Expanding the Blogroll. When I started The Briefcase back in May of 2006, it was one of the very few blogs devoted to Ohio law. Some others have come along since then, and some of those have dropped out. That's understandable. Doing this, as you might guess, can be incredibly time-consuming. I'm convinced that Prof. Berman of the Sentencing Law & Policy blog had himself cloned, and is now actually nine different people.
But there are a number of Ohio blogs out there now, and I've revised my blogroll to reflect that. They can not only be a good source of information on a particular area of law, but they can give you some perspective that you might not otherwise get elsewhere.
Brian Wilson (the Canton lawyer, not the Beachboy), for example, does personal injury work and has a blog called Bullseye. Yesterday he had a nice piece about a Supreme Court decision from a couple months back, Hutchings v. Childress, which held that a husband who provided home health care to his wife after her automobile accident could recover the fair market value of such care, but couldn’t recover the wages he lost as a result of having to take off work to provide that care. I'd glossed over the decision when it came down, but Brian does a good job of pointing out that the result isn't terribly consistent with the concept of "family values": if you take time off work to provide first-rate care for your wife, the defendant and his insurance company get to compensate you at the rate of a minimum-wage home health care aide. I probably should have addressed Hutchings more thoroughly when it came down, but frankly, after Arbino v. Johnson & Johnson, which I discussed here, the Ohio Supreme Court's siding with insurance companies in personal injury cases is about as much of a dog-bites-man story as you're going to find. Thanks to Brian for picking up the slack.
Well, at least the wife in Hutchings would have had her own day in Pennsylvania. Other blogs outside of Ohio are fun, too. Courtesy of Kipesquire's A Stitch in Haste, we find this story about Pulaski Township in Pennsylvania -- where, no doubt, the bitter townspeople cling to their religion and guns -- which tried to close down an adult bookstore because it had the temerity to remain open for business on Flag Day, based upon an 1893 law purporting to recognize various state holidays. The problems with this approach?
In legal briefs, attorneys for Adultland and owner Eric V. Boron, of Salem, Ohio, wrote that state-recognized holidays could be read to include such obscure events as Hubert J. Humphrey Jr. Day on May 27, Commodore John Barry Day on Sept. 13, Bird Day on March 21 and Shut-In Day, the third Sunday of October.
The appeals court kicked it out on void for vagueness grounds, sort of skimming over the possible First Amendment implications of the case; at a time when stores have Thanksgiving Day sales, it seems hard to believe that the same fate befell businesses in Pulaski Township which did not have an adult orientation. At any rate, it's a good guess, as Kipesquire wryly notes, that Constitution Day was not on the list of holidays where business activity was proscribed.
Dirty Dancing. In other small-town news, Marshall, North Carolina, had to pony up $275,000 as a settlement for banning Rebecca Willis from its community dance hall. The ban was based on complaints that Willis "danced in a sexually provocative manner, wearing short skirts while simulating sexual intercourse with her partner who hunched on the floor," with some observers claiming that they could see Willis' underwear and "privates."
Willis is 64.