How Appealing

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Available online from Justin Scheck reports that “9th Circuit Panel Faults O’Melveny for ‘Take It or Leave It’ Hiring Clause.” My earlier coverage of yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling appears at this link.

Pamela A. MacLean reports that “Courts Grapple With Computer Searches; Is it a password-protected ‘locked box’ or a simple container?

Shannon P. Duffy reports that “Former Phillies Pitcher and Lawyer Strike Out on Fees Appeal.” You can access last week’s Third Circuit ruling at this link.

An article is headlined “Fla. Supreme Court: Hospital Privileges Must Be Revealed in Med-Mal Cases.” You can access last week’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.

Finally, Traci M. Braun and Thalia L. Myrianthopoulos have an essay entitled “‘Philip Morris’ Decision May Be Hazardous to Jurors’ Comprehension.”

Posted at 11:03 PM by Howard Bashman

“Money buys time for Kamehameha Schools”: The Honolulu Advertiser today contains an article that begins, “Kamehameha Schools paid to settle the most serious legal threat yet to its Hawaiians-first admissions policy, legal experts believe, but the agreement won’t prevent future challenges to the 120-year-old practice. However, any new case would take years before it reached the doorstep of the U.S. Supreme Court — where the latest case was when it ended yesterday.”

Today’s newspaper also contains articles headlined “‘It was in our best interest to settle’” and “Policy has varied since school’s start“; an item headlined “Reaction from around the state to Kamehameha lawsuit settlement“; and an editorial entitled “Kamehameha accord signals need for more work.”

In other coverage, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin today contains articles headlined “Disappointment, praise follow Kamehameha settlement; A lawsuit against Kamehameha Schools over their Hawaiians-only admission policy is dropped in a settlement” and “Kamehameha community relieved ‘it’s over’; Students and parents were surprised with the sudden end of the legal challenge,” along with an editorial entitled “Kamehameha Schools gets reprieve but no victory.”

Posted at 8:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“The Roberts Court”: ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg has this post today at her “Legalities” blog.

Posted at 8:02 PM by Howard Bashman

“State proposes new lethal injection procedures”: Henry Weinstein of The Los Angeles Times provides a news update that begins, “Aiming at ending a 16-month legal moratorium on capital punishment in California, state corrections officials today proposed new lethal injection execution procedures they say ‘will result in the dignified end of life’ for condemned inmates.”

Posted at 7:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Terror Suspect Claims CIA Tortured Him”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “A Pakistani terrorism suspect denied any connection to al-Qaida and said he was tortured and his family was hounded by U.S. authorities, according to a transcript released Tuesday by the Pentagon.”

And BBC News provides a report headlined “US detainee ‘mentally tortured.’

You can access the transcript at this link.

Posted at 4:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ultrasound: latest tool in battle over abortion; Images of fetuses are at the center of a hot debate over states’ ‘witness to the womb’ laws.” This article appears today in The Christian Science Monitor.

Posted at 4:20 PM by Howard Bashman

Splintered Ninth Circuit panel holds that the Communications Decency Act does not protect the online roommate matching service from liability under the Fair Housing Act: Could an animosity toward blogs have foreshadowed a decision screwing-up the protection from liability for online postings afforded to providers of interactive computer services by the Communications Decency Act?

Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski wrote the majority opinion for the three-judge panel. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, in an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, would have subjected the web site to even more liability under the Fair Housing Act. And former Kozinski law clerk Circuit Judge Sandra S. Ikuta issued an opinion concurring in part (and by implication dissenting in part) in which she makes clear that, in her view, the Communications Decency Act should protect the web site from all claims asserted under the Fair Housing Act that are based on information supplied by the web site’s users.

At his “Technology & Marketing Law Blog,” Law Professor Eric Goldman offers a devastating critique of the ruling. His lengthy blog post concludes, “All in all, this case is a very unfortunate Cyberlaw development. Let’s hope the damage gets reversed pronto.”

Judge Kozinski’s opinion contains an interesting discussion that could be viewed as relevant to the pending lawsuit against the web site

Imagine, for example, with the slogan “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even.” A visitor to this website would be encouraged to provide private, sensitive and/or defamatory information about others–all to be posted online for a fee. To post the information, the individual would be invited to answer questions about the target’s name, addresses, phone numbers, social security number, credit cards, bank accounts, mother’s maiden name, sexual orientation, drinking habits and the like. In addition, the website would encourage the poster to provide dirt on the victim, with instructions that the information need not be confirmed, but could be based on rumor, conjecture or fabrication.

It is not clear to us that the operator of this hypothetical website would be protected by the logic of Carafano. The date match website in Carafano had no involvement in the creation and development of the defamatory and private information; the hypothetical operator of would. By providing a forum designed to publish sensitive and defamatory information, and suggesting the type of information that might be disclosed to best harass and endanger the targets, this website operator might well be held responsible for creating and developing the tortious information. Carafano did not consider whether the CDA protected such websites, and we do not read that opinion as granting CDA immunity to those who actively encourage, solicit and profit from the tortious and unlawful communications of others.

The Ninth Circuit’s earlier ruling in the Carafano case can be accessed here.

Posted at 3:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Removal of the cross from the County Seal of Los Angeles did not violate the Establishment Clause by conveying a state-sponsored message of hostility toward Christians, Ninth Circuit holds: You can access today’s unanimous ruling of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link. A separate PDF file containing black-and-white images of the old and new seals is here.

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“White House Pushed Ashcroft on Wiretappings; Former Deputy Says Program Implemented Despite Objections”: The Washington Post provides this news update.

Posted at 2:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Fate of Detainees Now With Appeals Court”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Bush administration lawyers underwent intense questioning Tuesday in a federal appeals court where attorneys for detainees at Guantanamo Bay pleaded on behalf of prisoners who have been held for years. Judges Judith Rogers and Douglas Ginsburg expressed skepticism about government assurances that the appeals court will receive all the evidence it needs to evaluate the detainees’ status as enemy combatants.” The third member of the D.C. Circuit panel that heard oral argument in the Guantanamo detainee case today is Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson.

And at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times,” Emma Schwartz has a post titled “The Latest Guantanamo Debate.”

Posted at 2:25 PM by Howard Bashman

“School district must release porn”: From Wisconsin, The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Pornographic material a Cedarburg teacher viewed on his school computer is public record, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The Cedarburg School District must hand over a collection of pornographic images a teacher allegedly viewed on his school computer to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper, the Supreme Court said in affirming a decision by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy.”

In earlier coverage of the case, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in March 2007 published an article headlined “Justices hear adult-images case; Access would shed light on teacher’s firing, newspaper says.” Plenty of additional, related articles can be accessed via the right-hand column of that web page.

You can access today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in both HTML and PDF formats.

Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“State challenges federal mileage standards for SUVs”: Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, “The state of California and environmental groups challenged the Bush administration’s gas mileage standards for light trucks and SUVs on Monday, telling a federal appeals court that the government ignored the effects of gas-guzzling vehicles on global warming and caved in to the auto industry.”

You can access the audio of yesterday’s Ninth Circuit oral argument via this link (Windows Media Player required; 9.35MB audio file).

Posted at 11:42 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses for photographs before the University of Pennsylvania Commencement ceremony in Philadelphia”: The Associated Press provides this photo.

Posted at 11:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“More Polarizing Than Rehnquist: Chief Justice John Roberts won Senate confirmation by vowing to shun ideological activism; Instead, by trashing judicial precedent and legislative statutes, he’s reshaping law to fit conservative dogma.” Simon Lazarus has this essay online at The American Prospect.

Posted at 11:17 AM by Howard Bashman

“Gone-zales? There may be a good reason Bush hangs on to his attorney general.” Tod Lindberg has this essay in the May 21, 2007 issue of The Weekly Standard.

Posted at 11:13 AM by Howard Bashman

“Two for the Price of One: The presidency and the judiciary.” At National Review Online, Theodore B. Olson has an essay that begins, “A powerful case can be made that the most important and lasting decision a president can make is the selection of a Supreme Court justice.”

Posted at 11:08 AM by Howard Bashman

In case involving First Union National Bank’s violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Sixth Circuit holds that 1-to-1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages is maximum federal due process will allow: And because the compensatory damages total $400,000, the district court’s original award of $2,628,600 in punitive damages must likewise be reduced to $400,000. Today’s ruling speaks of the result as involving a remittitur, but it is not clear that the plaintiff under today’s ruling will have the ability, instead, to opt for a new trial, which is a central feature of an actual remittitur.

Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman

He shot a DVD, literally: And, as a result, he was fired from his job as a unionized airline pilot. After the union grieved the termination, an arbitration panel ordered the pilot reinstated to his job. Today, in an opinion that you can access here, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholds the reinstatement and rejects the airline’s argument that the reinstatement violates public policy.

Posted at 10:09 AM by Howard Bashman