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Legal news from Wednesday, January 17, 2007
by Jaime Jansen

A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Wednesday ruled that the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) preempts the Maryland Fair Share Health Care Fund Act requiring Wal-Mart to spend the equivalent of eight percent of each individual store's payroll on employee health insurance. In …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Walter Forbes, former Chairman of Cendant Corp., the huge New York-based company that owns Ramada, Howard Johnson, Avis, Coldwell Banker and Century 21, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years and seven months in prison pursuant to a October 2006 conviction arising from a multi-billion dollar accounting fraud in the 1990s. Forbes was found …

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by Jaime Jansen

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced Wednesday that three former Croatian generals will begin their war crimes trial at The Hague in May. Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac have all pleaded not guilty to crimes against humanity and war crimes in connection …

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by Jaime Jansen

European Commission investigators have again asked EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes to formally charge computer chip maker Intel with antitrust violations, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday. In October, investigators first announced that they had gathered enough evidence to prosecute Intel on antitrust charges, and brought their …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Bush Administration will from now on submit all domestic surveillance requests to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for review and approval under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to a letter sent Wednesday by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A US military judge ruled Tuesday that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, a US Army officer who refused deployment to Iraq because he felt the war is 'unlawful,' cannot argue that point in his upcoming court-martial. Lt. Col. John Head further ruled that Watada may not raise a free speech defense, as soldiers …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Smith v. Texas, 05-11304, where the court must decide whether the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was correct to apply a "daunting standard of harm ('egregious harm')" in correcting the constitutional violation found by the Supreme Court …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan will be sentenced to death at a hearing before the Iraqi High Tribunal now scheduled for January 25, according to a court spokesperson speaking to the press on Tuesday. Ramadan was convicted in November in connection with crimes against humanity committed in …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an alien convicted for aiding and abetting a theft offense can be deported under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, Luis Alexander Duenas-Alvarez, a legal permanent resident, pleaded guilty to the unlawful driving or taking of a …

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by Joshua Pantesco

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the European Parliament at a session in Strasbourg Wednesday that EU member nations should ratify the European constitution before the next round of European Parliament elections scheduled for June 2009, saying "failure would be a historic mistake." …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used the occasion of a Wednesday speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute on the perils of judicial activism to suggest that judges are not the appropriate agents to rule on national security issues, and that they should otherwise exercise extreme caution when declaring executive and legislative action as unconstitutional. …

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by Brett Murphy

Spain's National Court has reissued a warrant for the arrest of three US soldiers who killed Spanish Telecinco cameraman Jose Couso in 2003 when their tank opened fire on a hotel in Baghdad. The warrant follows a December Supreme Court reversal of a March 2006 ruling by a panel of three …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

US Defense Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Detainee Affairs Charles "Cully" Stimson apologized Wednesday for remarks he made last week criticizing lawyers at top US law firms for representing Guantanamo detainees pro bono. In a letter published in the Washington Post, Stimson wrote:During a radio interview last week, I brought up the topic of pro bono work …

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by Brett Murphy

President Bush Tuesday offered his strongest criticism yet of the Iraqi government's handling of the execution of Saddam Hussein, saying in a PBS Newshour interview with Jim Lehrer that it resembled a “revenge killing:” I was disappointed and felt like they fumbled the - particularly the Saddam Hussein …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika confirmed Tuesday that his office is preparing new money laundering and embezzlement charges against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Lawyers for Khodorkovsky first said they expected new charges last month, but Chaika's comments Tuesday are the first official confirmation of the new investigation. Reuters has …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A UN human rights expert has received permission from US officials to visit the United States to examine US practices when detaining terror suspects. Martin Scheinin, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, issued a statement on the upcoming visit Tuesday:I look forward to having an open and …

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