Berkeley Law

Comic Outrage—The Real Saga of the Afghan Interpreter John Oliver Hailed on HBO

Like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, John Oliver has made a career of deconstructing the news into its absurdist bits and serving it back up as a steaming hash liberally sauced with irony and outrage. Plus, because his Sunday show, “Last Week Tonight,” is broadcast on HBO, he gets to say the “F word” a lot.

Counsel for Critters: Nature Conservancy Relies on These Pro Bono Lawyers

If burrowing owls and Coho salmon could talk, they probably wouldn’t tell many lawyer jokes. For the most part, attorneys have helped such endangered creatures. The courts are often, well, the court of last resort for rare animals and their habitats.

But lawyers are expensive, and bank accounts aren’t a priority in the animal kingdom; except for kangaroos and some other marsupials, wild critters don’t even have pockets to carry around cash. So who pays?

Final Fight: Berkeley Marine’s Battle to Get his Afghan Interpreter and Family to Safety

Why do we fight? Soldiers and Marines will have varied secondary answers: for national security, or a patriotic ideal, or even because your peers were enlisting. But there is another, overriding reason. You fight for those ahead of you or behind you on patrol, for the people in your squad or platoon, for the people who are fighting for—and protecting—you.

The Break-Up Heard Round the World: Is There A Legal Recourse Against Comcast?

It went so immediately and intensely viral that it probably gave the Internet a case of breakbone fever. We’re speaking, of course, of the recording of a Comcast “retention” representative pleading with, browbeating and haranguing customer Ryan Block to stay with the cable service giant.

Justice Alito Rides Hobby Lobby into Summer Break

It’s always nice to go out with a barnburner.

Wrapping up a session already thick with contentious and consequential rulings from campaign finance to affirmative action, the Supreme Court ended its 2013–14 term with a bang yesterday, dropping a decision that simultaneously touches upon the issues of reproductive rights, Obamacare, freedom of religion, and the limits of corporate personhood. Predictably then, the response to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision has been explosive.

Not Holding Their Tongues: Can the Commencement Speech Be Saved?

When a band of student protesters booed and heckled UC President Janet Napolitano at Laney College over the weekend—to the point where graduates could barely hear her—she became but the latest in a series of invited speakers who’ve suddenly found themselves in the thick of guerilla war over commencement addresses.

Finally, A Way to Diversify Cal Universities? Or “The Most Racist Bill” in State History?

Shien Biau Woo is a self-professed liberal. As a Democrat, he was lieutenant governor of Delaware and was once the party’s nominee for the U.S.  Senate. The organization he co-founded, the 80-20 Initiative, advocates for equal rights and opportunity for Asian Americans and twice endorsed Barack Obama.

And yet, says Woo: “Some liberals—and I classify myself as a liberal—they’re crazy. They have crazy theories.”

Tweaking Toxic Avengers: California Questions the Consequences of Prop. 65

Way back in 1986—when it was still Morning in America and women wore padded shoulders and men slathered on so much hair gel their coiffures looked molded in aspic—a citizen referendum passed in California that foreshadowed the current Era of Open Data. Ever since, Proposition 65 has required companies with more than 10 employees to post notices about carcinogenic compounds found on site, and granted private citizen the right to sue businesses that don’t prominently display the requisite warnings.

The Unblinking Eyewitness: Should All Police Start Wearing Body Cameras?

Editors’ note: Minutes after the announcement that a Missouri grand jury would not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown, Brown’s family released a statement urging that police be required to wear body cameras to record their interactions. The Obama administration and some law enforcement officials have also endorsed the idea. This article delves into the potential pros and cons.

Profs gain free-speech protection to criticize their universities

Academics have a First Amendment right to criticize the administration of their own public universities without being subject to any retaliation for doing so, according to a little-noticed decision last week from a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Legal Limits? Berkeley debates cutting law school to two years

To those who have just commenced their law studies at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, a hearty congratulations!  Now, for your own peace of mind, stop reading.

As those with their eyes on the bar know, law school is no longer the safe bet that it once was. Tuition is up, government grants are withering, and legal jobs are harder to come by yet more essential than ever, given soaring student loan debt among would-be lawyers.

Berkeley’s Defenders of Marriage

As Berkeley Law (Boalt) alum Theodore Olson stood before the United States Supreme Court yesterday challenging Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, we were reminded that while California may have left gays and lesbians feeling jilted at the altar, the Bay Area’s commitment to marriage equality has not wavered.

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