January 9, 2016
Believe it or not my most popular blog post is “How to Defend a Deposition.” It wasn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide on defending depositions, but mostly commentary. People looking for how to defend a deposition seem to find it, but it doesn’t contain a lot of practical or substantive information.
Over the last few years, I’ve developed a set of talking points and a checklist that I go over with my witness prior to being deposed. What I do is print out two copies, review it with the client, and then make them re-read it at home so they don’t forget what we’ve talked about.
It’s not a substitute for asking your client about the specific facts of the case and your ability to polish the testimony. However, it will give a client the basics. (For a more in-depth read on depositions, I recommend D. Shane Read’s “Winning At Deposition.”)
Without further ado – here ya go. How to Defend a Deposition.
Don’t say I never did anything nice for you.
Oh, and this is how not to defend a deposition…
January 9, 2016
A few weeks ago, Central High School student Michael Moroz wrote a piece for the student newspaper. It was part of a series on “Black Lives Matter”. One student wrote a piece supportive of Black Lives Matter, while Michael wrote a piece that was critical. Both articles were approved by a member of the faculty prior to publication. This is a PDF of both articles.
Michael’s piece created a firestorm of controversy at his school with the both the faculty and students. Since writing it, Michael has been subject to death threats and harassment. Others have called on the University of Pennsylvania to revoke Michael’s admission. All because they felt his view wasn’t the “right” one.
Yes, you read that right – there are people who want to destroy the life of a 17 year old young man because he has an opinion different than theirs.
Further, Central High School initially removed Michael’s article without removing the article supportive of Black Lives Matter. Then both articles were removed. Timothy McKenna, Central’s president — the school’s principal also serves as its president — admitted Tuesday that in hindsight, both pieces should have been removed simultaneously.
While Central High School might support censorship, Philly Law Blog does not. This is the article that Central High School doesn’t want you to read.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 26, 2015
Generally, Pennsylvania attorneys’ actions are governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. However, if an attorney abuses process by filing and maintaining a lawsuit that was either grossly negligent or without probable cause, the attorney can also be held liable in a civil court under what’s known as the Dragonetti Act, 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8351.
The standard to hold an attorney liable is high. Not only does one have to file and maintain a lawsuit that was either grossly negligent or without probable cause, but it also has to terminate favorably on the merits. This means you can go through years of frivolous litigation with little to no recourse. More often than not, litigants get burned out from incurring legal fees, and simply settle the case rather than take a chance on recovering their fees in a Dragonetti Action.
Nevertheless, and despite it’s high burdens, the Dragonetti Act is particularly important because Pennsylvania does not have an anti-SLAPP statute.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 19, 2015
Imagine that there is a house on your block where you’ve observed drug dealing and prostitution. You’ve taken pictures, and there’s even been some arrests. The cops say they’re too busy to arrest every person coming in and out of there. Finally you complain to the landlord, who says “I don’t endorse drug dealing and prostitution, but they pay their rent on time so I don’t really want to do anything about it.” Eventually the city decides to crack down and take away the property from the landlord, who then cries about how “it’s so unfair.”
That’s basically what happened in BMG v. Cox. In this case, a jury held an internet service provider liable for turning a willful eye towards its’ subscribers’ repeated copyright infringements. BMG had retained Rightscorp, who sent thousands of notices to the most notorious individuals illegally pirating content via their Cox internet accounts. Cox basically said “Oh. We’ll look into that. Maybe.”
Why is piracy Cox’s problem? Because the Digital Millennium Copyright Act offers ISPs a safe harbor for the actions of its subscribers, but the ISP must adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines and promptly block access to alleged infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) when they receive notification of an infringement claim from a copyright holder or the copyright holder’s agent.
In other words, federal law shields ISPs from liability, provided they do things like shut off the internet for subscribers who engage in piracy. Just like a landlord can get busted for renting to tenants who deal drugs.
Read the rest of this entry »
August 30, 2015
The year was 2005. I had just started law school and already couldn’t wait for it to be over. Despite being a crack law student with a bright future, I still needed to put beer on the table every week. To make ends meet, I took a job at a local restaurant as a server. Civil procedure by day, “would you like fries with that?” at night. While at first it felt a little demeaning for a Villanova college graduate studying law to be serving food, it didn’t matter. The money was good, and I got paid every day in cold, hard cash.
The restaurant was broken into two sections – you had your “front of the house” staff, and in the back, you had your “back of the house” staff. The front of the house staff is what you would imagine – servers, hostesses, and bartenders. They were mostly middle class kids trying to make a few bucks. Some of them were in school. Most were white.
In the back of the house no one spoke a lick of English – it was all Spanish. Apparently the guys in the back were here from Mexico illegally.
As a conservative, I’d always considered myself against illegal immigration. People should come to America legally. If they come here illegally, they should have to leave. Simple enough, right?
Despite being a fancy and important law student, I quickly bonded with my fellow servers, whose upbringings were similar to mine. These kids liked to party and hang out. I found them much easier to get along with than my fellow law students, who were often pruning about their LSAT scores, college scholarships, and bragging about how they were going to easily graduate in the top 5% of the class and make law review. I was just trying to get my law degree and start a practice – not set the academic world on fire. Can we talk about punk rock instead of debating “International Shoe?” Please? Pretty please? If I heard the phrase “minimum contacts” in a casual conversation one more time I was going to punch someone. Read the rest of this entry »
August 16, 2015
Earlier in the week, I learned that something was brewing up north. RooshV said some stuff that made people upset, so they decided to try and kick him out of Canada, untruthfully brand him a rapist, throw a beer in his face, and then brag about the whole thing on the internet. They even posted a video of the assault on the internet.
As you might imagine, the people responsible for this unlawful mob justice behavior promptly went to jail.
The Canadian government not only failed to press charges against the assailants, but some government officials actually joined in protests against Roosh.
This weekend I flew up to Toronto to get a closer look (and eat poutine). I even attended an “anti-rape / pro consent” rally to figure out what this is all about.
After spending the weekend in Toronto, I’ve had an opportunity to put my thoughts together.
Flying the Banner of Rape – How Feminism Went From Promoting Equality to Becoming a Cult Religion
Rape is a terrible thing. Understandably, the word and the concept triggers deep emotions in many, especially those who are rape victims. Read the rest of this entry »