida was only 327 votes in favor of Bush. In the American winner-takes-all electoral system, this meant that Bush would take all of Florida’s 25 electoral votes and with them the presidency.

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Trials of the Century: The Lindbergh Baby Abduction

Charles Lindbergh, a completely unknown air-mail pilot, flew his way into history. He was the first person to complete a solo, nonstop flight from New York City to Paris. When he landed in Paris, a crowd of about 150,000 people were there to greet him. When he finally got back to New York City, a crowd of 200,000 welcomed him back. To put that into perspective, Beyonce on average only manages to turn out 45,000 people. Lindbergh was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor — an award usually reserved for combat veterans. He was named “Man of the Year” by the Times. The U.S. Post Office commemorated his flight with a 10-cent stamp. Lindbergh went on to use his fame to help popularize commercial aviation.

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Trials of the Century: Alger Hiss

Alger Hiss was, depending upon whom you believe, a Communist spy burrowed deeply in the Department of State or, alternatively, one of the earliest victims of the Red Scare that tore through the United States — promoted most ferociously by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy — and which destroyed many lives in the process.

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Trials of the Century: The Murder of Willie Earle

Willie Earle, a black man in his mid twenties, got picked up on a murder charge. The day before, someone—it could have been Earle, but that doesn’t matter—robbed a cab driver and stabbed him to death.

By the evening of Earle’s first day in the county jail, a large crowd of about fifty men, mostly cab drivers, all white, gathered outside. They demanded Earle be handed over to them. He was. The crowd then lynched Earle, beating, stabbing and shooting him. This was 1947. Greenville, South Carolina.

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Intellectual Property Law and the Vulnerable Consumer

“Nobody’s more frustrated than me.” “I am running a business.” These statements were made by Mylan Health CEO Heather Bresch regarding the recent firestorm over Mylan’s role in the dizzying upward spiral of prices for medication, some of which — including the medication at issue, Epi Pen — can make the difference between life and death for those who need the drug. Epi Pen is critical for those with asthma and some allergies where a sudden onset leads to suffocation and death.

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Judicial Clerkships: The What, The Why, And The How

A clerkship is a great opportunity for a lot of writing experience, training, and connections. Most clerks go on to work in litigation, whether in private practice or in government. However, it’s not wholly unusual for corporate or transactional attorneys to clerk, especially if that means clerking for a Delaware chancellor.

If you at all think you’d like to clerk, set up an appointment with your law school’s clerkship office and soak up as much info as you can about the application process. Your clerkship office will be your best resource.

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Melania Trump: Copyright Infringer?

The irony of Melania Trump’s now well-documented plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech is plain to see. Without getting too political about it, Donald Trump elbowed his way into national politics as the leader of the birther movement, trumpeting (pun intended) the demonstrably false claim that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore ineligible to serve as president. That Mrs. Trump would lift portions of a speech singing the praises of then-Senator Obama in order to sing the praises of Mr. Trump is strange at best.