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2014 at the 3rd Circuit: Porngate, Ejaculation, Led Zeppelin

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By William Peacock, Esq. on December 22, 2014 5:56 PM

What is there to say about the Third Circuit? It's geographically small. It's in the mid-Atlantic.

That about sums it up. But it was also the source of a lot of fun blog material this year: from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's ridiculous infighting to the most beautiful legal complaint I've ever seen.

Then again, we find most things we blog about interesting. What did you, our U.S. Third Circuit Blog readers, enjoy? Here are the 11 most-viewed blog posts of 2014:

11. N.J. Judge Who Played Prosecutor, Denied Counsel Gets No Immunity

Prosecutor? Defense counsel? Who needs 'em? This judge had a more efficient model: defendants denied counsel, with him handling everything else. Needless to say, he's no longer a judge.

10. 2014 Third Circuit Judicial Conference Registration Is Open

This is an honorable mention for a post you probably don't want to read -- registration details for a conference that already happened.

9. Pa. Fed. Ct. Joins the Fray: Juvie Life-Sentence Ban Is Retroactive

Since the Supreme Court decided Miller v. Alabama in 2012, it seems every week a different court has come to a different conclusion about the retroactivity of the ban on mandatory minimum life sentences for juveniles. But there's an update: The High Court has decided to revisit the issue.

8. We Finally Got the Name of Pa.'s 'Porngate' Supreme Court Justice

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice was identified as the sender or recipient of dozens of sexually explicit and/or otherwise offensive emails in an investigation into a large number of state officials exchanging such emails.

7. Anyone Who Has Ever Taken Naughty Pics Has Violated This Fed. Law

If you've ever taken a dirty picture, you have probably violated these federal rules which were intended to regulate commercial porn-purveyors while combating child pornography, but are so broadly written that they (arguably) could apply to anyone.

6. Challenge of NYPD's Surveillance of Muslims Heading to 3rd Cir.

A long-shot appeal to the Third Circuit regarding the NYPD's surveillance of American Muslims after 9/11 may be doomed by standing issues and Supreme Court precedent.

5. Prisoner's Ejaculation Lawsuit Can Proceed: Pa. Dist. Court

Two words: retrograde ejaculation. Ouch! But do prisons have to pay for treatment for a condition considered sexual dysfunction?

4. Federal Student Loan Default and the Fair Credit Reporting Act

You can't discharge it. And while most debts "age off" your credit report, two conflicting laws may mean that student loan debt defaults and late payments stay on your report forever.

3. 'Porngate' Just Became the Greatest Judicial Scandal of Our Time

It started off as emails. It evolved into extortion, public spats, and the Pennsylvania Chief Justice rounding up a judicial posse to suspend the judge at the center of it all. Justice Seamus McCaffery would later resign.

2. U.S. v. Elonis: 'Rap Lyrics' Case Isn't Really About Rap Lyrics

Coverage of one of the Supreme Court's most interesting cases of the year -- online threats in the form of rap lyrics. Criminal or art?

1. Led Zeppelin Faces 'Stairway to Heaven' Lawsuit Thanks to 'Raging Bull'

Last year's "Raging Bull" decision by the Supreme Court opened up the doors to copyright infringement lawsuits based on the ongoing infringement argument -- each act of infringement (such as an MP3 of a decades-old tune sold in 2013) starts the statute of limitations clock anew for that act of infringement and any that follow.

Got a favorite Third Circuit case from 2014? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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