Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Breaking News: There Are Laws In Italy

I love how in Italy, if you’re accused of having sex with a couple of seventeen year old prostitutes, your two best defenses appear to be (1) yes, I had sex with those minors, but I didn’t pay for it; and (2) yes, I paid for sex with those women, but only after they were adults.

Mr. Berlusconi has now been accused of sexual relations with a second teenaged prostitute:

The girl, named as Iris Berardi, was known to police as a prostitute, Italian reports say, and attended one of the events days before turning 18.

[…]

[The age of consent in Italy is 14.]  Using the services of prostitutes is not a crime in Italy, but paying a prostitute aged under 18 is an offence.

via BBC News.

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The $2,000 Wedding

This is one of the most romantic things I’ve ever read:

People pretty much thought we were crazy. A wedding for under $2,000? On a Saturday evening? In July? With just seven months of planning?

[…]

At times, we thought we were crazy, too. As we piled 64 rock-hard avocados into our shopping cart at Sam’s Club four days before the wedding, I wondered, “Can we really make guacamole for 80 people on our wedding day? Will these avocados even ripen in time? What were we thinking?”

But it was important for us to make it work. We were tired of all the propaganda from the Wedding Industrial Complex telling us that we needed the perfect flowers or the perfect centerpieces to make our day perfect. We didn’t want to obsess about surface details or let the wedding overshadow our relationship. We wanted our wedding to be sincere, authentic, and memorable—a wedding focused on community and connection, not my wedding dress.

Read the whole thing at 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding: From Conception to Reception.

Published in Irreverently Irrelevant on

Aptly Titled

I have never heard of the web site “Improbable Research” until yesterday, when they posted a video of cats falling in low gravity. Look at them go!

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It's Hard To Come Up With a Pun for Knox

I’ve avoided the whole Amanda Knox news story. I generally try to avoid reading about things that happened on slow news days and then exploded on cable news, resonating around the echo chamber for weeks, months, and years longer than they ought to. I’m glad that Legal As She Is Spoke has explained the issues in the case clearly and succinctly — suffice to say that you won’t get analysis like this on CNN:

The media has focused on the sexier aspects of the case, but has largely failed to discuss the intricacies and vagaries of Italian law that are crucial to understanding the court’s decisions.

These include: 1) Italy’s lack of DNA certification requirements and standards regulating the integrity of forensics; 2) the enormous discretion afforded judges in Italy to control the admissibility of evidence at trial; and 3) the lack of evidentiary rules in Italian criminal trials.

Certain characteristics of the Italian criminal justice system make it prone to abuse in the form of contamination of evidence and poor DNA testing analysis.

Read the rest of Foxy Noxy Might Outfox the Italian Justice System at Legal As She Is Spoke.

Published in Legal Theory on

There's a Bandwidth Joke Here

Verizon sent out invitations to a press conference, causing half the internet to burst into flames in giddy anticipation of a Verizon iPhone. The JPEG compression on this thing looks hideous. Ars says it showed up like this:

Somewhere, in the Verizon marketing and branding department, someone who spent fifteen hours designing the subtle watercolor gradient for the backdrop is drinking themselves to sleep. Right next to the person who fiddled with the font weight until it was perfect.

(Seriously, though, I’m eager to not use AT&T’s service anymore.)

Published in Irreverently Irrelevant on

Home: A Loan

Barry Ritholtz comments on a Massachusetts Supreme court case, where several homeowners have sued to void their foreclosures “because securitization-industry practices violate real-estate law governing how mortgages may be transferred.”  He says:

here are several issues in the case: The technical one is whether a mortgage can be transferred without naming the recipient, as is commonly done in securitizations. But the more important issue applies to mortgage rights — do they “detach” from the promissory note when that note is sold? Asked more plainly, must someone asserting the right to foreclose actually own that Note?

This is more than a technical issue; at risk is whether we, as a nation, are going to allow corporate entities to violate existing law, or even worse, attempt to create their own, extra-legal, non democratic policies.

I usually find sweeping statements like that more irritating than inspiring, but Ritholtz is too educated to ignore. And the consequences are pretty straightforward: Wells Fargo foreclosed on Mr. and Mrs. Larace’s house 10 months before the bank owned the mortgage. There are more sketchy details in the original Bloomberg story, but this case is pretty binary, like Ritholtz says; either banks get to break the law and take your stuff, or they don’t.

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