Archive for March, 2011

Drifting into Divorce

March 20, 2011

Justitia by Cranach the Elder - 1537

For pure, raw, unadulterated emotion, nothing beats a courtroom in which a divorce or child custody trial is in progress. Lawyers and judges who specialize in such work often burn out. The ones who last over the long haul tend to be people able to use their senses-of-humor to maintain a little distance from all that emotion that erupts in their courtrooms.

One such judge presides over domestic relation matters in Ontario’s Superior Court. In a recent case a couple – Catherine and Larry – were duking it out in a particularly nasty divorce. Catherine had once attempted to drive over Larry in the family van.  According to Judge Joseph Quinn, “ This is always a telltale sign that a husband and wife are drifting apart.”

 

 

 

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Corporate Privacy

March 1, 2011

In the last two days, three remarkable things – in my life, anyway – have occurred. Justice Scalia has written two straight opinions with which I agree and Justice Roberts has made me laugh. Normally, of course, I don’t trouble you with my personal reactions to judicial opinions; they are what they are and when one piques my interest, my job is to explain it as best I can.

Both of the opinions by Justice Scalia require a longer post than I have time for today. The chuckle from Justice Roberts came in the Court’s opinion today holding that corporations – however much they get preferential treatment as real people – do not get treated as real persons with a right to “personal privacy” under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The corporation in the case, AT&T, argued that it was entitled to personal privacy. Here is the last paragraph of Justice Robert’s opinion for the Court.

We reject the argument that because “person” is defined for purposes of FOIA to include a corporation, the phrase“personal privacy” in Exemption 7(C) reaches corporations as well. The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law 12 FCC v. AT&T INC. enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations. We trust that AT&T will not take it personally.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed.

It is so ordered.