MCA filed a counterclaim for defamation based on the Mattel representative’s use of the words ‘bank robber’, ‘heist’, ‘crime’ and ‘theft’. But all of these are variants of the invective most often hurled at accused infringers, namely ‘piracy’. No one hearing this accusation understands intellectual property owners to be saying that infringers are nautical cutthroats with eyepatches and peg legs who board galleons to plunder cargo. In context, all these terms are nonactionable ‘rhetorical hyperbole’. The parties are advised to chill.

Justice Kozinski, United States Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, in Mattel v MCA Records 296 F.3d 894 (9th Cir. 2002).

(via #sh-tjudgessay)

His Honour began the judgment with the following introduction:

"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong."

It is popular in some circles to suppose that judicial decision making can be explained largely by frivolous factors, perhaps for example the relationship between what judges eat and what they decide. Answering questions about such relationships is quite simple - it is like being asked to write a scholarly essay on the snakes of Ireland: There are none.
—  Alex Kozinski, “What I Ate for Breakfast and Other Myteries of Judicial Decision Making”
Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying. We lie to protect our privacy (“No, I don’t live around here”); to avoid hurt feelings (“Friday is my study night”); to make others feel better (“Gee you’ve gotten skinny”); to avoid recriminations (“I only lost $10 at poker”); to prevent grief (“The doc says you’re getting better”); to maintain domestic tranquility (“She’s just a friend”); to avoid social stigma (“I just haven’t met the right woman”); for career advancement (“I’m sooo lucky to have a smart boss like you”); to avoid being lonely (“I love opera”); to eliminate a rival (“He has a boyfriend”); to achieve an objective (“But I love you so much”); to defeat an objective (“I’m allergic to latex”); to make an exit (“It’s not you, it’s me”); to delay the inevitable (“The check is in the mail”); to communicate displeasure (“There’s nothing wrong”); to get someone off your back (“I’ll call you about lunch”); to escape a nudnik (“My mother’s on the other line”); to namedrop (“We go way back”); to set up a surprise party (“I need help moving the piano”); to buy time (“I’m on my way”); to keep up appearances (“We’re not talking divorce”); to avoid taking out the trash (“My back hurts”); to duck an obligation (“I’ve got a headache”); to maintain a public image (“I go to church every Sunday”); to make a point (“Ich bin ein Berliner”); to save face (“I had too much to drink”); to humor (“Correct as usual, King Friday”); to avoid embarrassment (“That wasn’t me”); to curry favor (“I’ve read all your books”); to get a clerkship (“You’re the greatest living jurist”); to save a dollar (“I gave at the office”); or to maintain innocence (“There are eight tiny reindeer on the rooftop”).
—  Ninth Circuit judge Alex Kozinski, United States v. Alvarez. The whole concurrence is worth a read.
Judges must apply the law as written, not as their instincts tell them Congress probably meant it. Language, when properly interpreted and literally applied, provides a meaningful constraint on judicial action; when we allow ourselves to be guided by intuition that Congress didn’t really mean what it said, we are no longer interpreting laws, we are making them.
—  United States v. Phelps, 895 F.2d 1281 (9th Cir. 1990) abrogated by Smith v. United States, 508 U.S. 223, 113 S. Ct. 2050, 124 L. Ed. 2d 138 (1993)
Engineering School Invests $1.5 Million to Reach 50:50 Gender Goal

TORONTO, March 4, 2015 /CNW/ - The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University today launched a new $1.5-million challenge to become the first engineering school in Canadato reach a 50:50 gender balance.

"Achieving a 50:50 gender balance should be a necessity for every engineering school. It is the single most significant change we can make to improve engineering education in Canada,” said Janusz Kozinski, founding Dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, as he unveiled the Lassonde 50:50 Challenge.

"If we can get more women involved in designing and building the foundations of our lives – our cities, our health, our infrastructure – we will all benefit. Engineering can be and should be 50:50," he added.

The announcement takes place today ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8 and during National Engineering Month, which celebrates Canada’s achievements in engineering.

The honorary co-chairs of the Lassonde 50:50 Challenge will be Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Sandra Bergeron and Katty Kay, journalist and co-author of The Confidence Code and Womenomics. Both are inspirational leaders who will be actively involved providing advice in developing the strategy for the Lassonde 50:50 Challenge.

"Lassonde 50:50 is the kind of initiative we need to give more women the inspiration to become the leaders who will shape future technology," said Bergeron.

The Lassonde 50:50 Challenge has been made possible with $1-million of funding from Pierre Lassonde. This is part of the $25-million he donated to establish the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University in 2011.

"We live in a world where engineers are wielding greater power and influence over our lives than ever before. We need more women studying engineering, teaching engineering and practicing engineering. Now is the time to act and for Canada to take the lead,” said Pierre Lassonde, founding donor of the Lassonde School of Engineering.

Among the initiatives supported by the new investment will be the School’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) chapter, co-founded by Lassonde students Manjeet Kaur and Rahma Shakir.

"Engineering schools need more women. It’s that simple. We are absolutely determined to make sure more female high school students know that engineering is the right path for them and to give them every support they need to be successful," said Kaur.

Alongside this new funding, the Lassonde School of Engineering will create a brand new position of Assistant Dean–Inclusivity and Diversity – who will lead the School’s commitment to the Lassonde 50:50 Challenge. The School will also assemble a team of strategic advisers made up of alumni, industry figures, students and academics to provide new perspectives on how to reach 50:50.

"The causes for the underrepresentation of women in engineering are multiple, complex, and call for a comprehensive approach to tackle the problem," said Kozinski.

"In addition to our new Assistant Dean at Lassonde, we will be working closely with independent experts from across many fields to help identify how we need to change, as well as seeking advice from engineering schools in Canada and elsewhere which have made progress on addressing this challenge,” he added.

"Reaching 50:50 is a bold ambition. We are determined to get there however long it takes. This is just the beginning."

Lassonde School of Engineering
Solving our greatest challenges takes more than technical talent alone. The world needs engineers with passion + perspective – or as we call them: Renaissance Engineers. We’ve created the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University to be the home of the Renaissance Engineer: a place where students + researchers are free to explore their passions and gain different perspectives from the world around them. Renaissance Engineers: *think in big systems not little silos | *design with people in mind | * embrace ambiguity.

lassonde.yorku.ca | twitter | facebook | linkedin | instagram | huffington post

from Techvibes Global News
There is something creepy and un-American about such clandestine and underhanded behavior. To those of us who have lived under a totalitarian regime, there is an eerie feeling of déjà vu. This case, if any, deserves the comprehensive, mature and diverse consideration that an en banc panel can provide. We are taking a giant leap into the unknown, and the consequences for ourselves and our children may be dire and irreversible. Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we’re living in Oceania.

United States v. Pineda-Moreno

617 F.3d 1120 (9th Cir. 2010)

[H]ere, for example, the Supreme Court waxed eloquent on the impressive qualifications of plaintiffs’ experts. Yet something doesn’t become “scientific knowledge” just because it’s uttered by a scientist; nor can an expert’s self-serving assertion that his conclusions were “derived by the scientific method” be deemed conclusive, else the Supreme Court’s opinion could have ended with footnote two.

Our responsibility, then, unless we badly misread the Supreme Court’s opinion, is to resolve disputes among respected, well-credentialed scientists about matters squarely within their expertise, in areas where there is no scientific consensus as to what is and what is not “good science,” and occasionally to reject such expert testimony because it was not “derived by the scientific method.” Mindful of our position in the hierarchy of the federal judiciary, we take a deep breath and proceed with this heady task.


Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 

43 F.3d 1311