Justices Mull the Constitutionality of “Refusal” Statutes

Several states have statutes that make it a crime to refuse to take a breathalyzer if suspected of driving under the influence. Some states, like New Jersey, make refusal a civil offense. The High Court is reviewing statutes in North Dakota and Minnesota that make it a crime for people suspected of drunken driving to refuse to take alcohol tests. Drivers prosecuted under those laws claim they violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

The justices questioned lawyers representing the states as to why police cannot be required to get a telephonic warrant every time they want a driver to take an alcohol test. “Justice Stephen Breyer pointed to statistics showing that it takes an average of only five minutes to get a warrant over the phone in Wyoming and 15 minutes to get one in Montana.”  However, this may not be correct.

“Kathryn Keena, a county prosecutor representing Minnesota, suggested some rural areas may have only one judge on call, making it too burdensome to seek a warrant every time. She said even if a warrant were procured, a driver could still refuse to take the test and face lesser charges for obstruction of a warrant than for violating drunken driving test laws.”

Telephonic warrants have also been the rule in New Jersey since 2009. Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed itself, reverting back to the federal standard requiring police to obtain a warrant after establishing they have probable cause. Under the more stringent standard of using telephonic warrants, police were complaining it took to long to reach a judge. Police also used consent forms they carried, causing an outcry from the defense bar that such a practice may lead to further abuses. Justice Anthony Kennedy said the states are asking for “an extraordinary exception” to the warrant rule by making it a crime for drivers to assert their constitutional rights.

The problem for the states is that without the threat of a refusal penalty, the only proof available at trial as to whether someone was intoxicated while driving is the observations made by police. Observations, however, cannot prove blood alcohol level.

Presidential Pardon – Article II

The district court judge dismissed the guilty verdict against Sheriff Joe Arpaio citing President Trump’s plenary power to pardon under Article II of the United States Constitution.

“Prosecutor John Keller said it was appropriate to dismiss the case against Arpaio.”

Judge Blocks U.S. From Ending Protections for Some Immigrants

Posted by Brittany Howanice.

In the latest case with President Trump’s immigration policies the judges have used Trump’s comments to go against him. With the new immigration policy, Trump wants to end protections that allowed immigrants from countries to live and work legally in the United States. He also wants to separate families, and even children who were born in the U.S. may be faced with being separated from their family or having to move to a different country when all they know is here. Trump wants to end protections from the Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. He also wants to ban people from some Muslim-majority countries. However, temporary protected status has been granted to about 300,000 people whose countries have been destroyed by natural disasters or war.

Jablon reported that “the ruling said the government failed to show the harm of continuing the 20 year old program and that the plaintiffs established how uprooting those immigrants could hurt the local and national economy.” Changing something that doesn’t need changing isn’t always a good thing and might end up causing more harm than good. The immigration policy is an example of this because most of the jobs that immigrants do are not taking away from the ones that we are trying to get. They usually have the construction or agriculture jobs, or work in a private household as a maid, gardener or nanny. Also, immigrants make up about 17% of the work force; and, if we change the immigration policy and ban those from working, it will definitely affect our economy. Also, most Americans will not want to work for the pay that immigrants get so that will also affect the economy.

Overall, ending protections that allow immigrants to live and work legally in the United States will have a negative effect on our economy. Also, by banning those from living here and separating them from their families may not be ethical. It is said that “more than 200,000 immigrants could face deportation because of the change, and they have more than 200,000 American children who risk being uprooted from their communities and schools, according to plaintiffs in the lawsuit.” The Trump administration has also ended the immigrant program for the four countries mentioned earlier. In conclusion, ending protections for immigrants will not only greatly affect them, but it will also affect the United States and the economy.

Brittany is pre-business at Seton Hall University, Class of 2021.

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/10/03/us/ap-us-immigration-temporary-status.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FSuits%20and%20Litigation&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=collection

The Age of Majority Differs from State to State

Posted by Mihran Naltchayan.

Watching the news earlier, I heard a report that the juvenile ages among the states in the United States are all different. I always thought that any person eighteen or younger is considered a juvenile. That is a false assumption on my part.

In New York, Connecticut, and North Carolina, a juvenile is considered sixteen years or younger. I found this awkward because I don’t find people mature at age 16; I think after 18 years old juveniles should know between right and wrong and learn from it. In Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin, a juvenile is age 17 or less. Wyoming is the only state that has established the age of juveniles to be 19 or younger. (Juvenile Justice 1). Everyone matures at different rates, but the average age people start maturing, I believe, is 18 years old.

“Relying on age as a sole determinant for adulthood has been criticized by many criminologists and policy makers since individuals develop at different rates.” (Juvenile Justice 2). I guess these states come up with these juvenile ages because of the environment/life they live in, but I disagree. It should be after high school, which is usually over 18, that states should be consider a person to be an adult.

Mihran is a marketing major at Montclair State University, Class of 2016.

Uber Technologies Inc Archives – Blog Business Law – a resource for business law students

Posted by Hongkun Ma.

On Nov. 22nd, the ride-hailing app company Uber Technologies Inc. paid hackers $100,000 to conceal an incident that Uber revealed 57 million users’ personal information like names, phone numbers and addresses around the world. 600,000 Uber drivers’ license numbers also were released.

Whether the incident violated state law is being investigated by five state attorneys general: New York, Washington, Missouri, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Forty-eight states have laws that customers have right to know a company’s data breach and will impose fines if company violates them. For Uber, the incident has been so complicated, which lost the trust of millions of customers.

The incident reflected how a data breach can trigger responses from mass of regulators and enforcement agencies, and how a private company can have flexibility to deal with this kind of things. International regulators investigated the incident right away and data protection officers from throughout the European Union announced a task-force to look into the incident. Experts indicated that Uber had more flexibility in the way it report the incident, which can be reported as a security incident, because Uber is a private company. Uber is facing crisis of confidence and it’s difficult to win back the trust of their huge numbers of customers.

Finally, I would like to give some of my opinions. Uber is a private company, which is a third party between customers and taxi drivers. In China, Uber Company is almost monopoly. When it came into China market at the very beginning, most customers were attracted by its low price, which sometimes were even free to take a taxi. Uber gained a huge customer base from the beginning. Later, customers found Uber was not as cheap as before. It became more and more expensive, sometimes was more expensive than regular taxi. The strategy actually made the company lose some of their customers, but most customers stayed. And many customers found that Uber keeps ride details in their system for so long. Some of customers received messages that contained their personal information like history location, ride history or even private residences. From my perspective, it is possible that Uber sold customers’ personal information to third-party companies which would look for visits to key locations, such as particular market, meet-up events, café and so on.

The incident of Uber Company that they concealed the cybersecurity problem really violated law from state level, and not federal. For Uber, the challenge quickly became more complicated and needed to be handled.A company’s reputation can be easily built up and destroyed. And how to win back the trust of customers is becoming a really hard task for Uber Company.

Hongkun is an accounting major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-likely-to-face-a-barrage-of-state-legal-action-after-breach-1512131094

Posted by Catherine Caldwell.

The trendy new and convenient company, Uber Technologies Inc., is currently enduring a legal battle for its illegal classification of freelancers. Uber was founded in 2009, as an application that acts as an electronic link from individuals who have cars to individuals who needs rides. The company has received a reputation of convenience to its customers and an easy way to make profit for its drivers. However, attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, a powerful attorney in the state of California, disagrees with the classification of Uber drivers.

Shannon Liss-Riordan is no stranger in her attack on large billion dollar industries such as Uber. She has made cases against Starbucks, Harvard University and FedEx, to name a few. Ms. Liss-Riordan thinks that Uber drivers are unlawfully “on-demand workers” with no benefits. Instead of freelancers, Uber drivers should receive employee status, which would include drivers receiving reimbursement of their transportation expenses among other employment protective benefits.

As a software intermediary in the transportation business, Uber Technologies Inc. claims that they do not need grounds for titling their drivers as employees. Uber does not have a “fleet of drivers” waiting to pick up the next customer, but is based on convenience for both the drivers and employees. Uber does not plan on settling the case and has begun their approach by assembling 400 statements from drivers saying they were content with the flexible labor opportunities. However, in retaliation, Liss-Riordan took 50 of those statements and found that those drivers stated they would like to have official employment status.

In September, the case won class action status in San Francisco and will continue in federal court. Valued at $51 billion and is willing to fight for their case all the way to the Supreme Court and are unwilling to settle.

This case will create a precedent in the industry of software application employment services, and therefore needs to be handled very tactically. The basic labor protection laws should not be ignored due to new forms of introducing a business such as Uber. However, each Uber driver participates to make profits on their own agenda. Some use the service for extra cash, where others, in the grueling unemployment climate, use Uber as full time opportunities. In my opinion, the court should require Uber to create employment contracts with Uber drivers who can prove that it is a major source of income.

Catherine is a finance and information technology major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2018.

Judge Blocks U.S. From Ending Protections for Some Immigrants

Posted by Brittany Howanice.

In the latest case with President Trump’s immigration policies the judges have used Trump’s comments to go against him. With the new immigration policy, Trump wants to end protections that allowed immigrants from countries to live and work legally in the United States. He also wants to separate families, and even children who were born in the U.S. may be faced with being separated from their family or having to move to a different country when all they know is here. Trump wants to end protections from the Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. He also wants to ban people from some Muslim-majority countries. However, temporary protected status has been granted to about 300,000 people whose countries have been destroyed by natural disasters or war.

Jablon reported that “the ruling said the government failed to show the harm of continuing the 20 year old program and that the plaintiffs established how uprooting those immigrants could hurt the local and national economy.” Changing something that doesn’t need changing isn’t always a good thing and might end up causing more harm than good. The immigration policy is an example of this because most of the jobs that immigrants do are not taking away from the ones that we are trying to get. They usually have the construction or agriculture jobs, or work in a private household as a maid, gardener or nanny. Also, immigrants make up about 17% of the work force; and, if we change the immigration policy and ban those from working, it will definitely affect our economy. Also, most Americans will not want to work for the pay that immigrants get so that will also affect the economy.

Overall, ending protections that allow immigrants to live and work legally in the United States will have a negative effect on our economy. Also, by banning those from living here and separating them from their families may not be ethical. It is said that “more than 200,000 immigrants could face deportation because of the change, and they have more than 200,000 American children who risk being uprooted from their communities and schools, according to plaintiffs in the lawsuit.” The Trump administration has also ended the immigrant program for the four countries mentioned earlier. In conclusion, ending protections for immigrants will not only greatly affect them, but it will also affect the United States and the economy.

Brittany is pre-business at Seton Hall University, Class of 2021.

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/10/03/us/ap-us-immigration-temporary-status.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FSuits%20and%20Litigation&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=collection

Second Circuit Upholds Brady Suspension

The Second Circuit upheld Tom Brady’s suspension for the first four games of the new season and overturned the district court’s ruling.  The court ruled the arbitrator’s award was valid and should not be disturbed.

Judge Parker, writing for the majority, stated, “Our role is not to determine for ourselves whether Brady participated in a scheme to deflate footballs or whether the suspension imposed by the Commissioner should have been for three games or five games or none at all. Nor is it our role to second-guess the arbitrator’s procedural rulings.”  He continued, “Our obligation is limited to determining whether the arbitration proceedings and award met the minimum legal standards established by the Labor Management Relations Act.”

Courts are loathe to upend an arbitrator’s decision, unless for example, there was some type of fraud or corruption on the part of the arbitrator. The parties agree by contract to arbitration in lieu of bringing their case to court.

Brady can appeal to the entire Second Circuit (en banc) and to the United States Supreme Court, however, his chances either take the case are slim.

The opinion can be found here: http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/98c62698-d29a-4b91-98a0-5a5af0c19e88/1/doc/15-2801_complete_opn.pdf

United States Constitution Archives – Blog Business Law – a resource for business law students

The district court judge dismissed the guilty verdict against Sheriff Joe Arpaio citing President Trump’s plenary power to pardon under Article II of the United States Constitution.

“Prosecutor John Keller said it was appropriate to dismiss the case against Arpaio.”

The Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the United States Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

While federal law trumps state law, nothing under the Supremacy Clause compels a state court’s interpretation of a federal law to give way to a lower federal court. In Lockhart v. Fretwell, Justice Thomas stated in his concurrence that “a state trial court’s interpretation of federal law is no less authoritative than that of the federal court of appeals in whose circuit the trial court is located.” 506 U.S. 364, 375-76 (1993).  Justice Thomas gave the following example: “An Arkansas trial court is bound by this Court’s (and by the Arkansas Supreme Court’s and Arkansas Court of Appeals’) interpretation of federal law, but if it follows the Eighth Circuit’s interpretation of federal law, it does so only because it chooses to and not because it must.”

The Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal law. When it rules, then the states are bound.

Under Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the Congress has the power to “declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water[.]”  The Founders wisely thought that the Legislature is in a better position than the President to carry out the will of the people.  Congressional debate can test the arguments for and against intervention in global problems.  Every two years members of the House are kept in check by the voters, who ought to dictate what American foreign policy should be.

James Madison, commonly referred to as “Father of the Constitution,” once said:

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.  War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.  In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people.  The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes and the opportunities of fraud growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both.  No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Under the War Powers Resolution, the President can deploy U.S. forces anywhere outside the U.S. for 180 days, provided Congress is informed in writing within 48 hours.  The executive does not need Congress to declare war for the 180 days, however, that time period cannot be extended without congressional authorization.  The President has the authority to introduce American forces into hostilities only when there is:

(1) a declaration of war

(2) specific statutory authorization, or

(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

The Supreme Court has never reviewed the War Powers Resolution to see if it passes constitutional muster.  Although Congress will say that it has “the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer . . . [,]” the Court, however, has ruled in other cases that one branch of government cannot give power away to another.

Administrative Rule May Not Be Protecting Farmers

Posted by Mike Elwell.

A recent article written by David Pitt discusses a law regarding the protection of animal farmers, was recently withdrawn by the US agency after being delayed six months by President Trump. The reason for this rule being instated was so that farmers would have an easier time suing companies that were unfair, this was called “The Farmer Fair Practice Rule”.  Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa farmer, claimed that the reason for the cancellation of the law was that “They’re just pandering to big corporations. They aren’t interested in the family farmer.” This was one of the many criticisms regarding the Trump administration.

Many other farmers or those in power in such agricultural based department’s claim that Trump administration is “opening the floodgates to frivolous and costly litigation”. While some other claim that the Obama administration ignored this up until the very end and the rule possibly couldn’t help farmers to the degree initially thought. However many farmers still believe that this rule could help and that Trump is allowing foreign interest to control the growth of American farmers. Many farmers are having troubles with Trump’s administration because they believed he more focused on the wealthy of America and not the farmers who provide produce domestically.

It seems that Trump is turning his attention away from domestic farms and allowing companies to take advantage of otherwise struggling farmers. Part of my family owns a cow farm in upstate New York and they often struggle with big companies because they either expect more out of the farm than is physically possible or they try to often make things cheaper since they are buying in large amounts. Big companies often try to take advantage of the little guy and without proper regulation can lead to the downfall of one of the backbones of America.

Michael is a business major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University.

Fighting a Parking Ticket

Posted by Azhanae Evely.

I am going to tell you about my first encounter with being inside of a court room.  I was given a ticket for “No parking in a handicap zone.”  Through this experience, I learned a lot about how to prepare for a court hearing and what it is like being in court.

I live in East Orange, New Jersey, and there is a requirement for the overnight parking.  In front of where I normally park are two handicap spots back to back.

I woke up one morning finding a parking ticket. The ticket stated, “Court Appearance Required: The undersigned further states that there are just and reasonable grounds to believe that you committed the above offense and will file this complaint in this court charging you with that offense.”

The very first thing to do if you get a ticket is read the ticket. I had never thought to turn the ticket over and read the print there. Had I not read the back of the ticket, I would have been missed these words:  “If you intend to plead not guilty, to the offense charged in this complaint and summons and have a trial, you must notify the court administrator . . . of your intentions at least 7 days prior to your scheduled court date. If you fail to notify the Court Administrator, it may be necessary for you to make 2 court appearances.” The original court date that was printed on the ticket was 3/3/16. However, when I called into the court’s administrator’s office 7 days prior to the court date, I learned that they had never set a court date. Had I not called, I would have gone on the date given to me just to have to come back because it was not scheduled.

The next thing I learned is how to fight a ticket. The first thing I did was take pictures of my car in the spot. I took multiple pictures from different angles. The weather also worked to my advantage because at the time it snowed a lot and the salt on the ground actually made a ring around where my car was which gave sufficient proof that I did not tamper with the car to make it look like I was never over the line.

I looked up the statutes on what is an offense to parking in a handicap zone. The New Jersey Handicapped Parking Law in (C.394:4-207.9) says, “Access to parking spaces, curb cuts, or other improvements designed to provide accessibility, shall be unobstructed.”  I found that having the information helped when going into court because it can aid you in determining whether to plead guilty or not guilty. I had decided that I wanted to plead not guilty.

In East Orange, they have everyone that has tickets for parking sit in one room, which I found weird because everyone could hear you.  I can see why they do it; it is about having an open trial. The first thing that is done is the roll call. After a little while, the prosecutor comes into the court room and calls everyone up one-by-one by last name.

The first thing the prosecutor asked me was why I was there. After telling him what kind of ticket I got, he asked me why I committed the offense. This threw me off because we learned in business law class that you are innocent until proven guilty; yet, he was taking the stance as if I was already guilty of the crime.  So, I told him I wasn’t in the spot. This is where I showed him the pictures that I had taken.

The pictures indicated where the signs began as well as that there was no sign behind my car. I also showed him that there was a car in that handicap spot, which means I was not obstructing the spot. After they hear from you, they either tell you the best plan of action, or like in my case, just tell you to sit back down.

While in court they do ask you to turn off your devices, so my suggestion is to always have hard copies. The judge was the one to read everyone their rights and even talked about how they could appeal. He even mentioned the fact that the court can decide whether to go to trial depending on the severity of the case. When it was my turn, they asked me to state my name for the court records which I did. Then at that point the judge let me know because of the sufficient proof I provided his prosecutor, the ticket would be dismissed. It is almost like depending on what you show the prosecutor in the beginning affects the judge’s decision.

So, because I took the time to actually make sure I had images of that moment really helped me. It was better going in knowing as much as you can about the system, because you do not ever know what can really happen.

Azhanae is a business law student at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University.