Legal news from Wednesday, July 20, 2005
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] Jurors in the trial of 5 former Enron Corp. [JURIST news archive] broadband executives Wednesday acquitted three on some charges, including insider trading, money laundering, conspiracy and security and wire fraud, but failed to reach a verdict on the remaining charges. Former CEO Joseph Hirko [Houston Chronicle profile], strategist [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Following up on a story reported this morning in JURIST’s Paper Chase, AP is reporting that in the absence of the Canadian Governor General, Canadian Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin [official website] has signed Bill C-38 [text] into law, making Canada the fourth nation in the world to [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Two just-released Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees told reporters Wednesday that more than 180 prisoners at the US detention facility in Cuba are 14 days or so into a hunger strike. Habir Russol and Moheb Ullah Borekzai, both from Afghanistan, indicated that the prisoners are not eating or [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has told reporters that while she approves of President Bush’s decision to nominate federal appeals court judge John Roberts to replace her on the US Supreme Court [JURIST news archive], she's somewhat disappointed that the nominee was not a woman. Justice O’Connor described Roberts [read more]

17:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) [corporate website] will pay $125 million to settle with US regulators. The SEC and the state of New York accused CIBC of lending money to hedge funds that engaged in illegal market timing trades. In [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Federal Trade Commission [official website] announced Wesdnesday that five companies will pay a total of $1.16 million in fines to settle civil charges that they violated FTC anti-spam rules [FTC press release and complaints]. The companies were targeted for sending unsolicited emails advertising pornography that didn't include [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed legislation [Governor's bill passage press release] today that increases school funding by $148.4 million for the upcoming school year and prohibits any state court handling a lawsuit over school funding from enforcing any order that would close schools [JURIST report] [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) said Wednesday he preferred waiting until September to begin hearings for US Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts, creating a tight timetable for Roberts to be approved by the full Senate in time for the court's new term starting October 3. No Senate [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday that the United States has returned three Saudi detainees from the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention facility. Government television said that "legal measures concerning them will be completed" but gave no other details. The US last returned Saudi detainees in May 2003, when five [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, in the strongest statement so far by a European governmental body, the German Bundestag [government website] has called on the German government to take several strong steps against the administration of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile], including measures to ensure that the relevant "masterminds" [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] In the wake of the US Supreme Court's June decision in Kelo v. New London [Duke Law backgrounder; opinion] allowing a local government authority to expropriate private property for private redevelopment that confers economic benefits on the community, legislators in at least 25 states are working to limit the [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] Under pressure from the US government, Unocal [corporate website] late Tuesday accepted an increased $17.1 billion buyout bid [press release] from Chevron, turning down an $18.5 billion offer from the China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) [official website]. Unocal had made an earlier merger deal with Chevron when [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Several Sunni Arab members of the 71-member team drafting the new Iraq constitution have halted their participation in the process following the assassination of two colleagues [JURIST report] Tuesday. Differing reports say that between 4 and 15 Sunni members have stopped working on the drafting committee [official website] because [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal shield law for reporters introduced [press release] by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Rep. Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) [official websites] was called "bad public policy" by US Deputy Attorney General James Comey in written remarks submitted at a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on reporters' privilege legislation [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The commissioner of Israel's prison service Ya'akov Ganot [commissioner's message] told a Knesset committee on Wednesday that Israeli detention facilities were equipped to hold as many as 2,300 anti-pullout activists predicted to take part in illegal protests against the pullout from Gaza [JURIST report] now slated to begin in [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter [official website] said Wednesday that a bill he is co-sponsoring to end asbestos injury lawsuits is unlikely to receive a vote in the Senate before the August recess. The statement comes after Specter earlier in the month urged the bill to be [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's National Human Rights Commission [official website] said Wednesday that a security decree passed by the Cabinet Tuesday giving Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [profile] new power to deal with an insurgency in the country's Muslim south should be abolished. The group argues that the law violates United Nations human [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] According to a working draft of the new Iraqi constitution obtained Tuesday by the New York Times, Islamic law would play a strong role in the Iraqi legal and political system and women's rights would be cut back. Under the text, equality for women would be allowed only insofar [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Canadian Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would make Canada the fourth nation in the world to legalize gay marriage after the Netherlands, Belgium, and, most recently, Spain [JURIST report]. Bill C-38 [text], which passed the House of Commons [JURIST report] in late June, now goes to Canada's [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] In the wake of an Italian judge's decision last month to issue warrants for 13 CIA operatives [JURIST report] wanted in connection with the kidnapping of radical Muslim cleric Abu Omar [Washington Post report] off the streets of Milan in 2003, Italian prosecutor Armando Spataro asked an appeals court [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Nine senior staff members of the Iraqi Special Tribunal [JURIST news archive], each former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party [Wikipedia backgrounder], were dismissed on Tuesday, apparently at the instance of Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and former Iraqi exile leader and Pentagon favorite Ahmad Chalabi [JURIST news archive], currently [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former Philadelphia City Treasurer Corey Kemp was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for corruption. Kemp was convicted in May 2005 [JURIST report] on 20 counts of accepting kickbacks during his time in office [JURIST report] that included gifts, favors and cash after phone conversations recorded by the [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Interest groups from across the political spectrum are weighing in with their reactions to the White House nomination of Judge John G. Roberts to the US Supreme Court [JURIST report]. Conservative groups have largely welcomed the announcement. C. Boyden Gray, chairman of the Committee for Justice which promotes constitutionalist [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush's Tuesday evening nomination [JURIST report] of conservative federal appeals court judge John G. Roberts to the US Supreme Court has predictably drawn praise from Republicans and calls for caution from Democrats, who vow to examine Robert's record carefully during the confirmation process. In preparation for the confirmation [read more]

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