Issues to Watch

Macaque takes a selfie: PETA publicity stunt or genuine animal rights issue?

No Comments

Macaque takes a selfie: PETA publicity stunt or genuine animal rights issue?

Jay Patel*

Copyright protections can be sought for “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression,” which includes any “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.”  17 U.S.C. § 102 (2012).  Over 100 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that an original photograph that represented the “intellectual conception of its author” could be afforded copyright protection.  Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co., v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, 59 (1884).  Our Nation’s copyright protections have evolved to include any original arrangement and selection that exhibits creativity.  Feist Publ’ns, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co., 499 U.S. 340, 358 (1991).  This is particularly relevant today when many authors compile facts and ideas in their own creative ways to sell things such as textbooks and phonebooks.  Id.  (more…)

Issues to Watch

‘Til Consent Do Us Part

No Comments

‘TIL CONSENT DO US PART: Maryland’s New Ground for No-Fault Dissolution of Marriage

Avigayil Pearlman*

Marriage is not an institution to be taken lightly; however, divorce is a reality of American life.  Unfortunately, the time and expense required to obtain an absolute divorce can be extremely prohibitive in many states.  In fact, Maryland did not entertain complaints for absolute divorce without some claim of wrongdoing on the part of one spouse or another until 1939; and even then, Maryland required a five-year separation first.  See Denese Ashbaugh Vlosky & Pamela A. Monroe, The Effective Dates of No-Fault Divorce Laws in the 50 States, 51 Fam. Rel. 317, 322 (2002).  While the length of time required for separation gradually decreased over the years, the second-most recent change to Maryland’s grounds for divorce, listed in Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 7-103 (the “Statute”), came into effect in 1983, and provided that a no-fault absolute divorce in the state of Maryland required a 12-month separation.  Id.  However, everything changed on October 1, 2015, when an additional ground for no-fault divorce was added to the Statute: mutual consent. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Is the Senate Eschewing Its Constitutional Duty Concerning Confirmations to the Federal Bench?

No Comments

Is the Senate Eschewing Its Constitutional Duty Concerning Confirmations to the Federal Bench?

Laura Cress*

Since Republicans took control of the Senate in January 2015, they have been confirming federal judges at the slowest pace in more than 60 years, since 1953.  Jennifer Bendery, Congratulations, GOP.  You’re Confirming Judges at the Slowest Rate in 60 Years, Huffington Post (Sept. 17, 2015, 2:08 PM),  As of October 9, 2015, President Obama’s seventh year in office, the 114th Congress had confirmed a grand total of seven federal judges since January.  Confirmation Listing, U.S. Cts., (last visited Oct. 9, 2015).  For comparison, senate Democrats, during President George W. Bush’s seventh year in office, had confirmed twenty-nine of the President’s judicial nominees by this point in his presidency.  Bendery, supra.  These startling statistics should be concerning to the legal community because studies show they may impact the ability of the federal court system to dispense justice consistently and in a quality manner.  Alicia Bannon, Brennan Center for Justice Analysis: The Impact of Judicial Vacancies on Federal Trial Courts, Brennan Ctr. for Just. (July 21, 2014),    (more…)

Issues to Watch, Uncategorized

The Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decisions Regarding Class Action Lawsuits

No Comments

A Well Fitted Suit: The Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decisions Regarding Class Action Lawsuits

Christopher Finke*

Class action lawsuits have garnered much media attention and have gathered a reputation as opportunities for greedy lawyers.  Christine Frymire, Comment, Class Actions a Thing of the Past . . . Or Are They? A Look at the Circuit Courts’ Application of Comcast v. Behrend, 48 J. Marshall L. Rev. 335, 363 (2014).  Some have gone so far as to call it “legalized blackmail.”  Id.  The Supreme Court granted certiorari to three cases, which could have strong ramifications for class action suits.  See Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., 135 S. Ct. 2311 (2015); Bouaphakeo v. Tyson Foods Inc., 135 S. Ct. 2806 (2015); Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 323 (2014). (more…)

Issues to Watch

Fantasy to Face Reality: The Future of Sports Betting and Fantasy Leagues

No Comments

Fantasy to Face Reality: The Future of Sports Betting and Fantasy Leagues

Erik Johnson*

A Fantasy league takes the rush of “gambling” and combines it with the thrill and excitement of sports by allowing individuals to get involved in the games they watch.  It is no surprise then that fantasy sports have seen a massive explosion in recent years, specifically Daily Fantasy Sports, or “DFS.”  This recent evolution has brought many to question the blurred legal lines between fantasy leagues and sports betting. (more…)