Legal Links – February 5, 2016

February 5, 2016

On Fridays, we compile and post Legal Links, a list of legal news, reported cases, community events and topics of interest to Lancaster residents and readers of the Lancaster Law Blog.

1.  The Law in the News – 2015 Edition.The ABA Journal compiled and summarized what it considers the 10 most important legal stories of 2015, touching on major developments regarding same-sex marriage, capital punishment, and Syrian refugees.

In the number one spot is the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which provides same-sex couples the right to marry under the protection of the 14th Amendment.  This sparked some dissenting jurisdictions to enact religious freedom laws, and it also resulted in the Kim Davis controversy.

There was a notable decline in executions during the course of the year, which can be partially attributed difficulty in obtaining the drugs used for lethal injection; after large shipments of sodium thiopental had been confiscated by the FDA in Arizona and Texas, some states put scheduled executions on hold due to a shortage of the FDA-approved, “safe” supply of the drugs.

2.  Law Hawk flies to Super Bowl 50. A Texas criminal defense attorney named Bryan Wilson will star in a Taco Bell commercial that will air during the Super Bowl this weekend.

How did Wilson get such an honor? Wilson’s series of television commercials, where he refers to himself as “the Texas Law Hawk” have become an internet sensation. Here’s another one of his videos: Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk.

Who’s our pick for Super Bowl Champion? Although we’d love to see Peyton Manning go out on top, our pick is in line with FiveThirtyEight’s prediction: the Carolina Panthers.

3.  High School Seniors go to Trial. The 2016 Pennsylvania High School Mock Trial Competition, hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, is underway. Teams from across the state compete before real judges, each assuming the role of an attorney or witness. Local attorneys serve as jurors for the competition. Our own Matt Landis and Lindsay Schoeneberger frequently volunteer as jurors, and were particularly impressed with the teams they’ve witnessed this year.

 To read more about this year’s case, check out this link for the materials given to each participant.


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