Sunday, November 29, 2009

Forensic Facebook

A New York Times blog reports (Nov. 11, 2009) on a Harlem teenager whose Facebook status update helped confirm an alibi and get burglary charges dropped. The post says that this is the first time Facebook helped the accused, and lists times when Facebook and MySpace posts have been used against defendants.

Comments list different ways that someone could scam the system. Sure, a 19-year-old could call home and say, "Dad! Quick! Log in to my Facebook account and post something. I'm going to need to prove that I was in your apartment right now! Oh, and when the police ask you if I was there, lie for me, OK?" But I think the prosecutor probably made a good call.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Representing Hamdan - Free CLE

The Trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan:
Constitutional Challenge to Executive Power and the
First War Crimes Trial of a Guantanamo Detainee

Monday, December 7, 2009
Benaroya Hall, 2nd & Union Streets, Downtown Seattle
Nordstrom Recital Hall
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Perkins Coie lawyers Harry Schneider, Joe McMillan and Charles Sipos will provide a behind-the-scenes account of their experience as part of the defense team of lawyers appointed to defend Salim Ahmed Hamdan, widely known as Osama bin Laden's personal driver. The presentation will include a review of the federal court litigation filed in Seattle that eventually led to the United States Supreme Court 2006 landmark Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision on the limits of presidential power. Messrs. Schneider, McMillan and Sipos will also provide an in-depth analysis of the 2008 trial at Guantanamo Bay in which Mr. Hamdan became the first defendant accused by the United States of committing war crimes in the war on terror and tried before a Military Commission.

To Attend
This is a complimentary seminar offered by Perkins Coie; however, pre-registration is required.
You may register here for this program.
Public parking is available at several parking lots near Benaroya Hall. Parking will not be validated.

This program has been granted CLE credits in Washington and California. If you are admitted to practice in another state, we will provide information to allow you to apply for credit in your state of admittance.

Please contact our Registrar, Linda Gordon, at LGordon [at] or 206.359.8420 if you have questions.

JP Morgan Drops Arbitration Clauses

Parties to a contract often like arbitration clauses because they offer a cheaper and easier resolution to disputes than formal litigation. However, credit-card companies typically dictate the terms of the agreement for consumer debts and hire arbitration companies to handle all of their customer's disputes.

The Wall Street Journal reported last weekend that JP Morgan is removing arbitration clauses from their credit-card agreements. This change comes in the wake of several court cases addressing the close relationship the banks enjoy with arbitration companies.

Businessweek reported this summer that the Minnesota Attorney General filed suit against the industy-leading National Arbitration Forum. As Business week reports, "[The Minnesota suit] follows a bias case brought against NAF last year by the San Francisco city attorney in California state court."

THANKS to Patrick Flanagan for this guest post. -- mw

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Defendants Gone Missing

Two current stories about defendants on the loose: