Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Interesting little tidbits

Short on ideas the other day for a blog post, CW Martin suggested I write a little bit about some of the more intriguing things I have discovered and written about through my Examiner posts.  Because he's awesome and follows me regularly, which you can totally do, too, of course, I listened to his ideas and thought "Hey, that is a great idea!" 

 Here are a few of the stories I have written, the more interesting ones....
As a lawyer, I have to love these law suits.  It's like the McDonald's "hot coffee" law suit.  People will sue for anything, and honestly, I can't sit on here and hate on attorneys who take these cases.  I think they're ridiculous, and if anyone came to me and asked me to head up a law suit on this type of issue, I'd tell them they are barking up the wrong tree.  But, this attorney did make quite a bit of money suiting this corporation.  Read the entire article, but basically, people sued in a class action suit saying that they were relying on a 2009 advertisement for Frosted Mini Wheats that said it was clinically proven to improve attention spans.  Not sure that's much of a claim, but to also say you relied on it and that is the sole reason you bought Frosted Mini Wheats?  Come are just looking for some money.  It's too bad, though, because I'm pretty certain I bought Frosted Mini Wheats during that time period, but I know I bought them because they are damn good.  Not because they would improve my attention span.  But oh well...

Hey!  I hear Lucky Charms actually  brings you to the end of rainbows!
Being silent can be held against you in a court of law:

I'm kind of against this decision.  I understand the need to protect the safety of the public and to get to the bottom of a criminal investigation, but....I also realize that not everyone out there is truly educated in constitutional law.  The best most people see is from Law and Order or similar shows on television.  "You have the right to remain silent..." being told to suspects as they are arrested.  But what most people don't realize is the police question suspects prior to determining to arrest.  This practice is fairly common.  I see it all the time when watching COPS (out of morbid curiosity, of course), and it's not surprising to see people just spilling details of what happened.  Details that will be used against them in court because, well, they are statements incriminating themselves.  And they aren't under arrest so technically they aren't entitled to be informed of their Fifth Amendment rights.  So when I read that SCOTUS ruled that mere silence while the police questions a suspect prior to arrest can be used against them as some sort of indication of guilt, I cringed.  I see this becoming a problem.  Expecting the average person to just say "Hey!  I have Fifth Amendment rights here!" and then be silent?  That's a stretch.  But that's just me...I'm sure there are different opinions out there, but I enjoyed writing about this.
Oh, Detroit.  Having a husband who is from Flint and whose parents live just outside the great city of Detroit, I had to write about this.  Michigan's Attorney General ruled that the city couldn't sell priceless works of art in order to pay off its $15 billion in debt.  It kind of surprised me that the city was even considering this.  Selling art isn't the first thing I'd think of when looking to find money.  But the decision stated that the artwork was not really property to be sold, but rather the city held it in "charitable trust" for the citizens of Michigan.  So, bad, Detroit, bad.  Shame on you!  (Sorry, I find this somewhat humorous.)

Last one...this one is pretty controversial: 

Search warrant to install GPS tracking device on suspect's car issued based solely on suspect's Facebook activity

Not sure how I feel about this one either, but apparently a trial court in Hamilton County, Indiana, signed a search warrant, allowing police to install a GPS tracking device on a suspect in a drug investigation's car based on damning Facebook and Instagram activity.  No interviews, nothing other than social media activity was stated in the probable cause affidavit.  I mean, I'm all for using social media statements and pictures as evidence people in court because, let's face it, people are pretty stupid about what they post.  Really, people will air out the dumbest things.  And if you put something out there, it is going to be used against you.  I did this many a time in my Department of Child Services cases, printing screen shots of Facebook messages on people's walls.  But installing a tracking device on someone's car?  I do see some argument there against First Amendment rights of free speech.  BUT, if you're dumb enough to pose with drugs, money and firearms in a picture, not using pretty tight privacy settings?  You deserve to have an investigation against you.  But does it warrant putting a tracking device on someone's car?  I'm leaving that up to you all.

See?  I have you yearning for more, don't I?  Well, then you will just have to subscribe!  If you open these stories, click "Subscribe" and then confirm through an email that will be sent to you.  I'll share more interesting tidbits as I learn them.  For now, I'm going to go get me some Frosted Mini Wheats because I'm having a hard time focusing...



  1. Wait... you mean I could have made a bunch of loot suing Frosted Mini Wheats?!? Dang! I totally STILL thought they would improve my attention span! ;)

  2. I missed the Detroit one, but the others definitely caught my eye- as a matter of fact I fully intend to broach two of the subjects myself here in a few minutes. The Facebook one, I'll say here, is the result of Darwin's theory beginning to weed out the truly stupid. We had a dude here that was busted for having a pot growing operation and meth lab solely because he posted about the NINE homemade cannons he used to disturb the peace of his complaining neighbors on Youtube!

  3. I think the frivolous law suits that abound just shows that common sense has abandonded so many people these days. Cereal that increases your attention, Fast food made me fat, curling iron are hot! Common sense people!


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