News. Crime Stories, Law on News and Legal Publications in December, 2011

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Toothache lawsuit may stifle medical gag orders
msnbc.comDecember 1, 2011

Lawyers for Robert Lee, 42, this week asked a New York federal court to declare that dentist Stacy Makhnevich's contract, which effectively attempts to gag patient reviews, is unethical, invalid and illegal. Within hours, the complaint filed by the ...more »

Judge dismisses discrimination, defamation claims by former Lexington library CEO
Lexington Herald LeaderDecember 1, 2011

Imhoff's claim of gender discrimination was thrown out because "she is unable to identify evidence sufficient to support a finding that the Library Board treated her less favorably than a similarly situated male employee," the order says. ...more »

Latest Legal and Criminal News

Administrative Law
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Aboriginal group battles with Fortescue Metals
ABC OnlineDecember 30, 2011

A West Australian Aboriginal group has gone to the State Administrative Tribunal to try to stop Fortescue Metals Group proceeding with a mining project in the Pilbara. The Yindjibarndi Corporation is concerned that FMG's Solomon Hub expansion project ...more »

Health Care Law
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State role in health-care rates to expand
Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewDecember 21, 2011

"Senate Bill 1336 has the blessing of the Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services in being in compliance with the federal health care law," Pittman said. "The reality is this bill greatly expands the insurance department's ...more »

Admiralty & Maritime Law
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Jones Announces Joint Effort to Fight California's 'Underground Economy'
Insurance JournalDecember 30, 2011

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is joining with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and other agencies to fight labor law and insurance-related violations in an “underground economy.” The collaboration was announced on Thursday by ...more »

Immigration Law
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Judge extends order on portion of immigration law
Montgomery AdvertiserDecember 7, 2011

US District Judge Myron Thompson has extended a restraining order stopping the enforcement of a portion of the state's immigration law until Dec. 12 to allow him time to consider arguments and complex issues in the case. The Central Alabama Fair ...more »

Industrial Development Law
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State targeting employers that don't play by rules
San Francisco ChronicleDecember 31, 2011

The effort will include a large outreach component to educate people about the law. Penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense and the industry. For instance, unlicensed contractors can be fined up to $15000 and referred to a local ...more »

Alternate Dispute Resolution
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MP Calls on Tehran to Mediate in Syrian Dispute
Fars News AgencyDecember 31, 2011

"We expect Tehran to play the role of a mediator between the (ruling) system and Damascus opposition and help the trend of negotiations to resolve the current problems," Mohammad Habash told FNA on Saturday. Habash stressed the necessity for an ...more »

Insurance Litigation
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Judge tosses Oak Harbor Street lawsuit out of court
Whidbey News-TimesDecember 28, 2011

The lawsuit began earlier this year when a sub-contractor that had not been paid for its services filed a claim against GG, First National Insurance Company of America and the city. The firm filed for a lien against the city's retainage bond. ...more »

Animal Law
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Ex-Governor's Partner Targets Tiger Bone Trade
Wall Street JournalDecember 27, 2011

Mr. O'Donnell helped write the legislation with animal rights groups, testified before a Senate committee this month and has lobbied individual lawmakers. "It's not a frivolous bill. It's not a hobby because I'm bored. It's a real serious issue," said ...more »

Intellectual Property
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Yahoo's unit Overture Services Inc faces patent roadblock for paid-search ...
Economic TimesDecember 27, 2011

The case then moved to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. "The ground of refusal is that the said patent is a business method and hence prohibited from being patentable under Indian patent laws," said GK Muthukumaar of GMS Law Associates, ...more »

Asbestos Litigation
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Asbestos judge gets asbestos money
Belleville News DemocratDecember 14, 2011

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was dropped Tuesday from hearing all asbestos cases less than a week after her campaign committee received $30000 in contributions from three metro-east asbestos law firms. ...more »

Labor & Employment Law
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The elusive dream
E-Pao.netDecember 29, 2011

We are not against affirmative action or reservations as a means towards facilitating equality of opportunities for a level playing field, but only arguing for a more nuanced approach to this whole concept of affirmative action. ...more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: RFS2 2012, Keystone XL, SolarWorld, Aviation...
Environmental LeaderDecember 28, 2011

The EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2) 2012 percentage standards for four fuel categories as part of the annual renewable fuel volume targets intended to achieve an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. ...more »

Landlord & Tenant Law
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New laws for new year
Corning ObserverDecember 28, 2011

The law also exempts anyone who has access to people's bank or credit card account information, Social Security number and date of birth, has access to an employer's proprietary information or trade secrets, signs a check, credit card, ...more »

Bankruptcy Law
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Ex-Lawyer Rothstein Testifies Fund Managers Aided Ponzi Scheme
San Francisco ChronicleDecember 31, 2011

Casas cited an exchange in which the funds' lawyer Eliot Lauer questioned Rothstein about a conversation with Nordlicht. "Your best recollection is that if prospective investors or new investors would contact him, he would not give it a bad rating? ...more »

Litigation
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Honors and Officers (December 31, 2011)
In-ForumDecember 31, 2011

Five attorneys from the Serkland Law Firm in Fargo, have been selected by their peers as Great Plains Super Lawyers 2011. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is an annual rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who ...more »

Business Law
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Privacy laws and your small business
Financial PostDecember 19, 2011

The magic legal word is reasonable, because that doesn't mean the business breaks the law if it turns out there might be a better way to collect customer's data or protect the store from fraudsters. For example, you could argue it would be better for ...more »

Military Law & Military Benefits
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Were Army crime lab problems withheld from some defendants?
Kansas City StarDecember 29, 2011

Military and civilian judges agree that defendants deserve to know potentially exculpatory information, or information that undermines the credibility of government witnesses. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark S. Jackson, for instance, was accused of using ...more »

Computer & Internet Related Crimes
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Band's fans join hunt for stolen computers
Windsor StarDecember 27, 2011

After a recent break-in at the guitarist's home, fans are spending their holidays scouring the Internet in search of the rock band's stolen material. Matte Lalonde's heart sank when he discovered his house had been broken into Thursday night, ...more »

Personal Injury
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Personal Injury Law Firm Produces eBook About Surviving a Car Accident
PR Web (press release)December 29, 2011

Craig Swapp & Associates releases the “The Car Accident Survivor's Guide” as a free public service to those involved in a vehicular accident. Many people think that they'll never be involved in a car wreck... To help people cope with the difficulties ...more »

Constitutional Law & Civil Rights
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Dates set for Supreme Court health care reform arguments
CNNDecember 19, 2011

Opponents of the law say the individual mandate is crucial to the overall law, since it is the main funding mechanism for the expansion of a range of other programs. This may be the one question on which the justices will ultimately agree in favor of ...more »

Professional Malpractice
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County to renew contract with local attorney [Ruidoso News, N.M.]
Insurance News Net (press release)December 23, 2011

While no commissioners expressed any dissatisfaction with his performance, Commissioner Kathryn Minter said when the next request for proposals for professional legal services is issued, she would like to see it more widely advertised than the local ...more »

Consumer Protection
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Five Ways to Be A Smarter Consumer In 2012
NorthumberlandView.caDecember 29, 2011

Consumers should not pay more than a 10-per cent deposit on any goods or services once a contract has been signed. Know your rights. Ontario's Consumer Protection Act, 2002 gives consumers the right to cancel certain contracts within 10 days of ...more »

Real Estate Law
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Indiana Securities Law Firm Investigating Fraud Stemming From Self-Directed ...
DigitalJournal.com (press release)December 30, 2011

Custodians and trustees for self-directed IRAs, however, may allow investors to invest retirement funds in other types of assets such as real estate, promissory notes, tax lien certificates, and private placement securities. Fraud promoters who want to ...more »

Stories covered best, worst of 2011
McCook Daily GazetteDecember 27, 2011

He does so after hearing the opinion from a Scottsbluff law firm that according to state law, an elected official in a city manager-form of government, forfeits their seat if convicted of a crime.Hilker was convicted in May of harboring a potentially ...more »

Sports Law
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Justice Dept. confirms that most intrastate online gambling is legal
Daily CallerDecember 28, 2011

The DOJ now considers non-sport intrastate gambling legal, a victory for state lotteries. The 1961 Wire Act prevents “wired” bets from taking place over phone lines. The law, until recently, has been applied to all bets taking over the Internet. ...more »

Criminal Defense
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Sarasota's Craig Adams pleads guilty in flipping fraud case
Sarasota Herald-TribuneDecember 19, 2011

"The case is unique because the top guy turned himself in and started flipping on people below him in the chain," said LT Lafferty, a Tampa criminal defense attorney. "It's like John Gotti coming in and saying he's going to give up his entire crime ...more »

Kentucky auditor blasts MSD over financial and management issues
Louisville Courier-JournalDecember 16, 2011

Finding: The lack of a policy development process resulted in duplication of work and potentially unnecessary legal fees. Recommendation: Develop a process by which policies are developed and brought before the board. • Finding: The Louisville Green ...more »

55-year-old teacher claims age discrimination at Joliet private school
Chicago Sun-TimesDecember 19, 2011

“I understand the economics, but age discrimination laws say you can't factor that in,” he added. The principal of St. Paul the Apostle, 130 Woodlawn Ave., declined to comment. Phone calls and emails directed at the attorney representing the Diocese of ...more »

Trusts & Estate Planning
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The Cooper Companies Announces Record Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Results
MarketWatch (press release)December 8, 2011

From 1999 to 2010, he served in a variety of senior management roles at Agilent Technologies, including vice president and controller of the wireless business unit, vice president and director of internal audit and assistant corporate controller. ...more »

Environmental Law
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Sindh environment minister visits KPT
Business RecorderDecember 31, 2011

KARACHI: The Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal, visited Karachi Harbour on Saturday to witness the efforts of KPT towards protection of mangroves. While speaking on the occasion the Minister opined that ...more »

Wills & Probate
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Evan Guthrie Law Firm Teaches Estate Planning and Probate At Dorchester County ...
openPR (press release)December 10, 2011

Mr. Guthrie talked about wills, living trusts, probate court, power of attorney, and living wills in a simple and direct manner that everyone was able to understand. Attorney Evan Guthrie answered questions after making his presentation that ranged ...more »

Family Law
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Federal judge to hear argument in challenge of Utah bigamy law
Washington PostDecember 16, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY — A polygamous family made famous on a reality television show is asking a Utah federal judge not to block their challenge of the state's bigamy law. Kody Brown and wives Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn filed a lawsuit in Salt Lake ...more »

Workers Compensation
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Members Added to Minnesota FAIR Plan, Workers' Comp Association
Insurance JournalDecember 29, 2011

Two members have been added to the board of Minnesota's FAIR plan and one new member has been added to the state's workers' comp insurance association. The FAIR Plan is Minnesota's statutorily created limited property insurer for those properties not ...more »

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