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The Right To Free Speech And Michelle Carter

Michelle Carter The Manslaughterer, or "How I Was Convicted Of A Felony For Saying Words" Recently, a young woman named Michelle Carter was found guilty of manslaughter for texting her boyfriend to carry out his suicide plans. The text messages are difficult to read and are emotionally confusing. In some instances, Ms. Carter is urging him to end his life, while later she claims that she loves him. Some of the final text messages show that Ms. Carter was panicking at the thought of her boyfriend dying and was desperately seeking help.
This is an important case in our history because it is directly affecting our rights to free speech. Ms. Carter's actions are certainly reprehensible. Why encourage someone who is struggling with such things? If you truly love them, why encourage suicide? I'm not here to talk about whether what she said was morally reprehensible. Were Ms. Carter's text messages protected speech?
Protected Speech?
I’m concerned with the recent devel…
Recent posts

Thoughts on a Right To Remain Silent

I recently had the opportunity to do a preliminary hearing for a woman who was charged with obstruction of justice. The charge was dismissed with prejudice because the a local city with an infamously incompetent police force improperly charged her. I had several thoughts after this victory, ranging from how great my performance was, to how significant my mistakes were in spite of my victory. I'll go over what I felt I did right and wrong in the hopes that it will benefit some other attorney, or myself, at some point. What Happened A woman was charged with Obstruction of Justice, which is a fairly long statute. The situation was that a police officer came to her home to investigate a crime. Her son had some active warrants, but the police officer didn't know that at the time. The officer had both the son and the woman outside, asking them questions about his investigation. He then asked her for her personal info. Then he asked the son. The son gave the officer incorrect inform…

Utah Needs Its Own Family Court

The current system in Utah for dealing with divorce and other domestic issues is that it must go through commissioners who act as gatekeepers to the assigned judge. Cases are under the jurisdiction of the District Court, and if a case ever makes it to trial, a judge will ultimately rule on it. The Utah Rules of Civil Procedure govern domestic law and all other civil cases. It should seem wrong to have one set of rules for medical malpractice and divorce cases. What follows are the top reasons why Utah needs its own Family Law Court. 1. Commissioners are an Inelegant Solution To Time Saving. Commissioners specifically handle domestic matters. They hear everything from temporary orders in divorce actions to protective orders against a cohabitant. A commissioner's singular focus gives them unparalleled expertise. They hear far more domestic issues than judges, as most cases rarely make it to trial. But Commissioners lack one crucial thing: actual authority. Although they can issue o…

UCCJEA - What You Need To Know About Jurisdiction

The UCCJEA is a complicated set of Utah Statutes that govern divorce and custody matters that cross state-lines. At this point, every state in the union has adopted this set of rules in some form. The first question that gets asked in such a case is whether Utah has jurisdiction to hear the case. Let's go over the most important things: Where Does The Child Live? In Utah, there are three ways to get initial jurisdiction. The easiest way to determine whether Utah has jurisdiction over the child is to see where the child lives. In order to proceed in Utah (except under some limited cases we will cover later), Utah must be the home state of the child. To get a home state designation, the child needs to have lived in Utah for at least 6 months. Taking a vacation out of state during that 6 months does not count against the total. If the above does not apply, you'll need to make sure that another State does not have jurisdiction (such as where the child hasn't lived anywhere lo…

Finding The Best Attorney For Your Money

Choosing the best attorney to represent you is an important decision. You likely have no experience with legal matters and similarly little experience with attorneys. What you already know is that they cost a lot of money. You may have considered handling your legal problems on your own, but found that it was too complicated. So you are now ready to trust your problem in the hands of a professional, but you have no idea what to expect, and what is a worthwhile use of your time. This article will help you find the best attorney for your money: General Things You Should Expect Of Your Attorney 1. The best attorney should be in regular communication. Attorneys work for you, so you should expect that they will keep you in the loop. Your attorney should be regularly contacting you, or letting you know that you will not hear from him for a set time for a specific reason. You shouldn't expect daily contact or contact multiple times per week, but you should be in regular contact with you…

How to Modify Child Support

Child support is not meant to be static. Just like incomes are expected to increase over time, so too is child support. Conversely, if you are experiencing tough times, you're going to want to reduce child support. This article will help you understand how to modify child support. How to Start In order to get child support changed, you will need to request a change from the court. You can do this either through a motion or a petition. Motions are cheaper and faster, but are only available under certain circumstances. Motion or Petition? Motions are preferable to petitions because there is no filing fee, you don't need to wait for the opposing side to answer, nor do you need to engage in discovery. The process of a motion can be handled in less than a month. In order to qualify for a motion to modify child support, the following must be true: At least 3 years have passed since the last order;There is either a 10% increase or decrease in one parties' income;The change is not t…

Don't Give Up In Your Custody Battle!

I've seen it happen multiple times. A parent is 6 months into a divorce proceeding and is ready to give up and give in. "Let her have what she wants. I'm fine with less custody." Right now, you may be. In a year, you'll probably want more. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't just give in to a custody demand. 1. It's Very Hard to Change Custody After A Divorce is Finalized. Right now, you're somewhere in the proceedings to finalize a custody or divorce. You've likely spent a lot of time, emotions and money on this matter and you're ready to give up and give in. What seemed like a terrible "no way" kind of offer from your spouse is now looking like an easy road out. But if you say yes to that minimum parent time custody agreement, or yes to that sole legal custody demand, you're probably going to regret it in a year. And when you do regret it, you're going to want to change it. Only you're going to need a good reason f…