Questions in the Law & Government category.
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April 22

Left wing copyright, intellectual copyright scholars?
Who are the most well known academics in the field of intellectual property, and especially copyright law? Especially academics active in the last 5-10 years? The more radical, the better. [more inside]
posted by skewed at 11:32 AM - 15 answers

April 21

Jury duty ethical dilemma question
I've got jury duty coming up very soon. I suspect it might be for a murder trial for reasons I won't go into. We've had a lot of murders lately in the smallish city where I live. I don't know any of the people involved in any of them and believe I can be a fair juror. However, I live in a US state that has and often uses the death penalty and I am opposed to it. I am not opposed to lengthy prison terms for people who have committed serious crimes. If they ask me if I believe in the death penalty I will be tempted to lie so that they do not disqualify me. Please help me figure out if this would be wrong.
posted by anonymous at 6:57 PM - 56 answers

How can one appeal multiple traffic tickets?
My friend was riding his bike through Brooklyn early Sat morning. Streets were quiet and he was not stopping at all the red lights, just slowing & crossing the (mostly) vacant intersections. Unbeknownst to him there was a cop in a patrol car following him about 1/2 a block back. After multiple blocks the cop finally pulled him over and issued separate tickets for every red light, totally about $800 worth. Although there is no dispute that he went through the lights, this was a very dick-ish move. How to protest in court? [more inside]
posted by TDIpod at 11:28 AM - 17 answers

April 20

help my Mexican undocumented friend not get deported at court tomorrow?
My friend got pulled over for running a red light His ticket says " Accompanying charge no documents ". He goes to court Monday morning in Columbus Ohio. Is it likely result in deportation? He says he can't afford a lawyer and is just going to use the public defender. I have a copy of the ticket in front of me. How can I help him? Btw IKYANMYL.
posted by crawltopslow at 4:47 PM - 21 answers

April 19

Enhanced interrogation under George W. Bush
Can anyone recommend neutral documentation of "enhanced interrogation" / "torture" under the Bush presidency, the changes during the War on Terror? [more inside]
posted by Nelson at 8:14 AM - 8 answers

April 17

Help with potential scam
Sketchy, potentially scammy situation with my brother traveling in Guatemala and requesting my phone info to transfer money over Paypal. What to do? [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote at 6:07 PM - 28 answers

April 16

Stranger came up our driveway twice. Should I call the police?
My brother tells me that he saw a white pickup truck park outside our house. An older guy in his 60's or 70's walked up the driveway about 3/4 of the way, turned away from our house, stood there watching the street for about 10 seconds, then walked down. He repeated all of these actions one more time, then left. We had no cars at the house at the time, so I'm assuming he thought no one was home. Considering he didn't knock and came up twice, I'm worried about this and am wondering if it would be going too far to call the police. Can you think of any other possible reasons for someone to act in this way? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Thanquol180 at 2:03 PM - 27 answers

Requested SSDI hearing, benefits stopped anyway
I requested an SSDI hearing within the amount of time needed to continue my benefits. I spoke with the office twice, in person, to ensure that I had done what I needed to to continue my benefits. As my benefits didn't arrive today, I have done some frantic searching and determined that SSA never gave me the form that said, yes please, I would like benefits continuing, although I have proof as to when I asked for the appeal. [more inside]
posted by angrycat at 11:19 AM - 9 answers

He shot the sheriff, but he swears ..
Has anyone in the US ever been acquitted of killing an on-duty police officer on grounds of self-defense?
posted by LonnieK at 8:16 AM - 10 answers

April 14

Research on parliaments/legislatures in development?
Could anyone point me to either (1) any recent books or studies that extensively discuss the role of parliaments and other legislative bodies in state building and reconstruction in developing countries, particularly post-conflict ones like Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan; or (2) any evaluations or assessments of development programs to strengthen legislatures that do not rely exclusively on qualitative methods or anecdotes but incorporate experimental, quasi-experimental, RCT or other quantitative evaluation methods? [more inside]
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 1:38 PM - 1 answers

What's the course of action for going after an eBay/PayPal predator?
Someone hacked a PayPal account to buy an item from me on eBay (my old iPad). PayPal resolved the claim in our favor and we both got our money back, but now I want to go after this derelict. I want justice! For me, for the person that owns the PayPal account (who I talked to and she's very nice), and for anyone he might rip off in the future. [more inside]
posted by dep at 4:37 AM - 6 answers

American Presidential Quote: "Of all the imperfect forms of government"
Having a little trouble finding the source for this quote. Believe it was Reagan. who said "Of all the imperfect forms of government, our is the best man has so far come up with."
posted by Nicholas Geary at 12:27 AM - 4 answers

April 13

What's my recourse?
I hired a marine contractor in Rhode Island to build a pair of centerboards for my boat ($12k). They were delivered 3 months late and didn't fit. I was very clear about the dimensions, yet the builder's designer altered the shape without consulting me. They've admitted fault in emails and in person, apologized, yet won't make the situation better. They offered a refund if I pay shipping charges to/from, customs and excise, and any damages. I don't feel I should pay $2k out of pocket and end up with nothing. What do I do to get justice? Report them to the Better Business Bureau? Hire a lawyer? Go to court or arbitration? Say mean things about them and buy a voodoo doll? Am I entitled to damages beyond the $12k? Any advice welcome.
posted by karst at 5:05 AM - 6 answers

April 10

Publishing a translation of copyrighted material
So, there was a poet who wrote poems in German in the 1940s. [more inside]
posted by goethean at 11:47 AM - 4 answers

I just have my suspicions, is all
I'm looking for a relatively fine-grained source of health and environmental data for Contra Costa County, CA. County-by-county is no good, and even city-by-city isn't that great. I'd like to see it by block if possible (zip code would be useful). Anything that fine-grained would be fine: cancer rates, mortality rates, air quality, etc. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet at 9:40 AM - 8 answers

April 9

When they kick out your front door, how you gonna come?
A friend of mine, a NYC resident with no firearm permit from the NYPD, recently purchased a rifle at a gun show in PA (apparently the dealer didn't recognize his address as being within NYC and didn't ask him for a permit, as NY state residents can purchase rifles without one). He says he does plan on applying for the necessary permit, but in the meantime is storing the rifle in his home. How likely is he to get into any trouble? [more inside]
posted by Venadium at 2:19 PM - 7 answers

April 8

Does a tenant in California have a right to have his closet unlocked?
I rent an apartment with a strange closet situation. Right now the closet has locked. No key exists for the lock. Instead, the landlord urges me to keep it unlocked, even though it tends by its nature to lock, accidentally. The landlord will not make a key. Instead he charges me for stripping the door from its hinges each time it locks, grumbling "I told you there was no key!" Is this OK or is there some ideal under the law that I should be able to have access to my closet?
posted by johngoren at 7:58 PM - 24 answers

local opposition TO "massive resistance"?
"Massive resistance" was a shameful state effort from 1956-1959 to cancel out the Brown v. Board decision. Virginia's Harry Byrd launched it, but the courts ultimately killed it off. I've heard that there was [at least one] petition or letter circulated in opposition to it, but can't find any mention of it. It would have been remarkable in the climate of the time, because signers would surely have lost their jobs. I checked several relevant websites, including that of the Southern Historical Association, but nothing even close. Is anyone familiar enough with the details of this sad chapter to have heard of such an effort?
posted by mmiddle at 8:10 AM - 5 answers

April 7

Very Small Independant Musician - Possibly ran afoul of a trademark
So I did a potentially bad thing: i released an album through CD Baby, and the title of the album is a Trademark for an entity that might be none pleased. [more inside]
posted by joecacti at 3:56 PM - 5 answers

First amendment, corruption, and McCutcheon
Not being a lawyer -- but being deeply interested in capture and corruption of government officials -- I'm very curious about possible knock-on effects of the recent ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. In particular, the majority opinion states, a few times, that Congress can only target quid pro quo corruption. My question is, essentially, how broadly applicable is the ruling going to be? Is the context limited to campaign finance, or was Roberts really saying that there's no pressing government interest in going after non-quid-pro-quo corruption in any form or any context? [more inside]
posted by cgs06 at 11:06 AM - 5 answers

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