351 entries in 'Areas of Focus'
2017/08/11   Myanmar court grants bail for editor in defamation case
2017/07/27   Court: Violence law unfair to gay South Carolina couples
2017/07/22   Ohio sheriff's deputy pleads not guilty to rape, kidnapping
2017/07/10   First Opioid Court in the U.S. Focuses on Keeping Users Alive
2017/07/04   Appeals court backs Jimmy John's franchisee in labor dispute
2017/06/13   West Virginia high court excludes inmates from workers' comp
2017/06/10   Fraternity brothers due in court in pledge's fatal fall
2017/06/08   Court: Ohio E-School Can't Delay Repayment of $60M to State
2017/05/18   8 judges on Venezuela's Supreme Court hit with US sanctions
2017/05/18   Brother of victim in unsolved Ohio massacre appears in court
2017/05/15   High court could soon signal view on Trump immigration plans
2017/05/04   Top Kansas Court to Revisit Death Penalty in Wichita Murders
2017/04/27   Trump repeats criticism of court that halted 1st travel ban
2017/04/10   Senate GOP 'goes nuclear,' clearing way for Trump court pick
2017/04/02   Bangladesh High Court upholds death for 2 in blogger killing
2017/03/28   Dems force 1-week delay on panel vote on Supreme Court pick
2017/03/19   High court limits president's power to fill temporary posts
2017/03/17   Kansas Chief Justice Pitches Lawmakers on Court Pay Hikes
2017/03/05   Court officer investigated for photographing lawyer's notes
2017/03/01   US Supreme Court refuses appeals from 3 on Texas death row
2017/02/23   Court: Florida Docs Allowed to Ask Patients About Guns
2017/01/02   Personal Injury Website Template Designs
2016/09/24   Court gives fertilizer dealers a reprieve from policy change
2016/09/14   LA Supreme Court considers teen robber’s 99-year sentence
2016/08/04   Court to consider future of Alabama chief justice
2016/07/31   US Capitol plot suspect due in court for plea hearing
2016/07/18   Appeals court delay requested in ex-Virginia governor's case
2016/05/23   Breyer says Supreme Court not diminished with only 8 members
2016/04/20   High court nominee praises lawyers for helping the poor
2016/04/18   Court overturns Virginia school's transgender bathroom rule
2016/04/15   Cosby asks court to reseal testimony about affairs, drugs
2016/04/05   Supreme Court will take up case about juror's racial bias
2016/03/11   Pound: Sharapova guilty of 'willful negligence' in drug test
2016/02/09   Court to weigh cocaine cases, could alter sentencing in Ohio
2015/11/01   Chinese woman pleads guilty in college test-taking scheme
2015/10/06   Supreme Court declines to review insider trading case
2015/06/03   Court upholds sentence for son of Schwarzenegger ally
2015/01/19   Supreme Court sets stage for historic gay rights ruling
2014/12/31   Egypt court bans festival honoring Moroccan rabbi
2014/09/22   Court reverses woman's conviction in child's death
2014/09/08   Ohio to court: Privatizing prisons in budget is legal
2014/09/07   Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada gay marriage laws in court
2014/09/06   NC Supreme Court again weighs Duke Energy rates
2014/07/22   German court: chronically ill could grow marijuana
2014/06/17   Court rules against HealthSouth in auditor dispute
2014/03/14   Toal seeking millions to safeguard SC court info
2014/03/14   French court blocks secret recordings of Sarkozy
2014/03/07   Two men found guilty for selling U.S. company’s technology
2014/02/28   Supreme Court allows Stanford Ponzi scheme suits
2014/02/03   Man pleads not guilty in deadly Lodi crash
2014/01/30   Supreme Court orders stay of execution
2014/01/13   Court upholds approval of BP oil spill settlement
2014/01/02   Court order needed to stop Pa. center utilities
2013/12/30   Supreme Court denies appeal in arson case
2013/12/16   Appeals court vacates ban on US horse slaughter
2013/11/29   Supreme Court Will Take up New Health Law Dispute
2013/11/25   Spanish court sentences 'Robin Hood' mayor
2013/11/11   N. Ind. court helps veterans get back on track
2013/10/11   Soldiers in fatal stabbing due in Washington court
2013/10/07   PG&E starts pipeline shutdown under court order
2013/09/25   Appeals court panel considers TABOR challenge
2013/08/27   Italian court insists Berlusconi devised tax fraud
2013/08/19   Court: Right-to-work law applies to state workers
2013/08/15   Court challenge fails to stop Calif. gay marriages
2013/08/04   Judge denies class action for Wal-Mart bias suit
2013/08/03   Supreme Court OKs early release plan for Calif. inmates
2013/08/02   Court: No workers' comp in drunk dockworker case
2013/07/26   Pitt schools segregation lawsuit in federal court
2013/06/28   Wash. gay wedding flowers case goes to court
2013/06/19   Court: Ex-Im Bank needs to explain Air India loan
2013/06/14   NJ court: Special US Senate election in Oct. OK
2013/06/12   Court: Texas inmate's decades-old sentence invalid
2013/06/11   Battle between SC Episcopalians back state court
2013/06/10   ID court rules man can face felony stalking charge
2013/06/07   Conn. court declines to address email warrants
2013/05/23   Court: US can keep bin Laden photos under wraps
2013/05/22   Appeals court allows capital retrial of Wolfe
2013/03/29   NY top court OKs tax on online sellers like Amazon
2013/03/04   Court says Guam man can sue gov't over surgery
2013/02/01   Ex-Mass. chemist pleads not guilty to obstruction
2013/01/22   Court upholds removing man from death row
2012/09/22   Mo. high court hears arguments on incentive fund
2012/08/31   California deputy pleads guilty to weapons charge
2012/08/15   Man who killed wife, baby loses appeal in Mass.
2012/07/01   Peter Madoff pleads guilty in NYC, blames brother
2012/06/27   Court: Madoff's brother to plead guilty in NY
2012/06/18   Supreme Court says tribes must be fully reimbursed
2012/06/13   Senate confirms Arizona jurist to 9th Circuit
2012/06/11   Ohio man found guilty in septic tank body case
2012/05/26   Wash. lawyers challenge secret court proceedings
2012/05/26   Kan. gov. signs measure blocking Islamic law
2012/05/18   Court rules NY town's prayer violated Constitution
2012/05/17   German sues Macedonia in EU human rights court
2012/05/14   Court turns away PR congressional vote lawsuit
2012/05/14   Court says farmers must pay bankruptcy tax
2012/05/05   Probation charge dropped against tanned NJ mom
2012/04/30   Chinese court seeking to mediate iPad dispute
2012/04/20   Court: Online bookseller owes New Mexico sales tax
2012/03/12   Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP Announces Class Action
2012/03/09   Court blocks 2 more parts of Ala. immigration law
2012/03/08   Ex-Detroit lawyer loses case over 'ghetto' remark
2012/03/06   8 women allege rape, harassment in military suit
2012/03/03   Calif. jury awards $167M in sexual harassment suit
2012/03/02   Federal court orders May 29 primary date for Texas
2012/02/29   French court rules genocide law unconstitutional
2012/02/28   Driver acquitted in deadly Megabus crash in NY
2012/02/21   Court: Rights don't have to be read to prisoners
2012/02/20   Lower Chinese court rules shops should pull iPads
2012/02/17   NY appeals court orders NJ programmer's acquittal
2012/02/16   Web sites need not check for IP breaches
2012/02/13   Italian court convicts 2 in asbestos-linked deaths
2012/02/09   Group wants Supreme Court to save war memorial
2012/02/03   Miss. high court takes ex-gov pardons case
2012/01/30   Conviction and sentence upheld in Palin email case
2012/01/25   More charges filed in Los Angeles arsons case
2012/01/24   Court upholds murder conviction in toddler's death
2012/01/20   Colo. court weighs energy leases near Utah parks
2012/01/18   Court lets telemarketers be sued in federal court
2012/01/13   Court orders new psychiatric review of Breivik
2012/01/11   Court:Judges cannot get involved in church dispute
2012/01/09   Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Announces Class Action
2012/01/05   Court papers: NYC officer shooting suspect sorry
2012/01/04   Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Announces Class Action Lawsuit
2012/01/03   Court delays border-crossing pollution rule
2012/01/02   Chief justice defends court's impartiality
2012/01/01   Court delays border-crossing pollution rule
2011/12/31   Court OKs immunity for telecoms in wiretap case
2011/12/28   Supreme Court gay privacy case victor dead at 68
2011/12/27   Supreme Court rejects Hessler appeal
2011/12/22   France ponders removing risky breast implants
2011/12/20   Poker company co-founder pleads guilty in NYC
2011/12/19   Ind. appeals court upholds man's 60-year sentence
2011/12/18   Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP Announces Class Action
2011/12/15   Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Files Class Action Lawsuit
2011/12/14   Throng of Occupy protesters appear in NY courts
2011/12/13   City Council in Pa. capital again seeks bankruptcy
2011/12/05   High court to hear suit over Cheney event arrest
2011/11/28   High court to review fine for mercury storage
2011/11/26   Federal Court of Canada Certifies Class Action
2011/11/23   NY top court clears probe of inflated appraisals
2011/11/22   Guilty plea planned in Palin lawyer harassment
2011/11/21   Texas AG blasts court's redistricting maps
2011/11/21   Courts weighs scrapping huge California water pact
2011/11/15   Justices unlikely to have last word on health care
2011/11/14   Norway killer claims mantle of resistance leader
2011/11/10   Court likely to overturn Calif. law on livestock
2011/11/10   Pomerantz Law Firm Has Filed a Class Action
2011/11/08   Saxena White P.A. Files a Securities Fraud Class Action
2011/11/08   Supreme Court looks at warrantless GPS tracking
2011/11/07   Corzine steps down at collapsed firm, hires lawyer
2011/11/03   Texas woman on death row gets new sentencing trial
2011/10/31   High court avoids dispute over highway crosses
2011/10/28   Navy ship commander to face general court-martial
2011/10/28   Man pleads guilty to Picasso theft at SF gallery
2011/10/26   State budget cuts clog criminal justice system
2011/10/18   Top Europe court bans stem cell technique patents
2011/10/17   Utah man charged with threatening air marshals
2011/10/17   Court blocks Ala. from checking student status
2011/10/12   High court to decide double jeopardy question
2011/10/11   US court turns down Philly DA in cop-killing case
2011/10/11   Defense lawyer will not help Edwards at trial
2011/10/09   Court won't hear appeal from Alamo followers
2011/10/03   Court refuses to hear Maryland gun case
2011/10/03   High court appears to favor Ala. death row inmate
2011/09/22   Idaho inmates settle lawsuit over prison violence
2011/09/18   Kona coffee dispute prompts class-action lawsuit
2011/09/16   1 spank isn't domestic violence, Fla. court says
2011/09/14   Class Action Filed Against Former, Current A&P Execs
2011/09/09   Court: Samsung can't sell tablet in Germany
2011/09/07   Ga. high court ousts pot-smoking judge from bench
2011/09/07   Ex-Pa. House speaker pleads guilty to corruption
2011/09/01   Shareholder class action hits Leighton
2011/08/27   Judge to hear arguments over Loughner's medication
2011/08/26   Del. pediatrician gets life for abusing patients
2011/08/23   NY court rejects $18M class action writers deal
2011/08/15   Ex-Harvard student due in court in 2009 shooting
2011/08/12   Dougherty siblings to appear in Colorado court
2011/08/10   Wash. man pleads guilty to defrauding ID investors
2011/08/09   No class-action for suits over Calif. fish kill
2011/08/08   Bank of America starts overdraft rebate outreach
2011/08/05   NYC lawyer pleads guilty to tax charge
2011/08/03   Court tosses Wisconsin limit on PAC donations
2011/07/25   Court denies motion to stop Loughner medication
2011/07/11   Lawyer defends Nevada truck firm in Amtrak crash
2011/07/03   Law school enrollment in Missouri lags as legal jobs dry up
2011/06/27   Los Angeles Dodgers file for bankruptcy
2011/06/22   Ex-Delaware pediatrician guilty of child sex abuse
2011/06/20   Navy subcontractor pleads guilty in bribe case
2011/06/20   US court lets class action against Bayer proceed
2011/06/14   Court won't hear restitution claim in Ponzi case
2011/06/14   Court orders reconsideration of parole judgment
2011/06/11   Toyota class action suit to start with Utah case
2011/06/06   Ex-IMF leader pleads not guilty to sex assault
2011/06/06   Loughner lawyer says she can't provide discovery
2011/06/02   Goldman Receives Subpoena Over Financial Crisis
2011/06/02   Ark. court upholds conviction in TV anchor slaying
2011/06/02   US investigating Google claim of China hacking
2011/05/23   Attorneys to give openings in Mumbai terror case
2011/05/23   Texas lawyer wants extra pollution controls nixed
2011/05/23   IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn to plead not guilty
2011/05/19   4 ex-Auburn players indicted on felony charges
2011/05/16   Minn. court: Defendant may withdraw guilty plea
2011/05/09   Together, Phoebe and Tyler alerted us to a crisis
2011/05/08   Further Class Action Lawsuits Filed for Depakote Side Effects
2011/05/07   Delaware pediatrician waives right to jury trial
2011/05/05   4 guilty in $5.2M Medicare fraud scheme in Houston
2011/05/02   Court sides with Wyoming in dispute with Montana
2011/04/28   Court close to seating Blagojevich jury
2011/04/23   Court denies Va. inmate's lawsuit over beard
2011/04/18   Democrats criticize hiring of firm for House remap
2011/03/20   Court-appointed lawyer denied for torture suspect
2011/03/20   Court Won't Get Involved in Eminem Royalty Suit
2011/03/11   Court blames LA County for ocean pollution
2011/02/23   Iowa bill on same-sex marriage licenses in trouble
2011/01/26   Court says convicted lawyer unfit to practice law
2011/01/13   Court hears challenge to $65M Facebook settlement
2011/01/08   Rival Calif. Papers Settle Lawsuit Over Ad Pricing
2011/01/06   Court backs Uniloc in case against Microsoft
2011/01/05   Judge strikes down NYC's gruesome tobacco ads
2011/01/04   Iowa Supreme Court upholds taxation of KFC
2010/12/19   Florida AG urges spill victims to get lawyers
2010/12/16   SD attorney on trial on child porn charges
2010/12/16   Lawsuit seeks to keep 3 Iowa justices on bench
2010/11/27   Class action lawsuit against United Water could cost millions
2010/10/04   Court won't hear appeal from Adelphia founders
2010/09/09   Court asked to keep stem cell money flowing
2010/08/30   Appeals court OKs warrantless GPS tracking by feds
2010/08/30   Toyota Recalls Corolla Sedans and Matrix Hatchbacks
2010/08/03   Charlie Sheen pleads guilty in Aspen wife assault
2010/07/27   Neb. town may halt immigration law to save money
2010/07/20   US to watch Arizona for racial profiling
2010/07/12   Court: Insurance rates can reflect credit scores
2010/06/26   Kan. doc to appeal conviction in painkiller case
2010/06/14   NY appeals court tosses ruling on RNC surveillance
2010/06/09   Phoenix bankruptcy filings fall in May
2010/05/28   Man acquitted of arson in Cleveland house blast
2010/05/17   Vatican details US sex abuse defense
2010/05/03   Goldman Sachs has mounting legal woes
2010/04/27   Enron law firm sues Goldman Sachs
2010/04/12   Miami-Dade clinic operator pleads guilty to Medicare fraud
2010/02/22   Failed mobile phone dealer ran law firm, say staff
2010/01/20   Woman with .708 blood-alcohol level pleads guilty
2009/12/28   Randy, Evi Quaid plead not guilty in fraud case
2009/12/24   Pa. teens plead not guilty to hate crime charge
2009/12/23   TVA coal ash spill has hundreds suing for damages
2009/12/22   Citadel Broadcasting: court grants 1st-day motions
2009/11/18   Idaho to pay $50K to settle grazing lease lawsuit
2009/11/17   Court gives $1.1B tanker contract back to Boeing
2009/10/01   Comic Artie Lange pleads guilty to DUI in NJ
2009/09/28   Lawsuit puts Lake Tahoe boating facilities on hold
2009/09/15   Pulman, Cappuccio, Pullen & Benson, LLP Files $80 Million Lawsuit
2009/04/19   SEC Won't Challenge Stimulus
2009/01/29   Texas Supreme Court Justice Sues over Ruling
2008/12/16   EU court: Ryanair won't have to pay back subsidy
2008/12/15   Lawyers: US to release 3 Gitmo detainees to Bosnia
2008/12/15   Minn. panel rules on more disputed Senate votes
2008/12/11   Ambulance attendants accused of molesting patients
2008/12/01   Plea deal offered to 8-year-old murder suspect
2008/11/13   Wisconsin court says 1985 killer should be freed
2008/11/12   Appeals court clears way for Rep. Jefferson trial
2008/11/05   Court leaves NC campaign finance law untouched
2008/10/10   Typhoon Restaurant sued by Immigrant Workers
2008/09/29   Bag Man Says FBI Told Him to Ask for $2M Hush Money
2008/09/26   Guilty Plea In Courthouse Bombing
2008/09/25   Witness Says OJ Told Him To Bring A Gun
2008/09/24   Justices Stay Execution with Two Hours Left
2008/09/23   Facebook Case Has Echoes Of MySpace Suicide Case
2008/09/15   Potash Price-Fixing Conspiracy Alleged
2008/09/12   Nevada Sex Laws Tossed
2008/09/11   2nd Circuit Won't Change NY's Apportionment Method
2008/09/09   'Rear Window' Copyright Holder Sues Spielberg & Viacom
2008/09/08   Inspector Suspended For Not Shutting Black-Owned Business
2008/09/05   Canadian mining company settles with Alaska Eskimos
2008/09/04   Wextrust Is A $225 Million Ponzi Scheme The SEC Says
2008/09/02   Harass A Republican, Lose Your Phone
2008/08/28   Racism Alleged In Bizarre Punishment
2008/08/27   EPA Can Inspect Ship for Chemicals, Court Rules
2008/08/24   Court upholds sentence for I-65 sniper
2008/08/21   City of New York reaches settlement in unlawful arrest suit
2008/08/15   Fifth Circuit rules on jurors using Bible
2008/08/14   Unsafe Practices Alleged At Firing Range
2008/08/13   Woman Says Northwestern Won't Protect Her
2008/08/12   VA Properly Denied Voter Registration, Court Rules
2008/08/11   SEC investigating bank over auction-rate securities sales
2008/08/08   Former Bush Assistant Sues over 'Swing Vote'
2008/08/05   'Junior' Gotti Arrested on Murder Charge
2008/07/28   Latinos Lose Bid to Redraw Ward Map in Aurora, Ill.
2008/07/25   Rolling Stones' Copyright Holder Sues Derivative Rapper
2008/07/24   Mother Loses Custody Due To Her Bizarre Behavior
2008/07/22   Tommy Tune Sues Manager, Marvin Shulman
2008/07/21   Citizenship Harder To Prove Through Fathers
2008/07/18   Class Action Challenges Mandatory Electronic Filing
2008/07/15   Man Says Eminem Sucker-Punched Him
2008/07/11   Man Says Social Security Guards Beat Him
2008/07/10   Forced Sterilization Is Persecution, Court Says
2008/07/01   Anthrax settlement may moot contempt case
2008/06/26   Drunken Groom's Marriage Declared Invalid After 30 Years
2008/06/25   "Naked Cowboy" Wins Court Shoot-Out with Candy Cowboy
2008/06/22   Court to rule on pension credit for old maternity leaves
2008/06/18   Social Security Mismatch Wasn't Grounds To Fire
2008/06/17   Court Overturns $101M Tax Refund To Texaco
2008/06/12   Court OK's Discrimination Suit Against Restaurant
2008/06/09   Shareholders Sue Baker Hughes For Bribery
2008/06/03   Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon Can't Block Movie
2008/06/02   Fire Paramedics In Philly Win Overtime Pay Appeal
2008/05/28   Lawyer Says Cook County Clerk Defamed Him
2008/05/23   Shareholder Class Action
2008/05/22   Court Says Cop's Criticism Isn't Protected Speech
2008/05/20   Ex-Lottery Commissioner Loses Conviction Appeal
2008/05/16   Skycaps File National Class Action
2008/05/15   Avandia Securities Class Action Dismissed
2008/05/13   Class Claims MetLife Cheats By Assuming Kids Will Smoke
2008/05/12   Inventor Of Secret Goggles Can't Sue Government
2008/05/09   Talk About A Jury Of Peers ...
2008/05/07   Taxpayers Challenge $7.4 Billion Prison Bond
2008/05/01   Class Claims Wells Fargo Forecloses Illegally
2008/04/30   Court Revives Suit Over New Year's Party Arrests
2008/04/29   Michael Douglas Owes Him $1M, Pal Says
2008/04/28   Booksellers Challenge Oregon Censorship Law
2008/04/25   Anatomy of a Deal Gone South
2008/04/24   Film Editor Says He Was Cheated
2008/04/23   Police Maliciously Set Him Up, Doctor Says
2008/04/22   Supreme Court To Hear Uranium Trade Case
2008/04/18   Jurors' Complaints Bring Mistrial
2008/04/16   Judge says Parmalat fraud suit can proceed
2008/04/15   Court Steps Into Utilities Case
2008/04/11   Class Action Cites Zetia & Vytorin
2008/04/01   Circuit Applies New Test for Declaratory Judgment
2008/03/24   Icahn Plans More Legal Action Against Motorola
2008/03/23   2 Held in Millionaire Developer's Death
2008/03/21   Doubt Arises over Breathalyzer Source Code
2008/03/20   Settlement talks fail between al-Kidd, feds
2008/03/19   Legal battle rages over whether ankles exist
2008/03/18   Judges Bar Law on Violent Video Games
2008/03/18   Heather loses court judgment appeal
2008/03/18   Court Will Decide Wash. Shooting Case
2008/03/17   Court to Take Up Voting Rights Suit
2008/03/14   Palo Alto loses legal battle over police brutality
2008/03/13   MasterCard "welcomes" dismissal of antitrust suit
2008/03/11   Lawyer says imprisoned man innocent
2008/03/09   Justice often slow for elder crimes
2008/03/09   D.C. Gun Case Draws Crowd of High Court 'Friends'
2008/03/07   AutoAdmit defendant sues Yalies
2008/03/07   Judge to let Qualcomm outside lawyers speak out
2008/03/06   Four local lawyers face discipline
2008/03/06   Legal Services Are Available To Disaster Applicants
2008/03/06   Lawyers seek removal of judge from their cases
2008/03/06   Appeals Court Weighs Teen's Web Speech
2008/03/03   Leaders split over choice of judge
2008/02/29   New Jersey - Still no need to redefine marriage
2008/02/29   Suspect accused of running fake raffle


Myanmar court grants bail for editor in defamation case
Areas of Focus | 2017/08/11 01:55
A court in Myanmar granted bail Friday to a newspaper editor who is being tried under a controversial defamation statute in a telecommunications law.

Kyaw Min Swe, chief editor of The Voice Daily, was arrested in June for publishing online a satirical article that allegedly mocked the efforts of the military to reach a peace agreement with ethnic minority groups.

His previous requests for bail had been rejected, but during his ninth appearance in court, the judge granted his release on bail of 10 million kyats ($7,000).

He was charged under Article 66(D) of the Telecommunications Law, which broadly defines defamation and carries a penalty of up to three years' imprisonment.

Rights groups decry the article as a restriction on freedom of expression, but the country's parliament this week turned down a bid to drop the article and decriminalize the offense.

One of the newspaper's columnists, Kyaw Zwa Naing, was also arrested on June 2 under Article 66(D), but the charge against him was dropped last month.


Court: Violence law unfair to gay South Carolina couples
Areas of Focus | 2017/07/27 03:44
People in same-sex relationships in South Carolina should get the same legal protections against domestic violence as heterosexual couples, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday, deeming a portion of the state's domestic violence law unconstitutional.

The court was asked to weigh in after a woman tried to get a protective order against her former fiancée, also a woman, and was denied.

Current law defines "household members" as a spouse, former spouse, people with a child in common, or men and women who are or have lived together. It does not include unmarried same-sex couples.

Acting Justice Costa Pleicones, who wrote the majority opinion, said during oral arguments in March 2016 that he felt the law was "pretty clearly unconstitutional in its discriminatory impact upon same-sex couples."

In his opinion, Pleicones pointed out lawmakers have over the years addressed the definition of "household members" as covered under domestic violence protections in 1994, amending the language from "persons" living together to "male and female." In 2015, during a massive overhaul of South Carolina's criminal domestic violence law, legislators made changes including increasing penalties for offenders but left the gender-based definition intact.

The U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause, the court wrote, states, "No state shall ... deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws," such as a benefit offered to one class of person but not others.

"In this case, we cannot find a reasonable basis for providing protection to one set of domestic violence victims - unmarried, cohabiting or formerly cohabiting, opposite-sex couples - while denying it to others," the court wrote.

Other states have addressed this issue since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide. The Ohio Supreme Court in 2016 adopted the use of gender-neutral references in family court cases. California and Massachusetts proactively changed language in their laws.


Ohio sheriff's deputy pleads not guilty to rape, kidnapping
Areas of Focus | 2017/07/22 22:55
An Ohio sheriff's deputy has pleaded not guilty to charges for allegedly raping a 26-year-old woman inside his county-issued cruiser.

Summit County deputy Antonio Williamson entered pleas Friday during an arraignment in the county court in Akron. He was indicted Thursday on rape, kidnapping, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition charges.

His attorney declined to comment after the hearing. A judge set a $100,000 bond.

The 46-year-old Williamson supervised the sheriff's office crime scene unit. He surrendered to authorities Thursday.

Prosecutors say the sexual assault occurred outside an Akron gentlemen's club in March. A county prosecutor's spokesman has said Williamson was in uniform and was leaving an off-duty security job prior to the assault. The spokesman says Williamson didn't know the woman previously.


First Opioid Court in the U.S. Focuses on Keeping Users Alive
Areas of Focus | 2017/07/10 07:49
After three defendants fatally overdosed in a single week last year, it became clear that Buffalo's ordinary drug treatment court was no match for the heroin and painkiller crisis.

Now the city is experimenting with the nation's first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days, requires them to check in with a judge every day for a month instead of once a week, and puts them on strict curfews. Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.

"The idea behind it," said court project director Jeffrey Smith, "is only about how many people are still breathing each day when we're finished."

Funded with a three-year $300,000 U.S. Justice Department grant, the program began May 1 with the intent of treating 200 people in a year and providing a model that other heroin-wracked cities can replicate.

Two months in, organizers are optimistic. As of late last week, none of the 80 people who agreed to the program had overdosed, though about 10 warrants had been issued for missed appearances.

Buffalo-area health officials blamed 300 deaths on opioid overdoses in 2016, up from 127 two years earlier. That includes a young couple who did not make it to their second drug court appearance last spring. The woman's father arrived instead to tell the judge his daughter and her boyfriend had died the night before.

"We have an epidemic on our hands. ... We've got to start thinking outside the box here," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. "And if that means coddling an individual who has a minor offense, who is not a career criminal, who's got a serious drug problem, then I'm guilty of coddling."

Regular drug treatment courts that emerged in response to crack cocaine in the 1980s take people in after they've been arraigned and in some cases released. The toll of opioids and profile of their users, some of them hooked by legitimate prescriptions, called for more drastic measures.

Acceptance into opioid crisis court means detox, inpatient or outpatient care, 8 p.m. curfews, and at least 30 consecutive days of in-person meetings with the judge. A typical drug treatment court might require such appearances once a week or even once a month.


Appeals court backs Jimmy John's franchisee in labor dispute
Areas of Focus | 2017/07/04 03:17
A company that owns 10 Jimmy John's sandwich shops in the Twin Cities was within its rights to fire six union workers who circulated posters critical of the company's sick-leave policy, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a three-judge appeals panel, which had affirmed a National Labor Relations Board ruling in favor of the workers, who were part of a unionization drive by the Industrial Workers of the World at shops owned by MikLin Enterprises.

The full appeals court concluded that the poster attack was "so disloyal" that it wasn't protected by federal labor law.

The posters were timed to the flu season in early 2011. They protested the company's policy against workers calling in sick without finding replacements to take their shifts, and accused the company of putting the health of its customers at risk. The poster features two identical photos of Jimmy John's sandwiches but said one was made by a healthy worker and one was made by a sick worker.

"Can't tell the difference?" the poster read. "That's too bad because Jimmy John's workers don't get paid sick days. Shoot, we can't even call in sick. We hope your immune system is ready because you're about to take the sandwich test."

The poster and a press release were distributed to more than 100 local and national news organizations, and the IWW threatened wider distribution if its demands were not met.

The NLRB concluded that MikLin violated protections for employee communications to the public that are part of an ongoing labor dispute. The three-judge appeals panel agreed. But the full appeals court said the board misapplied a controlling precedent set in a 1953 U.S. Supreme Court case that permits firings for disloyalty when the quality of a company's product is attacked, as opposed to communications targeting the employer's labor practices.


West Virginia high court excludes inmates from workers' comp
Areas of Focus | 2017/06/13 15:36
Inmates participating in work-release programs do not quality for workers' compensation benefits, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled has ruled.

The court on Thursday unanimously affirmed a Workers' Compensation Board of Review's 2015 decision to not grant workers' compensation to a work release inmate named William F. Crawford, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. Crawford's hand was severely injured in a wood chipper in 2013 while he was working on a road crew for the state Division of Highways.

He was employed by the Charleston Work Release Center, now called the Charleston Correctional Center. Inmates live and work there as they prepare to re-enter society after leaving prison.

Crawford's injury required hospitalization and surgery, and his ring and pinky fingers were partially amputated. The state Department of Corrections covered his medical expenses, which exceeded $90,000. He was released on parole shortly after his hospitalization.

Court documents say Crawford sought workers' compensation benefits because "lack of treatment has put him at a significant disadvantage in re-entering society." He had appealed the board of review's decision, saying state law didn't clarify coverage exclusion for work-release inmates. He also said his equal protection rights had been violated, arguing that inmates working for private businesses would receive the benefits, while inmates working for a state agency would not.



Fraternity brothers due in court in pledge's fatal fall
Areas of Focus | 2017/06/10 23:07
Members of a Penn State fraternity facing charges related to the death earlier this year of a pledge after a night of heavy drinking are due in court Monday for a hearing about whether there's enough evidence to head to trial.

Prosecutors in the case against the now-shuttered Beta Theta Pi chapter and 18 of its members are leaning heavily on video surveillance recordings made the night 19-year-old sophomore engineering student Tim Piazza was injured in a series of falls at the fraternity after a pledge acceptance ceremony that included heavy drinking.

The defendants face a variety of charges, with eight accused of dozens of crimes, including involuntary manslaughter and felony aggravated assault, while five others are accused only of a single count of evidence tampering.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller says prosecutors will play video in court, and she expects the hearing to last all or most of the day.

Authorities have said members of the fraternity resisted summoning help until well into the next morning.

A grand jury report described how members of the fraternity carried Piazza's limp body upstairs, poured liquid on him and even slapped him on the face. When one of them argued to call for medical help, he was confronted and shoved into a wall, the grand jury said.

Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, died at a hospital Feb. 4 from traumatic brain injury and had suffered severe abdominal bleeding. His blood-alcohol measured at a dangerous level.

"I believe this is a case where the defendants have been overcharged by the district attorney's office," said defense attorney Michael Engle, whose client Gary DiBileo, 21, faces 56 counts, including involuntary manslaughter. "We hope to develop more information during the preliminary hearing process, and beyond, that will demonstrate that many of the charges in this case are just not applicable to the conduct."

Engle said DiBileo, a junior from Scranton who recently withdrew from Penn State, was said by a witness to have advocated for calling an ambulance at some point.


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