Monday, January 23, 2012

Citizens are safer today because of GPS ruling

In today's opinion in united states v. Jones, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that common-law trespass rules govern the plain meaning of the fourth amendment. There is no need to analyze using the "reasonable expectation of privacy test" when a trespass analysis can be applied. This is a throwback to earlier styles of analysis that predate the 21st century jurisprudence of the Supreme Court.

By Mike Arnold, attorney at Law
Eugene, Oregon
(dictated from my iPhone)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beware of redacting PDF files - the curse of the cut and paste

A federal judge wrote an opinion with redacted information about Apple which was subject to an order to seal.  However, when anyone copied and pasted the text, the redacted info showed up. The perils of technology and a lesson for folks outside the legal field.

One way we prevent redacted info from being viewable is to print the page and then scan it back to PDF. It's a primitive solution but is pretty much idiot proof.

Mike Arnold,
Attorney at Law
Arnold Law Office, LLC
Eugene, Oregon

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can a officer stop a driver for hitting a deer?

A driver hits a deer with his car. He doesn't stop. Officer observes the collision and then pulls them over for hitting the deer not stopping.

Interesting issue. Is there an affirmative duty to pull over if you hit a deer? I suppose it is property damage of the king's traditionally speaking. In essence all wildlife is the property of the state of Oregon.

Of course if the driver was driving carelessly or recklessly the officer could've pulled him over for that.

(Dictated into my iPhone and not reviewed.)

Imprisoned while innocent, released when guilty

In domestic violence cases in Lane County Oregon, people are typically jailed while they are presumed innocent and then released with alternative sanctions after they are convicted. The system as set up coerces defendants into pleading guilty when they are completely innocent or guilty of a lesser offense but overcharged by an overly zealous and paternalistic prosecutor.

The reason that this system is perpetuated in the status quo is due to an arm of the court called pretrial services. They apparently have secret marching orders from someone, presumably in the judiciary, that urges them to keep the presumed innocent domestic violence defendants incarcerated.

In a case last year a client of mine had bail set at $1.6 million meaning he had to post $160,000 cash to be released pretrial. Of course he was significantly overcharged which caused the unreasonably high bail. Ultimately he ended up with one count against him with a probationary sentence.

The purpose of bail is supposed to be to secure someone's attendance at court. However in Lane County the purpose of bail is to keep people in jail in order for them to be more likely to settle their case. It is a perversion of the process.

Most recently while representing an alleged victim of domestic violence we learned that pretrial services won't even accept bail posted by an alleged victim. Of course this case was dropped before the bail needed to be posted. Rest assured in the future this system will be involved in a lawsuit if they keep someone in jail one extra day due to the paternalistic policy of refusing bail by the alleged victim.

The system of keeping people locked up ignores the situation that the alleged victims are in. Often the primary income earner will lose his job if he doesn't get released. This is paternalism at its worst.