Parnas Let Bill Barr Know He’s Too Involved In The Ukraine Issue To Get Involved In His Case

Alan Dershowitz plans to explain his version of constitutional law to the Senate when the trial starts. Mr. Dershowitz claims the founding fathers said there has to be a crime in order to impeach a president. Twenty years ago, Alan told the press the exact opposite.

The White House announced eight members of Congress will join the president’s defense team. Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Debbie Lesko, Mike Johnson, Elise Stefanik, John Ratcliffe, and Lee Zeldin will be on the Trump team during the trial, but Mitch McConnell isn’t happy about that move. If the Congressmen try to defend the president during the Senate trial that would be a first. Members of the House don’t usually get involved in the Senate’s business.

Chuck Schumer told the press the Democrats still want to call witnesses. Four Republican senators may be on board to vote to hear witness testimony. But all four Republicans want to hear the opening arguments before they vote on that issue.

The International Monetary Fund thinks the trade wars with China and Europe will hurt the global economy in 2020. Global Gross Domestic Product growth slipped in 2019, and if the trade wars continue, GDP growth may only hit 3.0-3.5% this year. The U.S. economy will struggle to reach 2.0% growth in 2020. Last year’s GDP growth number is not public yet, but Wall Street economists say economic growth in 2019 won’t be more than 2.0%.

Huawei’s CEO Ren Zhengfei let the U.S. know Trump’s quest to take his company down won’t work. Mr. Trump continues to threaten countries who want to use Huawei’s 5G technology, but Ren told the press his company can handle the pressure. Huawei’s smartphone business is on fire, and more than 70 countries want to use Huawei 5G technology this year.

According to Lev Parnas, Bill Barr played a role in Ukraine’s debacle. Parnas wants Bill to recuse himself from his case. Mr. Barr continues to take heat from lawyers around the country who believe Mr. Barr acts like Trump’s attorney.

Democrats say Mr. Barr withheld information from the Mueller report to protect Trump. And Barr trashed the inspector general who found the FBI acted within the law when agents realized Trump’s campaign had a lot of contact with Russians during the 2016 election. Mr. Barr believes presidents are above the law. And he thinks Congress doesn’t have the right to check the president if he crosses legal lines.

What to Know About the New Smoking Law

The Food And Drug Administration recently announced that the minimum age required to buy tobacco would be raised from 18 to 21. However, many people have questions about this new law. President Trump signed the bill into law early in December 2019. The law is currently in effect.

No one knows what the penalties will be for someone who is under the age of 21 tries to buy cigarettes. The laws for buying cigarettes for an underage person can vary and will depend on the state that you live in. Many people are worried about how the new law will affect people who want to buy products that will help them quit smoking.

The FDA is expected to provide more answers to these questions within the next six months. FDA Tobacco posted on Twitter saying that they will release the updated regulations within the next 180 days. The regulations will take effect within 90 days of being released.

One of the reasons that the smoking age was raised is because professionals are concerned about the effects of vaping. It is estimated that teen e-cigarette users are 30 percent more likely to vape. President Trump stated that more laws may be coming in order to stop the vaping epidemic.

Proponents of the law also stated that it will help save lives. Ninety percent of current cigarette smokers had their first cigarette before the age of 18. It is estimated that 50,000 lives can be saved by raising the smoking age from 18 to 21.

However, many people think that this new law will not smoke teen smokers from being vaping products. People like the flavor of the products, which is why they choose to use them. The CDC has stated that the increase in vaping has led more teens to use tobacco.

The Most Significant Legal News Stories of 2019 in the U.S.

The American legal landscape has always been dynamic, and the year 2019 was no exception. According to the American Bar Association, the following news stories had a profound impact in 2019, and some of them will likely shape future developments in the legal as we begin a new decade:

An American Version of the General Data Privacy Rule

Member nations of the European Union have been easing into GDPR, and technology firms that focus on compliance have been offering platforms to business entities in the United States that deal with EU associates, vendors, and customers. In 2019, California became the first American jurisdiction to implement a new law and regulatory framework similar to GDPR; legislative analysts believe that this will be an emerging trend to keep an eye on for 2020. Vermont also enacted new laws dealing with consumer data privacy, but it mostly geared towards oversight of third-party information brokers.

No One is Above the Law

Abuse of power was an issue that was not only limited to the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump. When more than a dozen Marine Corps infantrymen were arrested on charges of migrant smuggling and drug trafficking earlier this year, their commanders waited until Friday battalion formation to put on a dramatic show of the suspects being taken away by agents from the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. A judge would later rule that the commanders abused their military rank and respective powers when they orchestrated the mass arrest, which was even filmed and shared on social networks.

More Legal Issues for Facebook

The world’s most popular social network was ordered to pay a $5 billion fine by the Federal Trade Commission with regard to the Cambridge Analytica political scandal, which was also related to the political campaign that elected President Donald Trump. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to provided testimony before Congress on two occasions, and many questions remain about the viable future of the company as it prepares to develop a cryptocurrency project.

The Year of Facial Recognition

Does technology result in mass surveillance, or is it the other way around? American government agencies are beginning to incorporate facial recognition technology for various purposes, but privacy advocates are extremely concerned about the various ways this biometrics process could be used. In San Francisco, pressure from the public and privacy-focused groups prompted city officials to prohibit the use of facial recognition until certain safeguards can be put into place.

Read More: https://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/news/2019/supreme-court-decisions/

On Protections for the Offended Observer

In 2014, the American Humanist Association or AHA filed suit against the use of a cross on public land. The cross in consideration was placed along the National Defense Highway in 1918 as a memorial to those lost in World War 1.

Purpose of the Cross

The use of the cross as a memorial symbol of World War 1 is found across Europe as well as in the United States. The cross placed in contention by the 2014 lawsuit is referred to as The Peace Cross and features the world “Valor” as well as the names of 49 soldiers lost in the war from Price George’s County, Maryland. It’s important to note that, while the cross is named The Peace Cross, the word Peace is not featured anywhere in the text on the cross.

Cross as Familiar Symbol

The familiarity of the cross in the western culture is well-known. That being said, the cross is not limited to Christianity and symbols featuring crossed members, such as the Baha’i Ringstone Symbol, which includes three crossed members over a single upright and is not dissimilar in design to the Papal cross.

Historic Preservation

In the Supreme Court confirmation to allow the cross to remain, it’s important to note that the cross in question is more than 100 years old. If current powers were pushing to erect a cross on public lands, limitations would certainly be placed on the structure to avoid a focus or favoritism shown to one tradition over another.

Separation of Church and State

Tolerance for multiple religions and no religions at all continues to be a struggle in the United States. The rise of the religious right and subsequent rhetoric has led to a culture both of intolerance and of bumper-sticker thinking that makes logical communication on these issues a challenge. It’s important to note that protections for the offended observer are variable and constantly changing, though new construction prohibitions on public lands and in front of public buildings seem to be holding.

Read More: https://www.theepochtimes.com/supreme-court-to-hear-if-catholic-schools-may-discriminate-in-hiring_3182230.html

Rudy’s Free Legal Advice May Haunt The Trumpster During The Impeachment Trial

The president wasted no time claiming victory over the Chinese when negotiators agreed to Trump’s phase one trade terms. The Chinese promised to buy $50 billion worth of farm products even though the highest amount of farm products purchased by China to date is $20 billion.

The Chinese also agreed to stop intellectual property thief and the government will stop manipulating the yuan in order to support the manufacturing sector of the economy. China’s manufacturing sector is in trouble thanks to the tariffs, but internal issues also contribute to China’s eroding Gross Domestic Product growth. Agreeing to Trump’s terms may stop some economic bleeding in China, but it won’t fix the enormous consumer debt that forces the government to inject cash into their weak economy.

Betsy DeVos sat in front of Congress and took a beating for forcing former for-profit college students to pay their student loans. A federal judge ordered the education department to stop collecting loans from Corinthian Colleges, but Betsy ignored the order. The judge fined the education department and ordered DeVos to stop harassing people who still pay for an education they never received.

Mr. Trump wants to turn the Senate impeachment trial into a three-ring Trumpian circus, but his two legal lap dogs, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham think a short trial is the way to go. Both Senators told the press they will not vote to impeach Trump no matter what crimes he committed.

All the Senators will take a juror’s oath, and it appears Mitch and Lindsey plan to violate that oath. If jurors in a regular trial violate the oath they get excused from the legal proceedings. Several legal experts claim Senators who claim they will vote not to impeach Trump before the trial starts should be excused from participating in the trial.

The Supreme Court gave the Trumpster some breathing room when the justices decided to hear all three cases that involved Trump’s financial records. SCOTUS will hear the cases in March and will make a decision by June 2020.

All the free legal work Rudy Giuliani does for the Trumpster is a gift, according to the Office of Government Ethics. But Mr. Trump didn’t report Rudy’s legal work on his annual financial disclosure report. Rudy makes millions giving client legal advice, so there’s a major ethical flaw in the relationship between Giuliani and the Trumpster. But that ethics violation is just one of many violations Trump has on his presidential resume.

Further Reading: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/us/politics/giuliani-trump-financial-disclosure.html?smtyp=cur&smid=fb-nytimes

Judge Rules Facebook Will Not Pay Damages As Part Of Class Action

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled on Thursday that Facebook is not subject to a potential collective lawsuit from 29 million users affected by a 2018 data breach. However, the judge ruled the group can seek better security from the social media giant.

United States District Judge William Alsup determined the cost of credit monitoring or any reduced value in information experienced by Facebook users met the threshold of “cognizable injury” that would be necessary to justify a class action. Judge Alsup explains any damage a user claims in efforts to mitigate the damage of the data breach must be addressed on an individual basis.

Alsup determined that Facebook users would be allowed to file a suit against the platform as a group to demand things like improved security monitoring, better training for employees, and education regarding threats posed by hackers.

Facebook made the argument that the bug resulting in the breach was fixed and there was no need for the measures ordered by the judge. However, Judge Alsup rejected this argument. Alsup wrote in his opinion that the long-term need for oversight was created by the repeated loss of user information to third-parties by Facebook.

A class-action suit could have possibly subjected Facebook to a higher payout than the accumulation of individual suits.

Lawyers for Facebook did not have an immediate response to the decision by Judge Alsup. Facebook was also unwilling to talk about the situation.

Facebook explained in the past that the data breach happened on September 28, 2018. Hackers were able to access the accounts of 50 million Facebook users. This constituted the largest data breach in Facebook history.

Two weeks later, Facebook walked back the scope of the cyberattack and said that 30 million users had their personal information compromised. An additional 29 users had information about them revealed like gender, phone numbers, and email addresses.

This is far from the first time Facebook has faced a lawsuit over privacy issues. One of the larger cases involved Facebook allowing a British consulting firm that goes by the name of Cambridge Analytica to access the personal information of 87 million users.

United States District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled in September that Facebook is liable for damage in the Cambridge Analytica case and characterized the approach Facebook takes to the privacy of their users as “so wrong.”

Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, provided his thoughts regarding the privacy of those who use social media platforms in a March 6 blog post. In the post, Zuckerberg expressed an understanding that the expectation of privacy is a central theme to user interaction with social media platforms.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-lawsuit/facebook-must-face-data-breach-class-action-on-security-but-not-damages-judge-idUSKBN1Y125W

 

University of Florida Files an Impeachment Resolution Against Their President

Michael Murphy, student body president at the University of Florida, might be in trouble. It seems his fellow-students are quite disgruntled that he invited Donald Trump Jr. and his lady friend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, to give a speech at the university.

It was not so much that the students were opposed to the speakers. It was the price tag that was attached for giving their speech – $50,000, which was paid for from required student fees. As a result, a group of senators on the student body initiated impeachment proceedings aimed at Murphy. They believe the student body president grossly abused his power.

One of the student senators, Zachariah Chou, opposed Murphy for the president’s office and lost the election. Some believe this might be a conflict of interest. Murphy is the son of Dan Murphy. The senior Murphy works for the lobbying group, BGR Group. He has already maxed out donations to the 2020 campaign for President Trump. He is also known to be an associate of Trump Jr.

Michael Murphy has placed photos of himself via social media, showing himself at Trump’s inauguration. Another shows him in the White House with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Apparently, some of his fellow-students are questioning if all of this amounts to a conflict of interest.

President Murphy is not taking his impeachment inquiry lightly. He has hired the one-time general counselor for a previous Florida governor, Daniel Nordby, along with Rick Scott, the current senator, to represent him. Senator Scott said the pending impeachment is “shameful.” The Republican Party of Florida publicized a page on its website allowing supporters to add their name in support of the student. Trump Jr. also tweeted about the Murphy impeachment inquiry, “Enough of this nonsense.”

Following the speech by Trump Jr., a former University of Florida alumna, Mariana Castro requested all emails involving Murphy, in regards to the invitation to Trump Jr. to appear on campus. An email thread was returned from Caroline Wren. Wren is a veteran Republican fund-raiser. She also is the financial consultant for the Trump Victory Committee.

So, the beat goes on. Some students see the emails as the smoking gun. They see it as proof that Trump the campaign and Murphy colluded to funnel fees from the students toward a partisan cause.

The impeachment resolution against Murphy has been filed. It proposes that student fees were used by Murphy to advance his own expressed political beliefs as well as for violating the students’ governing laws that forbid student government funds from being used to support a political party.

It is doubtful Murphy will resign his position as president. It is equally doubtful that the students will withdraw the impeachment resolution. So, it apparently will be played out in the student court.

Source: https://www.alligator.org/news/judiciary-committee-fails-resolution-to-impeach-student-body-president/article_a90167b0-0ce5-11ea-b1e2-a7cde983a27b.html

Book Author Sentenced To Prison Term For Her Role In College Admissions Scam

The author of a parenting advice book found out she will spend three weeks behind bars on Wednesday. The sentence handed to 51-year-old Jane Buckingham was for taking part in the college admissions scam that shocked the nation. Prosecutors requested the court sentence Buckingham to six months in prison after proving she paid a test proctor $50,000 to take sit for the ACT exam in place of her son.

Defense attorneys for the author of “The Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood” asked Judge Indira Talwani to sentence their client to probation. Judge Talwani declined the request and explained that other parents who participated in the scandal had also been sentenced to prison. The author was also ordered to pay a fine of $40,000.

Buckingham is one of 52 individuals who were arrested for conspiring with a consultant for college admissions in California to secure spots at top-level schools for their children through bribery and other dishonest methods.

The consultant at the center of the controversy, William Singer entered a plea of guilty to charges of bribing sports coaches and cheating college entrance exams in March. One method Singer used to secure a spot at universities for students was to bribe officials in the athletic department of the schools to provide athletic scholarships that were not earned.

Other high-profile parents arrested in the scandal include actress Felicity Huffman of “Desperate Housewives,” and Lori Laughlin, a star on the sitcom “Full House.” Huffman pleaded guilty and received a 14-day jail sentence for her role in the scandal. Huffman is still fighting the charges against her.

Mark Riddell works as a counselor at a private school in Florida. Riddell issued a guilty plea in response to charges he took the SAT and ACT for clients recruited by Singer. He also confessed to taking the test for students while performing his duties as a test proctor.

Buckingham expressed remorse for her actions and says she understands there is no way to undo the harm she has caused. Buckingham also apologized to the children and families who were negatively affected by her actions. She acknowledged that what happened to them was “wrong and unfair.”

Are the Issued Certificates Counterfeits?

A question on whether Kenyan citizens might be holding on to counterfeit insurance credentials is the primary concern. Kenya’s insurance firms should conduct the process of issuing certificates. Questions as to the legality of these certificates issued by other entities. A bill was projected to make endowment beside Third-Party Risks arising out of motor vehicles usage. The law was in the official Gazette of November 14, 1944, of the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya. The policy of insurance, according to the proposal’s section 5, subsection (a) says that it should be is allotted by an individual sanctioned by the Governor, as an underwriter for the resolves of this Regulation.

About the Certificate of Insurance, in Section 7 of the equivalent proposal, it states that a dogma shall be of no result for the resolves of this law until it’s handed out by the underwriter to the party by whom the policy has effected a license in the approved procedure. The procedure encloses such details of any settings subject to which the strategy is allotted and of any other matters as may be agreed, and different customs and facts may be set concerning unlike cases.

The description of a Certificate of Insurance is repeated in Section 7 of the Insurance Motor Vehicles Third Party Risks Act No.12 of 1945. In the law, an insurance policy must be one which is allotted by a syndicate which is prerequisite in the Insurance Act 1984 (Cap. 487) to do automobile insurance business.

Since a non-recognized body is issuing these legal documents in the Insurance Act, the Association of Kenya Insurer cannot assume the activity. AKI’s logo is on every motor insurance certificates, which raises a question on its authenticity as well. As a self-regulatory body of insurance firms, AKI must be authorized to design, print and issue certificates. Thus it makes the licenses legitimate and binding. However, AKI has been performing roles which they are unpermitted to by the Act.

A company that’s not a member of AKI cannot issue the certificates bearing its name without permission. However, companies that fail to honor the set rules are issued the insurance certificates. If this should continue, AKI should be granted the power to force these companies to pay claims. But, a company should be able to issue permits without AKI’s prying since its membership is voluntary.

Ukraine Mobster Lev Parnas Paid Rudy $500,000 For Legal Advice

China’s top negotiator Liu He punched a hole in Trump’s phase one trade deal after Trump told the press China would start buying huge amounts of farm products immediately. According to the Chinese news agency, the phase one agreement is more like a tariff cease-fire than a new trade deal.

Liu He said Chinese importers will buy more agricultural products, but he wants to have another meeting with Mnuchin and Lighthizer before China agrees to Trump’s terms. Mr. Liu also said Mr. Trump would have to take the December tariffs off the table before the president meets with President Xi in November.

Morgan Stanley told investors not to get excited about Trump’s trade deal. Several important issues are still up in the air. It’s doubtful Trump will be able to force Xi to agree to anything unless Trump drops the tariffs.

The White House tried to limit what Trump’s expert on Russia Fiona Hill could say to Adam Schiff’s inquiry panel. White House attorneys sent Hill’s attorney Lee Wolosky a note that said Hill couldn’t talk about any information that fell under executive privilege. Hill’s attorney told Trump executive privilege doesn’t count when the information is no longer confidential. And attorney Lee Wolosky also told the White House executive privilege doesn’t count when the president commits a crime.

Michael Bloomberg thought Joe Biden would win the nomination before Trump trashed him over his son’s position with a Ukraine gas company. Biden continues to fight Trump’s attacks as well as the attacks by other Republicans. But his funding-raising efforts took a beating after the Trump-Zelensky call. Mr. Biden claims he won’t let Trump bring him down, but some political analysts think Biden’s campaign is on the rocks.

Mr. Bloomberg may enter the race if Biden drops out. Mr. Bloomberg has the money, the connections, and the smarts to go toe-to-toe with Trump.

Lev Parnas hired Rudy Giuliani so he and his partner Igor Fruman could get close to Mr. Trump. Parnas paid Giuliani $500,000 for business and legal advice. But the only advice Rudy gave the men was they needed to introduce him to Ukraine Prosecutor General Lutsenko if they wanted to pull off the gas scheme they had up their mobster sleeves.

Rudy claims the money didn’t come from foreign sources. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan plan to find out where the $500,000 actually came from. And the Feds want to know why Parnas paid Rudy that much money for advice.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7573637/Trump-lawyer-Giuliani-paid-500-000-consult-indicted-associates-firm.html

Amber Guyger’s Trial Spurs Legal and Moral Debate Across the U.S.

It was two shots that were heard around the country — maybe even the whole world. In September of 2018, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger entered the apartment of her neighbor, Botham Jean, and fired bullets into his body. Later on, she would claim that she did so in self-defense, believing that his apartment was her own. Jean died as a result of his injuries. In the weeks, months and year that followed, these events would shine a light on the Dallas police force and even the legal system at large.

First, the community clamored for Amber Guyger to be arrested in the first place. With the police force on her side, Gugyer seemed to initially be capable of avoiding charges after the murder. Eventually, however, the law prevailed and Guyger was arrested for the killing of Botham Jean. Her trial last month was marked by astonishing twists and turns, many of which were dutifully recorded by the news media. First there was the matter of her romantic relationship with her married police partner. In the minutes leading up to the fatal incident, it was reported that Guyger had been calling and sending text messages to Martin Rivera. The prosecution seemed to put forth that this was why Guyger was distracted and parked on the wrong floor — an action that would later prove fateful as she then walked to the wrong apartment. Not noticing the bright red mat in front of the door — or many of the other landmarks that would indicate she was on the wrong floor — Guyger then opened Jean’s door and fired upon him, supposedly believing that he was an intruder.

Over the course of the trial, the events that led up to the shooting would be rehashed and scrutinized in painfully intricate detail. The way that Guyger opened the door was even discussed and explored. Later in the trial, the judge would make a controversial move by allowing the jury to apply Castle Doctrine if they wanted. This law is the one that many compare to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, and its inclusion stirred up social media. The lawmaker who created the law bemoaned the fact that it was being applied to this particular case, saying that it wasn’t the original intent of the law at all. In the end, though, it didn’t seem to matter. Guyger was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

California State Legislature Passes Law That Will Require Trump To Release Recent Tax Returns

As far back as 2011, Donald Trump offered to release his federal individual tax returns to the American public even though tax returns are a private issue and laypeople are never expected to share their tax returns with others, taking exception only to requests from the Internal Revenue Service, law enforcement agencies, or prospective employers.

Although laypeople don’t reveal their tax returns to others, especially to the public at large, presidential candidates in the United States have long released at least one of their recent tax returns to the American public. As a matter of fact, since 1976, every single major political party candidate has released one or more recent tax return to the public except for Gerald Ford, the nomination for president by the Republican Party in the 1976 United States presidential election.

One of the most important reasons why all major political parties’ presidential candidates release their tax returns dates back to the days of President Richard Nixon. The 37th president, who held office from 1969 to 1975, resigned in the beginning of his second term amid the infamous Watergate scandal.

As part of what unfolded as a result of the Watergate scandal, the American public found out that Richard Nixon had, in fact, manipulated his tax returns to keep from paying some $500,000 in federal taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Nixon was able to avoid paying so much money to the IRS by reporting a litany of oh-so-questionable deductions on four consecutive years’ worth of tax deductions.

These deductions came in the form of donating upward of 1,000 boxes’ worth of documents to the United States National Archives. The documents weren’t worth anywhere near a half a million dollars, without question.

Since then, people running for presidential office in the United States have openly pumped out their tax returns to the American public.

A brand-spanking-new law passed by the California State Legislature a few weeks ago went into effect today, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, will force President Trump to submit at least five years’ worth of personal tax returns to the California state government in order to find his way onto the primary presidential ballot in the state of California for the upcoming presidential election. Trump, as well as all other presidential candidates who hope to be on the primary ballot in the state of California for the 2020 presidential election, will have to submit these returns by the end of November.

 

Ex-Trump Advisor Accused Of Violating Gag Order From The Court

Federal prosecutors accused former political advisor to President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, of violating a gag order imposed by the court. Prosecutors say Stone violated the order when he posted comments on social media regarding the investigation conducted by Robert Mueller.

The filing was made by prosecutors in the District of Columbia’s United States District Court and accuses Stone of trying to taint the jury pool before his trial in November. Prosecutors are asking the judge in the case to reconsider the conditions of Stone’s release from detention.

According to lawandcrime.com, in the filing, prosecutors write that Stone posted material that was intended to gain the attention of media sources. They go on to write that the information is irrelevant to the case at hand but is meant to draw an emotional response from potential jurors. The information released by Stone is concerning claims that the Russians did not try to hack servers during the 2016 presidential election.

Lawyers for Roger Stone are also bound by the gag order and have not responded to the recent court filings.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson is likely to be unhappy with the social media posts by Stone and his actions could result in prehearing detention.

Back in February, Stone posted a photo of the judge on his Instagram account. Her face appeared in the photos next to an image of crosshairs. The photo was considered threatening by the judge and triggered the gag order.

Stone apologized at the hearing but the apology was characterized as ‘hollow’ by a visibly angry Judge Jackson. She warned Stone at the time that there would be no second chances if he chose not to abide by the gag order.

Stone was arrested and charged with witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and providing false statements to Congress in connection with Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election process. Thirty-three others were arrested as a result of the investigation.

Stone has pleaded not guilty to all charges levied against him. He has been vocal in the past regarding his disdain for Mueller’s investigation. Stone also expressed disbelief on more than one occasion that any collusion took place between the administration of Donald Trump and the Russian government.

Roger Stone has been critical of what he sees as a failure on the part of mainstream media outlets to cover the poor handling of the investigation by Mueller.

Sandy Hook Father Wins Lawsuit

In 2012, Lenny Pozner suffered an unimaginable tragedy. When a crazed gunman bearing a military-grade weapon burst into his son Noah’s school, the six-year-old lost his life. But what followed over the next few years was shockingly harrowing as well. Instead of receiving sympathy for his loss, Pozner suddenly found that he was the new target of conspiracy theorists. Not only did these fringe radicals claim that Noah had never died at Sandy Hook, but they also put forward the mind-boggling idea that Noah had never even existed in the first place. Instead of being treated like a grieving parent, Lenny Pozner became an easy target for unbalanced people across the world. The harassment reached a fever pitch when one of the conspiracy theorists decided to write a book about Sandy Hook. The book claimed that the grieving families were “crisis actors” and that no murders had ever occurred.

Pozner decided to use the legal system to fight back, filing a defamation lawsuit against the publishers. He won, meaning that the book was removed from shelves. In a stunning turnaround, one of the principals at Moon Rock Books, the group that was responsible for publishing the book, expressed remorse for having published it in the first place. Dave Gahary claimed that he had met in person with Lenny Pozner and believed that Noah had been killed at Sandy Hook.

It’s important to note that this morbid conspiracy theory was fueled by online personality Alex Jones. His show, “Infowars”, consistently hammered the grieving Sandy Hook parents, and supporters of the show appear to have become swept up in the lies Jones repeatedly told on his show. It wasn’t long before many of these families, which were already besieged by grief, were forced into hiding because of Sandy Hook “truthers”. Now that the parents are taking action, Jones is mounting a legal defense of his own. Recently, he claimed that he was under a psychotic spell when he promoted the dangerous Sandy Hook conspiracy on his show.

Read More: https://time.com/5609120/sandy-hook-father-wins-defamation-suit/

Lawyers Propose Nationwide Settlement Framework In Opioid Lawsuits

Attorneys representing the counties and municipalities that are suing manufacturers and distributors of drugs over the roles they played in the opioid epidemic that has devastated the United States spoke publicly recently of a plan to bring the more than 24,000 communities across the country together in search of billions of dollars in settlement money.

A motion was filed in a Cleveland, Ohio federal court and outlined the proposal in detail. Currently, 1,850 lawsuits from local governments are pending with the same court. The allegations detailed in the suits are that drug makers like Purdue Pharma LP are liable for fueling America’s opioid crisis.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are seeking to certify a class that will include all municipalities in the U.S. that have filed suit for the purposes of negotiating a settlement. The members of the class will possess the right to vote on any settlement offer from a company.

Lawyers say their proposal is in line with the desires expressed by United States District Judge Dan Polster. Judge Polster is presently presiding over the case and has expressed his belief that a national settlement should be reached that would address the crisis in a meaningful way.

Joe Rice is a lawyer with the Motley Rice law firm and is one lawyer working for the plaintiffs in the case. Rice says the proposal will allow companies to act in good faith toward the community without fear of more lawsuits being filed.

Rice says the objective is to form a national group of plaintiffs that will have the power to vote and negotiate a shared settlement. Rice was willing to acknowledge that the proposal may be opposed by some defendants who fear great exposure to liability.

University of Georgia Law Professor Elizabeth Chamblee Burch says it is not clear at this time if the court will give class action status to such a large group of municipalities.

Cardinal Health Inc. is a drug distributor and a defendant in the case. Cardinal Health said the proposal is a novel one that is untested. The drug distributor also said the proposal is likely to be challenged legally and years of litigation could result from these challenges.

The Center for Disease Control in the United States reported 47,600 deaths by overdose in 2017.

The lawsuit alleges that drug makers fueled the opioid crisis by overstating the positive benefits of opioid-based drugs and downplaying the risks of addiction.

Read More: https://www.axios.com/opioid-crisis-lawsuit-settlement-purdue-pharma-10843805-f1bc-4ee5-b27a-ce7280bd4453.html