'$10 if You Guess Who Will Be Fired Next'

An Iowa administrative law judge has blasted QC Mart convenience store owner William Ernst for operating a "firing contest." Ernst announced the contest in a chain-wide memo sent to his employees. He encouraged them to predict which cashier would be fi...

Attorney seeks release of man held in Aruba disappearance

The attorney for Gary Giordano has petitioned a court in Aruba demanding the immediate release of the detained American.

Dan Wheldon Dead: Was Indy Car Track Too Crowded, Badly Designed?

IndyCar champ Dan Wheldon was killed over the weekend during a fiery crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The night prior, a number of racers, including Wheldon, raised concerns about the track's safety. The 1.5-mile oval is traditionally us...

Former CHOP GC Pleads Guilty in $1.7 mil. Embezzlement

A federal judge accepted the guilty plea Wednesday of Roosevelt Hairston Jr., the former general counsel of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who admitted embezzling about $1.7 million from the institution since 1999.

Texas legislature passes TSA anti-groping law

[JURIST] The Texas legislature on Monday passed a pair of bills that criminalize enhanced airport security pat-downs if they involve touching a passenger's "private" areas. The Texas House of Representatives [official website] passed HB 41 [materials] while the Senate [official website] simultaneously passed SB 29 [materials], both seeking to reduce "groping" during airport security screening processes. A person acting in violation of the law could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor [Reuters report], which is punishable by up to...

Supreme Court to hear another Confrontation Clause case on admissibility of lab tests

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari in two additional cases Tuesday including a case similar to one decided last week involving whether the Confrontation Clause [Cornell LII backgrounder] case blocks...

Guantanamo military commissions to be more transparent, fair: chief prosecutor

[JURIST] The new chief prosecutor, Army Brig. General Mark Martins [official profile], on Wednesday indicated future military commissions [official website] at Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] will be more transparent and fair to defendants. In additio...

Boies Schiller and Greenberg Traurig Face Off in Modell's Family Court Drama

You know your mother's angry when she hires Boies, Schiller & Flexner to sue you. That's the situation facing Mitchell Modell, the CEO of Modell's Sporting Goods, whose mother is accusing him of diverting corporate assets and paying himself an excessiv...

Machine among items up for sale in Kevorkian auction

The machine used by the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian in more than 100 assisted suicides will be among the items up for sale later this month, the auctioneer and his estate announced.

3rd Circuit: Pa. Can Assert Liens to Recover Medicaid Payments

In a ruling that will have a direct and immediate impact on the litigation and settlement of personal injury cases, the 3rd Circuit has ruled that Pennsylvania has the right to assert liens to recover Medicaid payments.

Supreme Court rules age is a factor in Miranda custody analysis

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in JDB v. North Carolina [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a court should consider a juvenile's age when determining whether the ind...

Ruling Upholds 'Testimonial' Dying Declaration

Addressing a question left open in a 2004 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a New York state appeals panel has found that the U.S. Constitution's confrontation clause does not bar the use at trial of dying declarations even where they are clearly "testimonial...

Panel Disbars Attorney For Federal Conviction

A New York panel has determined that a federal charge against Robert S. Brown, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to obstruction of justice in connection with his participation in a securities fraud, mandated his disbarment. Brown still faces a possible prison...

Class Suit Over Refusal To Cover Eating-Disorder Treatments Settles

AmeriHealth of New Jersey and its contractor for mental health claims have settled a class action suit alleging they shirked their statutory obligation to cover treatments for eating disorders by wrongly categorizing them as nonbiologically based menta...

Obama administration clears path for Supreme Court to rule on health care mandate

[JURIST] The Obama administration on Monday declined to seek en banc review by the full US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official websites] of its August decision striking down the individual mandate provision [JURIST report] of the health...

Quinn Emanuel Takes Aim at Apple's Lawyers in Samsung Smartphone Patent Fight

Representing Samsung, Quinn Emanuel is seeking to disqualify Apple's lawyers at Bridges & Mavrakakis, claiming that lawyers at the firm previously represented Samsung in substantially related patent litigation while working at Kirkland & Ellis.

Florida governor signs bill restricting access to abortions

[JURIST] Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) [official website] on Friday signed into law [AP report] two bills that affect the procedures surrounding a woman's ability to receive an abortion [JURIST news archive] within the state. The first, HB 1127 [text...

Parents Locked Boy, 7, in Coffin in Basement

A Scranton couple has been arrested and charged after police found evidence of a 7-year-old boy locked in a coffin. Neighbors found the child crying in a basement doorway clad only in a shirt and diaper. When police were called to the scene, the boy ex...

Supreme Court hears arguments on ministerial exception, foreign copyrights

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases on Wednesday. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC [transcript, PDF; JURIST report], the court considered whether an employment discrimination claim can be brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) [text] against a religiously affiliated school despite the Act's "ministerial exception." The exception allows religious organizations to give "preference in employment to individuals of a particular religion" and to "require that...

Texas Equusearch Sues Casey Anthony Alleging Unjust Enrichment

Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery, which spent more than $100,000 on two large-scale but futile searches for Caylee Anthony, has sued Casey Anthony alleging she fraudulently represented to the organization that Caylee was alive.

Would-Be Terrorists Get 25 Years for Plot to Bomb Synagogues

A New York federal judge has spared three of four men convicted in a terrorist bomb plot from life in prison, saying their crime never would have been committed without the government's sting operation.

1st Circuit: Employer's headcount at time of discrimination determines damages caps

A company's employee headcount at the time of a discriminatory act, not at the time of trial, determines damages caps in an employment discrimination suit, a unanimous 1st Circuit panel has ruled in an issue of first impression.

Chris Tucker's Foreclosure: 'Rush Hour' Star Owes $11M to IRS

Chris Tucker's foreclosure is probably unsurprising to his fans: he owes upwards of $11 million to the IRS in back taxes. Why shouldn't Rush Hour fans be surprised? The comedian has even worked his financial woes into his routine. "That's the last time...

Quinn Emanuel Client Halogen Admits to Elaborate Ruse in Settlement with SuccessFactors

Halogen Software has admitted to "false pretexting" and agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to settle rival SuccessFactors' allegations that Halogen set up a phony company -- complete with a website and fake employees -- to hear SuccessFactors' sales pitch.

Prince won't testify, grandma says

With testimony on hold while Dr. Conrad Murray's lawyers study a new lab test that prosecutors plan to use against him, speculation about Michael Jackson's oldest son possibly testifying has increased.

Tunisia to seek return of citizens held at Guantanamo prison

[JURIST] Tunisia announced its intention Wednesday to plead for the return of its remaining citizens being held at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention facility. A Justice Ministry representative, speaking at an awareness conference in Tu...

Alaska judge allows tax exemption for same-sex couples

[JURIST] Alaska Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner on Friday ruled it unconstitutional [opinion, PDF] for Alaska to deny same-sex couples the senior citizen and disabled veteran property tax exemptions given to married couples. The American Civil Libe...

Dismissal of 'mind-boggling' foreclosure case reversed

A Florida appeals court has ordered a foreclosure case reinstated because the homeowners filed "fabricated" documents that made them appear to be the lender and a bank to be the borrower. The court also referred the couple's attorney to the State Bar f...

5 Law Firms See Deal Work Scuttled as News Corp. Bails on BSkyB Bid

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. abandoned its $12 billion bid for British Sky Broadcasting Group on Wednesday amid public opposition to the deal and political pressure over a widening phone-hacking scandal. It is unclear what the death of the deal means fo...

Lawyer's Addiction to Video Games Leads to 3-Year Suspension

A lawyer who claims that his addiction to video games caused him to botch the handling of 17 cases has been suspended from practicing law for three years by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Careerist: Where the Jobs Are (and Aren't)

Advice to law students and recent grads: Forget about sexy deal work if you're interested in corporate law, and focus on compliance work. And forget about working in New York and California, where there's apparently a surfeit of lawyers.Visit The Caree...

Privacy vs. Security: Justices to debate jail strip searches

It was supposed to be one of the happiest days of Albert Florence's life. He had just secured funding for the home he was building, and was traveling along Interstate 295 outside Trenton, New Jersey, one Sunday with his wife and child. That's...

Sentencing Commission approves retroactive crack guidelines

Tens of thousands of federal prisoners could be released early from custody following the U.S. Sentencing Commission's unanimous decision Thursday to retroactively apply crack cocaine sentencing guidelines that would reduce sentences for certain offend...

'Merchant of death' trial opens

After evading international authorities for nearly two decades, alleged arms and drug smuggler Viktor Bout, widely dubbed the "merchant of death" by his accusers, will go on trial in New York Tuesday.

Game On: Cooley, Ropes & Gray Grab Roles on Zynga's $1 Billion IPO

Zynga Game Network became the latest Silicon Valley darling to strut its stuff in public on Friday when the world's largest developer of games for social media networks filed for a $1 billion initial public offering.

Supreme Court Rejects Federal Injunction; Rules Baycol Class Action May Proceed in State Court

In a ruling some predict will encourage a "whack-a-mole" plaintiffs strategy, the Supreme Court has held that a federal judge improperly enjoined a state court from considering the certification of a class of consumers of Bayer's discontinued cholester...

Federal judge rules punitive damages available against BP in claims over oil spill

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [official website] Friday ruled on motions to dismiss made by British Petroleum (BP) [corporate website] and other defendants in litigation [materials] over the Deepwater Horizon oil ...

Finding Both Parents Lack Skills, Judge Fashions a 'Parallel' Custody

A Manhattan judge has tailored a "parallel" custody arrangement where a young boy's "gruff" father will oversee his schooling and health needs while the boy's "warm" mother will make decisions about religion and extracurricular activities.

Judge's 'Repugnant and Offensive' Rant At Pro Se Litigant Draws a Reprimand

A New Jersey judge has been reprimanded for his tirade against a pro se parent who questioned a visitation schedule. The judge, now assigned to criminal court, told a conduct commission his behavior resulted from being "burned out" from his long servic...

Court Disbars Former DOJ Official Charged In Abramoff Scandal

The D.C. Court of Appeals has disbarred former Justice Department lawyer Robert Coughlin II, who pleaded guilty to a conflict-of-interest violation stemming from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

Fort Lauderdale trial consultant used social media and blogs to help Casey Anthony defense team shift strategies

Veteran trial consultant Amy Singer describes her team's work for the defense in the Casey Anthony case, which included an evaluation of streaming video of the trial and monitoring blogs, chat rooms and discussion groups for public perceptions of the c...

Copyright Defendants, EFF Step Up to Defend Righthaven Counsel Against Sanctions

A federal judge is set to hold a hearing Thursday to rule on whether so-called "copyright troll" Righthaven and its in-house counsel should be sanctioned for misleading the court. In an odd twist, the defendant being sued by Righthaven has come forward...

Third Circuit hears arguments in health care law challenge

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] heard arguments on Wednesday regarding the constitutionality of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [HR 3590 text; JURIST news archi...

Defense calls first witness in Murray trial

The involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor entered what could be its last week Monday as the defense called its first witness, a Beverly Hills police officer.

Kansas Abortion Law Remains in Effect: Judge Denies ACLU Request

A federal judge has refused to block Kansas' abortion insurance law, which went into effect this past July. The law bans private insurers from providing abortion coverage unless it is necessary for the mother's health. Women will have to purchase a sep...

House votes down authorization for Libya mission but continues to provide funding

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] in two votes Friday sent contradictory messages over authorization of US military operations in Libya. First, the House overwhelmingly voted down 123-295 [roll call vote] a resolution [HJ RES ...

Appeals Courts Criticize Child Porn Sentencing Guidelines

As the sentencing guidelines for child pornography crimes have grown increasingly harsh, a strong trend has developed among federal judges to reject the proposed prison terms as draconian. Now two influential federal appellate courts have declared that...

Clement settles in at small firm

Former Solicitor General Paul Clement gives his first extended interview since the fateful day two months ago when he rocked the legal world by resigning from King & Spalding and jumping to the far smaller Bancroft.

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds union bargaining law

[JURIST] The Wisconsin Supreme Court [official website] upheld [opinion text] the Budget Repair Bill [Senate Bill 11 text, PDF] on Tuesday, overruling the Dane County Circuit Court [official website] finding [JURIST report] that legislators had violated the "open meetings" rule. Ruling 4-3, the court stated that lower court Judge Maryann Sumi had "invaded the legislature's constitutional powers."The court's decision on the matter now presented is grounded in separation of powers principles. It is not affected by the wisdom or lack...

Florida challenges federal voting rights law

[JURIST] Florida submitted a request to the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] Tuesday seeking declaratory judgments regarding recently-enacted changes to the state's Election Code [materials, PDF], four sections of which require Section 5 [DOJ backgrounder] "preclearance" under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) [materials]. Relying heavily on patterns of past discrimination to determine which state, county and local governments must obtain preclearance for election changes, the Section 5 rules require covered jurisdictions to clear...

Lawyer Whose Client Bolts to Another Can't Sue for Tortious Interference

A New Jersey state appeals court has all but slammed the door on suits by one lawyer against another, on grounds of tortious interference with contract, for taking a client away.

MGA drops malpractice claim against O'Melveny

Facing potential discovery sanctions in a claim for $10.2 million in unpaid legal fees, Bratz doll manufacturer MGA Entertainment has agreed to drop malpractice claims against its former law firm, O'Melveny & Myers, and three of its lawyers.

Score One for Plaintiffs in Multibillion-Dollar RMBS Litigation: Judge Rakoff Grants Class Certification in Suit Against Merrill Lynch

In what may be a first-of-its-kind ruling, a federal judge has granted class certification in a residential mortgage-backed securities case against Merrill Lynch, green-lighting claims by investors holding $16.5 billion in face value of Merrill-issued ...

ACLU: Post-9/11 security measures eroding 'core values'

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] released a report [text, PDF] on Wednesday claiming that the US is diminishing its "core values" with regard to various counterterrorism measures put in place during the 10 years since the 9/11 attacks [JURIST news archive]. To support this contention, the report cites to US policies regarding indefinite military detention for terrorism suspects, the use of torture on terrorism suspects and enemy combatants, racial and religious profiling, and domestic surveillance and...

Missing 11th Circuit opinion reappears

A week after an 11th Circuit sentencing opinion vanished from the court's website, leaving court watchers scratching their heds, it reappeared, followed shortly by a revised opinion. The case touches on a racial justice issue that has begun to divide t...

Apple's Chief Patent Counsel Leaving By Year's End

Richard "Chip" Lutton, widely credited with helping build Apple's patent portfolio, has confirmed reports that he's leaving at the end of the year. B.J. Watrous, a former deputy GC at Hewlett-Packard, is now listed as Apple's chief IP counsel on Watrou...

Ex-Welfare Recipient Given Chance to Prove Right to Keep Lottery

A former welfare recipient who was required to work for his benefits will get a shot at hanging onto his $10,000 lottery prize if he can show that his earnings at the federal minimum wage were greater than the value of his assistance, a New York state ...

Teen to be retried in gay student murder

Prosecutors will retry for murder a teenager who is accused of gunning down a gay classmate execution-style in their Southern California junior high school classroom in 2008, the Ventura County district attorney's office said Wednesday.

Survey: Half of Law Firms Don't Seek Client Feedback

More than 70 percent of law firms that responded to a recent survey said that client feedback affects the way their lawyers conduct business. However, fewer than half formally solicit client critiques and only one-third communicate the feedback to lawy...

Bingham, Schulte Roth Win Second Circuit Ruling for Enron Investors

In a case of first impression, the 2nd Circuit has held that payments made by Enron to redeem commercial paper shortly before it collapsed cannot be recovered in bankruptcy proceedings as preferences or fraudulent conveyances.

Did Bank of America's Aggressive PR Posture Hurt or Help?

Bank of America's public posture in the months leading up to an $8.5 billion settlement brings up some interesting legal communications questions: Is it better to definitively assert that you will fight claims, then settle? Or do such statements just r...

Bonds' Appellate Team Seeks Dismissal, Says Slugger Convicted of Being Wordy

Barry Bonds' appellate team has asked the federal judge overseeing his case to set aside the former San Francisco Giant's obstruction-of-justice conviction or order a new trial, contending Bonds was convicted of "felony prolixity."

Circumstantial Evidence Enough to Argue Product Defect, Judge Says

In a products liability case where the plaintiff is relying on the "malfunction theory," a Pennsylvania federal judge has ruled that the plaintiff's expert can rely solely on circumstantial evidence and a process of elimination to prove the existence o...

More officers gunned down in 2010, report shows

Fifty-six law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2010, the FBI reported Monday. That's up from 48 shot and killed the previous year.

Hunton Downsizes London Office Following Partner Exodus

Hunton & Williams has downsized its London office after a series of partner departures dragged attorney headcount in the office down 60 percent in less than three months. A total of nine staff positions have been eliminated in an attempt to refocus the...

New York governor signs same-sex marriage legislation

[JURIST] New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) [official website] on Friday signed legislation [A8354-2011 materials] allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state. The New York State Senate [official website] had passed the Marriage Equality Act 33-29 ...

Kirkland Scores in Oil Spill MDL; Judge Rules Anadarko Must Arbitrate Claims, Tosses RICO Suits Against BP

A federal judge on Friday granted BP's motion to stay Anadarko Petroleum's cross-claims in the multidistrict litigation over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, ruling that BP could force Anadarko to honor an arbitration agreement. BP also won dismissal of a...

Nebraska AG predicts state campaign finance laws to be overturned if challenged

[JURIST] Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning [official website] on Wednesday issued an advisory opinion [text, PDF] drawing marked parallels between the state's campaign finance laws and portions of similar Arizona regulations that were recently overturned [JURIST report] by the US Supreme Court [official website]. Under Nebraska law, candidates for certain public offices may voluntarily accept additional oversight in exchange for public financing [Neb Rev Stat 1604], the levels of which may vary depending on the expenditures of privately-financed opponents....

DOJ Details Access, Use of WikiLeaks Documents in Gitmo Cases

Lawyers involved in Guantanamo Bay detainee litigation are permitted to use their own computers to view WikiLeaks documents but cannot save, print and share the information, the Justice Department said in guidance to the attorneys Friday.

Florida's drug-possession law poised for appeals

An order by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch dismissing 39 drug possession cases and declaring the charges against them unconstitutional has criminal defense attorneys poised to request similar dismissals in courts statewide.

Rhode Island governor signs same-sex civil unions bill

[JURIST] Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee [official website] on Saturday signed into law a bill [H6103, PDF] that legalizes same-sex civil unions in the state. The bill effectively adds a "Civil Unions" chapter to the Rhode Island General Laws section governing domestic relations, affording same-sex couples many of the same rights and benefits available to married couples. The bill is modeled on similar legislation in Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii [JURIST reports], and defines a civil union as "a legal union...

J&J Faces Treble Damages in Stent Infringement Case After Federal Circuit Ruling

In a decision that could see Johnson & Johnson paying more than $60 million, the Federal Circuit has affirmed a $22 million infringement award won by Spectralytics over a coronary stent patent, but vacated the trial judge's denial of treble damages.

Manatt Phelps's Jamaica Work Detailed in Government Report

An independent commission set up to investigate Manatt, Phelps & Phillips' role in an extradition battle over an alleged Jamaican drug kingpin has found no fault with the firm over the way in which it was engaged by the Jamaican government.

Milbank's Latin American Practice Chair Moves to Dewey

Michael Fitzgerald, the chairman of Milbank's global securities, corporate and Latin American practice groups, has joined Dewey & LeBoeuf along with three partners and a team of associates -- the latest high-profile lateral group to join Dewey this year.

Sean Coffey Launches New Litigation Finance Firm with Juridica Co-Founder, Vows to Move Beyond 'Litigation Funding 1.0'

Securities class action heavyweight Sean Coffey is jumping into third-party litigation finance -- and he says his new firm, begun with a Juridica co-founder, will take a more active role than most funders by helping to evaluate underlying claims and mi...

Federal appeals court upholds indefinite detention of Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Tuesday affirmed [opinion, PDF] the 2010 denial of petition for a writ of habeas corpus [Cornell LII backgrounder] for Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] detainee...

Court rejects right to counsel in civil contempt cases

In a case involving a man who spent a year in prison after failing to pay child support, the Supreme Court delivered a major setback Monday to those who want the right to counsel extended to indigent defendants in civil contempt cases.

'Onion Field' killer has cancer, now eligible for prison release

Gregory Powell, the infamous "Onion Field" cop killer whose 1963 crime was chronicled in Joseph Wambaugh's best-selling book, has terminal cancer with less than six months to live, and the California Board of Parole Hearings was weighing...

Samsung Settles Spansion Patent Claims for $150 Million

After three years and an earlier failed settlement, the patent battle between Spansion and Samsung over flash memory chips in a host of devices -- notably iPhones, BlackBerrys, and Samsung and Sony televisions -- is finally over.

Federal judge rules US not required to reduce emissions to protect polar bears

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) [official website] is not obligated to reduce green house gas emissions, a contributor to...

Illinois ex-Governor Blagojevich convicted on corruption charges

[JURIST] A jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] on Monday convicted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich [personal website; JURIST news archive] on 17 of 20 counts including attempting to sell the U...

Derrick Bell: November 6, 1930 – October 5, 2011

[JURIST] Derrick Bell, a leading legal scholar and the first tenured African-American professor at Harvard Law School [official website], died Wednesday in New York of carcinoid cancer. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bell graduated from t...

Reversal possible in Lindsey FCPA case

One of the federal government's few successful verdicts in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case faces reversal after prosecutors acknowledged for the first time during a court hearing that they had failed to turn over all of an FBI agent's grand jury t...

Jury Convicts Three, Capping Prosecution of Insider Trading

Zvi Goffer, Emanuel Goffer and Michael Kimelman have been found guilty of trading on inside information stolen by two former lawyers at Ropes & Gray. The verdicts mean that all the defendants originally arrested in the Galleon insider trading case have...

In Ten-Year-Old IPO Litigation, Plaintiffs Lawyers and Class Members Still Waiting to Get Paid

The wheels of justice are turning slowly in the massive IPO securities litigation spawned by the Internet bubble of the late '90s, with appeals by class members and lawyers alike stalling any distribution of the $586 million settlement, which includes ...

Employment Law Associates Are in Demand, 'Wal-Mart' Notwithstanding

Big defense firms have been hiring young employment law associates in response to an increase in wage-and-hour, discrimination and other types of cases, and hiring partners say that even the Supreme Court's decision to disband the huge Wal-Mart discrim...

Doctor's E-mail Is Fair Game in Lawsuit, Judge Finds

A Manhattan hospital facing a medical malpractice action cannot withhold an email sent by a surgeon to another doctor criticizing the post-operative care that allegedly contributed to the death of an elderly woman, a New York state judge has ruled.

Rights group appeals dismissal of Guantanamo suicide case

[JURIST] The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] on Monday appealed the dismissal of a case over two Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees,Yasser Al-Zahrani of Saudi Arabia and Salah Al-Salami of Yemen, who committed suic...

Halloween Laws: Keep Your Halloween Party Legal

There are no actual Halloween laws, but there are some laws you should be aware of if throwing a Halloween party. The holiday is a time to get into (or out of) character and have a little fun. This often involves copious amounts of alcohol, loud noise,...

JPMorgan Agrees to Pay $154 Million to Settle SEC Fraud Claims Over Failed CDO

JPMorgan has agreed to pay $153.6 million -- including a $133 million penalty -- to resolve allegations that it marketed an ill-fated collateralized debt obligation without disclosing the role of a hedge fund that was shorting assets in the CDO.

Judge tosses major portion of Toyota shareholder suit

A federal judge has dismissed a large portion of the shareholder litigation against Toyota Motor, concluding that U.S. courts lack jurisdiction to hear claims brought under Japanese securities laws.

Federal judge rules Florida death sentence policy unconstitutional

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that Florida's procedure for imposing the death penalty is unconstitutional. Florida's death penalty statute [Fla Stat Ann 921.141 text] provides that the jury in a capital case is to make an "advisory sentence" to the court based on whether certain aggravating factors exist that would warrant a sentence of either life imprisonment or death. These aggravating factors include whether...

Amanda Knox's emotional return home

Amanda Knox will wake up at home in Seattle on Wednesday for the first time in four years as she enjoys her new-found freedom after an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction.

Supreme Court to rule on juvenile Miranda rights

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in five cases and called for views by the Acting Solicitor General [official website] on two pending petitions. In JDB v. North Carolin...

Detroit federal judge certifies class in case over autism therapy

A Detroit federal judge has certified a class in a case alleging that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has denied a needed therapy to children with autism. The co-lead counsel have similar cases pending in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

U.K. Bribery Act Finally Takes Effect

After a delay of almost a year, the U.K. Bribery Act finally takes effect today. Although mainly designed to tighten the U.K.'s regulatory framework, the act's broad jurisdictional reach means the majority of U.S. public companies are likely to be affe...

When Do You Have a Right to a Jury?

One of the most common questions from those facing criminal prosecution is whether they have a right to a jury trial. And just what that right entails. The Sixth Amendment guarantees "an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall ...

Ethics Opinion Tackles 'Friend' Requests

Enterprising lawyers beware: Using Facebook as an investigative tool may get you into trouble with the bar. An ethics opinion concludes that sending a "friend request" to a represented party violates a California rule of professional conduct and could ...

Should Child Cage Fighting Be Legal?

Images of child cage fighting have sparked controversy in the U.K. The story might make some parents wonder: Is it safe for children to engage in cage fighting, also known as "ultimate fighting" or "mixed martial arts"? Are these type...

Ford F-150 Sparked Chicago Fire: Lawsuit Says

Illinois resident Guadalupe Mendez says that a Ford's cruise control started the fire that burned her house down in 2006. Mendez's neighbor's truck, a Ford-F-150 pickup, is alleged to have sparked the blaze. Mendez has now filed a lawsuit against Ford....

Rapper Big Boi Avoids Jail on Drug Charges in Miami

OutKast rapper Big Boi will avoid jail. The star, whose real name is Antwan Patton, has struck a deal with prosecutors. The rapper was busted earlier this year disembarking a cruise ship in Florida with drugs on him. He was carrying ecstasy, a cigarett...

Alabama governor signs bill banning abortions after 20 weeks

[JURIST] Alabama Governor Robert Bentley [official website] on Wednesday signed into law [press release] a bill [HB 18 text, PDF] that bans abortions [JURIST news archive] after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill contains no exceptions for cases of rape o...

US brings Somali terror suspect to New York for civil trial

[JURIST] The Obama administration has brought Somali terror suspect Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame to the US to face a civil trial in New York, a decision that has sparked harsh criticism. Warsame was captured by US forces in April [CNN report] somewhere in ...

False Allegation of Homosexuality Remains Defamatory, Judge Says

While the New York Legislature appeared poised to legalize same-sex marriage, a county judge has allowed a man to proceed with a libel suit against a woman who alleged he was gay, finding that under appellate case law, the imputation of homosexuality w...

First Circuit upholds right to record public police action

[JURIST] The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit [official website] Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] that there is a clearly-established First Amendment [Cornell LII backgrounder] right to film police officers performing their duties in a p...

A Cromwell & Goodwin Victim Speaks Out

In April, The Am Law Daily broke the strange story of an apparently fictitious New York law firm that authorities in the U.K. subsequently labeled a fraud. Two months later, one man who says he was duped by the fake firm is shedding light on how the sc...

Supreme Court rejects states' global warming suit

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website, JURIST news archive] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] ...

In-House and Labor Lawyers Respond to the Supreme Court's Wal-Mart Decision

This week's Supreme Court decision in the massive discrimination class action against Wal-Mart has left in-house lawyers with a number of questions -- including whether delegating responsibility to local managers might help protect companies from class...

Circuit Criticizes Big Fee Reduction in Disability Case

The 2nd Circuit has reversed a magistrate judge's decision to slice an attorney's fees by two-thirds, ruling that the judge abused his discretion by making a sua sponte critique of the attorney's billing records and a finding of excessive billing.

HRW urges probe of Bush administration torture allegations

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Tuesday urged [press release] the Obama administration to begin a criminal investigation into alleged detainee abuses authorized by former US president George W. Bush [JURIST news archive] following the 9/11 terrorist attacks [JURIST news archive]. In a report [text, PDF] entitled "Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees," HRW provided evidence suggesting that Bush and senior administration officials authorized torture and ill-treatment of detainees, rendition and the use...

Lawyer Caught in Child Pornography Sweep Found Dead in Mexico

A former Gibson Dunn & Crutcher associate arrested in a wide-ranging sweep of people accused of trading videos and photographs of violent sexual assaults on children has been found dead in a hotel room in Mexico.

Another Lesson of News Corp Scandal: Beware Multi-Jurisdictional Bribery

The U.K. hacking scandal should be a message to all companies operating in multiple jurisdictions: Shore up your compliance or face multijurisdictional consequences. An expert in corporate corruption notes News Corp. faces actions in the U.K., the U.S....

Ex-hedge fund trader settles SEC civil charges

[JURIST] Former hedge fund trader Danielle Chiesi on Wednesday agreed to pay USD $540,000 to settle a civil charge with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website]. Chiesi was accused of communicating non-public information about IB...

SC Troopers begin crackdown in Upstate, Horry County – Anderson Independent Mail

SC Troopers begin crackdown in Upstate, Horry CountyAnderson Independent MailToo fast for conditions ranks as the second leading cause of fatal collisions in South Carolina, with DUI ranking first. Troopers will focus on US 25 ...and more »

Lawyer says justices' ruling 'wouldn't have mattered'

A lawyer for a man who this week lost a bid at Georgia's Supreme Court for his release from a state mental hospital said his client was released from custody four months ago -- and isn't bound by the justices' unanimous ruling to the contrary.

Circuit Rejects Financial Penalty for Insider Trading by Ex-Lawyer

The 2nd Circuit has overturned civil penalties imposed on former Thacher Proffitt & Wood associate Amir Rosenthal and his brother, who were part of a conspiracy run by their father that traded on inside information on corporate deals.

Samsung files trade commission complaint against Apple

[JURIST] Samsung Electronics [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder] filed a complaint [USITC docket] with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) [official website] on Tuesday seeking to prevent Apple [corporate website; Bloomberg...

The A-List 2011: Upheaval in the Ranks

None of the firms on The American Lawyer's 2010 A-List returned to the same spot this year. Whether it was a result of a firm's spike in its associate satisfaction score, or a drop in its revenue per lawyer, the 2011 A-List was all about volatility.

$22 Million Award Vacated Due to Arbitrator's Failure to Disclose Contacts With Fish & Richardson Lawyer

A Texas appeals court has vacated a $22 million arbitration award after finding the arbitrator failed to disclose that a lawyer in the dispute had given him a ticket to an NBA basketball game, a wine basket and paid for expensive meals, among other thi...

Returning Vet Can't Seek Punitive Damages in Employment Suit

A federal judge has ruled that a soldier returning from Iraq who sued his employer under the federal Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act cannot pursue punitive damages under a separate Pennsylvania tort claim for wrongful discharge.

Judge Dismisses Insurers' Claims in Avandia Litigation

In the massive litigation over side effects from the diabetes drug Avandia, a federal judge has dismissed all claims brought by insurers acting as "Medicare Advantage Organizations" that demanded reimbursements from the settlements paid out by GlaxoSmi...

Scott Rothstein's malpractice carrier settles for $950,000

The malpractice carrier for disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein will pay $950,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy case involving his former law firm.

Law Firms Line Up as Embattled U.K. Tabloid Shutters Over Hacking Scandal

Olswang, Carter-Ruck, Collyer Bristow and Matrix Chambers have been chosen to advise affected parties as News International announced Thursday the closure of News of the World amid allegations of phone-hacking and police bribery.Visit International News

Supreme Court reverses Petition Clause retaliation claim ruling

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] in Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that state and local government employees may not sue their employers for r...

Suit Against Firm Alleges Failure to Pay Overtime

A former Schulte Roth & Zabel technical support employee has filed a class action lawsuit in New York federal court alleging that the firm denied him and other employees proper overtime compensation required by federal wage and hour laws.

Federal judge questions state's attorneys on immigration law

A federal judge on Monday peppered attorneys for the state of Georgia with sharp questions about the legislative intent behind an immigration law slated to take effect July 1, asking if it was meant to "drive all undocumented citizens and illegal alien...