Pennsylvania Doctors Approved For Medical Marijuana

It has been approximately 12 months since the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill was signed by Governor Tom Wolf. Since that time, hundreds of regions in Pennsylvania have been planning for this bill to take full effect. Many abandoned buildings were purchased, and these buildings are going to become dispensaries for medical marijuana. Additionally, there have been several different job fairs as the Medical Marijuana Bill becomes real.

The bill, allowing Pennsylvania residents with certain conditions to partake in medical marijuana, just became more serious. Over 100 doctors were recently permitted to give out prescriptions for medical marijuana. This comes out to one to two doctors in each county with permission to write a prescription. The good news is that people needing medical marijuana do not have to see one of these doctors on a family basis. All they have to do is get a letter from their current doctor and take that letter to a doctor authorized to give a prescription for medical marijuana.

Before a patient gets a prescription for medical marijuana, they have to apply for a medical marijuana card. The state has a special website for people to visit. There is a small application fee involved in the process. Once the application is submitted, the state will ask for medical proof that the applicant suffers from one of the sicknesses listed in the Medical Marijuana Bill. Once all this is done, the medical marijuana card will be mailed out in less than 7 business days.

The marijuana card will be similar to a state identification card, and it will even be able to be used as a state-issued identification card. A person’s picture will be on this card, and he/she will have to sign the back of the card, similar to a credit card.

The entire Medical Marijuana Bill is expected to be fully active by February 2018. Once this happens, medical marijuana will be offered in pill, drink, and vape form. Pennsylvania residents are so happy this bill was passed, especially since Pennsylvania has the most cancer patients and patients suffering from severe depression.

Over the next several months, the Pennsylvania medical marijuana committee is expected to meet with several medical marijuana specialists and law specialists. The state of Pennsylvania wants to make it possible for medical marijuana patients to obtain a prescription from their local family doctor. However, there are many politicians and even doctors fighting this.

Source: https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/medical-marijuana-doctors/PA

The Civil Rights Act does not protect transgender People

The justice department received an order from the Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing it to take a position that the transgender people are not protected by any civil right against discrimination regarding their gender, in case a lawsuit is brought to them. This is indeed the most recent move for the President Donald Trump’s administration to contradict the civil right enforcement that were put in place by the Obama administration. In the year 2014, the then attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. told the Justice Department to look at sex as gender identity that includes protection to the transgender people. The directive was however halted by Mr. Session in a memo that was only two pages, stating that the word sex means biologically male or female. Mr. Sessions went on to say that the Department of Justice will take up this position in all the matters that it will be presented with be they pending or future. The only exception will be in cases that are dictated otherwise by the lower-court.

The change in policy comes in as the Justice Department is faced with a discriminatory employment suit in Oklahoma. A transgender plaintiff filed the case. A previous ruling by a judge who had been appointed by President George W. Bush stated that the Civil Rights Act provided cover to gender identity, therefore agreeing with the interpretation of the department during President Barack Obama’s incumbency. The federal appeals courts have had different views regarding the ban of sexual discrimination to gender identity by the Civil Rights Act.

The instructions of Attorney General Jeff Sessions means that at no particular time will the justice Department side with the transgender plaintiffs in lawsuits about discrimination at the workplace, imploring the Civil Right Act. The department is expected to either remain on the sideline or tell courts that the law ought not to be interpreted as banning discrimination on accounts of gender. The position taken by the Attorney General does reverse not only the point of view of the Obama’s incumbency but also puts the Justice Department between a rock and a hard place with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. About three months prior Mr. Sessions move, the Justice Department had taken the position that the Civil Rights Act’s ban does not provide for sexual orientation. The Supreme Court is yet to resolve the burning question on what sex denotes, be it gender identity or sexual orientation

Johnny Depp Sues His Attorneys For Malpractice

Early this year, Johnny Depp, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, made headlines when he took his former management company to court. Depp held that the employees of this company were mismanaging his finances and failing to provide most of the basic services. This week, Depp went to court again suing his former legal counsel for engaging in self dealing and pursuing interests that would only benefit them. Depp wants at least 30 million in damages from Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman. This recent lawsuit comes to show that Depp has been dealing with professionals who are slowly bleeding him dry.

Misleading Advice Cost Mr Depp Millions

Like many movie stars who rely on the advice of professionals, Depp claims that he depended on his attorneys to deal with his legal affairs ethically and competently. However, instead of protecting the interests of their client, the lawyers violated the basic tenets of attorney-client privilege and engaged in misconduct all to the financial detriment of Mr. Depp.

The lawsuit refers to a loan that is cutting into the actor’s income from six films and providing his lawyer and business manager with millions of dollars in contingency fees. The loan was secured even before Mr. Depp started making money.

According to Depp, TMG and Bloom’s law firm are to blame for the mismanagement of his fortune. The U.S. Department of Justice, SEC, and IRS are looking into possible money laundering, mismanagement, and fraud at TMG.

TMG’s Response to The Law Suit

According to TMZ, Depp disregarded warnings about his lavish $2 million per month lifestyle and his over the top purchases which include several islands in the Bahamas, a 150 foot luxury yacht, 70 collectible guitars, and art works by Gustav Klimt and Andy Warhol. TMG claims that Depp is partly liable for his financial woes.

 

The UN Calls On China To Release Human Rights Activists

The United Nations has asked China to set free three human rights activists. The UN further demands that the individuals be paid compensation for wrongful imprisonment among other damages. According to the report which was released to the guardian, the rights of the three activists were violated.

Hu Shigen, a Christian church leader, and lawyers Xie Yang and Zhou Shifeng were incarcerated and tried in a nationwide crackdown on human rights activists and attorneys that started in July 2015. The covert operation saw the detention and questioning of 250 people.

The Findings of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

According to the UN report, China has six months to release the activists and compensate them. The UN rejected claims by the Chinese government that the three men had voluntarily confessed their crimes and affirmed that their detentions were not subject to the international standards of the right to fair trials.

The group that reviewed the case, the UN working group on arbitrary detention, is a panel consisting of five experts who fall under UN’s human rights council. China joined the council after running for the seat on August 2016. During this time, it pledged to cooperate with the working group on arbitrary detention and to make unremitting efforts in favor of individual human rights.

The findings of the group was that the trio were denied a host of rights including denying them access to legal counsel, failing to notify their families about their whereabouts, and holding them incommunicado detention.

The Release of Xie

Xie was released on bail in May but his wife confessed that he never lived like a free man. Security agents were stationed blocks from his hall and 12 guards stood guard outside his building. Police would follow him when he was on the move and despite undergoing this surveillance; Xie was required to prepare reports on what he had done and who he had talked to every four hours.

Response of the Chinese Government

The Chinese government has defended its move to incarcerate the trio stating that they were involved in criminal activities. Critics say that Hu was taken into custody for spear heading an underground church that was working against the government. Hu had been previously incarcerated during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

Zhou, a well known human rights lawyer, is the founder of the Fengrui law firm that came to the limelight for the 2015 government “war on law”.

The UN previously demanded the release of Liu Xia, the wife of Lui Xiaobo, Nobel peace prize laureate, who died while in detention. Liu Xia has been subjected to house arrest for almost 7 years.

Michigan Custody Cases Raise Eyebrows

Two Michigan custody cases are creating headlines. In one case, a judge jailed a mother who refused to vaccinate her son despite a court order. In the other, a judge awarded joint custody to a father who raped the child’s mother.

Vaccines and the family court

A Detroit mother served 7 days in jail for refusing to follow a court order that required her to vaccinate her son. The mother says that she doesn’t believe in vaccines. She says that the child’s father didn’t believe in vaccines either until they began fighting in family court.

In addition to the week in jail, the mother lost primary custody of the child. The parents now share custody of the 9-year-old boy. Michigan allows parents to refuse to vaccinate their children. However, the question becomes more complicated when parents in a custody case disagree. In that event, it’s up to the court to decide the best interests of the child. The American Medical Association strongly recommends vaccination for almost all children.

The mother said that she was only protecting her children. The father says the same. The court allowed the father to keep the child while the mother was in jail and until he could arrange for vaccinations. Activists stood outside the Oakland County courthouse to show their support for the mother.

Custody and child support

Meanwhile, in Sanilac County, Michigan, a judge awarded joint custody of a child to a father convicted of criminal sexual conduct against the child’s mother. The judge later reopened the case and said that he didn’t know about the father’s criminal past. Michigan law allows the court to deny a parent access to a child in cases of rape.

The local prosecutor’s office initiated the paternity case on behalf of the mother. Because the mother receives public assistance, Michigan law requires the prosecutor to try and establish paternity and a child support order on behalf of the mother. Usually that means proving paternity and determining the best interests of the child. The father has the option to ask the court for joint custody. The court may consider it.

In the Sanilac County case, the court awarded joint custody. The father had two criminal sexual conduct convictions including one involving the child’s mother. A representative from the Michigan Supreme Court even weighed in to defend the judge. He said that the judge didn’t have complete information when he made the decision. He also said that the father agreed to pay support.

Self-Driving Cars Expected To Hit The Roads By Mid-2018

It has now been confirmed that self-driving cars will be able to move along California highways mid next year thanks to revised rules affecting the deployment of these vehicles. The new regulations are a result of a compromise with motor vehicle and technology companies.

The Previous Versus The Current Rules on Self-Driving Cars

The California rules may still contradict federal legislation that bars states from authorizing autonomous vehicles. However, they are a break-through for manufacturers of motor-vehicles who want to launch vehicles that operate without human controls in California. Over 40 companies in California are running tests on self-driving vehicles with human controls. Many of these vehicle manufacturers have research centers.

Previous rules required firms to present safety assessment reports to state regulators and to seek fresh authorization for new vehicles. They also required driverless cars to have a backup human driver.

According to the Association of Global Automakers, a trade union representing mostly European and Asian automakers, California had not gone far enough in its new rules. The trade group stated that a special permit was still a requirement for deploying, an issue that raised concerns on whether autonomous vehicles would be able to go beyond state lines.

Companies are still required to have a California permit to test or release their vehicles on state roads. Furthermore, automakers and technology firms would still be required to provide information regarding autonomous sensors that are triggered 30 seconds before a crash. Vehicles must also follow all the state laws, except when the safety of road users and a vehicle’s occupants is at stake.

Opponents of the New Rules

Consumer Watchdog was against the revisions arguing that California’s earlier regulations were much stricter. The group further noted that local communities would not be able to block testing under the new rules.

Implications of the Senate Bill

Last week, a bill was approved by Senate with the aim of fast tracking the deployment of self-driving vehicles without human controls in the U.S.. The bill also bars states against imposing regulatory road barriers for these automated vehicles.

The Bill allows automakers to be exempted from safety rules involving human controls if they adhere to certain standards. States were permitted to set rules on licensing, registration, insurance, liability, and safety inspections. However, the performance standards were regulated by federal laws. According to Mary Barra, General Motors’ Chief Executive, the federal legislation will allow automakers to deploy these vehicles on the road. Barra; however, did not say when the company would be seeking approval for exemption.

EEOC Sues Estee Lauder Over Parental Leave Policy

In August of this year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued the company, Estee Lauder, regarding its parental leave policy. The lawsuit was initiated in a Pennsylvania federal court. The basis of the suit alleges that the company’s current leave policy constitutes gender discrimination by distinguishing between fathers and mothers. The policy creates primary and secondary caregiver categories that allocate different time limits on leave. EEOC is arguing that the practices behind the seemingly gender-neutral categories actually result in additional leave time for mothers.

More on EEOC’s Case

EEOC points out that Estee Lauder’s parental leave policy benefits mothers more than fathers even at the secondary caregiver level. It is said that biological mothers qualify for a separate maternity leave policy that offers additional time off and a flexible work schedule following the leave. It is also alleged that fathers were explicitly told that they did not qualify for the additional maternity leave benefits. According to EEOC, fathers are currently limited to two weeks of paid leave, while mothers receive up to six weeks and a subsequent flexible schedule.

EEOC claims that these practices are in violation of federal laws regulating gender bias at places of employment. Federal law requires that both genders be paid or compensated at an equal rate.

Estee’s Lauder’s current leave policy was created in 2013. This case stems from a 2015 complaint from a stock room employee who requested six weeks leave and was offered two. Up until now, the company has not issued an official statement on the matter.

The Future of the Case

Some legal experts expect the case to fall in Estee Lauder’s favor. Many employers use the primary/secondary distinctions in their leave policies. If there is proof that the policy is being enforced on a consistent basis it will be difficult for EEOC to prove that a bias exists. Since litigation is a lengthy matter it wlil be a while until the court renders its own decision on the case.

Read More: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/633246/Discrimination+Disability+Sexual+Harassment/What+Does+the+EEOCs+Lawsuit+Against+Estee+Lauder+Mean+for+Parental+Leave+Policies

Attorney Faces New Discipline Charges in Second State

In 2005, attorney Sean M. Liles gave up his Nevada bar license. In exchange, Liles avoid discipline proceedings from the State Bar of Nevada. Officials alleged that Liles took part in a scheme to commit insurance fraud by submitting false claims relating to construction lawsuits.

Now, Liles is facing fresh ethics charges. These charges come from the State Bar of Michigan. Officials allege that Liles misused his client trust fund account. They say that he used his client trust fund account to pay his personal home mortgage. Allegedly, Liles transferred funds from his personal account to his IOLTA client trust fund account and then used the funds to pay the mortgage on his home. In Michigan, attorneys must hold client funds in a separate IOLTA account that’s completely separate from their personal accounts. The attorney may remove the money only when it’s earned in attorney fees, spent on court costs or returned to the client.

When Liles submitted his resignation to the State Bar of Nevada, he was already in West Bloomfield, Michigan. From there, he set up a practice in Traverse City, Michigan where he focuses on family law, criminal and bankruptcy matters. The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission filed the formal complaint against Liles on July 11, 2017. Officials say they first learned of the discrepancies when the bank tipped them off to the unusual transfers.

In his reply to the State Bar of Michigan’s inquiry, Liles claimed that the mortgage payments from the IOLTA account were a mistake. He said, “I did not realize I had accidentally input the Chase IOLTA Account instead of my personal account,” and “I have since corrected the problem.” Liles also tried to excuse the error by saying that “I was/am an idiot with mobile ap[p]s.)” Liles didn’t offer a motive for his behavior.

The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission isn’t buying it. They say it’s implausible that Liles transferred funds accidentally for several months. Officials say that his conduct involves dishonesty and deceit, and that lawyers have to keep client funds completely separate from personal money. They also say that Liles misrepresented the facts when they asked him to explain his behavior.

There’s no word on what discipline the State Bar of Michigan hopes to pursue in Liles’ case. While the grievance asks for discipline that’s “warranted,” this could range from an informal reprimand to a complete disbarment. Officials may reach a consent agreement with Liles, or they may take the case to a hearing where a commission determines a penalty.

Source: http://www.agcmi.org/formal_disciplinary_proceedings/docs/Grievance%20Administrator%20v%20Sean%20Liles,%20P55377.pdf

Psychic Arrested As She Tries to Flee the Country

One psychic sees a jail cell in her future after the police arrested her on her way out of the country. Police arrested the woman at Miami International Airport. She has open grand theft charges in the State of Maryland.

A private investigator tracked psychic Gina Marie Marks to the Miami International Airport. She was only moments away from boarding a plane to Barcelona. The psychic is 44 years old. Police say that she also goes by Regina Melbourne and Natalie Miller. The private investigator works on behalf of the victim.

Law enforcement officials plan to extradite Marks to Maryland. She says that she doesn’t agree to head back to Maryland to face the charges. That means Florida officials have to win the extradition proceedings before they can try to prove the charges against her. At her bond hearing, Marks told judge Mindy Glazer that she wants to fight the return to Florida, even if that means waiting in a jail cell. State attorneys say that she’s a flight risk.

Because she’s fighting the extradition, the State of Florida can hold marks for up to 90 days. They must follow a procedure to get a governor’s warrant. That order allows them to move her back to Maryland. Judge Glazer says she’s fine with letting Marks sit in a jail cell.

State officials say that it’s not the first time that the law has caught up with the scheming psychic. They say that she has run her scams across the country, and that only she can predict where she’s going to find her next victim. In 2009, Marks landed herself a felony rap after pleading guilty to grand theft. In that case, she cheated five victims out of approximately $65,000.

That conviction wasn’t enough to deter Marks’ efforts. In 2012, she received a conviction for scheming three more victims. She took them for more than half a million dollars. She spent more than a year in prison, and the court ordered her to pay restitution.

In the most recent case, Marks has three victims. She stole more than $82,000 from them by running a scheme that related to fortune telling. She faces charges of grand theft in the State of Maryland. Officials say these are felony charges that could bring a long stint in prison if a jury convicts her of the charges against her.

A private investigator followed Marks’ trail all across the United States. At the airport, he alerted officials to her outstanding warrant. They pulled her aside and prevented her from skipping town. For now, a Florida jail cell is in Marks’ future.

 

 

Irma Victims Could Be Arrested At Shelters If They Have Outstanding Warrants

Floridians who are in Hurricane Irma’s path could face a double disaster if they have outstanding warrants. Evacuations are being ordered in many places across the state as residents brace for what could be one of history’s strongest hurricanes. Part of the evacuation plan is setting up shelters, which are monitored by local law enforcement agencies. One sheriff used Twitter to warn residents that they would be arrested if they showed up at a shelter with an outstanding warrant.

Why Arrests Will Take Place

According to a recent story from the ABA Journal about the topic, a sheriff defended the controversial tweets by saying that law enforcement officials have a duty to act on warrants. When people enter shelters, they are asked to present photo identification. A driver’s license or a state identification card will be required. Law enforcement officials can search the identification card’s number and instantly see if there are outstanding warrants.

What Will Happen To People Who Need Shelter

Law enforcement officials assured residents that they would still be sheltered if they were in harm’s way. However, they will be transported to a local jail for shelter until they can see a judge. Since failure to appear for tickets or other minor infractions can lead to a warrant, law enforcement officials encouraged Floridians to be sure that they do not have any outstanding infractions that have not been addressed. People who are avoiding criminal charges will likely face longer jail stays.

When the department that issued the controversial warning tweets was contacted, one sheriff said that their main concern was with violent or sexual offenders. He elaborated with an example saying that allowing a child predator who has a warrant for an offense to stay at a shelter where small children are also housed would be irresponsible and would put other law-abiding residents at risk. Officers who check identification cards will only see if a person has a warrant. They will not know the nature of the warrant or if it is for a felony or a misdemeanor. Legal experts in Florida said that people facing misdemeanor charges should turn themselves in before going to a shelter to be released on bond or on their own recognizance. Obeying evacuation orders is a must for everyone. Failing to obey them because of a warrant or for any reason can result in jail time.

Legal News: The Texas Bar Offers Pro Bono Assistance to Low Income Disaster Victims

The State Bar of Texas issued a notice on its website on August 31st indicating its legal hotline would assist low income people seeking pro bono legal services in the aftermath of devastating flooding which has impacted many parts of Texas. The organization also requested volunteer assistance from attorneys, law students, or paralegals interested in donating their time on behalf of this effort.

Pro Bono Assistance

The hotline will match callers with pro bono service providers in their local area. The free service offers assistance in English, Spanish or Vietnamese. Last week, Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast several times. It caused some fatalities, and produced extensive property damage. The heavy rains which accompanied the storm contributed to flooding in some locations.

In the aftermath of the disaster, officials anticipate many people will contact the legal services hotline requesting answers to a wide array of questions. Areas of concern will likely extend from the disaster relief process and documentation requirements for obtaining assistance, to inquiries concerning storm cleanup and landlord-tenant issues. Consumer protection issues relating to contractor services may also figure prominently as a topic.

Disaster Relief For Impacted Attorneys And Law Firms

The Texas State Bar also has sought to help attorneys and law firms within disaster areas obtain ready access to resources such as shelter, cleanup assistance and access to temporary office space. The widespread flooding disrupted many Texas legal practices. The website has posted a lengthy list of courthouse closures and delays in impacted communities.

The recent flooding did not create hardships in some cities in Texas. However, it caused massive disruptions in others. The storm left extensive flooding in its wake in coastal areas. Some estimates indicate the total loss of between 30,000 and 40,000 homes in Houston alone, for instance. In Beaumont, the storm left 120,000 people without water. The full scope of the crisis in some areas may only become fully apparent in coming weeks and months.

A Long Term Recovery Process

While many Texans residing in flood plain areas do carry federal flood insurance, some experts believe 80% of the state’s population lacks this coverage. Some houses sustained water damage in areas which have not witnessed flooding in the past. Attorneys seeking to follow the response of the legal profession in Texas to the natural disaster can find updated information posted by the Texas State Bar.

 

 

Legal Group Launches Website Designed to Combat Fraud Against the Elderly

A legal service organization based in Boca Raton, Florida has launched a new website, which helps reinforce the firm’s objective of preventing the elderly from becoming victims of financial fraud.

According to a press release published Thursday (August 24th) via PRWeb.com, the Silver Law Group just started a website called elderfinancialfraudattorneys.com. This digital platform was designed to protect seniors from those who use the internet to prey on them with the intent to financially exploit. The site also helps people get help who have been victims of rogue stockbrokers and investment advisors that take advantage of people.

Financial fraud against the elderly is a crime that is becoming increasingly more prevalent as the American population continues to grow older. However, the big problem with the gross financial exploitation of seniors is that it goes unreported in a sizable percentage of all criminal cases.

This creates a major cause for alarm when it comes to the aging public and the loved ones who are responsible for their care. According to the Adult Protective Services (APS), a measly one out of 44 incidents of financial fraud against the elderly are reported to law enforcement agencies and APS on an annual basis.

Additionally, around one out of 20 members of the elderly population can attest to being financially defrauded in some shape, way, form, or fashion in recent history. Scott L. Silver is a Managing Partner of the Silver Law Group. His organization’s new website has obviously been formed at a time when these kinds of protections for seniors are desperately needed.

“Elder financial fraud has grown into a social crisis, with seniors losing roughly $37 billion dollars a year because of it,” Silver said in a statement, according to PRWeb.com.

“Licensed members of the financial services industry are partially responsible, and many victims don’t know that there are legal ways to seek justice and possibly recover lost money. Our firm is changing awareness of the issue and putting pressure on unethical financial advisors and brokers,” he continued.

Elderfinancialfraudattorneys.com has an abundance of helpful information, which can educate families about the different forms of financial fraud that are frequently committed against seniors. The site also keeps the public abreast as it pertains to recent legislative or regulatory changes, which are undertaken by numerous government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Silver is a staunch advocate of the elderly who has appeared on various news outlets to offer expert opinion on this growing issue.

 

 

 

$417M Awarded In Case Linking Johnson to Johnson’s Baby Powder To Cancer

A jury in Los Angeles ordered Johnson to Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson to Johnson baby powder. Eva Echeverria is a 63-year-old medical receptionist from Los Angeles. She is one of the thousands of women who have sued Johnson to Johnson.

There are studies that date back to 1971 that link Johnson to Johnson baby powder. Only a few cases have gone to trial. However, most of the courts have ruled in favor of the plaintiff. In May 2017, a woman in Virginia was awarded $110 million. Another woman was awarded $72 million, but she died before the verdict was reached. Additionally, there was a woman in Sioux Falls, SD who was awarded millions of dollars, but she also died before the verdict was reached.

Eva was too sick to attend court. She made a video detailing how her life had been changed after using Johnson to Johnson baby powder. In the video, she stated that she started using Johnson to Johnson baby powder when she was 11-years-old. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Eva knows that she probably will not live a long. She stated that she is not doing this for herself. She wants to help women who are dealing with a similar situation. Carol Goodrich is the spokeswoman for Johnson to Johnson baby powder. She stated that she is saddened by the fact that people have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. However, Johnson and Johnson plans to file an appeal.

Carol stated that there are studies that prove Johnson to Johnson baby powder is safe. She also stated the studies linking baby powder to ovarian cancer have not yielded consistent results. Talc is one of the ingredients in baby powder. It is similar to asbestos, which is a known carcinogen.

President of the ABA Denounces Events in Charlottesville

The President of the American Bar Association (ABA), Linda Klein, has recently denounced the heinous events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her reasoning is that, although the United States’ Constitution protects free speech and the right to assemble, violence against other peoples is never protected by the United States’ Constitution.

In the official statement made by the entire American Bar Association about the Virginia tragedy that took place over the weekend President Klein makes it clear that it’s mourning but ever vigilant. The ABA is keeping track of the legal details to make sure that the Department of Justice investigates all possible civil rights’ violations that may have taken place in Virginia over the weekend. Ill intent and premeditation might not be as difficult to prove in this case as in others.

The rights of freedom of expression and freedom of speech are enshrined in the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean that rallies can even boil over into overt violence without legal ramifications. In its official statement the ABA blamed an overall political environment that has become “so divisive and driven by differences and hatred” for spurring on the horrible events that took place in Virginia.

The American Bar Association called for all peoples to come together and stoke a communal need protect the rights of all citizens. After all, the right to free speech and freedom of expression are predicated on the notion that we all must share a tolerance for the beliefs of others. The rights of all 320 million Americans are protected under the United States’ Constitution and our communities ought to reflect that mutual respect, according to ABA President Klein.

This clarion call for tolerance might be catching on in the community at large since a new movement under the hashtag banner of “#unitetheright” has taken off, according to a recent Washington Post article. President Klein muses that perhaps Americans have become so fixated on the issues that divide this great nation that Americans have lost sight of the common values that make it great.

Justice, in the end, might yet prevail. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating possible civil rights’ violations and allegations of hate crimes swirling around the rallies that took place in Virginia over the weekend. President Klein and the rest of the ABA hope that these investigations proceed unimpeded by politics and that communities mourn and mend along commonly shared values.

Related: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/will-the-church-reckon-with-charlottesville/536718/

The Justice Department Is Giving Local Police Stations The Ability To Confiscate property

With the new administration, the Justice Department is now reinstating an old program that allowed local law enforcement to confiscate goods of suspected criminals. Law enforcement will also have the right to keep or sell the goods and use the funds for their operations.

At the surface, it may seem acceptable for criminals to have a property that was purchased with dirty money liquidated to help the local community. In reality, it can also be abused to simply steal property as law enforcement only needs suspicion or association to confiscate.

Attorney General Eric Holder from the previous administration had gotten rid of the program allowing confiscation without criminal convictions. This had ultimately led to corrupt officers needing to go through the proper legal channels to confiscate goods and ultimately had thwarted theft. It was still allowed to a certain degree when there were major threats to public safety.

Most state laws have their own rules regarding property seizure and most of them are so strict that it is difficult to do it without conviction. Thanks to the forfeiture sharing program, police can bypass state law and go right for the property. They can keep 80 percent of the proceeds and the federal government keeps their 20 percent cut.

Abuse Of Power?

The ACLU is already panicking about the possibility of this program being abused like it was before under the Bush administration. They claim that forfeiture in the first place is a violation of our rights and it is especially abusive when it is done without prosecution.

For example, Rhonda Cox had her vehicle taken by the police when it was suspected that stolen parts were used to repair it. In this case, the law enforcement used a policy that is supposed to take down drug kingpins and threats to national security but instead used it to make a few thousand dollars in revenue.

Since the new Attorney General Sessions is a supporter of the War on Drugs, it is suspected that the confiscation program will be used two-fold. The Attorney General assures us that there are safeguards to prevent abuse, but it was not the case when used previously.

Besides, the majority of the general public is against seizure of property without a prosecution. It is also hypocritical that Sessions claims to support states rights in most cases but is fine with overriding state seizure laws when it is convenient.