Friday, September 30, 2005

F.B.I. alert

The F.B.I. Thursday issued a warning about an ongoing scheme involving community jury duty. Further information is available at the U.S. Courts’ website in the “Newsroom” article, “Warning: Bogus Phone Calls on Jury Service May Lead to Fraud,” Aug. 19, 2005.

Sex Offender Residency

An article in this morning’s Enquirer is about a bill to be introduced in Kentucky which would “toughen that state’s laws on prosecuting & tracking sex offenders… (by) requiring they be outfitted with ankle bracelets and tracked using satellite & global positioning technology. The most serious offenders would also be placed on life-time parole. Patrick Crowley’s Enquirer N.Ky. Politics blog has more information there.

Senate bill 980, referred to in one of our previous posts, is still in the Judiciary Committee up in Washington, but an Associated Press article this morning is reporting that the Iowa Civil Liberties Union has petitioned the U.S.Supreme Court to have that state’s sex offender residency law overturned. Sioux City’s Online Journal has more background information on that development.

Mortgage Fraud/Predatory Lending

An article posted by the Enquirer Wednesday morning looked at Ohio’s increasing foreclosure rate, which is the highest in the country at 3.3% compared with the national 1 percent incidence. Indiana (2.8%), Kentucky (1.9%), and Mississippi (1.7%) are next in line, according to a recent Newsday article. All of which’s led to calls for mortgage reform and predatory lending laws.

Ohio and Virginia are the only two states which haven’t expanded consumer protection laws to include mortgage practices.

Last week a bill was introduced in the Ohio Senate which, according to the Enquirer article, would allow the attorney general’s office take action against inflated appraisals & equity stripping—which have been at the heart of an ongoing federal probe brought to light in August 2003 as part of an investigation by that paper. Additional information there by the Columbus Dispatch.

Not to be outdone, there are two bills in the House of Representatives which are getting a little more than usual attention. HR 1182 (Miller-Watt-Frank), among other things, seeks to amend the Truth in Lending Act to impose restrictions & limitations on high-cost mortgages and prohibit unfair or deceptive lending practices.

HR 1295’s stated purpose is “to protect consumers against unfair & deceptive practices in connection with higher cost mortgages transactions, strengthen civil remedies available to consumers under the existing law, provide for certain uniform lending standards, and enhance appraisal standards & oversight. (Ney-Kanjorski)

The Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association and the Center for Responsible Lending both have posts opposing the latter bill, saying that it “would create a weak federal standard for addressing predatory mortgage lending practices and dilute existing laws in 36 states —including Ohio.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Appellate briefs online

Michael Whiteman, associate dean of Law Library Services & Information Technology at Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University, has taken the time and energy to put together a list of free & fee-based online resources for appellate court briefs, posted on Sabrina Pacifici’s last week.

The material is an appendix to an article by Whiteman entitled, “Appellate Court Briefs on the Web: Electronic Dynamos or Legal Quagmire?” [ 97 Law Libr. J. 467 (Summer 2005)], in which he says, “ As courts continue to adopt electronic filing systems (like the federal CM/ECF system), the search for appellate court briefs will become as seamless as the search for trial court documents is becoming… With the leap to the Internet, electronic access has shined a bright light on these unique resources. Nonetheless, although this bodes well for cheap, efficient access to briefs, some issues must be kept in mind. Preservation, equal access, and potential copyright pitfalls line the road to free and effective use of these legal dynamos.”

"Succeeding as a Lawyer"

Carolyn Elefant, blawged at, yesterday had a post which I’m sure a lot of you saw but, wanted to repeat for whoever may not have.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

HIPAA claim attachments

The Department of Health & Human Services, Sept. 23rd., issued a set of proposed rules which would add claim attachments to eight types of electronic transactions already subject to HIPAA standards. Comments are due by November 22.

“Setting standards for electronic attachments for health care claims, “ Health Secretary Mike Leavitt said, “is a natural step in our goal of ensuring that clinical information be available when it is needed. These steps lead to a future in which electronic health records are complete and electronic medical record systems are beneficial.”

Davis-Bacon Act/ Hurricane Cleanup & Rebuilding

In response to the damage & destruction done by Hurricane Katrina (and then Rita), President Bush on September 8th. issued a proclamation suspending the application of the Davis-Bacon Act wage requirements on federal projects in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Davis-Bacon requirements are that federal construction contactors pay locally prevailing wages on all projects costing more than $2,000; Congress had stipulated that the President could suspend application of that statute in a national emergency under 40 USC §3147.

The President’s proclamation was met with a ripple of bills in Congress. H.R 3684 echoes the President’s proclamation and would suspend Davis-Bacon wage rate requirements “in any area the President determines to be a major disaster… not to apply for a period of 1 year from the date on which the President makes such determination.”

HR 3763 and S 1749 would reinstate the application of wage requirements “notwithstanding the proclamation of the President.”

And HR 3834 seeks to “repeal the authority of the President to suspend the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act … and reinstate the application of such requirements…”

A related article this morning on looks at the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and FEMA’s awarding of some contracts without the competitive bidding normally required for governmental purchases.

U.S. v. Councilman

The 1st. Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in U.S. v Councilman on August 11th., according to a recent article, was acknowledged even by the bench majority as having broad ramifications. “The significance of the latest Councilman ruling,” the article stated, “can only be fully appreciated by tracing the origins of the litigation, for it was not decided in the vacuum of a single case. Rather, the numerous decisions issued by both the federal trial and appellate courts during the course of this prosecution were interwoven within the tapestry of other court rulings issued across the country.”

Bradford Councilman, vice president of an online “rare & out-of-print book listing service,” had his employees intercept and copy incoming communications to subscriber dealers from, in the hope of gaining a commercial advantage over competitors. A grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging wiretap violations, which Councilman had moved to dismiss, arguing that the intercepted e-mail was in “electronic storage” and therefore not subject to the prohibition on “intercepting electronic communications” under 18 U.S.C. §2511(1)(a). The trial court initially denied the motion, but then reconsidered in light of the 9th. Circuit’s recent decision in Konop v Hawaiian Airlines.

“For law enforcement purposes,” the article concludes, Councilman may solve many problems. It appears to provide a bright-line standard that an electronic communication is not considered to be in ‘electronic storage’ until it arrives at its final storage destination…. (still), it demonstrates that our system of government is still years, if not decades, away from developing a full technological & legal grasp of the very difficult issues raised when creating a legal framework consistent with long-standing privacy issues conceptualized by American society.”

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ohio Uniform Trust Code

An article in the Sept./Oct. Probate Law Journal of Ohio overviews key provisions of the Ohio Uniform Trust Code, still in embryonic form at this time. Adoption of the OUTC is intended to constitute a comprehensive codification of trust law in Ohio.

The article cites three principal areas for discussion. First is a trustee’s duty to inform. Under the new provisions “a new trustee must notify current beneficiaries of its acceptance of trusteeship and the trustee’s name, address, and telephone number within 60 days.”

Trustees will no longer be able to maintain a settlor’s desire for complete secrecy, the OUTC seeming to favor a beneficiary’s right to information over the settlor’s intent. OUTC will, however, allow the settlor to waive or modify mandatory notice provisions if a “’beneficiary surrogate’ to receive notices, reports or other information required to go to a current beneficiary is designated.”

The OUTC “allows for modification or termination of noncharitable irrevocable trusts if both settlor and beneficiaries consent, even if inconsistent with the material purpose of the trust.

The Ohio Bar Association has a draft copy of Trust Code posted, along with a corresponding report.

The ABA has a 2003 white paper entitled, “Enacting the Uniform Trust Code,” by Michelle Clayton, legislative counsel with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, available online which promotes NCCUSL's trust code concept.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Unpublished Opinions

The blog was alive with news yesterday about the Federal Judicial Center’s endorsement of the use of “unpublished opinions” in federal courts nationwide beginning in 2007. (See article )

The proposed rule ( Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1 ) was first published back in August 2003, and the present practice governing the citation of “unpublished opinions” varies across the nation. The 6th. Circuit’s position is “to disfavor, except for the purpose of establishing res judicata, estoppel, or law of case [ 6 Cir.R. 28(g) ].

The proposed rule would apply only to discussions issued on or after the January 1, 2007 effective date.

On the state court level, the Ohio Supreme Court, back in May 2002, amended Ohio court rules, abolishing the distinction between “controlling” and “persuasive” based on the form of publication. [Rule 4 ( c ) ]

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ohio Ethics Opinion: Attorneys as "experts"

The Sept. 13th. issue of BNA’s U.S. Law Week, has an article relating that “Ohio disciplinary rule against claiming special competence or experience makes it improper for lawyers to participate in a television station’s ‘Ask the Expert’ program,” citing the Supreme Court’s ethics board in an Aug. 8th. opinion.

The problem was with the program’s inclusion of the term “expert” in its title. The ethics board advised that that poses the possibility of problems under DR 2-105(A)(6) of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which, with some exception, prohibits attorneys to claim or imply special competence or experience. Gov.Bar R. XIV, on “attorney specializations,” is one of those exceptions. Lawyers can conduct seminars and participate in radio talk shows, but the board cautioned about things like answering anonymous e-mail requests with generalized responses as they would be otherwise unable to rule out possibilities such as creating conflicts of interest with current or former clients.

The article, in referencing the Aug 8th. ethics opinion, noted that Op.94-13 and Op.99-9 could be referred to as “guidelines for attorneys who answer questions from the public on the radio and by e-mail.”

The Supreme Court on its website provides a wealth of related information including a link to “attorney specialization” and a “nutshell” overview.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ohio Supreme Court Hurricane Katrine Response

“Almost every lawyer in the path of Hurricane Katrina had the wherewithal to get out of the storm’s path,” a Law Journal post last week says. “What they couldn’t do is take their offices with them.”

Large firms had disaster recovery plans, but many solo practitioners and small-firm lawyers didn’t far as well. “Bar associations & professional organizations around the country are raising money and listing office space, housing, and other forms of assistance,” the article continues.

The Ohio State Bar Association and ABA have both established relief efforts.

Chief Justice Thomas Moyer last Thursday issued orders relating to 1) the temporary admission to the practice law in the State of Ohio for lawyers displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and 2) waiver of attorney registration deadlines, late fees, and suspension provisions for Ohio lawyers who either live or work in Alabama, Louisiana, or Mississippi. (Posting)

The Hurricane Katrina Tax Relief Act, meanwhile, which would provide for penalty-free use of retirement funds; employment relief, including work opportunity credits; charitable giving incentives, and additional relief measures including modifications to casualty loss rules and a renewal of special mortgage financing rules for residents in the disaster area—engrossed with HR 3768—was passed by the Senate.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5751

Every so often a statute is repealed and then, several years later, the number “reinstituted,” and used over. Such is the case with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5751.
Originally titled “Coal Consumption Tax ” the chapter was repealed in 1981 after being found unconstitutional on both State and Federal levels. [See Dayton Power & Light v.Lindley, 58 OSt.2d 465 and Mapco, Inc. v. Grunder , 470 FSupp. 401]. Now, by virtue of House Bill 66, passed last June, Chapter 5751 will be titled “Gross Receipts Tax” and cover a number of tax topics, including the new “commercial activity tax,” “electronic filings & payment,” and “refunds.”

To read new provisions of ORC Chapter 5751 as it appeared in HB 66, “click here

Federal Conformity-- Asset Expense Elections under IRC §179

CCH’s September 7th. State Tax Review had an article about state conformity to Internal Revenue Code §179.

The Jobs & Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (PL 108-27) increased the expense limitation from $25,000 to $100,000, and the investment limitation from $200,000 to $400,000 back in 2003.

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (PL 108-357) extended the Sec. 179 asset & investment limitation expiration date to Dec. 31, 2007, provides that off-the-shelf computer software qualifies for expensing, and, for vehicles put in service after Oct. 22, limits the cost of sports utility vans that can be expensed to $25,000 if it’s exempt from Sec. 280F depreciation limits.

But response to the provisions has been varied among the states, and that neither Ohio, Indiana, nor Kentucky statutes conform to IRC Sec. 179, according to the article. The Ohio Dept. of Taxation has an information release posted which explains the amount of allowable depreciation expense deductions for corporate or franchise and personal income tax purposes including examples of IRC §179 depreciation expense addbacks.

Ohio Tax Notes

The Ohio Dept. of Taxation, last month, issued an information release of a proposed rule defining “foreign corporations” for the purposes of the new commercial activity tax (CAT). The term is used in two different contexts within the CAT statutes: ORC §5751.011, addressing consolidated elected taxpayers, and §5751.04, concerning registration requirements. The rule is intended to clarify those usages.

Also, in the way of a reminder, trusts that continue to be subject to Ohio personal income tax, or which are now subject to tax by virtue of the passage of HB 66, do not need to file 2005 estimated quarterly returns until Sept. 15th.. On September 15th. any taxable year 2005 estimated quarterly payments that would have been due prior to the 15th. are now due on the 15th. (See Information Release)

A news release on August 5th. explains the new “Ohio Business Gateway” and what’s available on it. OBG may be used by Ohio businesses to submit selected filings, registrations, and payments to the Dept. of Taxation, Workers’ Compensation, the Dept. of Job & Family Services, and the Dept. of Commerce.

Indiana Property Abatements

Indiana property tax abatements for new manufacturing equipment, that used for research & development, logistical distribution, or information technology, installed in economic revitalization areas, have been extended to equipment installed on or before December 31, 2011, as opposed to the original Jan. 1, 2006 date.

Abatements approved before July 1, 2005 remain in effect according to abatement provisions as they were on June 30, 2005.

(HB 1182)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wife Can't Sign Candidacy Petition for Husband: Board of Election

From the Forest Hills Journal. A candidate for township trustee in Anderson Township was dropped from the running when his petition was invalidated by the Hamilton County Board of Elections. The Board found that a petition signatory had also signed for her husband, and this invalidated Kevin O'Brien's attempt to run.

Court Reaffirms That Foot and Leg Are Different Limbs for Workers Comp

Ohio News Now reported on the International Paper v. Trucinski opinion issued by the Ohio Supreme Court today (2005-Ohio-4557). In it, the Court reaffirms a 2002 ruling that held that loss of a whole extremity could equate to the loss of two limbs required for permanent total disability (PTD) under the Ohio worker's compensation statutes.

Ohio Mandatory Electronic Support

In the way of a reminder—or perhaps notification-- court-ordered child support payments in Ohio are going to be mandatorally “electronic” throughout the state by early next year.

An announcement by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services last summer stated that there were more than 920,000 child support cases in Ohio, being the fourth largest such caseload in the nation. Ohio is also second in the amount of total payments ($1.92 billion in 2003).

Individuals responsible for support payments, now, typically send their checks to Columbus, where a record of the payment is made and then a second, state check, is then sent to the recipient. That second step is now being eliminated. In addition to paying 55 cents to process & mail each paper-based transaction now, the state receives as many as 11,000 returned checks each month because of incorrect addresses.

In July 2004, the ODJFS initiated a pilot program called “Ohio e-QuickPay” which offered recipients in Clermont, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Holmes, and Richland counties the option of having their support payment directly deposited into bank or checking accounts, or on debit cards. That program was voluntary.

After October 1st., as part of the provisions of HB 66, mandatory electronic payments are going to be phased in a few counties at a time until the full state is complied.

Recipients will be given the option of either “direct deposit” or the state-issued debit card, but if no choice is made by the individual receiving support payments, the debit card option will be effected.

Hamilton County’s Job & Family Services department is in the process of putting together a “fact sheet” on the new electronic disbursements which will be posted on their website shortly. (press release) Information, applications, and online access options relative to Butler, Clermont, and Warren (under “related links”) counties will also be available.

Sex Offender Residency Challenge

A Cincinnati Post article back on Sept. 6th. reports “sex offenders who are longtime residents of a school neighborhood should be sheltered from Ohio’s new sex offender residency law,” according to lawyers filing suit in U.S. District Court.

David Singleton, executive director of the Prison Reform Advocacy Center, a nonprofit public interest group whose stated mission is to “remedy unconstitutional and dangerous conditions of confinement for Ohio prisoners, and to empower prisoners and ex-offenders to become contributing members of society,” filed the 30-page class-action complaint April 6th. and appeared before the U.S. District Court on Sept. 6th..

The Prison Reform Advocacy Center and Ohio Attorney General’s Office both have statements posted on their respective websites.

Ohio’s sexual predator law is embodied in Chapter 2950 of the Revised Code, with the residency requirements being specified in § 2950.031. The residency restriction went into effect on July 31, 2003, with minor amendments taking effect April 29, 2005. SB 5 (2003) established the rule prohibiting sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of a school, and gave landlords the right to evict those who did, back in 2003. (See ORC §5321.051 and 5321.03 ).

Questions such as this concerning the rights of sex offenders have been expressed elsewhere, such as in a New York Times article on Aug. 22nd. (registration required)

Marci Hamilton and Julie Hilden had articles on the constitutionality of “pedophile-free zones” on Findlaw last month.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Armchair Supreme Court Interviewer

Courtesy of the Gray Lady. For those of you who, like me, sometimes need the refresher chart in the newspaper to explain what a "statute of liberty" play looks like or who an off side tackle is during football season, now you can get the same coverage for Supreme Court questions!

Can't remember what Griswold v. Connecticut was about? Never read United States v. Lopez? Here is a primer to explain the shorthand that Senator Spector, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and his peers will discuss with Judge Roberts.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Librarian Ungagged in Patriot Act Decision, Stayed for Appeal

Saw this in the New York Times, among other places. The United States District Court for Connecticut, in Doe v. Gonzalez, ruled today in favor of a librarian's motion for preliminary injunction, finding both a substantial likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm. The librarian had received a "national security letter" (NSL) which invoked 18 U.S.C. § 2709 barring disclosure that the FBI had requested information. The librarian sued on constitutional grounds. The FBI argued that the gag order was necessary to avoid tipping off targets of their investigation. The ACLU argued that it infringed on free speech, because the librarian could not participate in the USA Patriot Act discussion if gagged by the FBI's letter.

The judge allowed the FBI to present classified information for ex parte review by the court. This had been opposed by the ACLU on due process grounds.

The ruling is stayed until September 20, to allow the FBI an opportunity for an expedited appeal.

Intuit Offers Tax Almanac Wiki

Intuit has launched a test site using software for creating a "wiki". A wiki is a Web-based collaboration tool, where many users can add content to a single site (wiki is short for the Hawai'ian term, "wiki wiki" meaning "quick".

Tax Almanac is not Intuit-ive to navigate, relying primarily on searching to get to content pages. It's using the same software as that found at Wikipedia. There's a good search tool and links on the front page to take you into a current version of the Internal Revenue Code, Tax Court cases, and Treasury Department Regulations. The News function clips current articles out of popular news resources.

Thanks to Nancy at Stark County Law Library for the tip.

Ohio Supremes Take on Priest Sex Abuse Appeals

The Toledo Blade reports that the Ohio State Supreme Court has agreed to review two appellate decisions that split on the same issue, coming out of the 1st District Court of Appeals, here in Hamilton County, and the 3d District Court of Appeals, on a case coming out of Shelby County. The cases are all styled Doe v. Archdiocese of Cincinnati, with the Shelby County case at 2005-Ohio-960 and the two Hamilton County cases at 2004-Ohio-7003.

The Supreme Court will look at whether the plaintiffs can sue the priests and Archdiocese of Cincinnati when the statute of limitations on the offense has expired. The 3d District reversed a trial court opinion that dismissed that case. The 1st District affirmed a trial court opinion dismissing a similar case. An Ohio General Assembly bill aimed to extend the statute of limitations passed the Senate but has stalled in the House, where it is before the Judiciary committee.

"Blog-posting" Case

Last September Ellen Simonetti, then an airline attendant for Delta Airlines, was suspended and later fired by the airline for posting pictures of herself on her personal blog. Delta had viewed the photographs as “inappropriate.”

Ms. Simonetti filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which decided not to sue Delta itself, but issued a “right to sue” letter, according to a USA Today article yesterday. She has now filed suit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

“The case,” the article says, “ could plow fresh ground on whether a company can take action against an employer for operating a blog.” A article back in April surveyed the topic of employee blogs and disciplinary measures by employers.

Phony Feds Phone, Phishing for Facts

The Administrative Offices (AO) of the Federal courts issued a press release in August warning potential jurors to be wary of calls seeking personal information. The release explains that scammers have been phoning potential jurors, impersonating Federal staff, and coercing personal information out of those called with threats of prosecution for failing to comply with jury service requirements.

Ohio Law on Parental Consent for Minors Seeking Abortions Found Constitutional

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a case first filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1998 has finally been resolved. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, based in Cincinnati, issued its ruling yesterday, finding that the law requiring minors to seek parental consent was constitutional.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sentencing Quandaries

An article on Aug. 30th., from the Fulton County Daily Record, explores yet another sentencing quandary and reference to Booker. Senior Judge James Hill of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in joining the rest of the Court’s panel in U.S. v. Bordon, No. 04-10654 (Aug. 25, 2005) in holding that “Booker was irrelevant to the case as a result of a long-standing 11th. Circuit precedent stating that ‘issues & contentions not timely raised in briefs are abandoned,’” none-the-less had reservations.

“Stare decisis is an important doctrine,” Hill was quoted as saying, but continued by adding that he trusted that might be tempered with justice being done. The 11th. Circuit’s precedent was set in November 1990 in a case in which the question was also how that court should handle changes in precedent from the Supreme Court. Hill had dissented then, writing of Civil Rule 11 ( timely filing of motions ) that, “despite the numerous instances in which this Court has found sanctions to be appropriate, the majority now forces attorneys into a Hobbesian dilemma: either refrain from making an argument because case law contains no basis & significant adverse precedent exists, or make the argument and risk sanctions for spurious claims.” [See McGinnis v. Ingram Equipment Co., 918 F2d. 1491 (1990)]

New Jersey’s “presumptive sentencing scheme,” however, an article in Lawyers Weekly, USA reports, “violates a defendant’s 6th Amendment rights, although that defendant may be disqualified from parole eligibility and subject to consecutive sentences based on facts found by a judge rather than a jury.” (See State v. Natale per presumptive sentencing scheme, State v. Franklin re consecutive sentences, and State v. Abdullah re parole disqualifications)

Church bankruptcy holdings

“By ruling that parish property should be included in the estate of a bankruptcy, Judge Patricia Williams of the Eastern District of Washington Bankruptcy Court also laid down an important marker on just what the legal structure & financial responsibility of the Catholic Church is in America, “ an article on said last week.

“As part of an adversary motion for summary judgment filed by a committee of tort litigants, Williams ruled last Friday that the parish property should be included, rejecting arguments that, as leader of a parish, Spokane Bishop William Skylstad held church property in trust for individual parishes. Williams wrote that “the named beneficiary is the diocese itself, and the bishop, in his official capacity, hold the property in trust for the debtor diocese.”

Cases are posted on the Eastern District’s website

Jail Space Shortage Leads to Reduced DUI Sentence

The Cincinnati Post reported in a story on a shortage of space in the Hamilton County (OH) jail. One of the outcomes the article reports is that the County's Municipal Court judges may be giving shorter sentences because of the jail crowding. Prosecutors for the City of Cincinnati appealed a reduced sentence for a drunk driver, saying that he was a 2d time DUI, so the law required a longer sentence, and there plenty of spaces to accommodate him.

Criminal Law Analyses of 6th Circuit Opinions

A group of posters, including Paul Rashkind, Chief of Appeals for the Federal Public Defender in the Southern District of Florida, have a blog with regular analysis of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit opinions related to criminal law. Mr. Rashkind is involved with similar Web logs for other Circuits. The 6th Circuit blog group has been posting since December 2004.

Rashkind's personal Web site has a number of other links for criminal defense attorneys, including resources like the Department of Justice guidelines for use of confidential informants and the Reference Manual for Scientific Evidence.