Former Law Student’s Debt Forgiven, Bankruptcy Court Calls Asberger Syndrome “Undue Burden”  “A former law student has won a bid in bankruptcy court to discharge nearly $340,000 in education debt because her diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome rendered her unable to repay the loans.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland on May 17 found that Carol Todd, who attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, met the difficult burden of showing that she would suffer undue hardship if forced to repay her debt.

Todd, who received her high school general equivalency diploma during the late 1980s, at the age of 39, began attending law school in 1992 but did not finish, according to the opinion. She went on to obtain a master’s degree from Towson University and a Ph.D. from an unaccredited online school in 2007. She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. At the time of her trial, she was 63 and owed $339,361 to three student loan creditors.”

E-Book Suit Goes Ahead Against Apple And Publishers

Thomson Reuters:  “Apple Inc and five major book publishers have failed to persuade a U.S. judge to throw out a lawsuit by consumers accusing them of conspiring to raise electronic book pricestwo years ago.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York is related to government charges in April accusing Apple and publishers of colluding to break up’s low-cost dominance of the digital book market. HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Simon & Schuster Inc and Hachette Book Group reached settlements with the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division.

Apple and two of the publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, said in court last month that they want to go to trial to defend themselves against the government charges. The judge has scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for June 22.

The consumers’ main allegation is that the publishers worked together to raise prices and decrease retail competition with Apple coordinating the agreement among them.” 

Employee Loses Job For 40 Year-Old Crime Conviction  “Even a small charge is worth fighting.”  That was unfortunately true for the woman featured in this article, who lost her job when her employer, Wells Fargo, discovered a 40 year-old conviction.  After five years of awards for employee excellence, she was terminated for a 1972 shoplifting conviction.

Phoenix Dog-Fighting Ring Busted A dog-fighting ring in Phoenix was busted recently and nine people have been arrested.  Two more spectators left with injured dogs, which were never found.  Dog-fighting is usually associated with other illegalities.  There is a strong body of evidence that animal cruelty is linked to other crimes, particularly crimes against humans.  According to the New York Times:

“….We discovered that in homes where there was domestic violence or physical abuse of children, the incidence of animal cruelty was close to 90 percent. The most common pattern was that the abusive parent had used animal cruelty as a way of controlling the behaviors of others in the home. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at what links things like animal cruelty and child abuse and domestic violence. And one of the things is the need for power and control. Animal abuse is basically a power-and-control crime.”

Quote by Randall Lockwood, the A.S.P.C.A.’s then-senior vice president for forensic sciences and anticruelty projects and a member of the new Anti-Animal-Abuse Task Force in Baltimore.



Law Firms – The New Normal  The practice of law is changing – you can only hope your lawyer is as flexible.  Below we highlight from this article a comparison chart of the “new normal” vs. its “old normal” counterpart.  Our favorite: “Make things more simple.”  If only…


Landmark Mortgage Fraud Case Resurrected in Florida According to this article, a landmark Florida case will be heard this week by the Florida Supreme Court.  The Court weighed in on its reasoning for hearing a twice-dismissed action:

“The question certified to us by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in this case transcends the individual parties to this action because it has the potential to impact the mortgage foreclosure crisis throughout this state and is one on which Florida’s trial courts and litigants need guidance,” the supreme court wrote. “The legal issue also has implications beyond mortgage foreclosure actions. Because we agree with the Fourth District that this issue is indeed one of great public importance and in need of resolution by this court, we deny the parties’ request to dismiss this proceeding.”

Teen Go-Kart Bandit Nabbed We can breathe a collective sigh of relief:

First there was the Sundance Kid, and now there’s the “go-kart bandit.” A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with about 100 home burglaries in Nashville, Tenn., the New York Daily News reports.

The teen’s name wasn’t released because he’s a minor. But police believe the young suspect stole and vandalized homes in at least four different neighborhoods. The teen allegedly found his targets by trolling the alleys behind homes in a go-kart. He got in by kicking in the back doors.

Feds Maintain Stronghold In War On Drugs – In Colorado! Forget Mexico, Colombia…Colorado, a key swing vote state, may be swinging against Obama if his administration does not stop shutting down dispensaries.  For the entire article, click here.

The state has embarked on an ambitious effort to regulate its thriving medical marijuana industry. When it comes to marijuana policy, Colorado’s voters, businesses, tax collectors, doctors and policy makers are moving forward. The lone holdout: President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, 25 medical marijuana centers across Colorado closed their doors in response to a Department of Justice crackdown which did not appear rooted in state or local law, as the administration had previously promised it would be.

Three Cups of Tea Lawsuit Dismissed Today in Missoula, Montana, a lawsuit against the author of Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson, was thrown out today with the judge citing “flimsy” claims by the Plaintiff:

But U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon dismissed the case for what he said was the “imprecise, in part flimsy, and speculative nature of the claims and theories advanced” by the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit was filed in May 2011 following a critical report by CBS television’s “60 Minutes” program that challenged the credibility of biographical details in Mortenson’s memoir.

In particular, the “60 Minutes” report disputed his account of being kidnapped in Pakistan’s Waziristan region in 1996, and said his institute, founded to build schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan, was largely being used to promote the book.

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