Law and Public Policy

Apple won't return stolen iPhone hoopla

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Late last week Consumerist ran a report about a stolen iPhone that was being sent back to Apple for repair. The report comes from the owner of the phone who laments the lack of assistance from Apple.

In running the story the Consumerist writer opines:

Also, if there's anything to learn from this it might be that you should follow through with filing a police report if you're ever robbed, as that might give you the leverage you need to get a company to help you. Possibly not with Apple, though.

However this is quite a stretch. The whole problem here stems from the original author's failure to file a police report. This is explained in the original letter:

We interrupt this program

Truth be told there has been less program and more interruption happening here of late. I'd make a statement about that changing soon but the next couple of months are looking to be a little on the crazy side. In the meantime take a look at this video. Likely I'm not alone in musing that there are some folks who I wouldn't mind having them stay home on election day. The truth is, however, the system only works when we all vote. Sure the robo-callers and excessive punditry will be great to put behind us (and hey not everybody has a Nevada cell phone number mind you).

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cGvqs-jf_w]

The Westlaw tax

One of the benefits of working at a law school is getting access to WestLaw and Lexis databases. These Goliaths of the database world aim to own and index everything legal. They do this in a number of ways but one in particular has always galled me. Through various models they support publishing reporters and other forums for publishing decisions in state and federal cases. In turn they get to keep the information behind firewalls that keep non-paying customers out and make many important legal documents unavailable to lay persons and those with a casual interest in studying the law who are not members of the esteemed profession.

Nevada for example publishes advance decisions on it's website but only for 90-days and they are not documents of record. The site notes "this information is prepared as an informational service only and should not be relied upon as an official record of action. For official records, please refer to the printed version of the appropriate official publication which may be obtained from the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Nevada." Amazingly the site doesn't even link to the page for ordering Nevada Reports which is the official record cryptically mentioned on the advance decisions page.

My soap-opera addiction

The saying goes that admitting a problem is the first step to recovery. Well I have a problem. It is one of those quiet little habits that nobody talks about. Serpent-like in its craftiness it lurks in the corners. The typical things aren't a problem being a non-smoking drug-free type those vices don't tempt. No, this is the voyeuristic joy of watching soap opera-like lawsuits meander through the legal process.

Ignorance is not a defense

Throughout my decades of being a student of public education I have been taught that ignorance of the law is not a defense. It seems even some attorneys don't get it. Though I am not a legal scholar or expert in any way the logic of Russo & Hale's motion in a case against a former client is simply baffling. Perhaps the firm should change it's name to Bottom & Quince. Though it is hard to imagine even Shakespeare's most comical players playing this skit.

This drubbing of a customer makes me think of an experience we had a few days ago. We went to a nice, expensive restaurant for dinner. It was not as good as it had been about a year ago when we were last there but it was still good and fun. The trouble started for us when we ordered desert, the chocolate course. We each asked for coffee and placed the order. And we waited. And waited. And continued to wait. Finally a manager shows up, slings the chocolate on the table, drops off the fruit plates and says "is there anything else you need". We asked for the coffees we had ordered. It is then that the manager tells us that our server got a big table. At this point I'm thinking "here's a manager that doesn't get customer service".

Nevadans get clean air

District Judge Doug Herndon ruled Tuesday that the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act is indeed constitutional and can be enforced. Herndon reiterated his previous finding that the criminal provisions were unconstitutional but that the civil penalties under the law are constitutional. While the case was pending many southern Nevada businesses flaunted the voter's call for clean air. As of today the Southern Nevada Health District has a complaint form online to report businesses that are not complying with the law.Nationwide smoking bans have been a boon to tavern owners as customers who formerly chose to stay away return for drinks and food while existing customers who are smokers go outside and smoke.

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