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Folklaw 23 June 2006

Folklaw 23 June 2006

Thou shalt not erect illegal displaysA Christian evangelical group is trying to send a religious message to the Justices of the United States Supreme Court by placing a Ten Commandments monument…

Thou shalt not erect illegal displays

A Christian evangelical group is trying to send a religious message to the Justices of the United States Supreme Court by placing a Ten Commandments monument on the group’s private property, across the street from the Court. It’s the only public display of the Ten Commandments in the nation’s capital that shows the full text in English, says the group.

However, the folks at Faith and Action could be under siege from city officials, as a resident’s front yard in Washington, DC is technically public property, and they don’t have the required permit.

The group says it hopes that the Justices see the monument and consider its implications each day as they arrive and leave the Court. Folklaw hopes not while they’re driving.

Eeeny, meeny, miney...

Fortune has reported that a Florida judge, faced with the inability of two bickering attorneys to resolve even the most innocuous scheduling questions, ordered the two to meet on the steps of the federal courthouse and resolve their latest quarrel by playing “one (1) game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’.” The two attorneys had proven unable to agree upon where to hold a deposition in an insurance dispute, even though both of their offices are just four floors away in the very same building in Tampa.

Characterising the disagreement as “the latest in a series of Gordian knots that the parties have been unable to untangle without enlisting the assistance of the federal courts,” the judge, Gregory A Presnell of Orlando, ordered each attorney, accompanied by one paralegal as a witness, to play the round of rock, paper scissors on June 30. “The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location of the...deposition,” he ruled.

Judge Presnell called his idea “a new form of alternative dispute resolution”. Positively Alexandrian.

Done the puzzle? Now get the job

RollonFriday reported seeing Sudoku appear in legal job ads as a recruitment filtering tool.

Southport, UK firm Barnetts has put a sudoku puzzle on its website, and if you solve it a message appears reading “Congratulations. Now email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an application”. A spokesman for the firm told RollonFriday that the site has only been up for a couple of weeks and the puzzle has already bagged them an applicant. Even if you don’t get the job, the website helpfully suggests, the joys of Sudoku can help you temporarily escape the drag of your current job.

No reality in books, please

Associated Press has reported that in Boston, Massachusetts two couples have filed a federal lawsuit against school officials, claiming the school undermined their parental rights by giving out and reading storybooks with gay themes without telling them first.

Joseph and Robin Wirthlin objected when a teacher read a storybook, about two princes who fall in love, to their son’s second grade class without notifying them. Then, last year, David Parker was jailed for refusing to leave school grounds after his 6-year-old son had been exposed to discussions of gay parents. Parker initially complained after his son brought home a “diversity book bag” with a book that depicted a gay family.

Their attorney, Jeffrey Denner, said the city of Lexington had violated the rights of privacy and freedom of religion of his clients. The state has an “opt out” law requiring schools to notify parents when such topics are discussed so they can remove their children from class. Apparently, parents’ rights to keep their children ignorant are stronger than the child’s right to Just enjoying the cyclical nature of it all

A defendant known only by the Christian name ‘Leigh’ was arrested at the courthouse in Machias, Maine, charged with trespassing for the 24th time. But the trespass seems merely part of an elaborate strategy ‘Leigh’ has employed (unsuccessfully) to try to convince a court to erase a 1993 conviction for reckless conduct with a firearm. His pattern appears to be: trespass to get arrested and brought to court, raise the 1993 case in court, see it ignored as irrelevant, then get jailed for trespass, get out, trespass again, and repeat the process. In the latest conviction, he was sentenced to time served, since he had already been in jail for the previous year.

The dangers of defending

In two news items concerning battered attorneys, 21-year-old defendant Justin Jacobson, fighting an assault charge in Washington state, had a mistrial declared when, during a disagreement at the defence table, he slapped his lawyer. And defendant John Gomes, fighting a murder charge in Boston and apparently being cheesed off that so many of his lawyer’s motions were being denied by the judge, suddenly reached over and began strangling the lawyer, until court officers pulled him off. It’s a jungle out there in court.

This is America: When ordering please speak English

Associated Press has reported that an English-only ordering policy at one of Philadelphia’s most famous cheese-steak joints has prompted a city agency to pursue a discrimination complaint. The city’s Commission on Human Relations plans to file the complaint Monday 26th, alleging the policy at Geno’s Steaks discourages customers of certain backgrounds from eating there. Owner Joseph Vento, who posted the now-famous signs telling customers, “This is America: When Ordering ‘Please Speak English’”, says he has no plans to budge: “I would say they would have to handcuff me and take me out because I’m not taking it down”. As one blogger commented, “If this suite (sic) goes forward, I’m going to sue Starbucks for making me say ‘Venti’ instead of ‘large’.”

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