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Case Update

The only case out of DC this past week was the Court's 6-3 affirmance of Indiana's voter identification law, in Crawford v. Marion CountyScotusblog has  an analysis of the case, if you're interested.

I don't usually do anything with 6th Circuit cases, although I probably should.  There was a very good one last week, in US v. Blair, involving a traffic stop.  The court tossed the search, and its discussion of the various aspects -- traffic violation stop v. Terry stop, length of detention, etc. -- make excellent reading, and give an absolutely essential understanding of the law in this critical area. 

Down in Columbus, the Supreme Court handed down about a dozen decisions.  Excluding the disciplinary cases (don't steal from your employer, and don't accept clients from a company that direct-markets estate planning services) and a few others which I wouldn't read at gunpoint, there were State v. Price and State v. Bates.  Price involved whether a domestic violations order can modify an civil protection order as to questions of visitation (it can), but Bates is the biggie, not so much for what it decides -- that a judge can order a sentence served consecutively to the sentence a judge in another case handed down -- but for what it says:  the presumption that sentences are concurrent is no more.  I'll have more on that tomorrow.

Elsewhere in Ohio's capital, beleaguered Attorney General Marc Dann denied that he'd appointed Bluto as chief of staff of his frat hou -- er, department.

On to the courts of appeals...

Civil.  2nd District reverses grant of directed verdict for hospital and doctor, says jury should have been allowed to consider plaintiff's theory that doctor was negligent in not offering c-section as method of delivery... 10th District holds that trial court was wrong not to declare mistrial in accident case where plaintiff's mention of insurance was intentional, not inadvertent... Plaintiff's appeal from grant of summary judgment, file six-paragraph appellate brief saying they incorporate the arguments from the brief they filed in the trial court, 8th District says that's not the way it works, disregards assignment of error for "lack of briefing," affirms judgment... 10th says that while punitive damages not recoverable in wrongful death action, may be recoverable in survivorship action; case also includes lengthy discussion of employer liability for punitive damages for employee's intentional tort... 3rd District holds that trial court properly considered interest father could have earned on $650,000 personal injury settlement in calculating child support...

Criminal.  Jury seeing defendant being transferred to jail in handcuffs, in jail clothes, and with other defendants during break in trial not enough to warrant mistrial, 2nd District rules... 8th District says that defendant stopped for traffic violation not "in custody" for Miranda purposes... 4th District holds that trial court should have instructed on simple assault, says evidence in record not sufficient to establish that scissors were "deadly weapon"...  8th District says defendant confronting clerk outside of counter, leading her back to counter to rob store, not sufficient additional animus to support kidnapping charge... 9th District reverses grant of motion to suppress, says that driving behind closed commercial buildings late at night with lights extinguished gives reasonable suspicion of criminal activity... Moment of Duh:  prosecutor asks defendant on cross if he'd tried to get a plea bargain; 8th District says that's not enough to warrant a mistrial, but reverses for other prosecutorial misconduct...

Too much time on my hands...  The defendant in Springfield v. Morgan filed an appellate brief containing no fewer than seven assignments of error from his conviction and $100 fine for failing to yield the right of way.  Among the assignments were claims that the citation was insufficient "because the issuing officer did not include his badge number or mark the court code and district number."  The 2nd District wasn't buying.

Bullshit legal theory of the week.  The plaintiff in Bradley v. Sprenger Enter., in her suit claiming she'd been wrongfully terminated for excessive absences which occurred after her mother's heart attack, initially alleged that she was discriminated against "based on her association with a disabled person," and then asserted a new basis for her claim:

that knowledge of her mother's heart attack rendered her temporarily disabled by virtue of "anticipatory bereavement" and that the Employer had a duty to accommodate her "disability."

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