brief means brief

Oh, come on now. 104 issues raised on appeal? If you can't win your case on the first 103 issues, why raise the 104th?

Seriously, if you can't win on the first four issues, I don't think the additional hundred will help at all.


Service Snakes

This has to be one of the funniest opinions I have ever read. God bless him, the trial judge played it perfectly straight.

The hapless plaintiffs had two problems:
(1) they wanted to use medical marijuana in federally-subsidized housing. True, Washington has a law created by initiative that provides an affirmative defense to prosecution under state law, but use of marijuana is still illegal under federal law;
(2) more entertainingly, they wanted to claim that their snakes were "service animals [sic]" under the ADA.

OK, what's wrong with this picture? Leaving aside the fact that a reptile is not, by definition, an "animal," the animal has to be individually trained to do work or perform similar tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The guy's physician actually only stated that he suffered from depression and the snakes were his "therapy pets." (Right before he wrote him a recommendation for medical marijuana.)

Now, I imagine you could train a bird to ask, "How do you feel about that," but a snake? After all, they speak with forked tongues. The case law is pretty clear that an owner's deriving comfort from an animal is not enough to qualify that animal as a service animal for ADA purposes. The animal/reptile has to have special training. Here the plaintiff lost because he was unable to show that he trained the snakes to perform specific tasks or that they had any other unique qualities.

You get more of a sense of what this guy must have been like as a tenant from the dry notation in the facts that he "claimed an unlimited right to carry the snakes around with him, including when he paid his rent."


grandfathered in, or perhaps grandmothered

The Washington state legislature enacted HB 1592, effective last summer, ending the formation of new corporations sole. Existing corporations sole are--for now--continued to exist.

HB 1592 also enacted an annual report requirement and imposed a $10 annual fee. Clearly, the legislature doesn't like corporations sole much, although I believe the behavior of mine has been exemplary. The House bill report noted:
The bill requires corporations sole to file an annual report with the [Secretary of State] and pay an annual filing fee, which is consistent with the requirements of non-profit corporations. Many illegitimate corporations sole will not be able to file annually because they provide false addresses. Washington is one of 15 states that allow corporations sole registrations. Oregon and Idaho recently prohibited the formation of corporations sole. Washington is on the Internal Revenue Service's radar for fraudulent corporations sole registrations. Disallowing further registrations will prevent new fraud. Between 1861 and 1990 there were a total of 82 corporations sole. As of today there are more than 4,000 corporations sole [in the state of Washington? Nationwide? Worldwide?]. The [Secretary of State] estimates that only a quarter of corporations sole are legitimate.

The annual report, alas, doesn't give me much room to exercise creativity, only asking for name, place of business, and signature of the bishop, overseer or presiding elder. That would be me.