Social Media: The Constitution and Copyrights

Photo Credit: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/12-ways-to-improve-your-startups-social-media-marketing_b_5a2e0ee6e4b022ec613b8416

By: Elizabeth Hosmer
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            Social media has grown exponentially into a basic part of everyday American life, and it has become increasingly difficult to find someone who is “unplugged” and without some sort of social media account.[1] Continue reading “Social Media: The Constitution and Copyrights”

Permitless Carry: The Rapid Expansion of Concealed Carry across America

Photo credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/misc/MADGxzuSiLs-black-and-gray-semi-automatic-pistol-near-holster/

By: Bobby McNeill
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          On March 11, 2019, the state of Kentucky became the 16th state to enact legislation implementing permitless carry, also known as “constitutional carry.”[1] Kentucky’s legislation imposes no formal application process, requiring only that a person seeking to carry a concealed firearm be 21 years of age and “otherwise able to lawfully possess a firearm.”[2] This legislation represents a growing trend in which many states are scaling back their regulation of the concealed carry of firearms. Typically, under constitutional carry laws, those wishing to conceal and carry a firearm may do so without submitting an application, undergoing a background check, obtaining a permit, or taking any mandatory training courses. Continue reading “Permitless Carry: The Rapid Expansion of Concealed Carry across America”

Full Moon, Full Breakfast, and Full Costs

Photo Credit: Mark Theoharis, How Much Are Legal Fees? – Costs of Hiring Different Types of Lawyers, Money Crashers, https://www.moneycrashers.com/legal-fees-hiring-lawyer-costs (last visited Mar. 20, 2019).

By: Gray Gilmore
Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Because of the high cost of litigation, Congress allows for a party to recover costs as awards. Specifically, there are six categories of litigation expenses that qualify as costs, and parties are limited to these categories unless another federal statute provides otherwise.[1] Nowhere in the general costs statute allows for a cost award to include litigation expenses, such as jury consulting, expert witnesses, and e-discovery.[2] Continue reading “Full Moon, Full Breakfast, and Full Costs”

Concussion Litigation Leading Insurers to Discontinue Coverage for Head Injuries in Football

Photo Credit: Woodruff Health Sciences Center (2017). Emory physicians care for Atlanta Falcons on their journey to the Super Bowl. Available at: http://news.emory.edu/stories/2017/01/emory_docs_head_to_superbowl/ [Accessed 23 Feb. 2019].

By: Catherine Collins
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Introduction

Recently, ESPN released an article addressing an emerging issue which could potentially endanger the sport of football.[i] The article and coverage on ESPN’s Outside the Lines explains the dissolving insurance market in the contact sports realm regarding coverage for concussions and other head related injuries.[ii] The NFL no longer has general liability insurance covering traumatic head injuries, and only one insurance provider remains in the market for such coverage.[iii] Continue reading “Concussion Litigation Leading Insurers to Discontinue Coverage for Head Injuries in Football”

Life After Miller: Retroactive Sentencing and the Rare Juvenile

Photo Credit: Associated Press, apnews.com

Written by: Kimberly Fasking
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

In 2006, Evan Miller was convicted of a crime he had committed just three years prior, at the age of fourteen.[1] He and a friend had robbed, beaten, and killed his mother’s drug dealer after an evening drinking and smoking marijuana with the victim.[2] Miller was convicted of murder, and he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, the mandatory sentence in the state of Alabama at the time for such an offense.[3] Continue reading “Life After Miller: Retroactive Sentencing and the Rare Juvenile”

Past Posting: New Jersey’s Gamble to End the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act

Photo Credit: https://www.goodsportsbooks.com/horse-racing-faq-betting-on-horses-qa/

By: Hunter Hamm
Research and Writing Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court legalized gambling on individual sporting events. Sports betting is a common form of gambling in the United States, and illegal sports betting is currently estimated to range from $100-$200 billion per year.[1] Traditionally, sports gambling has faced strong opposition in America.[2] Since the nineteenth century, gambling was largely made illegal.[3] Opponents of the practice parallel the introduction of sports betting to that of gateway drugs, introducing “young people with a strong interest in sports” to other types of gambling.[4] Moreover, past corruption created from sports betting has seriously damaged the legacy of professional sports.[5] Continue reading “Past Posting: New Jersey’s Gamble to End the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act”

With the Recent Growth of the Public Domain, Will America See Another Copyright Term Extension?

Photo Credit: http://sbegumlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/copyright-definition.jpg

By: Kim Massey
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Introduction

The first of January is generally celebrated as Public Domain Day, and in 2019, Public Domain Day was once again celebrated as works from 1923 entered the public domain[1] and became “free as the air to common use.”[2] Public Domain Day is when the copyright term for works—such as books, films, and musical compositions—expires.[3] However, in 1998, Congress extended the copyright term for future works and works that still enjoyed copyright protections by an additional twenty years.[4] This act—the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act—virtually prevented any works from entering the public domain for the last twenty years.[5] While the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) was challenged as unconstitutional, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the CTEA.[6] 

Continue reading “With the Recent Growth of the Public Domain, Will America See Another Copyright Term Extension?”

A Picture is Worth a Thousands Words :)

Photo Credit: campaignsandelections.com

Written By: Mary Margaret Clark
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

There is something happening that very few in the legal profession saw coming: emojis. Tiny pictures of facial expressions used in text messages and social media are now becoming the subject of legal disputes.[1] The lawsuits involving the images are spanning from business transactions to harassment claims to actions for defamation.[2]   Emojis are typically used to provide context in a text message by “standing in for facial expressions” and can sometimes be used as a filler for an entire word.[3]  Although emojis have the potential to offer clarity to messages, the legal profession has seen the opposite as it begins to decipher the intent behind emojis.[4] Continue reading “A Picture is Worth a Thousands Words :)”

America: Land of the Free and Home of the Falsely Imprisoned

By: Allyson Swecker

Articles and Symposium Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”[1] These words from the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution seem fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, in the case of United States citizen Davino Watson, these words provided no protection from a three-year false imprisonment amidst deportation proceedings. The Fourteenth Amendment was created to ensure that no person be deprived of their freedom “without due process of law.”[2] This is true regardless of whether a person is a United States citizen.[3] For Davino Watson, the Fourteenth Amendment provided seemingly no protection. Continue reading “America: Land of the Free and Home of the Falsely Imprisoned”

Braggs v. Dunn—The Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment as applied to mental health

Photo Credit: Marc Goldberg, Tel Aviv Schizophrenia, Marc’s Words

By: Lisa K. Cagle
Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Incarceration in the United States has been on the rise for decades,[1] causing the U.S. to have the highest incarceration rate in the world.[2] According to a study by the Department of Justice, more than half of these inmates have mental health problems diagnosable under the DSM-IV.[3] Given that 95% of inmates eventually leave prison and return to the general population,[4] the entire population benefits from treating these mental health problems. Furthermore, in 1976, the Supreme Court of the United States recognized the importance of treating prisoners’ medical conditions and declared that deliberate indifference to prisoners’ serious medical needs is a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.[5] Recently in Braggs v. Dunn,[6] a federal court in Alabama addressed the issue of “inadequate mental-health care in prison facilities.”[7] Continue reading “Braggs v. Dunn—The Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment as applied to mental health”