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Canada’s Legalization Of Marijuana Will Have Implications Across The Border

Posted on: October 29th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

On Oct.17, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize marijuana. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules or laws that apply to marijuana smokers, The Washington Post reported.

Canadian law allows people 18 and older to buy marijuana, but some provinces have set a minimum age of 19 to match the drinking age, and Quebec has announced its intentions to raise it to 21.

The new federal law sets a 30-gram limit on how much marijuana people can buy or possess in public. That’s equivalent to about one ounce. In addition, some cities have specific rules that apply to where you can consume your legal lmarijuana.

The legal sale of pot is limited to fresh buds, oil, plants and seeds. Edibles are not available for legal purchase although you can cook and consume them in someone’s home.

Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal, with different penalties in different provinces.

You cannot bring marijuana legally purchased in Canada back into the United States, even if you are bringing it into a U.S. state where marijuana has been legalized. It will be considered both possession and drug smuggling.

Although medical cannabis is legal in 46 states, marijuana is still an illegal substance under federal law. The federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This act does distinguish between medical and recreational use of cannabis. Marijuana laws are used to prosecute people who possess, cultivate, or distribute large quantities of cannabis, according to Americans for Safe Access.

Under federal law, cannabis is treated like every other controlled substance, such as cocaine and heroin.. Under the CSA, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug, which means the federal government considers it to be highly addictive and that it has no medical value.

Although doctors can’t “prescribe” cannabis for medical use under federal law, they can “recommend” its use under the First Amendment, ASA said.

National Law Enforcement Museum Opens In D.C.

Posted on: October 15th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Law enforcement is any important part of the legal process, just as court reporting plays a crucial role.

A new National Law Enforcement Museum has opened in Washington, D.C. offering interactive exhibits the founders hope will help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.

Among the more than 21,000 artifacts housed at the new museum are the phone that received the first 911 emergency call, the desk J. Edgar Hoover used as FBI director, and the handcuffs used by a police officer to arrest Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

The purpose of the museum is to honor law enforcement professionals and to give people a greater appreciation for what officers do, CEO Craig Floyd told Fox News.

“People are, hopefully, going to come away with a better understanding and appreciation of the value and the vital role that law enforcement plays in our society,” Floyd said.

The Day in the Life exhibit allows visitors to see what a typical day is like for a patrol officer in various cities. Visitors can also go inside a real prison cell.

Visitors can learn what it’s like to be a 911 emergency by visiting the 911 dispatch center and going through a simulation, taking mock calls and deciding how to proceed and get help to “victims.”

A key feature of the museum is the Hall of Remembrance, which honors fallen law enforcement professionals by displaying photos of officers killed in the line of duty.

Congress approved the use of federal land for the museum, but developers were required to build most of the museum underground. Two of the floors of the 58,000-square-foot building are underground.

Tickets for the museum, located at 444 E Street N.W., are $21.95 for adults, $16 for seniors ($14.50 for military, veterans, law enforcement and students with valid ID) and $12 for children under the age of 12.

Court reporter shortage felt nationwide

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
Court reporters

Miami court reporters Courtscribes bring technology to the table.

A national court reporter shortage looms. But Miami court reporters company Courtscribes is pioneering technology that could help make the industry more efficient.

The court reporter shortage is happening despite the attractiveness of the profession, which includes jobs that can bring six-figure salaries. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The field, which many like to date back to ancient scribes, requires training in typing as many as 225 words a minute on a stenotype machine, a chorded keyboard used to transcribe spoken word into shorthand. Students can learn to use the machine in programs offered by trade schools and community colleges.

Depending on the industry, their experience and the amount of work they take on, court reporters can make upward of $95,000 a year. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the median annual pay for court reporters in 2016 was $51,320. Median pay for all high-school graduates without further education, meanwhile, has hovered around $30,000 over the past several years, according to the National Center for Education.

 At Miami court reporters company Courtscribes, the offerings go far beyond mere courtroom stenography. Its cloud, video and audio technology makes it a force to be reckoned with. The company’s process often works in the following way:
  • An experienced court reporter oversees recording equipment and takes simultaneous notes.  Digital annotations are time-linked to the recording so it’s a simple process to find and listen to actual testimony.
  • Each primary participant in the proceeding is given a discreet sound channel so that each voice is distinct, eliminating confusion caused by cross talk. “This voice isolation feature permits a full and accurate transcription of exactly what was said — and who said it — because each channel can be listened to individually,” entrepreneur and professor Barry Unger writes in a white paper.
  • Because of the quality of the recordings, court reporters are less obtrusive than in more traditional court stenography. Unger writes, “The recording process captures all words exactly as spoken — then in transcription the audio can be replayed as needed to verify verbatim accuracy.”
  • Lawyers or other interested parties can obtain copies of the digital recording as well as the transcript, and, “With digital annotations directly “hot-linked” to the audio, points of interest are located quickly and efficiently,” Unger writes.

Will virtual reality become commonplace in the courtroom?

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
Virtual reality

Virtual reality could soon revolutionize the courtroom.

At CourtScribes, we’re revolutionizing court reporting and courtroom video through technology. But there’s another technology on the horizon that could profoundly affect the legal system—Virtual Reality.

Most of us think of Virtual Reality in the context of games or other entertainment. But the technology has made inroads in medicine, architecture, and, yes, law.

Bloomberg Law reports that as Virtual Reality’s costs come down, tech-savvy lawyers are examining what it can do to help their presentations and cases:

Though it can still run into six figures, the cost of virtual reality has come down and tech-savvy attorneys say the time is right for a fresh look at the technology’s use during trials, especially in areas like product liability or criminal law where evidence is vital to recreating events or presenting science.

“There are incredible possibilities for using this technology in the courtroom,” defense attorney Noel Edlin told Bloomberg Law.

Virtual reality could be used to “transport members of a jury to a Superfund site, inside a mesothelioma patient’s lungs, to the intersection where an accident occurred, or to a grisly crime scene,” said Edlin, managing partner at Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum in San Francisco.

“I believe that in 10 years, most trial lawyers will be using VR just like they’re using laptops today. VR will be the norm, not the exception,” plaintiffs’ attorney Mitch Jackson, a senior partner at Jackson & Wilson in Laguna Hills, Calif., told Bloomberg Law.

In another article, though, Bloomberg Law reports that there are still hurdles to clear before we see virtual reality headsets in everyday courtrooms. Among those:

Topping the list, three-dimensional graphical presentations with interactivity seem so real to jurors that they may prove unduly persuasive in a legal process built around discerning truth. And people can react very differently to the technology.

Some jurors may lose attention while others may even get motion sick.

Those obstacles may be surmounted by excluding jurors prone to illness and physical stress; and experts can serve as courtroom “tour guides” to keep jurors from losing focus.

Still, virtual reality is definitely a technology to be on the lookout for.

Trump reshapes federal judiciary

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
Donald Trump

Donald Trump is remaking the federal judiciary through conservative appellate court appointments.

President Donald Trump is making good on at least one campaign promise. He is shifting the federal judiciary sharply to the right.

The New York Times reports that, in addition to his high-profile appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump is stacking appellate courts with conservatives as part of a strategy at work since the beginning of his presidency.

The Times reports that Donald F. McGahn, who will soon take office as White House Counsel, met with a group of lawyers last year and filled a whiteboard with the names of young, conservative judges. Since then, Trump has been moving to appoint those judges to appellate court vacancies.

Here’s the Times:

Mr. McGahn, instructed by Mr. Trump to maximize the opportunity to reshape the judiciary, mapped out potential nominees and a strategy, according to two people familiar with the effort: Start by filling vacancies on appeals courts with multiple openings and where Democratic senators up for re-election next year in states won by Mr. Trump — like Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania — could be pressured not to block his nominees. And to speed them through confirmation, avoid clogging the Senate with too many nominees for the district courts, where legal philosophy is less crucial.

Nearly a year later, that plan is coming to fruition. Mr. Trump has already appointed eight appellate judges, the most this early in a presidency since Richard M. Nixon, and on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a ninth appellate nominee — Mr. Trump’s deputy White House counsel, Gregory Katsas — to the floor.

Republicans are systematically filling appellate seats they held open during President Barack Obama’s final two years in office with a particularly conservative group of judges with life tenure. Democrats — who in late 2013 abolished the ability of 41 lawmakers to block such nominees with a filibuster, then quickly lost control of the Senate — have scant power to stop them.

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Samsung out of options in Apple patent case after Supreme Court decision

Posted on: November 13th, 2017 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court refused to hear Samsung’s appeal in a patent battle with Apple.

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided not to hear Samsung’s appeal of a lower court ruling ordering it to pony up for violating Apple patents.

Samsung and Apple have been slugging it out over smartphone patents for years. But the refusal by the Supreme Court may put an end to at least this front in the companies’ wars.

Engadget reports:

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear Samsung’s appeal in the case, upholding a circuit court decision reinstating a $120 million penalty for allegedly infringing on Apple’s patents for technology like slide-to-unlock and autocorrecting text. Samsung had argued that the lower court didn’t consider additional legal material, and supposedly changed laws for both issuing injunctions and invalidating patents.

We’ve asked Samsung for its response to the Supreme Court decision. At first glance, though, it looks like this may be the end of the road for this particular case: Samsung doesn’t exactly have other courts to turn to.

The amount is trivial, of course — $120 million would barely make a dent in Samsung’s $12.91 billion profit from last quarter. Rather, it’s more about the symbolism of having to pay in the first place. The company has been fighting (and serving) phone patent lawsuits for most of this decade, and it doesn’t want the saga to end in defeat.

Reuters reports that while Samsung may have lost this round, it has won previously:

The Supreme Court in December 2016 sided with Samsung in a separate case over its fight with Apple. In that one, the justices threw out a $399 million damages award against Samsung to its American rival for copying key iPhone designs.

A judge in California in October ordered a new trial over damages in that case.

The current appeal stems from a May 2014 verdict by a jury in federal court in San Jose, California ordering Samsung to pay $119.6 million for using the Apple features without permission. Infringement of the quick links feature accounted for nearly $99 million of the damages.

If you need a verbatim record of your next proceedings, contact CourtScribes.

U.S. court sides with Google in Canadian censorship case

Posted on: November 6th, 2017 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
Google censorship

A U.S. court has sided with Google in a Canadian censorship case.

A Federal issued a temporary injunction last week against a Canadian Supreme Court ruling that would have required Google to remove links from its worldwide search results.

Judge Edward Davila’s wrote that the Canadian high court’s ruling that Google had to remove links not just in Canada but worldwide, “undermines the policy goals of Section 230 [of the US Communications Decency Act] and threatens free speech on the global internet.”

The Canadian courts had ruled that Google should remove the links after a British Columbia-based company sued the tech giant. ZDNet reports:

The ruling pertains to the case Google v. Equustek, which started with a 2011 complaint from the company Equustek Solutions. The British Columbia firm charged that a group of Equustek distributors (known as the Datalink defendants) were selling counterfeit Equustek products online.

Datalink continued to sell these goods globally, even after the court ordered it to stop, prompting Equustek to ask Google to intervene. Google initially de-indexed 345 specific webpages associated with Datalink on google.ca.

Equustek then sought an injunction to stop Google from displaying any part of the Datalink websites on any of its search results worldwide. A lower court granted the injunction, and the Canadian Supreme Court upheld it. The ruling’s global implications elicited concern from freedom of speech advocates.

Google asked the U.S. District Court for Northern California to intervene, calling the Canadian court’s ruling repugnant to rights established by the First Amendment. According to ZDNet:

Now that the US District Court has intervened, Google can seek a permanent injunction and ask the Canadian court to modify its original order, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

University of Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, wrote on Friday that the US ruling “is precisely what critics of the Supreme Court ruling feared with the prospect of conflicting rulings, protracted litigation, and legal uncertainty becoming a reality.”

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