NEW YEAR—NEW LAWS IN ILLINOIS
- Pets are given rights, in that parties to divorce may agree to custody of the animals; if not, the Court will “take into consideration the well-being of the domestic animal.
- Cyberstalking. It is illegal to place a tracking device (or software) on an electronic device in order to follow someone’s movements.
- Stalking,intimidation,and even transmission of obscene messages could be considered hate crimes.
- Elephants are banned from all traveling exhibits. Illinois is the first state to do so.
- Hair salons and dry cleaners must now list prices for standard services.
- Foster children must now be placed in the most “family-like setting” available and as close to the parents as possible.
- Restaurants must now get accredited safety training and allergy awareness training.
- Mental health training is now a must for law enforcement officers.
- Organ transplant:now 16 and 17 year-olds can sign up.
- President Obama Day will be August 4 to honor our 44th.
In cases that we have been watching for you that involve the privacy of your phone, one such case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court last month. In order to arrest Tim Carpenter for a string of burglaries, police claim 4 months of cell records “pinged” cell towers near the burglaries. He claims his 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches were violated without a search warrant. The government argued that Tim had no such rights, as the records were “voluntarily” given to a 3rd party, i.e. the phone company (which, by the way, all of us unwittingly do that every month!) But in very lively arguments before the Court, both conservative and liberal leaning Justices were concerned about technological advances and how that may mean some new thinking by them. As the NY Times reported, the Court struggles with reconciling an 18th century law with “a world in which people’s movements are continually recorded by devices in their pockets and cars.” TLB will be on it!!
AND SHE CAN’T SUE
A New Jersey young lady may be the most unlikely victim of technology. Seems that her friends and contemporaries have found it humorous to order her around, just like the” virtual assistants” by Apple and Amazon. Her problem: the name she got and inherited from her parents, “Alexa Seary.” Hence, it’s always: “Alexa, get me a drink” and “Siri, start the car!” Poor thing!
WHAT HAVE WE CREATED!
You may remember when the Supreme Court last summer said that an Asian American rock group could not be denied the right to use the name “The Slants” on grounds that it disparaged an ethnic group. In that light, a federal appeals court has ruled that a man’s clothing company, “Fuct”, could not be denied a trademark, as, while vulgar, was protected speech under the 1st Amendment.
Wrote Justice Kimberly Moore: “There are words and images that we do not wish to be confronted with, not art, nor in the marketplace. The 1st Amendment, however, protects private expression which is offensive to a substantial composite of the general public…In this electronic/Internet age, to the extent that the government seeks to protect the general population from scandalous material, in all due respect, it has completely failed. ”
CHANGE IS HERE
Apparently all of the recent Hollywood and corporate sex scandals led workplace employers to be quite uneasy about their annual holiday parties. In fact, a reputable Chicago consultant reported that just 49 percent of companies planned to serve alcohol at their parties. (Challenger, Gray and Christmas)
QUOTE TO LIVE BY
“If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If neither are on your side, pound on the table.” Carl Sandburg