Judge shouldn’t be booted from case because of Facebook friendship with lawyer, appeals court rules

A Facebook friendship doesn’t necessarily signify a close relationship, according to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal. A mere allegation of a Facebook friendship, without more, does not provide a basis for disqualification, the court said. The Aug. 23 decision allows Miami-Dade Judge Beatrice Butchko to remain on the case, a suit for nonpayment of legal fees filed by the Herssein Law Group against a former client, the United Services Automobile Association.

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A Judge Wants a Bigger Role for Female Lawyers. So He Made a Rule

It is common for judges to publish guidance for lawyers who appear in their courtrooms on how to conduct themselves with regard to minor matters like how and when to file motions. But on Wednesday, Jack B. Weinstein, a senior federal judge in Brooklyn, used this typically mundane process to address an issue of growing concern to many in the legal profession: the lack of female lawyers in leading roles at trials and other court proceedings.

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Driver’s license facial recognition tech leads to 4,000 New York arrests

The state of New York says its driver’s license facial recognition technology has led to the arrest of 4,000 people in connection to identify theft or fraud crimes. This number is likely to skyrocket in the wake of the state doubling the number of measurement points for photographs.

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Editorial: County has some decisions to make about its crime lab

OWH

The City of Omaha, after discussing a crime lab merger with Douglas County for more than a decade, got tired of waiting.

City leaders have now done what they said they would do if Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning an other critics kept standing in the way of a merged lab.

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U.S. Court curbs power of police to seize cellphones

A U.S. appeals court on Friday limited the ability of police to seize cell phones from homes of people suspected of crimes, ruling the prevelance of mobile devices did not mean police could assume a suspect had one when requesting a search warrant.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s Circuit threw out a D.C. man’s criminal conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, saying in a 2-1 ruling that the police found the weapon only because they drafted an “overly broad” search warrant.

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How Private is Your Cellphone? The Next Fourth Amendment Challenge

The Crime Report

Most people know that very little they do on the web is private. The terabytes of data held online contain personal information accessible not only to friends, relatives and would-be employers, but to private businesses, which frequently collect user information in order to deliver better services to customers.

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Fentanyl Called ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’

Fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller, is exacerbating heroin’s deadly trap. In cities across the U.S., it is fueling deeper addiction and has become one of the most prominent killers linked to the nation’s drug crisis, reports the Washington Post.

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Meet a new breed of prosecutor

CSM

There’s his background as a defense lawyer, his criminal record (he once pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated), and finally this: the tattoo. Inked across his chest are the words “not guilty” – a bit of bravado from his defense lawyer days that he feels holds just as much relevance to his new job, which he won in a narrow election victory last November.

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Criminal justice reform starts with the prosecutor

Respect. Self-worth. Hope. Proportionality. These were one-word visions for a reimagined criminal justice system from group of people who have considerable power to make change a reality: prosecutors.

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When Should a Child Be Taken from His Parents?

The New Yorker

What should you do if child-protective services comes to your house? You will hear a knock on the door, often late at night. You don’t have to open it, but if you don’t the caseworker outside may come back with the police. The caseworker will tell you you’re being investigated for abusing or neglecting your children.

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