HRW reports mass executions in Iraq

[JURIST] Analysts at Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] announced Thursday that members of the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) [BBC backgrounder] executed more than 160 men [press release] in at least two locations between June 11 and 14. HRW concluded that ISIS committed mass executions [press release] after seizing control of the city of Tikrit [JURIST report] earlier this month, extrapolating from satellite photography and photographs released by ISIS of the executions. Although ISIS claims…


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Legaltronix: A Rating System in the Legal Services Profession

In the structured settlement industry, relationships are very important. We interact with mediators, judges, experts, arbitrators and more, on a daily basis. So, it is extremely helpful to have some background on those experts before we walk into negotiations. On this Ringler Radio podcast, host Larry Cohen welcomes John B. Willcox, Co-founder of Legaltronix, a comprehensive rating system with detailed information on parties involved in litigation. Listen and learn about the benefits of this collaborative tool.


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No district court jurisdiction for federal employee challenging adverse employment action (6-3)

The US Supreme Court held this morning that the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) precludes district court jurisdiction over Elgin’s claim that his removal from federal service was based on an unconstitutional statute. The procedural route prescribed by the CSRA is by appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and, if dissatisfied with the result, appeal to the Federal Circuit, whose decisions in turn are reviewable by the Supreme Court.

Elgin v. Dept of Treasury (US Supreme Ct 06/11/2012)

A federal statute bars employment in the executive branch of male citizens who failed to register for the draft. Elgin, who had been discharged from his job, first challenged the decision before the MSPB – arguing that the statutory bar was unconstitutional – but an ALJ dismissed his case on the ground that the MSPB lacked authority to review the constitutionality of a federal statute. Rather than appealing from that decision, Elgin sued in federal district court.

The US Supreme Court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction because it is “fairly discernable” from the CSRA’s text, structure, and purpose that Congress precluded district court jurisdiction over Elgin’s claims. Based on CSRA’s text and structure, there is no exception for constitutional challenges to federal statutes. If the MSPB lacks power to hear such claims, they can be meaningfully addressed by the Federal Circuit.

The DISSENT argued that Elgin’s “constitutional claims are a far cry from the type of claim that Congress intended to channel through the [MSPB].”

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Thailand court approves graphic warnings on cigarette packages

[JURIST] The Supreme Administrative Court of Thailand on Thursday approved [press release] a new regulation requiring packs of cigarettes sold in the Southeast Asian country to be 85 percent covered with graphic health warnings. The new graphic health warnings have 10 variations, including messages such as "smoking causes lung cancer" and "smoke kills children." Thailand’s Ministry of Health’s [official website] goals with the implementation of these labels is to reduce new smokers, reduce old smokers in rural areas and reduce…


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Oklahoma, Arizona Inmates Sue To Stop Executions

The suits take aim at the kind of multi-drug execution procedures that resulted in botched executions in Oklahoma and Ohio, calling them a form of human experimentation.

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Headlines from ABA TECHSHOW 2014

Breaking all of its previous attendance records, ABA TECHSHOW 2014 will certainly go down as one of the most successful. True-to-form, many of the attendees were from small firms and solo practices. With the introduction of How-To sessions, lawyers will be getting more out of ABA TECHSHOW for many years to come. On this episode of the Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview this year’s ABA TECHSHOW Chair Natalie Kelly. Together, they cover the highlights of the 2014 show plus take a look into the future Planning Board. This year’s hottest topics: the re-emergence of paperless, the Cloud, and iOS. Tune in to hear about the Solutions Lab, Exhibits, and much, much more.
Natalie Kelly is the Chair of this year’s ABA TECHSHOW. She is the Director of the State Bar of Georgia’s Law Practice Management Program where she provides extensive practice management and technology consulting to members of the Georgia Bar. Kelly is a Certified Consultant and Trainer for AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, PCLaw, PracticeMaster, Tabs3, Time Matters, Billing Matters, and TimeSlips software applications. She also speaks and writes frequently on these topics. At home, Natalie is a hard-working wife and mother of 3 daughters.
Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.


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Litigation Surrounding General Motors Ignition Switch Problem

General Motors (GM) faces litigation stemming from an ignition switch problem in some recalled vehicles and now, families of the deceased or injured are seeking justice. On this Ringler Radio podcast, host Larry Cohen and co-host Mike Casey from Ringler Associates talk with Attorney Adam J. Levitt, director at Grant and Eisenhofer P.A. about the GM litigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s role and ultimately what this ignition problem means for the car giant.


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Model Rules for the Modern Lawyer: Leveraging Technology to follow ABA Guidelines

As the rate of new technology increases, it becomes more difficult for lawyers to keep up with industry standards for protecting client data confidentiality. In addition to the rigors of day-to-day practice, attorneys are expected to be familiar with terms such as SSL 256, SaS 70, and SSAE 16. On this episode of the Un-Billable Hour, host Chris T. Anderson interviews The Droid Lawyer blogger, Jeffrey Taylor. Together they discuss the importance of attorneys staying current through workshops, blogs, conferences, and state bar associations. In addition, tune in to learn more about the security issues associated with cloud-based vs. server-based practice management software solutions.
Jeffrey Taylor is the author of The Droid Lawyer blog. The blog discusses Android mobile operating system for lawyers. The Droid Lawyer is one of the ABA Journal’s Top 100 law blogs, and one of Biztech Magazine’s Top 50 Must Read IT Blogs. Jeff is an attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


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Managing Overflow Work with Freelance Attorneys

When overwhelmed with work, some firms hire freelance attorneys to fill the gap between client demand and firm capacity. Whether it’s niche expertise, transactional labor, or long-term temp. assignments, these contract attorneys are well-equipped to support the unique interests of their hiring firms. On this episode of Legal Toolkit, host Jared Correia interviews talent placement experts Leila Kanani from Intermix Legal Group and Gil Schipani from Tempus Fugit Law to learn more about the benefits of freelance attorney placement. Kanani discusses how firms who hire freelance attorneys benefit from improved workflow and enhanced expertise without the need to hire a permanent associate. Tune in to learn more.
Leila Kanani is an IP solo attorney and founder of Intermix Legal. After over 10 years of practice in BigLaw, she left for more control and balance in her life. Her objective in creating Intermix was to provide a flexible framework for experienced attorneys to participate in project-based contract legal services for solos and small firms.
Gil Schipani is the founder of Tempus Fugit Law, which specializes in substitute counsel/court coverage for lawyers as well as single transaction services. He is currently a partner with Schipani and Sinay and former Assistant City Solicitor of Brockton, Massachusetts. His practice area focuses on real estate, personal injury, business, and employment law.


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THE CAREERIST: Magic Circle Partner Rates Up

Magic Circle partners’ rates are up to 850 pounds per hour, which is about $1,376. That represents an increase of 62 percent since 2005, but the Brits don’t make as much as the Yanks.


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