Legal news from Tuesday, October 19, 2004
20:10 EDT

A unanimous New York State Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that insurers may not sue tobacco companies for deceptive practices to recover damages for smoking-related health care payments. The court held that the injured party must actually bring the suit, not a third-party payor like an insurance company. The present [read more]

20:10 EDT

In Tuesday's environmental law news, the Indonesia Ministry of Environment released a study on Monday that again exonerated the Newmont Mining Corporation of charges that they polluted the Buyat Bay. This ongoing story, most recently reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here, is pitting the Indonesia police forces, who currently have [read more]

19:10 EDT

Updating an earlier report in JURIST's Paper Chase, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that ballots cast in the correct city or township but wrong voting precinct in Michigan must be counted, overruling a state decision to only count provisional ballots cast in the proper district. Michigan's Republican Secretary of State [read more]

16:10 EDT

In Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe Ltd. has joined four other bond funds to sue former executives, auditors and lenders of dairy giant Parmalat. The suit seeks to recover billions of dollars investors lost after the company collapsed into bankruptcy last year. Bloomberg has [read more]

16:10 EDT

Three Sikh students in France who refused to remove their turbans under the country's new law banning religious signs and apparel in schools have brought the first case to take the issue to court. The Sikh community asked an administrative court Tuesday to re-admit the students back into classes or [read more]

16:10 EDT

Martha Stewart's attorneys plan to file an appeal in her insider trading conviction on Wednesday arguing Stewart's Sixth Amendment right to confront a witness was violated during her trial. Stewart's attorneys were unable to cross-examine Peter Bacanovic, Stewart's former stockbroker and co-defendant, after a damaging audiotape interview with him was [read more]

16:10 EDT

US District Judge Karon O. Bowdre has agreed to unseal documents in the criminal case of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. The Associated Press and four other news organizations sought descriptions of three dozen sealed documents in addition to preventing future documents from being sealed from public view without explanation. [read more]

15:10 EDT

The US Justice Department, in a friend-of-the-court brief, has asked a federal judge in Michigan to dismiss a lawsuit that would have required the state to count provisional ballots cast by voters who go to the wrong polling precinct. The Justice Department argues that the Help America Vote Act does [read more]

15:10 EDT

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly has upheld an order by Secretary of Public Safety Edward Flynn that will force 128 cities and towns in the state to collect traffic stop data to determine if local police departments are engaging in racial profiling. Flynn issued the order following a legislatively-commissioned report [read more]

13:10 EDT

Spanish police have broken up an alleged terrorist cell suspected of plotting a major attack on the country's National Court. Police arrested eight suspects throughout the country Monday and Tuesday, according to Spanish Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso. Spain's El Mundo reported that the suspects were planning to park a [read more]

12:10 EDT

Pakistan has approved a stricter law on religion-related terrorism, including sentences increased to life in prison for convictions of such offenses. The new law, which amends the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, also gives authorities greater power in halting attacks, allowing the seizure of passports of those suspected of religious terrorism. [read more]

11:10 EDT

The Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to issue an emergency injunction blocking a lower court's order removing Nader from Ohio's ballot, saying that Nader could not demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of the case. Nader had appealed US District Judge Edmund Sargus' decision to [read more]

11:10 EDT

US District Judge Barbara Jones Tuesday delayed the start of former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers' trial until January. Jones also denied a defense motion for a change of venue. Read the order [PDF]. Ebbers faces fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with WorldCom's collapse, the largest bankruptcy in US history. [read more]

10:10 EDT

According to the annual report of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Uganda's security agencies regularly use torture in their operations. The report lists torture as the second highest violated human right (deprivation of personal liberty is the most violated right), and says that torture "is either presented as part of [read more]

10:10 EDT

The European Commission announced Tuesday that it has reached a settlement with Coca-Cola over an anti-trust probe into the company's practices in Europe. Under the proposed "commitment decision," Coca-Cola has agreed not to enter into exclusivity arrangements, not to offer target and growth rebates, not to use its strongest brands [read more]

10:10 EDT

Peru has announced November 5 as the retrial date for Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman. Guzman was convicted in 1992 of inciting and leading a Maoist insurgency that resulted in the deaths of over 69,000 people. The original convictions were made under the strict anti-terror laws imposed by former [read more]

09:10 EDT

The Georgia Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday morning on whether a referendum on same-sex marriage should be allowed on state ballots in the upcoming election. Challengers to the proposed state constitutional amendment argue that the referendum is presented in an deceitful manner - the text of the referendum refers only [read more]

08:10 EDT

A group of private citizens and local elected officials plan to file a lawsuit in New Jersey Tuesday seeking to block the use of electronic voting machines in the state. The complaint will argue that the machines used in New Jersey provide no method for verifying that they are recording [read more]

08:10 EDT

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for constitutional reform and disarmament in Cote d'Ivoire, urging "full and unconditional implementation" with the Linas-Marcoussis and Accra III Agreements. Under the Accra III Agreement, President Laurent Gbagbo (BBC News profile) committed to adopt several legislative reforms, including revision of Article 35 of the [read more]

07:10 EDT

Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Tuesday, October 19.Today is the deadline for voter registration in Connecticut.... Michael White, Director of Legal Affairs and Policy at the National Archives will speak about the electoral college at 10 AM ET. Watch a [read more]

07:10 EDT

The BBC is reporting that a British court has charged radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri (BBC profile), arrested last May by UK police on a US extradition warrant, on 16 criminal counts including soliciting murder and possession of a terrorist document. The local charges would appear to put the [read more]

06:10 EDT

According to the BBC, conservative elements in Myanmar's military junta have removed Prime Minister Khin Nyunt from his position and placed him under house arrest. BBC News has more. [read more]

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