May It Please The Court: Weblog of legal news and observations, including a quote of the day and daily updates

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Quote of the Day - In point of substantial merit the law school belongs in the modern university no more than a school of fencing or dancing. - Thorstein Veblen (American Economist, 1857-1929)
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There are 2033 Journal Items on 255 page(s) and you are on page number 17

Lawyer2Lawyer Internet Radio Goes Back To The New Law School

It's back to school and many law students face a new curriculum, the large workload and the hefty price of tuition. But University of California, Irvine School of Law stands out with a new agenda, creating a hands-on approach to law school, a concentration in public service and free tuition for their inaugural class through donations. Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Bob Ambrogi as we welcome Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean and Distinguished Professor at UCI Law, to chat about his new venture, the new approach to law school, students and what lies ahead.  Give a click on the icon below and listen in to our conversation.



Podcast 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 07:17. Comments Closed (0) |

Lawyer2Lawyer Internet Radio Goes A Second Round On Credit Card Disputes

In part one of Credit Card Consumers & Arbitration, me and my co-host Bob Ambrogi discussed consumer rights and mandatory arbitration used when a dispute between the credit card holder and the credit card company arises. In part two, we welcome back Attorney Deepak Gupta, staff attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group and Attorney Alan Kaplinsky, senior partner at the firm, Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll, to discuss the Arbitration Fairness Act, what's next in arbitration and  add their insight to the already lively discussion on this controversial topic.  Click on the link below and give a listen.

Podcast 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, September 05, 2009 at 06:57. Comments Closed (0) |

Lawyer2Lawyer Internet Radio Racks Up The Charges On The Credit Card Disputes

Mandatory arbitration in credit card agreements are in the legal spotlight again after the Minnesota Attorney General recently sued the largest national arbitration firm, National Arbitration Forum. That resulted in a settlement shutting down part of NAF's business and has raised questions about the outcomes of arbitration versus action in civil court for consumers. Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and Lawer2Lawyer co-host Bob Ambrogi as we call on experts on both sides of this controversy, Attorney Deepak Gupta from Public Citizen Litigation Group, who focuses on consumer rights and Attorney Alan Kaplinsky, senior partner at Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll in Philadelphia, who pioneered the use of pre-dispute arbitration.

Podcast 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 09:44. Comments Closed (0) |

Court Validates Government's Right To Require Federal Contractors To Use Online System To Verify Employment Eligibility of New Hires

Federal contractors must start using the federal government's online E-Verify electronic program to verify the immigration eligibility for newly hired and current employees as of September 8, 2009.  The United States Chamber of Commerce and a number of other plaintiffs challenged the directive that implemented this program, first issued under Presidential Executive Order 13464 by former President George Bush and subsequently implemented by President Barack Obama.  

In a court opinion issued August 26, 2009, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division, overruled the Chamber of Commerce and upheld the presidential directive to use the electronic system instead of the current paper-based Form I-9 system.  The I-9 Form expired June 30, 3009, but remains valid to use for other employers.

The E-Verify program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration, is required for all federal prime contracts in excess of $100,000 and all subcontracts in excess of $3,000 for new contracts awarded after September 8, 2009.  The directive also applies to all current employees working on an existing federal contract that falls within these monetary guidelines once the contract is amended to include an E-Verify clause. The online, electronic system is voluntary for all other employers, public and private. 

Additional information about E-Verify is available on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service's website in its frequently asked questions section.  The USCIS is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.  According to the website, "Based on the information provided by the employee on his or her Form I-9, E-Verify checks this information electronically against records contained in DHS and Social Security Administration databases."

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 07:18. Comments Closed (0) |

Lawyer2Lawyer Internet Radio Crosses The Ages

Why retire? So says Attorney Jack Borden, who is in his law office at 6:30 every morning, doing what he loves - practicing law. Recently, Borden celebrated his 101st birthday, being named ‘America's Outstanding Oldest Worker for 2009,' by Experience Works. Now he is the special guest on this edition of Lawyer2Lawyer, so please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Bob Ambrogi , who discuss the gamut with Borden, senior partner at Borden & Westhoff, LLP. Hear his vivid stories from the past century about the legal profession, tips for young lawyers and his secret to longevity.



Podcast 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 09:20. Comments Closed (0) |

Lawyer2Lawyer Internet Radio Peers Into The Peer-to-Patent System

It can be said that patents are the key to sustaining innovative products and patent law is certainly an active area of legal practice in the U.S. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark office has been overwhelmed and undermanned. Could the Peer-to-Patent system be the answer?  Please give a listen as my co-host Bob Ambrogi as he welcomes Professor Mark Webbink, Executive Director of the Center for Patent Innovations, a research and development arm of New York Law School's Institute for Information Law & Property and Attorney Stephanie Scruggs, an expert in patent litigation from the firm of Hanify & King, to take an in-depth look at the innovative Peer-to-Patent system, that employs a crowdsourcing and open source model using experts in the patent process.

Podcast 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 09:34. Comments Closed (0) |

Prying Back The Lid On The CAN-Spam Act: No Private Right To Challenge Spammers

When a lawyer thinks about test cases, usually the main considerations revolve around the makeup of the plaintiff and the defendant.  Lawyers want to put the white hat on the plaintiff and the black hat on the defendant.  With the CAN-Spam Act, that consideration is fairly straightforward:  pick a spammer for a defendant and someone who's inbox is bursting with more Viagra and laser printer toner ads and important career information that will make you look three inches taller than a newspaper recycling bin brimming with the Sunday paper leftovers.  But a word of caution here:  the CAN-Spam Act's private enforcement provisions are limited to "Internet access service" providers (like Comcast, Cox, AT&T), not you and me as individuals. 

Still, not an impossible task.  Round up some exemplarly emails and ask the big guys to file suit.  It has already happened - MySpace won a $230 million victory against spammers who sent 730,000 emails, but reportedly hasn't collected on the judgment.  One spammer was convicted of felony spamming, sentenced to nine years in jail, but was later allowed by the Virigina Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the statute. 

Nevertheless, the United States continues to be the target of almost 30% of the world's spam.  If you have any doubt, look in your inbox.  But I'm getting off track.  We're still looking for a white-hat plaintiff to file suit against spammers. 

Enter Jim Gordon, who owned http://www.gordonworks.com/ and got too much spam.  To put an end to it, Gordon sought $10 million from two companies, Virtumundo, Inc. and Adknowledge, Inc. as well as their sole shareholder, Scott Lynn, who the court called "in modern parlance, spammers."  Gordon filed suit under the federal CAN-Spam Act after collecting thousands of unsolicited bulk emails as evidence that Virtumundo was a spammer of the worst kind.

The federal District Court for the Western District of Washington granted summary judgment to Virtumundo earlier this year ruling that Gordon had not suffered "adverse effects" within the meaning of CAN-Spam.  Yep, he lost, but then appealed.

The Ninth Circuit just rejected an appeal from Gordon, upholding the lower court's decision and fing that Gordon was not an "Internet access service" provider, and therefore  did not have standing to sue.  Ninth Circuit Judge Richard Tallman wrote:

[O]ur review of the congressional record reveals a legitimate concern that the private right of action be circumscribed and confined to a narrow group of private plaintiffs. [T]his demonstrates to us that lawmakers were wary of the possibility, if not the likelihood, that the siren song of substantial statutory damages would entice opportunistic plaintiffs to join the fray, which would lead to undesirable results. While Congress did not intend that standing be limited to fee-for-service operations, we think it did intend to exclude plaintiffs who, despite certain identifying characteristics, did not provide the actual, bona fide service of a legitimate operation.

Finally, the Court noted:

It matters not that [Gordon] entered the keystrokes or clicked the mouse. Nor is it relevant that he created gordonworks.com e-mail addresses for family and friends, and not merely himself. While Verizon and GoDaddy might have a compelling argument that they are IAS providers within the meaning of the CAN-SPAM Act, Gordon's claim that he holds such elite status is unconvincing.

And with that, the Court ruled against Jim Gordon and all private users of the Internet to attack spam through the CAN-Spam Act.  Oh look, I just got another email.  How about that?  I can lose a pound a day on this diet!!! 



Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, August 09, 2009 at 07:54. Comments Closed (0) |

Lawyer2Lawyer Internet Radio Jumps In With Swimsuits, Steroids & Regulations In The Sports World

Recently the world of sports has been plagued by scandal-from a controversial polyurethane swimsuit used in swimming  to steroids putting a cloud over major league baseball.  Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host, Attorney Bob Ambrogi as we welcome Professor Matt Mitten,  the Director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University Law School and Attorney John P. Collins from the firm Collins & Collins as we take a look at the impact of these controversies and regulations in sports today.



Podcast 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, August 08, 2009 at 07:58. Comments Closed (0) |



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