Supreme Court rules vaccine makers immune from design defect suits

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-2 in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that section 22(b)(1) [text] of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986...

Law professors ask Congress to subject Supreme Court justices to ethics rules

[JURIST] A group of law professors asked Congress Wednesday to extend the Code of Conduct for United States Judges [text, PDF] to apply to the Supreme Court [official website]. In a letter [text, PDF] to the House and Senate Judiciary Comittees [offici...

Supreme Court finds employer liable in discrimination suit

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously in Staub v. Proctor Hospital [Cornell LII Backgrounder; JURIST report] that an employer may be held liable for employment discrimination b...

Justices search for substance in arguments in abuse case

Supreme Court arguments Tuesday in a closely watched dispute over the interrogation of child abuse victims quickly turned into a "where's the beef" discussion of whether a controversy remains between parties in the case.

US demands release of diplomat arrested in death of two Pakistanis

[JURIST] The US Embassy in Pakistan on Saturday demanded [press release] the prompt release of a US man who it believes has been illegally arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis, arguing the man qualifies for diplomatic immun...

Federal judge upholds detention of Yemeni Guantanamo inmate

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Friday denied [opinion, PDF] a petition for writ of habeas corpus of a Yemeni man currently detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Judge Ricardo Ur...

Federal prosecutors end criminal investigation of Countrywide executive

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors have dropped a criminal investigation against former Countrywide Financial Corporation [JURIST news archive] executive Angelo Mozilo, concluding that he was not involved in any criminal conduct during his time as director o...

Supreme court upholds California timeliness rule for habeas petitions

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously in Walker v. Martin [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a state law barring a prisoner from collaterally attacking his conviction is adequate to support a procedural bar to filing a habeas corpus petition. The decision upholds a California state law preventing prisoners from collaterally attacking their judgment when the prisoner "substantially delayed" filing his habeas petition. Writing the opinion for the court, Justice...

DOJ: $223M Legal Fee Request 'Excessive' in Class Action

Plaintiffs lawyers' demand for at least $223 million in compensation for work on a landmark American Indian class action goes against promises they made in a settlement contract, the Justice Department says.

Federal judge rules Blackwater shooting suit can proceed in state court

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina [official website] ruled Wednesday that a lawsuit against Blackwater [JURIST news archive], now known as Xe Services [corporate website], can proceed in state court. ...

Phila. Judge Grants GSK Summary Judgment in Avandia Case

As litigation over a diabetes drug that allegedly causes heart problems winds down, drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline won summary judgment in the latest Avandia case originally scheduled to go to trial in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court this week.

D.C. Circuit Terminates ABA Suit Challenging 'Red Flags Rule'

The ABA's lawsuit challenging a federal regulation targeting lawyers is now moot since Congress passed legislation that purports to exempt attorneys from rules targeting identity theft, the D.C. Circuit has ruled.

4th DCA gives Bank of New York Mellon a reprieve

The 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of a lender in a foreclosure case examining the question of fraudulent court filings but asked the Florida Supreme Court to review the issue.

Court to Rule in Case of Imprisoned U.K. Exec That Carries Major Privilege Implications

A federal appeals court is due to consider next week a case that could decide just how far prosecutors can go to pierce a corporate executive's attorney-client privilege.

Rights group claims Guantanamo detainee death shows failure of detention system

[JURIST] The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] on Thursday used the death of a Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] detainee to highlight what it claims are problems with the detention system [press release] currently used by the US...

Self-Critical Analysis Privilege Dealt Blow In Amtrak Lawsuit

Lawyers for Amtrak have been ordered to turn over an unredacted accident report -- including sections discussing "recommended remedial/corrective actions" -- because such comments are not protected by the "self-critical analysis" privilege.

Ropes Bringing in Batchelder From Howrey

Ropes & Gray has confirmed that James Batchelder, a member of Howrey's senior IP leadership committee and task forces for medical device litigation and trade secrets litigation, is coming aboard as partner.

Davis Polk Plans Sao Paulo Office as Firms Flock to Brazil

Davis Polk has announced plans to establish a Brazil office this year. Unlike most of the roughly 20 firms that have opened Brazil offices in recent years, Davis Polk is not looking to break into the market, but to grow what is already a strong practic...

Skadden's Flom, Consummate Dealmaker, Dies at 87

Joseph H. Flom -- Skadden's last surviving name partner and a storied M&A dealmaker known for guiding the firm to its current global presence -- died of heart failure at a New York hospital Wednesday.

California bar drops complaint against Dole's lawyers

The California Bar has dropped a misconduct probe of three Dole lawyers. A lawyer for Nicaraguan workers on Dole banana plantations had filed a complaint, claiming the company had bribed witnesses.

Supreme Court rules corporations lack 'personal privacy'

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 8-0 in FCC v. AT&T [Cornell LII backgrounder] that the 7(C) "personal privacy" exemption [DOJ backgrounder, PDF] to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] request does not apply to corporations. AT&T [corporate website] had opposed the release of various documents, including invoices and e-mails with pricing and billing information, collected in the course of a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) [official website] Enforcement Bureau investigation...

Spiritual healing not covered by leave act, 1st Circuit rules

A healing pilgrimage is not considered medical care under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit has ruled.

Pall CEO Retiring, General Counsel Resigns After Disclosing Affair

There are about 101 reasons not to date someone at the office. Even in a best-case scenario where things work out, there still could be serious consequences — even for top executives ...

Emerging Egyptian leader has ties to NYU School of Law

Mohamed ElBaradei is widely seen as the leader of the growing movement to unseat Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, but back in the 1980s he served in a humbler position, as an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Law while holding dow...

Supreme Court allows death row inmate to access DNA testing

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-3 in Skinner v. Switzer [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a convicted prisoner seeking access to biological evidence for DNA testing may...

Texas House approves bill requiring ultrasounds before abortions

[JURIST] The Texas House of Representatives [official website] on Monday voted 107-42 [roll call] to approve legislation that requires women seeking an abortion [JURIST news archive] to undergo an ultrasound before the procedure is performed. The bill ...

House fails to pass Patriot Act extension

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday defeated a bill [HR 514 text] to renew three provisions of the USA Patriot Act [text; JURIST news archive]. The vote was 277 to 148 [roll call], falling short of the two-thirds majority required for the "suspension of the rules" procedure. The provisions in question, set to expire on February 28, create the authority for roving surveillance, including wire-taps and cell phone monitoring; compel production of business records and "other...

Howrey Loses 17 Construction Lawyers to Pillsbury and Jones Day

Howrey's construction practice appears to be disintegrating with the departure on Wednesday of 17 lawyers, including both co-chairmen, to Pillsbury Winthrop and Jones Day.

Coke scores victory in suit over popular Spanish song

Despite an initial injunction in Rafael Vergara Hermosilla's favor in a fight over credit for the hit Spanish-language version of "Wavin' Flag," a federal judge has found that Vergara had no standing to sue Coke.

As Hearing Looms, One SEC Conflict of Interest Probe Leads to Another

A House committee will hold a hearing Thursday on SEC practices, including the agency's handling of former GC David Becker's alleged conflict of interest regarding the Bernard Madoff case. The SEC is also getting criticism for its response to informati...

New Group in Congress Pushes to Change Legal System

Six House members are starting a caucus group to work toward civil justice system changes, including med-mal and federal pleading standards. Critics say the real goal may be to protect corporations.

Attorneys accused of rigging illegal tax shelters

The Justice Department has expanded its crackdown on attorneys who promote allegedly illegal tax shelters with a civil injunction complaint against two Southern California lawyers.

Ex-GlaxoSmithKline In-House Lawyer Wants Any Co-Conspirators From King & Spalding Named

The case of a former GlaxoSmithKline in-house lawyer who was indicted for allegedly obstructing a federal probe into off-label marketing of a drug is beginning to look a lot like a case of Lawyer vs. Lawyer vs. Lawyer.

Supreme Court Denies Cert in $100 Million Novartis Pharma Sales Rep Overtime Class Action

Despite an apparent circuit split on whether drug company sales reps are entitled to overtime, the Supreme Court has let stand an appellate ruling permitting a 2,700-plaintiff class action against Novartis to proceed.

Beer Distributors' Fee Award Goes Flat in Litigation Against Anheuser-Busch

Three beer wholesalers who say they spent $5 million litigating over distribution rights are entitled to legal fees but will get zero, partly because a jury verdict left them almost a quarter million dollars poorer.

Lawyer disputes that Yoss' West Palm office has 'closed'

The former head of Yoss' West Palm Beach, Fla., office disputes the notion that his office has "closed," and says he and another lawyer opted to leave for financial reasons to start their own firm.

Utah legislature approves new version of Arizona-style immigration bill

[JURIST] The Utah House and Senate [official websites] on Friday approved a new Arizona-style immigration law. The Utah Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act [HB 497 text, PDF] replaces the older version [HB 70 text, PDF] of the law that had lost favor w...

Hedge fund fights to stop Rothstein settlements

A hedge fund that invested $200 million in Scott Rothstein's Ponzi scheme is fighting several settlements reached by Herbert Stettin, the bankruptcy trustee for Rothstein's defunct law firm.

With Dissolution Vote Approaching, More Howrey Departures

In the wake of reports of a likely dissolution vote to be taken this week, Howrey continues to see departures, leaving the firm a shadow of its former self.

Former Pennsylvania judge goes on trial over juvenile sentencing scandal

[JURIST] Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania [official website] on Monday began selecting the jury in the corruption trial of former Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella for his role in a juv...

Associate Confidential: Keeping Careers on Track Amid a Firm's Collapse

Lost in the hoopla over Howrey: what happens to the firm's 100-plus associates. The biggest concern, naturally, is jobs. On that count, veterans of the Heller, Thacher and Thelen firms can speak from experience.

Virginia AG petitions Supreme Court for expedited health care ruling

[JURIST] Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli [official website] on Tuesday filed a petition for a writ of certiorari [text, PDF] with the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] asking the court to rule on the constitutionalit...

Panel Says Police Shouldn't Have Accessed Car's Onboard Computer

In a case of first impression in California, an appeal panel concluded that a police download from an SUV's computer a year after a fatal hit-and-run violated the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.

Hawaii governor signs same-sex unions bill into law

[JURIST] Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) [official profile] signed [official pres release] the same-sex civil unions bill [SB 232 text, PDF] into law on Wednesday, legalizing same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archives] in the state. The legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2012, and extends the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union. At the signing, Abercrombie said, "[t]he legalization of civil unions in Hawai'i is long overdue....

News In Brief

A lawyer with the New York State Department of Civil Service has been indicted for aggravated harassment due to telephone threats he allegedly made to black neighbors and their families.

Feds, Georgia to Share $13 Million Settlement

New York-based APS Healthcare, accused of submitting false reimbursement claims to the Georgia Department of Community Health on behalf of Georgia Medicaid customers, will pay $13 million to settle a whistleblower suit.

Howrey Loses More Partners in U.S. and Europe

Howrey continues to hemorrhage partners as it fights to survive in some form while awaiting the resolution of a potential deal with Winston & Strawn.

Democrats Push Supreme Court Ethics Bill

With liberal advocacy groups increasing their scrutiny of Justice Clarence Thomas, Democratic lawmakers announced legislation Tuesday that would shake up how U.S. Supreme Court justices handle ethical questions.

Belarus releases 7 detainees, including presidential candidate

[JURIST] Belarusian officials on Saturday released seven people, including one presidential candidate, who were taken in to custody [JURIST report] last month following protests surrounding the country's presidential election [press release, in Russian...

Another Blow for Alibaba and Chinese Internet Companies

Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba has two big guns: Last week the company admitted that one was infected by fraud -- and Monday the U.S. Trade Representative said the other is riddled with counterfeit goods.

Plaintiffs' Lawyers in Cobell Defend $223M Fee Demand

Responding to criticism of a demand for $223 million in legal fees in a landmark American Indian trust case, one of the attorneys says, "For some politicians on the more conservative side, it's easy to demagogue plaintiffs' lawyers."

Wyoming Senate approves bill banning same-sex marriage recognition

[JURIST] The Wyoming Senate [official website] on Friday approved a bill [text, PDF], that would void in Wyoming any same-sex marriages and civil unions [JURIST news archive] performed in other jurisdictions. Although House Bill 74, Validity of Marriag...

Looking Ahead: 2011

Sally Gonzalez, senior director at Hildebrandt Baker Robbins, speaks about 2011 technology trends.

Ill. appellate court revives tobacco case five years after state high court dismissed $10.1 billion judgment

Relying partly on a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, an Illinois appellate court has revived a tobacco case that generated a $10 billion judgment on the class action's first run through the state court system.

Supreme Court rules on time limits governing veterans' disability claims

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 8-0 in Henderson v. Shinseki [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that the 120-day statute of limitations for challenging a denial of veteran's b...

Obama signs documents ratifying New START treaty

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official website] on Wednesday signed documents ratifying [WH blog] the New START treaty [materials, PDF; JURIST news archive], an agreement between Russia and the US intended to reduce nuclear arms in both countries...

LTN Awards 2011: Gonzalo de Cesare

's editor-in-chief Monica Bay interviews Gonzalo de Cesare, political advisor at the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at LegalTech New York 2011.

Third Circuit rejects Second Amendment rights for felons

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] on Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] that barring convicted felons from possessing firearms does not infringe upon their constitutional rights. Attorneys for James Barton, previously c...

Complaint Accuses Hunton & Williams Partners of Dirty Tricks

Three Hunton & Williams partners face an ethics complaint before the D.C. Bar after the release of e-mails saying they worked on an effort to undermine liberal activists.

Singer's Conviction Upheld on Assault, Weapon Raps

Rapper Remy Ma was not denied a fair trial when a judge barred her attorney during his summation from implicating her victim for allegedly brandishing a gun as the women argued over $3,000, New York state's high court has ruled.

Arizona legislature introduces bills challenging birthright citizenship

[JURIST] The Arizona House of Representatives [official website] and Senate [official website] on Thursday introduced bills challenging the right to US citizenship for the children of legal and illegal immigrants born in the state. The proposed legisla...

House Republicans Press SEC on Ex-General Counsel David Becker's Ties to Madoff

House Republicans have stepped up their letter-writing campaign questioning the Securities and Exchange Commission's handling of its recently departed general counsel's ties to Bernard Madoff.

Massachusetts suit against CIGNA alleges systemic gender bias

A Massachusetts woman has filed a putative federal class action against CIGNA Healthcare, accusing the company of systemic gender discrimination and seeking more than $100 million in damages.

Federal appeals court upholds life sentence for Bush assassination plotter

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday affirmed [opinion, PDF] the life sentence of Ahmed Abu Ali, a US citizen who joined al Qaeda while studying abroad in Saudi Arabia. Abu Ali was convicted in November ...

US military tribunal sentences Guantanamo prisoner to 14 years

[JURIST] A US military tribunal on Friday sentenced Sudanese Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Noor Uthman Mohammed [DOD materials] to 14 years in prison following a plea agreement [JURIST report] in which he admitted to helping al Qaeda an...

In DNA Privacy Argument, Sharp Divisions Emerge on 3rd Circuit

A division emerged among 3rd Circuit judges Wednesday as they considered whether to strike down the DNA Act of 2005, which allows for the routine collection of DNA samples from arrestees for a national database.

The Am Law 100: Gibson Dunn's Record-Setting Year

In 2010, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's average profits per equity partner rose an astounding 20.9 percent to $2.31 million. And that isn't the only financial milestone the firm achieved last year.

Hewlett-Packard's Quest for Reinvention After Sweeping Out a Third of Its Board

How steep is the price for tossing out your 'superstar' CEO? Now that the tech giant has swept out a third of its board of directors over the handling of Mark Hurd's ouster after a sex scandal — what's the plan to fight off angry shareholders and...

U.K. Government Confirms Further Delay in Implementation of Bribery Act

The implementation of the U.K. Bribery Act has been delayed, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed. The act was scheduled to be implemented this April, but will now be pushed back until guidance has been published and distributed to businesses to allow...

Howrey To Vote On Dissolution Next Week

Amid a stream of departures, partners at Howrey are set to vote in the days ahead on whether to dissolve the law firm, according to two current partners and one former partner familiar with the situation.

Sixth Circuit rules against Ten Commandments in Ohio courthouse

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday upheld [opinion, PDF] a lower court ruling barring the Ten Commandments [JURIST news archive] from being displayed in an Ohio courthouse. The display, called "Philosophies of Law in Conflict," includes two columns bearing the headings "Moral Absolutes: The Ten Commandments" and "Moral Relatives: Humanist Precepts" and was situated above a sign encouraging readers to ask Richland County Common Pleas Court [official website] Judge James DeWeese for...

Federal Judge Holds U.S. Government in Contempt Over Drilling Ban

The judge who struck down the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling after the Gulf spill has held a federal agency in contempt and ordered it to pay attorney fees for several oil companies.

Starr Report: Prosecutors Expect a Bristol Plea, Winston Responds to Civil Suit

Prosecutors say former Winston partner Jonathan Bristol is set to plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from his role in financier Kenneth Starr's Ponzi scheme. Meanwhile, Winston and Bristol fired back at the plaintiff in a civil suit related to S...

Federal judge finds landmark cross restoration grant constitutional

[JURIST] A judge in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois [official website] on Tuesday ruled that the state did not unconstitutionally advocate religion by financially contributing to the restoration of the Bald Knob Cross of Peac...

Supreme Court upholds railroad challenge to discriminatory taxation

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 7-2 in CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Alabama Department of Revenue [Cornell LII backgrounder] that a railroad may challenge sales and use taxes that app...

Firm Dominates Foreclosures, but Faces Growing Criticism

Last year, the once-obscure New York law firm Steven J. Baum, P.C. sought judicial action in 17,620 foreclosure cases. But the firm that has become a fixture in New York courtrooms faces lawsuits and has been reviled as a "foreclosure mill," a term tha...

Federal judge deems financier Stanford incompetent to stand trial

[JURIST] A federal judge on Wednesday declared Allen Stanford [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] incompetent to stand trial in connection with a $7 billion fraud scheme. Judge David Hittner of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [o...

Ex-Judge's Belching After DWI Arrest Held Conscious Avoidance of Alcotest

A former municipal judge has lost his appeal of a DWI conviction now that a New Jersey court has found his sustained burping -- 78 times in 75 minutes -- was an attempt to avoid taking an Alcotest.

Two House Republicans Push Bill Limiting Cobell Legal Fees at $50M

As the DOJ begins its court fight over legal fees in a high-profile American Indian trust account class action, two House Republicans have introduced legislation to cap the fees at $50 million.

Michael Irvin settles sexual assault suit

A confidential settlement was announced today in a civil suit accusing football Hall of Famer and Miami Hurricane great Michael Irvin of sexual battery. By agreement, a $100 million defamation suit filed in Texas by Irvin against the accuser will be dr...

Lawyers campaign for Camp's freedom

In a bid to mitigate the sentence a former federal judge faces for charges related to drug use with a prostitute, his lawyers have filed 46 letters from supporters who say his service and good deeds outweigh actions caused by mental illness.

Supreme Court allows military funeral protests

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] in Snyder v. Phelps [Cornell LII backgrounder] that First Amendment [text] protections extend to protesters at military funerals. Reverend Fred Phel...

Conflict Minerals Rulemaking Has Attorneys Worried

A Dodd-Frank Act requirement that public companies disclose whether their products contain "conflict minerals" blamed for financing violence in Africa has attorneys concerned about compliance costs.

Specter Reinvents Himself as a Solo Practitioner

In a small conference room in his son's law firm in Philadelphia, longtime U.S.-senator-turned-private-practice-attorney Arlen Specter has launched a solo practice. And he doesn't seem too concerned about business. "I don't intend to be a rainmaker," S...

Garden not eligible for copyright protection, 7th Circuit rules

A living garden is not eligible for copyright protection, the 7th Circuit has ruled, partially affirming and reversing a lower court ruling about a wildflower garden an artist installed in a Chicago park.

Federal Circuit Overturns Record-Setting $1.67 Billion Jury Verdict Against Abbott, Rules Centocor Arthritis Drug Patent Is Invalid Under Written Description Requirement

The Federal Circuit has reversed the biggest patent infringement jury verdict in U.S. history, finding that Centocor's patent on an arthritis treatment is invalid under the written description requirement.

Federal judge sentences ex-Guantanamo detainee to life imprisonment

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Tuesday sentenced former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani [GlobalSecurity profile; JURIST news archive] to life i...

Adler settles with Rothstein trustee for $350,000

A judge has approved a settlement that calls for Russell Adler, a former partner of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, to pay the defunct firm's bankruptcy estate either $350,000 within 30 months or $500,000 afterward.

Adler settlement with Rothstein trustee approved

A judge has approved a settlement that calls for Russell Adler, a former partner of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, to pay the defunct firm's bankruptcy estate either $350,000 within 30 months or $500,000 afterward.

Honigman Caught Up in Discovery Dispute in Discrimination Case

Already defending itself against a former executive assistant's claim that she was fired after an on-the-job injury, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn is now being accused by the woman's lawyers of withholding discovery materials.

Circuit Insists Class Action Waiver in Amex Contracts Are Invalid

The Supreme Court told the 2nd Circuit last year to take another look at a finding that an AmEx arbitration clause was voided by the Federal Arbitration Act. But on remand Tuesday, the judges said a 2010 Court ruling had not changed their analysis.

There He Goes Again: Manhattan Federal Judge Baer Once Again Uses Lead Counsel Order to Preach About Law Firm Diversity

For a fourth time, New York federal Judge Harold Baer has noted the importance of gender, racial and economic diversity in appointing a lead plaintiffs firm. Luckily for Cohen Milstein in the Dynex case, the firm met Baer's standards.

D.C. Judge Dismisses Suit Challenging Health Care Law

A D.C. judge sided Tuesday with the DOJ in dismissing a suit challenging the Obama administration's health care reforms, adding to the federal judiciary's divide over the law's constitutionality.

Supreme Court allows state seat belt action to proceed

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday unanimously reversed [opinion, PDF] a California appeals court ruling [opinion, PDF] in Williamson v. Mazda Motors of America [docket], finding that a federal minimum sa...

Justices Split 4-3 Over Mandatory Arbitration in Wage Case

Employers can't force workers to sign away the right to a Labor Commission hearing on an unpaid wage claim as a condition of employment, a split California Supreme Court has concluded in a contentious decision.

US immigration court orders deportation of former Nazi supporter

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Wednesday that the Detroit Immigration Court [official website] has ordered the removal [press release] of a Michigan man accused of killing Jews while serving as a member of the ...

Iraq government torturing detainees in secret prisons: Amnesty

[JURIST] The Iraqi government is operating secret prisons, and suspects held in Iraqi custody have been systematically tortured since before the 2003 US invasion, according to a Tuesday report [text, PDF] from Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website]. The report, "Broken Bodies, Tortured Minds: Abuse and Neglect of Detainees in Iraq," alleges that Iraqi and US forces have detained tens of thousands of people without trials, access to lawyers or opportunity to challenge the legality of their detention. The Central Criminal...

A 'terrible January' takes toll on Yoss firm

Yoss LLP has ordered layoffs, missed capital contribution payments to former partners, plans to close offices and is bleeding lawyers as financial struggles worsen at the Florida-based law firm.

Federal judge enters default against China in copyright suit, finding no immunity

A federal judge has granted a default motion against the People's Republic of China in a $2.2 billion lawsuit brought by a California software firm over copyright infringement.

Filling the Hole: The New Chief Justice Talks About the Budget

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye discusses her approach to California's budget crisis.

Madoff Investors Urge Circuit to Reject Trustee's Loss Estimates

Attorneys for investors whom a bankruptcy trustee says profited from Bernard Madoff's multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme argued Thursday before a panel of federal judges that the trustee's method of adjudicating claims is flawed.

Winston's Delicate Dance

Winston & Strawn's gambit of forgoing a merger in favor of making mass offers to Howrey partners could leave Winston open to inheriting Howrey's liabilities. And there are other potential concerns, say experts.

Supreme Court rules rehabilitation may be considered in resentencing

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-2 in Pepper v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that judges may consider a defendant's post-sentencing rehabilitation as a ...

Mississippi AG seeks to remedy deficiencies of BP oil spill victim fund

[JURIST] Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood [official website] on Tuesday requested that the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [official website] order the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) [official website] to fulfill its leg...

Supreme Court eases time limit on habeas petitions

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously in Wall v. Kholi [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a defendant's plea for leniency tolls the statute of limitations for filing...

States Fight for Restoring Funds in Courts

State chief justices joined attorneys and court officials at the ABA's midyear meeting in making a business case for restoring funding of America's courts.

Arizona federal judge declares judicial emergency

[JURIST] The US Courts for the Ninth Circuit [official website] announced [press release] on Tuesday that Chief Judge Roslyn Silver of the US District Court of Arizona [official website] has declared a judicial emergency [order; PDF] under the Speedy T...

Muslim student sues FBI over GPS tracking device

[JURIST] Muslim student Yasir Afifi and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] against the FBI [official website] on Wednesday after Afifi discovered a global positioning syst...

Debarred Ex-Purdue Pharma General Counsel Howard Udell Appeals Ruling

In a much-watched case that could affect the careers of other execs, former general counsel Howard Udell officially appeals a judge's ruling in a move to save his career in health care. • •

Federal judge upholds detention of Yemeni at Guantanamo

[JURIST] A federal judge on Thursday upheld the detention of Mashur Al Sabri [summary of evidence, PDF], a Saudi-born Yemeni citizen who was captured between Afghanistan and Pakistan and detained as an enemy combatant in December 2002. Sabri is current...

Madoff Trustee Hits SEC General Counsel David Becker With Suit

The top lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission has been named as a defendant in a clawback suit seeking the recovery of profits gained through investing with Bernard Madoff.

Fierce Fight Erupts over $315 Million Vioxx Attorneys Fee Fund

Objecting to a court-appointed committee's handling of Vioxx-related attorney fees, 17 firms accuse the committee of awarding to its own members fees equal to hourly rates as high as $2,205, while leaving little for others.

Florida federal judge strikes down entire health care reform law

A Florida federal judge on Monday struck down the nation's new health care reform law after finding that Congress exceeded its lawmaking power by requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.

New indictment filed against accused Arizona shooter

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors on Friday filed a 49-count indictment [text, PDF] against Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the recent Tucson, Arizona shooting. The new indictment carries more severe charges than the original indictment [text, PDF; JURIS...

DOJ asks federal judge to clarify health care ruling

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Thursday asked federal judge Roger Vinson to clarify his ruling [motion, PDF] to require states to enact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [text; JURIST news archive] during...