Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 55 seconds

February saw its fair share of interesting verdicts -- from rulings on Justin Beiber's urine tests to decisions on the fate of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

In this new column, which we will run every month, Progressive Law Practice takes a look at some of the verdicts generating the most buzz across the legal profession and the country. So, without further delay, here are the Verdicts of the Month for February and please feel free to add any ones we might have missed by posting in the comments section.

Most Ridiculous Verdict: Justin Beiber Urine Vids Denied to Media

Things have been tough for pop singer Justin Bieber. His legal woes seemingly contributed to a non-binding Twitterverse-generated American-Canadian-Olympic-hockey-battle-royale that apparently has made Bieber into America’s problem for the foreseeable future. But, for the time being, a judge has provided a respite. Much to the chagrin of many “Beliebers,” video of the singer taking a urine test after his DWI arrest will be denied to the media until it can be reviewed by the court.

See the Chicago Tribune's coverage of the verdict.

Most Revealing Verdict: NYC 'Revenge Porn' Case Favors Pic Poster

A Manhattan judge dismissed criminal charges against a Brooklyn who posted naked pictures of his ex-girlfriend on Twitter in what is being called a “revenge porn” case. The ruling also stated that Twitter does not constitute a “public display” since it is a subscription service. For those inclined to partake in naughty photo shoots, be warned that there may not be too much standing between you and a worldwide trending hashtag on one of the most popular social media outlets on the planet.

Read more details about the case in this article from the New York Daily News.

Most Obnoxious Ruling: Army Uniform Deemed Too Influential for Jury

A San Diego judge has prohibited an active duty Army staff sergeant from wearing his uniform to court while he and his wife participate in a car crash trial. For fear the uniform would unfairly sway the jury, Sgt. Aaron Trompeter will be required to wear civilian attire, even though the jury will be made aware of his military status.

Read coverage of the case from NBC San Diego.

Most Scientific Verdict: Testimony in Chemical Exposure Case Can't Include Feelings

A Pennsylvania court has clarified the threshold for expert testimony; cold, hard facts. A judge ruled an expert witness in a case involving chemical exposure and brain cancer can’t testify based on subjective feelings, but in fact, must have the scientific method on his side. The testimony he provided will not be permissible. Galileo would approve.

Read more about the verdict in the National Law Review.

Most Influential Verdict: Keystone XL Pipeline Fate in Limbo

The Keystone XL Pipeline will not find its way under Nebraskan soil anytime soon, thanks to a ruling that prohibits Republican Gov. Dave Heineman from bypassing the state Public Service Commission and approving the energy line’s route. The decision could keep the politically touchy subject off the radar through this year’s election season.

Read more about the verdict in this Bloomberg article.  

Dan Sabbatino is an award winning journalist whose accolades include a New York Press Association award for a series of articles he wrote dealing with a small upstate town’s battle over the implications of letting a “big-box” retailer locate within its borders. He has worked as a reporter and editor since 2007 primarily covering state and local politics for a number off publications.

Last modified on Sunday, 23 February 2014
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