What is the Future of U.S. Immigrants?

The future of 800,000 young immigrants turned out to be uncertain on Thursday as senior law makers, officials from White House, and President Donald Trump seemed not to agree on whether there was a deal made to protect them.
Speaker Paul Ryan backed with other senior house members reiterated that no deal had been reached to protect immigrants who came to America as little children and were currently living there illegally. However, the No. 2 member of the senate Republican said that there had been a deal to strike a deal.

Trump’s Take On the Issue

Trump said he was in the process of finalizing an agreement that would protect the “Dreamers” and reinforce border security provided his promise of a wall with Mexico was implemented. Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi who were reported to have dined with Trump on Wednesday night stated that there had been a discussion and an agreement on laws that would provide citizenship to these young immigrants.
The DREAM Act, according to Schumer, would allow immigrant who went to the U.S. as immigrants and who were in the U.S. unlawfully to become citizens in a period of five years if they satisfied certain requirements.

However, a source who knew about the meeting denounced claims that the president had consented to the DREAM Act. Instead, they said that the president had agreed to a narrow piece of legislation that was an improvement of Barack Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program.

Is the Dream Act a Path To Citizenship

The bottom line is that the outcome for the young immigrants is still subject to further negotiation and debate. While the DREAM Act seems like a path towards citizenship, Trump has stated that the legislation was more about amnesty. According to Trump, their main concern is to put up a wall.

Despite Trump’s interpretation of the Act, two people who participated in the Wednesday meeting stated that citizenship was brought up when the issue of the Dream Act was mentioned. On the other hand, Mick Mulvaney, Budget Director, confirmed Trump’s statements that the deal did not involve a means to citizenship.

Trump made a promise to end DACA when he came into office but has since then struggled with the dilemma of the thousands of sympathetic young immigrants. Many immigrants have been alarmed by Trump’s announcement last week that DACA would be withdrawn. The program has granted temporary deportation relief and work permits to many immigrants who went to the U.S. as minors. Trump gave Congress 6 months to come up with a solution before the protections offered by DACA expire.

The Controversial Arrest Of Nurse Wubbels

One of the most trending news stories aside from the recent hurricane devastation is the curious case of the University of Utah Hospital nurse named Alex Wubbels. She was arrested after refusing to let a police officer draw blood from a patient. The patient was unconscious, and the nurse refused because she said that drawing blood from the individual would violate the hospital’s policy. A video showing the nurse’s arrest has been circulating social media sites and has since gone viral.

Why Was Alex Wubbels Arrested?

According to the audio dialog in the video, the nurse was arrested for not cooperating with an officer to collect a patient’s blood sample. In the video, viewers can hear Ms. Wubbels calmly explaining the hospital’s three provisions for police to collect blood, which include:

  • When the patient consents
  • When the patient is under arrest
  • When there is a warrant

The nurse was on the phone with the hospital administrator during part of her conversation with the police officer. She was confused about why the officer was trying to force her to violate the hospital’s policy that she was bound to uphold. At one point, he asked her if he would be unable to collect a blood sample, and she told her colleague on the phone that she had no idea why he was “blaming the messenger.”

Why The Arrest Was So Disturbing

When Ms. Wubbels did not directly answer his question, the officer lunged at her in the video and told her that he was done and she was under arrest. In the video, viewers can see the nurse having her arms forced behind her back and her wrists being cuffed. The officer continues to tell her that they are done as she cries and begs for someone to help her. According to an outline of the story on NPR, the nurse’s attorney said that her client was shocked at the officer’s actions.

Ms. Wubbels was an Olympic skier and a celebrated nurse at the hospital. The police officer who arrested her is facing the possibility of an assault conviction. When interviewed, Police Chief Mike Brown said that he was shocked and saddened by the incident since he values good relationships with the nurses who assist police officers with drawing blood. The accused officer is currently on administrative leave.

U.S. Court Makes Landmark Ruling on the Use of Text Messages as Evidence

For many criminals and suspects, cell phones seized from them by law enforcement agents can easily change from blessing to curse especially if they have incriminating text messages and other evidences. However, in a ruling that is bound to change the law enforcement sector a U.S. Court of Appeals sitting in the District of Columbia held that incriminating text messages cannot be used as evidence if they were obtained in a broadly issued search warrant. The ruling particularly questioned the legality of a search warrant issued with the view of taking advantage of the prevalence of cell phones in homes.

Case Background

The 18 August 2017 landmark ruling whose legal ripple effects will be felt in cities all across the country for years to come stemmed from a court case involving a convicted felon who had been found guilty of unlawfully possessing a firearm. Ezra Griffith, a convicted felon, had been found guilty by a jury for unlawfully possessing a firearm in 2013. This was as a result of a police raid at his residence using a search warrant issued by a judge.

The warrant allowed law enforcement officers to search Mr. Griffith’s residence and take into their possession any cell phones and electronic devices found. The firearm in question had been thrown out of the felon’s window. The search warrant was requested by the police officers who were investigating a 2011 murder case. Mr. Griffith was suspected to be the driver of the vehicle that was used by the suspected murderers to get away from the scene.

From Admissible to Inadmissible Evidence

Following his conviction, Mr. Griffith’s attorneys appealed the ruling arguing that the search warrant was defective as it broadly focused on cell phones instead of a gun that could have been used to commit the crime. They therefore called on the judges to suppress the gun that used as the primary evidence in convicting Mr. Griffith.

In a 2 – 1 ruling, the U.S Court of Appeals held that the warrant was open-ended and based on the assumption that all suspects own cell phones just because cell phones are prevalent in homes across the country. In a majority ruling read by Judge Sri Srinivasan who was joined by Judge Nina Pillard, the court declared that the warrant was unconstitutional as it speculated that Mr. Griffith owned a cell phone and that the cell phone contained incriminating evidence. However, Judge Janice Rogers Brown held that the gun should have admitted as evidence as it was obtained as the police followed the law in obtaining it.



Read More: http://pittsburgh-litigation-lawyer.com/the-evolving-law-admissibility-of-texts/

Some of Pennsylvania’s Weirdest Laws, According to Karl Heideck

Most legal topics pertain to highly serious matters, but a few exceptions exist. For instance, people often enjoy reading about the strange laws that legislators have enacted in various states. Pennsylvania has its share of odd rules. They regulate activities ranging from paintball fights to fishing. If you need some entertainment or want to make sure that you don’t break one of these strange laws, you’ve come to the right place.


A couple of weird rules govern weddings performed in the Keystone State. One law prohibits the public from firing cannons, guns or similar weapons during these events. Another statute only applies to ministers. It bars them from helping inebriated people become married. Perhaps this rule could bring into question the legal validity of a drunken partner’s marriage vows.


If they have law-abiding parents, Pennsylvanian children needn’t worry about walking long distances to the bathroom at night. A law states that lavatories must be located within 200 feet of youngsters’ bedrooms. Kids need access to nearby shower stalls or bathtubs as well. Nevertheless, a number of exceptions apply. People with travel trailers or other mobile housing may not need to follow this rule.


If you want to buy hard liquor in Pennsylvania, state law only allows you to purchase it from a government-run store. The Liquor Control Board’s website lets visitors search for the nearest Wine and Spirits shop. Approximately 600 of these stores exist throughout the state. In 2016, an updated law permitted private restaurants and supermarkets to begin selling wine. It also enabled convenience stores to offer beer.


Be careful when you aim your paintball gun in Pennsylvania. A law forbids people from shooting at anyone who isn’t engaged in the sport. The state also maintains a few other rules involving this game. One law seeks to punish any paintball enthusiast who damages someone else’s property. Another rule describes acceptable ways to carry a paintball gun in a car or truck.


If you prefer bullets to paintballs, you’ll need to follow a different set of peculiar laws. For example, the state government doesn’t allow people to hunt animals in graveyards. Another statute only pertains to relatively large beasts. It prohibits hunters from targeting these animals while they swim. If deer could read Pennsylvania’s laws, they’d probably gather in cemeteries near streams.


Anglers also face a few unusual rules. When you run out of bait, think twice before reaching into the aquarium. Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code stipulates that no one may use goldfish, koi, common carp or comets as bait. This rule went into effect in September 2000. Another law lists illegal fishing techniques; don’t let the police find any dynamite in your tackle box!

Local Laws

Several weird rules only exist in certain cities. For instance, Pittsburgh bans trolley passengers from transporting mules or donkeys. It’s not clear how this rule came to be, but the story may have involved some indignant trolley riders and a farmer with livestock. Morrisville, Pa. still has a law requiring women to gain permits before they apply cosmetics.

Some people claim that other strange statutes exist in the Keystone State. However, it’s hard to determine if they truly remain in effect. They include rules against sweeping dust under a rug or sleeping on a refrigerator while outdoors. It’s even possible that Pennsylvania barred anyone who has engaged in a duel from serving as governor.

Keep Reading – The Attorney Behind the Curtain: Karl Heideck

About Karl Heideck

Karl Heideck breaks down some of PA's strangest laws
Karl Heideck breaks down some of PA’s strangest laws

Before he started working as a lawyer, Karl Heideck underwent extensive education. He enrolled in Swarthmore College and successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree. Heideck primarily attended literature and English classes. Six years later, he finished earning a law degree from Temple University. The aspiring attorney received impressive grades while studying at Temple’s Beasley School of Law.

Karl Heideck has worked in and around Philadelphia during the last seven years. After becoming an associate at the Conrad O’Brien law firm in 2010, he served a variety of businesses and individuals. This experience helped him become a proficient litigator. Heideck performed both pre- and post-trial tasks. He eventually left Conrad O’Brien and began working as a project lawyer at Pepper Hamilton LLP.

Heideck has expertise in numerous areas. They include merchandise liability, corporate litigation, research, employment law, risk management and writing. He authored an online guide that explains how small companies can follow the Keystone State’s employment rules. Heideck strives to help business executives understand and comply with intricate government regulations. He also wrote about the best way to become an attorney.

Karl Heideck currently works as a Hire Counsel contract lawyer. He represents Pennsylvanians who face business-related legal action. The skillful attorney persistently works to ensure that each client achieves the best possible outcome. He provides expert consultations on risk management and regulatory compliance as well. Heideck also continues to write blog entries about various law-related news and issues.

More Articles by this Author

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Former Stockbroker’s Huge Fine Reviewed by SEC After Criminal Case Collapses

A man that formerly worked as a stockbroker who had a guilty plea to criminal charges involving insider trading thrown out is also looking to exonerate himself in a civil matter related to his case.

According to Bloomberg, an attorney for Thomas Conradt argued on Tuesday (August 15th) that Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York was supposed to overturn Conradt’s nearly $1 million-dollar civil settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the government’s criminal case collapsed.

Conradt and his legal representative additionally claimed that Judge Rakoff’s fine of nearly one million dollars was “massive and disproportionate.” Rakoff slapped the fine on Conradt after ruling that the former stockbroker did not follow the guidelines of the settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The government’s case against Conradt came apart due to the end result of United States v. Newman. In this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit made it much for difficult to hold “downstream tippees” (such as Conradt) financially liable in these kinds of cases.

In the case of United States v. Newman, the appellate court dismissed criminal convictions of insider trading, which were leveled against two executives who worked in the hedge fund industry. The federal court of appeals determined that whoever received the insider trading information did not personally benefit from it.

If the U.S. government would have been able to prove such an occurrence, the convictions in the United States v. Newman case would have able to stand.

“This is a very important opportunity for the Second Circuit to clarify the ‘knowledge’ standard for tippee liability with respect to matters such as ‘conscious avoidance,’ and to address the differences in standard of proof in civil as opposed to criminal cases,” Donald Langevoort told Bloomberg.

Langevoort is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He has thoroughly studied insider trading and many of the landmark cases surrounding it. John Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School also spoke with Bloomberg about his knowledge of case law involving insider trading as well.

However, Coffee said in his Bloomberg interview that Conradt’s case provided limited guidance as it pertains to United States v. Newman. “This case may largely duck the insider trading issues and go off on procedural issues about the plea agreement,” Coffee told Bloomberg.

Attempts by Bloomberg to interview a spokesperson for the Securities and Exchange commission were unsuccessful.

Sanctuary in the Lone Star State

The issue of the existence of sanctuary cities has been a long-standing issue since the first few days of President Donald Trump’s administration. Since the beginning of the year, cities across the United States have been divided on what actions to take when it comes to sanctuary cities. Some states, like California, have begun the process of passing bills that, according to Jurist “will strengthen protections for undocumented immigrant students in public schools from kindergarten through college by preventing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from entering a school site without a valid judicial warrant.” Others, like Mississippi and Alabama, have enacted policies that prohibit sanctuary immigration policies and stop funding for sanctuary universities. The state of Texas is no different in this regard, and has become one of many states to face this issue.

The Texas senate approved a bill in February that targets sanctuary cities. The bill requires these cities to comply with federal immigration law. In addition, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that bans sanctuary cities in Texas.

Because of these actions, a case was filed against Senate Bill 4, which is the bill that requires law enforcement to “cooperate with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and prohibit local agencies from enforcing policies that bar officers from inquiring as to an individual’s immigration status.” The concern was the state of Texas trying to have Senate Bill 4 declared constitutional before it was scheduled to take effect. The case was promptly dismissed, as the court found that “there was no “justiciable injury” to Texas as there was not yet a challenge to the bill’s constitutionality.” Since there was no injury to be had, the case was rendered as moot and thus dismissed. Time will tell whether this issue will further spread to other states.

Five Key Roles of Legal Aid

Five Key Roles of Legal Aid
Legal aid is the assistance that is given to a person when they need legal help. Legal officers play a great role in the society. Individuals in the legal profession are entrusted to maintain law and order. This is achieved through ensuring that justice is served without fear or favor. Justice ensures that the two parties are satisfied. Legal officers offer different kinds of justice with regards to the cases that they handle. Justice is given in the light of the group that is affected and the issue of justice at hand. The following is a list of different kinds of justice that are offered by legal officers;
• Criminal justice
• Child justice
• Land justice
• Justice for the vulnerable people

The cases that are handled by legal officers involve any issue in the community. The government has introduced policies that highlight the role of legal officers in the society. The policies include;
1. Ensuring justice for people
2. Ensuring legal proceedings in various instances
3. Insulating people against loss.
4. Ensuring that justice is served in all dimensions

Ensuring justice for people
This is the primary objective of all officers in the legal fraternity. They fight to make sure that justice is served. This brings about peace because people get to understand the role of justice in the society. It creates equality. People are able to live in peace and unity with one another. It also ensures that there is a balance in the society.

Ensuring legal proceedings in various instances
Various laws are developed for various processes. These processes include buying a car, buying land, and joining some of the educational institutions. This ensures that the legal proceedings run smoothly. People who embrace legal aid have an easy time acquiring what they need from the right sources.

Insulating people against loss
Involving legal aid when one undertakes various decisions ensures that they are safe from economic loss or emotional loss. An agreement that is signed by individuals who get married at the lawyer’s office is honored by the two parties if they divorce. A will that is written by a person using legal assistance is followed to the end. A legal officer has the power to implement it. This ensures that justice is served in all dimensions. It creates an inclusive society that benefits all members of the society.

Karl Heideck Explains: Effects of the Philadelphia Soda Tax

The rates of obesity in America continue to rise, and many public officials are concerned about the consequences this can bring upon society as a whole. Nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese and more than 35% fall into the obese category. Just over 6% of adults in this country are considered extremely obese, and these weight issues are even beginning to trickle down and affect children as young as three years of age.

The implications of overweight and obesity are enormous and impact many areas of life. The healthcare system estimates that millions of tax dollars are spent annually on issues stemming from obesity. It’s clear that we need a solution to this problem. What’s not clear is what that solution should be. Some states have attempted to offset the problems created by obesity by instituting taxes and other penalties on junk food and soda. Philadelphia is one such example, having created a soda tax in the hopes of reducing the rates of obesity and the adverse effects that stem from it.

What is the Philadelphia Soda Tax?

Philadelphia recently became one of the first states to introduce a tax on sugary soft drinks. This tax took full effect early in 2017. What was the idea behind this 1.5 cent per ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks? Many public officials felt this tax would discourage people from purchasing and consuming as much soda, one of the many calorie laden products that have resulted in health issues such as weight gain. The thought was that those who were unable to afford to pay this tax would simply stop buying these products and those who chose to pay the tax anyway would be contributing financially toward offsetting some of the costs associated with the health problems that can result from consuming these beverages. While from the outside it may appear to have been a lofty idea with good intentions, the results have been far from what was intended when this tax was brought about.

How is the Philadelphia Soda Tax Impacting Society?

Armed with good intentions and many supportive citizens, the Philadelphia soda tax was seen as a solution to a growing problem that affects all of us in various ways. However, some unintended effects have already been seen in the short time this tax has been in existence.

First of all, this tax affects the low-income citizens of Philadelphia on a much larger level than other citizens who can simply afford to pay more for these drinks. As it turns out, low-income individuals are the largest consumers of these types of soft drinks. Low-income residents of Philadelphia without their own mode of transportation have no choice but to shop at local stores and pay this tax if they want to continue drinking these beverages.

This tax is also negatively affecting small mom and pop types of grocery stores. These stores are already competing daily with major chains who have much more capital, more power, and more advertising dollars. Small grocery stores are also now seeing a major reduction of sales and income due to customers traveling further away to do their shopping at stores in areas that have no tax on these soft drinks. When these previous customers opt to do their shopping at another store, they don’t just buy their soda from another location. They buy all of their groceries at another large retailer, leaving these small grocery stores struggling with a lack of sales. The lost income can be so large in some cases that these mom and pop stores have no choice but to close their doors permanently. In just two short months after the soda tax was initiated, one large retailer experienced an increase in sales of 20% while a small business owner experienced a loss of revenue of over 30%. These numbers are large enough to lead to the death of a small business, creating horrible ramifications for that business owner and his family.

Last but not least, it is estimated that this well-intended tax will result in a multi-million dollar deficit for the state overall. According to one financial advisor, both a short and long term deficit will be created due to the fact that government officials have not been calculating this tax based on accurate numbers. Government officials based their projected earnings from this tax to be far too high, which in the coming years will result in a deficit that will have to be made up for in other areas.

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Soft Drink Industry Appeal of the Philadelphia Soda Tax

It should come as no surprise that this tax has also negatively affected the soft drink industry. Canada Dry and Pepsi both reported that their Philadelphia branches had laid off as many as 20% of their employees since this tax came about.

Not surprisingly, the soft drink industries are fighting back and attempting to appeal this tax. The litigation involved in this case has made its way to the Supreme Court in an attempt to stop this tax and the affects that have already been seen from it. Supporters of the tax are calling the appeal disappointing and feel that it takes the focus away from the benefits they believe this tax will have for everyone involved in the long run. The outcome remains to be seen as the two sides continue to struggle and those who can travel continue driving to more distant locations to purchase their soft drinks at a lower price.

Who is Karl Heideck?

Karl Heideck is a successful and dedicated Philadelphia attorney with many years of experience in risk management and compliance related issues. A member of the Hire Council since 2015, Karl Heideck provides personal consulting for both large and small businesses on the topics of compliance, product liability, and risk management. In addition to being a successful lawyer and personal advisor, Karl Heideck also operates an educational blog designed to inform the public on topics relating to changes in public policy and other legal news that affects Philadelphia area residents.

Karl Heideck earned his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College in 2003 and went on to earn a law degree from Temple University in 2009. For over a decade, he has filled important roles within the legal field and continues to provide his expertise to helping area business owners and residents.

For more information on Karl Heideck and his legal services in Philadelphia, contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

More Articles by Karl Heideck:
Karl Heideck’s Guide to Pennsylvania Employment Law for Small Businesses

Career Spotlight: Litigation with Karl Heideck

Constitutional Law Authority Sujit Choudhry Attends Workshop in Ukraine

Despite the controversy that swirled around the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the transition of power unfolded smoothly on Inauguration Day. This reflects the ongoing power and resiliency of the United States Constitution, which is regarded by many to be among the finest documents of its type ever produced. In fact, it is so highly regarded that countries around the world turn to it when seeking to transition to democratic governments. That is the case regarding the Ukraine, which since the fall of communism has famously struggled to strike an even keel with the balance of power in its government. Recently, comparative constitutional law expert Sujit Choudhry attended a workshop in Kiev, Ukraine, to discuss the challenges that the country is facing.

The workshop took place in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 10. In addition to Sujit Choudhry, numerous constitutional scholars were there to assist. The main topic of interest was the semi-presidential system of government of the Ukraine and the resulting constitutional challenges that are faced by the fledgling democracy. Ultimately, the discussion revolved around finding ways to improve governmental processes in Ukraine. With so many renowned minds in one room, it is safe to say that a lot of headway was made.

The attendance list for the Kiev workshop is a veritable who’s-who of constitutional law expertise. In attendance were Sergyi Holovatyi, who is a member of the Constitutional Commission of Ukraine as well as the Venice Commission; Sumit Bisarya of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, or International IDEA; Vladimir Vasilenko, who represents Ukraine on the United Nations Human Rights council; Viktor Musiaka, who is a representative of the president in Supreme Council 1996; and Thomas Sidelius of Dalarna University. The workshop was hosted by the Center of Policy and Legal Reform, which is a major Ukraine think tank, as well as International IDEA, which supports sustainable democracy around the world.

A variety of topics were discussed during the workshop, which was regarded as being highly productive. More than anything else, discussion focused on the ongoing instability of democratization in Ukraine, which has mostly been an issue because of the concentration of power in the presidency. Unlike the U.S., then, the country doesn’t have a balanced system of checks and balances, so democratic policies are more difficult to implement.

The scholars and experts, including Sujit Choudhry, also discussed the separation of powers within the dual executive branch. The government of Ukraine does not have just a president; it has a prime minister as well, so that is another way in which the government of this country differs from that of the United States. Another issue that was discussed to a great extent was the fact that the political parties of Ukraine are very weak. As a result, it is difficult for citizens to know parties’ stances on issues, and many other problems arise. The electoral system for the legislature of the country is also a major issue, and the experts focused on this one for a while as well.

As founding director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions, Sujit Choudhry has a unique understanding of the issues that are currently being faced by the Ukraine. The Center for Constitutional Transitions is currently conducting research into semi-presidentialism and constitutional instability in Ukraine. Ever since communism fell, the country has struggled to implement an effective democratic government. The legislature has overwhelmingly been far too weak, and the president has had far too much power. The organization hopes that its research will provide much-needed guidance to the country to help it establish a strong democratic government.

Ultimately, the goal of both the Center for Constitutional Transitions and those who gathered in Kiev on July 10 is to help Ukraine to develop a strong semi-presidential system of government. The work will not be easy to achieve, however, as the process has been underway for more than two decades already and very little real progress has been made. With so many great minds working on the issue, however, it is hoped that some real progress will be made in the very near future.

Scholars and researchers who have been working on this issue, both at the workshop in Kiev and at the Center for Constitutional Transitions, which is helmed by Sujit Choudhry, have identified many potential options that could help to establish a secure semi-presidential system in the country. This is an important and even crucial goal for a number of reasons, including:

  • To produce a strong, effective legislature that can exercise oversight over the president and the government as a whole. This will help to strike a better balance of power, which will facilitate the process of building a strong democratic government.
  • To facilitate an effective sharing of power between the president and the prime minister of the country. Up until now, far too much power has been concentrated in the office of the president, and this is one of the many reasons why Ukraine has struggled so much.
  • To ensure limited presidential power. When the president has an excessive amount of power, true democracy is impossible, and the country suffers.
  • To develop a government that is strengthened by presidential leadership during crises. Otherwise, the country flounders when major catastrophes occur, and the democratization process is weakened and threatened.

Sujit Choudhry was a welcome addition to the special workshop that was held in Kiev on July 10. An expert on comparative constitutional law, Choudhry holds law degrees from the University of Toronto, Oxford University and Harvard University. He also served as law clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada. As the founder of the Center for Constitutional Transitions, Sujit Choudhry has played an instrumental role in constitution building processes of countries around the world. The organization has more than 50 experts in more than 25 nations. Right now, it is co-leading three collaborative global research projects, including the one about semi-presidentialism in Ukraine.

Throughout his storied career, Sujit Choudhry has published nearly 100 book chapters, reports, articles and papers. Today, he serves as the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at the University of California and Berkeley School of Law. Choudhry is currently a member of the scientific advisory board of the International Journal of Constitutional Law; the executive committee of the International Society of Public Law, or ICONS; the editorial board of Constitutional Court Review; the international advisory council of the Institute for Integrated Transitions, or IFIT; and the editorial advisory board of Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law. Without question, Choudhry will continue to play an active role in the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

Continue reading Constitutional Law Authority Sujit Choudhry Attends Workshop in Ukraine

Online Law Related to Harassment Issues

One of the biggest issues facing the field of law today is how to deal with online harassment. Over the past few years, the number of cases in this area has increased greatly. There are many people who are struggling to understand all of the issues in this area.

If you are the victim of online harassment, it is difficult to track down the people who are responsible for harassing you. The good news is that new technology is coming out to help police in this area. For the people who work in the legal field, it is vital to understand everything that victims are going through when you are helping them with their case. Here are some of the most important aspects of online harassment for people in the legal profession.

Online Harassment

Many people go to their lawyer for legal advice in a number of areas. It is important to work on a plan with your clients that makes sense with their situation. Online harassment is growing every year, and many people do not know how to prevent it.

The first thing to do with clients is to understand their history and background. If they have an idea of who is doing the online harassment, it is vital to tell police. A lot of people who are being harassed do not want to go the police because they think it will only make the situation worse. It is hard to fight back against someone you cannot see.

Legal Advice Online

One area of opportunity for many people in the legal field is to give advice online. There are a lot of people who need legal help who would rather have their question answered online than go to someone in person.

Many lawyers are struggling to pay off their debt from school while growing their business. If you want to take your legal business to a new level, this is a great area to concentrate on. Legal issues are going to persist in the online space until more legislation is passed.


Mathematics, Law, Business, and Charity: The Unique American Dream of Tony Petrello

It’s an understatement to say that Tony Petrello’s career has been one of great success. After all, in 2015, Tony Petrello was one of the highest-compensated CEOs in the U.S. Tony’s many achievements have been the products of natural gifts, consistent hard work, and creative thinking.

It’s also important to note the ways in which Tony has given back to society, particularly how he’s worked to help children with neurological disorders. For sure, his life is worthy of admiration and emulation.

A Remarkable Student

Tony grew up in Newark, N.J., where he attended public schools. When he was in high school, he was famous in his hometown for his amazing math abilities. Yale University took notice, and it awarded Tony a scholarship and the opportunity to be mentored by Serge Lang. Lang was a brilliant mathematician, author, and professor.

At Yale, from which he would receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he became known for his outgoing personality and strong sense of humor. Plus, Yale changed Tony Petrello’s life in a special way. It was there that he met Cynthia, his beloved wife. Cynthia would go on to become a dancer, a movie and TV actress, and a soap opera producer.

After graduating from Yale, Tony Petrello surprised many of his professors and classmates when he decided not to become a mathematician. Rather, he enrolled in Harvard Law School.

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Law or Business?

In 1979, Tony Petrello joined Baker & McKenzie, a major American law firm. There, he specialized in business law, especially taxation and arbitration. In 1986, he became a managing partner of its New York division.

At Baker & McKenzie, Tony Petrello worked with a client by the name of Nabors Industries. Nabors drills for oil and natural gas on land, and it’s the largest such company on Earth.

Managers at Nabors were so impressed by Tony’s efforts and powers of analysis that they began trying to hire him away. Well, those lobbying efforts paid off. A budding mathematician turned corporate attorney was headed for a new career. He was to become a business executive.

Thus, after he’d lived in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, Tony Petrello was off to make his residence in an entirely new place: Texas. The Lone Star State is his home to this day.

Life at Nabors and Beyond

In 1991, Tony Petrello began serving as Nabors’ Chief Operating Officer. The same year, he took a seat on the board of directors as well as the board’s executive committee. Then, in 1992, he became the president. His achievements in those positions were undeniably helpful in terms of building up the company. For instance, in 1993, Tony Petrello helped direct a $32 million purchase of a firm called Grace Drilling. Also, a much larger transaction in 2010 brought Superior Well Services under Nabors’ corporate umbrella.

Since October 28, 2011, Tony Petrello has been Nabors’ CEO. On top of that, in June 2012, he was named the chairman of the board as well as chairman of the board’s executive committee.

By common acclaim, Tony Petrello’s leadership at Nabors has been top-notch. During the past six years, he’s allowed the company to keep growing and thriving in an industry where the competition is intense, to say the least, at all times. Indeed, Tony Petrello is extremely adept at day-to-day management tasks as well as the creation of long-term strategic visions.

In addition to his many duties at Nabors, Tony Petrello has been a director at MediaOnDemand.com, and today, he’s a director at Hilcorp Energy Company. What’s more, since February 28, 2011, he’s served as a director at Stewart & Stevenson.

An Extraordinary Philanthropist

In the late 1990s, Tony and Cynthia Petrello had a daughter named Carena. At birth, she weighed 20 ounces, and she suffered from cerebral palsy. Carena wouldn’t be able to eat solid foods until she was about 7 years old.

Tony Petrello wanted to help other children with neurological conditions. Therefore, he donated $7 million to the Texas Children’s Hospital, and he also took a seat on its board of trustees. The hospital was able to put that money toward the construction of a complex dedicated to pediatric neurological care. It’s called the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, and it’s a cutting-edge institution. The Institute treats children from across the country and the globe, and it’s provided hope to countless families.

Over time, Tony Petrello has used his business acumen to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in charitable donations to this cause, and those efforts are ongoing.

Finally, Tony Petrello is quick to credit luck for many of his accomplishments. However, his friends, his family members, his colleagues, and everyone who’s gotten to know Tony’s powerful work ethic and big heart realize that good fortune is only one small aspect of his amazing life story.

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Court Rules against the Slashing of Civil Servant’s Redundancy Payment

The controversial caps placed on civil servant’s redundancy payment has been considered unlawful by a recent court review. The Guardian reported that the new ruling left the government in a tough situation as many civil servants are filing for compensation.

The redundancy payment had been cut in November 2016 by the ministers in the Cabinet Office. The policy also saw the banning of early access to pensions by public sector employees.

However, the court made a review on the case and ruled that the cuts were unlawful. This is because the Cabinet Office had failed to confer with the trade union on the decision to slash off the payments.

The recent court ruling is now expected to leave the government susceptible to legal confrontations from most of the civil servants who had accepted the payment reduction terms. Theresa May’s government, for instance, is expected to receive the biggest blow since it had been under pressure for failing to remove the public sector pay cap.

After adoption of the new scheme, PCS union was rather unhappy and immediately began to battle the case in court. This uproar was fueled by a piece of advice from the CSCS, who claimed that the enforcement of the payment caps was unlawful. After this advisory, the union which consists of 160,000 members called for a judicial review in February. The appeal was heard in court on 4th through to 5th of July this year. The discussion was presided over by Lord Justice Sales and Mrs. Justice Whipple.

When asked to comment, a PCS spokesman uttered that he felt the ruling was clear, and that the caps had to be removed. He further said that the union didn’t care much on whether or not the government should begin consultation on the ruling once again.

The union claimed that the court hadn’t consulted with the employees’ representatives before ruling in favor of the redundancy pay cut bill. They also said that this ruling was illegal because it would unlawfully interfere with public sector employees’ possessions (redundancy fees). Slashing off the payments without the union’s consent was considered as going against the equality duty of the public sector.

In their defense, the Counsel of the Cabinet Office stated that even if they had consulted with the union, the ruling would have been the same. Based on the former ruling, a public worker with thirty years of service and earns an annual salary of £30,000 would receive £45,000 rather than the usual £52,500. Consequently, those with 20 years of service earning £15,000 annually would be entitled to £28,161 instead of £38,333.

President and Pope Battle to Save Baby’s Life

Charlie Gard who turns 1 year old on August 3, 2017, was born with encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Despite the fact that he is unable to move or even breathe on his own, this child who is blind and deaf has ended up at the center of a global political debate.

Courts Rule to Remove Lifesaving Medical Care

Ever since, Charlie was born, he has been hospitalized. Three courts in Europe and the European Court of Human Rights have denied his parent’s permission to bring the child to the United States where lifesaving treatment may be available. They feel that they have the right to give their child a chance to live, but the courts have determined that the hospital has the right to turn off the breathing machine. The courts have ruled that Charlie must stay in the London hospital where he is currently a patient.

Pope Francis Supports Parents

According to the Vatican, Pope Francis has been following the case with sadness and affection. Officials at the Vatican say that the pope hopes that the child can be brought to the United States as the parents’ wish. Italy’s top pediatric hospital has said that they will take the sick infant giving him a chance to continue to live. While there are only 16 children in the world believed to have this debilitating syndrome, some experts believe that nucleoside therapy could help save the infant’s life. In light of the new evidence that this therapy might help, the London hospital will return to the High Court on July 10, 2017.

Help From United States

President Trump recently tweeted that the United States was prepared to do everything possible to help this family. An online campaign has raised more than $1.7 million in hopes that the child can be brought to the United States. Members of the United States Congress have proposed that the family could receive permanent residency if it would save the child’s life. The United States has also said that they are willing to ship the medicine to London if Charlie is unable to travel.

Donald Trump Jr. Under Investigation

The New York Times recently reported that the Trump administration had changed their defense against a recent accusation. The Trump legal team had been accused of meddling with Clinton’s effort to become the president of the free world. The recent change of defense agrees that some part of his legal team, his son and top campaign members had met with a well-known lawyer in Russia exactly one year ago. The Russian lawyer goes by the name Natalia Veselnitskaya while the top officials from Trump’s legal team include Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. Veselnitskaya is a Russian lawyer who had been accused of fighting the Magnitsky Act of the year 2012. This is an act that was meant to blacklist Russians who had been linked or suspected of going against human rights. In reaction to this campaign, Russian President, Vladimir Putin blocked the law and even refused Americans to adopt children from Russia.

However, few people knew about this meeting and only came to light after Jared Kushner decided to get a new security clearance. This came after Jared Kushner was accused by New York Times for refusing to talk about the contacts that he had with Russians before he was invited to work with President Trump. Donald Trump Jr. insisted that the visit to Russia was not based on his father’s campaign. He further insisted that it was focused on adopting Russian children and he had asked both Jared Kushner and Paul to drop by to help him with the issue. As for the New York Times, they reported that the meeting took place because young Trump had promised some damaging information to ruin the presidential bid of his father’s opponent Hilary Clinton. However, Donald Trump’s legal team responded to these accusations terming them as a way of undermining the campaign efforts of their boss.

The team, later on, changed their stand after the Times published another story telling about the meeting. The team said that their boss was not aware of the meeting between his son and the Russian lawyer. Reports said that Veselnitskaya had been hired by a person named as Denis Katyv. Denis, on the other hand, happens to be connected to Pyotr Katsyv who is a senior government official in Russia. Other than this position, Pyotr is connected to Prevezon which is a real estate company from Cyprus. This is a firm that has been under the radar of department of justice for laundering charges.

Facebook Law passed in Germany

Lawmakers in Germany recently passed a new law that intended to curb the hate speech on social networks. Social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook will pay fines of up to $50 million if they fail to remove hate speech content. The German parliamentary body passed the Network Enforcement Act on Friday. The “Facebook Law” as it is commonly known will go into effect later this year. The law stipulates that these companies would be fined if they failed to remove content that is illegal. This content includes incitements to violence, hate speech, and defamation. The law states that the companies will have to do so within 24 hours. This period extends to one week if the case is more complex to handle. The law sets an initial fine of $5 million. This could increase to fifty million depending on the case.

Supporters of the bill including the Minister of Justice known as Heiko Maas say that the bill is a huge step in curbing the spread of hate speech. Maas said that experience had shown them that large corporations would not take initiatives if political pressure was not applied. He responded to questions about the freedom of expression and said that it ended where criminal law started. Critics and digital rights activists say that the law could infringe on free speech. This is because it could be abused by the government if the content is not pleasing to officials. It also gives technology companies a lot of power in deciding the validity of content on their platforms.

This is not the first time that Germany has asked large technology companies to remove hate speech content. The country entered into a deal with Facebook, Twitter, and Google in 2015. The deal directed the companies to delete this content within 24 hours. This was done to control the anti-migrant sentiment that was developing in the country because of the refugee crisis. The effectiveness of this pact was questioned after a report released earlier this year showed that the companies were not fulfilling their obligations. Social media companies have come under fire from the public and the media to remove terrorist propaganda and fake news. It is expected that the fines will give them more incentive to regulate the content on the platforms. It is important to note that the European Union fined Google for anti-trust policies with regards to shopping results.