Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1325 Posts and Counting

Enhanced Penalty for Refusing Blood Sample in DUI Arrest in Pa. is illegal following Birchfield v North Dakota.

No. 1,309 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. MARIO GIRON, SUPERIOR COURT, NO. 1300 EDA 2016, FILED JANUARY 31, 2017 “Appellant, Mario Giron, appeals from the judgment of sentence entered on April 15, 2016. In this case, we hold that, pursuant to Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S.Ct. 2160 (2016),[1] a defendant who refuses to provide a blood sample when […]

Trends in the Law: Restroom Choice.

The Courts will soon be required to determine whether the state can require an individual to use public bathrooms that correspond to his/her biological sex when he/she states that this violates a right to choose the restroom that corresponds to the individual’s perceived sexual preference.

Is it Unconstitutional to Make Sleeping in Public a Crime?

No. 1,201 Here’s a very interesting article from Jurist, the Pitt Law School publication that follows legal news around the world. The Justice Department is attacking a Boise City ordinance that prohibits slewing in public.  Since everybody has to sleep, it is argued, this makes it a crime to be homeless.  The article gives a […]

Ben & Jerry Celebrate Same Sex Marriage With an Old Flavor, New Name.

No. 1,190

The First Amendment and “Falsely Shouting Fire in a Crowded Theater” .

Everybody knows the aphorism about falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater. I am pretty sure that I heard it for the first time in class in elementary school and then countless times thereafter. The concept is universally accepted, or is as close to universal acceptance as any such statement is likely to be.

Judge Kopf Discontinues his Blog “Hercules and the Umpire” but States that the Cruz Statement was not Involved in the Decision.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf has discontinued blogging because employees of his District of Nebraska think that “Hercules and the Umpire” is an embarrassment to the court, according to the ABA Journal. He said that the welfare of District of Nebraska is his primary concern and that if its employees think the blog embarrasses the District, it is not in its best interest. Kopf says that there are no disciplinary complaints or medical/mental health reasons involved.

Celebrating Marriage in America.

Everybody says that it has been a historic week. The Obergefell decision was, of course, the culmination of a trend that has picked up momentum over the past few years until the outcome became all but inevitable. So, in reality, it has been a historic decade.

Symbolic Speech: What Are You Saying When You Fly the Confederate Flag?

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has a specialty license plate program, in which a party may propose a design, slogan and graphic. Applications are approved by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board (Board). The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) made a design proposal in 2009 containing a Confederate battle flag. Public comments were solicited, and there were many negative ones, including responses from elected officials. The Board rejected the proposal.

Please Read Somebody Else’s Blog Post about Former Justice John Paul Stevens.

This Blog Post about former Justice John Paul Stevens will brighten your day. It appears in Neil Steinberg’s Blog: Every Goddamn Day. There is no point in me embellishing on Steinberg’s riveting story. Just read it.

First Amendment, National Security and You’ve Gotta Be Kidding!

Sister Megan Rice, an “85 year-old peace activist nun” and friends, used a bolt cutter to enter the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex at Oak Ridge, and according to Lowering the Bar, “put up some banners, sang songs and prayed.” They also “threw some blood on the building and chipped some pieces off the corner with a hammer.” A report in the Wikipedia article (linked to her name above) says she and her two cohorts spray painted anti-war slogans on the building.

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CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 40 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.


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