Somali pirate pleads guilty in US court

[JURIST] A Somali man pleaded guilty [FBI press release] to charges of piracy and hostage taking on Friday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] for overtaking a yacht containing four American citizens. The Am...

Supreme Court rules on breach of contract suit involving state secrets

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in General Dynamics Corp v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder] that when the court dismisses a valid prima facie affirmative defense to the governme...

Supreme Court rules securities company not liable to investors for misstatements

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a service provider cannot be held primarily liabl...

Federal judge upholds Ohio law limiting 'abortion pill'

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio [official website] on Monday upheld an Ohio law [2919.123 text] that limits the use of the "abortion pill," overturning a 2006 injunction [JURIST report]. The law requires that the use of the pill, RU-486 [FDA guidelines], conform with federal guidelines, which currently do not allow the pill to be used after seven weeks of pregnancy. Judge Susan Dlott originally placed an injunction on the law [opinion,...

U.S. Legal Industry Adds 1,500 Jobs in April

The legal industry reversed a losing streak in April by adding 1,500 jobs after two straight months of decline, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly employment report shows.

Supreme Court grants securities fraud class certification without proof of loss causation

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] unanimously ruled [opinion, PDF] on Monday in Erica P John Fund v. Halliburton [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that, though a party to a private securities fraud action mus...

Wyoming high court rules same-sex couple can divorce

[JURIST] The Wyoming Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion] Monday that a same-sex couple married in Canada can get a divorce in Wyoming. The couple was legally married in Canada in 2008 and began divorce proceedings in Wyoming, where the couple resides. A district court determined it did not have subject-matter jurisdiction to adjudicate an action to dissolve a same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] because Wyoming state statute defines marriage as "a civil contract between a male and a female...

Mack Trucks Settles Class Action for $525 Mil.

Mack Trucks and its corporate parent, Volvo, have agreed to pay $525 million to settle a class action brought by more than 9,300 Mack retirees to challenge threatened reductions to their lifetime health benefits.

Federal judge allows environmental groups' lawsuit against ExxonMobil

[JURIST] A federal judge on Tuesday permitted two environmental groups to sue a Texas refinery owned by ExxonMobil Corp. [corporate website] for failing to enforce federal environmental standards. The Sierra Club and Environment Texas [advocacy website...

Justice Scalia Takes On Congress, a Favorite Target

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is not the sort who leaves people wondering what he really thinks, especially when it comes to members of Congress. In two opinions Thursday, Scalia disparaged lawmakers as sleepy and lazy. (No word on whether he al...

Boies, Olson Video: "The freedom to marry is a constitutional right as recognized in Loving v. Virginia."

In a video released on the eve of the latest round of oral arguments in the ongoing challenge to California's same-sex marriage ban, attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies draw a parallel between their case and the landmark Supreme Court case Loving ...

Former Weil Bankruptcy 'Star' Leaves for Claims Trading Business

Shai Waisman, a former business finance and restructuring partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and one of the top legal billers on the Lehman bankruptcy case, has left Weil to join claims trading operation Claims Recovery Group LLC, according to sources.

Minnesota governor vetoes bills restricting abortion rights

[JURIST] Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton [official website] vetoed a pair of bills [veto HF 201; veto HF 936] Wednesday that restricted state funding for abortions and banned them altogether after 20 weeks. Dayton vetoed Chapter 59 [text] of Minnesota House File 936, which would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks based on "substantial medical evidence that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by 20 weeks after fertilization." In Dayton's veto he said, "imposing civil penalties and making...

Supreme Court Sets High Bar for Finding Induced Infringement

In the war between tech companies and the so-called patent trolls who sue them, the Supreme Court on Tuesday handed defense lawyers a powerful tool, raising the standards for finding that a defendant has induced infringement.

Alito Owned Stock, Voted in Case Involving Disney's ABC

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito says it was "a mistake" for him to take part in a 2008 high court case over curse words on television involving ABC and other networks when he owned stock in ABC's parent, Walt Disney Co., at the time.

Federal judge approves Google Buzz privacy settlement

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] Tuesday approved a settlement agreement [text, PDF] in a privacy lawsuit against Google [corporate website] over its Buzz [website] social networking ...

New York AG sues US government for failure to study fracking impact

[JURIST] The New York attorney general on Wednesday filed a complaint [text, PDF] against the US government for failing to investigate the risks of hydraulic fracturing [EPA backgrounder], or "fracking," a controversial technique used to release natural shale gas. The complaint seeks to compel a number of federal agencies to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) [EPA materials] by investigating the environmental impact of fracking and making the findings available to the public prior to adopting a proposal...

Missouri lawmakers approve late-term abortion ban

[JURIST] The Missouri House of Representatives [official website] on Thursday gave final approval [press release] to legislation [HB 213 materials] that would ban abortions [JURIST news archive] after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The measure, passed by a vot...

DLA Piper's Lateral Hiring Binge Continues With 4 More Hires

The world's largest law firm by attorney headcount continued to grow this week. DLA Piper added four more partners on Wednesday, including two practice group leaders from White & Case in New York and two IP and technology partners from Pillsbury Winthr...

Alabama legislature passes Arizona-style immigration law

[JURIST] The Alabama Senate and House of Representatives [official websites] on Thursday approved a bill [HB 56 text; materials] expanding restrictions on undocumented immigrants. The House voted 67-29 and the Senate voted 25-7 to pass the bill that includes measures comparable to those passed in Arizona [JURIST report] last year. The bill permits police officers to detain a person stopped for a traffic violation if the officer has "reasonable suspicion" the person is in the country illegally. The officer must...

Court kills charter commission law

In a victory for local school boards that had challenged a 2008 law creating an alternative mechanism for the approval of charter schools, the Georgia Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional a law that authorizes a state commission to approve...

More Fees Awarded in Trademark Row Between Retailers

In a contentious trademark dispute over BCBG Max Azaria's use of the brand "True People" when Urban Outfitters already used "Free People," the 3rd Circuit has awarded additional attorney fees to Urban Outfitters along with upholding a previous fee awar...

Shareholders insist BP is on the hook for assurances about safety

Misleading and false statements made by BP executives before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill were material to investors, not just a matter of corporate mismanagement, shareholders argued in court documents filed Monday in the securities MDL against the...

Female Partner Drops Gender Discrimination Suit Against Reed Smith

A discrimination suit has been dropped by a Reed Smith partner who had alleged that male attorneys were paid more than females and that the only female attorneys who received work from partners were those "willing to engage in sexual relations" with ma...

Supreme Court Takes Hard Line on Standing in Plastic Bag Case

The California Supreme Court didn't sound sympathetic Wednesday to an industry coalition trying to stop a city's ban on plastic bags, zeroing in on whether the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition had standing to challenge the ordinance.

Ruden McClosky says closing Miami, Boca offices will help it save millions

Beleaguered Ruden McClosky has closed or shrunk offices in Florida and imposed a 9 percent holdback on partners in moves that its management says are necessary to rightsize the faltering firm.

Video: A Day in the Life of a Justice of the Peace

Senior reporter John Council talks with Dallas Justice of the Peace Juan Jasso about his work in a court that is close to the people and affects the lives of a large number of Texans.

Two more disability-bias suits attack the LSAT

Barely a week after a blind man filed suit alleging that the American Bar Association essentially requires a discriminatory test, a would-be LSAT taker with attention deficit disorder has sued the Law School Admission Council, which administers the exam.

Honigman Miller, Vice Chairman Settle With Former Staffer

Honigman Miller and the firm's vice chairman have settled a discrimination lawsuit brought by a former executive assistant who had claimed a work-related back injury caused by high heels, which she claimed the firm required female employees to wear.

Minnesota senate approves referendum on same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] The Minnesota Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved a voter referendum [SF 1308 text] to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The measure was approved by a vote of 38 - 27, with only one Democrat joi...

Former CHOP GC Charged With Mail Fraud, Money Laundering

A former general counsel of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has been charged with embezzling $1.7 million from the hospital by creating eight "shell" companies for the purposes of stealing money through false invoices.

In Hydroxycut Class Action, MoFo Sheds Unsightly Claims Against Diet Supplement Maker and Retailers

Morrison & Foerster has convinced a federal judge to slash the bulk of a putative class action against Hydroxycut maker Iovate Health Sciences and retailers of the dietary supplement, including GNC, Wal-Mart and Walgreens.

Supreme Court rules party must pay fees for frivolous claims alone

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] unanimously ruled [opinion, PDF] on Monday in Fox v. Vice [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that it is improper to award defendants the full amount of attorney's fees incurred while defending non-frivolous claims along with a frivolous claim. 42 USC 1988 [text] permits courts to award defendants attorney's fees for defending against a frivolous claim, even when the plaintiff also asserts non-frivolous claims. The court interpreted 1988 as...

Backlog of immigration cases continues to grow, report says

The number of pending cases in federal immigration courts is at an all-time high, and those cases are remaining open for longer, according to new data that underscores the backlog facing the United States' immigration system.

Eleventh Circuit hears arguments on constitutionality of new health care law

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments Wednesday over the constitutionality of the new health care reform law [text; JURIST news archive] and its individual mandate requiring citizens to purcha...

Toyota dealers tell their tales

Lawyers in nearly 100 lawsuits against Toyota in California are getting one step closer to trial, with deliberations under way about which case should go first and depositions set to begin of dealers who sold allegedly defective vehicles.

Ex-Ropes & Gray Associate Disbarred After Rajaratnam Verdict

Former Ropes & Gray associate Arthur Cutillo, one of three lawyers ensnared in the government's insider trading probe of Raj Rajaratnam's Galleon Group of hedge funds, was disbarred Thursday, a day after a federal jury convicted Rajaratnam.

Circuit Stays Portion of Chevron Ruling

Litigants challenging a federal judge's preliminary injunction against worldwide enforcement of an $18 billion environmental judgment against Chevron in Ecuador got a measure of procedural relief at the 2nd Circuit on Thursday.

Covington, Former Staff Attorney Wrangle Over Summary Judgment in Discrimination Suit

After winning partial summary judgment in September, Covington & Burling is moving for summary judgment on the remaining claims by a former staff attorney who says she was fired for complaining about alleged discrimination at the firm.

Former Chief Justice Tom Phillips and wife reach tentative settlement with plaintiffs in wrongful-death suit, say lawyers for both

Retired Texas Supreme Court Justice Tom Phillips and his wife have reached a tentative settlement with plaintiffs whose daughter died in a car accident after allegedly attending a party hosted by the Phillipses' son where underage drinking occurred.

No Shield for Blogger, N.J. Court Rules

In the closely watched case of Too Much Media LLC v. Hale, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that online commenters who lack a "relationship or connection" with traditional media organizations must reveal their sources.

OppenheimerFunds Reaches $100 Million Settlement with MBS Plaintiffs

Plaintiffs lawyers scored a $100 million victory for investors in toxic mortgage-backed securities, when OppenheimerFunds agreed to settle three-year-old claims that it concealed risks about the MBS holdings of two Oppenheimer funds.

UN special rapporteurs on executions want full statement of facts on Bin Laden killing

[JURIST] Human rights experts from the UN Commission for Human Rights [official website] on Friday called on the US to disclose further details [press release] on the killing of al Qaeda [JURIST news archive] leader Osama Bin Laden [WP obituary; JURIST news archive]. Special Rapporteurs Christof Heyns and Martin Scheinin [official websites] are seeking more information in order "to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards. For instance it will be particularly important to know if...

At long last, government case against Microsoft has ended

Nearly 10 years after Microsoft signed an agreement with the government to resolve antitrust charges, the company is free of federal oversight. Still, some lawyers are skeptical about just what the settlement achieved.

In Gun Case Fee Dispute, Court Rules Against Chicago

What does it mean to "win" in the Supreme Court? The 7th Circuit answered that question Thursday, ruling in favor of attorney Alan Gura's request for legal fees for last year's landmark ruling on Chicago's handgun ban.

ACLJ appeals dismissal of health care reform lawsuit

[JURIST] The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) [advocacy website] Tuesday is seeking reinstatement of its dismissed lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law [text; JURIST news archive]. The ACLJ filed an appeal [...

US Senate approves Verrilli to replace Kagan as solicitor general

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] Tuesday approved Donald Verrilli, Jr [Oyez profile], as the next Solicitor General [official website] by a vote of 72-16 [roll call vote], taking the position left open since Elena Kagan was sworn in [JURIST re...

Lawyers investigated for criticizing system

Though no Florida attorneys are facing disciplinary charges for their work in foreclosure cases, two lawyers have been actively investigated by the Florida Bar for publicly criticizing the gridlocked foreclosure process.

Lawmaker Takes New Shot at Disability Access Suits

California's Senate minority leader has introduced legislation that would require would-be plaintiffs in disability-access suits to give business owners 120 days to fix access violations before they file suit.

Alabama governor signs immigration bill into law

[JURIST] Alabama Governor Robert Bentley [official website] on Thursday signed into law an immigration bill [HB 56 text; materials] expanding restrictions on undocumented immigrants. The bill, passed by the Alabama legislature [JURIST report] last week, includes measures comparable to those passed in Arizona [JURIST report] last year. The bill permits police officers to detain a person stopped for a traffic violation if the officer has "reasonable suspicion" the person is in the country illegally. The officer must then try to...

N.Y. High Court Tosses $900 Million Verdict Against Carlos Slim and America Movil

Mayer Brown cured a nearly $1 billion headache for Latin America's largest mobile phone carrier last week, persuading New York's highest court to throw out $900 million in claims against America Movil brought by shareholders of the company's Ecuadorean...

Supreme Court rules in Speedy Trial Act case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] in United States v. Tinklenberg [Cornell LII backgrounder] that time for pretrial motions, regardless of whether they actually delay or are expected to ...

SG Nominee Verrilli Wins Committee Backing

After a contentious confirmation hearing in March, Donald Verrilli Jr. picked up wide, bipartisan support Wednesday for his nomination for U.S. solicitor general, as senators said he had eased some of their concerns about his independence from the Whit...

Claims Against Countrywide Aren't Preempted, Second District Says

An appeals court has revived a potentially massive class action against Countrywide and other financial entities, rejecting the argument that federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over claims that Countrywide deceived buyers of mortgage-backed sec...

UN rights council: US faces continued violence against women

[JURIST] A report [text, PDF] by UN Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo [official profile, DOC] has said that there is a continued prevalence of violence and discriminatory treatment of women in the US, with a heightened impact on poor, minority and immi...

On Eve of Trial, Honeywell Agrees to Settle Patent Suit by BorgWarner for $32.5 Million

After four years of litigation, Honeywell and BorgWarner were set to begin trial Monday in a patent suit with up to $300 million at stake. Instead, the parties settled, with Honeywell agreeing to pay BorgWarner $32.5 million for a license to the patents.

Supreme Court Upholds Ruling on Hotel Taxes

The Georgia Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court's finding that online travel companies that book hotel rooms via the Internet must pay hotel taxes on the room rates they charge their customers, not the lower rates they pay to the hotels.

Students try to draw Congress into law school transparency movement

Though law students agree schools should be more transparent about their graduates' success in the job market, they differ on the best way to press their cause. One group is pressing for federal legislation, while another is focusing squarely on the ABA.

Germany court rejects Spain Demjanjuk extradition request

[JURIST] A Munich court on Thursday denied Spain's request to extradite retired US autoworker and convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive] to stand trial in Madrid. The Spanish National Court in January sought Demjanjuk's...

Prosecution Seeking Settlement in Bonds Perjury Case

Prosecutors have approached the Barry Bonds defense team about a settlement, a lawyer familiar with the case has confirmed. It isn't clear what the government has offered, or whether Bonds will accept. But the talks could bring to a close the nearly de...

Arizona Hires Paul Clement to Defend Immigration Law

Paul Clement has a new hot-button political issue on his docket. Gov. Jan Brewer has hired him to handle Arizona's certiorari petition to the Supreme Court, which the state hopes will result in it finally being able to implement its controversial immig...

Judge OKs Antitrust Action Against Huggies Manufacturer

Kimberly-Clark must answer claims it tried to monopolize the market for disposable baby diapers and training pants now that a federal judge has refused to dismiss allegations it dominated the market by fraudulently procuring patents and waging "sham" p...

Firm Facing Malpractice Suit May Challenge Settlement, Circuit Says

The 2nd Circuit has ruled that K&L Gates can challenge part of a settlement between former Teligent CEO Alex Mandl and the bankrupt telecom company's unsecured creditors in order to defend itself against a malpractice suit filed by Mandl.

E-Discovery Nightmare: Client Cites McDermott's Use of Contract Lawyers in Malpractice Suit

J-M Manufacturing claims in a malpractice suit that McDermott Will & Emery did not thoroughly review the work of contract attorneys and mistakenly turned over privileged documents when responding to subpoenas in a false claims act case.

SEC Announces Deferred Prosecution for Tenaris

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Tenaris S.A. of Luxembourg over bribe payments -- the first time the agency has ever used such a deal.

Report: Hogan Lovells Partner Dismissed Over Expense Claims

Legal Week is reporting that Hogan Lovells dismissed London-based partner Christopher Grierson after the firm said the litigator falsely claimed more than $1.6 million in expenses.

Appeals Court Orders New Trial in Retaliation Suit Against FBI

The D.C. Circuit has ordered a new trial in a retaliation suit brought against the FBI by a former legal attache in Saudi Arabia, saying the jury was mistakenly asked to assess government security clearance judgments that are not reviewable.

BP Cuts $1.1 Billion Deal with MOEX to Trim Liability in Oil Spill Litigation

MOEX USA, which holds a 10 percent stake in the undersea well that soiled the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, has agreed to pay BP $1.1 billion in a deal designed to limit both companies' exposure in the oil spill litigation.

Group opposes UGA hiring Larry Thompson

The Center for Constitutional Rights has called on the University of Georgia School of Law to "investigate and reconsider" the appointment of Larry D. Thompson to its faculty, citing his role as deputy U.S. attorney general in a decision that led to a ...

U.S. Suit Can Proceed Against Law Firm Accused of Abusive Collection Practice

A putative class action that accuses New Jersey's largest collections firm of improperly levying on debtors' joint bank accounts has survived a motion to dismiss, with a federal judge leaving alive three of four counts against Pressler & Pressler.

O'Melveny Loses 7 N.Y. Partners to Paul Weiss, 2 to Weil Gotshal

Seven O'Melveny partners, including the co-chair of its corporate finance/capital markets practice and its tax practice head, will be joining Paul Weiss. Top private equity adviser Harvey Eisenberg and M&A partner Douglas Ryder are leaving O'Melveny fo...

Justice Thomas' Planned Speech in Georgia Draws Controversy

Some officials and lawyers say Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' planned appearance at the dedication of a Georgia courthouse dishonors the man for whom the building is named: the first black judge on the state Court of Appeals.

Judges Have Lots of Questions For Lawyers in MBIA Argument

Judges of the New York Court of Appeals peppered both sides with tough questions Tuesday in the $5 billion fight between bond insurer MBIA and a group of policyholder banks over MBIA's 2009 breakup.

California governor to request more time to reduce prison population

[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] on Thursday indicated that he would ask a federal judge for more time to construct his plan to reduce the state's prison population. The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive...

Supreme Court rules on Stanford University rights to HIV testing invention

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website, JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in Board of Trustees of Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems [Cornell LII backgrounder] that federal law does not automatically vest title of inventions from federally funded research in the university through which the research is being conducted. The 7-2 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts held that the Bayh-Doyle Act [35 USC 200-212], which vests patent rights to universities for inventions from federally...

Key Senators to Support Filibuster of Goodwin Liu

Three Republicans who have rarely supported filibusters of judicial nominees said Wednesday they will vote to filibuster appellate nominee Goodwin Liu, a bad omen for Liu a day before a crucial Senate vote.

Federal appeals court upholds renewal license for oldest nuclear plant

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) [official website] decision to renew the operating license of the nation's oldest nuclear power plant. T...

Judge's Poor Decorum Not Unconstitutional, Ninth Circuit Panel Rules

The 9th Circuit reluctantly ruled Wednesday that Los Angeles Judge Manuel Real's repeated rebukes of counsel and pointed questioning of witnesses were out of line but not unconstitutional. The judge admonished a female defense attorney more than 100 ti...

In Split Vote, SEC Approves New Rules to Reward Whistleblowers

In a vote split along partisan lines, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved final rules for rewarding whistleblowers who provide the agency with tips that lead to successful prosecutions.

PTO Rejects Crucial Abbott Challenge to Stent Patent

Radiologist Bruce Saffran has already won two nine-figure verdicts over a medical stent patent, including a $482 million award against Johnson & Johnson. Now a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision may help him collect from a third stent maker, Abb...

The Risks and Rewards of Social Media

The annual Social Media: Risks and Rewards conference was held at the landmark Marines' Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco on April 12, 2011. Experts spoke to Monica Bay, editor in chief at LTN, about the importance of social media to the corpora...

Chain Cannot Be Withheld Over One E-Mail, Judge Says

An entire email chain cannot be withheld during e-discovery on the grounds that it contains a single email with privileged information, a federal magistrate judge has ruled in an $800,000 contract dispute between a benefits consultant and a client.

Florida ACLU challenges mandatory drug screening of state employees, applicants

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLUFL) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] Tuesday challenging an executive order that mandates state government agencies provide pre-employment drug screening for ...

Email Spat Erupts Between Foley and GrayRobinson Over Pitch to Partners

When Foley & Lardner pitched 20 GrayRobinson partners, GrayRobinson president Byrd "Biff" Marshall fired back with a sarcastic e-mail "mostly in fun." Foley's public affairs director's response? "Biff: we've never met but you seem to be an ass who is e...

White House Counsel Returns to Private Practice

Robert Bauer is stepping down as President Barack Obama's counsel to resume his roles as head of Perkins Coie's election law practice, the president's chief campaign lawyer and GC to the Democratic National Committee.

Town Prosecutor Fired After Reporting Drunk Judge Wins $1.3 Million Verdict

A New Jersey municipal prosecutor who was replaced after reporting her town's judge for holding court while intoxicated has been awarded $1.3 million, most of it punitive damages, in her whistleblower suit.

Embattled Weiner Turns to Baker & Hostetler Partner

A source has confirmed that Baker & Hostetler partner John Siegal -- who represented Rep. Anthony Weiner as the congressman considered runs for New York City mayor in 2005 and 2009 -- will be representing Weiner amid the fallout over his explicit onlin...

Facebook Postings Barred From Discovery in Accident Case

The plaintiff in a car accident case does not have to accept a Facebook friend request from the defendant so that the defendant can have full access to the plaintiff's postings and pictures, a Pennsylvania judge has ruled.

New Jersey high court rules bloggers cannot use shield law to protect sources

[JURIST] The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF] unaimously Tuesday that a blogger does not have the same privilege to protect her sources as other journalists in traditional media. The court found that a New Jersey "shield law" [NJSA 2A:84A-2121.8] allowing reporters to protect the confidentiality of their sources could not be invoked by a blogger who posted comments on an Internet message board. Shellee Hale founded a website called in which she intended to reveal alleged illegal...

3rd Circuit Upholds $30 Million Award in Suit Alleging Copyright Infringement

A jury's verdict of nearly $18.9 million in a copyright infringement case has swelled to more than $30 million with pre- and post-judgment interest now that the 3rd Circuit has ruled that the original award was not excessive.

Court Changes Mind on Accepting Amicus Brief in $18.5 Mil. Verdict

A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel being asked to reconsider a decision waiving an appeal of an $18.5 million verdict for failure to file post-trial motions has gone back on its decision to accept an amicus brief opposing the ruling filed by appellate...

Maryland passes bill forcing railroad to disclose Holocaust activities

[JURIST] Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley [official website] on Thursday signed into law a bill [SB 479 materials] designed to force French rail company SNCF [corporate website] to disclose its participation in the Holocaust to receive a state rail co...

DC Circuit upholds default damages judgment against Syria

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday unanimously ruled [opinion, PDF] to uphold a $413 million judgment against Syria for assisting in the the murders of two US contractors. In 2004, two mil...

Epstein Becker's Losses Continue as Cozen Swipes 14 Lawyers in Houston

The bulk of Epstein Becker & Green's Houston office has left the firm to join Cozen O'Connor. It is the latest group of laterals to leave Epstein Becker, which in January closed its Miami office and saw its real estate practice leader and five colleagu...

King & Spalding's Reversal of Fortune

What should have been a nonevent became a major story when King & Spalding first said yes to representing House Republicans on the Defense of Marriage Act litigation -- and later said no. But the issues are more complicated than the headlines.

Federal judge blocks Utah immigration law

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Utah [official website] on Tuesday blocked the state's controversial immigration law [HB 497 materials; JURIST news archive], less than 24 hours after it took effect. Judge Clark Waddoups i...

Georgia judge reverses decision, permits religious headwear in courtroom

[JURIST] A Georgia state court judge on Monday reversed his earlier decision blocking a Muslim man from entering his courtroom on three separate occasions on account of the man's religious headwear. Troy "Tariq" Montgomery wears a tight-fitting cap called a kufia traditional Muslim symbol of humility. Henry County State Court Judge James Chafin originally requested Montgomery show proof that wearing the kufi is required [AJC report]. The Judicial Council of Georgia decided to allow headwear for religious or medical reasons...

Expungement Denied to Man Released on New DNA Evidence

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied a previously granted expungement request from the first inmate in that state to be released through post-conviction DNA evidence. Vincent Moto's release led to him being featured in a documentary, "After Innoce...

A Biotech Fish Story

The FDA is weighing whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal designed for people to eat. A ruling could potentially jump-start a struggling research field while raising critics' fears that a brave new world of groceries is upon us.

Pfizer Moves to Settle Philadelphia HRT Cases

In the five years since Philadelphia's first hormone replacement therapy case went to trial, a jury has awarded punitive damages as high as $75 million, and more than 1,000 cases have been tossed and then revived. Now settlement is the name of the game.

Effort by Dog Groups to Win Favor Under Helmsley Trust Rejected

A Manhattan surrogate has rejected animal welfare groups' bid to ensure that organizations that help dogs receive funds from a charitable trust created by Leona Helmsley, the real estate mogul who, upon her death, left $12 million to her dog.

Female Partner Drops Gender Bias Suit Against Reed Smith

A discrimination suit has been dropped by a Reed Smith partner who had alleged that male attorneys were paid more than females and that the only female attorneys who received work from partners were those "willing to engage in sexual relations" with ma...

US House passes $690 billion defense authorization bill

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives passed the $690 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 [HR 1540 materials] Thursday, approving the basic funding plan with a 322-96 vote [roll call vote]. The bill contains many controve...

Plaintiffs seek MDL status for suits against Sony over PlayStation breach

Less than two weeks after filing what they believe are the first class actions against Sony over the PlayStation data breach, two plaintiffs firms are seeking multidistrict litigation approval. The MDL petition cites 18 cases.

In Rare Ponzi Case Result, Dechert Wins $13 Million in Clawback Funds For Bayou Estate

A Manhattan federal district court jury has awarded the Bayou Group's bankruptcy estate $13 million in what may be the first time a jury has clawed back both investors' artificial profits and their principal investment in such a case.

Iowa House passes 18-week abortion ban

[JURIST] The Iowa House of Representatives [official website] on Wednesday voted 54 - 37 [Des Moines Reporter] in favor of a bill [HF-1736 text, PDF] that would effectively ban abortions [JURIST news archive] after 18 weeks of pregnancy, making it the ...

State Justices Say First-Injury Rule Doesn't Bar Tobacco Suits

The California Supreme Court has ruled that the statute of limitations doesn't run out on smokers' claims against tobacco companies if a later-discovered disease is "separate and distinct" from earlier ones.

Supreme Court dismisses Fourth Amendment child abuse case for mootness

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] 7-2 to dismiss Camreta v. Greene [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] for mootness. The initial issue surrounded the circumstances for a warrant...

The Am Law 200 2011

While the United States' 100 highest-grossing firms rebounded from a disastrous 2009 by posting healthy gains in 2010, the Second Hundred firms saw less robust gains. So why aren't they worried?

Kim Rothstein agrees to turn over Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein's personal items

Fetish wear, a framed copy of the "Lawyer's Creed," a wine collection, dozens of designer shoes and a diamond-and-ruby ring are among the belongings Scott Rothstein's wife will give up in a settlement with his defunct law firm's bankruptcy trustee.

Florida ACLU files suit challenging state election law changes

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [text, PDF; press release] on Friday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] challenging a new state vo...

DOJ petitions federal appeals court for rehearing in wiretapping decision

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official websites] to reconsider a ruling [opinion, PDF] that plaintiffs in Amnesty v. Blai [ACLU materials] had standing to sue the US g...

Supreme Court rules on exception to whistleblower law

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-3 in Schindler Elevator Corp. v. US ex rel. Kirk [Cornell LII backgrounder, JURIST report] that a written response to a Freedom of Information Act [text; JURIST news archive] request is a "report" within the exception to a federal whistleblower law. Daniel Kirk brought a qui tam suit under the False Claims Act (FCA) alleging that his former employer Schindler Elevator had submitted hundreds of...

More than Meets the Eye in HSBC's $62.5 Million Proposed Settlement with Madoff Feeder-Fund Investors

A proposed $62.5 million settlement between HSBC and investors in Ireland's Thema Fund would give plaintiffs lawyers a $10 million war chest for litigation against other banks, and could limit Madoff trustee Irving Picard's options in recovering money ...

Supreme Court rules for FCC interpretation of Telecommunications Act

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously in Talk America Inc. v. Michigan Bell Telephone Co. [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a state utility commission may require...

Federal judge grants punitive damages against Iran for suicide bombings

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Thursday granted $300 million in punitive damages in each of two cases against Iran for deaths resulting from suicide bombings by Iranian-backed terrorist gro...

US lawmakers release draft online child privacy act

[JURIST] US Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) [official websites] released a draft bill [text, PDF] Friday that would restrict companies from tracking the Internet activity of minors without parental consent. The Do Not Track K...

Federal appeals court restricts inequitable conduct defense for patent law

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] on Wednesday restricted [opinion, PDF] the use of the "inequitable conduct" defense for invalidating patents. Inequitable conduct previously allowed the judge to use his or her discretion in invalidating an otherwise valid patent if he or she believed the patent-holder had engaged in unfair practices when applying to the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) [official website], contrary to Rule 56 [text] of patent law. If it could...

11th Circuit Tosses Out Part of Scrushy Conviction

The 11th Circuit ruled Tuesday that there was not enough evidence to convict former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman of two bribery counts. But the court rejected a request for a new trial and let stand convictions ...

Court Restricts Filings by Father to Spare Children 'Further Trauma'

A father has so traumatized and alienated his children through repeated attempts to gain visitation rights that he must be enjoined from filing further petitions unless he first gets the court's permission, a New York judge has ruled.

Federal Circuit refuses to dismiss appeal after TiVo/EchoStar settlement

The Federal Circuit has denied TiVo and EchoStar's joint bid to dismiss an appeal after the parties reached a $500 million settlement of a suit initially brought by TiVo in 2004.

Public Interest Firms Sue Mortgage Modification Lawyer

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and two public interest law firms have filed a class action charging a California attorney and his cohorts with enticing homeowners to pay thousands of dollars for loan modification services that were never provided.

Charges Filed in Wake of Altercation Between State Bar Officer, Convention Vendor

An after-hours dustup between a New Jersey Bar Association officer and a convention vendor at the State Bar's annual convention in Atlantic City has led to the two individuals trading assault accusations.

Attorneys Spar Over Access to Alleged Sexual Assault Victim's Facebook Posts

Defense lawyers representing a man accused of sexual assault on an airplane want to use information from the alleged victim's Facebook page, but federal prosecutors argued in a hearing this week that the attempt to subpoena Facebook is a "fishing exped...