Looking at the Michigan Court of Appeals Medical Marijuana Decision

I am still piecing my way through reaction to the Court of Appeals decision on Wednesday regarding the sale of Medical Marijuana. In short, I think this quote from Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero summarizes things nicely:

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero decried the outcome Thursday in an official statement and on Facebook.

Bernero called the court ruling a “train wreck of epic proportions” and criticized lawmakers for not clarifying the law in the three years since voters approved it.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? This Lansing State Journal Article should supply background. For those of you who want to cut out the media and just read the case decision, here is that, from the State Bar of Michigan Blog.

So, let’s take a look at this train wreck:

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Great Moments in (fictional) Courtroom History

I’m going to try and run one of these around every Friday. Straight forward, whatever I can find on YouTube that I enjoy, to fit in with the talk we’ll have here about legal moments in the movies, TV and more.

One of my friends from Law School works in New Jersey. Whenever we talk about what we have going on with the law, the thing that always impresses me the most is when he tells me he’s doing Night Court stuff. Crazy jealous, and all because of Harry Anderson.

Expect to see more Night Court clips sprinkled on here. There’s actually a lot of it on YouTube.

OK, this is pretty cool…

Michigan State is looking to put together a solid run through the Big Ten this year, especially if Ohio State is slowed by their off-the-field issues (which now look rather insignificant when put alongside Miami bringing their A-Game in that department). MSU held a “Meet the Spartans” event today, here’s a solid story from the event:

NOT SO FAST: George Clark VII of Portage is a Michigan fan — for now. He went home with a story to tell and a souvenir that might be a reason to start rooting for the Spartans. Clark, 10, wore a maize and blue T-shirt featuring the block M. Dantonio took notice of the shirt, waved the boy over and signed inside the block M: “Not so fast! Go Green! Mark Dantonio.”

Kid probably thought he was so cool showing up with the Maize at an MSU event, too. Slick move by Dantonio.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Movie Review

Even if you don’t watch a lot of movies, the twists in this movie will still bore you and come off as cheesy. Seriously, even if the only movie you’ve ever seen is The Lion King, you will still watch these twists unfold and register zero shock.

Probably not the intention they were going for, but, that’s Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. A remake of a film from the 50s. You have a District Attorney who has rattled off a string of murder convictions. A number so high that he is well beyond “He’s On Fire!” territory in NBA Jam. He’s a good District Attorney, is what they’re trying to establish with that (and a really cheesy closing statement line that the lead character eats up). But, wait! There’s more. A reporter has “uncovered” that the District Attorney, played by Michael Douglas in a role so brutal that undoubtedly had to make Douglas wonder what it would be like if he brought his Falling Down role to reality, is planting DNA/forensic/CSI! evidence on crime scenes that consist of otherwise circumstantial evidence. The reporter, played by some dude I’ve never heard of, seeks to bring him down based on very little evidence that they reveal to the audience. How does he have to do this? Well, of course he has to find a murder, and then plant circumstantial evidence that HE, the reporter, committed the murder, then wait for the DA to plant forensic evidence.

Of course.

The concept more or less only works as a comedy, yet, this was trying to pull off a Thriller.

Orlando Jones provides the strongest performance. That’s about all the positive I can say about this film. Amber Tamblyn appeared to be comfortably rested in her scenes, possibly taking naps while actually filming the scenes as they were so tepid, would be the next most positive thing.

Here’s the best part of this film. And by best, I mean “the thing I googled and laughed about the most” while watching. The main character is doing a news story for TV on the DAs alleged transgressions in order to win a Pulitzer Prize. The wikipedia page for the Pulitzer Prize says the following, “The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition.”

Click Read More if you want the rest of the review, but, be warned, it contains SPOILERS. As frankly, this movie is so bad that the only way I can handle writing about it is by covering the spoilers.

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How do you Tweet a Legal Brief?

Texas is trying to find out.

Texas appellate lawyers are being challenged to write a Twitter-length brief in 140 characters or less.

The State Bar of Texas Appellate Section is holding the Twitter brief competition for lawyers attending its annual meeting in September, according to the Texas Lawyer blog Tex Parte.

She gives an example: “Honorable court, the claim has been waived. Respectfully submitted, appellee.”

Crazy, right?

On the one hand, writing shorter and more concise is a skill lawyers absolutely need to know how to do. We are some verbose cats when it shakes down. So, I can see why they would run this type of competition. Obviously they aren’t looking for top-notch legal work in 140 characters, but, it uses hyperbole to jam a good concept home.

On the other hand, do we really need to embolden the folks who type “ur” instead of “your”? Dangerous, dangerous territory. So, it’s a good thing Texas is trying to sort this out first.

If I were entering this competition, here’s what I’d go with:

“Not guilty, ya’ll got to feel me!” From the Jay Z anthem H to the Izzo. If you write that in a brief to a judge, your client is undoubtedly on his way home from court a free man. And you still have about 100 characters to play with!

For fun, I also opened up the last brief I submitted to the Court and Twitterized it:
“Yo Court traffic stop for improper window tint unaccept no artic or reason suspicion for stop. police report unreliable. suppress. plz. thx.”

Even managed to say please and thank you. I’ll be sure to pass along the winning tweet whenever that information comes down. By, “be sure” I mean, no chance, because I’ll forget about this tomorrow, but, the concept is cool.

Also, I guarantee some knucklehead in Texas will write his brief and use 1 of his characters as a footnote…then write the regular 20 page appellate brief in the footnotes and think about how awesome he is.