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After contentious debate, the delegates to the ABA's midyear meeting adopted a modest proposal to give states a framework for considering regulation of "nontraditional legal service providers."

The resolution does not endorse nonlawyer legal services, nor does it call for the repeal of laws against practicing a law without a license. But it is radical in that it acknowledges that some states may consider allowing nonlawyers to perform certain legal tasks and creates guiding principles to help them get there.

When Flint, Michigan's emergency manager switched the city's water supply from Detroit to the Flint River, he saved about $5 million dollars, but also exposed thousands of residents to lead and other contaminants. Lead exposure, even in the smallest amounts, can impair a child's brain function for life.

It took Flint's residents more than a year to gain the attention of state authorities, and the nation, but now that they have, the lawsuits and investigations are starting to roll in.

You may have caught the news on Wednesday: a grand jury indicted the Texas state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, whose death in her cell three days later lead to a national outcry last summer. A few weeks earlier, a grand jury had refused to indict any of Bland's jailers.

But, lesser known is the role of an independent panel of attorneys who took part in the investigation. Just what do such panels do and might one be in your future?

Can you speak Elvish? Know Middle Earth like the back of your hand? Do you believe that Gollum might actually be the hero of The Lord of the Rings series after all? Well, the Turkish court system needs your help!

Dr. Bilgin Çiftçi is currently facing jail time for posting a meme online comparing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with The Lord of the Ring's Gollum. But it seems no one in the Turkish legal system is familiar with the incredibly popular books and film franchise. That's where you come in.

No one likes jury duty. And most prospective juries will do plenty to get out of it, from outright ignoring summonses (as in Houston's suburbs, where 70 percent of individuals called for jury duty don't show) or showing up dressed as Princess Leia (as Liz Lemon did to avoid service on '30 Rock'). There's a reason for the jury antipathy too: the legal system treats jurors terribly.

If jury trials are to be successful, we need to start thinking of what jurors actually need. That's the argument behind federal judge Mark Bennett's forthcoming piece in the Arizona State Law Journal. Courts and practitioners need to start thinking in terms of what jurors want. Is it time for a Juror Bill of Rights?

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert may be an accused child molester, but he's not a poor one, not after years of working as a high-paid lobbyist. That lobbying money has come in handy of late and not only to cover up "past misconduct." Hastert has dipped into his savings hired some of the best lawyers money can buy.

The ex-speaker has retained Thomas Green, a well known white-collar defense attorney, to represent him against accusations that he broke banking laws in an attempt to pay off a victim of sexual abuse.

Ninety years ago today, John T. Scopes, a substitute teacher in Datyon, Tennessee, was arrested for teaching the theory of evolution, in violation of a recently passed state law. His case, the Scopes "Monkey" Trial, was the first "trial of the century." It pitted two great lawyers against each other -- William Jennings Bryan, a frequent presidential candidate and senator known for his religious conviction, verses Clarence Darrow, an openly agnostic and widely celebrated defense attorney.

The high profile of the lawyers and the controversial nature of the law turned the trail into a media circus. Which is exactly what was wanted. The trial was organized as a test case by the recently formed ACLU. Scopes lost, but through the suit, the ACLU was able to capture the attention of the public and shape a debate which continues to this day.

Fla. Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Holds Contest for a Free House

Christmas miracle? Not quite. Mark Stopa is a defense-side foreclosure lawyer in Florida who wants to give away a house. The deadline to apply has already passed, but we wonder who the lucky winner will be.

Stopa announced November 3 that one lucky family would win a brand-new foreclosed house if they submitted a 200-word essay by December 23.

Pot Legalized in Ore., Alaska, and D.C.: What Lawyers Should Know

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican or neither, the one thing you can agree on after Tuesday's election is it's time to party in three more states! Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., all voted to legalize recreational marijuana.

Each law is slightly different, though, so if you're practicing in any of these jurisdictions, it's helpful to know just what they cover and when they go into effect. There are actually lots of issues here for many attorneys, including criminal defense, tax, corporations, and property. So read up!

Don't Be a Partner in Shelter Tax Crime

This tax season, don't be a partner in shelter tax crime like the attorneys at Nix, Patterson & Roach in Texas.

In NPR Investments v. United States, the Fifth Circuit frowned upon the law firm partners' investment scheme to generate $65 million in artificial losses, so they could ultimately create a tax shelter for their huge litigation fees.

So what happened in this case?