News. Crime Stories, Law on News and Legal Publications in February, 2012

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Bill to require more transparency in ballot measure advertising moves forward
Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog (blog)February 1, 2012

HB 2499 would require advertising for or against ballot measures in Washington to include the name and address of the entity paying for the advertising; entities that are political committees would also have to disclose the names of their top five ...more »

Medicare program's enrollment up, premiums down
USA TODAYFebruary 1, 2012

That continues a trend for the Medicare Advantage program that counters the negative predictions of opponents of the 2010 health care law, who said enrollment would drop and premiums would rise. "Premiums are down on average, enrollment is up, ...more »

Latest Legal and Criminal News

Administrative Law
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Racial study scrutinized in death row inmate's hearing
abc11.comFebruary 1, 2012

Patricia Tornblom, stepmother to the deceased, said she is angered by the hearing. "What do the people of Michigan have to do with us? I mean this is North Carolina," questioned Tornblom. "Why are they down here trying to decide how we make our laws?more »

Health Care Law
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Did Health Care Reform Hurt The Private Insurance Part Of Medicare? Apparently Not
TPMDCFebruary 1, 2012

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that the Medicare Advantage program, which allows seniors to receive health coverage through a private insurer, is enjoying lower costs and more customers as a result of the health care reform law.more »

Admiralty & Maritime Law
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House OK's Stricter Voter ID Laws as Hundreds Protest
Williamsburg Yorktown DailyFebruary 2, 2012

“We know that these voter suppression activities are designed with a strategic purpose in mind,” said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This is a systemic approach to suppressing the voting power of those who turned Virginia blue in 2008,” when the ...more »

Immigration Law
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Romney, Gingrich focus on Hispanic voters in Fla.
The AdvocateFebruary 1, 2012

(AP) — Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney pitched their ideas for reforming immigration law and pushing democracy into Cuba and across Latin America as the Republican presidential candidates vied for Hispanic votes Friday, entering the final, ...more »

Industrial Development Law
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SAUK RAPIDS — Sauk Rapids officials are exploring tax abatement to help pay ...
St. Cloud TimesFebruary 4, 2012

Unlike tax-increment financing, it requires that the city, county and school district approve abating the property taxes from the jurisdiction. State law allows abatement for numerous public benefits including economic development and construction of ...more »

Alternate Dispute Resolution
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County Schools Host Student Mediation Conference
FairfaxNews.comFebruary 3, 2012

This year's conference theme, “My Part for Peace,” emphasizes the need for improved conflict resolution skills that will provide the potential to build a more peaceful atmosphere in schools, homes, and communities. During the workshops, participants ...more »

Insurance Litigation
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It's fiscally irresponsible not to address liability reform
American Medical NewsFebruary 6, 2012

The present situation also hurts patients: In areas with high insurance premiums and significant litigation, there has been a decline in the number of physicians willing to practice in high-cost specialties such as obstetrics, emergency medicine and ...more »

Animal Law
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Kentucky worst in nation at fighting animal abuse
WKYTFebruary 6, 2012

The American Legal Defense Fund, an animal rights law organization, ranks Kentucky the worst at animal cruelty case convictions. They say the state's lack of laws makes it easy for criminals to get away with animal abuse. 27 NEWSFIRST took the claim to ...more »

Intellectual Property
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Eolas, AstraZeneca, Nortel, IOC, FAA: Intellectual Property
BusinessWeekFebruary 10, 2012

By Victoria Slind-Flor (This is a daily report on global news about patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property topics.) Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. were among the companies that won a jury trial that ...more »

Asbestos Litigation
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Wamu Wins Approval to Settle Dispute With Holders of Litigation Warrants
BloombergFebruary 1, 2012

The dispute had threatened to delay payments related to the company's proposed $7 billion reorganization plan, Rosen said in a hearing in US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. “Sometimes it's better to settle than to fight,” Arthur Steinberg, ...more »

Labor & Employment Law
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California Minorities Ask Court to Restore Affirmative Action in College ...
Fox NewsFebruary 14, 2012

Calls it Quits Opinion: Sueños Latino College Enrollment Up 24% Opinion: For Latinos, Education Starts at the Kitchen Table SAN FRANCISCO – Attorneys for the plaintiffs in a case challenging California's ban on using affirmative action to determine ...more »

Aviation Partners seeks dismissal of Airbus winglet lawsuit
FlightglobalFebruary 2, 2012

Seattle-based Aviation Partners (API), patent-holder of the blended winglet, is seeking the dismissal of an Airbus lawsuit aiming to clarify the intellectual property rights of the European airframer's alleged use of API's winglet on the Airbus A320's ...more »

Landlord & Tenant Law
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Roommate-matching site does not violate housing laws, court
ReutersFebruary 2, 2012

By Terry Baynes (Reuters) - A roommate-matching website that allows users to hunt for living partners based on gender and sexual orientation does not violate fair-housing laws that ban discrimination, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday.more »

Bankruptcy Law
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The European Reality Avoidance Scheme (and How the United States Colludes)
Huffington PostFebruary 1, 2012

Drug crime in Mexico. Oil security. Don't get me wrong. Those things are all important. If the frigid stand-off between Iran and its enemies flickers into outright conflict, the economic consequences -- forget the strategic ones, for a moment -- could ...more »

Litigation
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DEMOPALOOZA! Launches a New Interactive Destination Event for Litigation...
PR Web (press release)February 7, 2012

DEMOPALOOZA! is a new annual conference designed to bring together the key players in the litigation support industry for in-depth and interactive presentations and demonstrations of leading edge tools and applications used in litigation support.more »

Business Law
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Anti-gay-marriage group loses Maine list appeal
Boston.comFebruary 1, 2012

... and represents a second defeat for the National Organization for Marriage, which previously lost a challenge to the state's political action committee laws and laws governing independent expenditures and advertising attribution and disclaimers.more »

Military Law & Military Benefits
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ComEd Offers Bill Payment Help to Active Military Personnel
MarketWatch (press release)February 1, 2012

CHAMP offers a package of benefits, including a cash stipend of up to $500 while funds are available, a deferred payment plan, extended payment due dates, exemption from late charges, deposit reduction and budget payment plans.more »

Computer & Internet Related Crimes
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Meridian man sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for producing child ...
The Idaho StatesmanFebruary 6, 2012

The Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Meridian police assisted. Ada County prosecutors said Casper had been abusing a 14-year-old boy who had been living with him on weekdays during the school year. Police said the boy's parents had ...more »

Personal Injury
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Palms teen injured in Monday car accident
Huron Daily TribuneFebruary 1, 2012

According to the Sanilac County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Josh Horst was dispatched at about 7:45 pm Monday to the area of Goetze and Forester roads in Forester Township for a one-vehicle personal injury accident. According to Sgt. Steve McKenney, ...more »

Constitutional Law & Civil Rights
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Iowa gun laws face legal challenges under proposed constitutional amendment
DesMoinesRegister.com (blog)February 2, 2012

Iowa laws pertaining to restrictions or legal requirements in carrying or using guns could face new legal challenges under a legislative resolution that would amend the state's constitution into the strongest and most comprehensive firearm rights...more »

Professional Malpractice
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Ask the taxgirl: Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth
ForbesFebruary 1, 2012

They wrote me a check out of the company account and I accepted it thinking it was a gift. I am now being asked to complete a W-9 form. Since this was a “gift” am I required to fill out this form? And am I required to list this amount as income and ...more »

Consumer Protection
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From the Experts: Fighting Back Against Statutory Penalty Class Actions, Part I
Corporate CounselFebruary 8, 2012

Instead, their lucrative penalty schemes encourage lawsuits over hyper-technical statutory violations and promote “creative” interpretations of otherwise well-intentioned laws. See, eg, In re Nissan Odometer Litigation (2009). Companies faced with such ...more »

Real Estate Law
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Daniel R. Tilly Joins Faculty of Campbell Law School
PR.com (press release)February 2, 2012

Prior to Campbell Law School, Tilly litigated claims in civil trial courts involving a range of legal issues including real estate disputes, construction defects, personal injury claims and medical malpractice torts in Texas.more »

Dr. Clarisse von Wunschheim On Arbitrating Your China Disputes, Part I. The ...
China Law Blog (blog)February 2, 2012

And the way I judge international contracts is by heading straight to the dispute resolution provision. The well crafted provision is, above all else, unambiguous. If it calls for litigation, it says where it will be and what law will apply.more »

Sports Law
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Travis Leach Starts New Sports and Entertainment Legal Practice
Opposing ViewsFebruary 1, 2012

At the time, Leach was Co-chair of Phoenix, Arizona law firm Snell & Wilmer LLP's Sports and Entertainment Industry Group. Recently, he made the switch to Jennings Strouss & Salmon PLC, where he will lead a new sports and entertainment legal practice ...more »

Criminal Defense
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Judge Denies Mirkarimi Request to Lift Stay Away Order, Expedites Hearing
Fog City JournalFebruary 4, 2012

Mirkarmi is facing three criminal misdemeanor charges over an alleged domestic violence incident involving his wife, Eliana Lopez, on New Year's Eve. He was ordered separated from his wife and the couple's two-year old son, Theo, when charges of ...more »

IRS Threatens to Shut Down Medical Cannabis
Seattle Post IntelligencerFebruary 23, 2012

Twelve medical cannabis states form a national alliance, 280E Reform, to challenge US IRS Tax Code 280E. The IRS threatens to turn back the clock on Harborside Health Center">medical cannabis. A national alliance of industry leaders, patients and ...more »

MOTEN v. WARREN UNILUBE, INC.
Leagle.comFebruary 1, 2012

Fannie Moten appeals the district court's 1 adverse grant of summary judgment in her action asserting that her former employer discriminated against her based on her age and gender, and unlawfully retaliated against her for complaining about a single ...more »

Trusts & Estate Planning
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James Contini: Asset protection, planning grows in importance for mineral rights
New Philadelphia Times ReporterFebruary 5, 2012

By James Contini Developing an estate with an asset protection plan for mineral rights has become a very hot topic for area residents as an oil and natural gas exploration boom develops in the Tuscarawas Valley region. If you own unleased mineral ...more »

Environmental Law
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Other View: What's good for mining is good for wind power
Wisconsin Rapids TribuneFebruary 10, 2012

In order to make it easier -- and less costly -- for wind energy companies to establish these alternative and renewable energy systems, the Public Service Commission came up with a set of rules that would apply uniformly throughout the state.more »

Wills & Probate
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SC Bar Offers Free Legal Clinics In Spartanburg
News Channel 7February 12, 2012

The SC Bar Pro Bono Program will sponsor several free legal clinics in the Spartanburg area in February. The schedule is as follows: • Feb. 13 - Family law issues (separation, divorce and custody/visitation), featuring attorney D. Alan Lazenby.more »

Family Law
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Family-law attorney Heckman throws hat in for Sutter judgeship
Appeal-DemocratFebruary 5, 2012

By Ben van der Meer/ADbvandermeer Cases in family law — child custody, protective services, endangerment — can be the most wrenching in legal circles. But Sarah Heckman, current managing attorney for the Sutter County Superior Court Family Law Center ...more »

Workers Compensation
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Caps sought on certain workers' compensation cases
Bangor Daily NewsFebruary 10, 2012

By Matt Wickenheiser, BDN Staff Lawmakers next week will consider a proposal to change Maine's workers' compensation laws — a move that proponents call fair and reasonable and which organized labor termed “completely unacceptable.more »

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