July 28, 2016
From The Boston Globe: "He couldn't get a visa and he couldn't get deported. So he went to law school instead." by Maria Sacchetti
Antonio Massa Viana was a star law student at Roger Williams University. He edited the law review and triumphed in the moot court competition. The Supreme Court chief justice knew his name.
He was also in the United States illegally, diving headlong into a profession where the laws were literally stacked against him. Except in Massachusetts, where in 2014...
July 22, 2016
From Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly: “Judges feeling their way on web-based jurisdiction issue” by Pat Murphy
July 21, 2016: Lawyers investigating whether an out-of-state defendant’s operation of a website provides a basis for suing the party in local federal court will find few bright-line rules coming from decisions issued in the 1st Circuit. […]
Courts are having a difficult time coming up with a practical framework for dealing with the issue of web-based jurisdiction, said professor Tanya J....
July 20, 2016
From Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly: “Bar: ruling on fee motions to add expense, complexity” by Sheri Qualters
July 20, 2016: A recent state Supreme Court decision finding that affidavits or testimony supporting counsel fee motions should come from a Rhode Island bar member who is not part of the case brings clarity and consistency to the process but also makes it more costly and complicated, practitioners say.
The Supreme Court vacated Superior Court Judge Bennett R. Gallo’s decision to award...
July 15, 2016
From Wallethub: “Should Marijuana Be Legal?” by John S Kiernan
July 15, 2016: Call it a sign of society’s moral erosion, an act of economic desperation or folks finally coming to their senses, but a record-high number of Americans – 61% – now support marijuana legalization […] Not everyone is ready to climb aboard Puff the Magic Dragon just yet, however. […]
With that in mind and much of the pot problem still unsolved, we turned to a panel of 26 leading experts in the fields of economics,...
July 14, 2016
From the Providence Journal: “In case of Ginsburg vs. Trump, justice overstepped her bounds“ by Edward Fitzpatrick, Journal Columnist
July 14, 2016: While her criticism is meritorious, the Notorious RBG’s feud with the Vainglorious DJT puts her in a position that might prove precarious if Donald J. Trump ends up victorious.
[…] Michael J. Yelnosky, dean of the Roger Williams University School of Law, said no law or rule prohibits Ginsburg from saying what she said. But, he said, “I think she...
July 08, 2016
From The New Yorker: "The Jailhouse Lawyer Derrick Hamilton’s Role in the Reversal of a Murder Conviction" by Jennifer Gonnerman
Derrick Hamilton never went to law school, but prisoners across New York State have heard about his formidable legal skills, which he acquired while he was wrongly imprisoned for murder for more than two decades, reading law books and fighting to get himself and other inmates set free.
[...] last year when Hamilton went to visit a client at Shawangunk...
July 07, 2016
From Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly: “Access to opposing expert’s background materials denied: R.I. Supreme Court rules in Sakonnet bridge case” by Sheri Qualters
June 23, 2016: The Superior Court’s Rules of Civil Procedure did not allow a litigant access to computer models and draft reports used by an opposing party’s expert witness, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has found.
The case involved design problems concerning the Sakonnet River Bridge replacement project. The plaintiff, a bridge...
June 27, 2016
From Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly: "Warrantless access to drug database weighed: Constitutional, privacy concerns raised by bills" by Sheri Qualters
May 26, 2016: The General Assembly’s bid to stem the opioid crisis through measures that would allow law enforcement to access prescription drug database records without a warrant has incited debate about whether patient privacy or public safety concerns should govern release of the information.
The House Health, Education and Welfare Committee...
June 17, 2016
From the Providence Journal: “Op-Ed: R.I. improves its judicial appointments” by Dean Michael J. Yelnosky
Jun. 17, 2016: … [A] look at Gov. Gina Raimondo’s first set of nominations (eight judges, all of whom were confirmed) reveals promising signs that she is committed to two of the goals of the merit selection system – to give all talented lawyers the chance to become judges, regardless of their political connections; and to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s...
June 16, 2016
From The Guardian, London: “Captain Cook's ship Endeavour claimed by Rhode Island as search goes on” by the Associated Press.
If the ship legendary explorer Captain James Cook used to sail around the world and claim Australia for the British is found at the bottom of Newport Harbor, Rhode Island will own it outright because of a legal maneuver it took nearly two decades ago based on an obscure, centuries-old maritime practice.
In 1999, Rhode Island went to federal court in Providence to do what...
May 23, 2016
From the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: "Fewer seek to be judges in ‘know-a-guy’ R.I. " by Edward Fitzpatrick
The number of people applying for state judgeships is dropping in part because people think you’ve got to “know a guy” to be a judge in Rhode Island […]
On May 9, the Democratic governor [Gina Raimondo] nominated people for eight state judgeships, including new chiefs of the Family and Workers’ Compensation courts. But from a political perspective, perhaps the most interesting choice was who she...
May 18, 2016
From THE INDY (College Hill Independent): “The Never-Ending Sentence: Rhode Island's Expungement Problem” by Jack Brook
[… ] A series of bills making their arduous way through the Rhode Island General Assembly could, if passed, provide some measure of relief for many Rhode Islanders who want to get their records with multiple charges expunged. One of the most important of these bills, House Bill 7417, would allow people with six or fewer misdemeanors to apply for a motion of expungement ten...
May 18, 2016
From THE INDY (a joint publication of Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design): “The Never-Ending Sentence: Rhode Island's Expungement Problem” by Jack Brook
[… ] A series of bills making their arduous way through the Rhode Island General Assembly could, if passed, provide some measure of relief for many Rhode Islanders who want to get their records with multiple charges expunged. One of the most important of these bills, House Bill 7417, would allow people with six or fewer...
May 16, 2016
NEWPORT, R.I., May 16, 2016 - A federal judge on Monday awarded control of the nation’s oldest synagogue, in Newport, R.I., to the congregation housed there, ruling against a New York congregation that had claimed ownership in a four-year legal fight between two of the oldest examples of America’s religious pluralism.
The Touro Synagogue in Newport, built before the Revolutionary War and with a connection to George Washington, is a landmark of American Jewish history, but its congregation,...
April 12, 2016
From the Providence Journal: "Climate-change battle heats up between Whitehouse, Wall Street Journal" by Edward Fitzpatrick
"Oh, it is on! U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the Rhode Island Democrat who is the Senate's leading voice on climate change, is locked in a bitter brawl with the Wall Street Journal editorial page over his proposal to sue fossil fuel companies for fraud. [...]
But Roger Williams University law Prof. Jared A. Goldstein — who teaches constitutional and environmental...