Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog


We know -- summer is here. Which means you and your family are in the throes of summer vacation. But if you happen to be moving this summer or you have a child about to start kindergarten, you're probably already looking forward to next school year. And if you haven't registered your child for public school or applied for private school yet, you may already be too late.

Lucky for you, many schools and school districts have late registration periods, so you might be able to get your child in school before the fall rolls around. Here's what you need to know to get ready for school and get your child enrolled.

Summer Child Custody Dispute: When to Seek Mediation

As any parent knows, summer can be a hot topic. And not just the weather.

Come June, when the kids are out of school, the real heat begins. The workable child custody agreement that separated parents have put together during the school year flies out the window, and the bummer of summer begins. If a child custody dispute arises, you may be wondering, when should you seek mediation?

The Food and Drug Administration regulates the approval and safety of everything from food (obviously) to dietary supplements, cosmetics, medications, and even blood transfusions. As you can imagine, marijuana-based products can fall under quite a few of those headings: cannabidiol extract to treat seizures; pot brownies, gummies, sodas, and other food products for medical marijuana patients; and, of course, the weed itself for recreational users.

The FDA is clear in saying that it "has not approved marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication," but that didn't stop the agency from posting a handy FAQ on its relationship with the drug. Considering the movement among states to legalize it, the FAQ can be a fascinating and illuminating read -- here are some of the *ahem* highlights:

Last year, students in the Detroit Public School system sued the State of Michigan, claiming "their school buildings, unlike those of other Michigan students, are replete with conditions 'that make learning nearly impossible' ... that their schools, unlike other Michigan students', lack enough teachers to hold classes in which they would learn to read [and] unlike other Michigan students, they lack books necessary to attain literacy." These defects in their education, they alleged, amounted to a denial of their constitutional right to access to literacy.

But a federal judge disagreed this week, ruling that there is no fundamental right of access to literacy under the U.S. Constitution, and dismissing the case. Here's a look at why.

Poor Plaintiffs Have Right to Free Court Reporter in California

Budgetary cuts have hit state and local governments hard. One recent victim of the cuts is county-funded court reporters. Around 2012, many counties in California, including San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange, stopped providing court reporters in superior court, which is the court that initially hears civil suits. Litigants could still hire one, but at the cost of approximately $750 per day. Poor litigants, especially poor plaintiffs, couldn't afford one. This saved counties approximately $4 million per year, which was a substantial savings for the court system, but merely shifted the burden to litigants.

That all changed in California, when the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that refusing to provide a free court reporter to indigent litigants was a violation of civil rights, not just in the case brought before them in Jameson v. Desta, but in all civil cases in California.

With all the news about the recent Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, many people might be wondering just what kind of person he really is, particularly as he is so young at just 53 years old. 

For non-lawyers, and even lawyers, judges can often occupy an almost incomprehensible place in society. Though we've seen more and more judges fall from grace in recent years, it's important to remember that these judges, even the ones on the Supreme Court (or on their way there) are people too.

Below are five fun facts about Judge Kavanaugh in order to get a better sense of this guy that just got nominated to be a Supreme Court justice.

Lawsuit Seeks to Put 'Teddy Bear' Back on Endangered Species List

Teddy Bears may soon go the way of dinosaurs. No, we don't mean those cuddly stuffed ones your kids have given up for cell phones. Teddy Bears are black bears, native to Louisiana, and named after President Theodore Roosevelt. He famously refused to shoot one tied to a tree, claiming it wouldn't be in good sport.

Can Your Passport Be Denied If You Owe Taxes?

Imagine having your passport revoked for failing to pay your federal income taxes. As surprising as it sounds, Congress granted the IRS the right to do just that in 2015.

Starting in February of 2018, the Agency has been sending the names of over 362,000 individuals to the State Department, requesting that they be denied a passport, or passport renewal, until their delinquent taxes totaling at least $51,000 are paid. Violators must resolve their tax issues before applying for a passport. If not, their application will be rejected. For those already holding passports, theirs will not be renewed or may possibly be revoked, until payment is made.

In many cases, calling the cops is discretionary -- there may be times when you should call the police, and times when you shouldn't. But there are some instances when you are legally required to contact law enforcement, and serious consequences for failing to do so.

So when do you need to call the police? Here are a few scenarios.

As we documented earlier this week, some people seem to be a little overeager to call the cops. And while there are times when you don't need to call the police, there are obviously some times when you should. If your physical safety is threatened, if another person's is at risk, or if you're a victim or witness to a property crime, you should contact law enforcement.

But how do you know when a crime has occurred? Here are a few specific examples of when to call the cops.