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Robert Abell
Lexington, Kentucky
"Lets have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." - Abraham Lincoln
Interests: Nothing on this blog is legal advice, and it shouldn't be taken as legal advice. This blog is free; legal advice you have to pay for. My purpose is to discuss events, cases and other things that seem important. I invite comments, although I may delete them because they are offensive to me, idiotic or any other reason I happen to think of.
Recent Activity
I'm reviewing the transcript of a cross-examination of a retired law enforcement officer who has been offered up to testify regarding the "red flags" characteristic of a "pill mill." It is not going all that well for the witness; he's already been forced to concede that the notion of characteristic red flags is bullshit: The red flags, they fluctuate. Again,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
An employee is wrongfully discharged under Kentucky law where a substantial factor for the termination is the employee's refusal to violate the law in the course of employment. This is an exception to the at-will employment doctrine that the Kentucky... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Kentucky Employment Law Blog
The New York Times reports on A Growing Call to Limit Lawyers' Donations to Prosecutors. I get the point: conspiracy nut-cases argue that campaign contributions to prosecutors by defense lawyers yield sweetheart deals for their clients. Even if premise -- that prosecutors may be prone to sacrifice good judgment to political expedience -- of this notion is accepted, it is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
What I've called the fen-phen flim-flam has been a tremendous and continuing embarrassment to Kentucky lawyers and to our court system. It would appear from the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision in Ford v. Baerg that the Court has had more than enough of it and those lawyers associated with it. Enough is enough, however, makes for some most puzzling legal... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Some good questions raised in Politico: America's Prosecutors Were Supposed to Be Accountable to Voters. What Happened? And so it goes. Robert L. Abell Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Yes. The Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Alexander v. Eagle Mfg. Co., Inc., is a good example why. The plaintiff, Alexander, filed a wrongful discharge claim under Kentucky law, claiming that he reported illegal business practices in an effort to get them stopped but was fired for this efforts. In response to a motion to dismiss, Alexander suggested that his... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
While, as the New York Times reports, The Supreme Court Needs Fact Checkers, it doesn't just make things up, although its opinions far too often show that the Justices do not know what their talking about with regard to some of the evidence in their cases. This is shown by a report from ProPublica, It's a Fact: Supreme Court Errors... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
A criminal justice reform bill has been introduced in the Senate. Importantly, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R - Iowa) is a strong supporter along with a fairly large bipartisan group of Senators. So there is hope that the bill becomes actual law. Politico reports: Senators Unveil Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Package. Here's some highlights: Drug felons would have a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Sometimes (they say) a judge faced with a record compelling a result that he does not agree with or wish will reach for a liferaft, a way out. Dana Milbank sugggests in the Washington Post, Fake News Comes to the Supreme Court, that Justice Alito may have resorted to "fake news" in the political gerrymandering case argued earlier this week.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
The United States (no longer) Justice Department has announced it will re-try Desiree Fairooz, whose offense was to laugh when Attorney General Jefferson Sessions told some laughable whopper at his confirmation hearings. Dana Milbank reports in the Washington Post, Apparently, It's Illegal to Laugh At Jeff Sessions. Does Mr. Sessions remind of anyone, maybe this Chicken Guy: which reminded me... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Ever wonder what a false arrest looks like? Here's a video of a nurse in Salt Lake City being arrested after she informs a police officer that he can't draw blood from a patient without a warrant, consent from the patient or the patient being under arrest: Why did the nurse get arrested? Because, as the police officer explains, she's... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
In what can only be described as a stunning development, the Sixth Circuit vacated on habeas review a state court murder conviction and ordered the accused be set free in Tanner v. Yukins. The upshot is that an individual, Hattie Tanner, that, according to the Sixth Circuit, only a crazy person could find guilty based on the evidence presented by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
An excellent and conservative assessment of the value of class actions comes from Brian Fitzpatrick, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School, in a forthcoming article, Do Class Actions Deter Wrongdoing? Professor Fitzpatrick offers the following summary: I and other scholars have long pointed to the deterrence virtue of the class action to justify its existence even when it was doubtful... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Innocence, along with reason and circumpsection, have become too rare in our present-day criminal justice system. We've discussed previously the reality of innocent persons pleading guilty to crimes: Do Innocent People Plead Guilty? and Do Innocent People Plead Guilty? Part 2. Emily Yoffe reports in the September issue of The Atlantic: Innocence Is Irrelevant. And so it goes. Robert L.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
There isn't now, but University of Chicago law professor Aziz Huq argues there should be, When Government Defames. It is very, very unlikely that any such legislation in the current Congress has better than a proverbial snowball's chance. Robert L. Abell Related articles Police charges show challenge of confronting code of silence Mirror of Justice Do you know about... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Jessica Brand of the Fair Punishment Project, a criminal justice organization, reports at on the outrageous threats made by San Antonio (Bexar County) District Attorney Nico LaHood toward two criminal defense attorneys. Why Prosecutors Bully. LaHood made the threats in the presence of a Judge who testified for the defense at a later hearing and suggested that the D.A.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg held forth recently on the Supreme Court's upcoming term reports Adam Liptak, the New York Times' Supreme Court reporter, On Justice Ginsburg's Summer Docket: Blunt Talk on Big Cases. Some of the cases that will find most popular discussion present issues of privacy rights in information held by cellphone companies, religious objections to same-sex marriages and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
The Flint, Michigan water crisis is one of the most disheartening developments in our Nation's public affairs in the last decade. It is all too easy to conclude that a driving force is an utter and sinful disregard by Michigan state government officials for the residents of a mostly poor, largely black distressed city. The Sixth Circuit gives a watered-down... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
One wonders why Attorney General Jefferson Sessions continues to show up for work given President Trump's loud and repeated invitations to find the door. It could be just another instance of Trump being hateful and mean as Maggie Haberman reports. A better analysis may be found at The The Strange, Slow-Motion Defenestration of Jeff Sessions by David A. Graham.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
The Supreme Court announced today that it was accepting for review a case that will require it to decide whether law enforcement agencies must obtain a search warrant to get your cellphone records. The case is Carpenter v. United States. Last year, in a split decision, the Sixth Circuit ruled that no warrant was necessary. The Washington Post reports further,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
The Supreme Court ruled in Rehberg v. Paulk, 566 U.S. 356 (2012), there is absolute immunity for any grand jury witness, law enforcement or otherwise, from any civil action derived from their grand jury testimony, even if the grand jury testimony was knowingly or recklessly false or even where law enforcement officers have "conspired to present false testimony." This is,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Justice Daniel Venters raises some interesting questions in his Bench & Bar article, Will Common Law Stagnate In an Era of Declining Trials?, while reporting the staggering decline in the number of jury trials held in Kentucky's courtrooms: in 2002,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at Kentucky Employment Law Blog
As many may be aware, New Orleans has recently gone through civic debate and discord regarding the removal of four Confederate memorials and statues from public squares in that great and, in my opinion, most lovely city. Lexington has had a similar discussion, Mayor Calls for Review of Confederate Memorials Placement at Forum, as has our Commonwealth regarding the Jefferson... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
On Thursday the U.S. Senate will vote to confirm Judge Amul Thapar's nomination to the Sixth Circuit, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports the vote has been scheduled, Senate To Vote on Kentucky Judge's Appeals Court Nomination. Judge Thapar will be confirmed, although it is likely that a number of Senate Democrats will vote against his nomination, as a well-grounded protest to... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
In a recent decision, Parker v. Webster County Coal, the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down limits in Kentucky workers compensation law on the benefits that older, injured workers could receive. Previously the law had limited the benefits that older workers... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at Kentucky Employment Law Blog