With confessed murderers going free and the recusal of an entire District Attorney’s Office, you might be asking yourself what’s going on in Orange County? Among the many alleged violations, a secret record keeping system called TRED, deputies committing perjury, and the failure to present exculpatory evidence for criminal defendants are at the center of a controversy involving the use of jailhouse informants. It might surprise you that the key witnesses for many prosecutions in California are convicted felons already behind bars. In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, producer Laurence Colletti interviews Professor Alexandra Natapoff from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and Rudolph Loewenstein, a recommendation directly from the Orange County Public Defenders Office. Together they discuss the constitutionality of Orange County’s Jailhouse Informant Program, why there’s such uproar in its use, and why Texas might be turning away from such practices in death penalty cases. Tune in to hear about the “papering” of Judge Thomas M. Goethals and likely punishments for alleged abuses of the system.
Professor Alexandra Natapoff is associate dean for research, professor of law, and Rains Senior Research Fellow from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She is an award-winning legal scholar and a nationally recognized expert on criminal informants. As author of ‘Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice’, she won the 2010 ABA Silver Gavel Award. Natapoff has testified before the U.S. Congress and assisted numerous jurisdictions in drafting informant-related legislation.
Mr. Rudolph Loewenstein was recommended to us by Mr. Scott Sanders of the Orange County Public Defenders Office. He is a certified criminal law specialist who has been practicing in that area for over 30 years and is admitted to the United States District Court and the United States Supreme Court. Lowenstein is a former deputy district attorney who is now defending clients in the very types of cases he used to prosecute.
Joe and Elie talk to Matthew Dowd, a partner at Andrews Kurth. Dowd famously represents the Meitiv family, the parents (now cleared) of child neglect charges for allowing their children, 10 and 6, to walk through their neighborhood unattended. Elie expresses concern over letting children roam free, while Joe thinks independence is key to building character and Dowd walks through the legal landscape that governs parenting in America.
Elie and Joe chat with Joshua Gilliland and Jessica Mederson of The Legal Geeks about their legal careers and the legal issues surrounding the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recorded immediately before the release of Avengers 2, they speculate on the legal issues that arise in building genocidal robots, cleaning up the aftermath of superpowered mayhem, and just how terrifying an entity like S.H.I.E.L.D. would be in real life.
It’s a federal offense to grow, sell or use marijuana, but a growing number of states have laws permitting its use under specific circumstances. In Alaska, Oregon, Colorado and Washington, the product is available for recreational use. In Colorado and Washington, it may be sold commercially, and is taxed and regulated by the state. The University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law has started to offer classes in marijuana law. There’s a need for lawyers to represent cannabis businesses. But how can you advise these clients and develop this as a specialty while remaining on the right side of legal ethics?
In this month’s Asked and Answered, Seattle lawyer Ryan Espegard chats with the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward about how he advises the marijuana industry–being mindful of state and federal regulation–and what sorts of business development activities have worked for him.
Elie and Joe talk with Brian Dalton, Research Director at Above the Law, about the 2015 law school rankings published by Above the Law. The annual ranking of the Top 50 law schools in the country boasts some surprising shakeups at the top. After discussing the latest rankings, the gang discusses what really matters: what law school student body would win in a fight.
“The average solo practitioner in this country cannot afford their own hourly rate.”
Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Monica Bay, Professor Oliver Goodenough, Margaret Hagan, John Suh, Lucy Bassli, and James Sandman, panelists on ‘Innovations within the Legal Sphere’ at the 2015 ABA National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services. Together, they analyze the extent to which the legal system is not working for low income and middle class people, what happens when a large percent of the population feels disenfranchised by the legal system (like the Baltimore protests), and why the ABA needs to demand fundamental changes in the legal system to stay relevant.
Are there technology and system changes that lawyers, designers, and technologists can implement so that our vast, underrepresented population can fairly approach their legal situations?
Monica Bay is a former Legal Talk Network host and a Fellow at CodeX: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics and is currently retired from her position as editor-in-chief of ALM’s Law Technology News, where she worked for 30 years.
Oliver Goodenough is faculty associate at The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and professor at the Vermont Law School. He conducts research and writes about the impact of technology on law.
Margaret Hagan is a fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession and a lecturer at Stanford’s Design School. She is looking at ways to improve the interfaces that make legal services accessible.
John Suh is the current CEO of LegalZoom and has been an internet entrepreneur for 20 years.
Lucy Bassli is assistant general counsel at Microsoft. She spends half her time negotiating contracts and the other half managing a robust contracting process on behalf of the legal department.
James Sandman is president of the Legal Services Corporation, the single largest U.S. funder of civil legal aid programs for low-income people. They fund 134 independent legal aid programs with almost 800 legal aid offices serving every county, state, and territory.
After many reported injuries, more than 14 million vehicles with Takata-manufactured airbags have been recalled due to defects. On Ringler Radio, host Larry Cohen and co-host, Keith Christie join guest Attorney Cole Portis from the Beasley Allen law firm, to discuss the airbag recall, the litigation surrounding defective airbags and the impact on air bag regulation.
Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.
The legal history of rights against discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people is changing rapidly. In April 2015, 38 states and Washington, D.C. granted legal benefits of marriage to same-sex marriages, a huge step up from 12 in 2013. But there are still 27 states that do not have statewide protection from discrimination against LGBT workers. Furthermore, many individuals in the legal industry fear losing their jobs because of their sexual orientation, and paralegals are more at risk than lawyers because they are employees at will and not protected by partnership agreements. So what can LGBT paralegals do if they live in one of these states?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Ric Roane, Esq., a lawyer with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about the history of legal rights regarding the LGBT community and how paralegals today can cope with discrimination and fear of coming out in their workplace. Roane discusses how the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed in 1996 denies marriage benefits to same-sex spouses. He also talks about how the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in Michigan and similar acts in other states defend widely against discrimination without mention of the LGBT community. He explains the Supreme Court consideration of whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry and how their decision will affect workers. After the break, he talks about his own experience of being an openly gay lawyer, the differences between discrimination of paralegals versus lawyers, and steps a paralegal can take to help enhance their job security.
Richard Roane, Esq. is a partner with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, one of the largest and most successful law firms in Michigan. He has practiced family law and domestic relations litigation for 26 years. Roane specializes in divorce, nonmarital domestic relationships, domestic relations mediation and arbitration, spousal support, child custody and support, complex business valuation and distribution, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. He does a lot of public speaking and has authored several family law articles and books.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston University, Nala, and ServeNow.
Beer for Bloggers is a cooperative social event in its 8th year at ABA TECHSHOW between the ABA Journal and LexBlog, which celebrates law blogging and law bloggers. Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti sits down with 20 blogging lawyers to highlight their blog(s) in 60 seconds or less.
Below is a comprehensive list of the blogs mentioned, where to find them, their main topics, and the authors’ Twitter handles.
AvoidAClaim Blog – Helps lawyers avoid claims. Latest legal frauds. Slaw – #1 Canadian legal blog with articles from lawyers all over Canada. Dan Pinnington @DanPinnington
Above the Law – Legal industry gossip about biglaw, government jobs, small practices, and anything else newsworthy in law. AssociatesMind – Longest running professional development site for new lawyers. Keith Lee @associatesmind
His name is James McGill, but most of us know him as Slipping Jimmy, or Saul Goodman, an ethically conflicted advocate for the unlawful. Making his debut in season two of ‘Breaking Bad’, actor Bob Odenkirk brought life to his loveably shady character, providing comedic relief in an otherwise dark show. Today, Saul Goodman returns to fans in a spin off show titled ‘Better Call Saul’ which is set in 2002, long before he meets Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi interviews Nicole Hyland author of The Legal Ethics of Better Call Saul blog. Together they discuss the ethical blunders of Saul Goodman, why he’s so likeable, and whether or not he’s a good person. Tune in to hear how Saul’s questionable antics stack up against real life rules of professional conduct and how what’s technically legal isn’t always what’s right.
Nicole Hyland writes The Legal Ethics of Better Call Saul blog, which has been featured in Slate and Above The Law. In addition to being a partner in the litigation and professional responsibility groups at Frankfurt Kurnit, Ms. Hyland is the chair of the committee on professional ethics of The New York City Bar Association, co-chair for the Ethics Committees of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and on the board of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. She co-authored, with Professor Roy Simon, Simon’s New York Rules of Professional Conduct Annotated, sits on the editorial board of the New York Legal Ethics Reporter, and contributes to the Legal Ethics Forum blog.