THE TOL LAW BLOG

Can You Inherit an Instagram Account?

By TOL Social

For many, Instagram or IG has become a part of our lives, a place to collect memories and to connect with friends. For others, Instagram can provide a source of income, allowing the account holder to monetize their social media account. But what happens to our accounts after we die? Are our IG accounts digital assets that can be bequested or inherited? The short answer is no. Transferring an IG account after death can be complicated.To get to the bottom of this legal conundrum, we need to understand two things: 1) the contract between Instagram and its users known as the Terms of Use and 2) some basic information about digital assets and how they are transferred.     INSTA...

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Who was John Rock?

By TOL Social

The First Black American Admitted to the SCOTUS Bar February 1st marks the beginning of Black History Month. On this day in 1865, the same day Lincoln sent out the Thirteenth Amendment, John S. Rock changed history to become the first black Supreme Court lawyer.    John Rock, JD, MD, DDS John Rock was a pioneer not only in the legal profession but also in teaching, medical, and the abolitionist movement. Rock first turned to dentistry after initially being denied entrance to medical school. He earned his medical degree in 1852 to become one of the first African Americans to do so. He set up his practice in the African American community of Beacon Hill in Boston, Mass...

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Joe Biden, the 27th Lawyer President

By TOL Social

Inauguration Day: A Tale of Two ESQs On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden took office as the 46th POTUS, but he also added his name to a long list of attorney predecessors––26, to be exact. He earned his J.D. degree from the College of Law at Syracuse University in 1968. His Vice President, Kamala Harris, a long-time prosecutor, graduated from UC Hastings Law in 1989.    Lawyer Presidents: A Brief History In all, Biden became the 27th attorney out of 45 presidents (not out of 46 because Grover Cleveland took office for two non-consecutive terms as both the 22nd and 24th president). For those who are counting along, the following presidents were lawyers:  John Adams (1...

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Donald Trump & Incitement of Insurrection 

By TalksOnLaw Editorial

President Trump Impeached for "Incitement of Insurrection" President Trump was impeached for the second time on January 16, 2021. Impeachment under our Constitution follows “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but what were the exact charges leveled against the President? In this case, the "high crime" is incitement of insurrection. What is incitement of insurrection, how is it defined in House Resolution 24, and how is it different from incitement of violence?   What is incitement of insurrection? First off, it’s good to remember that “high crimes and misdemeanors” don’t actually have to reflect federal or state crimes. In fact, it is up to Congress to judge whether the ...

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BROWSE POSTS


Should Sending Nude Pics Be Illegal?

A Texas state senator, backed by the founder of the popular dating app Bumble, is pushing to criminalize unsolicited nude or indecent photos in Texas. The law would apply to images sent over text, social media, and dating apps.   Bumble founder, Whitney Herd, argued before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, "If indecent exposure is a crime on the streets, then why is it not on your phone or computer?” The bill, drafted by State Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) and co-authored by Rep Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth), would criminalize sending photos of: "(A) a person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed; or (B) covered genitals of a ma...


Published: April 1, 2019
Jussie Smollett–All Charges Dropped

In an example of the broad powers of prosecutorial discredition, Chicago prosecutors dropped all 16 felony charges against Jussie Smollett. The actor had been previously accused of staging a fake hate crime against himself and then lying to police about it.  Without reversing on the allegations from Chicago PD, the DA’s office dropped the charges after Smollett agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bond and perform community service. According to DA Kim Foxx, the crimes may not have been serious enough to merit pursuing further, given that Smollett wasn't likely to face jail time. Kim Foxx said, “This is a Class 4 felony — We recognize that the likelihood that someone would get a pri...


Published: March 27, 2019
Parents Charged with Mail Fraud for Cheating on College Admissions

Federal prosecutors have brought charges against dozens in a high profile admissions fraud case involving purchasing access to the nation’s top universities.  Parents, school coaches, and facilitators who profited from the fraud scheme face charges.  Notable parents include famous lawyers, celebrities (e.g. Aunt Becky from Full House 📸), and prominent CEOs.  The charges against the parents are particularly interesting; they're brought mostly under the broad federal mail fraud laws that ban fraudulent or illegal activities through the US mail systems or carriers and wire fraud, a similar crime that makes use of telecommunications or information technology. For the DOJ's press ...


Published: March 23, 2019
Heroes of Law

Celebrating the women of SCOTUS on International Women's Day!


Published: March 8, 2019
It's Time to Teach Law to Kids

"KIDS DESERVE TO UNDERSTAND THEIR RIGHTS" Teaching teens about the law gives them much more than a bedrock of legal facts; it provides a tool for self-advocacy and a shield against abuse. Take racial or sex discrimination for example. Incidents of being “arrested while black” or being mistreated for being different are unlikely to disappear completely in the near future, so why not train students on how to respond intelligently while preserving their legal rights to combat such injustices. Deportations and immigration enforcements are increasing. Helping a kid learn some of the basic rules of immigration law not only increases awareness, but it can help her down a path to lea...


Published: March 7, 2019
Amazon's Tax Team Takes a Profit of $11B down to a $0 Tax Bill

Another reminder that our friends in tax law can do magic… This week we found out that Amazon, with 2018 profits of $11 billion, will pay $0 in federal tax. How? Well, we know the recent tax cut reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, but, so far, we don’t know which particular loopholes their tax wizards used to drill down from 21% to 0%. In fact, according to reporting from Fortune Magazine, Amazon’s tax team may have moved past zero and are looking to receive a $129M rebate.


Published: March 7, 2019
EU Bans Single-Use Plastics

The European Parliament approves a new law banning single-use plastics by 2021.  The law bans items such as plastic straws, plates, q-tips and plastic cutlery.  Additionally, the new legislation calls for EU states to reach 90% collection targets for all plastic bottles by 2029.  “Today, we have taken an important step to reduce littering and plastic pollution in our oceans and seas. We got this, we can do this.” Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission. Additional Resources For details on the ban from the European Parliament, click here. For the EU's factsheet on the new rules reducing plastics and the damage of such plastics to the oceans, click he...


Published: March 28, 2019
Bump Stock Now Illegal

The federal ban on bump stocks is officially law as of March 26, 2019.  Bump stocks modify semiautomatic rifles, allowing them to fire continuously with one pull of the trigger.  Back in December 2018, the Dept of Justice provided owners with 90 days to turn in or destroy their bump stock before banning them outright.  Bump stocks are now included within the federal definition of a "machinegun" in the Gun Control Act (GCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA). Possessing them can result in fines and a prison term of up to 10 years.  To learn more, read the official Bump-Stock-Type Devices Final Rule released by the Department of Justice December 18, 2018.


Published: March 26, 2019
Justice Thomas Speaks

#THOMASspeaks  Justice Thomas breaks a silence of over three years at the high court. The case involves racial bias in jury selections. Curtis Flowers, tried 6 times for the same murder charges, was convicted after the prosecutor was alleged to have repeatedly removed jurors for being black, violating the so-called Batson rule. What did he ask? He asked about whether jurors were excluded from the 6th trial by the defense and if they were white or black. They were white... Supreme Court Grant of Cert. {This is the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case.}


Published: March 21, 2019
John Roberts –– King of the Court

#KingOfTheCourt: After joining the liberal wing on the Louisiana abortion case (June Medical Services v. Louisiana Dept. of Health), Chief Justice John Roberts has solidified his status as THE swing vote on #SCOTUS. In the vote, the conservative 👨🏻‍⚖️ tipped the court against a Louisiana law severely restricting abortion.  Not since Earl Warren (correct us if we’re wrong!?) in the 1950’s have we had a chief justice also serve as the main swing vote, making him the new #PowerJustice.


Published: March 7, 2019
The Felonies of Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett stands accused of faking an elaborate hate crime against himself: a choreographed, self-inflicted beating staged with two Nigerian brothers, pre-canned racial slurs, and an actual noose. So what are some of the criminal charges Smollett could face? UPDATE: He was charged with an additional 16 felonies for lying to police on different occasions.  See: https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/08/entertainment/jussie-smollett-indictment/index.html


Published: March 7, 2019