As a blogger myself, I find myself growing increasingly uncomfortable about reports of speech suppression of other bloggers through threats, intimidation, maliciously false process and the like. In this installment, some dissenting Harvard Law students were the victims of a likely bogus DMCA takedown demand issued by Harvard to WordPress.com. Bogus is as bogus does. If you are a Harvard alum, tell them you'll be a little short in the donation area this year. But this story has a better ending than some; the students didn't stand for it and immediately started a new blog. Keep fighting the good fight.
The Complex Litigator is now listed on Alltop, in the legal news section. Alltop is the magazine newsrack for the Internet. Here's how Alltop describes its purpose:
The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. You may wonder how Alltop is different from a search engine. A search engine is good to answer a question like, “How many people live in China?” However, it has a much harder time answering the question, “What’s happening in China?” That’s the kind of question that we answer.
Alltop is a unique way to view current events or issues of current interest in any particular field. I recommend skimming the legal news section from time to time, to spot trends if nothing else.
I'm working on Part II of my Acrobat X review. Until that is finished, here's a bit of instructional advice that will help you survive that dreaded court requirement to consecutively number exhibits. Compliments of PDF for Lawyers, the "Header & Footer" option in the Document menu allows for the addition of all sorts of numbering and labeling schemes. I must confess that the ease with which pdfs can be created and assembled and the increasing ease with which documents can be e-filed with some courts has had an unexpected side-effect on some of my filings - I forget the exhibit labeling requirements imposed under some rules of court. It was almost easier to remember when you had to go to the trouble of hand stamping each page or running the exhibit through a laser printer a second time.
It has been some time since I last mentioned a new legal blog. I think that's mostly because I tend to black out while reading about legal topics, awakening later with a keyboard imprint on my forehead and no recollection of what happened. Luckily, I found one that is unusual enough that I made it through several posts still coherent enough to write about it.
Law and the Multiverse tackles the topics nobody else would, like how to insure against destruction by supervillians, whether RICO can be used against the Legion of Doom, and what happens when a murder victim comes back to life.
Thanks to Mike Braun for the tip to the New York Times story.
The California Supreme Court, in Martinez v. Combs (May 20, 2010) (reposted to correct formatting error), addressed a topic that should prove to be of long-lasting significance. The opinion addresses the weighty question of who is and is not an "employee" under California wage law.
The California Wage Wage and Hour Law Blog, authored by Steven G. Pearl, includes a thorough post discussing this holding, including this important observation:
[T]he Wage Orders set forth a multi-pronged, disjunctive definition of employment: an employer is one who, directly or indirectly, or through an agent or any other person, engages, suffers, or permits any person to work, or exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of any person. Slip op. at 25-26. The “engage, suffer, or permit” component of the definition does not require a common law “master and servant” relationship, but is broad enough to cover “irregular working arrangements the proprietor of a business might otherwise disavow with impunity.” Slip op. at 25. Further, “phrased as it is in the alternative (i.e., wages, hours, or working conditions”), the language of the IWC's 'employer' definition has the obvious utility of reaching situations in which multiple entities control different aspects of the employment relationship, as when one entity, which hires and pays workers, places them with other entities that supervise the work.” Slip op. at 26-27. Finally, the IWC’s “employer” definition is intended to distinguish state law from the federal FLSA.
This is a monumental clarification of the breadth of the definition of employment when wage laws are at issue. The opinion also provides a mighty boost to the authority of the IWC.
For more, visit the blog or see today's Daily Journal for a revised version of the same article.
It's been a while since I noted an update to the "Blawgs" of Note, but I've been meaning to get back to recommending some quality reading from around the "Blawgosphere" (ack - that's a painful pseudo-word). Today's recommended reading is The Pop Tort, brought to you by the Center for Justice & Democracy. If you are big business, you probably think that the Center for Justice & Democracy is another cover group for "greedy" trial lawyers. If you are a consumer attorney (or a consumer), you probably think that the Center for Justice & Democracy is that thin line between unchecked corporate tyranny and hapless, helpless individuals that would have tire tracks up their back but for the voice of stalwarts like CJ&D. Regardless of your perspective, The Pop Tort is good reading.
You can follow The Pop Tort (@ThePopTort) on Twitter or become their fan on Facebook. Personally, I have grave misgivings about Facebook, but it's hard to resist the FaceBorg, with its hundreds of millions of assimilated drones.