James J. Kilpatrick

Posted April 01, 2007

The Court of Peeves, Crotchets & Irks opens its April assizes with a motion from Mark Anderson of Hollis, Maine. He seeks an advisory opinion on the distinction between "different from" and "different than."

Posted March 27, 2007

When this Case of a Bartered Bride began in November 2001, Hong Yin Gao was only 19 years old. That was when her family sold her to Chen Zhi for the Chinese equivalent of $2,200. Now her case is in the U.S. Supreme Court because Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wants to send her back to China.

Posted March 24, 2007

Memory fails. A long time ago a popular comic strip thrived upon one gag, endlessly repeated: Two mischievous little boys throw snowballs at a pompous old fellow in a high silk hat. Was this impudence in Jiggs & Maggie? The Katzenjammer Kids?

Posted March 20, 2007

Late on a January afternoon five years ago, Benetta Wilson was driving her 1997 Ford Explorer on Interstate 8 a few miles east of San Diego. A tragic accident left her a paraplegic. Let me quote from the opinion of Justice Gilbert Nares last July in the California Court of Appeal:

Posted March 17, 2007

If the English language were not so maddening, it wouldn't be nearly so much fun -- but maddening it often is, and we're talking subtleties today.

Posted March 16, 2007

Late on the night of March 19, 2004, Earl Eckelberry was driving along Route 50-E near Parkersburg, W.Va. His car left the highway and crashed into an illegally parked tractor-trailer. He died in the wreckage.

Posted March 10, 2007

"Speak the speech, I pray you," said Hamlet to his Players, "as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue ..."

Posted March 06, 2007

Without a murmur of comment or dissent, the Supreme Court last week effectively affirmed a sentence of life imprisonment imposed upon an Arizona man for possession of 20 dirty pictures. The court's indifference to the Constitution is arguably a more serious offense than the crime of Morton Berger.

Posted January 24, 2007

Justice Clarence Thomas stayed mum, as usual, but all eight of his colleagues got into the act two weeks ago when the Supreme Court heard argument in the case of a teachers union.

Posted January 23, 2007

Yes, it is true that every standard dictionary informs us that "since" may be employed in the sense of "because." I beg you, fergit it!

Posted January 16, 2007

From the time they were ratified in 1791, the religion clauses of the Constitution have confounded scholars, lawyers and laymen alike.

Posted January 03, 2007

Two petitions are now pending in the Supreme Court that once again raise the issue of misconduct by police. Would you vote to hear the cases?

Posted January 02, 2007

The Court of Peeves, Crotchets and Irks opens its winter assizes with a motion from Edward Miller of Chicago.

Posted December 27, 2006

Almost a quarter of a century has passed since Darrell Grayson was convicted of felony murder in Alabama, but the case is not yet closed.

Posted December 26, 2006

'Tis the happy yuletide season! In this corner that means it's time to unwrap a few lovely lines from the Santa's bag we call The Good Stuff -- those similes or metaphors or graceful images that light up our passages of prose.

Posted December 22, 2006

The case stems from the punishment imposed upon a high school student for publicly unfurling a 20-foot banner that read: BONG HITS 4 JESUS.

Posted December 18, 2006

The good gray New York Times has something in common with that little girl who had a little curl. When the Times is good, it is very, very good. Trouble is, now and then it is horrid.

Posted December 14, 2006

In Bergman v. Kansas, the court had an opportunity to strike a blow, not only for the ordered equality of public schools, but also for their voluntary inequality.

Posted December 06, 2006

The Supreme Court heard argument on Monday in two important cases. Ordinarily I would have been there to hear them. On Monday I stayed home.

Posted November 30, 2006

So much money! And all Laws got was this lousy credit line? In February 2003, she sued Sony in California's state courts, charging the producer with misappropriation of her name and voice.