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June 3, 2006

While our Republican state legislature passing a strongly pro-consumer measure is arguably one of the signs that the End Times are upon us, let's give props where props are due: by all accounts, the newly-enacted predatory lending bill is one of the strongest in the nation. And this just a couple of weeks after I ripped the legislature for being as sensitive toward consumer concerns as James Dobson is to gay rights. Imagine my shame...  A summary of the bill's provisions can be found here, and for those who laugh at death, the full text of the bill can be found here.

We're going to be starting a new feature at The Briefcase this week. Instead of a post on a single subject, on Saturdays we'll take a quick swing around court decisions that have come out in the past week, regardless of which district they're from.


The 10th District holds in State v. Martin that the statements a child makes about abuse to a medical provider don't qualify as "testimonial statements" under Crawford v. Washington. (Crawford holds that hearsay statements are barred if they're testimonial, even if they qualify under one of the hearsay exceptions and are deemed reliable by the judge. I'll have a more detailed post on Crawford in the next couple of weeks.) The 8th District had come to the same conclusion last year in In re D.L....  Civil Rule 4(E)'s requirement that service be obtained within six months applies mainly where plaintiff's have made no further effort to obtain service after the first attempt comes back, and doesn't apply to out of state service, the 8th District holds...  A local ordinance requiring homeowners to keep their sidewalks in repair doesn't create liability for a slip and fall on the sidewalk, says the 10th District in Yonut v. Salemi....  Although a motion to withdraw a guilty plea should be granted "liberally," it's still reviewed for abuse of discretion, and the court doesn't abuse that discretion if the attorney is competent, the court complied with Rule 11, and gives a full hearing on the motion to withdraw, says the 9th District... The attorney for an estate owed no duty to one of the heirs, and couldn't be sued for malpractice in his handling of the estate, concludes the 11th District in Holik v. Lafferty...

And on the lighter side... A bar gets its liquor license yanked because "the evidence showed that between six and 20 officers were typically called to the permit premises on a Saturday night" in Asylum, Inc. v. Liquor Control Commission. Just a hunch, but maybe calling a bar the "Asylum" isn't the best way of attracting a law-abiding clientele...  In Boney v. Boney, the unfortunately named couple saw their union dissolve, the court affirming the trial judge's award of $1,000 monthly alimony for six years. The wife claimed that the husband was under-reporting the income from his plumbing business.  The trial court noted that the business lost $2,493 from 2000 through 2004, but that during the same time "in order to achieve those dismal financial results, Husband invested $55,883 in car and truck expense, depreciated $28,261 worth of property and incurred $17,846 of expense for business meals."  And to think I was worried about being audited....

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