Legal Science - the blog

2018 Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Laws Update Recap

2018 Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Laws Update Recap

On August 13, 2018, our team published an update on the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Laws dataset, available at the Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System (pdaps.org). This update captured Good Samaritan Drug Overdose laws effective through July 1, 2018. There has been a lot of changes since our last update in December 2016: as of July 1, 2018, 46 states have a Good Samaritan drug overdose law, up from 37 states on December 1, 2016.


Eight states (Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota) added a new Good Samaritan Drug Overdose law for the first time, while Michigan expanded its law to apply to adults over the age of 21 and now provides immunity from prosecution for controlled substance possession offenses. While most of these new laws followed the similar pattern of existing Good Samaritan laws, Iowa broke from the mold and offered procedural protections in exchange for seekin

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Paw & Order

Paw & Order

In the animal justice system, the pets are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The courts, who traditionally treats pets like property, and the pet owners, who love their pets unconditionally. These are their stories.

I’m taking a break from my normal blog posts that highlight a feature of (and shamelessly promote) one of our published datasets to write on something I know and love: puppies. More accurately, animal custody cases. A few weeks back, an episode of Judge Judy made headlines over the re-airing of a dog custody case. Judge Judy heard a dispute between two parties both claiming to be the rightful owner of a dog named “Baby Boy.” One man claimed he had accidentally lost the dog and another woman had later purchased the dog off the street. Instead of following

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Harder to Breathe: A Glimpse at Clean Indoor Air Preemption in the 40 Largest Cities

Harder to Breathe: A Glimpse at Clean Indoor Air Preemption in the 40 Largest Cities

For our CityHealth project, we recently decided to improve the language describing our scoring criteria for each dataset topic. Sometimes when we originally draft coding questions, we are overly concerned with making sure that the language is accurately portraying the law. After researching a legal topic for weeks and reading different state laws nonstop, it’s difficult for us to take a step back and consider whether the language of a question actually makes sense to an outside viewer. It’s definitely a necessary step, especially when a dataset is intended to be published for a non-lawyer audience. But it certainly gets a little tricky when trying to simplify a complex legal topic like preemption.

Specifically, I’m trying to improve the language for our preem

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