Three Cups of Tea Lawsuit Dismissed

thomsonreuters.com: 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.

Supreme Court Will Mend Divide On Immigration and Deportation

thomsonreuters.com: The Supreme Court has agreed to decide the application of its two year-old ruling on immigrants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel and must be told about possible deportation as a result of a guilty plea:

The justices said they would consider whether its March 31, 2010, ruling would apply retroactively to previous convictions or would only to convictions after that date. Defense lawyers said in their Supreme Court appeal that the issue has profound practical significance.

In its original ruling, the Supreme Court decided by a 7-2 vote that an immigrant’s constitutional right to effective counsel was violated when his attorney mistakenly told him he could plead guilty to drug charges without being deported.

Federal Judge in Texas Keeps Planned Parenthood Alive – For Now

huffingtonpost.com: A federal judge has halted plans to “de-fund” Planned Parenthood in Texas:

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it bars eight Planned Parenthood clinics that don’t provide abortions from participating in the program based on their affiliation with legally and financially separate entities that offer abortions.

Home Depot Greeter Lawsuit After Denied Chair

kliv.com: A home depot worker has sued against the major chain store for denying the worker a chair to use as he greeted customers.  The lawsuit is taking place in East Palo Alto, California.  California has been home to several attorneys who have filed literally hundreds of lawsuits alleging ADA discrimination, according to this article in Time magazine.

John Edwards Trial Begins Today

cnn.com:  John Edwards’ trial began today in Greensboro, North Carolina.  The prosecution claims that Mr. Edwards broke the law to hide the fact that he was going to have a baby with his mistress.  According to cnn.com, Mr. Edwards faces prison time if convicted of the charges of filing false and misleading campaign disclosure reports.

New Push for Repeal of Stand Your Ground Laws

It was big news last week when prosecutors charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But Zimmerman could walk free if a judge decides his actions fall under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which gives broad leeway to people to shoot in self-defense. There is no way to undo what happened in the Zimmerman-Martin encounter, but some good can still come of it: it could lead states to repeal their misguided “stand your ground” laws.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Iowa Race Discrimination Case Ruling Expected Soon

cnn.com:  A ruling is expected in a race discrimination class-action in Iowa based on an update from cnn.com:

The plaintiffs’ attorneys say the discrimination is not necessarily a result of overt racism. They say the discriminatory hiring was often the result of implicit bias – an unconscious preference of the mostly white hiring officials for white applicants over black applicants.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs faced a key obstacle – proving the existence of something that white people might not be able to see. They had to show that discrimination might take place, even if it’s not intentional.

In an interesting subplot, the judge who certified the class action declined to remove the representative after she was convicted of embezzling $43,000 from an employer.  His reasoning:  It occurred after the alleged discrimination happened.  We question whether the prospective employers may make a case for an instinctive, “gut-level” reaction to that particular plaintiff.

The Legal Case Against The Fox News Mole and The Gawker

forbes.com:  According to the latest from Forbes, Fox news employee who provided material to the Gawker to expose the “seedy underbelly” (not our choice of words) of Fox news may have more than a civil lawsuit on his hands.  According to New York state law, he may have committed a crime.  Fox News says he’s now at the mercy of law enforcement personnel though Fox News no doubt plans to vigorously pursue claims against him, if for no other reason than to make sure that no future employee has the same bright idea.

Federal Court Tosses Colorado’s Amazon Tax

Denver Post:  “A federal court has thrown out a 2010 Colorado law meant to spur online retailers like Amazon to collect state sales tax. . .  . ‘I conclude that the veil provided by the words of the act and the regulations is too thin to support the conclusion that the act and the regulations regulate in-state and out-of-state retailers even-handedly,’ [Judge] Blackburn wrote in his opinion.  The law and the rules to carry it out ‘impose an undue burden on interstate commerce’ and are unconstitutional, the judge wrote.”

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