Friday, April 29, 2016

"not Quam ghu'vam, IoD!"

That's Klingon for, "This will not stand, man!" And it's in the amicus brief arguing that you can't copyright Klingon.

The Recorder has more:

To say the filing is colorful doesn't do it justice. Submitted by Marc Randazza of Las Vegas-based Randazza Legal Group, it is peppered with Klingon sayings­—including a translation of a phrase from the 1998 film "The Big Lebowski."
By the film studio's logic, the brief argues, everyone who translates something into Klingon, writes a poem in Klingon, or gives a speech in Klingon at a Star Trek convention is a copyright infringer. It adds: "not Quam ghu'vam, IoD!" (For the uninitiated, that's: "This will not stand, man!")
Overall, the language group's argument in Paramount v. Axanar, 15-9938, is that Klingon has taken on a life of its own since Paramount commissioned its creation by linguistics professor Marc Okrand in the early 1980s for the film "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock."
Okrand further developed the dialogue from that film into a functioning language and published a dictionary in 1985. Since then, entire groups of people have embraced it—teaching it to their children, exchanging marriage vows in Klingon, and even establishing the Klingon Language Institute, or KLI, which has translated works of Shakespeare into Klingon.
"Given that Paramount Pictures commissioned creation of some of the language, it is understandable that Paramount might feel some sense of ownership over the creation," the brief says. "But, feeling ownership and having ownership are not the same thing."
According to the brief, Paramount has actually claimed the rights to the Klingon language for many years, but has never asserted it in court until now—"most likely because the notion of it is meq Hutlh." (Translation: "it lacks reasons.")
Paramount once threatened to bring suit against the KLI, it says, but the institute avoided a clash by agreeing to license the use of the language.The fight appears to present a novel legal issue for U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner, who is presiding over the case."
Just as 'great men do not seek power, it is thrust upon them,' this court now has the opportunity to weigh in on the copyrightability of language and declare that there is no basis in either law or policy to allow copyright in a spoken language," the brief says, quoting a line from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."
 In other news, President Obama has nominated a bunch of new judges, some of which in the Middle District, including William Jung.  Cool!

William F. Jung:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
William F. Jung is a partner at the law firm of Jung & Sisco, P.A. (formerly Black & Jung, P.A.) in Tampa, Florida, which he co-founded in 1993.  He specializes in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation.  Prior to starting his own firm, Jung served as an Assistant United States Attorney for six years – first in the Southern District of Florida from 1987 to 1990 and subsequently in the Middle District of Florida from 1990 to 1993.  From 1985 to 1987, he was an associate for the Tampa, Florida office of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A.  From 1984 to 1985, he served as a law clerk to then-Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Jung began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  He received his J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1983 and his B.A. magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 1980.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sarah Bujold selected for the UM School of Law Stuart A. Markus award

Friends and readers of the blog know that my family set up an award in my Dad's name at the University of Miami School of Law three years ago.  The Stuart A. Markus Award recognizes an individual student each year for outstanding work in one of the School of Law’s in-house clinics. The winner is selected by vote of the in-house, live-client clinic directors.  The first award went to Bethany Bandstra.  And last year went to Lindsay MacDonald.

This year the Markus Award went to Sarah Bujold. Sarah’s work and professionalism in the Health Rights Clinic were truly outstanding and distinguished her even among the other nominees for the award. Over the course of the academic year, she successfully argued two hearings before Social Security judges, securing past-benefit awards for two clients—totaling more than $50,000—in addition to their ongoing entitlements. She also filed and argued two administrative appeals before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, drafted a petition for a writ of mandamus to the Florida Supreme Court, and sued USCIS, prompting the agency to grant her client naturalization. All of this was in addition to Sarah’s maintaining a regular caseload, securing healthcare entitlements and immigration relief for her clients and serving as a guardian ad litem for children in dependency proceedings in Monroe County. Sarah has made real contributions to class discussions, especially on issues of ethics and ethical judgment. She drafted a presentation about her experiences that was accepted by the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education and the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education, and she will be presenting this summer in Toronto at the International Clinical Legal Education Conference.

Super Impressive.

My dad practiced law in Miami for over 50 years.  Throughout his career, he fought hard for his clients in every area of the law.  He never turned away a person in need, and helped countless people with practical, hands-on advice and representation that went far above and beyond the norm.  The Markus Award is given annually to a student who shares that caring spirit, and who has made a meaningful difference in someone’s life – which is something my dad did every day.

Congratulations to Sarah!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"That hasn’t happened in quite some time.”

That was Justice Ginsburg after she was referred to as Justice O'Connor during an oral argument today in United States v. McDonnell. (via The Washington Post).


Well, that's better than being called a "serial child molestor" when your previous title was Speaker of the House:
An Illinois federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, once second in line to the President of the United States, to 15 months in prison and two years of supervised release after Hastert admitted hiding hush money he paid to cover up his sexual abuse of teenage boys on the Yorkville high school wrestling team.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert a "serial child molester" as he imposed the sentence for dodging federal banking laws following a wrenching hearing in Illinois federal court. Hastert also must undergo treatment as a sex offender and pay a $250,000 fine to go toward a criminal victims' fund.

"Some actions can obliterate a lifetime of good works," Durkin said.

Hastert. the former high school teacher and wrestling coach who was elected to Congress in 1986, said Wednesday he was "deeply ashamed" for having "mistreated" some athletes he coached. "For 11 months, I have been struggling to come to terms with events that occurred almost 40 years ago," Hastert said.
Mistreated?  Mistreated?!  That doesn't sound like acceptance of responsibility...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Two defense opinions in the 11th Circuit written by...

... William Pryor.

1) United States v. Jimenez-Antunez:
This appeal presents a question of first impression in this Circuit: whether a criminal defendant must show good cause to dismiss retained counsel if the defendant intends to seek appointed counsel. Gabriel Jimenez-Antunez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Weeks before his sentencing hearing, Jimenez-Antunez sent a letter to his retained counsel expressing an intent to dismiss him. His retained counsel then moved to withdraw and stated that his client would request appointed counsel. The district court denied the motion on the ground that Jimenez-Antunez had been afforded effective assistance of counsel by his retained counsel. Because a criminal defendant need not show good cause to dismiss retained counsel, we vacate and remand for further proceedings.

2) Norris v. United States:
This appeal requires us to decide whether the district court erred by denying an evidentiary hearing for Harrison Norris’s motion to vacate, 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which alleged that his conviction violated the Due Process Clause because his trial judge was biased against him and mentally incompetent. Norris, a black man, was convicted of forcing women, many of whom were white, into prostitution. Judge Jack Camp presided over Norris’s trial and sentenced him to life in prison. We vacated that sentence as an impermissible general sentence. On remand, a different judge sentenced Norris to 35 years of imprisonment. Three years after Norris’s trial, Judge Camp was arrested for illegal possession of drugs and a firearm. The United States disclosed that Camp had bipolar disorder and had suffered a brain injury from a bicycling accident. The investigation also disclosed allegations of racial bias. One witness alleged that Camp wanted to give all black men who pimped white women the maximum penalty and that Camp specifically disliked Norris. Because Norris sufficiently alleged that Judge Camp was actually biased against him, we reverse and remand for an evidentiary hearing.

Monday, April 25, 2016

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (UPDATED -- WAKE UP!)

For the zzzzzzzzz posters out there, check out Justice Thomas during oral argument last week:

UPDATE -- WAKE UP!! -- Paul Rashkind, appellate guru from the FPD's office, is headed back to the Supreme Court. Cert granted this morning in Manrique v.United States. Here's the 11th Circuit opinion.

The QP is: Should the Court grant certiorari to resolve the significant division among the circuits concerning the jurisdictional prerequisites for appealing a deferred restitution award made during the pendency of a timely appeal of a criminal judgment imposing sentence, a question left open by the Court’s decision in Dolan v. United States, 560 U.S. 605, 618 (2010).