New Dolan Legal Blog — Not Just for Badgers

jean_nicolet-discovers-wisconsin.jpgOur roster of Dolan Media blogs is growing. Today, I’m pleased to point you to The Wisconsin Law Journal Blogs. What you get here are the thoughts of several area legal scholars and legal affairs reporters writing mostly, but not entirely, about matters of law in their home state.

So, for example:

Tony Anderson writes this about a state supreme court decision that would eliminate limits on how many times someone can take the Wisconsin Bar exam:

On Nov. 7, the state’s high court considered a petition from Arnold A. Moncada Jr., a Thomas Cooley Law School (Lansing, Mich.) graduate who has made five unsuccessful attempts to pass the Wisconsin bar exam. Audio of that public hearing for Petition 07-04 is available here. Moncada said that 31 states allow unlimited attempts to pass the exam. He also noted that some other professions within Wisconsin allow unlimited opportunities to pass their licensing examinations.

I understand wanting to level the playing field with Wisconsin law school graduates who receive diploma privilege. However, the solution is not to eliminate the safeguards we have in place to protect the public. Questions regarding the appropriateness of diploma privilege should be considered separately.

Note that Tony links you to both the petition and an audio recording of the hearing itself. Not too shabby.

Two other pieces cover matters that all lawyers, litigants and anyone else for that matter should find of great interest. Trial lawyer and jury consultant Anne Reed discusses recent research into the power of “gory materials” to influence juries:

Just over 100 subjects were assigned to read a summary of the murder trial. The facts were the same in each summary, but the researchers varied the amount of detail in the description of the victim’s wounds. In addition, some subjects got photographs of the victim’s wounds with their summaries, some got “neutral” pictures of the crime scene, and some got no pictures at all.

The photographs had a huge influence. Only 8.8% of the mock jurors who didn’t see pictures voted to convict the defendant, compared to 38.2% of those who saw neutral pictures and 41.2% of those who saw gory pictures. The level of verbal detail, on the other hand, seemed to have no effect. Why did the photographs make such a difference? Another finding suggests the answer: the jurors who saw gruesome pictures “reported higher levels of anger directed at the defendant” than the others.

Her post includes a link to an audio presentation of this study by its author, David Bright, an Australian graduate student in forensic psychology.

Meanwhile, Ray Dall’Osto, a criminal defense and constitutional law attorney analyzes the effect of British and Dutch government moves to shut down OiNK, a music downloading and peer-to-peer sharing service:

Wasn’t all this decided in the Napster case? Remember when Napster existed and how you could readily have a world of music brought into your home – you could download songs from Vivaldi, Johnny Cash, Crosby Stills, Nine Inch Nails and even the Bonzo Dog Band? How cool was that? In A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001), the Ninth Circuit ruled that Napster could be held liable for contributory infringement of record company copyrights and shut the free file-sharing service down. The court rejected arguments that peer-to-peer file-sharing was a fair use or allowable personal archiving, or that First Amendment rights to free speech and association protections were implicated.

This was the first major case to address the application of newer copyright laws to peer-to-peer file-sharing. And big business got what it paid for when the copyright laws were redrafted in the 1980s, with the substantial help of the recording and cable television industries to provide Draconian civil and criminal sanctions for personal use and file-sharers.

Our Wisconsin bloggers don’t shy away from the big issues. So — if you think you can take it — check out the Wisconsin Law Journal Blogs. And, while you’re at it, go over to my blogroll and check out the other excellent and proliferating Dolan blogs on business and law. Smart commentary, breaking news, curious episodes — we’ve got it all.

 

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One Comment on “New Dolan Legal Blog — Not Just for Badgers”

  1. Mary Aloe Says:

    Hello,
    New here. Thanks

    Mary Aloe
    Proud Mary Entertainment


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