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Category Archives: Courts

U.S. Courts Are Figuring Out if the Government Can Block You On Facebook

NextGov: “In the last two years, there’s been a cascade of lawsuits in the U.S. against public officials who have blocked people on social media and deleted critical comments. The list starts with the highest one in the country, president Donald Trump, and goes all the way down to a county board chair. As officials use social platforms more and more to communicate with their constituents, bypassing traditional media channels, the question of how they treat these avenues is becoming increasingly important. In the last week, there were notable developments in three lawsuits. Two women in Maine, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, settled on Dec. 7 with the state’s governor Paul LePage; on Dec. 4, a federal judge in a case against Kentucky governor Matt Bevin ordered him to turn over screenshots of blocked users’ comments; while an appellate court in New Orleans heard arguments on Dec. 6 in a case against the sheriff’s office for Hunt County, Texas. There are two other cases currently in federal appeals courts looking at the same issue…”

Federal Prosecution Levels Remain at Historic Highs

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2018 the government reported 18,135 new prosecutions, an increase of 6.7 percent over the previous month, and 57.3 percent over this period last year. The increase in federal criminal prosecutions is largely driven by a rise in immigration-related prosecutions… Continue Reading

Law As Source: How the Legal System Facilitates Investigative Journalism

Shapira, Roy, Law As Source: How the Legal System Facilitates Investigative Journalism (November 9, 2018). Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 37 (2018, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3281573 “Legal scholars have long recognized that the media plays a key role in assuring the proper functioning of political and business markets. Yet we have understudied the… Continue Reading

SciHub continues to get attacked around the world

Motherboard – ‘The Pirate Bay of Science’ Continues to Get Attacked Around the World: “A scientific research depository intended to provide open access to scientific data has had its domains blocked in Russia, after a Russian court declared that the website violates publisher copyrights. It’s the latest salvo in a global war on efforts to… Continue Reading

Document: Special Counsel Files Flynn Sentencing Memo

Lawfare: “The special counsel’s office has filed its sentencing memo in the case of Michael Flynn. The memo is available here and below. A redacted addendum is available as well.” Via the Washington Post – “The most striking part of Bob Mueller’s sentencing memo recommending Michael Flynn serve no prison time, because of his “substantial”… Continue Reading

UK Investigation – Facebook allegedly offered advertisers special access to users’ data and activities

Washington Post: [see also Motherboard for coverage w/out payall]”A key British lawmaker alleged Wednesday that Facebook maintained “whitelisting agreements” that gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data several years ago, offering insight into how the company balanced concerns about user privacy with the business imperative of growing revenue. Damian Collins, chairman of a… Continue Reading

New study from NC confirms some long-held folk wisdom about race and juries

The New York Times – Prof. Ronald Wright – “A new study from North Carolina confirms some long-held folk wisdom about race and juries. The good news is there are two doable solutions. Race, as a matter of constitutional principle, cannot factor into the selection of jurors for criminal trials. But in the American justice… Continue Reading

Asylum Decisions and Denials Jump in 2018

“Fiscal year 2018 broke records for the number of decisions by immigration judges granting or denying asylum. Denials grew faster than grants, pushing denial rates up as well. In 65 percent of these decisions asylum was denied. This is the sixth year in a row that denial rates have risen. Six years ago the denial… Continue Reading

15 state attorneys general back Maryland in challenging Whitaker’s appointment

The Hill: “The attorneys general from 14 states and Washington, D.C., are urging a federal district court judge to block Matthew Whitaker from continuing to serve as Acting U.S. attorney general. The state attorneys general filed a friend of the court brief in support of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s request on Nov. 13 for… Continue Reading

Open access to case law – how do we get there?

InfoLaw – Open access to case law – how do we get there? – “Open access to case law in England and Wales is in a very poor state of health, both in terms of the amount of case law that is freely accessible to the public and in terms of the sustainability and development… Continue Reading

Legal Research Companies Post Laws Online, but Do They Own the Data?

Legal Tech News – Experts note that laws and regulations, for the most part, aren’t copyrightable and that the prohibition is geared toward continuing easy access of laws for citizens “As more private companies upload judicial opinions, state and federal regulations and other public court documents, attempting to copyright those documents may prove futile. After… Continue Reading

As Federal Courts Urge Caution On Docket Services, Vendors Respond

LawSites – Bob Ambrogi – “Companies that provide services for accessing federal court dockets were caught off guard last week when a number of federal courts began sending notices to attorneys urging them to exercise caution when using such services. Some vendors said that the caution did not apply to them, while others said they were… Continue Reading