Tuesday, 04 July 2017 00:00

INDEPENDENCE DAY

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Fireworks, flags and a whole lot of red, white and blue are just a few things that you typically see on Independence Day. This year add a little civic fun with this Independence Day Crossword and see if you really know the reason we are celebrating. Check your answers by going here. If you would like to celebrate more traditionally by staying out late and shooting some fireworks check out our My Streets section to see the laws in your city. Happy 4th of July everyone!    
Thursday, 13 July 2017 00:00

21 TO SMOKE

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Over the decades a lot has changed about smoking it's: prevalent use, impact on health, the tools we use with it, even what we call it.  The once widely popular habit took a nose dive when people realized the harmful effects of smoking. The first lawsuit against cigarette manufactures started in the 1950s and people have been continuing to fight for protections from the tobacco industry ever since. This time the fight is coming from a group of local high school students who call themselves, DCrew more formally known as the Cochise County Youth Health Coalition. This group spread the word about the harmful effects of tobacco and asked for the buying age of tobacco to be raised form 18 to 21 in the Douglas, Arizona. DCrew was able to provide valuable statistics and information in April to the mayor who listened to their proposal and passed their recommendation on July 12th. Douglas is now the second city in Arizona, behind Cottonwood, to pass this new protection but we can bet they will not be last as the trend spreads through the state and across the nation.          
Friday, 30 June 2017 00:00

LAW STUDENTS IN DETENTION CENTERS

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The University of Arizona and Summit Law School have started a series of new classes that reach out to juvenile detention centers to speak with those detained about the law. However, it isn't just the legal process that they are working on, this program lets kids in detention centers know that these smart future lawyers were also children just like them. Many children in detention centers can't imagine themselves going to college, let alone law school but during their time together the kids going through the system get a chance to see they aren't so different from those who want to work in the system. These visits provide new opportunities and a fresh point of view for all individuals involved and now the law schools are hoping to bring this great program to other law schools across the country. To see the promotional video for this program click here.        
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00

TRADEMARKS CAN BE OFFENSIVE!

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Trademarks can be offensive according the United States Supreme Court! Yesterday, the highest court in the nation decided the Matal v. Tam case, which asked whether a band with an offensive name had a right to make their name a trademark. The disparagement clause, a law against insulting or offensive language, in the Patent and Trademark Office had led the office to deny the trademark and the case had worked its way all the way up to the top Court. The Court however ruled that First Amendment allowed for the name to be trademarked. Justice Alito gave this reasoning for the ruling;" The disparagement clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. Contrary to the Government’s contention, trademarks are private, not government speech...This Court exercises great caution in extending its government-speech precedents, for if private speech could be passed off as government speech by simply affixing a government seal of approval, government could silence or muffle the expression of disfavored viewpoints." Freedom of speech is our best known rights that allows us to express ourselves how we choose but the government isn't granted this right and must watch its language. Now, people who wish to trademark a distinctive sign, design, symbol, or expression for their music group, sports team, company etcetera may do so without the worry of the government dampening their freedom of expression.    
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:00

THE CONSEQUENCES: WHEN VIRTUAL MEETS REALITY

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In the "Age of Technology" its sometimes hard to remember that the things that we do virtually can have a real impact on our actual lives. Several would-be Harvard students recently learned this lesson the hard way when their college acceptance offers were rescinded based on offensive posts made on their social media accounts. For many, the idea that a school would refuse admittance based on a meme posted by a potential student may be shocking; but it shouldn't be. After all, when you apply for a job one of the first things that your future employer will do is look you up and that includes Googling you and reviewing your social media accounts. To protect yourself take the advice of Luvvie Ajayi; "You can still show the most colorful, funny side of who you are, without embarrassing your family’s good name. But if you wouldn’t want something you posted to end up on a jumbotron in Times Square, DO NOT POST IT."
Friday, 09 June 2017 00:00

CAMP O'CONNOR

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As the week ends so does the successful conclusion of Camp O'Connor, a free week-long summer program for accepted middle school students. Students gathered at the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute to improve their civic knowledge and leadership skills. To see some of the festivities and learn more about the program head over to their LawforKids Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LawforKids/.
Thursday, 01 June 2017 00:00

GOOD ENOUGH?

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An end of the year project goes viral for Olivia Vella, a 7th grader at Queen Creek Middle School, who wrote and recited her slam style poem to her writing class. The poem describes a struggle any middle school student can identify with; "am I good enough?" Watch Vella's video and hear her answer.
Thursday, 25 May 2017 00:00

PIMA COUNTY GOES HANDS-FREE

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Pima County will be going hands-free starting on June 1st. This means that it will be illegal to use a handheld electronic device while driving unless you are using a hands-free setup. Unlike the previous law this ordinance will make it a primary offense which will allow a police officer to pull a person over if they see a person using an outlawed device. Previously, drivers needed to be committing another violation before they could be cited for the offense. The ordinance defines a handheld electronic device as “a wireless communication device that is designed to engage in calls or receive and transmit text, image messages, or data.” For more information check out this article.
Thursday, 18 May 2017 00:00

THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF DAVIS ALLEN CRIPE

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A teen in South Carolina died recently after ingesting three caffeinated beverages in a two hour period. Caffeine is so abundant in our culture that we forget, that like with all things, too much of something can be dangerous. Even drinking too much water can kill someone; a condition called hyponatremia. In the case of sixteen year old Davis Allen Cripe, the caffeine in his system caused his heart to have an arrhythmia, which ultimately caused it to shut down and him to pass away. Now, this doesn't mean that you need to worry every time you have a soda that your heart is going to give out but it is important to realize the things you ingest, no matter what they are, will have an affect on your body. It is also important to understand and imagine what those effects may be. Not every bottle is going to come with a warning label from the Food & Drug Administration, FDA; the branch of the government that regulates the items we consume. Just remember, just because something may be legal doesn't mean that it may not have some side effects.  
Friday, 12 May 2017 00:00

BULLYING IS A CRIME!

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BULLYING. A word that invokes images of nerds and jocks and the countless funny TV and movie encounters, is back in the news today after an 8 year old boy is found dead in his home. Gabriel Taye is believed to have committed suicide after a "bullying" instance that left him laying unconscious on a bathroom floor for six minutes while his classmates poked at him. The problem with the use of the word bullying is the connotation, the idea or feeling that the word invokes. When we hear it, it brings up images of small school yard skirmishes that have no real consequence. The reality is much different. Bullying is used to describe crimes such as harassment, theft, assault, battery, manslaughter and even murder. We cannot allow the people perpetrating these acts to diminish the severity of the grief they inflict and hide their crimes behind a belittled label. Assault is assault, and it should be called and treated like it no matter where it is done. The proper reaction just might save a life. Learn more about the laws that surround bullying and the crimes that it entails here.
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