Legal news from Thursday, October 27, 2005
20:10 EDT

[JURIST] In Thursday's environmental law news, sixteen firms, including Huffy, Lockheed Martin, Mobil Oil, and Philip Morris, have agreed to pay [EPA press release] $14.9 million for polluting groundwater in California. In 1979, a contamination plume, measuring 1 mile wide by 8 miles long, was discovered under Baldwin park in [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] Reacting Thursday to the publication [JURIST report] of the Volcker committee's final report [TOC] on the UN oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive], UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the US State Department both emphasized the need to reform program oversight mechanisms at the United Nations which they said allowed Iraqi [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Korea [official website] Thursday struck down a statute limiting the scope of medical advertising to statements on types of services offered, types of facilities, and number of employees. The content of hospital and clinic advertising may now include representations as to the capabilities and methods [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] Thursday endorsed [press release] the mergers of Verizon Communications with MCI and SBC Communications with AT&T [corporate websites], requiring both Verizon and SBC to lease to competitors unused or "dark" communications lines that run to office buildings in several metropolitan areas. The [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Kenya's debate over its draft constitution [text, PDF] has erupted into violence, with supporters and opponents clashing in the streets in what has become an increasingly intense disagreement [JURIST report] over a controversial document. Dozens were injured during rioting by machete-wielding demonstrators Wednesday evening in the town of Kakamega [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] In a brief order issued Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] denied a request from Georgia to throw out a lower court injunction barring enforcement of the state's new voter identification law [JURIST news archive]. In issuing last week's order [PDF text; JURIST [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge sitting in Baltimore Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a group of lawyers seeking $24 million in legal fees for their work in the Microsoft antitrust cases [JURIST news archive], saying he did not have jurisdiction. The lawsuit was brought by a group of 27 law [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Sami Al-Arian [advocacy website], the former Florida college professor charged by the US government with aiding and abetting Palestinian terrorists, rested their case Thursday without calling a single witness to refute the five months of prosecution testimony. Al-Arian's lawyer called the prosecution an "all-out assault on the [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Experts with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] expressed concern over the fairness of the trial of 15 men in Uzbekistan charged with terrorism and precipitating the violent uprising in the town of Andijan [JURIST news archive] in May 2005, according to a press release [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website], has voiced concern that countries are using diplomatic assurances to circumvent the absolute prohibition in the Convention against Torture [text] against the forcible return to countries where there is a risk of torture or ill-treatment. Nowak said that some [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Jon Stanhope [official website] on Thursday became the first state or territory leader in Australia to reject the federal government's proposed anti-terrorism legislation [PDF text] in its current form. Stanhope's opposition [JURIST report] focused on provisions dealing with preventative detention and control orders. After [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Investment banks and other defendants associated with the WorldCom accounting fraud [JURIST news archive] fallout have agreed to settle with a group of over 65 institutional investors for $651 million. The investors had opted out of a broader class action lawsuit previously brought that netted $6.1 billion [JURIST report] [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] After Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination [JURIST report] to the US Supreme Court in a letter [PDF] to President Bush Thursday, Republican and Democratic Senators who had generally been lukewarm about her nomination and skeptical of her experience and credentials seemed ready to move on to a new candidate. [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] There will be no announcements in the investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity until Friday, a spokesperson for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] said Thursday. The White House is waiting for news on whether a federal grand jury will issue indictments after Fitzgerald [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of China [official website in Chinese] Thursday confirmed its plan to remove the authority from lower courts to review death sentences [JURIST report], which is expected to decrease the number of execution sentences currently given and also prevent fatal miscarriages of justice. China [JURIST news archive] [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] has filed an appeal [PDF cert. petition, via How Appealing] with the US Supreme Court, asking the Court to place limits on the government's ability to hold him and other terror suspects indefinitely without filing charges against them. Padilla has been in US custody [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court in Malawi [government website; BBC country profile] Wednesday issued a temporary injunction delaying impeachment proceedings by parliament against Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika [BBC profile] until the court has the opportunity to review parliamentary guidelines regarding how to remove the president. Parliament adopted the new impeachment [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Representative Tom DeLay [official website; JURIST news archive] has informed US House of Representative officials that he neglected to disclose all contributions made to his legal defense fund as mandated by congressional rules. DeLay told House officials that he began an audit which uncovered an unreported amount of [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Representative Tom DeLay [official website; JURIST news archive] has informed US House of Representative officials that he neglected to disclose all contributions made to his legal defense fund as mandated by congressional rules. DeLay told House officials that he began an audit which uncovered an unreported amount of [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] US officials and members of the Iraqi government have mismanaged $24 million in reconstruction grants made by the US in 2004, and fraudulent activities may have occurred in some of the cases, according to a report [text, PDF] released Wednesday by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers [JURIST news archive] has withdrawn her nomination.9:15 AM ET - In a letter [PDF] to President Bush Thursday, Miers withdrew her nomination [JURIST report], expressing concern that the confirmation process would present "a burden for the White House and [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Republican senators continued a long-running effort to build support for breaking up the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] into two circuits during a US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] subcommitee hearing [witness list and prepared statements] Wednesday. A bill introduced earlier this month by [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Walt Disney [corporate website] shareholders have appealed a ruling by a Delaware court that the company's directors were not liable [JURIST report] for approving a $130 million severance package for former President Michael Ovitz [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The appeal sought to have the ruling overturned on procedural and evidentiary grounds. [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers could be suspended for a year for repeatedly filing frivolous lawsuits under a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives [official website] as part of a Republican effort to limit such lawsuits. Supporters of the legislation say frivolous claims and lawyers that bring them are clogging US [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti [official website] has subpoenaed 73 employees of Memorial Medical Center [hospital website] in New Orleans, as part of its ongoing investigation [JURIST report] into deaths alleged at hospitals and nursing homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. The subpoenas covered all [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] More than 2,000 companies around the world paid $1.8 billion in illegal kickbacks to the regime of Saddam Hussein in abusing the now defunct UN oil-for-food program [official website; JURIST news archive], according to parts of a UN investigation obtained Thursday by the Associated Press. The Independent Inquiry Committee [read more]

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