July 26 roundup

  • “It’s time for our justice system to embrace artificial intelligence” [Caleb Watney, Brookings]
  • Ontario woman named vexatious litigant and barred from filing lawsuits without leave tells newspaper “to hold off on publishing her story until all of her matters before the court were concluded, or else” [Jesse McLean and Emily Mathieu, Toronto Star]
  • Psittacine hearsay? Parrot said to have repeated “don’t (expletive) shoot” in murder victim’s voice; wife convicted [AP/Detroit News] “The parrot was not involved in any court proceedings.” [Evening Standard (U.K.)]
  • Pennsylvania’s abuse-of-process law, not particularly strong in the first place, survives a challenge [Hillary Hunter, WLF]
  • No, that’s not how the law works. Sanctions next? “Baton Rouge police officer injured in deadly ambush sues Black Lives Matter” and five leaders of it [CBS]
  • “When the first section heading of an opinion is ‘Design Basics and the Art of the Intellectual Property Shakedown,’ you can probably guess how things are going to turn out for Plaintiff Design Basics, LLC.” [John Ross, Short Circuit on this Seventh Circuit case]


  • I’m not so sure the parrot is providing evidence of guilt. Usually a word or phrase needs to be repeated multiple times for a parrot to add it to its repertoire. Now if the bird said “don’t (expletive) shoot, BANG!” that would be conclusive proof.

    • On the “psittacine hearsay” case —

      I think there is little question that Christina Keller’s testimony about the parrot’s alleged utterance is hearsay if it was offered as proof that Martin Duram said “don’t shoot”.

      It would be interesting to know what rules of evidence allowed the parrot’s alleged utterance into evidence.

      There is lots of room for mischief here.

      • The prosecutor decided against attempting to get the parrot’s statement into evidence, as he believed it would not be admitted.

      • “Don’t shoot” would probably fall under the excited-utterance hearsay exception.

    • I’ve had an African Grey parrot for 20 years, and my bird has picked up some words and phrases after only one or two repetitions.

      The more emotionally loaded the delivery the more likely my bird is to remember and reproduce it, even more likely if I am speaking, as he is bonded to me, not my wife (who he also mimics)

      If I was on the jury hearing the victim beg for his life via his parrot would be extremely pursuasive.