Law

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Fashion week is on in New York and the Burkini ban is off in one French town - with more likely to follow. A high court found no proof that the full-cover swimsuit favored by some Muslim women does not pose a security threat. Today, the long history of women's bodies - and fashion - as political battleground.

Plus, getting locked up is no picnic, especially for crooked executives arrogant enough to think they live by different rules. We'll talk to a consultant who prepares high-rollers for life behind bars. 

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In states all across the country, the days of pot prohibition are coming to an end. Today, critics say new regulations favor so-called the "Walmart weed" industry and put the squeeze on home growers.

Plus, Derrick Hamilton has never been to law school - but that hasn't stopped him from filing federal complaints against inhumane treatment of inmates, and helping others obtain hearings. He also fought the wrongful that put him in jail for 21 years. We'll talk with a jailhouse lawyer who was set up, but still believes in the power of the law.

Andy Leppard via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/p6YGQ

DNA evidence broke ground by taking the uncertainty out of criminal convictions. But what was once a slam dunk to judge, jury and the public is increasingly under scrutiny. Today, unraveling genetic evidence.

Plus, Marshall, Texas is not what you'd call an innovation hub, yet a quarter of the nation's patent cases are filed there. A reporter looks into why patent holders and trolls choose this sleepy town and its one powerful judge to settle their suits - fast.

New Hampshire's highest court has clarified the state's right-to-know law. 

The ruling came in a case involving Donna Green, Sandown's representative on the Timberlane Regional School Board.

Last year, Green sought budget documents from SAU 55.

Green  was told she could inspect them at the district's offices and pay to copy them, but was denied them when she asked for them in a digital format.

Beth via Flicr CC

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill that would require courts to instruct jurors of the option of jury nullification. That’s when a jury can return a verdict of not guilty if the jurors believe a guilty verdict would be unjust. Juries in New Hampshire already have the right to jury nullification, though it’s rarely used.

Joining All Things Considered for a look at jury nullification is Buzz Scherr. He’s a professor at UNH School of Law.

Can you give us an example of how jury nullification has been used in New Hampshire?

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While a slew of controversial election laws in recent years have prompted concerns over voter disenfranchisement...  Little attention has been paid to what may be the country's most disenfranchised population: felons. Today, an election law scholar discusses the estimated five point eight million men and women who are banned from the polls.

Plus, the head of an online food magazine takes aim at food writers that he says are skirting journalistic responsibilities, in favor of lighter fare. 

RICCARDO S. SAVI, GETTY IMAGES

Gov. Maggie Hassan ordered New Hampshire flags to half staff to honor Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died this weekend at age 79.

“Justice Scalia served our country with honor and our entire nation mourns his sudden loss,” Hassan wrote in a statement. “Tom and I send our deepest condolences to Maureen, his entire family, and his many friends, loved ones and colleagues.”

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Mid-life crises are embarrassing and all-too-common...but surely not among the prudent judges of nation's highest court? On today’s show, a former court clerk's new novel imagines a Supreme Court justice going off the rails.

Then, as millions vow to exercise in the new year, we'll hear about how today's gyms are building personal bathrooms and shower stalls for body shy millennials -- one writer thinks it's absurd for adults to fear getting undressed in front of others.

File photo

New Hampshire's highest court says it will hear the appeal of a man convicted of killing an 18-year-old woman more than four decades ago.

Robert Breest has denied beating Susan Randall to death and tossing her partially nude body onto the frozen Merrimack River in Concord in February 1971. Now 77, Breest has twice been denied parole because he refuses to admit to the crime and take part in sex offender treatment. Instead, he has tried to clear his name through DNA testing.

Adam Foster via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/b99vsi

We all use encryption technology to keep our data and credit cards safe. ISIS does too - for communication and recruiting. The Obama Administration and some lawmakers want tech companies to provide access to encryption codes, but would making data more vulnerable make us safer? We’ll take a look into the complicated issue of encryption. Then, a tech researcher conducted a two-year study on how families maneuver the digital world and found that restricting screen time is unrealistic and counterproductive. An argument for why parents shouldn’t be ashamed of technology. 

John W. Iwanski via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/adzSde

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. In times of mourning, we emphasize the cyclical nature of life and death - and yet, American burial practices are mostly designed to halt the natural process of decomposition. Today on Word of Mouth, a look at the historical forces that pushed America towards embalming and containment, and the growing "green burial" movement. Plus, how American judges are grappling with a difficult to interpret form of evidence that's starting to be introduced in the courtroom - the emoji.

courtesy Flickr/NCinDC.

 

New Hampshire Right To Life will not receive documents about Planned Parenthood they requested from the federal government five years ago.

On Monday, the Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal to a lower court ruling that allowed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to withhold documents, in part because the documents contain confidential commercial information that might undermine Planned Parenthood’s ability to compete for patients.

www.audio-luci-store.it on Flickr Creative Commons

A new state law limiting when schools can record in classrooms is having unintended consequences for some New Hampshire school districts.

The law was aimed at protecting the privacy of teachers and students, but school officials say the added regulations have made it more difficult to film classrooms for legitimate reasons.

Priscilla Morrill is a reporter for the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

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The High Court recently kicked off its fall term, with a docket full of hot-button social issues, including abortion and birth control.  Other highly watched cases concern unions among public sector workers and the use of affirmative action in college admissions.  We’re looking at what’s ahead and which way the court might go.

GUESTS:

  • John Greabe – law professor at UNH School of Law
  • David Savage – Supreme Court and legal issues reporter for the Los Angeles Times
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For the first time in decades, court-appointed lawyers who represent the poorest  clients will get a raise.

The raise from $60 to $100 dollars an hour would apply only to major crimes that take hundreds of attorney hours, like capital murder, and felonious sexual assault. The maximum fee cap for those crimes will also increase from $4,100 to $8,000.

peter honeyman via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/a1wRcF

Demanding trigger warnings? Canceling speakers? Shutting down comedians? College students today make the political correctness of the past seem tame. Today we’re asking: is oversensitivity ruining education? We’ll also look at the roots of extreme protectiveness in a nation where police officers are stationed at more and more high schools with a story about what happens when school discipline meets law enforcement. And, a job you may have thought was already obsolete – we’ll learn why the humble stenographer may be one of the most essential – and under-appreciated people in the courtroom. 

The Technicality Show

Jul 27, 2015

We’ve all heard of a guilty person getting acquitted of crime because of a “technicality”.  What happens when a law professor discovers a judicial loophole that could make for the perfect crime? On today’s show, it’s all about the technicalities, the loopholes, artful dodges and escapes. From how to get away with murder, to how to turn the lights off when your religion prohibits it. Plus, the most expensive typo in American legislative history.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr CC

The U.S. Supreme Court has released several landmark rulings recently, but the decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act upstaged other major cases -- from redistricting to clean air rules to housing discrimination. We discuss those rulings you haven’t heard about and the impact they may have on New Hampshire.

bulbocode909 via Flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/b7u4np

This week, South Carolina’s senate debates whether the Confederate flag should be removed from public view at the state capitol. We're looking at the film that helped resuscitate the confederacy after the Civil War – D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. Then, when NBC canceled Hannibal earlier this summer, fans hardly had time to complain before rumors began to circulate about the show being picked up by one of the online streaming services now keeping shows alive long after networks give up on them. Finally, a Supreme Court case that was overshadowed by an historic slate of decisions. A California farm challenged a Depression-era law that allows the government to forcibly appropriate food crops to control prices.

Craig Murphy via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5Syj9C

 As New Hampshire gets set to enact a ban on handheld cellphone use while driving, there is some evidence that such bans in other states have had little effect on accident rates.

In a 2014 study, researcher Dan Kaffine and others at the University of Colorado Boulder found no evidence that a California ban on using handheld cellphones while driving actually decreased the number of traffic accidents in that state.

Dan Kaffine joined Morning Edition to talk about the issue.

Via Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper has named former state Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas as House legal counsel.

Douglas's resume includes a term Congress, representing New Hampshire's 2nd district, and a stint as legal counsel for former governor Meldrim Thomson.

Douglas has also been counsel for the New Hampshire Republican state committee.

He now leads a Concord law firm, where he's  represented plaintiffs in lawsuits against the state on matters ranging from sexual harassment to judicial pensions.

via Facebook

Our legal system seems to be struggling with how to interpret the Constitution when it comes to today’s technology -- from threats made on social media to whether police need a warrant to search a smartphone. We’ll look at the debate over how to apply principles established more than two centuries ago to our high-tech society. 

GUESTS:

Cascadian Farm via Flickr/CC http://ow.ly/APWQE

Yes, the Market Basket dispute is over, but not all is rosy in the New Hampshire food world. Take for example, the legal challenge in Walpole between two ice cream shops.

anotherlunch.com via Flickr CC

  While me may not remember classmates’ names, or the books we read, there’s something about school lunch that stays with us long after graduation. Today, Word of Mouth investigates the content of children’s brown bag lunches, and discovers they’re not always healthier than cafeteria fare.  Then: a growing number of young Americans are lowering their vocal registers. We’ll look at the speech pattern known as vocal fry, and find out why women who speak with a creak have worse job prospects than their higher-register peers.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


Brady Carlson, NHPR

We’ve talked for many years about how some rural areas of New Hampshire are in short supply of some services that are prevalent elsewhere. For example, there are some parts of the state without broadband internet access. Rural areas may not have access to the same types of health care and this includes legal services as well. Some counties have populations of lawyers that are graying but not growing. The new president of the New Hampshire Bar Association, Lisa Wellman-Ally, is launching an initiative aimed at recruiting lawyers to practice in underserved areas.

Why Law Schools Are Facing An Enrollment Problem

Jul 3, 2014
MiraCosta Community College / Flickr Creative Commons

After years of a so-called “lawyer bubble”, with firms expanding rapidly – these days, many new graduates struggle to get a job in the legal profession.  In response, law school enrollment numbers are plummeting, leading some to scale back their operations and many to re-think the best way to deliver that juris doctorate.

GUESTS:

The Man Who Owns The Moon...Maybe

Jan 6, 2014
Photo by Steve Jurvetson, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Dennis M. Hope claims to own the moon.  He's been taking advantage of an obscure international treaty loophole since 1980, selling off lunar property, and declaring himself owner of the Lunar Embassy, and President of the Galactic Government.  Sound like a joke?  It's not. It's just business.

New Hampshire prosecutors are saying for the first time that their investigation into veteran Rockingham County attorney Jim Reams is criminal in nature.

Prosecutors are fighting Reams' motion to release details about the nature of the investigation and complaints they say have been filed against him.

The attorney general stripped Reams of his power to prosecute last month — at the outset of a joint state and federal investigation of his office.

NYU Press

One day you check the mail, and flipping past the usual assortment of bills, credit card offers, and shopping catalogs, you find a letter that begins “Dear citizen"—a summons to serve jury duty. Whether met with annoyance, anxiety, or a burning desire to game the selection process, this (albeit inconvenient) civic duty is an intrinsic part of being an American.

A former New Hampshire Bar Association president who helped block construction of a four-lane highway through Franconia Notch has died at age 94.

Fred Upton — a Concord native — spent his entire career at the law firm of Upton & Hatfield — founded by his father, Robert Upton.

In the late 1950s, Upton represented the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests in its legal battle to prevent construction of Interstate 93 through Franconia Notch.

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