Monthly Archives: August 2013

Patriots May Still Have to Pay Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez was indicted on first degree murder charges by a grand jury, yesterday. Formerly a member of the New England Patriots, he was cut by the team shortly after his arrest several weeks ago. Ironically, the team may have to pay him more due to their haste in releasing him. They still owe him several million dollars as part of his signing bonus. Certainly the Pats will fight those payments, but they could end up writing checks to his inmate account.
The irony is that if the Patriots had left him on the roster, they would be more likely to recoup that money. Hernandez, who is likely to remain incarcerated, would be in breach and not able to receive those bonuses. The Patriots have already refused to pay an $82,000 workout bonus, and the union plans to file a grievance.
I am fortunate the I was able to cut him from my fantasy football keeper league team without any penalty!

The Zimmerman Prosecution Cost Almost $1,000,000

The estimation released yesterday by the Orlando Sun Sentinel puts the number at over $900,000, but that doesn’t include costs incurred by Special Prosecutor Angela’s Corey’s office. An advance to her office as already tallied $80,000. Nor does that number include pretrial costs, which must have been substantial. I anticipate the final tally of your tax dollars will come in north of a million dollars. Nor does this include money Zimmerman had to outlay in his defense, much of that raised by donations.

Manning’s Transgender Case : BU Law Represents

Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, has announced that she is transgender, and intends to begin the sex reassignment process to become a woman. USA Today did a thorough and thoughtful article on the issue, and quoted Neal Minahan, my friend from Boston University School of Law.

I’m proud of my classmates, in addition to Mr. Minahan’s work on this important and delicate issue, Jenn Rolnick Borchetta worked on the NYPD Stop and Frisk case, helping prove that NYC police have been systematically violating people’s rights for years. It’s great to see my colleagues on the right side of good things happening in the law, and great for the profile of BU Law! BU Law, as you may know, prides itself on being on of the first law schools to admit students regardless of race or gender.

More on the Miranda Arrest

Fort Myers Manslaughter Conviction Overturned #swfl

James Sims was on the lam for nearly 30 years, dodging a murder accusation in Fort Myers from 1981. He was caught in California using a false identity, and brought back to Fort Myers to stand trial. The state managed to get enough witnesses together to try the case, but didn’t get a murder conviction. Sims was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter, which could be considered a win for he, and his attorney Karen Miller. But the trial was not without issues, and had to take a break in the middle with concerns over Ms. Miller’s ability to proceed one day.

The second district found that the trial court erred by not including Mr. Sims in the conference regarding his attorney’s competency. Defendant’s are allowed to be present for all material stages of a trial, but Mr. Sims was excluded from the back room discussion. The appellate court deemed that to be an error, and threw out the murder conviction. The State will have the opportunity to try the case, again. The worst that can happen in the retrial is a manslaughter conviction; he cannot be found guilty of the murder charge since he was previously acquitted.

British Authorities Accused of Intimidation for Detention of Journalist’s Partner

We covered the detention in the U.K. of David Miranda, the partner of a Guardian journalist who has been involved in the Edward Snowden leak. Now the British authorities are fending off tough questions about the detention, and a lawsuit has been filed to declare the action illegal. It should be noted that Miranda has not been charged, or even accused of any wrongdoing. However, he was detained, questioned, and threatened with incarceration over a period of eight hours by British law enforcement authorities.

Oreo Double Stuf Cookies are Lying to Us

The cookie in question

The cookie in question

This isn’t a criminal issue, but a study has shown that Oreo’s Double Stuf cookies do not actually contain twice the amount of “creme” filling.  What’s fascinating is that the study was an experiment for a high school science class. Oreo gave a statement that the recipe for Double Stuf does call for twice the filling. The question then becomes, did the factory err in the production, or did the high school students err in their calculations. After Subway’s 11-inch footlong fiasco last year, I find it difficult to trust the manufacturer. This could present a legal challenge for Oreo, if the “Double” in the product labeling is misleading: they could run afoul of the FTC.