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January 2014 Archives

State Labeling Law Not Preempted by Federal Copyright Act

Federal preemption refers to when a state law is considered invalid because it attempts to regulate something a federal law exclusively controls. State governments have concurrent jurisdiction over many criminal matters with the federal government. But where state law conflicts with federal law on a subject within the power of Congress to regulate, the state law may be preempted by the federal law. Copyright, trademark, and patent law is an area where Congress has chosen to exclusively regulate in order to provide uniform rules and procedures protecting intellectual property rights. But a state law may still be valid if it requires an extra element beyond those required for violation of the federal statutes protecting intellectual property rights. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Pierson, W2012-02565-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-23-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals concluded a state statute imposing criminal liability for non-compliance with certain labeling requirements is not preempted by the federal Copyright Act.

State Labeling Law Not Preempted by Federal Copyright Act

Federal preemption refers to when a state law is considered invalid because it attempts to regulate something a federal law exclusively controls. State governments have concurrent jurisdiction over many criminal matters with the federal government. But where state law conflicts with federal law on a subject within the power of Congress to regulate, the state law may be preempted by the federal law. Copyright, trademark, and patent law is an area where Congress has chosen to exclusively regulate in order to provide uniform rules and procedures protecting intellectual property rights. But a state law may still be valid if it requires an extra element beyond those required for violation of the federal statutes protecting intellectual property rights. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Pierson, W2012-02565-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-23-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals concluded a state statute imposing criminal liability for non-compliance with certain labeling requirements is not preempted by the federal Copyright Act.

State Labeling Law Not Preempted by Federal Copyright Act

Federal preemption refers to when a state law is considered invalid because it attempts to regulate something a federal law exclusively controls. State governments have concurrent jurisdiction over many criminal matters with the federal government. But where state law conflicts with federal law on a subject within the power of Congress to regulate, the state law may be preempted by the federal law. Copyright, trademark, and patent law is an area where Congress has chosen to exclusively regulate in order to provide uniform rules and procedures protecting intellectual property rights. But a state law may still be valid if it requires an extra element beyond those required for violation of the federal statutes protecting intellectual property rights. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Pierson, W2012-02565-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-23-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals concluded a state statute imposing criminal liability for non-compliance with certain labeling requirements is not preempted by the federal Copyright Act.

Man faces felony DUI charges in Tennessee

For many, drinking is an enjoyable time to unwind and not think about life's stressors. However, when a person fails to consume alcohol moderately, he or she can quickly become intoxicated. Driving while under the influence of alcohol can certainly lead to legal consequences but deciding to do it more than once may result in more serious and long-term impacts. One man is facing this type of felony DUI situation in Tennessee.

No Mens Rea Requirement for Driving on a Suspended License

Many crimes require the State to prove a mens rea, or "guilty mind" element before a person can be convicted of the crime. A mens rea or criminal culpability element ensures that a person is not guilty of the criminal offense unless the person had some degree of intent or knowledge that he or she was engaging in the conduct in question (the actus rea, or "guilty act"). But this is not the case for all crimes. Some crimes carry strict liability for conduct without any culpability element. In Tennessee, driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked license is one of these strict liability crimes.

No Mens Rea Requirement for Driving on a Suspended License

Many crimes require the State to prove a mens rea, or "guilty mind" element before a person can be convicted of the crime. A mens rea or criminal culpability element ensures that a person is not guilty of the criminal offense unless the person had some degree of intent or knowledge that he or she was engaging in the conduct in question (the actus rea, or "guilty act"). But this is not the case for all crimes. Some crimes carry strict liability for conduct without any culpability element. In Tennessee, driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked license is one of these strict liability crimes.

No Mens Rea Requirement for Driving on a Suspended License

Many crimes require the State to prove a mens rea, or "guilty mind" element before a person can be convicted of the crime. A mens rea or criminal culpability element ensures that a person is not guilty of the criminal offense unless the person had some degree of intent or knowledge that he or she was engaging in the conduct in question (the actus rea, or "guilty act"). But this is not the case for all crimes. Some crimes carry strict liability for conduct without any culpability element. In Tennessee, driving on a cancelled, suspended, or revoked license is one of these strict liability crimes.

Tennessee reports good numbers for drunk driving in 2013

Each year, every state starts out with a clean slate. All the tallies that count the unsavory acts that human beings are capable of doing to each other are dialed back to zero. The hope is that the new year will bring a better result in all the bad categories and a better result in the good categories. Tennessee has released its preliminary traffic statistics for 2013 and authorities were pleased to report that traffic-related drunk driving incidents were down.

Circumstantial Evidence was Sufficient to Prove Child Abuse

In Tennessee, circumstantial evidence alone may be enough to convict someone of a crime, as long as the evidence is convincing beyond a reasonable doubt. In the recent case of State v. Lambright, M2012-02538-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-7-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals found the circumstantial evidence sufficient to sustain jury verdicts of guilt of aggravated child abuse.

Circumstantial Evidence was Sufficient to Prove Child Abuse

In Tennessee, circumstantial evidence alone may be enough to convict someone of a crime, as long as the evidence is convincing beyond a reasonable doubt. In the recent case of State v. Lambright, M2012-02538-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-7-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals found the circumstantial evidence sufficient to sustain jury verdicts of guilt of aggravated child abuse.

Circumstantial Evidence was Sufficient to Prove Child Abuse

In Tennessee, circumstantial evidence alone may be enough to convict someone of a crime, as long as the evidence is convincing beyond a reasonable doubt. In the recent case of State v. Lambright, M2012-02538-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 1-7-2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals found the circumstantial evidence sufficient to sustain jury verdicts of guilt of aggravated child abuse.

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