Jian Ghomeshi, host and co-creator of Q, has been fired from the CBC ‘over “information” the public broadcaster recently received that it says “precludes” it from continuing to employ the 47-year-old host of the popular Q radio show.’ [more inside]
Earlier this year, a Rolling Stone interview with Tool guitarist Adam Jones and drummer Danny Carey revealed the legal trouble that has prevented the band from producing an album since 2006's 10,000 Days. [more inside]
"What happens, exactly, when a white family that wants a white sperm donor gets a half-black child instead? In the case of a lesbian couple from Ohio, it means a "wrongful birth" lawsuit against the sperm bank — two years after the fact. " [more inside]
Lately, Washington DC has been abuzz with the FBI's plans to relocate outside of the District. But for some, the movement of major government agencies to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs means something potentially revolutionary: legal grounds for DC to finally achieve statehood. [more inside]
When 16-year-old Chase Culpepper went to a South Carolina DMV to get his driver’s license in March, he was told to remove his makeup before officials would take his photo. (Buzzfeed) [more inside]
In June of this year, POM Wonderful won "a round in a food fight with Coca-Cola" in the case about how a fruit juice blend is labeled. It's a case of commercial speech, to which John Oliver opined that "in Coke's defense, they only mislead us about what was in their juice. For years, POM Wonderful has mislead us about what is in pomegranates". Generally speaking, as long as the labeling isn't incorrect or harmful, it can make bold claims, to a point. For instance, you can't claim your cereal could improve kids' attentiveness and memory when it doesn't. Whatever you do, you shouldn't add new labeling to existing, even if it is to clarify that the product sucks less, or is asbestos-free. [more inside]
The FBI will continue to get to refer to Juggalos as a gang. "A federal judge has dismissed Insane Clown Posse's lawsuit against the FBI and the Justice Department, allowing the agencies to continue classifying the group's fans, called Juggalos, as a "gang." According to the Associated Press's Tuesday report, U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland ruled last week that because a 2011 FBI report on gangs is "descriptive," and not " prescriptive," it doesn't break any laws." Violent J plans to appeal. [more inside]
A federal judge in New York has ruled against a group of parents who had filed a lawsuit, asserting that the New York City policy that allows schools to ban unvaccinated kids from attending classes when another child has come down with a vaccine preventable illness infringed on their practice of religion. The decision cites Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), where the SCOTUS upheld Cambridge, Mass, Board of Health’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during a smallpox epidemic.
Eight former National Football League players have filed a class-action suit against the NFL for illegally pumping them full of painkillers and other drugs to keep them playing. [more inside]
Yesterday, twenty three Columbia University students filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that the school "allows accused perpetrators of sexual assault to remain on campus, has too-lenient sanctions for perpetrators, discourages victims from reporting assault and denies accommodations to students with mental health disabilities (which they say result from their attacks)." The complaint is the first of its kind, linking Title IX and Clery complaints with alleged violations of Title II, part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides that schools must provide accommodations based on disability status. [more inside]
This afternoon, the City of New York announced a $98 million settlement in United States of America and Vulcan Society, Inc. v. City of New York, a federal class action lawsuit that alleged that the New York City Fire Department engaged in discriminatory hiring practices, using written examinations with discriminatory effects and little relationship to the job of a firefighter to select more than 5,300 candidates for admission to the New York City Fire Academy in 1999 and 2002. [more inside]
Last Friday, Chipotle filed a lawsuit against Frank Ocean for failing to deliver a song he was due to record for an ad campaign. Ocean was paid in advance but apparently thought he was promoting responsible farming, not Chipotle’s brand. Ocean responded on Tumblr with This.
"Pure Imagination" was eventually recorded by Fiona Apple (previously) but has been criticised and parodied due to its greenwashing of Chipotle’s real-life meat sources.
"Pure Imagination" was eventually recorded by Fiona Apple (previously) but has been criticised and parodied due to its greenwashing of Chipotle’s real-life meat sources.
The Atlantic's yearlong investigation on the current state of fraternities in America, and the lawsuit industry that rides alongside.
Burt Likko is a lawyer who used to handle litigation arising from bar fights. He's learned a bit about how and why they happen.
But really, Feinberg picked up the phone that day for the same reason Americans yield to their instinct to give money to those felled by spectacularly unkind fates: He felt helpless but wanted to help, and his version of helping was to volunteer for one of the worst jobs in the world. Hagel placed a call to Attorney General John Ashcroft, and after a series of backroom discussions, Ashcroft appointed Feinberg the special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, working pro bono, as he almost always does on behalf of the dead. That work and the work that has followed it, his growing collection of aftermaths, have changed him. He has become smarter, humbler, more acute, more uniquely fitted to his task. Virginia Tech, the Deepwater Horizon, Newtown, Boston—he managed each of those horrors, and each was managed better because of what he has learned. But all of them were shaped, because he was shaped, by September 11.Kenneth Feinberg: The Nation's Leading Expert in Picking up the Pieces [more inside]
"Danger in the Ring." According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.” [more inside]
SST label honcho Greg Ginn's lawsuit against the other former members of Black Flag, several of whom now playing as Flag, isn't going so well. Henry Rollins isn't playing with either group, but is also named in the suit. Both groups (Ginn, 1979 vocalist Ron Reyes, and hired hands playing as Black Flag, the others playing as Flag) been on tour this summer.
In the 2012 superbowl half-time show, rapper M.I.A. flipped off the camera while performing with Madonna. On September 19, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that the NFL has been waging a "secret legal war" over the incident, demanding $1.5 million and an apology from M.I.A. This week M.I.A. responded with a video statement (transcript at Pitchfork):
So, now, they’re scapegoating me into figuring out the goalposts on what is offensive in America. Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience? That’s basically what it comes down to. It's a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so they can say it’s OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That is what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.[more inside]
Kevin O'Connor, co-founder of DoubleClick and current CEO of FindTheBest files a RICO lawsuit against Lumen View for trying to extort, via patent claims, money from FindTheBest, not to mention claiming that calling someone a "patent troll" is a "hate crime".
James Cameron is being sued by Roger Dean. Best known as the creator of classic Yes album art, artist Roger Dean has filed a complaint against James Cameron and 20th Century Fox seeking more than $50 million in damages over Avatar. Full 17 page complaint here.
On appeal, the Federal Circuit has upheld Ultramericial's patent on the process of users viewing video ads online in order to view content. The court ruled that the abstractness of the patent does not invalidate it. [more inside]
Scarlett Johansson is suing the author of a best-selling French novel that features her “doppelgänger.”
"The American star is challenging writer Gregoire Delacourt, and his publisher JC Lattes, after he described a character in his novel as being her "doppelgänger", or exact double. The case — if it comes to court — could make legal and literary history."
A South Carolina couple are suing doctors and social workers who determined that their adopted son should undergo surgery to make his genitals look female. Mark and Pam Crawford explain the background of their lawsuit, the intent of which is to bring up constitutional principles and the integrity of a person's body. [more inside]
Newegg, who previously fought to free the online shopping cart wins another patent case on appeal together with Overstock.com against Alcatel. [more inside]
The state of Washington has filed suit against Arlene's Flowers, whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for the wedding of regular customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. [more inside]
Judge Rules William Eggleston Can Clone His Own Work, Rebuffing Angry Collector. The U.S. District Court has dismissed collector Jonathan Sobel’s lawsuit (PDF) against photographer William Eggleston. The collector objected to Eggleston's selling new, larger-format editions of the famous dye-transfer images that the artist first produced in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Jennie Linn McCormack "isn’t the only woman in recent years to be prosecuted for ending her own pregnancy. But her case could change the trajectory of abortion law in the United States": The Rise of DIY Abortions. [more inside]
In 2009, William Marotta, donated his sperm to a lesbian couple. Although they did not go through a licensed physician, per Kansas state law, the three signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility. The women, who co-parent 8 children, broke up in 2010, and the state of Kansas is now attempting to get Marotta to pay child support. [more inside]
Should A Church Be Treated Differently By The IRS From Other Non-Profits? The Freedom from Religion Foundation has sued the IRS claiming unequal treatment. Secular non-profit companies must file numerous and costly forms and reports to maintain their non-profit status. Religious companies even those that duplicate the functions of the secular non-profit are exempt from such requirements. The FFRF asks (pdf) that the laws be applied equally. Previously
Hobby Lobby, a craft store with 525 U.S. locations, has announced that it will defy a federal mandate to provide health coverage for all employees that includes emergency contraceptive coverage, and will pay a fine of $1.3 million every day. [more inside]
After several failed attempts against other schools, a lawsuit against Thomas Jefferson School of Law for providing misleading employment data to prospective students is moving forward.
And in today's fun IPR news we have Games Workshop VS. Chapterhouse Studios. In which the plaintiffs lawyers are claiming (p.44) copyright and design dress on common iconography such as crosses, skulls and riveted armor. But to get at the gist of it, what makes third party miniature wargaming accessories different to bodykits? Where doth this madness lead. [more inside]
The Hathi Trust, a partnership between 66 universities and 3 higher education consortia, is breathing a little easier now that Judge Harold Baer, Jr. of New York's Southern District has found that the Trust was within its fair use rights to allow Google to scan member library holdings, and then making the resulting files available for the reading impaired, and for use in search indexing and data mining. While this is excellent news for the educational institutions involved, it doesn't completely exonerate Google's role in the scanning project. It's notable that just last week Google abandoned it's own fair use claim in settling a different case involving the same book scanning project. Of the four factors used when considering fair use cases, Judge Baer ruled on the side of the Hathi Trust on all four.
Stealing magic has become a commonplace crime. Teller, a man of infinite delicacy and deceit, decided to do something about it. Putative thief, Gerard Bakardy, tells the story differently.
Some ebook buyers are getting refunds. Pending approval by the court, a group of publishers (Simon & Schuster, the Hachette Book Group, and HarperCollins) have settled and agreed to pay back close to $70 million to consumers. They've also agreed to end Agency Model agreements with publishers. The lawsuit against the others continues and one company finds this settlement unfair.
iPhone Caused “Crisis of Design” at Samsung (Memo) “Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.” Complete text of the internal memo submitted in the Apple vs Samsung case. Those are the more ugly points of the memo, which seems to bolster Apple’s lawsuit stating that Samsung infringed upon a number of Apple’s patents. Apple asserts that Samsung has “slavishly copied” Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and is seeking $2.5 billion in damages. So any more ammunition that Apple can get to make it look like Samsung attempted to actively rip off Apple’s products is only a good thing for Apple’s case. And the memo is rife with ammunition.
EA, the publisher behind The Sims and Facebook game The Sims Social, is suing Zynga over copyright infringement found in Zynga's Facebook game The Ville. [more inside]
Orlando, FL - 10 ac, 90K sq ft, 13 bed, 30 bath, 20 car garage, 3 pools, 2 tennis cts, bowling alley, skating rink - $100M [more inside]
The U.S. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the largest publishers, alleging a conspiracy to rig the pricing of e-books. Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have agreed to settle, though Macmillan, Penguin and Apple continue to contest the charges. Some background from WIRED: Bigger Than Agency, Bigger Than E-Books: The Case Against Apple and Publishers
The Oglala Sioux tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have just filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch, InBev, SABMiller, Molson Coors, MillerCoors and Pabst, along with the four off-licences in Whiteclay, seeking $500m (£310m) in damages for their alleged encouragement of the "illegal sale and trade in alcohol" to members of the tribe. Touched upon briefly in early comments, Whiteclay (pop. 11) has been long known for its disproportionate volume of liquor sales, with over 5 million cans of beer sold each year, while Pine Ridge, who outlawed drink on its property, and has a population of 20,000, suffers from a disproportionate percentage of families with at least one alcohol dependent adult member (no less than 85%).
Meet Mitt Romney's national campaign finance co-chair and the LGBT journalist that's standing up to him. Glenn Greenwald documents Idaho billionaire James VanderSloot's record of using his deep pockets to silence his critics.
"The Fraley plaintiffs sued Facebook, alleging that its 'Sponsored Stories' feature, which displays ads on Facebook containing the names and pictures of users who have 'Liked' a product, violated California’s Right of Publicity statute. The statute forbids the commercial use of an individual’s name or likeness without consent. Integral to the plaintiffs’ claim was the assertion they had been injured because they were “celebrities” to their Facebook friends, such that their endorsements of the products in the Sponsored Stories held economic value—economic value that they were deprived of when Facebook published their Stories without their consent." - Famous for Fifteen People (Stanford Law Review): Celebrity, Newsworthiness, and Fraley v. Facebook (Citizen Media Law Project)
Bicycle Goliath Specialized is suing their former employe's start up company Volagi over their innovative road bike design that includes disc brakes and a very interesting seat stay arrangement. Volagi's Facebook explanation. TV news report. [more inside]
Can an employer "wrongfully hire" someone? Apparently so, at least in the State of Minnesota, where Chandramouli Vaidyanathan successfully sued Seagate Technology to the tune of $1.9 million based on Minnesota's "False Statements as Inducement to Entering Employment" statute, which makes it illegal "to induce, influence, persuade, or engage any person to change from one place to another in this state, or to change from any place in any state, territory, or country to any place in this state, to work in any branch of labor through or by means of knowingly false representations". [more inside]
Republican Governor Scott Walker filed suit against the non partisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB). At issue in the suit is a statement by the GAB concerning challenges to the gathered signatures - that signatures, no matter what names are listed, are presumed valid absent a challenge by the Walker campaign. This presumption is a violation of Walker's 14th Amendment rights and violates the will of people who chose not to sign, he argues in the complaint. (pdf) [more inside]
An Oregon judge has ruled that a Montana blogger is not eligible for the legal protections afforded to journalists, letting stand a $2.5 million defamation verdict. At the end of the Ars Technica article there's a link to a Forbes article that contains some more details and the text of an email that didn't help the blogger's case.
Take up the White Man's burden— And reap his old reward: The blame of those ye better, The hate of those ye guard—
Indian author Pankaj Mishra writes a brutal takedown of Niall Ferguson's latest book, Civilisation: The West and the Rest in the London Review of Books. Ferguson responds to the critical book review with a lawsuit. [more inside]
The Scary Lawyer Guy blog has a detailed analysis of Howard Stern's lawsuit (or, more specifically, the lawsuit filed by his production company and agent) against his employer, Sirius XM.
Yesterday, the Supreme court granted certiorari to several of the challenges to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Here's a great roundup of several news stories. I like the NPR story for a quick summary of the issues. The Court will hear a total of 5.5 hours of oral argument, and a decision is expected by the end of the current term, in June.