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Appeals court refuses to reconsider Wisconsin voter ID cases
Legal Marketing News | 2016/08/27 14:47
A federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a pair of rulings affecting Wisconsin's voter ID law, meaning no more changes to the requirement are likely before the November election.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously declined to have a full panel of judges hear appeals of two recent rulings affecting the voter ID requirement and a host of other election-related laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court would have to intervene for any changes to happen before the Nov. 8 election.

The appeals court's upholding the earlier rulings means that Wisconsin voters will have to show an acceptable ID to vote, but those having trouble getting it can get a temporary ID from the Division of Motor Vehicles.




Court rejects Cosby's attempt to reseal testimony on affairs
Legal Marketing News | 2016/08/16 16:09
A federal appeals court on Monday rejected Bill Cosby's effort to reseal his deposition testimony about extramarital affairs, prescription sedatives and payments to women, saying the documents are now a matter of public knowledge.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that the comedian's appeal was moot. "The contents of the documents are a matter of public knowledge, and we cannot pretend that we could change that fact by ordering them resealed," the court wrote in an opinion.

Cosby's attorneys hoped a ruling in their favor could help them keep the documents from being used in the criminal case against him in Pennsylvania and in the many lawsuits filed around the country by women who accuse him of sexual assault or defamation.

Cosby gave the testimony in 2005 as part of a lawsuit brought against him by Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee who said he drugged and molested her at his home. She later settled for an undisclosed sum, and sensitive documents in the file remained sealed.

In the nearly 1,000-page deposition, the married comic once known as "America's Dad" for his beloved portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on his top-ranked 1980s TV show, "The Cosby Show," admitted to several extramarital affairs and said he obtained quaaludes to give to women he hoped to seduce.

The documents were released last year on a request from The Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno found the public had a right to Cosby's testimony because of his role as a self-appointed "public moralist" and because he had denied accusations he drugged and molested women.



High court nominee praises lawyers for helping the poor
Legal Marketing News | 2016/04/21 17:06
Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland praised lawyers for their work with low-income Washingtonians Thursday in his first public remarks since his nomination last month.

Garland was on familiar turf, speaking at the federal courthouse in Washington, where he is chief judge of the appeals court.

Giving people living in poverty access to the courts is critical for society, Garland said. "Without equal justice under law," Garland said, using the phrase engraved above the entrance to the Supreme Court, "faith in the rule of the law, the foundation of our civil society, is at risk."

Garland's nomination is stalled in the Senate, where GOP leaders say the next president should choose the replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He has met with roughly 40 senators so far, with no sign that Republicans will allow hearings on his nomination, much less a vote.

At those meetings, Garland has typically said nothing for public consumption.

His appearance Thursday was part of the White House's effort to familiarize the country with the nominee by having him speak on a noncontroversial topic, free legal assistance for the poor.


Democrats push McConnell, GOP on Supreme Court nomination
Legal Marketing News | 2016/04/16 01:16
Senate Democrats called on Republicans to vote on Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court by Memorial Day, as GOP lawmakers showed no sign of relenting despite the latest round of courtesy calls.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., maintains that the president chosen by voters in November should fill the vacancy on the high court, and there will be no confirmation hearings or a vote. But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and his Democratic colleagues are hoping that election-year pressure will eventually wear them down.

"We feel the public is on our side, and this is to their detriment," Reid told reporters Thursday at a news conference in which Democrats pressed for consideration of Garland's nomination.

One Republican in a tough re-election race, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, met with Garland Thursday morning and told the judge that he agreed with McConnell on delaying the nomination until after the next president takes office.



Attorney: Court ruling lets Ohio political candidates lie
Legal Marketing News | 2016/03/28 12:06
Candidates for public office in Ohio can lie and get away with it under a recent federal court ruling that struck down a state law banning false statements in campaigns, an attorney says.

Attorney Donald Brey, who has represented Republicans in cases before the Ohio Elections Commission, told The Columbus Dispatch his clients mostly tell the truth, but can legally lie as long as they don't defame anyone.

In past elections, the commission ruled on false-advertising complaints. That changed when the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals a few weeks ago upheld the 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black that found the law violated the First Amendment. The Dispatch reports no further appeal is expected.

Black wrote that "lies are bad," but with some political speech, "there is no clear way to determine whether a political statement is a lie or the truth, and we certainly do not want the government deciding what is political truth."

Phil Richter, executive director of the state Elections Commission, said he has had to turn away calls from candidates alleging false-advertising claims.



Karadzic convicted of genocide, sentenced to 40 years
Legal Marketing News | 2016/03/24 09:32
A U.N. court convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide and nine other charges Thursday and sentenced him to 40 years in prison for orchestrating Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead.

As he sat down after hearing his sentence, Karadzic slumped slightly in his chair, but showed little emotion.

The U.N. court found Karadzic guilty of genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in Europe's worst mass murder since the Holocaust.

Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon said Karadzic was the only person in the Bosnian Serb leadership with the power to halt the genocide.

In a carefully planned operation, Serb forces transported Muslim men to sites around the Srebrenica enclave in eastern Bosnia and gunned them down before dumping their bodies into mass graves.

Kwon said Karadzic and his military commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic, intended "that every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from Srebrenica be killed."

Karadzic was also held criminally responsible for murder, attacking civilians and terror for overseeing the deadly 44-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, during the war and for taking hostage U.N. peacekeepers.

However, the court acquitted Karadzic in a second genocide charge, for a campaign to drive Bosnian Muslims and Croats out of villages claimed by Serb forces.



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