An online efforts to raise funds for the legal defense of a Georgia father charged in a controversial murder case over the death of his young son in a hot car has been suspended, and the $22,000 already donated will be refunded.A PayPal spokeswoman told the Associated Press it will give refunds to those who used the online service to donate to the fund for Justin Ross Harris. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the YouCaring.com site that had hosted the page promoting the fundraising effort said it had become a distraction and hence was eliminated.Spokesman Michael Blasco called the case a “sensitive matter involving the Harris family” and said YouCaring.com doesn’t take sides in legal disputes, the news agency reports.Media reports also say that Harris has been fired from his job at Home Depot, that his Harris’ wife has hired a lawyer although she faces no charges in the case, and that toxicology results show their 22-month-old son had ingested no poison or drug before … [Read more...] about PayPal to refund donations made for dad’s defense in murder case over son’s hot-car death
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A Georgia man has been indicted on charges of murder in the hot-car death of his 22-month old son.Justin Ross Harris was indicted Thursday on eight charges, five of them in connection with the June 18 death and three in connection with his alleged sexting of an underage girl, according to the Daily Report (sub. req.), the Marietta Daily Journal and CNN. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution links to the indictment (PDF).Police allege Harris put his boy, Cooper Harris, in a car seat, drove to Home Depot where he worked as a web developer, and left the child in the hot car for seven hours, according to the CNN account. On the way home he stopped in a parking lot and jumped out, yelling “Oh my God, what have I done?” according to testimony at a July 3 probable cause hearing. His lawyers have said the toddler’s death was an accident and Justin Ross Harris intended to leave the boy at day care.Cobb County Police Detective Phil Stoddard also testified at the probable cause … [Read more...] about Dad is charged with murder in son’s hot-car death; indictment also claims he sexted underage girl
Recently, the Supreme Court in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, 137 S. Ct. 1702 (2017), held that the plaintiff in a putative class action involving Xbox 360 game consoles could not appeal from the District Court’s denial of class certification after plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his claims with prejudice. While 28 U.S.C. § 1291 allows appeals from final decisions as a matter of right, the Supreme Court held that plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal did not qualify as an appealable final decision. The Court determined that allowing such an appeal would undermine § 1291’s finality principle and subvert the discretionary nature of interlocutory class certification appeals under Rule 23(f). Gamers, in other words, could not be allowed to hack § 1291 in this way.The underlying lawsuit began in 2011 when plaintiff Seth Baker filed a putative class action lawsuit in the Western District of Washington, alleging that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 … [Read more...] about Game Over: Supreme Court Denies Plaintiff’s Class Certification Appeal after Voluntary Dismissal in Xbox 360 Lawsuit
EPA sets new requirements and compliance deadlines for a stricter regulatory oversight program.On March 9, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a letter to the California State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) concerning California’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program. In the letter, EPA sets forth requirements for increased oversight of Class II underground injection wells and a schedule for DOGGR to ensure that those wells comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). EPA’s letter and the requirements for increased oversight are likely to affect thousands of injection wells across the state.Under the schedule set forth by EPA, DOGGR must confirm by February 15, 2017 that all Class II wells currently injecting into nonexempt aquifers fully comply with standards of the SDWA. Prior to that date, the state agencies must meet deadlines in May 2015, July 2015, and … [Read more...] about California’s Class II Underground Injection Wells Subject to Increased Scrutiny
Sex sells. And draws clicks, too, on Facebook, Twitter or the countless other sites people visit to get their news. Whether it was the salacious details surrounding Anita Hill’s allegations about Clarence Thomas decades ago or the more recent accusations that cost Bill O’Reilly his Fox News gig, it does not take much to get people talking about sexual misconduct in the workplace. Much has already been written about the risks of coddling superstar employees and over-reliance on confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements that may not be as airtight as some think. This article, however, is intended simply as a refresher of the basic, nuts-and-bolts aspects of an effective harassment prevention program. While faithful adoption of these suggestions is not a magic talisman for warding off all claims, regular and reliable adherence to these steps will put employers in a better position to defend and possibly reduce the number of claims.Policies and Procedures. It goes … [Read more...] about Implementing Best-In-Class Harassment-Free Workplace Program to Help Your Company Stay Out of Headlines: Oops, He (or She) Did It Again!
Two law students admit they were a little intimidated to take a class taught by Antonin Scalia, but they found the justice to be down-to-earth and caring.Students from New England Law Boston took Scalia’s class on separation of powers this summer at a satellite location in Ireland, the Boston Herald reports. Pamela Tankle took a seat in the second row on the first day of class, figuring she would be blocked by others in front of her. But no one sat in the first row, and she was directly in front of the justice.“A lot of times, legal concepts are hard to understand, especially when teachers don’t know how to explain it in a simple and straightforward manner,” Tankle told the publication. “But [Scalia] was really down to earth.”Another student, Karalyn O’Brien, said Scalia was “a kind person who really cares about his students.” She said she was nervous at first but found the class to be an “incredible” experience. … [Read more...] about Student who Took Scalia’s Class Calls him ‘Down to Earth’
In the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision in Scott v. Family Dollar Stores, the concurrence and dissent sharply disagreed about the significance of the majority opinion. Depending on which opinion you read, Family Dollar is either a sweeping reinterpretation of the Supreme Court’s class action decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes or a narrow holding reiterating the rule in favor of liberal amendment of complaints. Time will tell who is right.In Family Dollar, a putative nationwide class of female store managers filed suit against Family Dollar under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act, claiming they were paid less than similarly situated male store managers. Early in the case, the plaintiffs relied on the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Dukes v. Wal-Mart,arguing that the “Ninth Circuit has now affirmed certification of such a nationwide class having virtually identical claims of sex discrimination in pay to … [Read more...] about Fourth Circuit Weighs in on Supreme Court’s Class Action Decision in Walmart v. Dukes–or Does It?
American lawyers and European politicians have discovered they have a common interest in opening the door to class action litigation.Such mass tort suits require changes in the law, to permit plaintiffs with similar claims to band together. But some politicians are interested in enacting legislation to allow European class actions, Bloomberg reports.Currently, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is calling for “class action a la Francaise.” The Netherlands has a law that permits courts to oversee settlements en masse, even though it doesn’t allow suits to be brought by a class. And Germany, in response to 2,500 securities suits filed in 2003 by 16,000 shareholders of Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom, passed a law in 2005 creating a special procedure for shareholder suits.There’s still one big difference between the U.S. legal system and those of many foreign countries that may discourage European class action suits, though, Bloomberg says: Under the American rule, each … [Read more...] about Will U.S. Class Actions Invade Europe?
The general counsel of a subsidiary of General Electric Co. can proceed with an employment discrimination case against her employer on a class-action basis, a federal judge ruled yesterday.The suit alleges that a “very male-dominated culture” at GE discriminates against women executives at all levels, denying them equal pay and promotion—including promotion to top-level legal jobs, reports the Associated Press. It could potentially could hit the international conglomerate with $500 million in damages on behalf of 1,500 female employees, if it is successful.Filed in federal district court in Connecticut in May by Lorene Schaefer, general counsel of GE Transportation, the suit also seeks an injunction requiring the company to end its allegedly discriminatory pay and promotion practices.The company had argued that Schaefer should not be allowed to bring the case as a class action because she had access to confidential attorney-client information as a high-level GE … [Read more...] about Federal Judge OKs Counsel’s Class Action Against General Electric
Tennessee class action lawyer Gordon Ball will have to give his former spouse an extra $6.8 million because of a ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court on the division of property acquired after a divorce filing.Ball was awarded a $17 million fee after his wife, Marn Suzanne Larsen-Ball, filed for divorce in January 2006, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. He had claimed the fee wasn’t marital property, but the Tennessee Supreme Court didn’t agree, affirming a split that gave 60 percent to Gordon and 40 percent to his former wife.The opinion (PDF posted by the Knoxville News Sentinel) said the split was fair because Larsen-Ball’s role as a homemaker gave her husband the opportunity to pursue and acquire a “substantial estate” totaling $30 million in assets.Larsen-Ball didn’t achieve a total victory, however. The state supreme court ruled against her claim that she was entitled to additional assets because of her husband’s lavish spending, the … [Read more...] about Tenn. High Court’s Divorce Ruling Costs Class Action Lawyer $6.8M