When Martha-Ann Alito dissolved into tears at her husband Sam's confirmation hearing in January 2006, satirist Christopher Buckley decided to address the state of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The result, "Supreme Courtship," hits bookstores this week. Buckley, the son of the late William Buckley Jr., had to confront a couple of problems while writing the book, including finding humor in the Supreme Court. But then the idea suddenly came to him: "Judge Judy goes on the Supreme Court!"
A juror shortage forced an Oregon judge to look through a phone book before sending sheriff's deputies out into the street to round up enough people for a trial. Lane County Presiding Judge Mary Ann Bearden said an unusually large number of criminal trials combined with an equally unusual number of no-shows for jury duty forced her to invoke a little-used state law. "We had three extremely important criminal cases and needed to take extraordinary measures," Bearden said.
A federal judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a New York couple against a mortgage broker they claim was working in tandem with the orchestrator of a Ponzi scheme who is serving prison time for stealing more than $11 million from investors. The case is part of a lengthy and complex civil litigation that arose after the criminal investigation of Peter Dawson, a financial adviser who fleeced dozens of investors of retirement and other savings.
Eight former executives and employees of a Cincinnati company that sold a male sexual aid and other supplements were sentenced Thursday in connection with a massive fraud scheme. A federal judge handed down sentences ranging from one month to one year for their roles in a scheme that federal prosecutors say netted Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals more than $500 million. The sentencings came a day after company founder Steven Warshak was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
An investment banker may pursue a suit he filed almost a decade after he claims a photo of him playing touch football was first displayed in a New York Sports Club without his permission. A New York judge held that the posting of Robert Geary's photo on the Web site of the club's parent company "constituted a republication which triggered a new statute of limitations." Geary's attorney says the photos are "an embarrassment" to his client, saying they made him look "like he spends his time eating the dust."
A Spanish-speaking worker who signed an employment agreement written in English cannot later escape a mandatory arbitration clause in the agreement on the grounds that he did not understand it, a divided 3rd Circuit panel has ruled. In , 3rd Circuit Judge Michael Chagares found that under the "objective theory of contract formation," courts cannot make exceptions for those who willingly sign a contract without understanding it -- even in the case of a language barrier.
Former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and his entertainment lawyer co-defendant, Terry Christensen, were convicted Friday of charges linked to the wiretapping of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's former wife in a child support battle. They were accused of recording Lisa Bonder Kerkorian's phone conversations in an effort to disprove her claims that the MGM mogul was the father of her daughter. Pellicano and Christensen face up to 10 years in federal prison and $500,000 in fines.
Former employees of AT&T and Lucent Technologies who claimed they were cheated out of death benefits have lost their bid to revive an ERISA suit now that the 3rd Circuit has ruled that the benefits were unvested and therefore could be terminated by Lucent. A unanimous three-judge panel upheld the dismissal of a proposed class action after concluding that the death benefit -- a lump sum payment made to a worker's survivors -- was not a protected pension benefit, but an unprotected welfare benefit.
A blend of advanced technology, increased litigation and rising fears about IP theft and financial fraud is driving law firms and corporate counsel to the doors of former FBI agents and ex-prosecutors with a knack for solving crimes. These private investigators report that calls from law firms and GC have increased substantially in recent years. At the core of many of these problems, lawyers note, is a mountain of computer evidence too technical and too overwhelming for attorneys to dissect on their own.
Legal Technology editor Sean Doherty weighs in from the exhibit hall of the International Legal Technology Association's annual meeting. Doherty measures how the conference delivers on this year's theme, "Global Perspective, Peer Advantage," and highlights the news heard on the floor.
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