There's a derogatory term in Silicon Valley for companies that amass huge troves of patents and make money by threatening lawsuits: "patent trolls." When Jeff Kelling's Internet company Fototime was sued - along with more than 130 other companies - for violating someone's patent, he wondered if it was a troll (which the company denies), and then settled out of court.
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In this act: judge wannabes working with the old boys network.
Ira reports from Glynn County Georgia on Superior Court Judge AmandaWilliams and how she runs the drug courts in Glynn, Camden and Waynecounties. We hear the story of Lindsey Dills, who forges two checks on herparents' checking account when she's 17, one for $40 and one for $60, andends up in drug court for five and a half years, including 14 months behindbars, and then she serves another five years after that—six months of itin Arrendale State Prison, the other four and a half on probation.
We hear about how Brandi Byrd and many other offenders end up in Judge Williams' drug court. One reason drug courts were created was to save money by incarcerating fewer people.
Ira Glass speaks with JoAnn Chiakulas, the only Juror on the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who believed he was innocent of trying to sell Barack Obama's senate seat.
Host Ira Glass describes a recent terrorism case in Newburgh, N.Y., in which four men were arrested after planting bombs in front of a synagogue and Jewish community center. Ira discusses the case with Aziz Huq, assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School and co-author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror. Huq says the Newburgh case isn't what it seems, because without the help of a government informant, the four men probably wouldn't have been able to organize an act of terrorism.
Ira talks to Aziz Huq about whether cases like Lahkani's will continue to be pursued under the Obama administration, and why that's problematic.
Ira goes to one of the nation's great manufacturers of fine print: The U.S.Congress. He reports on a recent House subcommittee hearing on a practice in the health insurance industry—buried in that industry's own fine print—called rescission.
Host Ira Glass describes the scene at a courthouse resource center in lower Manhattan where people learn how to represent themselves in civil court. Attorney Ruth Sharfman, who assists at the center, tells Ira that some of the pro se litigants are more prepared for the job than others.
Earlier this year, admitted drug user Jorge Cruz decided to act as his own lawyer in an Albany, New York criminal court. Impossibly, he won.
Ira tells the story of the 1953 U.S. Supreme Court case that formed the basis for the controversial state secret privilege—the precedent that allows the United States government to stop lawsuits by claiming that national security secrets might be revealed in court.
Host Ira Glass talks with Michael Perrino, a law professor at St Johns University School of Law in New York, who wrote a book about Ferdinand Pecora called The Hellhound of Wall Street. Pecora was the lead attorney in the Senate Banking Committee hearings in the 1930s looking into wrongdoing in the banking industry.
There's a town in Florida where if you shoplift, and get caught, a judge will send you back to the scene of your crime to stand in front of the store, with a large sign that reads "I stole from this store." Ira and producer Lisa Pollak talk to one such teenager who was caught stealing from a convenience store, the supervisor overseeing her punishment, and the judge who sends her there.
Host Ira Glass recalls the case of the so-called Detroit Sleeper Cell—four men, arrested in the weeks after 9/11, accused of plotting terrorist attacks. Ira explains that the entire program will be devoted to the story of the man who prosecuted the case...an up-and-coming prosecutor in the Department of Justice, Richard G.
Host Ira Glass talks with Yale law professor Jack Balkin about what he calls the Bush Administration's "lawyering style," a tendency to fight as hard as it can, on all fronts, to get what it wants. Ira also plays tape from a news conference with New York Senator Charles Schumer, in which he takes the Justice Department to task for refusing to pay death benefits to the families of two auxiliary policemen who were killed in the line of duty, even though federal law grants those benefits.
Ira Glass tells the story of a little-known treaty dispute with far-reaching ramifications for our understanding of executive power. The dispute is between the President and one of his appointees...to the International Boundary Commission with Canada.
Ira Glass interviews Charlie Savage, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Boston Globe, who's written a book called Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy about the ways the Bush Administration claims executive powers that other presidents haven't claimed. Charlie talks with Ira about the current candidates for President and their views on the scope of executive power.
Ira talks with divorce mediator Barry Berkman about why it's bad when the justice system gets involved in a break-up. Barry specializes in matrimonial law and is a member of The New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, which he helped found.
Host Ira Glass talks to Tim Jaccard, who used to be a police medic. The calls he hated most were all the same: "Baby not breathing." So in 1998, he helped write the first "safe haven" law, which allows mothers to safely abandon their babies without getting into trouble.
Host Ira Glass talks to Vincent Homenick and Norman Goodman, the court officials who hear all the excuses from New York City residents trying to get out of jury duty.
In the 1930s, the designer of the U.S. Supreme Court made a frieze to adorn the courtroom walls.
Host Ira Glass discusses Howard Stern, who claims that current action by the FCC will take him off the air. We hear from Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan who heads the House committee passing new FCC fines, and from Brent Bozell who heads the Parents' Television Council.
Host Ira Glass talks to the Arnold Abbott, the founder of "Love Thy Neighbor," a Florida charity that's being sued by "Love Your Neighbor," a Michigan ministry and business. "Love Your Neighbor" owns the trademark on the phrases "Love Your Neighbor" and "Love Thy Neighbor;" the attorney for the Michigan business Julie Greenberg, contemplates whether suing a neighbor can fall within the category of loving them as yourself.
In the 1970s and 1980s, a wave of non-white migration into Cicero begins, this one primarily Mexican-American. The head of the political machine is named Betty Loren-Maltese, whose husband, now deceased, was convicted for mob-related activity.