Oklahoma Senate approves legislation targeting undocumented workers

[JURIST] The Oklahoma Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved HB 1446 [materials], a bill creating a criminal penalty for undocumented workers who hold jobs and criminalizing the transportation of those workers into the state. The bill, written...

DUI lawyer says strip club coerced him into $19,000 bill

A traffic ticket attorney is suing a Miami strip club, accusing it of charging $19,000 to his credit card after plying him with so much alcohol that he became "partially or temporarily unconscious."

Federal appeals court reverses stem cell research funding ban

[JURIST] The US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday overturned [opinion, PDF] last year's ruling that placed a preliminary injunction [text, PDF, JURIST report] on federal funding of embryonic stem cell [JUR...

DLA Picks Up 10 Lawyers in Sacramento After Absorbing Boutique

DLA Piper continued its growth surge Thursday, adding 10 Sacramento lawyers from litigation boutique Stevens, O'Connell & Jacobs. Name partner Matthew Jacobs previously managed the litigation practice in DLA's Sacramento office.

TiVo's Rivals Will Pay it $500 Million to End Patent Suits

TiVo has reached a $500 million settlement agreement with Dish Network and EchoStar, effectively ending the companies' seven-year legal dispute over digital video recording patents.

Kinsella Weitzman Settles "Road to Nowhere" Infringement Case

Former Florida governor and one-time Senate hopeful Charlie Crist has settled an infringement case brought by former Talking Head David Byrne and delivered an apology via YouTube for his campaign's use of the song "Road to Nowhere."

Fight over $315 Million Vioxx Attorneys Fee Fund Heats Up

A major fee battle accelerated this week, with demands that several plaintiffs lawyers be disqualified, on conflict of interest grounds, from defending their allocation of Vioxx fees among plaintiffs firms.

Democrats Push for Vote on Trial Lawyer Judicial Nominee

Senate Democrats are moving to force a vote on the judicial nomination of John McConnell Jr., a Rhode Island trial lawyer who has drawn heat from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his work on tobacco and lead paint litigation.

Fullam Clears Way for Appeal in Profs' Suit Against West

The law professors whose $5 million defamation verdict against West was reduced to $400,000 have won the right to take an immediate appeal. Significantly, the judge in the case agreed to reconsider the use of remittitur in reducing the verdict.

Madoff Bankruptcy Judge Orders Names Unsealed in Trustee Suits Against JPMorgan, Citi, and Others

A federal bankruptcy judge has ordered court-appointed trustee Irving Picard to unseal identifying information in his complaints against JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and others, rejecting arguments that doing so would amount to defamation.

Holder: Bin Laden killing 'lawful'

[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] said Wednesday that the killing [JURIST report] of Osama Bin Laden [WP obituary; JURIST news archive] by US forces on Sunday was lawful and justified [video]. Testifying [hearing materials] before the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website], Holder said that the shooting of Bin Laden was "consistent with our values," and that the soldiers who killed him "conducted themselves totally appropriately." In a prepared statement [text], Holder said:Three days agothanks to many...

Georgia legislature passes Arizona-style immigration bill

[JURIST] The Georgia General Assembly [official website] passed an Arizona-style immigration bill [HB 87 text; materials] on Thursday that requires police to check the immigration [JURIST news archive] status of anyone they have probable cause to believe has committed a criminal offense and requires businesses to use E-Verify [official website] to check the immigration status of potential employees. The bill also creates a new criminal offense of "aggravated identity fraud" which applies to anyone using fraudulent identifying information to obtain...

Former Solicitor General Paul Clement Signs Up to Defend Marriage Law

House Republicans have hired former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement to lead their defense of the ban on federal recognition of same-sex marriage -- prompting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to renew her push for an estimate of litigation costs.

U.K. Bribery Act to Finally Take Effect in July

The long-delayed U.K. Bribery Act will finally take effect in July, according to the Ministry of Justice. The act, described by experts as the world's most draconian anti-corruption legislation, looks set to generate significant work for U.S. white-col...

Kelley & Ferraro Exits Bankruptcy After Settlement With Ex-Partner's Widow

Kelley & Ferraro, one of the largest asbestos litigation firms in the U.S., emerged from bankruptcy this week after reaching a confidential settlement with the widow of co-founding partner Michael Kelley.

Online Booksellers Immune in $30M Lawsuit Filed Over Obama Book

Online booksellers can't be sued over alleged defamatory content on their websites if it's created by an outside party, a judge has ruled, in the case of a self-published author who made sex and drug claims about President Obama.

Israel calls for UN to retract Goldstone report

[JURIST] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [official website] on Sunday called [statement] on the UN to retract the Goldstone Report [text, PDF; JURIST news archive] following statements made by Richard Goldstone in a Washington Post op-ed [text]. The Goldstone Report, which found that Israel committed war crimes [JURIST report] in Operation Cast Lead [JURIST news archive] after a fact finding mission, was called into question Friday by Goldstone's article, where he said: "if I had known then what I know...

Federal Judiciary Divided Over Changing Criminal Discovery Rule

Federal judges are divided over the necessity to change the rules of criminal procedure to put a greater emphasis and burden on prosecutors to turn over favorable information to defense lawyers, says a new report.

AG Holder: Criticism of Paul Clement 'Very Misplaced'

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has weighed in on Paul Clement's decision to leave King & Spalding to pursue same-sex marriage litigation. The AG compared criticism of Clement to criticism of DOJ lawyers' defense, while in private practice, of Guantan...

Alabama House approves Arizona-style immigration bill

[JURIST] The Alabama State House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday approved a bill [HB 56 text, PDF; materials] to create an illegal immigration [JURIST news archive] policy comparable to the controversial Arizona law [JURIST news archiv...

Interference With Counsel Claims in Madoff Probe Rejected

A judge has rejected claims by former employees of Bernard Madoff that the government is interfering with their right to defend themselves by belatedly treating money set aside for attorney fees as forfeitable assets.

Bank Claim Sheds Light on Lawyers' Contest Over Fees in Prudential Suit

A fee fight stemming from a confidential settlement of Prudential Life employees' suit against the company has spilled out into the open, as a bank that loaned money to one of the lawyers tries to enforce a $10 million judgment against him.

Casey, Toomey Reboot Federal Judge Nomination Process

The process of filling eight vacancies on Pennsylvania's three federal district court benches is about to get under way now that U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey have announced their picks for the co-chairs of three judicial nomination advisory panels.

Brushback: Bingham McCutchen Sues Dodgers Owner and Former Client McCourt

Bingham McCutchen has sued former client Frank McCourt, seeking a declaratory judgment that the firm is not liable for any losses the real estate developer turned baseball team owner might suffer as a result of his pending divorce action.

Utah immigration law challenged

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) [advocacy websites] on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF] challenging Utah's controversial immigration law [HB 497 materials; JURIST ne...

Howrey: Still Doing Business?

Despite its March dissolution, Howrey is seeking a flat-fee contract worth at least $10.5 million with New York state's North Country Power Authority. The proposed contract says Howrey has been engaged under a "success based contingency agreement."

The Am Law 100 2011: Analyzing the Results

Robin Sparkman, editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer, examines the latest Am Law 100 report and explains some factors that influenced gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, headcount and other key indicators of law firms' performance.

Walker Defends Hitting 'Play' on Prop 8 Video

In a letter to the 9th Circuit, former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has defended his decision to show footage of the Proposition 8 trial at public events, saying he considered the recording part of his judicial papers.

JPMorgan Chase Wins Dismissal of Most Claims in MBS Class Action

Standing has been a problem for mortgage-backed securities plaintiffs since the start of the subprime litigation boom, as seen this week with an employee retirement system that brought a purported class action against JPMorgan Chase.

Model sues ShamWow marketer for trying to make her his 'love slave'

A personal assistant to the ShamWow TV salesman has sued him for allegedly treating her like his "love slave" and firing her after she rejected his advances. The suit alleges civil battery, infliction of emotional distress and unpaid wages.

A wave of dismissals in wake of Federal Circuit ruling governing patent marking cases

The high pleading standard recently set by the Federal Circuit for whistleblower cases against companies that falsely label products as patented has so far weeded out at least 18 cases from dockets across the country.

Study Says Businesses Aren't Ready for U.K. Bribery Law

With enforcement of the United Kingdom's Bribery Act about two months away, a new survey suggests many companies don't yet have their ducks in a row when it comes to revising their compliance programs. In some cases, affected businesses may not even kn...

Idaho Judge Bounces All Claims Against Cushman Wakefield in Alleged $8 Billion Idaho Resort Development Scheme; Credit Suisse Still on the Hook for Conspiracy

In a class action over resort properties that went bust, a federal judge has dismissed claims against the real estate appraiser Cushman Wakefield, but let stand claims against Credit Suisse.

In packed courtroom, 1st Circuit weighs challenge to copyright damages

Whether Congress intended the Copyright Act's damages provision to apply to consumers and whether the 1st Circuit should overrule its statutory language were up for debate on Monday.

Accused Insider-Trading Deal Lawyer Assesses His Own Defense–And He Doesn't Think It Looks Good

There's plenty to be found in Wednesday's blockbuster criminal complaint against deal lawyer Matthew Kluger and his alleged insider trading partner. There's even an off-the cuff assessment by Kluger of his own defense.

Law Firm Can Be Sued for Malpractice For Bungling Client's Proxy Statement

A law firm can be sued for preparing a misleading proxy statement for a corporate client that had to pay more than $30 million to minority shareholders as a result, a federal appeals court has ruled.

BofA's Successor Liability for Countrywide Is Alleged Again in New Mega-Suit by Insurers

Undeterred by a recent federal court decision absolving Bank of America from successor liability, five insurance companies have sued BofA and Countrywide in federal court, alleging securities fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

ICTR removes US defense lawyer from tribunal work

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] has removed US lawyer and JURIST Forum [website] contributor Peter Erlinder [professional profile; JURIST news archive] from his position as an ICT...

Man who gave money to failed Times Square bomber to be deported

A Pakistani man who gave money to the man behind the failed Times Square bombing last May has been sentenced to the 11 months he's already served and released to federal officials for deportation.

Federal judge refuses to dismiss Toyota acceleration lawsuit

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] on Friday denied a motion by Toyota [corporate website; JURIST news archive] to dismiss a class action lawsuit [materials] filed over the alleged sudde...

Ex-Winston & Strawn Partner Pleads Guilty to Role in Swindling Celebrities

Former Winston & Strawn partner Jonathan S. Bristol has pleaded guilty to laundering millions of dollars through his attorney escrow accounts for convicted financial adviser Kenneth Starr. He faces a possible prison term of five years.

Judge doesn't buy man's claim to huge emerald

A California businessman did not buy the world's largest raw emerald, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, in Brazil in 2001 for $60,000, a judge has tentatively ruled.

News In Brief

An appellate judge has ruled that the New York State Insurance Department must submit for court review emails sent between its ex-commissioner and four aides as it defends a suit by 18 banks claiming $5 billion in damages from the department's decision...

11th Circuit Upholds Rejection of $97 Million Nicaragua Verdict in Pesticide Case

The 11th Circuit has upheld a Miami judge's decision rejecting a $97 million award by a Nicaraguan judge for workers who claim they were sickened by pesticides used on banana plantations. The ruling castigated the Latin American nation's justice system...

Federal appeals court overturns release order for Yemeni Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Tuesday overturned [opinion, PDF] a lower court's decision granting release to Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman. Uthman's 2004 ...

Atlanta Lawyer Plays Himself in New Reality TV Show

Antavius M. Weems is a lawyer in real life, and now he's playing one on a TV reality show featuring Toni Braxton and her family. Weems acknowledged the risk in using a reality show to promote his legal career, but notes that as Braxton's attorney, he g...

Judge preliminarily approves settlement in second BAR/BRI monopolization suit

A federal judge has preliminarily approved a second settlement reached between West Publishing and Kaplan and a class of people alleging the companies conspired to monopolize the market for the BAR/BRI bar review course.

Bonds Lawyers Say Government Withheld Evidence

Lawyers in the Barry Bonds perjury trial engaged in a nasty Brady battle Thursday, with Bonds attorney Cristina Arguedas arguing that government lawyers purposefully withheld evidence from the defense.

Another Lawyer Pleads Guilty in Inside Trading Case

Jason Goldfarb, formerly with Brecher Fishman Pasternak Walsh Tilker & Zeigler, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud. He was arrested in 2009 as part of the broader insider trading probe centering on the Galleon Group hedge fund.

Federal Judge Slashes Verdict Against West Publishing

A judge has slashed a $5.1 million defamation verdict against West Publishing down to just $400,000 after finding a jury award of $2.5 million in punitive damages to each of the two law professor plaintiffs was unconstitutionally excessive.

Victim of Max Factor Heir May Remain Anonymous, Court Rules

A victim of serial rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster can keep her name private while she tries to collect a $19 million civil judgment against him, a California appeal court ruled Wednesday.

Pool Death Prosecution Resonates With Companies

After a 6-year-old drowned in his family pool because a necessary safety device was never installed, the owner of the pool company pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in a case that may have long-lasting implications for other businesses.

What Online Businesses Need to Know About the ADA

Baker Donelson's Kelly L. Frey Sr. and Shameak Belvitt review the trend toward enhanced online access for people with disabilties, and examine the legal and technological implications for businesses in the wake of recent court decisions.

The Careerist: Yale Law Women's Picks of the Year

Normally, The Careerist's Vivia Chen is jaded about "best places to work" lists, particularly ones touting employers who purport to be good to women, children and pets. But she likes Yale Law Women's annual "Top Ten Family-Friendly Firms" list. Find ou...

Circuit Won't Reopen Facebook Settlement

The 9th Circuit has rejected an effort by ConnectU's founders to undo a settlement that had ended scorched-earth litigation with Facebook. "At some point, litigation must come to an end," Chief Judge Alex Kosinski wrote. "That point has now been reached."

Utah governor files suit to invalidate federal wildernes order

[JURIST] Utah Governor Gary Herbert [official website] announced on Friday that the state of Utah filed a complaint [statement] in the US District Court for the District of Utah [official website] against the Department of the Interior (DOI) [official website] regarding an order issued by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar [official profile] in December. Secretarial Order 3310 [text, PDF] created a new "Wild Lands" designation for public lands and provided that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) [official website]...

BP Agrees to Pay $25 Million for 2006 Alaskan Oil Pipeline Spill

BP Exploration Alaska will pay a $25 million penalty for spilling more than 5,000 barrels of crude oil from its pipelines on the North Slope of Alaska in 2006. It's the biggest per-barrel fine ever collected by the government for an oil spill.

Prop 8 Proponents Want Walker to Turn Over Trial Video

Upset that former federal Judge Vaughn Walker showed a recorded snippet of the Proposition 8 trial during a speaking engagement, Prop 8 supporters are asking the 9th Circuit to make Walker turn over the recording and refrain from showing it again.

Vetting Controversial Clients: How Am Law 200 Firms Do It

In the wake of the backlash against King & Spalding over its withdrawal from the same-sex marriage litigation, consultants and Am Law 200 leaders describe the prevailing procedures for client intake and how the procedures have evolved over time.

Mass. infomercial producer pleads guilty to tax, consumer fraud

An infomercial producer whose company was ordered by a federal court to disgorge nearly $49 million to the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive advertising has pleaded guilty to misbranding drugs and filing a false tax return.

Suits claim banks forced mortgagees to buy excessive flood insurance

Nichols Kaster has filed a mini-wave of lawsuits against banks for allegedly forcing mortgagees into exorbitant flood insurance policies, with five purported class actions in four states since March 2010.

11th Circuit Medicaid Ruling Helpful to States

On balance, an 11th Circuit ruling in a case closely watched by states, managed care organizations and children's advocates amounts to a win for the states, which had faced having outside doctors dictate certain Medicaid decisions.

Wisconsin judge clarifies ruling blocking union bargaining law

[JURIST] A judge for Wisconsin's Dane County Circuit Court [official website] issued an order [text, PDF] Tuesday prohibiting implementation of the state's new Budget Repair Bill [Senate Bill 11 text, PDF]. The order emphasizes that a temporary restrai...

Justices give global warming case a chilly reception

The Supreme Court on Tuesday threw cold water on states' effort to attack global warming by claiming that power companies' greenhouse gas output constitutes a public nuisance under federal common law.

Clifford Chance Off the Hook in DVI Securities Fraud Class Action; Third Circuit Endorses High Bar Second Circuit Set in Refco Case Against Mayer Brown

In a ruling in a securities class action against Clifford Chance, the 3rd Circuit endorsed the reasoning the 2nd Circuit applied last April when it affirmed that Refco shareholders cannot pursue a suit against Mayer Brown.

Illinois ex-governor Blagojevich back on trial for corruption

[JURIST] Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich [personal website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday went on trial [criminal complaint] for a second time on corruption charges, including one that he tried to sell President Barack Obama's vacant US Se...

Bankrupt mortgage company CEO pleads guilty to $1.5 billion fraud scheme

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced on Friday that the former CEO of mortgage company Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW) [corporate website] pleaded guilty [press release] on charges of fraud related to the Troubled ...

THE NLJ 250

The National Law Journal's annual survey of the largest law firms in the U.S. shows that nearly 2,900 fewer lawyers worked for the 250 top firms last year. That's in addition to the approximately 6,600 attorneys who departed in 2009.

Former Silicosis Clients Sue O'Quinn Law Firm, Estate

A group of 187 former silicosis clients of the O'Quinn Law Firm has sued the firm, the late John M. O'Quinn's estate and others, alleging the defendants overcharged them, failed to distribute some settlements and were negligent in handling some claims.

Texas Appellate Court Overturns $13.5 Million Contingency Fee Award to Lawyer Whose Client Won Nothing

A plaintiffs lawyer persuaded a Texas judge to grant him contingency fees based on a TRO his side obtained, even though his role was extremely limited and his client paid $24 million to get out of the case. But an appellate court has decided otherwise.

Rights Groups Join Banks in MBIA Breakup Challenge

Three civil rights groups have joined Citibank, BofA, Wells Fargo and other major banks in urging New York state's high court to reverse a ruling dismissing a $5 billion fraud suit over the 2009 breakup of bond insurer MBIA.

SIPC Will Get to Argue Alongside Madoff Trustee Picard in $6.4 Billion Case Against JPMorgan Chase

A federal judge has ruled that she'll listen to what the Securities Investor Protection Corp. has to say on its position, shared by Madoff trustee Irving Picard, that his case against JPMorgan should stay in bankruptcy court, not go to federal district...

Trustee, investors want to depose Scott Rothstein

Court-appointed bankruptcy trustee Herbert Stettin is seeking to compel the U.S. Marshals Service to deliver convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein "at a secure location chosen by the USMS" for a deposition.

No Coverage Duty in 'Kids-for-Cash' Cases, Judge Suggests

The judge overseeing the civil rights suits filed in the wake of the "kids-for-cash" judicial corruption scandal has handed down a pair of opinions in favor of insurers who are refusing to provide coverage for the cases.

Howrey Hit With Another WARN Suit

Howrey, which was recently sued by a former employee over an alleged failure to meet its obligations under the WARN Act, was sued by a class of 18 former employees in federal court on Friday.

Indiana approves legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks

[JURIST] The Indiana House of Representatives [official website] approved legislation [HB 1210, PDF] Wednesday banning abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy, citing the possibility that after that point the fetus may be able to feel pain. Under HB 1210, a physician must "[d]etermine in accordance with accepted medical standards the postfertilization age of the fetus and which trimester the pregnant woman receiving the abortion is in [and] determine whether the fetus is viable" prior to performing an abortion. If...

Private Prosecutions Per Se Illegal in New Jersey, Appeals Court Rules

A court has slammed the door on private prosecutions in New Jersey, finding they violate public policy. The ruling means that a man who tried to break up a fight at a party cannot press an assault charge against a woman who allegedly punched him repeat...

Law school recovering from massive tornado

Students at the University of Alabama School of Law were hunkered down and studying Wednesday -- the first day of final exams -- when a tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa and skirted the university campus. See student video of tornado, shot from law sch...

The Careerist: Allen & Overy Warns Women to Cover Up

Check out some of the latest posts on the lawjobs.com blog, The Careerist. Allen & Overy Warns Women to Cover Up Plus Disgruntled UVA Students Show Their Ire And Bulldog, Boxer, and Bristol Visit The Careerist

Law Firm: Former Client Owes Multimillion-Dollar Performance Incentive Bonus

Dallas' Shamoun & Norman is suing ex-client Albert G. Hill Jr., alleging he failed to pay a multimillion-dollar "performance incentive bonus" after the firm globally settled several legal disputes involving Hill's son -- but Hill claims he never signed...

A.G., MBIA Ask Court to Toss $5 Billion Fraud Suit

Bond insurer MBIA and New York state's attorney general are asking the state's high court to affirm a ruling dismissing a $5 billion fraud suit brought by a group of investment banks over MBIA's 2009 breakup.

Father's Use of Facebook Did Not Violate Protective Order, Justice Says

A father did not commit either criminal contempt or stalking when he wrote disparagingly about the mother of his two children on Facebook, a judge has ruled.

Federal Circuit upholds recent precedent on joint infringement, but two judges object

A divided Federal Circuit ruling shows the fragility of the court's recent precedent for joint infringement. The Tuesday ruling is remarkable for one judge's two-sentence concurring opinion disputing that precedent and a vehement dissent by another judge.

Carolina Combo: Womble Carlyle Merges With 44-Lawyer Charleston Firm

North Carolina-based 500-lawyer Womble Carlyle has acquired 44-lawyer Buist Moore Smythe McGee, one of the oldest and largest firms in Charleston, S.C. The merger, effective April 30, creates the largest firm in the Carolinas.

Judge Dismisses Dispute Over Release of Generic-Version Lipitor

Mylan Pharmaceuticals has lost its bid in D.C. federal court to force a Food and Drug Administration decision on whether a rival company can have exclusive rights to sell the generic version of Lipitor.

Approval of Evidence Rules Rewrite Ends 20-Year Quest

The State Bar of Georgia on Thursday won legislative approval of its proposed rewrites of the state's 148-year-old evidence rules, completing a 20-year quest that ran into last-minute trouble last week.

Government asks Supreme Court to rule on warrantless GPS tracking

[JURIST] The Obama administration on Friday asked [cert. petition, PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website] to determine whether police need warrants to track a suspect's movement using global position systems (GPS) technology. The government is ap...

'Voluntary Departure' Under WARN Act Is Ripe for U.S. Supreme Court Review

A court split over what constitutes a "voluntary departure" under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act makes the issue ripe for high court review, write Carla Rozycki and Emma Sullivan, who review recent federal appeals court rulings o...

For Laptop Searches, 'Border' Is Elastic

The 9th Circuit said Wednesday that a laptop search that began at the Mexican border, continued 170 miles away and took two days was lawful under border search authority.

Fax Plaintiffs Move Closer to Collecting on $459 Million Verdict

A federal appeals panel has removed one barrier to a class of plaintiffs' ability to collect on a $459 million judgment over so-called junk faxes, although several other potential pitfalls remain.

Oklahoma governor signs bill banning abortions after 20 weeks

[JURIST] Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin [official profile] on Tuesday signed into law [press release] House Bill 1888 [materials], prohibiting abortions [JURIST news archive] after 20 weeks. The law allows abortions past the 20-week mark only in certain...

State-owned company officials count under anti-bribery law

A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss an indictment on the argument that the officials who allegedly were bribed didn't meet the definition of "foreign official" under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Howrey Hit With First Suit Over Employee Wages

A former records specialist at Howrey has sued the firm for failing to pay WARN Act wages after she was terminated on March 31. The putative class action seeks an undetermined amount in salary and benefits for plaintiffs, plus attorney fees.

O'Melveny Helps BofA Avoid Successor Liability in Case Brought by Countrywide MBS Purchasers

A federal judge has ruled that BofA does not have successor liability for Countrywide's activities under Delaware law, and dismissed claims by a purported class that bought mortgage-backed securities from Countrywide.

Ecuadorans in Chevron Lawsuit Seek Kaplan's Recusal for Bias

Lawyers seeking to enforce an $18 billion environmental damages judgment against Chevron allege that Judge Lewis Kaplan has expressed "prejudicial and untenable conclusions" and has lost all semblance of impartiality."

Lawyer suspended for offering to sell term papers on Craigslist

Attorney Damian Bonazzoli has been suspended for six months after he was caught offering writing and editing services for student papers while he was a senior staff attorney with the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Mayer Brown Can't Save Wells Fargo From Woodshed Walloping Over Tax Shelter

The Federal Circuit has upheld a ruling that Wells Fargo, with assistance from its lawyers at King & Spalding, engaged in an abusive tax shelter when it tried to claim $115 million in tax deductions using a "SILO" leasing transaction.

Idaho governor blocks implementation of federal health care law

[JURIST] Idaho Governor CL "Butch" Otter (R) [official website] issued an executive order on Wednesday prohibiting implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [HR 3590 materials] in the state. Executive Order 2011-03 [text] bars "every executive branch department, agency and institution of the State" from establishing any program or rule that would implement provisions of the law, from accepting any federal funding tied to the law, and from assisting federal employees with its implementation. Otter cited...

On Heels of Big First Quarter, Experts See M&A Boom Continuing

A preliminary report shows a 58 percent increase in deal volume in the first quarter of 2011, thanks partly to AT&T's $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. Experts predict that M&A growth will continue through this year.

HRW urges UAE to reverse dissolution of civil rights group

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Friday urged [press release] the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to reverse its decision to dissolve the board of directors of a prominent civil rights group. UAE social affairs minis...

Verizon Agrees to $93.5M False Claims Settlement

Verizon will pay more than $93.5 million to the federal government to resolve allegations the company overcharged on voice and data telecommunication services contracts, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Wells Fargo Pays $11 Million to Settle Charges That It Misled Investors

Wells Fargo Securities will pay $11 million in disgorgement and penalties to settle SEC allegations of improper conduct in the sale of mortgage-backed securities as the housing market began to crumble in 2006 and 2007.

Idaho legislature passes late-term abortion ban

[JURIST] The Idaho legislature [official website] on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill [SB 1165, PDF] that would prohibit most abortions [JURIST news archive] after 20 weeks of gestation. The "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" is based on disputed medical evidence suggesting that a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks [Reuters report], and would permit abortions after that time period only in cases where the mother's life is at risk or she faces serious injury. A doctor who...

Ohio Senate approves bill limiting abortion after 20 weeks

[JURIST] The Ohio Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved a bill [SB 72 text, PDF] that would limit the availability of abortions [JURIST news archive] after 20 weeks. The act, which was approved 24-8 by the Republican-dominated assembly, requi...

Prop 8 Backers Say Walker Should Have Disclosed Sexual Orientation

Proposition 8 supporters have tossed another grenade at the judge who struck down California's gay marriage ban, saying in a motion that former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker's judgment should be vacated because he may have had a personal interest in the ou...

Justices Bothered By Lawyer's Disloyalty

The California Supreme Court sounded ready Wednesday to take a stand for client loyalty, signaling a ruling that might limit what lawyers can say and do to oppose the interests of former clients.

Companies Get Creative to Cut Legal Costs

Under pressure to curb legal costs, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard have saved millions of dollars in legal fees by outsourcing work to India, giving work to solo practitioners rather than mega-firms and eschewing hefty hourly fees in favor of alternativ...

Justices, Judges, Lawyers Poke Fun at Mock Trial

"Courtroom humor" is usually an oxymoron. But at least once a year it blooms without self-contradiction at D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre, as Supreme Court justices, D.C. Circuit judges and top lawyers mix it up to present a mock trial based on one of the ...

Second Circuit Upholds Obstruction Charges Against Prison Guards

Applying a Sarbanes-Oxley Act section that tightened provisions on the destruction or fabrication of evidence, the 2nd Circuit has upheld two guards' obstruction-of-justice convictions stemming from an investigation of excessive force against a federal...

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Federal Law Trumps Credit Card Companies' Arbitration Agreements

Less than a week after the Supreme Court ruled that AT&T could enforce individual arbitration clauses with cell phone customers, the justices have set their sights on another 9th Circuit consumer arbitration ruling -- this time involving credit cards.

Gibson Dunn Wins Sanctions Against SunTrust in AIG Mortgage Insurance Fraud Suit

A judge has sanctioned SunTrust's mortgage division and criticized the bank's lawyers, concluding a SunTrust employee altered emails that in-house lawyers and senior management knew were apt to be at the center of AIG insurance fraud litigation.

Chicago Firm Opens in S.F. With Laterals From Sedgwick, Long & Levit

Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson, a 90-lawyer Chicago firm specializing in insurance and labor and employment litigation, opened in San Francisco on Monday with seven partners and four associates, raided from several firms.

Prop 8 Opponents Defend Walker's Showing of Trial Video

Plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case have come to the defense of former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, firing back against a motion to force him to hand over his video recording of the trial.

House files motion to defend federal marriage law

[JURIST] The Republican-led US House of Representatives [official website] filed a motion [text, PDF] Monday with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the constitut...

Farmers Try New Tack Against Monsanto, Challenging Patents on Genetically Modified Seeds

On Tuesday, a coalition of more than 50 advocacy groups and farmers represented by the Public Patent Foundation launched what appears to be the broadest legal attack yet against Monsanto's transgenic seed patents.

U.K.'s Financial Services Authority Issues Warning About Cromwell & Goodwin

Britain's leading financial regulator has issued an alert about the mysterious Cromwell & Goodwin, adding the supposed New York law firm to a list of "unauthorised overseas firms operating in the U.K."

Supreme Court rules prisoners may not seek monetary damages for violation of rights

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-2 in Sossamon v. Texas [Cornell LII Backgrounder] that states do not consent to waive their sovereign immunity to private suits for money damages ...

Supreme Court rules challengers to Arizona tax credit lack standing

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 Monday in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that respondents lacked standing to bring suit regarding the constitutio...

HRW requests international inquiry into killings of Syria protestors

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Sunday requested that the United Nations (UN) [official website] begin an international inquiry [press release] into Syria's security forces after numerous civilians were fatally shot [WP report] ...

Supreme Court hears final oral arguments for 2010 term

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF; merit briefs] Wednesday in Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan [oral argument transcript, PDF; JURIST report] on whether the First Amendment ...

AIG Taps Quinn Emanuel To File $350 Million Fraud Suit Against ICP Asset Management; More Suits Likely To Follow

AIG Financial Products has filed suit against ICP Asset Management in the first of a possible series of lawsuits against financial institutions in an effort to recoup billions of dollars that it lost because of alleged fraud.

Ivory Coast leader Ouattara promises legal action against Gbagbo

[JURIST] Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara announced in a televised speech Monday that he will ask his justice minister to begin legal proceedings against former president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profiles]. Ouattara guaranteed the security of...

Now That's Compliance: DOJ Gives ITT Time Off for Good Behavior

Concluding its oversight of a night-vision technology contractor that pleaded guilty to arms export violations, the DOJ has announced that a Virginia federal judge has agreed to dismiss a deferred charge against ITT a full year ahead of schedule.

Big News in MBS Litigation: Second Circuit to Review Class Certification Rulings

In a case of first impression, the 2nd Circuit will review whether purchasers of mortgage-backed securities who claim they were misled about the quality of the underlying mortgages can bring their claims as a class.

Banks Pledge More Control of Lawyers in Foreclosures

Sixteen of the United States' largest mortgage servicers have pledged to exercise tighter control over the law firms they hire to represent them in foreclosure actions under a settlement announced by federal bank regulators.

Embarrassed Panel Rethinks Ruling on Fee Arbitration

Calling its earlier handling of a case "embarrassing," a California appeal court sounded ready Tuesday to undo an opinion that said a volunteer arbitrator should have disclosed that he regularly represents law firms in fee disputes.