More Restrictions Against “Practicing Law” By Non-Lawyers?

The ABA is proposing stricter guidelines on who can dispense “legal advice” — guidelines that “could subject real estate agents, income tax preparers, credit counselors and other laypeople to civil and criminal penalties.” The FTC and the DOJ are objecting, saying the proposed guidelines are much too broad, and that their real intent is to protect lawyers’ wallets, the New York Times reports here. UPDATE: It looks like doctors are going after the same kind of restrictions at the same time, according to this.

Safe Sex

“In a ruling that might have been pounded out with clubs in some Neolithic cave,” writes here, “Sacramento’s Third District Court of Appeal held this week that two female corrections officers weren’t victims of sexual harassment, despite their boss’s penchant for sleeping with — and then unfairly promoting — their colleagues.”

You can read the court’s opinion here (PDF).

Tortious Bagels

A Florida couple is suing a McDonald’s restaurant over a “tough” bagel that damaged the husband’s teeth and the couple’s marriage, according to this.

California Supreme Court To Weigh Whether Replacing Jurors Mid-Trial Amounts to Double Jeopardy

The jury in People v. Hernandez convicted Manuel Hernandez of 22 felony counts of sexual abuse against his own daughter, starting when she was only nine. But the trial judge had replaced a juror with an alternate mid-trial after the juror complained that she was “bothered by the prosecutor’s tone and believed the judge was biased against the defense.” When Hernandez appealed his conviction, the reviewing court found that the trial judge lacked “good cause” for replacing the juror, and that doing so had subjected Hernandez to double jeopardy. They set him free. Now the state Supreme Court is reviewing the case, and may issue an opinion outlining the circumstances in which jury members may be excused and replaced, and whether it constitutes double jeopardy. Read an article about it here.

Jury Awards $100 Million For Pool Accident

A Florida jury has awarded $100 million in damages to the family of a 2 year old girl who suffered permanent brain damage after falling into an unguarded swimming pool at the apartment complex where they lived, the AP reports here. The girl and her family have my sympathy, but $100 million is ridiculous. It makes a mockery of our justice system.