Tuesday, August 21, 2007

LAW.COM Newswire Highlights

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Patent Defendants Score Big at Federal Circuit
The Recorder
Tech company general counsel, who routinely wrestle with claims of patent infringement, can breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to a Federal Circuit decision Monday that makes it far more difficult to accuse a company of willful patent infringement, a claim that can result in triple damages. The ruling also made a crucial clarification regarding waivers of attorney-client privilege. The Federal Circuit received nearly two dozen amicus briefs on the issue.

Class Action Suits Seeking Medical Monitoring Filed Over Recalled Mattel Toys
The Legal Intelligencer
As with other defective Chinese products of late, U.S. consumers are looking for some accountability from the domestic importers. Two similar class actions have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Los Angeles County Superior Court. Both suits seek to compel Mattel, the importer of millions of Chinese-made toys that have been recalled due to lead paint and small magnets, to pay for lead testing for children who may have been affected by the toys.

D.C. Circuit: Grand Jury Witnesses Can Review Testimony
Legal Times
In a decision that's drawing notice throughout the criminal defense bar, the D.C. Circuit has become the first federal appeals court to hold that grand jury witnesses have an unqualified right to review their testimony in ongoing investigations. Defense attorneys say the ruling could induce more witnesses to testify and curb prosecutorial overreaching. But the government argues it will encourage information-sharing among co-defendants and their attorneys, particularly in white-collar and racketeering cases.

DLA Piper Lawyer Helps Free Former Classmate From Chinese Prison
The American Lawyer
Jared Genser and Yang Jianli have found their lives intertwined. Students at the Kennedy School of Government 10 years ago, Genser was inspired by Yang to become a lawyer and ultimately to found Freedom Now, a group whose highly targeted campaigns have scored an impressive record of helping to free prisoners of conscience. It was largely thanks to Freedom Now that Yang was able to leave a Chinese prison earlier this year and to return to the United States on Saturday as a free man.

5th Circuit Certifies Major Insurance Questions to Texas High Court
Texas Lawyer
Insurance disputes have occupied much of the Texas Supreme Court's time of late, and the 5th Circuit likely has just added to that caseload. The circuit sent the state high court two certified questions that need to be decided in a construction-defect case with potentially far-reaching implications. If the Supreme Court accepts the case, it must decide what triggers an insurance company's duty to cover a damage claim that occurred during the policy period but was discovered years after the policy ended.

Two Prominent Attorneys Subpoenaed in KPMG Case
Legal Times
Two of Hogan & Hartson's most prominent attorneys -- Prentiss Feagles, co-director of the firm's tax practice, and Paul Rogers, a partner in the firm's health practice -- have been subpoenaed at the request of KPMG's lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who are defending their client over work done on behalf of Bernard Salick. Salick is a Los Angeles physician and entrepreneur who filed suit in California in 2005 against KPMG after shady tax shelters were sold to him by the company.

Animal Shelter Puts the Bite on Attorney for Allegedly Diverting Widow's Contributions
The Legal Intelligencer
A Pittsburgh no-kill animal shelter has filed a five-count lawsuit against a Pittsburgh attorney, alleging that he illegally reduced its portion of a wealthy widow's multimillion-dollar estate. Animal Friends Inc. claims in the suit that Gregory Harbaugh abused his power-of-attorney status and diverted $1.2 million from four charitable organizations to three other charitable organizations with which he or his wife has financial ties.

Lead Paint Litigation Is Beginning to Fade
The National Law Journal
A series of recent rulings have stymied public nuisance claims made by dozens of cities and counties to recover damages related to lead paint, which has been found to cause learning disabilities in children. Lawyers for the paint and pigment companies highlighted the rulings as part of a definitive shift against public nuisance claims.

Criminal Attorneys Provide Post-Game Analysis of Padilla Case
Daily Business Review
On Thursday, a federal jury in Miami found Jose Padilla and co-defendants Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi guilty on all counts of conspiring to support terrorism overseas. They face life in prison. Many of Miami's prominent criminal attorneys sat in on all or part of the trial to watch the lawyering, support their defense lawyer or prosecutor friends, or just out of sheer curiosity. What did they think of the legal strategies and judging? Here is the post-game analysis.

Rights Cases Multiply Against Corporations
The National Law Journal
An upswing in global operations and a 9th Circuit decision allowing vicarious liability claims for violations of international human rights norms in Alien Tort Claims Act cases have opened the door to more cases. A recent ruling in an Alabama federal court underscores plaintiffs' uphill battle. The decision in what may be the first jury trial on alien tort claims should be heartening to corporate defendants, said Baker Botts' William Jeffress, who defended U.S. coal mining company Drummond Co. in the case.
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Conflicting SEC Rule Proposals Will Add to Confusion Regarding Shareholder Participation in Director Nominations
Special to Law.com
Last month the SEC published an interpretive release and two proposed rules that reflect a split among the commissioners regarding shareholder access to the director nomination process. This development follows a recent problematic decision by the 2nd Circuit in AFSCME v. AIG. However, says Torys partner Joris Hogan, the SEC's initiatives have sent conflicting signals to public companies that are considering whether to change the method whereby directors are nominated for election to the board.
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HP Scanjet 7650n Slows the Paper Chase
It's difficult for a small to medium-size law firm to keep up with the resources of a large firm. Imagine the David vs. Goliath struggle when a large law firm brings its litigation resources to bear on a small firm. To even the odds, small firms need to get smart about business processes and technology and reduce the time and energy they use to manage paper. Toward that end, Hewlett-Packard's one-two punch knocks paper into a digital format and places it onto the network with its Scanjet 7650n.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can any of you lawyers out there come up with a logical explanation of why one of the targets/victims in the now-dubbed "Padilla Trial" was literally shut out by the US Attorney's office and denied their victim's rights (such as notification, ensuring safety, etc). Why would the prosecution sabotage their own case? This is not a "self-proclaimed victim", rather one that one branch of the govt under the Clinton Administration saw fit to intervene and get them to safety (before the victim/target even knew about anything). I am interested in your comments and suggestions. This victim has been railroaded and is in fear for their life. There is a set-up somewhere in this. (This is not a joke). What should be the next course of action?