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Legal news from Thursday, January 13, 2011
by Ann Riley

The number of free countries and electoral democracies dropped and the overall freedom in the Middle East and North Africa suffered for the fifth year, according to a report released Thursday by the US-based rights group Freedom House. The group's annual assessment, Freedom in the World 2011, reports that 25 countries showed significant declines …

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by John Paul Putney

A US bankruptcy judge approved a historic settlement on Thursday with the estate of Jeffry Picower, a friend and investor of fraudulent financier Bernard Madoff. As part of the approved settlement, Picower's widow, Barbara, has agreed to forfeit an unprecedented $7.2 billion to Trustee Irving Picard to be returned to victims of the …

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by Daniel Makosky

A New York State Supreme Court judge on Monday ruled that the New York City Department of Education may release performance data on 12,000 city teachers. The order permits the Department of Education to comply with requests for Teacher Data Reports (TDRs) containing teacher names recently made by several media outlets under New …

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by Daniel Richey

A California federal judge was appointed Thursday to hear the trial of Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner. Judge Alex Kozinski of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit appointed Judge Larry Burns of the US District Court for the Southern District of California to preside over …

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by Julia Zebley

The Italian Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down portions of a law backed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that would have granted Berlusconi and other public officials temporary immunity from charges while in office. The law, as passed by the Italian senate in March, allowed …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Officials from the Ensco Offshore Company appeared in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on Wednesday in connection with a lawsuit the company filed last year against the moratorium on issuing drilling permits. The moratorium was enacted after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. ENSCO …

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by Daniel Richey

Media magnate Conrad Black returned to the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Thursday for a status hearing before judge Amy St. Eve. St. Eve will begin the process of deciding whether to free the Canadian-born newspaper tycoon for time served, or re-sentence him on fraud and …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

The Associated Press (AP) and artist Shepard Fairey on Wednesday reached a settlement agreement on their opposing copyright infringement claims stemming from Fairey's unauthorized use of an AP photo of incumbent US President Barack Obama. Fairey's iconic red, white and blue artistic rendering of the AP photo was used on campaign materials …

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