Author Archives: Joe Lombardo

U.S. Supreme Court to Revisit NJ Handgun Laws

Gun control is one of the nation’s most contentious issues.  Some feel that gun ownership is a safety measure and basic right, while others feel that guns only lead to violence and must be regulated more tightly.  Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear the full case of New Jersey man John Drake, who has filed a lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s current handgun laws.  Would loosened handgun regulations have a positive effect on the Garden State, or would relaxed regulation simply lead to a spike in weapons crimes?

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Are Rap Lyrics Admissible Evidence in Court?

“Gangsta rap” music is a little like punk music: bluntly-worded, in-your-face, and notorious for relentlessly pushing the label.  Rap lyrics about the gangster lifestyle have been leading to scandals, debates, and headlines in the news since “straight outta Compton” became a pop culture catchphrase more than 20 years ago — controversy around hip hop is nothing new.  But in the recent case of State v. Skinner, rap lyrics were used to put a man in prison.  Now, the New Jersey Supreme Court will decide: are rap lyrics admissible evidence in court?  Are prosecutors blocking crime, or were they simply making assumptions?

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Is Marijuana Legalization Coming to New Jersey?

In the ’60s and ’70s, it was civil rights and Vietnam.  In the ’80s it was “trickle-down” and the Cold War. Today, marijuana legalization has taken over America’s news media as the hot-button political issue du jour, and in New Jersey, the battle keeps on escalating.  In a recent development, State Senator Nicholas Scutari has announced plans to introduce a bill that would legalize marijuana in the Garden State — but if Governor Chris Christie has anything to say about it, the bill seems unlikely to pass.  Is marijuana legalization coming to New Jersey?

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New Jersey Democrats Propose Tighter Gun Controls

Gun control is a seemingly inexhaustible source of debate in the United States, including the state of New Jersey.  In the past, we’ve blogged about personalized smart guns making headway in the Garden State, and as technology advances, so does the potential for revised and increased gun legislation.  In the latest development, some New Jersey Democrats are proposing tighter controls on gun magazine capacities in an effort to stem the seemingly endless tide of shootings and violence which has rocked the country in recent years.

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PA Joins NJ and CA in Criminalizing “Revenge Porn”

Relationships can end poorly, but not necessarily with verbal arguments or divorce.  Occasionally, an embittered ex-lover seeks revenge by posting decidedly private content on the internet for nonconsensual public consumption.  Until recently, only California and New Jersey had any legislation addressing the issue of “revenge porn.”  But with the January passage of a new bill, Pennsylvania has recently become the nation’s third state to make sharing “revenge porn” a criminal offense.

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Stop-and-Frisk Makes a Return as Scheindlin is Removed From Case

In August of 2013, Judge Shira Scheindlin seemed to be in a comfortable position: she was presiding over a nationally talked-about case, and had successfully overturned a decades-old decision, ruling that stop-and-frisk was racist and unconstitutional. A de-clawed, heavily monitored version of stop-and-frisk was set for approval, and public opinion seemed high. But in October, just a few months later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit removed Scheindlin from the case — and granted a stay on her decision.

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Why is Camden Consistently Ranked #1 for Crime in America?

Camden suffers from one of the worst reputations in America. There are countless anecdotes about police officers urging drivers to rush through red lights to avoid being attacked, or blatant drug deals happening at gas stations in broad daylight. But there’s an even darker aspect of the city’s badly-tarnished image: Philadelphia’s waterfront neighbor consistently ranks number one for violent crime in America. What’s going on in Camden?

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Are Smart Guns Really That Smart?

Gun control is a controversial topic. On one side of the debate, some Americans feel that responsible gun ownership is a Constitutional right, and that beefing up gun control laws will limit normal citizens’ ability to protect themselves against criminals who will simply continue to buy guns illegally. On the other hand, there are those who fear that the country’s recent plague of mass shootings is a product of a system that repeatedly fails to monitor whose hands deadly weapons are falling into. Each state is handling the issue differently — and in New Jersey, the introduction of “smart guns” might be the next big thing.

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When Personal Injury Lawsuits Become Frivolous

Frivolous personal injury lawsuits are a widespread problem in New Jersey and throughout the United States. Even people who have never set foot in a courtroom know the “Don’t sue me!” jokes, and the tiniest mistakes by restaurants or other businesses have become fodder for opportunists to claim suffering. Frivolous lawsuits waste time, waste money, and take resources away from people who truly need them.

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DWI Checkpoints: You Can Refuse, But Should You?

In an effort to cut back on auto accidents caused by drunk drivers, DWI checkpoints (also referred to as “sobriety checkpoints”) have popped up on major roadways across most of America over the course of the past several decades. Every state that uses the checkpoint system conducts their stops with differing frequencies — and different consequences for refusing. So while yes, you are technically allowed to refuse to have your BAC tested in New Jersey — should you?

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