For the few interested in these sorts of things, the site template theme that I had been using for quite a while was deprecated, no longer receiving support or updates. While I put off moving to a new theme for a while, it had to happen. Unfortunately, there was no way to fully configure a new theme to match all the customizing I had done in the old theme (things like custom css controls specific to the them because they address unique labels). The only option was to take a lot of notes about style settings and then jump in with both feet. I managed to get things fairly close, even making some changes I’ve wanted to make for some time but could not because they weren’t supported in the old theme. I still have some work to do to add a few missing things, but the content is basically all there. Anyhow, just wanted to explain what motivated some of the changes (as opposed to sheer boredom with the appearance).
Moon & Yang, APC has a “soft” launch of it’s new website well underway. There are some bugs to sort out, but it’s slowly getting there (slower, at times, than I would like, as the frustrated e-mails to the development team will attest). I will be co-managing the firm’s blog on the website.
I customarily cross-post to Twitter when I write a new post here. That may change soon. The evidence I have examined is strongly suggestive that Twitter engages in viewpoint-based censorship by asserting its "standards" in a very non-uniform manner. Twitter is a private company. They can do this. But I can vote with my feet if Twitter doesn't want to remain neutral in viewpoint suppression. As a blogger, and irrespective of personal views of the speaker, I am sensitive to the long-term, dire consequences that will result if large businesses and/or governments succeed in limiting expression of entire swaths of opinions. I was particularly disturbed when I read that Twitter had blocked the account of Glenn Reynolds, a pioneering law/politics/current events blogger known as Instapundit. He made an ill-considered point in a rather rough way, but, at the same time, individuals advocating the murder of police officers go unpunished. This is unjustifiable if one assumes that Twitter is viewpoint neutral in its censoring.
I don't approve of or condone all of the messages that have resulted in some high-profile account banning of late on Twitter, but the simple fact is that Twitter has permitted far worse commentary to remain on Twitter without consequence. Maybe this behavior explains, in part, why Twitter is likely up for sale.
Don't do what I did. Don't accidentally copy curly quotes when pasting some html code into a code injection area (a little under-the-hood work for authorship signals). Even basic html hyperlinks don't behave so well when you use curly quotes. Just sayin'.
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.
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.
Due to an unrelenting attempt by spammers to advise you of the latest athletic shoe deals, or mortgage restructuring deals, or other exciting services, I have changed a setting on this blog so that comments require approval before they appear. I am doing this solely to keep spammers from being rewarded by whatever "google juice" a link from this blog supplies. Topical comments will be approved as soon as I can get to them.
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.