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.
There are an increasing number of homeless military vets living in Los Angeles. The VA in Los Angeles has a 400 acre parcel of land meant to house vets. Slight problem: the VA has decided to lease the property to various area businesses instead of using the land for its intended purpose.
A Detroit woman has filed suit against the makers of the Drive, because the movie's trailer led her to believe the film was a Fast and Furious-style action romp and not a Cannes-award-winning art-house meditation on violence. [more inside]
Donald Thomas "Tom" Scholz (born 10 March 1947) is an American rock musician, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, inventor, and mechanical engineer, best known as the founder of the hard rock band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier. [more inside]
TARP is winding down...bring on the lawsuits. Within the next week, the US government is set to sue a dozen banks for billions in losses caused by those banks' misrepresenting the risks of mortgage-backed securities. This is in addition to numerous State Attorneys General suing the banks for failing to reach an agreement in foreclosure abuses. Insurance giant AIG will also be suing BofA to recoup losses over the mortgage bonds. BofA had also agreed to a settlement of $8.5 billion to cover losses from soured mortgage debt issued through Countrywide. Deutsche Bank is suing WaMu. Goldman Sachs already settled with the SEC for $500 million for their fraud and have been sued by othersseeking to recover losses. [more inside]
In December 2010, a Koch Industries press release spoof (Scribd; alt: screencap) was posted on a website that mimicked the appearance of the official site for Koch Industries. The press release stated that Koch would no longer support research and advocacy initiatives that denied or questioned the human role in climate change. The press release was quickly identified as a hoax, and both the fake press release and site disappeared quickly, yet the Koch company pursued the identities of those behind the stunt, going as far as to file a lawsuit to expose the anonymous pranksters as part of a larger lawsuit. This past Monday, the lawsuit was thrown out of court in Utah, with the judge citing that parody is not commercial speech, and thus a First Amendment issue. [more inside]
Thank you for visiting HuffingtonPostLawsuit.com. On April 12, 2011 Plaintiff Jonathan Tasini, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a federal class action lawsuit against The HuffingtonPost.com, Inc., AOL Inc., Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer for unjust enrichment and deceptive business practices. For more information, please see a copy of the complaint or contact Kurzon Strauss LLP.
Over the years, he's become so well versed in restaurant labor law that his attorneys don't even charge him for filing lawsuits anymore. 'They take them on spec,' he boasts. 'By now, they know that if I file something, it's legit.' Eddie Santana, restaurant rebel, has filed 30 lawsuits against companies — nearly all restaurants and bars — for everything from illegal tip pools to excessive uniform costs. He's netted $144,924.79 after attorney fees from 20 separate settlements. And from the nine suits still pending, he hopes to make another $100,000, if not more.
In late December 2010, fail0verflow, a team of European hackers, demonstrated that the Playstation 3's security was fundamentally flawed and managed to obtain the encryption key used by the device (see previous discussion). Utilizing the techniques developed by the fail0verflow team, iPhone hacker George Hotz released the encryption key publically, which enables the execution of arbitrary code on the console. Now Sony is suing both George Hotz and members of the fail0verflow team. [more inside]
New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera's column last weekend excoriated HP and SAP, and presented Oracle in a positive light. One problem: Nocera's fiancee is the PR person for Oracle's lead attorney in its lawsuit against SAP. Woops. (via gawker)
A St. Louis woman lost her lawsuit yesterday against Girls Gone Wild. She was dancing in a bar while the crew was filming, and repeatedly refused to flash her breasts, saying "No, no" to the camera. Her top was then pulled down by another woman, and the footage was used without any signed release or the woman's consent. After deliberating for 90 minutes, the jury decided that "Through her actions, she gave implied consent... She knew what she was doing." (Previously.) (Previously.)
The RIAA paid Holmes Roberts & Owen $9,364,901 in 2008, Jenner & Block more than $7,000,000, and Cravath Swain & Moore $1.25 million, to pursue its "copyright infringement" claims, in order to recover a mere $391,000. ... for a 3 year period, they spent around $64,000,000 in legal and investigative expenses to recover around $1,361,000. (via Slashdot)
Five members of the Quinnipiac University women's volleyball team, and the team's coach, have sued the school for dismantling the team to use the money for a cheerleading squad. More on the legal background of the case. Quinnipiac has been also been accused of cooking the roster books--triple counting track/field athletes--to inflate the number of female athletes. [more inside]
Home Depot was having an issue with employees cutting their fingers off while sawing wood for customers. Michael Powell invented a safety device that Home Depot then copied without Powell's permission. Today, Powell won a $25 million judgment in federal court. [more inside]
Provoking pro-choice advocates, Oklahoma passed two highly restrictive abortion laws on Tuesday. One (rtf file) requires doctors to show women an ultrasound of their fetus and point out its physical characteristics — even if the patient was impregnated through rape or incest. The second (rtf file) stipulates that doctors cannot be sued if they decide to lie to an expectant mother regarding her baby's birth defects. A third requires clinics to post signs telling patients they cannot be forced to have an abortion. The first law prompted an immediate lawsuit from Tulsa's only abortion clinic. [more inside]
SEC sues Goldman Sachs for fraud. GS has already come under fire for "betting against" financial products it was marketing, a practice that apparently helped it prosper from the real estate bubble but come out relatively unscathed. The SEC now says that one such product was designed specifically so that a Goldman business partner, Paulson & Company, could take a short position on it. Investors were apparently not advised of this fact. Goldman's stock was off more than 10% in the half hour following the announcement. [more inside]
ColdChef (2006): "Also, Dr. Ivor van Heerden is the fucking man. And he wrote a hell of a book, which will probably eventually get him fired." It did. van Heerden is suing LSU for wrongful termination, and the AAUP is investigating. [more inside]
If hundreds of innocent individuals had to suffer in order to detain a handful of hardcore terrorists, so be it.
"George W. Bush Knew Guantanamo Prisoners Were Innocent." In a signed declaration filed as part of a pending lawsuit on behalf of former Guantanamo Bay detainees and obtained by The Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, a high ranking aide to former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell, makes the stunning claim that: "George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror." (via)
Followup to this post: A US District Court has ruled that Myriad Genetic's patents on breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which allow them to hold exclusive rights to a widely used genetic test for inherited breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, are invalid. Genomics Law Report analyzes the ruling in two posts. The decision is likely to be challenged in a legal appeal — but if upheld, it could have huge implications for the biotechnology industry. [more inside]
Google Alleges That Viacom ‘Secretly Uploaded Its Content to YouTube, Even While Publicly Complaining About Its Presence There’ Zahavah Levine, chief counsel for YouTube in its litigation with Viacom, explains:
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. […] Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.[via DF]
One World Technologies, manufacturer of Ryobi tools, has been ordered to pay damages of US$1.5 million to Carlos Osorio who injured his fingers while using a Ryobi table saw. The case hinged on the Ryobi's lack of "flesh sensing technology" which is found only SawStop's [previously] saws. [more inside]
Yelp facing class-action lawsuit over extortive ad sales. "The victims tend to be small businesses, such as our client, who often have no choice but to pay Yelp exorbitant sums in order to prevent further harm to their livelihoods." First reported a year ago in the East Bay Express, "Several business owners likened Yelp to the Mafia, and one said she feared its retaliation."
The Donald Sterling Rule "Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lives by his own rules. And the only one that matters, apparently, is this: all bad deeds go unpunished. Over the last six years, nearly two dozen L.A. residents have sued Sterling for engaging in racist housing practices and Jim Crow-style bigotry. In a 2003 deposition, the 76-year-old real estate mogul admitted to paying a former employee to have sex with him in an elevator. Three years ago, the U.S. government charged him with "willful" mistreatment of African-American and Latino tenants, and earlier this month, he agreed to pay the Dept. of Justice nearly $3 million to settle a federal racial-discrimination housing lawsuit, the largest award ever for a case of its kind." So why, asks California's Tenants Together, has the NBA said nothing about Sterling's less than sterling behavior? [more inside]
Samoan government Minister Hans Joachim "Joe" Keil is suing US immigration agents and the State Department. [more inside]
Jobless College Graduate Sues Because She's Still Jobless A recent college graduate is suing her alma mater for $72,000 -- the full cost of her tuition and then some -- because she cannot find a job.
A U.S. District Court judge recently dismissed a complaint filed by a woman who said she had purchased and eaten "Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries" for four years because she believed "crunchberries" were real fruit. [more inside]