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3 posts from August 2011

August 10, 2011

Tweeting During Trial Could Land You In Jail!

12 angry men Well, it's official.  If you're doing your civic duty as a juror in California and you Tweet (or Facebook or e-mail or... name your technology) about the trial, you will officially be in criminal contempt of court.  What does that mean to you?  It could mean six months in the klink! 

    No tweeting Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation on Friday (Assembly Bill 141, authored by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Los Angeles) which requires trial judges to tell jurors that existing bans on conducting their own research about the case, or talking to outsiders about it, applies to electronic and wireless communication. Violations by jury members will be punishable by up to six months in jail for criminal contempt.

No facebook     Having just served as a juror last week on a criminal matter and as an attorney trying a civil matter just a couple of months ago in Santa Monica, I can attest to the fact that judges take the use (or misuse) of technology very seriously.  They admonish the jurors not to discuss the case with anyone including their significant others or the jury when not in actual deliberations.  They further stress, and I mean STRESS, the rules forbidding the use of electronic devices to Tweet, text, Facebook, e-mail or in any other way, shape or form any information, thoughts, questions or other communication about the case.  Jurors are not to use electronic devices to research the case or any facts about the case.

    As a lawyer, I actually think that these are good rules.  Verdicts are to be based upon the evidence admitted during the trial.  Verdicts are not to be based on a jurors' independent research.  I believe that the integrity of the judicial system must be preserved.  Read California Criminal Jury Instructions 101-102.

    You may also be interested to read what others are saying about this new law.  Most think that it's just one more useless law designed to quash the First Amendment and ultimately create more crowding in our already overcrowded jails.  Here are links to other articles and comments about this bill:

California Jurors Tempted By Technology Could Face Jail Time (Article) (Wall Street Journal Blog)

California Jurors Tempted By Technology Could Face Jail Time (Comments) (Wall Street Journal Blog)

Jurors To Be Told Not to Tweet Under New Law (SF Chronicle)

California Governor Sends Message to Jurors: No Tweeting (Law Technology News)

What do you think?

August 02, 2011

Red Light Cameras No More in Los Angeles! Warning...

No red light cameras

    Great news! The Red Light Cameras ceased being in operation in Los Angeles as of July 31, 2011.  However, heed the following announcement from the Los Angeles Superior Court Website:

The City of Los Angeles has decided to end its red light camera program on July 31, 2011. The City's action does not stop the processing of outstanding red-light citations. It does not eliminate penalties associated with red-light citations. It does not constitute grounds for a refund of any money paid on such a citation. Anyone issued a red-light citation must resolve it within the specified time limits or face certain penalties as prescribed by law.

In other words, if you received a red light ticket on or before July 31, 2011 you still need to pay it or fight it!!


August 01, 2011

Born To Be Wild! 29 Celebrity Motorcycle Injuries & Deaths (and 10 Safety Tips)

    There's a daredevil in all of us.  Steppenwolf's Born to Be Wild (from Easy Rider) accompanies the video below  which is a compendium of celebrities who have been injured or killed in motorcycle crashes.  The video also includes 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips!

    Click on the photos below the video to find out how the celebrity was injured or killed.  Most importantly, if you ride, ride safely and be defensive.  Other drivers may not be looking out for you!

Click on Each Picture Below

For Details of Their Motorcycle Crash

   Clooney, Larson 01 Fonda 01  Idol 01

Lawrence 01  Schwarzenegger 01 Mitchell 01

Bourdon 01 Allman 01   Pitt 01

  Hutton 01  Kitano 01 Tyler 01

The video has yet more celebrities involved in motorcycle accidents.  Here's a complete list of the celebrities included in the video:

George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dean McDermott, Lauren Hutton, Jeremy Lusk, Ben Roethlisberger, Daryl Mitchell aka Chill, Kerry Von Erich, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Ann-Margaret, Kellen Winslow, Jr., Takeshi Kitano, Steven Tyler, Erik Estrada, T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Adrien Brody, Bob Dylan, Don Rich, Gerard Depardieu, Ken Wahl, Seal, “Big” John Studd, Brad Pitt, Billy Idol, Gale Harold, Peter Fonda, Gary Busey, Luc Bourdon

Drive Safely!

Share the road 03



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