Law Firm Sues Associate Who Quits Job Early

There is an article on the Above the Law website about a law firm suing one of their associate lawyers because she quit her job after only one year. The firm, Preis PLC Law, had the lawyer, Jane Daily, sign a three-year contract when she joined the law firm fresh out of law school. The job wasn’t for her, however, so she left early, and the firm hit back in court.

A break with tradition

New lawyers leaving a law firm earlier than planned is very common. In fact, the legal field is notorious for its high turnover and burnout rates among those new to the lawyer profession. Generally, when a new associate is hired, the hiring firm accepts that they are taking a risk and that the associate may be out the door earlier than hoped. In fact, many associates work briefly for multiple firms before finding one that is a good fit for them. When contracts are signed, they usually aren’t enforced if broken, and law firms focus on retaining partners rather than associates because the former are likely to take business with them if they exit the firm.

Preis PLC, therefore, is going against tradition in their lawsuit against Daily. They say in their filing that they take great pride in recruiting new lawyers out of law school and training them thoroughly, and, that by leaving early, Daily not only cost them money but hurt their effectiveness by taking experienced lawyers away from their regular duties to train her. In its suit, the firm alleges that they have determined that it takes at least three years to properly train a lawyer, so Daily can’t claim that she was an asset to the company.

A tough profession

There are many reasons why so many new lawyers leave their first associate posting early. Many are blindsided by the many unpleasant realities of the law in practice versus the idealism of the law as presented in the classroom. Furthermore, law firms are notorious for making their associates work long hours; while associates know this is a stepping stone on the road to the more leisurely life of partner, many grow frustrated and despondent. Furthermore, associate lawyers are often working closely with a single experienced lawyer, and, if there is some kind of conflict, it’s generally not the associate that the hiring firm sides with.


Cohen Bares All In Front Of Congress

Roughly a year ago, rumors surfaced that current United States President Donald J. Trump had engaged in an affair with adult film star and entertainer Stormy Daniels in the mid-2000s. At the time, Trump was married to his current wife, Melania Trump, who was then pregnant with the couple’s son Baron.

Months after the rumors initially came to light, it became clear that President Trump had paid Stormy Daniels over $100,000 as part of a non-disclosure agreement to not speak about the affair between them. Although Trump did not pay Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, directly, he had paid his attorney Michael Cohen to deliver the payment of “hush money” to the adult entertainment figure.

Just yesterday, on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, Michael Cohen testified in front of the United States House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee to address how he was involved with President Trump and whether Trump did anything wrong after he assumed office as the President of the United States of America.

Cohen was called to testify because he was found guilty of a handful of federal charges that ultimately landed him a three-year bid in prison back in December. Although it’s not clear when Michael Cohen, who has since been disbarred as an attorney in the United States, will go to prison to begin serving his sentence, it is clear that he helped Donald Trump cover up illegal activities. The charges that Cohen was slapped with included lying in front of United States Congress while under oath about Trump’s activities related to erecting a Trump Tower in Moscow, Russia, and covering up violations in campaign finance law that the Trump campaign had made prior to the 2016 presidential election.

Michael Cohen was first hired by Donald Trump in 2007.

At the hearing yesterday, Cohen admitted that both he and President Trump knew that paying Stormy Daniels any amount of money to stay quiet about the pair’s affair more than a decade before he took office was illegal. It was also made clear that Trump was fully aware that Cohen made payments to at least one other woman that Trump had an affair with roughly a decade ago, as well. Cohen was reimbursed in full for all the payments that he helped facilitate between President Trump and the women that he had allegedly slept with some years ago.

It’s not clear what will happen to President Trump.

The Supreme Court Says Decisions Made By Dead Judges Don’t Count

The Supreme Court is a mighty force in America’s Democracy. Supreme Court judges get a new label when a president nominates a federal judge and Congress confirms the nomination. For a lawyer, it is the Legal Hall of Fame. They are the superheroes of the justice system. And to confirm their superhero status they suddenly become “Justices” instead of federal judges.

And they get to keep their Justice job for life. Back when the Founding Fathers were on the hunt for judges, the only way to find a decent judge was to dangle the lifetime job idea in front of them. But today, the lawyers who want to be judges are drops in a legal ocean filled with deserving lawyers. A lawyer would be crazy not to want a lifetime federal judgeship that could turn into a lifetime justiceship.

But there are downsides to being any kind of lifetime judge. Judges have to stay out of politics, and they can’t act like they support one cause over another in their private life. In fact, their private lives are pretty private. Even the press stays away from throwing shade at Supreme Court Justices or federal judges unless they do or say something really stupid. Like Brett Kavanaugh did several times during his Congressional testimony.

When Congress confirms a federal judge or Supreme Court Justice, they don’t have to worry about another job, ever. But they may have to worry about a case they authored if they die before the final filing.

According to a recent Supreme Court ruling, a dead judge’s decision doesn’t count if the decision came after the death of the judge. In other words, all the constitutional power that judge enjoyed in life ends when he reaches the other side of legal nowhere.

The case that determined that ruling is the U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Ninth Circuit Stephen Reinhardt’s death. Judge Reinhardt was the author of a decision filed 11 days after his March 29, 2018 death. Judge Reinhardt was 87 when he put his lifetime job skills to work and authored the case. But only five judges on the panel approved his decision out of the 10 judges on the panel. Even though Reinhardt had an important role in the case, his vote doesn’t count because he wasn’t a judge when the filing involving the federal Equal Pay Act got to the final filing stage.

No Swift Homecoming For American-Born ISIS Bride

Hoda Muthana, 24, left the U.S. when she was 20 to join the Islamic State in Syria and now she wants to return with her 18-month-old son. She left the University of Alabama, telling her parents she was going to a school event and using money meant for tuition, she caught a flight to Istanbul instead. Once inside ISIS-controlled territory, Muthana tweeted she would burn her passport soon, since she didn’t need it anymore.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and has no legal right to return. Ahmed Ali Muthana, Hoda’s father, claims Trump, Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr are unconstitutionally taking away her citizenship rights. The Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America are assisting him in his fight to get his daughter and grandson home.

While Muthana was born in the U.S., her father was a Yemini diplomat. If he was an active diplomat when she was born, Muthana isn’t entitled to birthright citizenship. Instead, she would be a Yemeni citizen. Muthana claims her father left his post months before she was born. Both Hoda and her father say the matter was settled back in 2004 when she obtained a passport.

Once in Syria, Muthana incited violence against Americans via Twitter. She says she regrets believing ISIS propaganda and will face justice. Alabama Sen. Doug Jones says he wants Muthana to return to the U.S. so she can stand trial for crimes against the U.S.; she is out of reach of the U.S. justice system in Syria, where Muthana now lives in a refugee camp.

Britain is facing the same dilemma as ISIS bride Shamima Begum, who ran away to Syria at age 15, wants to return. She also has a child she wants to raise in Britain, however. British authorities revoked Begum’s citizenship. Unlike Muthana, Begum’s father supports his country’s decision.


Bernie Sanders Launches 2020 Presidential Campaign

At 77 years old, Bernie Sanders is going to run for President of the United States for the second time. Bernie Sanders is the junior United States Senator from Vermont, a position he held since 2007. Sanders is the longest serving Independent in congressional history. Prior to being elected to the senate, Sanders was a congressman for 16 years. Sanders was born on September 8, 1941 in the Brooklyn borough of New York city. He wss born into an Austrian-Hungarian-Russian Jewish family, the younger of two sons.

Before graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964, Sanders was active in the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In the 1980s, Bernie Sanders was elected an Independent three-term mayor of the city of Burlington, Vt.

Realizing that Independents haven’t yet won the nomination of President of the United States, on April 30, 2015, Bernie Sanders decided to run for President as a Democrat. Originally considered a long shot in the campaign, Sanders went on to win 23 primaries and caucuses during the 2016 campaign. Some political pundits believed that if Sanders won the Democratic nomination, he could have beaten Donald Trump. If Sanders wins the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination, he might have the chance to defeat Trump.

Bernie Sanders still has his energized supporters from 2020. In less than four hours, Sanders raised more than $1 million towards his new presidential campaign. In 24 hours, supporters raised $6 million for the progressive candidate.

Bernie Sanders declared his candidacy on February 19, 2019. Sanders is in favor of free college tuition and Medicare for all. Since the conversation of free college tuition came up in 2016, 20 states have started free college tuition. Sanders is in favor of raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. Many people believe that Sanders is a democratic socialist. Sanders wants to continue the progressive campaign that he started in 2020. Sanders’ biggest priority is defeating Donald Trump, who Sanders believes is a pathological liar who wants to divide up the nation. Sanders believes people are entitled to the best education availsble, health care, and good paying jobs. If caring makes him a radical, Sanders doesn’t mind the label. Sanders is willing to reach out to the young people, the blacks and the independent voters who have not been included before. Sanders wants to include everybody and be an honest president.

A No-Deal Brexit Will Be A Day-To-Day Game-Changer For U.K. Citizens

Most U.K. citizens know the odds are against Theresa May. EU leaders believe the U.K. Parliament won’t budge on the Irish border issue, so the EU thinks May won’t be able to make a deal they can live with before the March deadline.

EU citizens wanted the U.K. to stay when the Brits voted to leave in 2016. But their attitude about the split changed dramatically over the last three years. EU citizens want the U.K. to leave in March, and they don’t care if there’s a signed deal that makes their departure official.

U.K. citizens didn’t expect Parliament to put up such a lame fight with the EU. They thought leaving the EU would be easy. They didn’t expect they would walk out the EU door without a signed deal that would protect the way they live life day-to-day. But that’s going to happen unless May’s “Hail Mary” attempt to close the Brexit deal works.

The day after a no-deal Brexit, U.K. citizens will have to request a green card to prove they have insurance if they plan to drive to Europe. Insurance companies don’t charge citizens for green cards but it may take a month or more to get one. And their U.K. driver’s license won’t work in the EU after March 29th. They will need to buy an International Driver’s Permit to drive through Europe. And they will have to purchase a different one if they drive to Spain and France.

Plus, their old EU insurance card won’t work when they travel through Europe. The Brits will have to buy travel insurance if they plan a European trip. The Brits will also need a visa to visit Europe and visas aren’t cheap. A 90-day visa will cost $68 every time they apply for one. And if the Brits want to take their pets with them to Europe, they must prove their pets are healthy. They will need an animal health certificate from a registered veterinarian.

The good news is phone roaming charges won’t go into effect the day after a No-Brexit deal. But the phone companies said that might change. If the phone companies decide to implement roaming charges again that move would be a costly one for Brits who still have friends and relatives living in the EU. U.K. retirees who live in Europe and get a U.K. state pension may discover their pension is what the Brits living in Canada and Australia call a “frozen pension.” The U.K. government plans to uprate pensions in 2019 and 2020, but that won’t happen unless there is a signed Brexit deal.

Former Bush Ethics Lawyer Richard Painter Thinks Trump Should Be Removed From Office

Richard Painter was when George W. Bush ethics lawyer when he was president. Painter thinks Mr. Trump’s national emergency is proof the president’s decision-making process is more about winning than doing the right thing. In other words, Trump, according to Painter, is an out-of-control narcissist. Declaring a national state of emergency proves Mr. Trump has an overwhelming need to be in control and be the center of attention, according to Mr. Painter.
When Congress refused to fund his border wall project, Trump decided to do it his way long before the Congressional committee found a solution to the fake border wall crisis. Trump made that decision when the Democrats forced him to sign the funding bill. Nancy Pelosi’s wall challenge enraged Trump.

Even though he lost that battle, he knew he could make it look like he won in the eyes of his voter base. In his phony victory speech, he claimed the wall is under construction even though the part of the wall he wants to build won’t get underway until funds are available. The legal battles about the emergency will keep the funds in the courts for years, according to legal experts.

Mr. Trump believes he doesn’t answer to Congress. He doesn’t realize he is accountable for his decisions, according to Painter. Mr. Trump always finds someone or something else to blame when his decisions create more challenges.

When former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe went on the talk show circuit to promote his new book, he told viewers, Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein mentioned Trump’s mental issues when the president fired James Comey. Rosenstein and McCabe talked about the possibility of removing Trump from office using the 25th Amendment. But the men didn’t take action. It was just a concerned conversation that included other solutions that might protect the country from Trump’s irrational decision-making.

Rosenstein and McCabe knew Trump’s cabinet wouldn’t take the necessary steps to evoke the 25th amendment in 2017. And Congress didn’t want to pursue impeachment. But now that the Mueller investigation uncovered the Trump Organization’s attempt to allegedly work in tandem with the Russians, some Washington insiders say it’s time to use the 25th amendment.

But according to legal scholars, there’s not enough proof to evoke the 25th amendment or impeach Trump. Mueller or the Congressional Intelligence Committee would have to find smoking gun-type proof that Trump colluded with the Russians or he tried to obstruct justice when he fired James Comey.


New Attorney General Bill Barr Is Facing The Biggest Challenge Of His Legal Career

Bill Barr, Trump’s new attorney general, knows how the Department of Justice rolls. Barr sat in the big DOJ seat when George H.W. Bush was in office. Most DOJ workers say Barr will be awake and more responsive than immigrant-hater Jeff Sessions.

Sessions wanted to be Trump’s attorney general until he got the job. That’s when Jeff Sessions realized he made a huge mistake. Mr. Sessions did his best to bring his narrow-minded Alabama ideas on immigration to Washington. Sessions did create immigration chaos on the Southern border before Trump sent him back to Alabama. Some reports say Mr. Session wants to write his story. The story of how he tried to prevent gay marriages and enhance LGBT discrimination.

But Mr. Bill Barr doesn’t have gay-bashing on his resume. The only negative, according to the Democrats, is he threw serious shade at Mueller while he was keeping a low legal profile. Plus, he didn’t answer questions the way Democrats wanted him to answer them when he was in the Congressional hot seat. But the Republicans had enough votes to confirm his nomination.

Mr. Barr said he would share as much information as possible when the Mueller investigation comes to an end. But Barr said he might not reveal all the information in the report because some of it might threaten national security. But if Barr only releases bits and pieces of the Mueller investigation, he will be Congressional enemy number one right after Donald Trump, according to the Democrats.

Congress may be able to read the complete report, but the public may never know what Mueller uncovered in his two-year investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Legal experts say Barr is too smart to interfere with the Mueller investigation. But he may not release all the Mueller report information. Senator Lindsey Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, believes Barr will err on the side of transparency.

The other issue Barr has to deal with is what to do with former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. Whitaker, the former Iowa U.S. prosecutor, isn’t the most popular legal eagle in Washington at the moment. But some news reports say Mr. Trump might reward Whitaker by giving him a job in his administration. Jared Kushner might have his security clearance revoked so the Trumpster may need someone to bounce his illegal ideas off of, and Whitaker can shine in that role, according to the Democrats.

16 States File Lawsuit Over Trump’s Emergency Declaration

Sixteen states have filed lawsuits against United States President Donald Trump in response to the national emergency declaration that is meant to provide the funds necessary to build a border wall.

The federal lawsuit was filed on Monday in the San Francisco-based Northern California District Court. The lawsuit alleges the present is in blatant disregard for the separation of powers clauses that are central to the United States Constitution. The suit also explains the money the president seeks to divert for the border wall is money that otherwise would go to law enforcement initiatives, drug interdiction operations, and military construction projects.

Other allegations outlined against the president in the lawsuit are:

  • Actions that exceed the scope of his authority.
  • Violation of the appropriation clause that mandates money should not be drawn from the United States Treasury in the absence of legal appropriations.
  • Violation of the of the Environmental Protection Act.

The lawsuit also highlights a recent statement made by Trump in which he says the wall could be completed without the declaration of an emergency. He says he declared the emergency to expedite the building of the wall. The lawsuit uses the statement to demonstrate the president’s acknowledgment of the fact there was no need for an emergency to be declared.

According to CNN, the states that are involved with the current lawsuit are Virginia, New Mexico, New Jersey, Michigan, Maine, Maryland, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, Minnesota, Oregon, and New York. The suit was filed as California v. Trump.

A number of nonprofits have also filed lawsuits in the matter. There are more lawsuits form nonprofits in the works. Among the nonprofits already filing suits against the president are Public citizen and Animal Legal Defense Fund. Protect Democracy and the ACLU are among the organizations planning to file suits in the near future.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed a suit of a different kind against the Department of Justice on Friday. The suit is in regards to legal opinions and communications pertaining to the president’s declaration.

House Democrats are also set to take action against the president’s emergency declaration. One resolution being planned would repeal the action of the president. The president is already on record saying he would veto any such resolution if it reaches his desk.

The House Judiciary Committee reports it is currently conducting its own investigation into the matter.

Supreme Court to Issue Expedited Ruling on 2020 Census Citizenship Question

The Supreme Court will soon review and rule on the Trump administration’s plan to include a question pertaining to citizenship on the 2020 census.

The high court recently announced plans to conduct an expedited analysis, argument, and review of the case before producing a timely ruling—likely in an effort to prevent issues with the census itself, which is typically conducted each decade. The upcoming census is expected to be offered both through the mail and the internet in 2020.

On 15 January, U.S. District Judge Jesse Ferman, who operates out of Manhattan, issued a ruling that prohibited the inclusion of the question on the 2020 census. The judge stated that the question would disproportionately affect minorities as well as the Democratic Party, as the latter relies heavily on the former’s support at the polls.

It is also argued by opponents that the question will hinder the Democrats’ House of Representatives distribution and federal funding allocation, both of which are determined based upon the results of the census. Besides impacting the census, the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling will impact the 18 U.S. states, multiple cities, and several private organizations that contested the potential question in court.

Although the Supreme Court doesn’t usually review decisions made by lower courts before at least one appeals court considers and rules upon the matter, the justices made clear that exceptions can and will be made in instances of public pertinence—such as, apparently, the make-up of the 2020 census.

The Supreme Court’s oral arguments are set to take place in April, and a decision on the question is expected to be issued sometime in mid-June. Present nonpartisan opinions of the matter—of which way the Court will rule—appear to be divided. Some individuals believe that the federal government does in fact possess the authority to question the citizenship status of census participants, while others yet believe that the move is an overstep of executive authority.

The matter will once again be settled soon, and it’s expected that the legal implications of the decision will factor into future efforts on the part of the government to make inquiries relating to personal matters—including in terms of preexisting census questions.

Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges To Census Questions Regarding Citizenship

The Supreme Court of the United States decided on Friday it would discuss whether or not additional questions regarding citizenship should be added to the census in 2020. The case arguments will take place in April.

The case now belongs to the Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals and has been fast-tracked to make a decision possible before the printing of census forms in June. The Washington Post and the National law Journal each received copies of the cert grant.

Jesse Furman, U.S. District Judge in Manhattan, found a month ago Wilber Ross, Secretary of Commerce, violated the Administrative Procedure Act when he added citizenship questions to the census format.

Furman asserted Ross disregarded statutes involving data collection and the necessity to provide Congress with notice of actions. Furman went on to say the Secretary acted in an arbitrary fashion intended to conceal the true intent of his actions. However, Furman ruled no violation of due process took place since it was not proven Ross intended to discriminate against minorities or individuals who were not citizens of the United States.

Ross explained the questions were being added to the census in order to provide the higher level of citizenship data requested by the Department of Justice. The data is needed, according to Ross and the Department, to support efforts to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Furman stated his belief that Ross solicited the request from the Department of Justice for reasons already possessed by the Secretary.

There have been two lawsuits filed in the case, reports Bloomberg. One was filed by 18 states and several county and city municipalities. The second lawsuit included several advocacy groups for immigrant causes as plaintiffs. The two lawsuits have been consolidated into one for the case.

The lawsuits argue the additional questions will cause immigrants to be more reluctant to participate in the census process. Plaintiffs believe this will reduce the number of immigrants counted on the census.

The House of Representatives has supported the plaintiffs and filed an Amicus Brief in a demonstration of this support. The House explains an inaccurate account will have a direct effect on the allocation of federal dollars to the states, as well as, House representation for states.

U.S. District Judge Voids Manafort’s Cooperation Deal With Mueller

In an interview with CBS News, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, Richard Burr said his group of 2016 campaign investigators know something was going on between the Trump campaign and the Russians. But there’s no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Burr also said the investigation isn’t over.

Four members of Trump’s inner circle lied about their interactions with the Russians. Michael Cohen, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort thought lying about their involvement with Russian operatives was a fool-proof plan. They didn’t realize Special Counsel Robert Mueller is one of the best legal bloodhounds in the business. Mueller’s legal track record is impressive. And his current investigation proves Mueller won’t stop until he finds the truth. But the truth in Mueller’s Russian investigation isn’t that easy to find.

The Mueller team knows Russian interference is a small part of the Putin’s plan to get even with the United States for imposing sanctions and for putting him the same sleazy category as North Korea’s Kim Jon Un. Putin claims he plays by Russian rules when he threatens political challengers, and when people who disagree with him disappear. Fixing elections is standard procedure for Russian politicians, so in Putin’s mind, he’s following Russian political protocol.

The Putin interference plan seemed to merge with a plan Paul Manafort concocted during the 2016 campaign. Manafort is well-known in Washington thanks to his lobbying efforts on behalf of Ukraine. Manafort and Cohen both have a close relationship with a Ukraine group that supports Russia. Mr. Cohen used his Ukraine and Russian ties to help Trump build the largest building in Europe. And Cohen convinced his Ukraine friends that Trump wanted to build that building in Moscow. Cohen worked on the Trump Tower Moscow for several years. He stopped after the election, according to the Washington Post.

But Paul Manafort had another plan that could help Ukraine and Russia get what they wanted from the United States. Manafort wanted the U.S. to drop the sanctions against Russia and he allegedly talked to his Russian pal Konstantin Kilimnik about Trump lifting those sanctions, as well as brokering a pro-Russian peace deal for Ukraine when he won the election. Kilimnik went to school to be a Russian intelligence officer. He maintained his connection with Russian intelligence during the 2016 election. Manafort lied to Mueller about his interaction with Kilimnik in 2016 to cover up Trump’s alleged involvement in that scheme.

The Russian infiltration in American politics isn’t new news. But the scope and the depth of that infiltration is new news, according to the New York Times.

Biden May Take A Swing At Trump In 2020 But The Liberals Think Joe Should Call It Quits

There is an underlying disease in both of our political parties. Democrats don’t like other Democrats who like to jive with the beat of the people. And Republicans don’t like other Republicans who think building a wall is probably the dumbest political strategy in history.

Some of the old school Democrats and Republicans did their best to throw their desires in front of the desires of the voters. The people were a distraction, and those sneaky old lawmakers conquered that challenge by establishing the Electoral College. There’s been a lot of talk about throwing that vote-cheating scheme out with the Trump gang.

The gang of elected misfits devised an aggressive “all for them scheme” through the years. Lawmakers liked to feather their own nest on the down-low. The Trump gang has a bad case of personal feather grooming. But Congress thinks they have the cure.

Voters don’t want the old capitalistic captains of Congress to plan and implement the techno advancements of a new generation. The old faithful government officials like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are dinosaurs in the political age of Trump, according to a couple of Trump tweets. This new group of super-civil workers will introduce an age where’s there’s more than a two-party system. They say Washington is a four-party system right now. There are liberal Democrats who lean toward a democratic socialist approach to the future, and they are middle of the road Democrats who want to shake things up a little, but they don’t have the genes to make that happen.

The Republicans have two groups The first group would love to spend two more years listening to Trump embarrass himself. And there’s another Republican Party that wants to send Trump to the nearest psychiatric ward.

There’s constant fighting within each party. They can’t agree so they come up with lists of frivolous ideas, and they throw them into a bill so all four parties can claim a victory of some kind.

According to Trump-loving Republicans, Trump will win in 2020. The Democrats have to pick a side, according to a recent NBC News article. Do they choose a Democrat who wants to implement a socialistic approach? Or, do they choose a Democrat who maintains the status quo and calls it change?

Group Legally Disputes Label From Southern Poverty Law Center

A recent article on the National Public Radio website details the lawsuit by the right-wing, male-only group Proud Boys against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after the latter organization labelled the former a hate group. Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes says that he is not running a hate group, and, therefore, the SPLC designation defames him.

McInnes says that Proud Boys is a harmless fraternal group, and that, while they may not be politically correct, they are far from a hate group. SPLC, by contrast, say that the group in general and McInnes in particular have a documented history of making racist, homophobic and xenophobic remarks.

Issues of reputation

McInnes says that the classification of Proud Boys as a hate group by SPLC forced him to leave the group he created because its and his own reputation had been destroyed. He noted that PayPal, Twitter and other online entities dropped Proud Boys after the classification, and he says that isn’t fair. His lawyers go on to question the amount of power SPLC center has in shaping public perception of fringe groups with strong views.

SPLC Response

SPLC have responded to the effect that they do not feel that McInnes has a legal case against them. For starters, they say his group is, in fact a hate group, and that they are merely voicing their own opinions as protected by the First Amendment. They also say that having earned the enmity of a person such as McInnes, who they characterize as bigoted, proves that they are doing their job.

SPLC was formed in 1971, and their mission is to advocate for the civil rights movement. Their hate group list is meant to put down in one place organizations they feel discriminate against others based on race, religion, sexual identity, gender orientation or ethnicity.

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Family Alleged To Have Built Huge Fortune Off OxyContin

In a recent lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General, the Sackler family is alleged to have built a huge fortune off of the production of OxyContin. This opiate drug is known to be highly addictive within a short amount of using the prescription painkiller. OxyContin addiction has often lead to people buying similar drugs off the street, some of which have been contaminated by the animal tranquilizer fentanyl, which is deadly in minute doses. Overdoses and deaths related to Oxycontin and fentanyl have skyrocketed over the past six years.

In the Massachusetts lawsuit, Attorney General Maura Healey found that in 2013, Purdue Pharma paid the Sackler family $400 million from its profits of selling OxyContin. Those profits were from the first three quarters of the calendar year. During the fourth quarter, profits from OxyContin decreased. At this time, the Sackler family is alleged to have pushed Purdue Pharma to increase the pressure of its sales representatives on doctors and hospitals to prescribe more of the addictive drug.

Purdue Pharma followed up on this by hiring a consulting firm. The consultants targeted doctors who wrote the highest numbers of prescriptions for OxyContin. Many of those physicians were located in the state of Massachusetts. After getting more visits from the pharmaceutical sales representatives, one doctor wrote 167 more OxyContin prescriptions.

Between 2008 and 2016, the Sackler family was paid more than $4 billion by Purdue Pharma. The lawsuit charges that the Sackler family has profited from the injury, addiction and death of people who were prescribed OxyContin by their doctors. Eight members of the Sackler family who have served on the board of Purdue Pharma as well as other members of the company’s board have been specifically named in the lawsuit. A judge on the case demanded that Purdue Pharma release its sales records. Purdue Pharma requested that its release be allowed to include redactions. The judge declined that appeal, forcing Purdue Pharma to release its records in full.

The lawsuit is ongoing in the Suffolk County Superior Court, which is located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is just one lawsuit of several hundred filed against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family by state attorneys general from across the United States. The states are attempting to recover some of the funds they have spent on emergency care, police response and addiction treatment for people who have taken or been harmed by OxyContin.