Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ripped From The Headlines

A few issues “Ripped From The Headlines.”

I. Credit Card Fraud.
From May It Please The Court.
we learn that cash register receipts may no longer display your entire credit card number. These receipts may only show THE LAST FOUR(4)DIGITS of the credit card number. They also may not include your card's expiration date. If they show more than that it is a violation of the Fair Faith and Credit Transaction Act and they can be in BIG TROUBLE!!

Why you may be asking? Because "penalties range up to $1,000 per incident, and the suits can be filed as class actions, multiplying the penalties dramatically."In other words vendors who are not in compliance as of January 2007 are at risk of lawsuits. Are you in compliance? Have you been a "victim" of a violation? Time to check out those receipts.

II. Dallas Tx. District Attorney Seems To Care About Innocents Being Convicted..

Now here is what appears to be a prosecutor with both an interest in justice and a brain. Rather than waste money from his budget trying to keep evidence secret and protect possibly faulty convictions, he is willing to open his files to the Texas Tech Law School Innocence Project. Now people who claim that the have been convicted of crimes wrongfully will have the chance to have their claims investigated by a private organization which can bring their findings to the DA’s office or to court. In the long run it will save his county money and do a service to the community (and to the wrongfully accused if any exist there.) Story here
HatTip: Crim Prof Blog.

III. Pace University Law School institutes a Return to Practice Program With The Westchester Women's Bar Association..

Interesting new program over at Pace Law School. It is designed to help Lawyer-Parents who are returning to the workforce to brush up on what they may have missed while performing familial duties. It will also be open to attorneys who have found other alternate career opportunities. I can foresee a day where a smart law school will open a program like this for disbarred and suspended attorney’s and it will be required as part of their application to be restored to practice. The course could have a heavy ethics concentration as well as small business skills building. The program is described as follows:
’New Directions,’ set for a May 21 launch, is a two-semester certificate program of study and externship for attorneys who have temporarily left practice and now want to return. “ Click here to find a form to get more information.

IV. Politics and Prosecutors..
Over the last 2 months Eight (8) Federal prosecutors have been fired by the Bush Administration. Some suspected politics at work. In this articleit appears Senator Pete Dominici had it in for a guy he formerly supported because he wasn't indicting democrats fast enough. What ever the reason, Federal prosecutors, (US Attorneys) serve at the President's discretion. President Bush has a right to fire whomever he wants. What he does not have, however, is the right to fill the positions that open up with out the advice and consent of the Senate. Right now, he fills the spots with interim people who never get to a vote up or down in the Senate. That is both a dereliction of the Constitution and a petty way to run government. Worse than that, it appears that the senator and the President were trying to rig prosecutions for political reasons. This type of behavior calls into question the fairness of the prosecutor's function. It further indicts the entire criminal justice system. Congress should be looking into that as well as the clear violation of the spirit and possible the words of the Constitution.

V. How do Courts Work. .
Here is a quick piece on how courts are set up within the states and federal government. It explains jurisdiction and how to tell which court hears what type of case. It is a good teaching tool.

VI. A Little TOO Friendly Skies: Airline Employee Fondles Sleeping Passenger on Flight.

Seems a maintenance man working for Northwest airlines boarded a plane from Tacoma to Minneapolis. He then allegedly waited for a female passenger to fall asleep and while the passenger slept, he lifted her shirt in an attempt to fondle her. When she awoke from feeling the material of the shirt move, he got up from the seat next to her and went elsewhere in the plane. The passenger alerted an attendant and the FBI met the flight in Minneapolis. He is being held. Article here.

Ok that's it for now.
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