Although members of the Hudson High School Mock Trial team are proud of their recent regional accomplishments, they are determined to make it to state next year. "We have a young team," said coach and defense attorney Sarah Hulburt. "Now we know what to do to get to state." Only one member of the team is a senior, so to prepare the team for next year, they will conduct a criminal trial in front of Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty June 8 in the Summit County Courthouse on High Street in Akron. The attorneys and witnesses will be portrayed by members of the mock trial team, and a University of Akron detective will provide information about the case.
"Like a battle, a trial is fought, in the hallowed halls of a courthouse. Like a warrior, a lawyer exercises her own physical and mental preparation. And like a champion, the winner takes all - sometimes life itself.
Trials date back as far as mankind has known conflict. Images of the great philosopher and lawyer Cicero arguing in capital trials to hundreds of citizens in the Quaestiones perpetuae ("standing jury courts") of Rome are evoked. As are bloody accounts of fierce Germanic warriors, “Sharing the Sun;” perpendicular to the sun so that neither has an advantage in trial by combat. King Charles VI authorized a judicial duel between Sir Jean de Carrouges and squire Jacques Le Gris over the alleged rape of Carrouges wife. As the Royal Court looked onward, Carrouges stabbed his opponent in the throat with his dagger, claiming victory. A loss in these cases meant death."
For those that are not enthralled by Supreme Court action, then you may not have heard that the almighty Court rendered a really rare Second Amendment decision this session.
Newbie Samual Alito authored a majority opinion in McDonald v. City of Chicago. Specifically, the gun law in question came from Chicago, a city that had a long-standing handgun ban dating back to 1983. The Court told a lower court to reevaluate the law, stating that states and cities must respect the Second Amendment. Although the Court didn’t flat-out strike the law as unconstitutional, the effect is to invalidate outright gun bans across the nation. According to the opinion, law-abiding citizens have to a right to act on the belief that
“their safety and the safety of other law-abiding members of the community
would be enhanced by the possession of handguns in the home.”
The Court was far from clear, which Stephen Breyer saw as a problem in his dissent. The decision did not specify the constitutional limits on gun laws. A few key issues that could be litigated include:
-Bans on people under the age of 21 buying or owning guns;
-One-gun-a-month purchase limits in California, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia;
-Georgia’s ban on carrying guns into churches;
-Bans on guns in bars
Another issue that could potentially alter gun jurisprudence is the make-up of the Court. The decision was the most narrow possible at 5-4. If one conservative justice is replaced by a liberal one, the Court’s stance could change drastically.
For many politicians, guns are symbolic connection to their constituency. Here are a few photos of politicians touting their Americanism. I say, as usual, Arnold does it best.
Dear Don King: You cost me $25. Featured
No one ever described Don King as short-winded. I now know this first hand, as his “promoting” cost me $25 in the form of a parking ticket.
Yep, Don King was at the Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court this morning. He also was ahead of me in the docket, which meant a 45 minute typical endeavor took 2 hours.
To be precise, he wasn’t ahead of me; rather, one of his boxer’s was. Ray Austin is a 6’6, heavyweight boxer, who at age 39, has seen his fair share of fights. But like any boxer, his highs parallel his lows. Just a few months ago, he filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for $6000 in debt, plus back child support for 5 adult children. Apparently, he started impregnating women at a very young age. His case was the typical chapter 7: without assets.
Well, it ends up that Don King Productions is willing to pay off Austin’s creditors in exchange for dismissal of the case. A bankruptcy, from what I gathered from the circus-like testimony from Don King’s lawyer, the World Boxing federation, and Austin himself, renders Austin unmarketable for bouts. Austin is guaranteed by King to fight in a bout worth at least $100,000. [And why anyone would believe this is baffling to me. Isn't the whole point of boxing promotion is to tell whoopers so as to make something seem more epic than it actually is?]
The trustee and the judge were curious to know why Don King became interested in Austin after he filed bankruptcy. A boxer with 15 years with of blows to his head, a weird Floridian lawyer, and Don King himself could not clearly answer this question. Then again, the audience of pissed-off lawyers who had to wait an hour already figured this. At one point in the “hearing,” the lawyer asked to talk with King…old Donny pulled his ancient body from the courtroom bench, adorned in his wrinkled old suit, and surrounded with this highly obese bodyguard also adorned in an old suit [obviously custom-tailored to fit 400 lbs of girth], to converse with the lawyer. They were both in ear-shot of me, but frankly, I could not decipher King’s odd, southern dialect.
After about an hour of this testimony, the judge made the parties step outside so the rest of the docket could proceed. By that point, I already knew I had a parking ticket. And instead of feeling reverent for sitting in the same room as a celebrity, all I felt was irate. To Mr. King, this was just a playground for his little circus. It was probably a form of promotion: I’ll admit, I googled the boxer’s name, and now, I’m writing about it for others to read. Curiosity is a powerful tool.
Yet, I believe a federal court is not a playground for boxers, especially when it made about 15 lawyers sit well over an hour, just so a Florida lawyer and a World Boxing Council lawyer could pretend they are big time.
So if I could have said something to Don King, it would have been: along with the $6000 for Ray Austin’s creditors, can you pay for $200(15 lawyers x 1 hour), plus my parking fine, plus the tax-payer dollars wasted by your little game?