Judge Accused of Misusing Recovery Court Funds

Recovery courts are meant to help addicts address substance abuse issues and stay out of jail. A judge oversees the proceedings with frequent court appearances and substance abuse monitoring. The courts that run recovery court programs often get hefty grants from taxpayers in the hopes of reducing the overall costs to run the justice system.

However, one Nashville judge may have used recovery court funds for his own benefit. Authorities say that the judge may have taken over $6,000 from the drug court fund in order to bribe a woman. The woman made allegations against him. The judge offered to pay the money through a third party in order to ask the woman to change her story.

The judge, Cason Moreland, is facing charges of obstruction of justice with bribery and witness tampering. He appeared in a court hearing in handcuffs. He says that he understands the charges that he’s facing.

Authorities say that he had a sexual relationship with the woman. They say that the judge tried to help her avoid paying fines and costs that she owed to the court. The woman told a Nashville television station all about it.

The judge’s mistress leaked text messages between the two. The texts show that the judge helped the woman avoid a traffic ticket and that the judge also had sex with the woman. The judge talked about setting the woman up with planted drugs in order to throw the media off the case and cast doubt on the woman’s story. He also wanted to pay her money in order to change her story. Police say they even saw the pile of money that he wanted to pay to the woman.

The judge went so far as to get a burner phone in order to cover his tracks. He registered the phone under a fake name. An informant with the FBI gathered the evidence. FBI officials say that it’s a terrible miscarriage of justice that a judge tried to use his powers to set someone up with a criminal offense.

His defense attorney says he’s innocent until proven guilty. However, federal authorities think that he’s a flight risk. The judge says that his service has been good for the community in his work with recovery court.

A board of Tennessee judges previously reprimanded the judge for intervening in a domestic violence case by releasing someone from jail before staying the mandatory 12-hour period required under Tennessee law. The judge also admitted to dismissing tickets for friends of the right people. He also used court employees to perform personal work at his home.

Tinder Wages Suit Against Bumble In Court Of Law

Tinder has penetrated – no pun intended at first, but now that I’ve recognized it, I’ll keep it and say the pun was – the dating market as its most popular mobile app in recent years, itself being one of the most popular apps, overall.

On Friday, March 16, 2018, fellow dating mobile app competitor Bumble found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit waged by Tinder executives for robbing it of trade secrets.

The case has been filed in Texas, claiming that Bumble ripped Tinder’s “left-swipe, right-swipe” mechanism off, with Tinder being the first in the dating industry to use the simple, yet popular, technology.

Bumble has also been claimed by lawyers representing Tinder to be nearly congruent to Tinder’s app, itself the most popular in the world of dating services. The suit seems to have a strong basis in United States courts of law, as Bumble was created in 2014 by people who used to work for Tinder.

What sets Bumble apart from Tinder, and, by extension, the rest of the world of dating services, is that only females are authorized to make first moves within the app, meaning only females can initiate contact between themselves and potential dates.

Whitney Wolfe Herd was the first employee to leave Tinder that went on to fund Tinder. Bumble was founded in 2014, the same year Ms. Herd left the large dating app company, immediately after winning a lawsuit for sexual harassment and discrimination for a whopping $1 million.

Sarah Mick and Christ Gulczynski joined Herd at Bumble prior to its launch in December 2014, with all three claiming themselves to be cofounders of the company. Bumble – effectively Herd and company – executives claim that Bumble is unique because it requires women to make the first move, whereas no other dating app or online service did the same thing at the time, in December 2014, when it was founded.

Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, claims the left-swipe, right-swipe mechanism is now the very first case of Tinder suing over arguably the main thing that makes Tinder, Tinder.

The corporation also owns dating sites like OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Badoo, and Match.com, each of which competes for the top spot in the world of dating services on the world wide web. Dating websites rarely find themselves in such legal fiascos, though the Bumble lawsuit could set precedents for coming cases.


California Considers Lowering Marijuana Taxes

California legalized marijuana with the hopes of prompting an influx of tax dollars. Proponents of the measures to legalize marijuana said that marijuana would be taxed and bring in much-needed dollars to the state for public use. They said legalized pot would get pot out of the black market.

Now, they’re saying that legalized marijuana can’t compete with the black market. They say that they need lower taxes in order to stay in business. Two California lawmakers have introduced a measure to lower the marijuana tax from 15 percent to 11 percent for three years. A Republican and a Democrat are working together to sponsor the bill.

Marijuana growers and sellers say that they’ve had a hard time competing in the market. They say that competitors continue to operate under the radar, and it isn’t fair. Becoming a legalized marijuana seller in California requires licensing. Sellers have to understand and comply with a long list of rules and regulations. They say it’s just too much when it’s too easy just to continue to operate underground.

Lawmakers say that they sympathize with those who are trying to do it right, reports Mercury News. They say that lawful sellers have to pay their taxes and make sure that they don’t sell to minors. There are also product safety requirements to comply with. It’s all so much easier just to continue to sell underground, they say. They say that passing the measure to reduce taxes can help bring sellers out of the shadows in ways that ultimately protect the public. It also gives law enforcement more time to shut down unlawful sellers.

Bill supporters say that the tax measure would lower the bill for consumers. They say that prices for marijuana sales would fall by nine percent for marijuana buyers. Sellers say it’s a start. They say the current regulations raise the prices of marijuana products as much as 60 percent above production prices.

Regulations on the industry include a sell by date on products. They say that the sell by date has limited the amount of inventory that sellers have to work with. They also say that because there are so many regulations in place, it’s often easier to give up than to work through the regulations and comply. They also say that marijuana prices are lower in nearby states like Washington and Oregon.

They say that regulations make it too hard for patients to access the medicine they need. Opponents say that the regulations are no different than they are in any other industry. They say regulations keep the public safe and ensure a level playing field.

The Polish question

There is a concern in the European continent of there being a showdown between Poland and the European court of justice. An Ireland judge of the high court has refused to turn over to the Poland judiciary a polish man, Artful calmer, who was arrested in Ireland last year. The polish citizen was arrested on drug charges. However, Justice Aileen Donnelly has refused to turn him over and instead referred him to the European court of justice. She did this over doubts about the integrity of the Poland judicial system. Apparently, recent changes in the legislature of Poland had been too immense. This made the Ireland high court conclude that Poland’s law had been “systematically damaged “and so undermined the “mutual trust “that was in the European warrant process.

Laurent Pech, a law professor in the Middlesex University, gave her views to the Guardian. According to her, the consequences if the ECJ rules the polish judicial system to contrast with the European standards will be high. She said that when the ECJ ceases to recognize the Polish legal system as by the EU law, the commission will be forced to suspend Poland’s EU funding. The commercial arbitration of companies in Poland will significantly impact the government such that it cannot ignore it.

Last year, the Polish government was given direct control over the body in charge of appointing polish judges. Their minister of justice now has complete rights of appointment and release of court presidents. An estimate of about 40% Supreme Court judges has been forced into retiring early. There have also been accusations that the government and president Andrjez Duda, who is a former justice MEP, are in collusion. The allegations say that they are planning to take over Poland’s constitutional tribunal. This is the highest legal court in Poland.

However, the polish government holds that there is no threat to the law in its reforms. They say that the cynicism by foreign bodies is due to misinformation. Poland’s deputy Justice Minister, Marching Warchol, suggests that the Irish Court does not understand Poland’s reforms. Critics, however, are of the opinion that such arguments won’t do them any good in the EU courts. According to Tomasz Koncewicz, who is a law professor at the University of Gdansk, the focus is no longer on the political arena instead of the courtroom with its principles and logic. For Poland’s sake, it is hoped that European judges will recognize the seriousness of this situation and so will the EU at large.

Shkreli Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison

A U.S. district court judge in New York sentenced Martin Shkreli to 7 years in prison for his role in defrauding investors. The judge also fined Shkreli $75,000. Shkreli made headlines year earlier when, as an executive of a pharmaceutical company, he excessively raised the price of a life-saving drug.

In a Brooklyn federal court, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto announced the sentence. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 15 years, while lawyers representing Shkreli had hoped for a sentence in the range of 12-18 months. As the sentence was announced, Shkreli did not appear to react.

Benjamin Brafman, who is one of Shkreli’s attorneys, said that he thought that the sentence was too harsh, and that Shkreli should have gotten less than a 7-year imprisonment. Though Brafmsn also added that the sentence could have been much worse, and that he believes his client will persevere.

Prior to sentencing, Brafman argued that Shkreli was a broken man who was suffering from anxiety disorder and depression. He further said that the government just wanted to throw the man away. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis countered that Shkreli deserved a 15-year sentence because his actions were not momentary lapses in judgement but instead continual patterns of fraud. She mentioned that Shkreli not only committed fraud in relation to the pharmaceutical company he ran, but also in regards to two separate hedge funds.

Shkreli, who is 34, was born to Albanian immigrants in Brooklyn, New York, and he received the moniker “Pharma Boy’ in 2015 while running Turing Pharmaceuticals. It was then that he bought an anti-parasitical drug called Daraprim, and he infamously raised its price to $750 per pill, which was an increase of 5,000%.

In December of that year, Shkreli was indicted for an unrelated charge of securities fraud. Then, in August of last year, a jury found Shkreli guilty of defrauding investors in two hedge funds he was running: MSMB Healthcare and MSMB Capital. He was also convicted of scheming to raise the stock price of Retrophin, which was another drug company he founded in 2011.

At the sentence hearing, Shkreli emotionally told the court that he brought himself down through his shameful and disgraceful mistakes.

In addition to the $75,000 fine, Shkreli was ordered to forfeit $7.36 million after his conviction.

Pornography Conviction Stands for Teenager

When teenagers first experience the excitement and freedom of their first cell phone, they’re often unprepared for the dangers that can come with the technology. Among other dangers is sexting. Teenagers might not understand that when they’re sending photos to friends, they might be breaking the law.

Washington’s Supreme Court just affirmed that teenagers can face a conviction for child pornography even when they send a nude photo of themselves. It’s no excuse that they’re underage or that they may not appreciate the law. In the case that the Washington Supreme Court reviewed, a 17-year-old boy sent a nude photo to a 20-year old.

State attorneys charged the boy with sending an image of a minor involved in sexually explicit conduct. The jury convicted the boy of the charges. The boy’s defense attorneys say that he has Asperger’s syndrome.

Bringing criminal child pornography charges against minors is not uncommon. The Crimes Against Children Research Center reports that approximately seven percent of child pornography charges today are because of children sexting.

Because of the conviction, the boy must register as a sex offender. He also received 30 days in jail and an order to complete 150 hours of community service. Because of a juvenile adjudication, the boy already had to register as a sex offender.

The boy’s defense team raised constitutional issues regarding the law. They say it violates the Fourteenth Amendment and Washington’s state constitution. The boy’s legal team argued that there are better ways to protect children than giving young people criminal records that drastically alter the course of their lives. They say that the behavior is innocent and common.

However, the judges disagreed. They say that the law applies equally to everyone regardless of their age. They say that the boy sent words along with the photo. They say that the words made it clear that the boy sent the photos with a sexual purpose. The court said that stopping and punishing child pornography is a serious and legitimate government purpose. The judges also say that there’s no general immunity for minors from any category of laws.

The court also rejected free speech arguments. The court said that speech is presumably free. However, they said that there’s no redeeming value in sexting. The court said that the State of Washington is fully within their rights as a government to prohibit teenage sexting. Teenagers convicted of sexting may have a permanent, adult conviction based on the rules of the state where they live.

Reference: http://paduladefense.com/Blog/2018/02/Conviction-of-17-Year-Old-in-Sextin

How The Legal Industry Is Being transformed By Blockchain Technology

The advent of blockchain technology is making its way into mainstream use in the legal industry where major law firms are using it to make their day-to-day operations a lot more efficient and easier. Many people have only heard about blockchain technology in its use in cryptocurrency. However, this technology is being used in many industries other than finance and law happens to be one of them. It is not only being used to store client’s issues, it has the potential to become a fundamental way of how the legal practice of the 21st century operates.

The most premium resource that the topmost employment and labor professionals in the country rely on is Daily Labor Report® which give an analytical and authoritative coverage of top employment and labor news. According to Bloomberg, one of the partners in K&L Gates law firm which is based in London and New York, Judith Rinearson notes that you don’t need to be issuing tokens or doing initial offerings for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin so that you can benefit from blockchain technology. Judith is leading her firm in an initiative whose main focus is to eventually have an internal blockchain which could offer utility in handling acquisition and merger transactions, filing deeds and time-keeping.

Blockchain technology allows the user to maintain a digital ledger which is shared by everyone who is connected to that same network. There are a number of blockchain technologies that are currently available in the market with the Ethereum blockchain having a feature known as a smart contract. This feature allows coded programs to act on a certain task upon triggers that have been pre-defined. The blockchain is increasingly becoming useful in the building of infrastructure and tools that assist attorneys draft contracts, do verification of legal documents and record any commercial transactions that may have taken place in the law firm. There are two examples of such infrastructure and tools namely Integra ledger and OpenLaw.

OpenLaw enables attorneys to automate the generation of legal documents and agreements and attack smart contracts that are executable through the blockchain technology. Integral Ledger offers a permission blockchain technology to add more integrity to legal documents. Blockchain technology has the potential to significantly reduce the time taken by lawyers to perform a routine task. It also frees them up to assign more time on other insights in the legal practice. The interest by the law profession in blockchain technology grew exponentially in 2017.

Attorney’s Bill Amounts to Racketeering

When is an attorney’s litigation tactic so outrageous that it’s criminal? One jury said that an attorney made the litigation so costly to the other client that it amounted to civil racketeering. They say the attorney made the custody matter unreasonably long and expensive. They said that it was unfair and even criminal that the attorney took advantage of his position as an attorney in order to make litigation costly. In addition to damages, the jury awarded the victim special damages totaling $243,000.

The attorney, Millard Farmer, represented the victim’s ex-wife in a custody matter. The victim is the opposing party, the ex-spouse and father involved in the case. The jury said that Farmer used his position in order to stir up conflict.

Rather than simply represent his client and work towards a resolution of the case, the attorney tried to keep the litigation going and make it expensive in order to force the other side to give in. Accusers say that Farmer even had a word for it – conflictineering. They say that stirring up conflict was Farmer’s litigation tactic. Farmer said the tactic was fair, and that he was only trying to expose the other side’s immorality.

In addition to trying to keep the litigation going as an offensive strategy, the attorney also allegedly tried to bribe a judge. Court records say he also tried intimidating a court officer. Allegedly, the attorney filed court motions against the court recorder involved in the case. He then promised the court recorder that he’d dismiss the case against her if she got the judge to resign from the case.

Authorities say that he also tried to anger witnesses. He made accusations against them that weren’t founded and threatened to sue them if they didn’t do what he wanted. In at least one case, he made an unfounded complaint against a witnesses’ professional license. He allegedly made false statements against the opposing party and his wife that he knew would likely hurt their professional reputations.

Farmer maintains his innocence. He says that he was just doing his job in order to represent his client. He said the racketeering charge was retaliation because he did his job representing his client. He said he took the case pro bono because it was unfair that the other party had so much money to spend on the case. Officials say they offered to drop the racketeering charge if Farmer agreed to resign his law license, and he refused.

Texas Judge Interferes With the Jury

One Texas judge is under fire after he barged in on the jury and told them to find the defendant not guilty. The judge tried to take over the jury’s deliberation process in order to make sure the jury entered a verdict of acquittal. The judge said that God told him the defendant was not guilty and told him to go tell the jury.

Gloria Romero Perez was on trial in Comal County, Texas. The charges against her related to human trafficking and the sale of a child. Allegedly, the defendant helped a relative come to the United States from Honduras. Once the relative was in the United States, the woman arranged for the child’s sale to a man.

Believing he had been sent by God, judge Jack Robison entered the jury room and told the jury that God said the defendant wasn’t guilty. He went further to instruct the jury to find Perez not guilty based on God’s opinion of the matter. It was too late for Judge Robison and the defendant. By the time the judge barged in on the jury, the jury had already reached their verdict of guilty. Jury foreman Mark House told the judge that they already had their verdict.

The jury wasn’t swayed by the judge’s revelation. They upheld their conviction. However, the judge said that he didn’t have a choice but to speak to the jury. He said God told him to speak with the jury, and he had to do what God told him to do.

Before the unusual interaction with the jury, the attorney for the defendant asked the court for a directed verdict. That means they asked the court to dismiss the charges without sending the case to the jury for deliberation. The judge refused.

If the judge had granted the motion, the case would have ended and the judge would have entered a not guilty verdict as a matter of law. However, because the judge refused to grant the motion for a directed verdict, the case went to the jury. Once a case goes to the jury, there’s no way for the judge to lawfully intervene or interfere with the jury’s deliberation process or decision. If the jury can’t reach a verdict, the judge can declare a mistrial. Otherwise, it’s up to the jury alone to decide the defendant’s innocence or guilt.

Judge Robison recused himself from sentencing in the case. The judge who is now overseeing the case refused to grant a mistrial. A state ethics committee is looking into the judge’s actions.

Marijuana Maybe Legal in California, but There Is a Catch for Non-Citizens

The progress that has been made by the state of California in the legalization of pot has not been all a bed of rose. The new commercial structures that had been put in place to supply and grow cannabis have been burnt out in the recent wildfires that raged throughout the state of California from December last year.

However, the most significant milestone was achieved when adult recreation use of pot became legal on January 1, 2018. Some of the few premises and store that had completed the bureaucratic paperwork and earned their licenses to sell marijuana have already begun what is expected to be a multibillion-dollar business in the most affluent state in all of America. For more than 20 years, stores that sell medical marijuana have been operating legally throughout the state, but no one must get new licenses to continue with their operations which many haven’t got yet.

Moreover, there are a significant number of immigrants who reside in the bright lights of the golden state from all over the world including countries such as Australia. There is a legal catch in the new state legislation that saw the legalization of recreational marijuana. Non-citizens who are found to be indulging in recreation marijuana may find themselves on the wrong side of the law. The law will have serious implications if you are a non-citizen who have plans to reside in California long-term. One of the articles that were published by the San Diego Tribune warned that residents who are not American citizens would find themselves in trouble if they were caught indulging in the recreational pot though it was legal in the state.

One of the lurking legal technicalities is that while recreation use of cannabis may be legitimate in California and a host of another state, it is strictly a felony to use marijuana for recreation under federal law. The Trump administration has not made any significant moves to prosecute or interferes with any state that has passed laws regarding cannabis since it came not office early last year. One of the immigration officials said that it does not take the recreational use of marijuana for non-citizens to have a legal implication.

The official added that if a customs official found anyone entering the United States in possession of marijuana could have them banned from entering America for the rest of their lives. For instance, if a green card holder is caught traveling with pot, the certificate for permanent residence could be canceled and have them deported back to their countries.

Supreme Court Case May Pave The Way For Sports Betting

A federal law, known as The Bradley Act, has previously prohibited sports betting throughout the country. Now, New Jersey is seeking to have that law deemed unconstitutional, arguing that the federal mandate infringes on state sovereignty. If New Jersey wins the case, which is set to be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court, it may pave the way for sports betting throughout the country.
What is the Bradley Act?
Named for New Jersey’s own democratic senator Bill Bradley, the Bradley Act established that sports betting would be illegal across the nation. There are four exemptions, however. Sports gambling is still legal in Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. At the time the bill was passed, sports betting was already legalized in those four states, which is why they were exempt from the new federal law. The law also provided for a grace period for the other states, granting one year for any of the remaining 46 states to legalize sports gambling, before the law went into effect.
Senator Bradley recently spoke about his reasoning for introducing the law. He said he viewed sports betting as something that would monetize professional sports and take the competitive edge away from the game. Instead of playing for the love of the sport, players would be playing for greater monetary stakes. Mr. Bradley, a former New York Knicks player himself, aid sports betting cheapens the skill and dedication of high-level athletes.
New Jersey Wants to Allow Sports Gambling
At the time the bill was passed, New Jersey didn’t take advantage of the 12 month window to legalize sports betting. Decades later, however, the state recognizes a missed opportunity. According to the American Gaming Association, illegal sports gambling rakes in over $150 billion annually. Even without considering the revenue to be raised through taxing sports betting, legalizing the activity would generate sizable resources for cash-strapped states.
Chris Christie, current governor of New Jersey, recently expressed his determination to allow sports betting in the state, regardless of the Bradley Act.
“We intend to go forward to allow sports gambling to happen,” said Governor Christie at a 2012 Atlantic City event. “If someone wants to stop us, then they’ll have to take action to try to stop us.”
Previously, New Jersey has appealed the federal ban in two separate filings, but the issue is now going before the highest court in the land. Ted Olson, representing New Jersey’s interests in the hearing, said he plans to argue that the federal government has no authority to tie the state’s hands. Olson adds that two previous Supreme Court cases pave the way in establishing that the federal government cannot use state resources to enforce federal laws.
The Supreme Court is expected to render a decision in the case later this year.

Cooley Law School Disputes Accreditation Dispute

The American Bar Association says that Cooley Law School admits unqualified law students. Cooley Law School officials disagree. They’ve filed a lawsuit to stop the ABA from publishing a statement that the school is out of compliance with education standards. The ABA has filed actions against several underperforming law schools including Florida Coastal School of Law, John Marshall Law School and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

The ABA wanted to publish a statement saying that the law school is out of compliance. Cooley didn’t want the ABA’s opinion becoming public. School officials filed a lawsuit to ask a court for an injunction that prevents the ABA from publishing the letter.

Cooley officials say that it’s unfair to hurt the school’s reputation over what’s essentially an opinion. They say that the ABA hasn’t taken any adverse action against the school. They say that a new crop of law school applicants are about to decide where to attend law school. Prospective students who would otherwise consider Cooley might make a different choice if they see the ABA notice, officials say.

School officials go on to say that the ABA doesn’t have the authority to publish opinion statements. They say the ABA can only accredit law schools and that the ABA doesn’t have the authority to simply state they believe that a school is out of compliance. They say that’s unfair when they have a school to run.

The ABA has a different opinion. They say that Cooley’s bar passage rates are too low compared to other schools. They claim that Cooley admits students that aren’t likely to graduate from law school and pass the bar. The ABA says that prospective law students deserve transparency when they’re deciding whether to go to law school and where to attend.

The average Cooley student has a 2.90 undergraduate GPA. The median LSAT score is a 141 out of a possible 180. By comparison, neighboring Michigan State University’s average LSAT scores range from 151 to 157 for the middle 50th percentiles. Only 61 percent of Cooley graduates pass the bar on the first try.

Even if Cooley ultimately loses it’s accreditation, it may not matter for Cooley graduates. The State Bar of Michigan doesn’t require a person to graduate from an accredited school in order to take the bar exam. Michigan bar officials can decide whether to allow graduates of unaccredited law schools to sit for the bar exam.

Elephants Should Be Legally Recognized As People

The law acknowledges numerous things as people. Humans are people, municipalities, state, and federal offices are regarded as people, corporations are people, and now more recently they are claims that elephants should be legally recognized as people.

Steve Wise, the founder of the “Nonhuman Rights Project” has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three elephants. Wise has made history by filing the first lawsuit that claims elephant’s have a right not to be imprisoned and a right to be treated as a person.

Habeas Elephantidae

Wise does not expect the religious of pachyderms to be acknowledged. In fact, Wise is not seeking to afford elephants the same rights as U.S. citizens. According to Wise, the one thing that he is after is for the right of bodily liberty as provided by habeas corpus. Wise’s efforts are aimed at freeing three elephants, Minnie, Beulah and Karen, held at R.W. Commerford and Sons Traveling Petting Zoo, Connecticut. The elephants have been detained in this home owned facility for decades.

Wise wants the elephants moved to a sanctuary claiming that it should be illegal to detain an autonomous being by force without due process.

The Nonhuman Rights Project’s Similar Lawsuits

The Nonhuman Rights Project has filed a similar lawsuit in the past. In 2014, the group sought to bestow civil rights on a chimp. The 26-year-old chimp going by the name “Tommy” was the subject of the lawsuit as the group attempted to secure custody from his New York owners.

The argument by the Nonhuman Rights Project would not see the light of day since legally, a person was considered to be any one who was able to take on legal duties and be held accountable for their actions. Chimpanzees can neither take on legal duties nor be held responsible for their actions. It was; therefore, deemed inappropriate to afford them legal personhood.

The current case on elephants is likely to result in the same outcome since elephants also have no understanding of the law and cannot be deemed responsible for their actions. If anything, the owners are the ones to be held liable for the actions of the elephants. However, if the court was to grant a writ, it would allow the elephants to challenge the legal grounds of their detention and recognize their personhood. This would result in significant changes in the legal status of animals, which are legally regarded as animals. It will be interesting to see how the court will rule in this case.

Justice Department Goes to Court over Anti-trust Issues

The Justice Department has made it clear that it will not allow Time Warner to be bought by AT&T for $85.4 billion. As a result, the department of justice has filed a lawsuit to block the acquisition. This has proven to be among the first big acquisition to face the current administration. At the same time, this is a move that shows that the justice department is willing to cut the corporate power especially when it comes to the media industry which is fast changing. This means that the decision to oppose the acquisition is quite different compared to the path taken by the past administration. For instance, six years ago, the justice department had its say in a deal that involved NBCUniversal and Comcast. While the deal went through, it had to meet many conditions that had been imposed by the Justice Department. The department is perhaps worried by the creation of a telecommunication as well as a media giant. AT&T has managed to develop through such acquisitions. At the moment, the company provides telephone and internet services, and it’s one of the biggest companies in the US. In the past, it has acquired companies such as DirecTV in its quest for dominance. As a matter of fact, the company became a mammoth in TV distribution when the deal involving DirecTV was concluded.

The Justice Department is worried that the deal would create an unrivaled empire. This is because Time Warner already owns big businesses such as HBO. At the moment, HBO is very popular for producing Games of Thrones. Warner Bros is also a part of Time Warner. Warner Bros is currently producing the hit Wonder Woman. It’s also the entity that has successfully adopted the Harry Potter. Finally, Turner Broadcasting is another part of Time Warner. This is the part that includes the likes of TNT network and CNN. The lead antitrust regulator with the justice department Makan Delrahim told the court that the merger would not be good for customers. The merger would play a huge role in weakening competition according to Mr. Delrahim. As for AT&T, it didn’t hide its frustration and said that it would challenge the decision in court. At the moment, AT&T says that the two are not in the same niche meaning they don’t compete directly. The Justice Department, on the other hand, said in an interview that it was willing to listen to an offer between the two companies.

Judge Throws Out 15 Convictions In A Single Day

Judges do not typically throw out convictions. It is standard practice to follow the lead of the courts and juries that have heard a case in the past. If that court and that jury believed that the defendant was guilty, then a subsequent judge is likely to uphold that ruling. There are rare cases in which there was some obvious misconduct or obstruction of justice in a case in which a judge will take a longer look at it. In those rare cases, a judge may decide to overturn a conviction. Given the uncommon nature of this action, the headline that a judge in Chicago overturned fifteen convictions in a single day is truly shocking.

The judge in question is Judge Leroy Martin and his ruling comes as what defense lawyers are praising as the first “mass exoneration of innocent defendants” says NPR. The decision comes after consideration of the events that unfolded in the case. Basically, the judge was concerned that these fifteen defendants were framed by Chicago Police Sargent Ronald Watts and those officers that work for him.

Some of the now released defendants in this case say that Watts would demand money and/or drugs from them when he first made contact with them. If they did not provide either of these things, he would arrest them on the spot. This behavior was largely confirmed when the Sargent himself got in trouble for trying to purchase drugs from an individual who turned out to be an FBI informant. Given this, the judge stated that he did not have confident in the testimony given by the police and others who worked for Watts in the trial. He simply could not allow the convictions to stand based on what he deemed to be unreliable testimony.

The defendants had all spent different amounts of time in prison based on their convictions. For the most part, all of these fifteen defendants had spent at least a few years behind bars for crimes they may not even have committed. Given the behavior of the former Police Sargent, it is difficult to tell which cases were legitimate prosecutions, and which were based on false testimony. The judge was careful to release only those he believed did not have enough true evidence pressed against them. Now, there are fifteen freed defendants who probably have quite the story to tell. It is a victory for their defense lawyers, and some say for the justice system as a whole.