Welcome

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 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
September 2nd, 2015
The federal government is trying to coax banks into making more mortgage loans to risky borrowers by assuring them that minor mistakes on mortgages won't result in penalties, The Wall Street Journal's Joe Light reports. The Justice Department has been claiming in several lawsuits that there have been mistakes by banks in loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, resulting in billions of dollars of penalties and lenders making... Continue Reading
September 2nd, 2015
Climate negotiators are working to finalize the technical aspects of a climate change deal, and they must form the legal structure of the deal as part of that, Responding to Climate Change's Megan Darby reports: "The ultimate goal is a deal this December setting out how countries will cooperate to decarbonise their economies, prepare for the impacts of climate change and support the developing world in both endeavours." Interim... Continue Reading
September 1st, 2015
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that sex offenders can't be banned from living near parks and schools, The Boston Globe's Michael Levenson reports. The court said those restrictions are like the eras in American history in which American Indians were removed from their lands and Japanese Americans were interned during World War II: "'Except for the incarceration of persons under the criminal law and the... Continue Reading
September 1st, 2015
The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the state's Medicaid expansion could proceed today, Alaska Dispatch News' Tegan Hanlon reports. Governor Bill Walker expanded Medicaid over the objections of legislators, who argue they need to approve the expansion for it to be legal. The underlying lawsuit over the issue will still proceed because the court's order was about whether a temporary restraining order would go into place. Continue Reading
September 1st, 2015
The California Senate has just passed a bill that would restrict drones from being flown over wildfires, Los Angeles Times' Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason report. Other measures are being considered to restrict drone flights over prisons, schools and homes. For example, there is a bill on the governor's desk that would "criminalize the act of operating an unmanned aircraft system less than 350 feet above ground over private... Continue Reading
September 1st, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an emergency application by a Kentucky clerk against having to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of her religious objections, CNN's Ariane de Vogue and Jeremy Diamond report. The high court refused to stop a lower court ruling while clerk Kim Davis' appeal is pending. Davis' lawyers argued that her "'conscience forbids her from approving a (same-sex marriage) license... Continue Reading
August 31st, 2015
A former associate at Ropes & Gray was unable to revive his racial discrimination lawsuit after a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, The National Law Journal's Sheri Qualters reports. John Ray III alleged that he was racially discriminated against and fired because he complained about racial remarks made by the firm's parnters. The firm told him in 2008 that he would not make partner and gave him six... Continue Reading
August 30th, 2015
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled last week that protestors don't have the right to demonstrate closer to the U.S. Supreme Court than the sidewalk out front, The Washington Post's Robert Barnes reports. A law forbids demonstrations on the high court's grounds on the theory that closer protests could lead to the perception that the justices are swayed by public pressure. U.S. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote... Continue Reading
August 30th, 2015
The Federal Trade Commission has the authority to regulate lax cybersecurity as an unfair business practice, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled, Bank Info Security's Tracy Kitten reports. Hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide Corp. was sued by the FTC for allegedly having inadequate security measures to protect consumer data, which the agency said violated the FTC Act's unfair business practice provisions.... Continue Reading
August 30th, 2015
A state judge ruled Friday that Alaska Governor Bill Walker can expand Medicaid without legislative approval, Alaska Dispatch News' Nathaniel Herz reports. Legislators moved for a preliminary injunction to stop the expansion of coverage while they argue their underlying legal challenge to the legality of the executive action. Legislators argue that they must approve the expansion of Medicaid to groups whose coverage is not required under... Continue Reading
August 24th, 2015
The Missouri Supreme Court struck down red-light camera laws in St. Louis, Kansas City and St. Peters, The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Gershman reports. The law in St. Louis was struck down because it shifted the burden onto a defendant to prove that he or she wasn't operating the motor vehicle at the time of the violation. The ordinances authorizing red-light camera violations in the other cities were struck down for other reasons. Continue Reading
August 24th, 2015
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that five New Orleans police officers are entitled to a new trial after being convicted of shooting six unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Frontline's Sarah Moughty and Sarah Childress report. The unarmed group of civilians was searching for food and medicine. A new trial was granted because federal prosecutors violated the fair trial... Continue Reading
August 24th, 2015
Last week, BloombergBusiness' Natalie Kitroeff had a piece with a title sure to grab your attention: "Are Lawyers Getting Dumber?" However, the piece is really about a stupendous drop in the rate of law school graduates who are passing the bar exam. For example, bar passage rates dropped by 9 percentage points or more in Delaware, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas in 2014. National Conference of Bar Examiners'... Continue Reading

Pages

Subscribe to Cultivated Compendium