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Cultivated Compendium is my periodic round-up of important, cutting-edge or interesting legal news as well as some of my original reporting and musings.


 

News and Reporting

September 7th, 2015
The Canada Supreme Court has ruled that Ecuadoreans can sue Chevron and its Canadian subsidiary within that country to enforece a $9.5 billion judgment in Ecuador, The Globe and Mail's Sean Fine reports. Fine notes that the ruling weakens the corporate veil between a corporate parent and its subsidiary and "has major implications for Canadian multinational companies whose business activities raise environmental or human-rights... Continue Reading
September 7th, 2015
A coalition of media organizations have asked California Governor Jerry Brown to veto a bill that would make it illegal to fly drones less than 350 feet above private property "'without express permission of the person or entity with the legal authority to grant access or without legal authority,'" The Hill's David McCabe reports. The coalition said the law would impede newsgathering and violate the First Amendment. Continue Reading
September 6th, 2015
The pharmaceutical industry is asking Congress to exempt drug patents from an administrative procedure that allows patent challenges without having to go to federal court, The Wall Street Journal's Joseph Walker reports. But the Congressional Budget Office has found that enacting the exemption would delay the entry of new generic medicines to the market and would cost federal healthcare programs $1.3 billion over 10 years. Jacob S.... Continue Reading
September 6th, 2015
The Vera Institue for Justice's Bruce Frederick, commenting on the Marshall Project, questions The New York Times' recent piece saying that murder rates are rising sharply in many U.S. cities and that less aggressive policing in the wake of Michael Brown's killing in Ferguson has "'emboldened criminals.'" He says that the New York Times' piece included 10 cities with populations ranging between 317,000 and... Continue Reading
September 6th, 2015
Fusion's Daniel Rivero has an interesting profile on the attorneys who are taking on police brutality cases. Not only do they find the work rewarding but they also are finding the case work lucrative, Rivero reports. An attorney at the National Bar Association's annual conference said there's been $300 million in legal fees generated from police-misconduct cases in the last five years. Chicago attorney Antonio Romanucci told... Continue Reading
September 5th, 2015
Michigan is seeking a waiver from the Obama administration to expand Medicaid to another 600,000 low-income adults, the Associated Press reports. Unde the waiver request, "adults who have been enrolled for four years would have to buy private insurance through a government health exchange or pay higher copays and contribute more to health savings accounts." Continue Reading
September 5th, 2015
When Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, her argument that doing so would violate her religious beliefs highlighted the issue of whether people must obey the law and go against their religious faith. The Washington Post's Robert Barnes and Katie Zezima report that legal experts said that Davis was on shaky ground in citing her religious beliefs when she was a public... Continue Reading
September 4th, 2015
Dan Lear, director of industry relations for Avvo, writes on The New Normal Blog that lawyers need to move beyond "access to justice" initiatives to close the legal services gap because they are "entirely ineffective." He also notes that, under the traditional access to justice model, clients get one-on-one attention from attorneys, but this is inefficient. Moreover, some clients of modest means can afford to pay something... Continue Reading
September 4th, 2015
Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law allows public records to be photographed, rather than requiring that photocopies be paid for, The Allentown Morning Call's Paul Muschick reports. Appeals officer Kathleen Higgins said that banning photography of public documents would be like banning someone from taking notes about public documents.   Continue Reading
September 4th, 2015
President Obama's administration has proposed a plan to ban discrimination against transgender people in the health care system, the Associated Press reports. The regulations would expand "insurance coverage for gender transition and prohibit health care facilities from denying transgender people access to restrooms that match their individual gender identity." Public comment is being accepted until November 6, including on... Continue Reading
September 3rd, 2015
There is a bill being considered in India that would create monopoly rights over traditional knowledge and classify it under intellectual property law, The Hindu's T. Nandakumar reports. R.S. Praveen Raj, a former examiner with the India Patent Office, said codifying formulations based on Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga could mean they would be shared in a database with the European Patent Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office... Continue Reading
September 3rd, 2015
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a company's request to operate 324 drones for "aerial data acquisition," which has prompted concerns from privacy advocates, Vice News' John Dyer reports. Jeramie Scott, national security counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told Dyer "'right now there are virtually no laws to address the commercial use of drones to collect massive amounts of data on... Continue Reading
September 3rd, 2015
Conservative commentator Bill Kristol recently suggested the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito enter the Republican presidential race, which prompted Scott Bomboy, writing for the Constitution Daily blog, to write about the long history of Supreme Court justices getting active in electoral politics. For example, John Jay, the nation's first chief justice, ran twice for the governorship of New York without resigning. Justice Arthur... Continue Reading
September 3rd, 2015
Lawyer Donald Scarinci, opining on the PolitickerNJ site, writes that the 2016 presidential race is really about which party will be in power to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice. But he notes, with the current polarization of politics, that the next president won't be able to select an ideological twin for the court. "Like those before them, the ultimate nominee will likely be an excellent jurist whose views on significant... Continue Reading
September 2nd, 2015
Manhattan Justice Peter Moulton, who is presiding over New York City's asbestos cases, has refused to halt all asbestos litigation while a new case management order is negotiated, The New York Law Journal's Ben Bedell reports. Moulton has called for a reexamination of the case management for asbestos cases, and he appointed a committee of plaintiffs and defense lawyers to negotiate the new order. The defense bar argues that the... Continue Reading

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