Rumpole of the Bailey

A must read for lovers of the Commonwealth version of the law.


Former Offspring drummer, now a doctor, plays hero in Oakland courtroom


Pretty fly for an ob-gyn.

Dr. James Lilja, a former drummer for the pop-punk band The Offspring, came to the rescue of a prospective juror in cardiac arrest during court proceedings Tuesday in Oakland in a medical malpractice suit against him, according to Law 360.

Lilja and his nurse assistant gave the unconscious man CPR and administered shocks with a defibrillator. The man remained unconscious but had a pulse when paramedics arrived.

The doctor’s actions were rewarded with a mistrial, as the judge agreed with the plaintiffs’ lawyer’s motion that other potential jurors who witnessed Lilja’s heroics might become biased against his clients.

“No good deed goes unpunished,” Lilja said before the mistrial was made official.

Lilja is a certified gynecologic oncologist practicing out of San Jose and Fremont, according to his medical office’s website. He is being sued by a couple who is accusing Lilja of negligently mistreating the wife.

Lilja was the drummer for The Offspring from 1984-87 before departing to study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The Orange County-based band gained mainstream success in the 1990s with such hits as “Come Out and Play,” “Self Esteem” and “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).”

Lilja played on “I’ll Be Waiting,” the band’s debut single from 1986.

He and his assistant were in the courtroom during the second day of jury selection when the call to help the prospective juror came. The man had been waiting to be called back into the courtroom along with 35 other prospective jurors when he collapsed, hit his head and lost consciousness.

The prospective jurors condition was not known.


Oxford Comma Decides Court Case in Maine Labor Dispute – “…rejoice, grammar nerds, and know that the law is on your side.”

Oxford Comma Decides Court Case in Maine Labor Dispute

Never underestimate the power of good grammar.

Vampire Weekend and the AP Stylebook be damned! The Oxford comma—or rather, the lack of one—helped decide a Maine court case over overtime pay for dairy workers earlier this week.

Also known as the serial comma, the Oxford comma is used before a conjunction like “and” or “or” in a series of three or more items. (For example: “I’m going to buy some eggs, milk, and bread.”) Critics feel it’s clunky and superfluous, while diehard supporters believe it’s absolutely essential for clarity. (For what it’s worth, Boston magazine’s official style uses the Oxford comma.)

Delivery drivers for Oakhurst Dairy won their suit against the Portland milk and cream company, after a U.S. court of appeals found that the wording of Maine’s overtime rules were written ambiguously. Per state law, the following activities are not eligible for overtime pay:

The canning, processing, preserving,
freezing, drying, marketing, storing,
packing for shipment or distribution of:
(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods.

Oakhurst argued that “distribution of” was separate from “packing for shipment,” which would allow the company to claim exemption from paying its delivery drivers over time. In trying to prove lawmakers’ intent, Oakhurst even pointed to Maine’s legislative style guide, which advises against using the Oxford comma.ADVERTISING

“For want of a comma, we have this case,” U.S. appeals judge David J. Barron wrote.

The appeals court ruled in favor of the five delivery drivers Monday, citing the “remedial purpose” of the state’s overtime laws as reason to interpret them liberally. So rejoice, grammar nerds, and know that the law is on your side.

Dog-poop dispute ends with 1 man jailed, 1 with wounded hand

The weird wonderfulness of Florida news.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Police in Florida say an argument between two men over dog poop has left one in jail and another with a knife wound to the hand.

The Palm Beach Post reports 33-year-old Ricardo Garcia Sanchez was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. A police report says he’s a property maintenance worker at an apartment complex in West Palm Beach and fought with a resident who he believed allowed his dog to defecate without cleaning up afterward.

Garcia Sanchez admitted to confronting the man about the pet but denied having the knife, which police didn’t find. He said he didn’t know how the man was injured.

He’s being held in Palm Beach County Jail. It’s unclear if he has an attorney

ABA urges Supreme Court to hear case of Gitmo detainee held more than 15 years

From the ABA Journal
Posted Jun 01, 2017 09:21 am CDT

By Debra Cassens Weiss

The ABA filed an amicus brief on Wednesday that urges the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal by a Guantanamo Bay detainee who has been held without trial for 15 years.

The ABA brief (PDF) says the court should review the claim by Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri that he isn’t properly classified as an enemy combatant, making his case ineligible for trial by a military commission, according to a press release.

Al-Nashiri had sought habeas review, but a federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declined to hear his case. The appeals court held that Article III courts were not required in the first instance to determine whether the military system has jurisdiction.

The ABA argues the ruling affects all Guantanamo detainees seeking to challenge their enemy combatant status, and it should be promptly reviewed. “To hold that judicial review is unavailable here, despite the extraordinary pretrial delay present in this case, undermines the Constitution’s fundamental commitment to rendering justice in a timely manner,” the brief says.

Al-Nashiri, a Saudi being held in solitary confinement, claims he should be tried by a federal court because he is accused in bombings that took place before the Iraq war. His military trial likely won’t be held until at least 2019, and he won’t be in a position to challenge an adverse judgment until 2024, according to the ABA brief.

“The staggering delay presented by this case naturally follows from a military commission regime established by statute that imposes no obligation on the executive branch to act promptly or efficiently in the prosecution of its cases and carries no legal consequences or risk of dismissal for idle or otherwise unwarranted delay,” the brief says. “And solitary confinement, as Al-Nashiri endures, only compounds the impact of the delay.”