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July 29, 2006

Summertime, and the living is easy...  So is the case reading; not much going on....

9th District upholds provision requiring arbitration of nursing home malpractice claim, but it's not as bad as it sounds:  provision was clearly marked, wasn't a condition of admission, and plaintiff was 60-year old who'd operated numerous businesses... 6th District reverses dismissal of suit by patient who claimed his doctor was negligent in not sending letter to patient's employer saying he couldn't work, resulting in patient losing job...

10th District holds that menacing by stalking doesn't require proof of mental distress, only that defendant caused the victim to believe that he "will cause mental distress to the victim.  Yeah, I don't quite follow that, either... 12th District rejects incompetence of counsel claim based on lawyer having defendant testify, thus letting jury know about defendant's numerous prior convictions; this is in keeping with case law that holds courts won't second-guess counsel's tactical or strategic decisions... 

Great case out of the 10th District affirming a manslaughter conviction.  Not much in the way of novel applications of law, but the court's recitation of the facts is worth a read on its own:  The setting is a trailer park, and you'll be introduced to a bevy of fascinating characters, including Big Johnny, Little Johnny, Josh, Natasha, Satasha, and Misty.  This excerpt will give you a flavor of the events on that fateful night:

After the gunfire, Little Johnny grabbed a baseball bat and jumped onto a trunk of a nearby car. Little Johnny and Michael had a brief stare-down, and when Michael looked away, Little Johnny struck him with the bat, causing Michael to fall. Thereafter, Little Johnny checked on Big Johnny, who did not respond, and then Little Johnny went back to Joe, who had also been shot during the gunfire, and "stomped him in the face."

Of course, instead of reading the opinion on the case, you can always wait for it to show up on an episode of Cops.

Have a good weekend.

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