Laws of the Land: Where Is ‘Open Carry’ Legal?

As people on both sides of the debate regarding open carry—the practice of carrying firearms in plain view—have been turning up the heat, more companies are being forced to take a side.

Gun-rights advocates see the practice as a way to normalize gun ownership and deter crime, while gun-control activists believe carrying guns in stores and restaurants is disruptive to the public and encourages violence.

Recently, TargetStarbucks and Chipotle have asked their patrons not to bring their guns. After petitions by gun-control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Kroger said it would uphold local and state laws in the 34 states it operates.


Three Judges From Same Court Busted For DWI

One is an outlier. A sad reminder of the legal profession’s struggle with alcoholism. Two is a curiosity. Perhaps a coincidence? But when three judges, all from the same court, get charged with DWI over the course of a mere six months, you’re looking at a trend.

Just this morning, the third judge in this trend was handcuffed and led away from the scene of an accident. In this case, the courtroom parking lot. That’s right, she’s accused of running over the gate to the lot and then ramming a parked sheriff’s car.


A question of justice

Suppose a serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer enjoys a lifestyle torturing, killing and cannibalizing people for fun. He eventually gets caught and goes to prison. In prison he becomes a born-again Christian and all this sins are absolved from him. He then gets killed and goes to heaven since the mere act of conversion into Christianity cleanses him of all previous wrong doings. Some of this victims however were not Christian when they were murdered and so they go to hell when they die. So not only are the murder victims tortured and murdered in this world, they get sent to hell to be tortured even worse, but now it is forever, while their murderer enjoys everlasting peace in heaven


Justice Scalia Mercilessly Mocks A Lawyer (And He Was Totally Right To Do It)

Justice Scalia is kind of a troll sometimes. He routinely snarks out his fellow justices and is a total dick to legal luminaries like Judge Posner. His belligerence is drenched in sarcasm and usually arbitrary.

In a sense, Antonin Scalia is ATL’s spirit guide.

But when he went after an attorney appearing before him, he got immediately chastised by a fellow justice and raised the ire of even conservative commentators.

In this instance, I’m going out on a limb and say Justice Scalia was absolutely, positively, 100 percent right….


In Defense Of The Rich White Boy Who Killed Four People And Got Away With It

I’m sure that by now you’ve all heard the story about the wealthy white teenager who killed four people while drunk driving. As we mentioned in yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs, 16-year-old Ethan Couch got off — sentenced to therapy — because the judge agreed that the kid was a victim of “affluenza”: his parents gave him everything he wanted, and he believed that being rich meant that he wouldn’t have to face consequences for his actions.

The kid’s not wrong; the fact that he’s not facing incarceration for killing four people kind of proves the point. A poor white kid would be in jail right now. A rich black kid would be in jail right now. A poor black kid would be picking out items for his last supper right now. Anybody who thinks that this kind of lenience would be given to anybody other than a wealthy white dauphin is wrong and stupid (and probably racist). The rich kid isn’t in jail because rich people don’t suffer the full force of consequences for their actions.


What lawyers put in online profiles versus what clients want in profiles

Nothing I have shared on Twitter has been retweeted and favorited as much as this diagram on lawyer profiles by Matt Homann (@matthomann).

If there’s such a thing as a viral tweet in the legal arena, my tweet today of Homman’s diagram qualified. People favorited the tweet all day long. Countless people retweeted it. Some said Homman’s diagram was going straight to the marketing department at their firm.

Why? Because Homman is spot on. Clients could generally care less where we went to school and what law firm we worked at 17 years ago.

The public is not looking for a profile that reads like Martindale-Hubbell. People want to know how accessible you are, how they can connect to you on social media, and where they can read non-legalese items authored by you that demonstrate your passion and care.


Are lawyers keeping up appearances on-line?

Lawyers routinely say that LinkedIn is for business while Facebook is for social and friends.

Euan Semple (@euan), author and social media consultant to organizations, including the The World Bank, wondered Sunday if folks holding this belief are missing out on the wider changes in attitude to work and business that the social web is enabling.

The web is all about people. It’s about connections, relationships and energy. So is doing business. Energy and connections are what help you do your work. Facebook, for all its faults, is good at increasing both. Linkedin in, in contrast, is full of people in suits being “professional”.

As a lawyer, you should no doubt use LinkedIn. Have a great profile, connect with those you meet on and off-line, share items you read, and possibly start a niche focused group. I have.


Why your law firm managing partner or chair should go social

Alexander Ingram (@Alex_M_Ingram), an account coordinator at InkHouse Media + Marketing, shared some thoughts this morning on why your CEO should go social.

For years, CEOs protected themselves from the public and left most of the talking to their PR agencies. Regularly communicating in a public forum was simply not part of a CEO’s job description. Today, the massive onslaught of businesses adopting social media has provided a unique opportunity for finally personalizing the voice – and influence – of these company leaders. However, with a few high-profile exceptions (Richard Branson), CEOs have largely remained out of the mix, often too busy to take the time to participate in the incessant roar of the social channels. Executives, particularly the CEO, can provide a perspective that no one else in your business can, and social media offers a great platform to disseminate that message.


5 habits of successful law firm social media managers

Andrew Caravella (@andrewcaravella), vice president of marketing at Sprout Social, a leading social media management and engagement platform, shared 5 habits of successful social media managers, that I thought very appropriate for professionals responsible for social in law firms.

Here’s Carvella’s five focused on acting, stepping backing, and rebooting with a little tailoring to the law from me.

  • Learn the latest tools, but don’t act impulsively. When you lead the social media charge, you’re charged with seeing and playing with the latest and greatest. However you’re in a law firm, professionalism is mandated. With social requiring personal involvement by lawyers time is limited, use it judicially. You may be best to stick with the big 5 — LinkedIn, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ — and to prioritize within that group.


Supreme Court considers validity of cancer gene patents

As I’ve said numerous times, including in yesterday’s roundup, it is Supreme Court season both in Washington, DC and on LexBlog Network as our members have been on a tear when it comes to providing detailed analysis of major decisions. It’s impossible for me to accurately describe, so do go visit LXBN’s Supreme Court section for the full view. In the meantime, here’s two of the most interesting cases covered—ones we’ve been tracking all the way up through the circuit courts—and another trending topic on our network.



​Cybercrime has many definitions (Wall 2001), and in recent years it has become synonymous with computer crime.  Technically, the definition of computer crime is any illegal act which involves knowledge of how to use a computer to offend.  Most definitions of cybercrime, by contrast, point to some “special knowledge” of cyberspace or “expert” use of a computer to offend.  Regardless of how special or expert some offenders are, it is customary today to just lump them all together as cybercriminals for ease of discussion.  Most observers agree it is the wave of the future, and it's here to stay.  With over one trillion dollars moved electronically every week, the Internet is where the money is.  The rates of cybercrime are skyrocketing.  The annual “take” by theft-oriented cybercriminals is estimated as high as $100 billion, and 97% of offenses go undetected (Bennett & Hess 2001).  Then, there are those who just abuse the Internet and computer systems — hackers or hooligans, whatever you want to call them — but cybercriminals nonetheless.  Their shenanigans cost an additional $104,000 per incident in damage, labor, and lost productivity (Brown et al. 2001).  In addition, there's corporate espionage (pdf), which some experts say is the real problem, with annual losses of proprietary information in the $40-60 million range.  Toss in organized crime, terrorism, piracy, fraud, embezzlement, extortion, predation, harassment, and a variety of other ways to offend or harm with computers, and it's anybody's guess what the real cost is.

Criminological theory is admittedly weak in this area.  There are things that are criminally wrong, deliberately wrong, accidentally wrong, wrong for all the right reasons, wrong for all the wrong reasons, and just plain annoying.  Legal systems everywhere are busy studying ways of passing new laws dealing with Internet misbehavior, so the arena has become a sort of “test-bed” or “mini-society” where all sorts of moral deconstruction and decoding goes on.  This ethereal realm we call CYBERSPACE is intriguing but full of potential dangers.  Barney (2000), for one, hopes that it will eventually be used to perfect democracy.  Others see it as offering little more than an underground economy and tempting addictions.  It is both a blessing and curse. Nobody has any good idea about how to regulate or police it.


Jared Loughner Incompetent to Stand Trial

Jared Loughner is incompetent and will not stand trial for now, a federal judge ruled at Wednesday's mental incapacity proceeding. Loughner was arrested in the fatal Tucson shootings that wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people.

Loughner had to be removed from the mental incapacity proceeding after an outburst. A reporter said he heard Loughner lower his head and say, “Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me,” reports CNN.

After his removal from the courtroom, Loughner watched the rest of the proceeding on a TV screen in a nearby room.Loughner had spent the last five weeks undergoing a mental health evaluation. Prosecutors had ordered the mental health evaluation after they saw YouTube videos of Loughner wearing a hood, garbage bags and burning an American flag, reports The Houston Chronicle.

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