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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
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
Attorney General Jefferson Sessions (let's call him Sheriff Jeff), who earlier in his career was rejected by the Senate for a federal judgeship, has announced that he's doing the only thing that he knows how to do: announce that he and the Justice Department are getting tough: Sessions to Toughen Rules on Prosecuting Drug Crimes. When you don't know better... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
The case of King v. Harwood, a malicious prosecution case decided recently by the Sixth Circuit, begins with a body found floating in the Ohio River. An autopsy revealed the cause of death as two non-exiting .22 caliber gunshots to the head; the body's legs were bound by a guitar-amplifier cord. The murder investigation turned attention to Susan King, because... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
A malicious prosecution claim depends on an absence of probable cause for the charge. One would think that an Alford plea, a guilty plea that does not admit guilt but admits that sufficient evidence exists to support a conviction, would bar a later malicious prosecution claim, since the plea acknowledges not only evidence establishing probable cause but also proof beyond... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
This exchange between Senator Al Franken and Judge Gorsuch, where the Judge voted to uphold the firing of a truck-driver who made a decision to not operate a tractor-trailer on an interstate highway in a manifestly unsafe condition (a point that Judge Gorsuch agrees with) and not to freeze to death shows some of holes in the good Judge's ability:... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio. Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader: Trump to Nominate Federal Judge Amul Thapar to 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Thapar's nomination was expected following last November's Presidential election; the seat... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
The hearings as to Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court start tomorrow. Jeff Greenfield offers some suggested questions in Politico: What the Senate Should Ask Judge Gorsuch. I think Mr. Greenfield an astute observer of the Washington scene and, in that context, his suggestions aren't half-bad. But my suggested questions are better, much better: Some Questions for Judge... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Month after month, one of the questions bringing the most visitors to my website,, is how long after an accident do I have to see a doctor? Here's a video that may help: Robert L. Abell Related articles Employee Cannot Waive Claims Under the Equal Pay Act, Sixth Circuit Rules Agreement To Shorten Limitations Period for Wage and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
In this video I discuss the two most common methods or ways by which employees are cheated out of the overtime pay they've earned. Robert L. Abell Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at Kentucky Employment Law Blog
President Obama played a significant historical role by commuting the sentences of some 1,715 federal inmates, more than the previous seven Presidents combined. Unfortunately, significant bipartisan legislative reforms were shelved, although there is some optimism that the present Congress will act: Criminal Justice Reform Is Ripe for Bipartisan Achievement. Don't hold your breath; this is an issue that demands Presidential... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Judge Neil Gorsuch the nominee for the Supreme Court has, by any measure, very impressive if not impeccable credentials and qualifications, at least as far as degrees and awards and things of that nature go. Clearly, he is a hard worker and a high achiever, and, among other things, has worked to cultivate his standing in Republican legal circles. His... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Defendants facing supervised release revocation have a due process right that includes an "opportunity to be heard in person and to present witnesses and documentary evidence." Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471, 489 (1972). Put even better by the Ninth Circuit, the right requires "that a supervised releasee receive a fair and meaningful opportunity to refute or impeach the evidence... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
The Supreme Court ruled long ago that a defendant in probation or parole revocation proceedings had due process rights that would include the "opportunity to be heard in person and to present witnesses and documentary evidence." Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972). The Court admonished that the process right was not static, fixed or categorical: "It has been said... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2017 at ... and Justice for All
Bad facts made bad law. Sometimes the bad law is so bad that it, as a practical matter, will spread like waves and ripples from a boulder into a pond. So it is with the Sixth Circuit's recent decision in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2017 at Kentucky Employment Law Blog
The Sixth Circuit's decision earlier this year in Jackson v. VHS Detroit Receiving Hospital offers an excellent example of the correct analysis of comparator proof in discriminatory discipline cases. Judge Eric Clay's opinion shows the type of care and attention... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2016 at Kentucky Employment Law Blog
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune's project on racism in Florida's criminal justice system focuses on Florida's Treasure Coast, Tough on Crime: Black Defendants Get Longer Sentences In Treasure Coast System, which includes its 19th Judicial Circuit, Martin County, and Judge Sherwood "Chip" Bauer. Judge Bauer it is reported: Since taking the bench a decade ago, Bauer has been tougher on those with... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2016 at ... and Justice for All
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has undertaken and published a comprehensive and alarming review of sentencing in criminal cases in that state: Florida's Broken Sentencing System. A key and central conclusion: Now, prejudice wears a black robe. Half a century after the civil rights movement, trial judges throughout Florida sentence blacks to harsher punishment than whites, a Herald-Tribune investigation found. They offer... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2016 at ... and Justice for All
Gov. Bevin spent about an hour this morning at a press conference describing and discussing the total and complete success that was his first year in the Governor's office. Jack Brammer reports in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Bevin Finds No Failures In His First Year as Governor. I feel better. And for some reason, perhaps having also to do with soon... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2016 at ... and Justice for All
The answer it appears is "yes," according to a story by Andrew Wolfson in the Courier-Journal, U of L Pays $1M to Two Under FBI Investigation. And so it goes. Robert L. Abell Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2016 at ... and Justice for All
I can't improve on the title so I used it; see Jared Bernstein's article at The assessment is harsh, but the gist of the decision is the Labor Department fundamentally has misunderstood under both Democratic and Republican Presidents the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2016 at Kentucky Employment Law Blog