DNA test without a warrant

The Court has decided the police can sample your DNA without a warrant. Thus, anyone arrested for a felony, even the individuals who were never convicted, can now be tested. The tests’ results are uploaded to state and federal crime database.

Pros and cons

Some law agencies hope DNA testing can be a reliable identification tool rather than names, appearance and fingerprints. Proponents say it is a valuable tool which can investigate unsolved crimes. It can also help separate violent offenders from other people. For example, a Maryland study shows that 20 crimes could have been prevented if just 3 arrested were sampled.

Opponents claim it violates the Fourth Amendment which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. As a result, in a number of state and federal courts there were cases when the law faced conflicting results. The case by the Maryland Court of Appeals held the practice unconstitutional. It happened earlier this year. A DNA sample was taken from a man who was arrested in 2009 on assault. It matched evidence from an unsolved rape. Later on, he was convicted and charged by the state based on the match.

Removing your DNA data

If you have been arrested for a felony you did not commit, you can have your records removed from the database. Only eight states offer automatic deletion of these records. In the remaining 17 states arrestees must contact authorities to ask that their records be removed.

More information here: http://blogs.lawyers.com/2012/10/the-police-can-test-your-dna-without-a-warrant/

Capital Sentence Set Aside for California Inmate

 

In a recent Wall Street Journal Law Blog Post written by Chad Bray entitled:California’s Longest-Serving Death Row Inmate Wins in Ninth Circuit, Mr. Stankewitz, a Native American, has been on death row in California since 1978, when he was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of Ms. Greybeal had his capital sentence set aside.

Mr. Stankewitz was one of the first people sentenced to death after the state reinstated capital punishment in 1978. Thirteen people have been executed since.  In a 2-1 decision Monday, the Ninth Circuit upheld a court order that Mr. Stankewitz’s death sentence be vacated unless California officials seek to retry the capital phase of his case within 90 days or resentence him to life without parole.

The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit tracked that of a lower court, which found that a lawyer for Douglas Ray Stankewitz failed to investigate circumstances leading up to the murder of Theresa Greybeal – namely Mr. Stankewitz’s abusive childhood and long history of substance abuse.

For further information, please read the entire Wall Street Journal Blog Post.

Better Boss vs. Salary Increase

Satisfaction level hits new low.

Why 2/3 of Americans are unhappy with their jobs? It’s because they don’t get along well with their bosses. Career Expert Michelle McQuaid says that $360 billion a year are costing companies in lost productivity. She also conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans. What she found was that 65% were in need of a better boss. They believe a better boss would make them happier. But, for the rest of those surveyed (35%), a salary increase would make them feel the same.

Some other interesting findings from McQuaid’s survey:

  • 70 % men and women said they would be happier if they got along better with their boss. By the way, they were equal in inquiry. But, younger workers feel more strongly about this, almost 80%.
  • 60% say they would do a better job, if they got along better with their boss.
  • 47 % have an opinion that when stress levels of their bosses are high they do not stay in control.
  • 42 % say that their bosses don’t work very hard.
  • Only 38 % were satisfied with their boss and described their attitude as “great.”
  • 31 % feel uninspired by their boss.
  • Close to 20 % say their boss displays no integrity.
  • 15 % feel downright miserable.

These findings support the latest research from Gallup. The researchers have made up a conclusion that trouble with an immediate manager is No. 1. That is why people leave their jobs.

No Warrant Is Required

A very controversial topic

Did you know you are being tracked right now by the government? The police now is making requests to cell phone companies in order to know the location of their users. It became known in today’s Lawyers.com Radio broadcast where the host Matt Plessner interviews Editor in Chief Larry Bodine.

The good news is: “They’re not asking to listen in on the calls, they just say, ‘we want to know where the person is,’” Bodine says.

According to The Fourth Amendment, the police is required to get a search warrant in almost all cases. Also, The Fourth Amendment, the part of the Bill and Rights, guards people against unreasonable searches and seizures, including arrest. Thus, to be able to get a warrant, the police has to show probable cause that a crime has been committed.

The controversial part of the event is that the police is saying, “We don’t want to bother showing probable cause. We don’t want to bother getting a warrant. We just want the information, just based on our request.”

What’s so special about a Local Record?

Bodine said that the police can get a lot of the information about a cell phone user. For example, they can tell you exactly where you are at the moment. In other words, it’ll be easy to tell whether you went to a bar or a church; whether you are a student or an employee. Even the door you knocked on can be easily identified.

He also explains that there are things people don’t want to make available for anybody. But in this case, your habits, your relationships and all your activities can be figured by the police. It sounds more like an incredible invasion of privacy.

Basically, everything depends on what kind of a cell phone you’re carrying with you. If you have an ordinary phone — to check your location is possible any time you make a call, text or send an e-mail. With a smartphone, everything gets even more complicated, because of a GPS signal; your phone can be checked even though it is on or it is turned off. But, in any event, it can be done without a warrant.

Here’s a link to an audio recorded from the radio station: http://bcove.me/msxqhc08

Foreclosures Added to Zillow Online Listings

zillow logo

In a recent news posting written by Anthony Ha entitled:Zillow Adds 1.8M Foreclosed And Pre-Foreclosure Homes To Its Real Estate Listings,  TechCrunch reported that the online real estate company Zillow is expanding its online inventory to include foreclosures.  Many of the new listings will actually be “pre-market inventory” since the homes are in the foreclosure process or have recently been foreclosed but not officially listed for sale.

The new listings are drawn from public records, Zillow says, and it looks like the vast majority (1.5 million) of them consist of pre-foreclosure homes, where foreclosure proceedings have been initiated or an auction has been scheduled. Another 250,000 listings are homes that are owned by the bank or lender but are not yet listed for sale.

Zillow intends to significantly expand the information that is available for the new inventory and will soon be launching a new Foreclosure Center.  For further information, please either refer to the TechCrunch article or visit Zillow’s website.

US Bizarre Laws

America is the place for wacky state laws. Each State has it’s own pretty unbelievable things including laws which are odd, laughable and downright bizarre. When packing your bags and heading off to any of these places you should be careful because you never know what weird laws may still be in effect! These laws may be funny, but finding yourself on the wrong side of the law is no laughing matter.

 Here they are, the dumbest laws in America:

  • Illinois: It is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb.
  • Iowa: It is illegal to hunt from an aircraft.
  • Kentucky: It is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket.
  • West Virginia: It is illegal for children to attend school with there breath smelling of wild onions.
  • Alaska: It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
  • California: Illegal to set a mouse trap without a hunting license.
  • Connecticut: It is illegal to walk across the street on your hands.
  • Florida: It is illegal to fart in a public place after 6:00 pm on Thursdays.
  • Idaho: It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.
  • Maryland: It is illegal to take a lion to the movies.
  • New Jersey: It is illegal to slurp soup.
  • New York: It is illegal to greet each other by putting one’s thumb on the nose and wiggling the fingers.

No matter what State you find yourself in, be sure you visit www.legalbistro.com our on-line community where you are able to post your case anonymously.

You can find more interesting State Laws here: http://www.dumblaws.com

Your Profile Image Can Get You More Clients

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article your profile picture is very important, especially if you are building your own business. And being strategic in the art of creating an image is a key component to success.

The New York City-based Ms. Williams spent some her time among three social-media sites — Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Her research shows that a page with a profile picture is seven times as likely to be viewed as a page without one.

Even a small detail has a great role, for example, the way you are dressed. Imagine a client or an interviewing employee saying: “I don’t recognize you, you look different in reality.” In other words, the appearance should reflect the norms of your profession.

Another detail is to be caught in the moment so your energy in that moment is somehow captured. “If you’re sitting up straight, your shoulders are back, you’re smiling and you have open eyes, you’re non-verbally communicating that you’re confident, competent and have a curiosity about the world,” Ms. Williams says. She also suggests that it would be better if a friend takes a picture of you, because in a professional photograph you can sometimes feel uptight.

As concerns Facebook or other social-media websites the image on the main page has to be carefully selected and chosen. There shouldn’t also be too many photos of you uploaded as soon as you come back from a trip from Italy. Nobody is going to see them all, anyway.

No photos of you with food or drinks should be in your profile. “I don’t think anyone cares about what coffee I’m drinking in the morning, no matter how flavorful it is,” says Ms. Williams.

In addition, tagged photos can lead you to a problem, too. Everything can be ruined by a friend tagging you in a photo drinking wine on a Sunday afternoon. Here is what Ms. Williams says: “I have professional people on this network — I don’t want them seeing what I’m drinking on a Sunday night.” She was horrified when a relative tagged her in a picture showing her drinking wine at a family party.  She untagged herself.

More info. here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203388804576613561719372694.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

What Does Licensing Patents on a “FRAND” Basis Mean?

  thumbs samsung logo Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook Review

In a recent CNET article written by Don Reisinger entitled:Apple: DOJ has Samsung’s standard-essential patents in its sights,   Apple has revealed that Samsung is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for the manner in which Samsung has used (or misused) its declared essential patents.

Standard-essential patents are handled differently than regular patents. When a company’s patents are deemed standard and essential, it must offer them on a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) basis. Apple has argued time and again that some of Samsung’s wireless patents, which have been deemed standard-essential, are being offered on unfair terms, stifling competition.