Lawyer Imprisoned for Fraud Sues DOJ for Documents


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Key Acceleration Trial Against Toyota Opening This Week

While most of the massive litigation against Toyota involved alleged defects with the electronic throttle control system, the first trial claims that Toyota failed to install a brake override system that would have automatically shut off the engine and saved a life.


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Illinois governor signs bill allowing online voter registration

[JURIST] Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website] signed a bill [HB 2148 text, PDF] on Saturday making Illinois the eighteenth state to allow online voter registration. The bill, which is set to take effect in July of next year, will allow anyone with a valid driver’s license or state identification card to register to vote online. It is an attempt to reduce processing times, save money and appeal to younger voters who are more tech savvy and used to doing…


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The “Murky Morass” – Patentable Subject Matter Around the World

In this Intellectual Property webcast, Thomas McNulty and Greg Gerstenzang of Lando & Anastasi, LLP discuss patentable subject matter around the world. Learn more about Lando & Anastasi, LLP at


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Bed Bugs Litigation

All across America, from motels to five-star hotels, bed bugs are affecting people both physically and mentally, resulting in lawsuits. These tiny creatures are not only limited to hotels, but can be found virtually anywhere; from apartments, schools, and hospitals, to warehouses, box springs, and mattresses. Ringler Radio host, Larry Cohen joins Ringler colleague and co-host, Ross Duncan and guest, Attorney Daniel W, Whitney, managing partner of Whitney & Bogris, LLP, as they take a look at the impact of bedbugs, the preventive measures to help avoid them, as well as some of the litigation that’s risen up to combat the problem.


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US authorities indict multi-billion dollar hedge fund for insider trading

[JURIST] The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Thursday filed a announced charges [indictment, PDF; press release] against SAC Capital Advisors [corporate website], the hedge fund run by billionaire Steven Cohen [Forbes profile]. Although Cohen was not charged in the indictment, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] filed a civil action [text, PDF] against Cohen last week accusing him of failing to supervise his employees, alleging that he “fostered a culture that…


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Nazi War Criminals Reportedly Live In Limbo In U.S.

Despite losing their American citizenship, at least 10 suspected Nazi war criminals have never been deported from the U.S., the AP reports. A main cause of the holdup is simple: Their European homelands don’t want them back.

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Focus on Privacy: The Facebook Internet Tracking Case

Back in May of 2012, Facebook was sued for $15 billion for improperly tracking users even after they logged off the social network. Digital Detectives co-hosts, Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.,and John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, join Attorney David Straite, partner at Stewarts Law U.S. LLP, Head of Investor Protection Litigation and co-lead counsel in the Facebook Internet Tracking Case, to discuss the main issues of this case including: digital privacy litigation, the current statutory and common law involved in this case, calculation of damages and the future of digital privacy rights.


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Courts Warn Congress on Cuts

Across-the-board federal budget cuts have had a devastating impact on the U.S. courts, and it could get worse next year, a federal judge told Congress Tuesday.


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DOMA down, but why?

The 1st Circuit today held that the Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Massachusetts v. US Department of Health and Human Services (1st Cir 05/31/2012).

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Section 3 prevents same-sex married couples from filing joint tax returns, prevent a surviving spouse from collecting Social Security survivor benefits, and prevents federal employees from sharing medical benefits with same-sex spouses.

The trial court held that DOMA Section 3 is unconstitutional; the 1st Circuit affirmed.

The court’s decision surveys equal protection and federalism issues and concludes that “governing precedents under both heads combine – not to create some new category of ‘heightened scrutiny,’ …, but rather to require a closer than usual review based in part on discrepant impact among married couples and in part on the importance of state interests in regulating marriage.”

Thus the court gave less deference to, and “closer scrutiny of government action touching upon minority group interests and of federal action in areas of traditional state concern.”

The court concluded that denial of federal benefits to same-sex married couples “has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.”

The court stayed its mandate, thus extending the trial court’s stay, in anticipation of the losing parties seeking certiorari in the US Supreme Court.

My view:

This is a decision, purportedly based on the US Constitution, that essentially avoids making an explicit connection to the text of the Constitution.

The idea is that states regulate marriage, the federal government may have something to say in this regard, but the reasons behind the federal government’s actions didn’t have enough oomph. No, there’s no 10th amendment violation, and no violation of the Spending Clause. And no, there’s no “strict scrutiny” going on. And no “new category of ‘heightened scrutiny.'” But wait, let’s give the legislation “closer scrutiny.”

I’m no fan of DOMA, but it’s not really clear to me what this court is doing.

[By the way, similar DOMA issues are pending in the 9th Circuit.]

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