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The Law Is My Ass

The legal news of the moment, from Supreme Court decisions to legislative activity, to legal issues in the public consciousness - presented and discussed by highly experienced and thoughtful attorneys, law professors, and humorists.
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Jun 25, 2017

In this the 26th episode of The Law Is My Ass, Sid and Joe break down the week's TWELVE new Supreme Court decisions, have a great discussion (only moderately impacted by a lousy Skype signal) with podcast-regular Lena Zwarensteyn about pending judicial appointments, answer listener questions, and along the way provide valuable insight into pressing issues like "Does Sid have a comedy album available and is it charting?" (Hint: yes, and yes); "Can a Green Bay Packers fan sue the Chicago Bears organization for being jerks?" (Hint: probably not, and that alone is wronger than wrong!); "Did a progressive Asian-American rock band just accidentally help the Washington NFL franchise continue to insult native Americans?" (Hint: you know it!); and "Is there anything normal about how President Trump is appointing judges to their lifetime gigs on the bench?" (Hint: not much).

Check it out - we hope you enjoy it. And in all events: keep it legal!

Jun 18, 2017

For this the Silver Anniversary Edition of The Law Is My Ass (it's our 25th episode! How crazy is that?) - we welcome back to the podcast the always brilliant and funny Jamie Lee Williams of the Electronic Frontier Foundation to talk about whether the government can track all of your movements all the time (Hint: at the moment, probably). We also talk about how to protect your text messages and your computer browser history (hint: imperfectly).

Before we get to that we talk about the Ninth Circuit's landmark decision in the Hawai'i travel ban appeal - ruling against the Trump administration on STATUTORY and not constitutional grounds! We round up the week's five (count 'em - FIVE!) mostly unanimous Supreme Court decisions including Justice Ginsburg's equal protection opinion in Sessions v. Morales Santana.

And as if all that weren't enough, we talk about new suits against the Trump administration, good news for DACA dreamers bad news for your Christmas plans in Havana, good news for high powered criminal defense attorneys in Washington DC; this morning's mixed news for Bill Cosby; the crime of encouraging suicide; and the Philando Castile verdict.

Jun 10, 2017

In a heavy news week, we had six (count 'em: SIX) newsworthy actions by the Supreme Court, drug criminals, criminal attorneys, attorneys who represent criminals, attorneys who become nuns, boyfriends who kill ex-girlfriends and frame junk yard owners for their crimes only to have it all made into a Netflix documentary, and as if that weren't all enough ...

We also have a fabulous interview with former prosecutor Vernon Grigg who helps us answer the questions on everybody's mind: has the President obstructed justice (Hint: probably not yet, provably speaking); is James Comey some kind of sneaky genius (hint: all signs point to yes); is James Comey a good employee (hint: probably not); do Senate hearings sometimes resemble scenes from the movie Fargo (hint: indubitably); and for the first time in months, NO TRAVEL BAN LITIGATION UPDATE! Because nothing happened.

Give it a listen, send your questions to lawmyass@gmail.com, and keep it legal! 

Jun 4, 2017

In this the twenty-third episode of The Law Is My Ass, Sid and Joe march through some of the more interesting legislation and litigation of the week, including a thorough discussion of all four of the week's mostly-almost-unanimous Supreme Court decisions. Then we have a great interview with Sachin Chheda of the Fair Elections Project to talk about partisan gerrymandering and the status of the Wisconsin gerrymandering suit now in front of the Supreme Court, in which they answer just how rigged do electoral districts have to be in order to be illegal (hint: 7%); would a stay tell us anything about the court's views on the merits (hint: probably not); and who will we blame for the Packers' shortcomings now that we don't have Olivia Munn to kick around anymore (hint: probably the fans). All that and a great listener question! Give it a listen, and keep it legal!

May 28, 2017

Sid and Joe review the week's three Supreme Court decisions (only one of which amounts to much),  the Fourth Circuit's 200-page decision holding that the Trump administration travel ban is unconstitutional and illegal, Joe interviews Supreme Court litigator Doug Geyser about last week's most significant Supreme Court case (Midland Funding v. Johnson), and the dubious bulk debt industry generally; beyond that, Sid and Joe answer your listener questions, including whether or not Justice Thomas has turned over a new leaf on race by ruling against North Carolina in this week's gerrymandering case (hint: probably not); whether Justice Gorsuch's desire for an oral argument in this week's summary affirmance of a campaign finance decision means that he hates all campaign finance laws (hint: probably not); and whether Mike Flynn's decision to take the Fifth and refuse to testify to congress about Russia means that the investigation is over (hint: not by a long shot).

Give it a listen, and keep it legal!

May 21, 2017

In today's 21st episode of The Law Is My Ass, Sid and Joe ask whether Anthony Weiner must now register as a sex offender, whether Donald Trump has obstructed justice, with Fiat is the new VW, and whether Robert Mueller has conflicts of interest. Then just for kicks we replay rock-star Supreme Court advocate Neal Katyal's argument before the Ninth Circuit last week over the constitutionality and legality of the Trump administration's travel ban - with copious interruptions and comments from the peanut gallery (aka, from Joe and Sid).

Check it out - and keep it legal!

May 13, 2017

For Sid's and Joe's TWENTIETH (!) episode, they eschew the guests to focus on the huge volume of important legal news from the last week, including: did Trump commit obstruction of justice? (Hint: maybe). Did Sessions revive the war on drugs? (Hint: looks that way). If I torrent porn on my home computer am I going to be sued? (Hint: possibly, but it's becoming perhaps less likely). If Trump is making tapes is he headed down the same road as Nixon? (Hint: too soon to say). Are the circuit courts going to get behind the Muslim ban? (Hint: odds are against it).

All that and exciting listener questions about Presidential Succession, and how civil cases are settled. Check it out and keep it legal!

May 6, 2017

We had four (count 'em - FOUR!) listener questions this week [thank everybody!] - but the real highlight of Episode 19 is the third (THIRD!) visit to the podcast by benefits expert Eric Schillinger to talk about the House's successful passage of the bill called the "AHCA" (aka TrumpCare) last week, what it does, what it doesn't do, and whether it's likely ever to become a law. All that, plus the Puerto Rico Bankruptcy, an update on new Supreme Court decisions, and the status of the 9th Circuit travel ban appeal.

Apr 30, 2017

Joe and Sid cover the legal news of the day - including the upcoming Ninth Circuit and Fourth Circuit oral arguments in the travel ban litigation appeals; the new ruling against President Trump's "sanctuary city" EO; recent Supreme Court cases; Justice Breyer's cell phone; and an exciting interview with cannabis law expert Katy Young! All that and listener questions too!

Apr 15, 2017

Today Civil Rights attorney Stan Davis returns for a conversation about whether United Airlines is liable to Dr. David Dao for the violent way that the Doctor was deplaned in Chicago last Sunday. Stan, Joe, and Sid also talk about education policy, beef jerky, bond fraud, the patent troll that sued the EFF, the state of Hawai'i's  bid to have the Ninth Circuit hear the travel ban appeal en banc, and a listener question about Donald Trump's tax returns.

Join us for this exciting episode of The Law Is My Ass - and keep it legal!

Apr 8, 2017

This week Mike Pence got a smack down from the US District Court, the Ninth Circuit scheduled a hearing on the administration's appeal of the Hawai'i injunction against the travel ban, Sid dropped an F-bomb, and we had two in depth interviews:

  • Eric Schillinger was live again to talk about the substance and the mechanics of the AHCA (aka "Trump Care"), and the next legislative steps we might expect; and
  • Lena Zwarensteyn joined Joe once again to debrief the activities last week in the Senate that led to the final approval of President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (he's a Justice now, if you hadn't heard).

All that and more legal news and listener question(s). Check it out and keep it legal!

Apr 2, 2017

This week Sid and Joe give their regular weekly update on the

  • travel ban litigation (hint - it's back at the Ninth Circuit!);
  • the week's biggest Supreme Court decisions;
  • developments in the Trump University fraud class action settlement;
  • Congress's interesting decision to eliminate all privacy protections for internet browsing data;
  • and Michael Flynn's oddly public request for immunity in exchange for his testimony

And is if all that weren't enough, featured guest expert, Bankruptcy specialist Greg Rougeau talks Sid and Joe through Chapters 7, 9, 11 and 13 of the Bankruptcy code, and explains the apocryphal tale of "The Red Bench."

All that and a shout out to our first official sponsor, Green Light Jerky!

Don't miss it! And keep it Legal!

Mar 25, 2017

This week Sid and Joe update you on the ongoing travel ban litigation; congressional efforts to allow internet providers to buy, sell, and share all your internet usage data (one wonders whether US Senators ever look at porn on the internet . . .); the Supreme Court's new IDEA ruling (reversing an opinion of 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch), and on the eve of the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court confirmation vote (or filibuster, as the case may be) we interview Lena Zwarensteyn of the American Constitutional Society in Washington DC about judicial nominations and confirmations; and we tackle listener questions about treason, contempt, and comedy. 

All that and more on this, the 14th episode of The Law Is My Ass. Keep it Legal!

Mar 18, 2017

It's Lucky 13 at The Law Is My Ass! Sid is back from spring break for this long but edifying romp through the mechanics of class action litigation. Along the way, there's a legislative alert (H.R. 895 - please oppose it!), an update on the travel ban litigation in Maryland, Hawai'i, Washington, the Ninth Circuit, and beyond, and Joe and Sid point out a little tidbit from President Trump's 2005 tax return that Rachel Maddow seems to have missed.

Give it a listen - and keep it legal!

Mar 12, 2017

Special guest cohost, San Francisco comedy legend (according to W. Kamau Bell!) Nato Green joined Joe to engage guest attorney Michael Nelson in a deep dive into the policy, practice, politics and law of unions and labor organizing. Along the way, they also drank some bourbon, discussed the new Trump administration travel policy, spontaneously combusting lawyer trousers, recommended reading for those interested in labor history, and Nato dropped an F-bomb (hence the "explicit" rating this week).

All that and interesting listener questions about jerky sponsorship, Korean impeachment, and gays in the workplace.

Also, after we stopped recording, Nato recommended another book - it's called Strike for America by Micah Uetricht. We'd send you to Amazon, but their labor practices aren't all that great . . .

Mar 4, 2017

Today Joe and his special guest co-host Will Maguire talk about Sid's upcoming shows in Brooklyn, the Supreme Court's new gerrymandering decision out of Virginia, and the Honorable Jeff Sessions makes an appearance at both the top and the bottom of the episode. But the star of today's episode is Certified Family Law Specialist Raquel Sefton, who shared a lot of insight into all aspects of family law (prenuptial agreements, divorce, custody, community property, "common law marriage" - and more!).

Joe and Will also answer listener questions including "can my boss search my cell phone" and discuss the 1876 impeachment of President Grant's War Secretary William Kelknap.

Listen up and keep it legal.

Feb 26, 2017

Today, Sid and Joe talk to ERISA litigation and disability insurance expert Michael Bartolic about the protections and shortcomings of the law that regulates all our employee benefits (retirement/pension, health, disability insurance, life insurance): The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.

Sid and Joe also talk about the Fourth Circuit's recent gun control decision holding that the Second Amendment does not cover AR-15 rifles; and new Supreme Court decisions about race-based recidivism and ineffective assistance of counsel, and the procedures that should have applied to a lawsuit over a schools exclusion of a disabled student's service dog. 

As if that weren't enough, the also answer listener questions! It's a great episode - listen up, and keep it legal!

Feb 19, 2017

Today, Sid and Joe talk to immigration lawyer Veronica Guinto about the so-called "Muslim Ban" and all the litigation surrounding it - suits in New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Washington, Hawaii, and in front of the Ninth Circuit: what did they all find, where do they all stand, and what happens now that the administration says it's going to issue a superseding order?

Also, Sid and Joe answer the questions "is the Ninth Circuit the most reversed circuit in the country?" (hint: the answer is "no"); "may I renounce my US citizenship?" (hint: the answer is yes); and based on what rule was Mitch McConnell picking on Senator Warren? 

It's a great episode - and a long one! We hope you enjoy it. Keep it legal!

Feb 4, 2017

Sid and Joe talk with Jamie Lee Williams of the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) about data privacy, government intrusion, bot-nets, Rule 41, and what you can do to protect your electronic information from spying eyes. Plus an update on the status of the Trump Administration's executive order seeking to halt all travel and immigration by citizens of certain Muslim nations.

Jan 29, 2017

Today Sid and Joe talk about the legality of the Trump Administrations new pseudo Muslim ban and the lawsuit that the ACLU filed against it. 
Here is a link to the executive order: https://www.scribd.com/document/337740314/Trump-Executive-Order-1#download
Here is a link to the ACLU's lawsuit:
http://static.politico.com/14/2a/f36cb79143f09381f4c1acac7ab4/trump-lawsuit.pdf

[Note - our February 4 episode will be devoted to this topic]

 

Once they got that out of the way, Sid and Joe had a great conversation with employee benefits expert Eric Schillinger of the ERISA boutique law firm Trucker Huss about the mechanics, economics, politics, and real world impact of the impending ACA (i.e., "Obamacare") repeal.

 

Dec 11, 2016

On this the final episode of 2016, financial elder abuse experts Shawna Reeves and Neil Granger join Joe Creitz and Sid Singh to talk about some of the ways that reverse mortgages, annuities, and other sneaky financial products are deceptively marketed to the elderly to bilk them out of their money. Sid and Joe also talk about the unanimous Samsung v. Apple decision from the Supreme Court this week, and contemplate the question "is a rectangle with rounded corners worth $399 Million?" We also talk about the Supreme Court's unanimous insider trading decision, and the idea that givers as well as recipients benefit from gifts. All that, plus listener questions, Hawaiian rum, and whether or not we can file a class action lawsuit against Russia for hurting all of our feelings. Check it out, have a great New Year, and keep it legal!

Dec 3, 2016

In perhaps our best show to date, in this 5th episode of The Law Is My Ass, law student/comedian Sid Singh and Professor Joe Creitz talk to fair-election expert and all around electoral superstar Sachin Chheda about whether or not the Packers should fire Mike McCarthy (the vote split was 1 for "NO" - and two abstentions); the Wisconsin gerrymandering lawsuit (and the one in North Carolina too!); David Daley's great book "Rat F**ked"; the recount; and fairness in electoral policies generally. We also answer listener questions about what constitutes a breach of contract, and the famous Louisiana political wise-guy Huey Long. Send us your questions for next week at LawMyAss@gmail.com and find us every week on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCoud, and at http://lawmyass.libsyn.com/ 

Nov 27, 2016

This week law professor Joe Creitz and comedian Sid Singh talk about the demise of Fidel Castro, the constitutional rights of Tila Tequila, and we talk with U.W.- Whitewater Professor Emeritus John Kozlowicz about criminal justice policy and DUI courts. Among the things we learned today were that, if you feel like you really have no choice but to drive under the influence of alcohol (and we don't recommend it), Walworth County Wisconsin might be the place to do it.

Nov 19, 2016

In Episode 3 of the The Law Is My Ass, Joe Creitz and Sid Singh talk about the Trump U. fraud settlement, and speak with Wisconsin civil rights attorney Stan Davis about student rights, the limits of eye-witness testimony, legal claims against the NFL, and what it takes to make Luke Kuechly cry. All that plus listener questions, Obama quotes, and Sid

Nov 12, 2016

It is November 12, Donald Trump has won the Presidential election, and Sid and Joe are here to talk law in episode 2 of The Law is My ASs. Comedian Sid Singh and law professor Joe Creitz talk about the legal implications of a Trump administration, read the Constitution, discuss the importance of standing up for what's right, and answer listener questions!

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