Prop 8 judge to teach at UC-Berkeley

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, noted for striking down California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, will teach at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law following his retirement at year's end.

Judge Orders BofA to Repay $500 Million Seized in 'Calculated Violation' of Bankruptcy Code

In a blistering ruling, a federal bankruptcy judge ordered Bank of America to repay $500 million it seized from a collateral account after Lehman filed for Chapter 11 protection.

ACLU calls on AG to investigate Bush for torture

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Thursday published an open letter [text, PDF] to US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile, JURIST news archive], urging him to investigate former president George W. Bush...

Minus Kagan, Supreme Court Lets 'Don't Ask' Policy Remain in Place

In an order Friday, the Supreme Court denied a motion aimed at allowing a worldwide ban on enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military to take effect.

Rights group urges EU to hold nations accountable for CIA rendition programs

[JURIST] The EU has failed to hold member states legally accountable for their involvement in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] extraordinary rendition program [JURIST news archive], according to a report [text, PDF] published Monday by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website]. In its report, entitled "Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe's Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention," AI said that limited progress has been made in holding governments accountable, mostly as a result of mounting evidence of certain...

Federal Appeals Court Judge Endorses Legalized Pot Use

First Circuit Judge Juan Torruella told a law school audience Tuesday that legalization of marijuana could be a good way for the United States to reduce drug abuse and crime.

Cravath Takes on Harrisburg Bankruptcy Work Pro Bono

After five law firms pitched Harrisburg City Council to help the financially beleaguered city through a potential bankruptcy, one of the council members said in media reports the city would look to negotiate the proposed hourly rates, which ranged by f...

Senate blocks vote to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] failed Thursday to advance a vote on a bill to repeal the military's controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (DADT) [10 USC 654; JURIST news archive], which prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces. The Senate fell three votes short [roll call vote] of the 60 votes necessary to approve a cloture motion on a defense spending bill [S 3454 materials] that would include a provision for repeal....

Firm Swindled in E-Mail Check Scam May Access BofA Investigatory Files

A Hasbrouck Heights law firm that sued its bank to recover more than $236,000 lost to an e-mail check scam has won access to internal investigation records at Bank of America, where the firm has its accounts.

Federal judge rules health insurance mandate unconstitutional

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday that the minimum coverage provision of the recently enacted health care reform law [HR 3590 text; JURIST news archive] is unc...

Bad Headlines a Big Headache for Manatt's Risk Manager

Monte Lemann II, the firm's general counsel, says run of bad press hasn't forced big shifts in how firm measures risk, but sensitivities have been sharpened.

Howrey Loses Another Partner — This Time, to Dechert

In another defection from Howrey, Michael Cowie, until recently a partner in the firm's antitrust practice, has joined Dechert as a partner. He is a former director at the FTC.

After amicus flood, Court will take up Microsoft patent case

Justices agreed Monday to hear Microsoft Corp.'s challenge to a nearly $300 million patent infringement judgment against it, which the company claims is the largest patent verdict ever upheld on appeal.

Makeup Of Prop 8 Panel Seems Promising for Gay Marriage Advocates

Stephen Reinhardt is one of the three judges who will hear arguments over the state's gay marriage ban next week.

Judge Denies WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Bail

A British judge jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today, ordering the leader of secret-spilling website behind bars as his organization's finances came under increasing pressure.

DLA Piper Latest Law Firm to 'Right-Size'

Only a few days after Howrey slashed 32 support staffers from its U.S. payroll, DLA Piper has cut an undisclosed number of staffers from its offices in 26 U.S. cities.

Report charges conflicts of interest in Treasury program

The U.S. Treasury Department's program to cut down on home foreclosures is far behind where it planned to be, and its performance is unlikely to improve any time soon, according to a new government report.

Pizer's Take on Prop 8 Arguments

Lambda Legal lawyer talks about the highlights of Monday's hearing.

Class Certification Denied in Philip Morris Light Cigarettes MDL

Philip Morris has won a ruling denying class certification for plaintiffs in four key cases in federal multidistrict litigation in Maine over the company's sale of light cigarettes.

Howrey Terminates 32 Staffers

Howrey has let go of 32 support staffers from its 10 U.S. offices, citing a need to adjust the size of its work force to meet client needs and focus on core practice areas.

Arizona voters approve medical marijuana law

[JURIST] Arizona voters approved Proposition 203 [text, PDF], authorizing the possession of up to two-and-a-half ounces of medical marijuana [JURIST news archive], according to results released by the Arizona Secretary of State Saturday. The measure, v...

Expert Gets OK to Sue Lawyer Over Alteration to Report

An expert witness has the right to sue the lawyer who hired him, a federal judge has ruled, on a theory that the lawyer's alleged decision to "white out" the words "draft report" on the expert's preliminary findings led to ethics charges against the ex...

Coudert Estate Claims Orrick Dealt Defunct Firm a 'Fatal Blow'

A court-appointed administrator overseeing Coudert Brothers' liquidation plan has sued Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, alleging that it interfered with Coudert's business and aided and abetted in partners' breach of their fiduciary duty. The suit cites...

Congress Considers Change to 'Red Flags Rule'

The American Bar Association has been battling for more than a year to exempt lawyers from the 'Red Flags Rule,' new regulations to fight identity theft. Now, Congress has stepped in.

Court agrees to hear closely watched Wal-Mart and global warming cases

Stakes in the Supreme Court's business-related docket this term jumped into the stratosphere today with the justices' decisions to hear arguments in the mammoth Wal-Mart class action challenge and the latest legal front in the global warming battle.

Facebook Countersues Alternative Weekly's Parent Company in Patent Squabble

Facebook is suing Phoenix Media/Communications Group, owner of The Boston Phoenix, claiming it is infringing two patents that manage online information.

Proskauer and English Firm End Their Merger Discussions

Proskauer Rose and SJ Berwin said Friday they had decided against merging, putting to an end months of speculation about a possible trans-Atlantic tie-up between the two law firms. The firms in a joint statement said "we recognized that the timetable n...

Climate Change Finds Its Way Into Energy Contracts

The frontiers of carbon regulation are still coming into focus, but parties to energy contracts are beginning to adopt innovative commercial principles and legal arrangements to allocate the risks and mitigate the uncertainties of current and future re...

Former Law Firm Systems Manager Charged With Insider Trading

Federal prosecutors have indicted Jeffery J. Temple, a former information systems and security manager for Delaware firm Richards Layton & Finger, for securities fraud.

First Levaquin Test Case Results in Seven-Figure Award

In the first test case to go to trial over side effects from Levaquin, Johnson & Johnson's popular and powerful antibiotic, a federal jury has awarded more than $1.8 million to a Minnesota octogenarian who claims the drug caused his Achilles tendons to...

Congress Set to Pass Whistleblower Bill in WikiLeaks' Wake

Congress is poised to pass legislation giving employees in sensitive government jobs a way to report corruption, waste and mismanagement without turning to outside groups like WikiLeaks.

Ohio Supreme Court rejects challenge to lethal injection

[JURIST] The Ohio Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday rejected [opinion, PDF] a challenge to the lethal injection method of execution. In a split 5-2 decision, the court held that there is no basis under Ohio law for litigating the issue of wh...

Judge Tosses Infamous McCourt Property Contract

On Tuesday, a Los Angeles judge decided to toss entirely the disputed property agreement in Frank and Jamie McCourt's divorce. So what does it all mean for the Dodgers?

Watch the Video Interview: Toyota's Nightmare

Toyota executives and lawyers hope they wake up one day in early January and no longer have to worry about Dimitrios Biller. He's the former in-house lawyer who accused the company of discovery fraud. Now they're adversaries in a bitter arbitration wit...

Rights group warns Australia detainee transfer program may violate international law

[JURIST] Australia's new Afghan detainee transfer policy may violate international human rights laws [press release], Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] warned Tuesday. The new detainee management system, announced [press release] Tuesday by Australian Minister of Defence Stephen Smith [official website], provides for the systematic transfer of "high risk" detainees to US forces and "low risk" detainees to Afghan forces. According to AI Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi, the new policy puts detainees at risk of torture and mistreatment at the hands...

Judge Tosses Malpractice Suit Alleging Law Firm's Bad Loan Advice

An investment fund that made a bad $10 million loan to a now-bankrupt hospital, allegedly based on shoddy advice from the hospital's outside counsel Lindabury McCormick Estabrook & Cooper, has had its legal malpractice claim dismissed for a second time.

Supreme Court mulls Arizona immigration employment law

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Wednesday in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting [oral arguments transcript, PDF; JURIST report] on whether an Arizona statute imposing sanctions on employers that hire illegal immigrants is preempted by federal law. According to 8 USC 1324(a)(h)(2) [text], federal law preempts any "[s]tate or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee...

Toyota stages second dress rehearsal on eve of court hearing

A federal judge issued tentative orders Wednesday mainly rejecting Toyota Motor Corp.'s motions to dismiss lawsuits alleging that defects in vehicles caused them to suddenly accelerate, resulting in injuries and death.

Firms Roll Out Perk to Employees in Same-Sex Domestic Partnerships

Some law firms are rolling out new perks aimed at reimbursing gay employees for the tax liability they incur when they elect to add domestic partners to their health benefits plans.

Did the DOJ Pad the Stats on Financial Fraud Crackdown?

U.S. Attorney offices across the country have been touting results of the DOJ's "Operation Broken Trust." But they rely on cases filed well before the operation was launched.

Supreme Court to hear 3 cases involving labeling of generic medicines

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Friday granted certiorari [order, PDF] in three cases related to the duty of generic drug manufacturers to list possible side effects on the labels of medicines they produce. The ...

Judge Rebuffed for Denying Novartis Fees in Win of Whistleblower Case

A New Jersey judge who, admitting he's "not a fan of fee shifting," denied Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.'s request for $500,000 in attorneys' fees for prevailing in a whistleblower case is reversed by a state appeals court.

Supreme Court splits on copyright protections for imported goods

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday divided 4-4 [opinion, PDF] in Costco Wholesale Corp v. Omega, SA [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] on the issue of copyright protections for imported goods. The case presented the question of whether the first-sale doctrine [17 USC 109(a)], which provides that the owner of any particular copy "lawfully made under this title" may resell that good without the authority of the copyright holder, applies to imported goods...

Who's Behind the False Marking Litigation Craze?

Promote Innovation has so far brought 58 so-called false marketing suits, and representing it is a firm made up of recently defected patent lawyers from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Report: Bingham Asked to Kick In to McCourt Divorce Settlement Fund

Bingham McCutchen, which drafted the disputed marital property agreement for Jamie and Frank McCourt, was reportedly asked to contribute to a settlement fund in their divorce case.

FCC proposes new rules for Internet regulation

[JURIST] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday proposed new rules [text, PDF] for promoting openness on the Internet. The proposed regulations, if adopted by Congress, would be the first open Internet rules in the nation. The proposal would require transparency of Internet broadband networks to help consumers make better decisions about services, preserve open access to all lawful Internet content and protect freedom of speech in the "marketplace of ideas" online. FCC Chairman Julius...

SEC Watchdog Says Agency Rushed BofA Suit, Gave Bank 'Deference' as TARP Recipient

A new report by the SEC's inspector general finds staff zealously probed BofA's acquisition of Merrill Lynch but shied away from tough issues and made concessions because BofA got TARP funds.

Beauty care company, in settlement with shareholders, agrees to alter merger agreement

A pair of plaintiffs' law firms teamed up to win unusual concessions for shareholders from beauty products company Alberto Culver Co. in its proposed $3.7 billion acquisition by Unilever.

Kraft Sues to Enjoin Starbucks From Ending $500 Million-a-Year Distribution Deal

Kraft has filed suit against Starbucks in federal court, seeking to block Starbucks from terminating a 12-year-old deal with Kraft to sell its packaged coffee in grocery stores.

Bank of America reaches $137 million settlement with SEC

[JURIST] The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] announced Tuesday that it had reached a $137 million settlement agreement [press release] with Bank of America (BOA) [corporate website] over fraud charges [order, PDF] for usi...

Ninth Circuit reinstates suit by Armenian genocide victims

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Friday reversed [opinion, PDF] its prior decision and allowed a suit by the heirs of victims of the Armenian genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to proceed. The c...

New Mexico court rules same-sex partner cannot seek child custody

[JURIST] The New Mexico Court of Appeals [official site] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that the same-sex partner of an adoptive mother has no standing to seek custody of the couple's child as a non-parent, but may request visitation. The court held th...

Suits over foreclosure 'robo-signing' are piling up

The expected litigation frenzy against mortgage lenders that used "robo-signing" tactics — mass signing and approval of foreclosure documents without verification — has launched, with class actions in Florida and Maine and a lawsuit by Ohio...

In first decision, court weighs in on mandatory minimum sentences

In Abbot v. U.S. and Gould v. U.S., the unanimous Court on Monday, said a defendant is not spared from a separate, consecutive sentence for the gun use even if he or she faces a higher, mandatory minimum sentence for a different count of the conviction...

New Hiring Outlook: Suspiciously Sunny

About 30 percent of respondents to Robert Half Legal's hiring outlook poll said they planned to add legal jobs -- mostly lawyers and paralegals -- in the first quarter of next year.

Lippman Predicts Sizable Raise for Judiciary After Bill Signing

The new law requires the establishment every fourth year of a seven-member commission to evaluate and make recommendations about the adequacy of the judges' pay and non-salary benefits. Although nothing in the law mandates that judges receive a raise, ...

Madoff trustee files nearly 60 lawsuits to recover money for victims

[JURIST] Irving Picard, the trustee charged with recovering money for the victims of the Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive] scandal, has filed close to 60 lawsuits in the past three weeks attempting to recover more than $40 billion from numerous bank...

Alaska judge upholds parental notification abortion law

[JURIST] An Alaskan Superior Court judge on Monday refused to block a law requiring parental notification for women under the age of 18 to have an abortion [JURIST news archive], allowing the law to take effect Tuesday. The law was approved by voters i...

The 2010 NLJ 250

Leigh Jones, associate editor of , highlights some of the details from this year's survey results.

Serbia requests extradition of accused Nazi living in US

[JURIST] Serbian Justice Minister Snezana Malovic [official profile] said that Serbia has filed documents asking the US to extradite accused Nazi war criminal and naturalized US citizen Peter Egner [JURIST news archive] to Serbia so that he can stand t...

Kia Sued Over Alleged Bad Timing Belts and Refusal To Replace

A putative class action in federal court in Camden alleges that Kia installed shoddy timing belts in its 2004 Rio cars, leading to engine damage that the manufacturer would not pay to remedy.

Supreme Court hears arguments on veterans' benefits, sentencing

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Monday in Henderson v. Shinseki [oral arguments transcript, PDF] on the time limits for seeking judicial review of the denial of a ...

Ninth Circuit hears arguments on California same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments [video] Monday in Perry v. Schwarzenegger [case materials] on Proposition 8 [text, PDF; JURIST news archive], California's same-sex marriage ban. The hearing...

Defensive posture

For seven years and on three continents, attorneys for defense contractor DynCorp have been locked in a contract dispute and subsequent arbitration-award fight with a company based in the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar.

Madoff Trustee Churns Out Suits Right Up to Deadline

Madoff trustee Irving Picard spent two weeks frantically filing civil suits before the statute of limitations deadline -- including a $19.6 billion suit against an Austrian banker.

High Court Denies Appeal in Off-Label Marketing Case

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a class of plaintiffs fighting a decertification order in an off-label marketing case against drug maker Pfizer.

Service members discharged under 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' file suit seeking reinstatement

[JURIST] Three former service members discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) [10 USC 654; JURIST news archive] filed a complaint [text, PDF] against the Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] Monday, seeking reinstatement and the declaration that their discharges under the statute, and the statute itself, are unconstitutional. The suit was filed by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) [advocacy website] on behalf of Michael Almy, Anthony Loverde and Jason Knight in the US District Court for the Northern...

London Associate Charged With Wife's Murder

A court hearing will be held today involving Berwin Leighton Paisner tax associate Richard Davies Jones, who has been charged in the stabbing death of his wife.

US soldier pleads guilty to firing on unarmed Afghan civilians

[JURIST] Staff Sergeant Robert Stevens pleaded guilty on Wednesday to shooting two unarmed Afghan farmers at a trial held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord [official website]. Stevens pleaded guilty [Reuters report] to aggravated assault with a dangerous wea...

Senate Votes to Remove La. Federal Judge

The Senate on Wednesday convicted U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. on four articles of impeachment, making him the eighth federal judge in history to be forced from the bench by Congress.

FDIC Sues Bryan Cave Over Bank Records

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has sued Bryan Cave in federal court in Atlanta, charging the firm with failing to hand over records related to the collapse of Hillcrest Bank.

Law schools' annual meeting site draws protests — again

The Association of American Law Schools once again is battling opposition to the venue of the organization's annual meeting. The group of 180 professors from dozens of law schools opposes the selection of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square because o...

House approves bill preventing US trial of Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] voted 212-206 [roll call vote] Wednesday in favor of a defense spending bill [HR 3082] that includes a provision preventing Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees from being transferre...

Federal judge dismisses Microsoft co-founder's patent suit

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] on Friday dismissed [order, PDF] a patent infringement lawsuit [JURIST report] by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen against Apple, eBay, Google [corporat...

Former Federal Judge's Request to Vacate 33-Month Sentence Denied

A federal judge has denied former U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent's request for an order to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence for obstruction of justice.

School Policy Against Bullying Won't Avert Liability

Recent actions by state civil rights regulators demonstrate that even school districts with zero-tolerance policies in place against bullying may be liable under discrimination law when their enforcement efforts are deemed insufficient by the state.

Legislation Creates Judicial Pay Commission

The frustration of New York state judges who have gone without a raise since 1999 came a step closer to ending yesterday after lawmakers approved the creation of a commission to recommend new salary levels once every four years.

Securities Case Could Make High Court Rethink 'Stoneridge'

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a securities case that re-examines the question of third-party liability for lawyers, accountants and other investment advisers.

End of foreclosure moratorium won't mean flood of closings

Although Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lifted a moratorium on the seizure and sale of tens of thousands of distressed homes, it doesn't mean that would-be buyers will be rushing to close their long-delayed contracts. More than a week after the government-...

A Little Judicial Intervention Leads to a Settlement in Warhol Foundation Dispute

The Andy Warhol Foundation has reached a settlement with two disgruntled individuals who got appraisals of disputed Warhol artworks from the foundation.

Virgina Tech unlawfully failed to notify students of shooting: report

[JURIST] Officials at Virginia Tech [university website] acted unlawfully by waiting too long to notify students during the 2007 shootings [NYT backgrounder; JURIST news archive], according to a report [text, PDF; materials] released Thursday by the US...

'U.S. News' agrees to provide more guidance on job prospects

The movement to provide better information about job prospects for law graduates is gaining momentum. plans to roll out more detailed employment data on its Web site next year as part of its high-profile law schools rankings package.

House votes to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] voted 250-175 [roll call vote] Wednesday to repeal the military's controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (DADT) [10 USC 654; JURIST news archive], which prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces. The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 [HR 2965 materials], a piece of stand-alone legislation, was passed less than a week after the Senate [official website] fell three votes short [JURIST report] of...

Bankruptcy Judge Slashes Nearly $75,000 From Firm's Fee Request

A U.S. bankruptcy judge has cut nearly $75,000 from a Dallas law firm's fee request, writing in her order about a Chapter 11 proceeding in which "no notable problems were solved. Yet, a lot of lawyers incurred fees." U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stacey G.C. J...

Whistleblower Settles Suit Against Lockheed — But Now 'the Good Guys' Are In the Way

Michael DeKort settles his False Claims suit against Lockheed Martin, but says he's nothing but frustrated after his suit against the other defendants was dismissed — forcing him to fight with 'the good guys': the U.S. Coast Guard.

Texas Managing Partners Show Optimism in New Survey

2010 has been a better year than 2009 for many Texas firms, as firm leaders across the state predict year-to-year growth in revenues and profits. Eighty percent of firm leaders expect increased profits for fiscal year 2010, according to 's annual Manag...

Reinhardt Says He Won't Step Off Prop 8 Case

In a brief order, the Ninth Circuit judge says he can and will be impartial despite his wife's role at the ACLU.

Madoff Feeder Fund Hit With $1 Billion Judgment, but Can Trustee Collect?

The Madoff bankruptcy trustee notched a huge win this week with a summary judgment of $1,066,800,000 against feeder fund Harley International. But it may be a hollow victory.

Pa. Govt. Wins $51 Mil. Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson

The Commonwealth Court has entered a more than $51 million bench verdict in favor of the Pennsylvania state government against pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson for allegedly overcharging state programs and consumers for prescription drug r...

Supreme Court takes two criminal cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in two cases. In Tolentino v. New York [docket], the court will determine whether the exclusionary rule [Cornell LII backgrounder] proh...

Violent Threats Increase Against Judges in Social Security Disability Cases

Claimants angry over delayed or denied benefits made at least 80 threats to kill or harm administrative law judges or staff in the past year, an 18 percent increase from the prior period.

In Tight Economy, Firms Make Judgment Calls on Bonuses

Welcome to bonus season, Great Recession edition. Managing partners of Connecticut law offices and consultants sound a common theme: The economy has improved enough so that select partners and associates will be rewarded generously, but not everyone is...

Lorillard Tobacco Hit With $71 Million in Damages Over Cigarette Giveaways

In a lawsuit said to be the first of its kind in the United States, a jury has found that Lorillard Tobacco tried to entice black children to smoke by distributing free cigarettes.

Law Firm Leaders Survey 2010: The New Normal

The takeaway from The American Lawyer's 2010 survey of leaders of Am Law 200 firms suggests that many of the changes implemented during the recession are here to stay, at least for a while.

Illinois legislature approves same-sex civil unions

[JURIST] The Illinois Senate [official website] on Wednesday voted 32-24 in favor of a bill [SB 1716 materials] legalizing same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archive]. The vote comes a day after the Illinois House of Representatives [official website] voted 62-51 in favor of the bill, which will now go to Governor Pat Quinn (D) [official website] for his signature. Quinn is expected to sign the bill [Chicago Sun-Times report]. The legislation, entitled the "Illinois Religious Freedom and Civil Union Act,"...

Supreme Court hears arguments on Freedom of Information Act

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Wednesday in Milner v. Department of the Navy [oral arguments transcript, PDF] on the ability of the government to withhold informa...

Court appears divided in retaliation case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed divided on whether the nation's major job bias law allows lawsuits against employers who retaliate against the fiancé, best friend or other third party in a close relationship with a worker who has complained of dis...

Judge rejects Toyota's motions to dismiss acceleration claims

A federal judge issued tentative orders Wednesday mainly rejecting Toyota Motor Corp.'s motions to dismiss lawsuits alleging that defects in vehicles caused them to suddenly accelerate, resulting in injuries and death.

Federal appeals court rules valid search warrant required for e-mail search

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that e-mail is entitled to Fourth Amendment [LII materials] protection. The 98-page opinion overturned the prison sentence of Steven Warshak, the fou...

Supreme Court upholds limits on municipal liability

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously in Los Angeles County v. Humphries [Cornell LII backgrounder] that, when alleging a municipality violated their civil rights under 42 USC 1983 [text], plaintiffs "must show that their injury was caused by a municipal policy or custom," even if they are only seeking injunctive or declaratory relief. Tuesday's opinion, authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, drew heavily from Monell v. New York City Department...

JPMorgan Says Lehman Colluded With Barclays Over $25 Billion in Toxic Loans

In explosive counterclaims, JPMorgan Chase accuses Lehman Brothers of colluding with Barclays to stick JPMorgan with more than $25 billion of debt secured by toxic securities.

DOJ: Appeals court should vacate injunction in human stem cell case

A U.S. Justice Department lawyer on Monday tried to convince an appeals court in Washington that a trial judge went too far in issuing an injunction that blocks federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research.

9th Circuit Sides With Immigrant on Access to His 'A-file'

A panel led by Judge Andrew Kleinfeld halts deportation proceedings after citing unexplainable discrepancies in records that the government eventually provided.

ACLU appeals CIA rendition case to Supreme Court

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Tuesday filed an appeal [cert. petition, PDF; press release] with the US Supreme Court [official website] to overturn a ruling dismissing its suit over the CIA's extraordinary ren...

UK government settles with 16 Guantanamo detainees over torture allegations

[JURIST] The UK government on Tuesday announced a settlement with 16 Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees over allegations of torture. Details of the settlement agreement, which are legally bound to a confidentiality agreement, have not been ...

Judge Rules Against Debarred Ex-Purdue Pharma General Counsel Howard Udell

In a case closely watched by general counsel, a judge rules against former GC Howard Udell and two fellow drug company execs who were excluded from working at companies that do business with Medicare/Medicaid or other federal programs.

Supreme Court considers federal habeas corpus cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Monday in Wall v. Kholi [oral arguments transcript, PDF; JURIST report]. The court is considering whether a state court sentence-reduction motion consisting of a plea for leniency constitutes an "application for State post-conviction or other collateral review" under 28 USC 2244(d)(2) [text], resulting in an extension of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) [text, PDF] one-year limitations period for...

Supreme Court hears California prison overcrowding case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Tuesday in Schwarzenegger v. Plata [oral arguments transcript, PDF; JURIST report] on an order to reduce the California prison popu...

Federal judge orders destruction of genetically-engineered crop

[JURIST] A federal judge on Tuesday ordered [judgment, PDF] the destruction of a crop of genetically-engineered (GE) sugar beets because of the potential harmful effect the plants may have on surrounding flora, the first such order to be issued in the ...

In documents case, Court appears sympathetic to expanding government disclosure

The high court, which is usually stingy when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act, might actually be poised to hand a rare victory to someone who wants to expand the scope of government disclosure.

France court convicts US airline in Concorde jet crash

[JURIST] A French court on Monday found US-based Continental Airlines [corporate website] and one of its employees guilty of manslaughter for their roles in the Air France Concorde jet crash [BBC backgrounder] outside Paris in 2000. The court found [CB...