We’re Breaking Up: 4 Bizarre Divorce Laws You Won’t Believe Are Real

Divorce cases are rarely simple for a number of reasons, and if you do some legislative history research, you'll find that there are more than a few legal statutes out there making things more perplex. Here are just a few. Blaming a Third Party. Believe it or not, seven states including New Mexico and Mississippi have legal statutes that make it possible to blame the breakdown of a marriage on a third person, who can even be sued for huge sums of money so long as there's proof. This is called the "alienation of affection" theory. Making Divorce Illegal. In the more than 200 years since the Constitution was first created, there have ... Read More >

Criminal mayhem is no laughing matter

To the average person, being convicted of “mayhem” may sound like being caught doing something a little destructive, and maybe a little silly. After all, thesaurus.com lists serious terms such as “violence” and “anarchy” along with less weighty nouns such as “havoc,” “fracas” and “trouble” as synonymous with “mayhem.” However, as California criminal attorneys know, a charge of mayhem is no laughing matter – and a charge of aggravated mayhem, even less so. California Penal Code section 203 states: ... Every person who unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it ... Read More >

California revives old attorney sanctions statute

Late last legislative session, California lawmakers resuscitated a statute that had been dead for about 20 years. While the statute has been dormant, however, the area it dealt with is not: Bad faith and frivolous lawsuits. Last fall, Assembly Bill 2494 reinstated Code of Civil Procedure § 128.5, with some amendments, effective January 1, 2015. If you have an older codebook, you’ll note the former version of the statute is still in there, but as subdivision (b)(1) stated, it pertained “only if the actions or tactics arise from a complaint filed, or a proceeding initiated, on or before December 31, 1994.” Section 128.5 was put to rest ... Read More >

Coming In Peace: 3 Weird Legal Means of Preparing For Encounters of the Third Kind

Although the Earth has not made contact with any extraterrestrial yet, it doesn't mean governments haven't started preparing for it. Don't believe it? Consider the following. The Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law. On July 16, 1969, the U.S. would send some of its bravest to the moon for the first time. One of the many different challenges associated with the Apollo 11 mission was the return. Who knew if the astronauts might bring back unknown microorganisms or germs? To prepare for such a scenario, the government adopted Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, also known as the "Extra-Terrestrial Exposure Law." This had the ... Read More >

LIS looks at some failed and stalled bills

"Sacramento Capitol" by Sascha Brück - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons With the Legislature on its summer recess, now is a good time to look back at some of the proposals that have died or stalled this legislative session. AB 213 was all about LED bulbs. It would have prohibited the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission from adopting a color rendering index value greater than that set by the federal EPA’s Energy Star Program. As the Lighting Research Center tells us, the color rendering index, or the CRI, is “a measure of a light source’s ability to show object colors ... Read More >

Somebody is Cutting Internet Cables!

Somebody is Cutting Internet Cables!  On Tuesday, many individuals and businesses in San Francisco and the Sacramento area experienced widespread Internet outages for most of the day.  It turns out this may be the latest in a string of severed fiber optic cables being investigated by the FBI in the San Francisco bay area. This type of vandalism involving Internet cables was just addressed last year in California.  Following a string of cut Internet cables in Northern California, Assembly member Chesbro introduced Assembly Bill 1782 in 2014 to increase the maximum fine from $500 to $10,000.  According to the author, “Dependable ... Read More >