Happy New Year from Aronberg, Aronberg & Green!!!
As 2011 draws to a close, we would like to take a look back on the last twelve months and a look ahead into what next year has got in store for us. This past year was full of legal juggernauts; it was jam-packed with stories of a legal nature that piqued our national interest and brought issues of the courts into our family discussions.
Casey Anthony dominated headlines in 2011, especially during the summer months, when her murder trial, dubbed the “murder trial of the century” by multiple commentators, took place in Orlando. To the dismay and disbelief of prosecutors Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick (and most of the American public), but to the delight of defense attorneys Jose Baez and J. Cheney Mason, Casey Anthony was found NOT GUILTY of charges relating to the murder of her daughter, Caylee. However, despite being acquitted of the most serious charges, Casey had to face her various other victims in civil court, where she has been (and probably will be) ordered to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars that she caused the police departments to spend in a pointless search for Casey’s daughter.
Another major NOT GUILTY decision this year came in Italy during the appeals trial of an American, Amanda Knox, who was charged with the murder of her roommate. According to the jurors, there simply wasn’t enough evidence to substantiate a conviction of Knox, who is now back in the United States, presumably in her hometown of Seattle, Washington.
With the pattern of NOT GUILTY verdicts this year, many thought that Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, would have been acquitted. However, whether it be because of malpractice, or because his supposed victim was pop icon Michael Jackson, Dr. Murray was found GUILTY of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in California prison.
Now, let’s look ahead at some of the 40,000 new laws which take effect on the New Year…
A new California law will add the phrase “gender identity and gender expression” onto the list of attributes that require equal rights.
In Delaware and Hawaii, same-sex couples will be eligible for the same rights and benefits as married couples under the state laws.
In New Hampshire, people under the age of eighteen will have to tell a parent before getting an abortion – or seek a court order to avoid the required parental notification.
In California, a new law will prohibit the sale (and production) of beer to which caffeine has been added.
In both Oregon and California, the sale of shark fins will now be illegal.
In Oregon, state colleges and universities will be required to waive tuition fees for foster children under the age of twenty-five.
A new law in Nevada will prohibit all drivers from texting and using handheld devices.
In North Dakota, starting on the first of the year, will ban drivers under eighteen from using their cell phones in their cars (and will ban all drivers of all ages from texting while driving)
From all of us here at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg, have a happy and healthy 2012!! Let’s hope it’s nothing like the Tom Cruise movie! And while we don’t expect alien invasions or world-wide human destruction, we can expect the small nuisances of life to continue. So if you do end up needing legal advice, please contact us at 561-266-9191 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.