A must read for lovers of the Commonwealth version of the law.
Oxford Comma Decides Court Case in Maine Labor Dispute
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.
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
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.”
Nice photo. This blog will have items of interest added from time to time as inspiration strikes.