Thursday, November 5, 2009

Judge Not, Less You Be Judged: the Cops can fill you with Lead!

Bad Lawyer went to law school with a bunch of smart boys and girls.  I noticed that the really smart gurrrrllll, who became a US District Judge was bawled out by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, yesterday, for "exactly the sort of theoretical speculation that the courts are prohibited from engaging in." Judge Kate O'Malley wrote a 54 page opinion refusing to throw out the civil lawsuit filed by Brandon's relatives.  Judge O'Malley "speculated" that jurors just might think that the cops were slightly excessive when they filled poor 15 year old Brandon McCloud with lead.  See, Dorothy Chappel v. City of Cleveland, CA6 08-4456  see:

The facts of this case are just...well, reasonable men and women, "speculate" for yourself.

Brandon was in his bedroom, the cops were in the home searching for evidence relating to the robbery of a pizza store.  Brandon was hiding in his room with a matress set up to block the door.  He had a knife in his hand.  The cops had 9 millimeters.  Brandon was on one side of the mattress, the cops the other.  Brandon did not lunge or otherwise attack Cleveland's Boys in Blue, but Brandon also didn't drop the knife quickly enough according to the cops.  Cleveland's finest pumped 10 rounds into the former-fifteen year old.  

The US constitution has this not very important provision, well not nearly as important as the right to bear arms, but well it's the Seventh Amendment it goes something like this :   In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.  When Judge O'Malley was "engaged in impermissible speculation" she was making a decision in a FRCP Rule 12(b)(6) proceeding that implicated this little known constitutional right.

Bad Judge!


  1. Leila Atassi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote and excellent summary of the case and omitted my dripping sarcasm. Her well-written article is at

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    Traffic Ticket