Flawed Hair Samples Leads to a Review of Cases Dating Back to 1985


In a recent Wall Street Journal Law Blog Posting written by Chad Bray entitled:DOJ Reviewing Historic Hair and Fiber Cases for Flawed Work, The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are reviewing thousands of historical criminal cases, including cases handled by the FBI Laboratory dating back to at least 1985, to determine if possible flawed hair and fiber evidence may have led to a conviction.  The Innocence Project is partnering with the Justice Department to provide an independent, third-party assessment of DOJ’s findings.

Embarrassing Photos and Invasion of Privacy


Have you ever been tagged in an embarrassing photo that has been posted somewhere on the web and wondered if your rights have in any way been violated?  If you answered yes to this question then you are not alone.

In a fascinating blog posting by Evan Brown on the Internetcases Blog entitled: Social media legal best practices: some problems and solutions with uploading photos and tagging people, the issues surrounding Invasion of Privacy are explored in detail.  Common sense applies in this area.  If someone takes a photo of you in a public place and/or with a number of other people, you probably do not have a legal protection to a right of privacy in that situation. There are however; several different situations where the law will recognize your rights to privacy:

  1. Intrusion Upon Seclusion is a legal claim that can be made when someone has intentionally intruded (physically or otherwise) upon the solitude or seclusion of another individual.  An example would be taking a photo of a person in the dressing room of a store.  In this situation, the person who is trying on clothes has the right to expect that their privacy while dressing and undressing will be protected and respected.
  2. Publication of Private Facts is a form of invasion of privacy by publishing private, non newsworthy facts about another person in a way that would be offensive to a reasonable person.  Posting explicit photos of an ex-girlfriend that were obtained in confidence while in a relationship would be an example of this type of invasion of privacy.

For a complete list of the various scenarios under which the law would support the potential recovery of damages, please read the full article.

Technology Post – The Unstoppable Galaxy S3


Can anything stop the new Galaxy S3 from working?  In a CNET article written by Don Reisinger entitled:Samsung: Don’t blame the Galaxy S3 for burning up,   Samsung announced that the Company’s recently released Galaxy S3 Smart Phone has been exonerated following an earlier report of the phone burning up.

Last month, an Ireland based forum poster reported that the phone was sitting in a “car mount when suddenly a white flame sparks and a bang came out of the phone” and that the device “burned from the inside out” and melted its case.

What we found to be more interesting than the reported fire problem was that the phone kept on working but had lost its signal.  Could this be Samsung’s response to the Eveready Battery?

Samsung hired a third-party organization, Fire Investigations U.K., to inspect the damaged device. That investigation found that the trouble with the phone occurred only after the device had been exposed to an energy source which was used to heat the phone and ultimately caused the damage.  The conclusion was that the phone had been placed in a microwave oven.

Our compliments to Galaxy and its new S3 for demonstrable durability and reliability!

Recruiters Expand Their Use of Social Network Sites for Job Candidates


In a recent CNET article written by Lance Whitney entitled: Heads up, LinkedIn users: 93% of recruiters are looking at you, A recent survey from Jobvite found that 93 percent of job recruiters tap into LinkedIn to find qualified candidates, up from 87 percent last year and 78 percent in 2010. FaceBook and Twitter also realized similar growth rates.

Overall, 92% of employers and recruiters are already using or plan to use social network sites as a source for locating job candidates.  Of the recruiters polled, 73% reported that they had hired someone who was either found or introduced through a social network. An astonishing 89% found someone through LinkedIn while only 26% and 15% respectively were found through FaceBook and Twitter. Kudos to LinkedIn!

So what’s the bad news?  Job candidates beware! When preparing your resume, it’s important to keep in mind that what you say and how you say it will be available to millions of social network users.  Everything from simple grammatical mistakes to more serious resume embellishment will now be on stage for the world to see.  Yes, visibility comes at a price so it’s critical to put the time and effort into developing a resume that is both accurate and professional.

Although not addressed in the article, the obvious question seems to be will recruiters and employment agencies someday be displaced or dis-inter mediated by the social networks?  Only time will tell.

Technology Post – Biometric Information Could Save Lives in Automobiles


In a recent article written by Jim Henry for Forbes Magazine entitled: “Some Day, Your Car Could Tell You to Take a Chill Pill”, Jeff Greenberg of Ford Motor Co. Research and Advanced Engineering reports that driving distraction could be significantly cut down by analyzing biometric information.  Ford is experimenting with a special steering wheel that can take your pulse and use the information to tell how hard you’re gripping the wheel, and how sweaty your palms are, good indicators of stress.

While the biometric sensors are analyzing your pulse, other sensors keep track of how fast the car is going; whether it’s on a straightaway or a twisty road; whether it’s a familiar route, or new to the driver.  With all those inputs and more, your car could automatically decide you’re too busy to take a call right now, and send all incoming calls to your phone’s answering machine.

The Ford Evos concept car, which was unveiled last year, is a platform for many of these experimental approaches. Ford said at the time it was looking at biometric data including the driver’s pulse, but didn’t share many details.

2nd Madoff Brother Pleads Guilty


On June 29, 2012, the Peter Madoff, the brother of convicted felon Bernie Madoff, plead guilty to the following charges:

  1. One count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud
  2. One count of falsifying records

Mr Madoff agreed to the forfeiture of more than $143.1 billion which represents all of the investor funds that were paid into BLMIS from 1996 through 2008.  Additionally, Mr Madoff could face a 10 year prison sentence.

For further fascinating information about the actual charges and history of the case, read the full text of the government’s charges that were filed against him.