October 3 roundup

  • “Rejected Applicant Sues Law Schools for Violating Magna Carta” [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar]
  • “Attorney sued for malpractice is suspended after releasing client’s psychiatric records” [Stephanie Francis Ward, ABA Journal]
  • Moving state and local alcohol regulation past the bootlegger/Baptist era [Cato Daily Podcast with Jeremy Horpedahl]
  • In Charlottesville today? I’ll be on a University of Virginia School of Law panel discussing redistricting / gerrymandering reform, campaign and election law, Maryland politics and more [Ele(Q)t Project]
  • Rejecting ADA claim, Georgia Supreme Court says man cannot blame sleep apnea for “alleged inability to be truthful, accurate, and forthcoming” in bar application [Legal Profession Blog]
  • Update: after national outcry, county D.A. in North Carolina drops charges of unlicensed veterinary practice against Good Samaritan who took in pets during Hurricane Florence [Wilson Times]


  • Re: releasing psychiatric records. Should be a permanent disbarment.

    • I don’t see why. There’s no injury to a lawyer involved.


  • I don’t remember my Blackstone that well. Is the remedy for a violation of the Magna Carta, trial by combat or trial by ordeal?

    • Trial by combat and trial by ordeal were methods of determining guilt, not remedies.

  • Well then, I claim that I have not violated anything and I choose Chuck Norris as my champion… 😀

    • Well then, I claim that I have not violated anything and I choose Chuck Norris as my champion…

      Unfortunately, our sometimes benighted friends across the waters saw fit to abolish that mode of trial by act of Parliament in 1819, 59 Geo. III, Chapter 46:

      whereas appeals of murder, treason, felony, and other offences, and the manner of proceeding therein, have been found to be oppressive; and the trial by battle in any suit, is a mode of trial unfit to be used; and it is expedient that the same should be wholly abolished.

      Note that “appeals” were private prosecutions for criminal offenses, even after acquittal in a Crown prosecution, which our Fifth Amendment forbids.

      Parliament acted following successful invocation of trial by combat by Abraham Thornton in the appeals case of Ashford v Thornton (1818) 106 ER 149.

      Long story short: Thornton was tried and acquitted for the murder of Mary Ashford. Mary’s brother, William Ashford brought a private prosecution, or “appeal”. Thornton invoked trial by combat. Ashford backed down. Parliament then abolished trial by combat.

      The near legendary story is recounted in: