Valarie Wallin, a graduate of an online law school, has passed the bar in California and Wisconsin. Now she wants the Minnesota Supreme Court to allow her to take the exam there.Wallin is joining with three other petitioners to ask for a change in Minnesota rules that allow only graduates of ABA-accredited law schools to take the state bar exam, according to PineandLakes.com. Wallin graduated from the Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, an unaccredited distance-learning law school in California that touts its Biblical approach.Today the average annual tuition at the four law schools in Minnesota is $27,890, according to Wallin’s petition (PDF). That compares to an annual tuition of $9,250 at the online Concord Law School and $3,500 at Oak Brook College of Law.Wallin says Minnesota is one of 19 states that do not have some kind of waiver for graduates of unaccredited law schools. Her Supreme Court petition seeks an amendment to the rules to allow lawyers licensed in … [Read more...] about Online Law Grad Petitions to Take Bar, Cites High Cost of Traditional Ed.
Cost of moving to another state
“[D]iscovery is by definition invasive [and] parties to a law suit must accept its travails as a natural concomitant of modern civil litigation.”1But “[n]on-parties have a different set of expectations”2 and discovery aimed at them is “limited to protect third parties from harassment, inconvenience, or disclosure of confidential documents.”3 Courts recognize that non-parties responding to Rule 45 subpoenas “are powerless to control the scope of litigation and discovery, and should not be forced to subsidize an unreasonable share of the costs of a litigation to which they are not a party.”4To balance the burden of discovery placed on non-parties, Rule 45 and Federal Courts empower non-parties to protect themselves from unduly burdensome and invasive discovery requests. Suppose a company receives a subpoena requesting production of “[a]ll electronically stored information and documents relating to or concerning the lawsuit from … [Read more...] about Non-Parties and Electronic Discovery: Limiting the Scope and Cost of Responding to Invasive Rule 45 Subpoenas
William Gary White III was accused of being so uncivil and unprofessional that the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended him in 2011 for 90 days and ordered him to complete the state bar’s legal ethics and professionalism program.White was found to have violated a slew of South Carolina’s ethics rules in a letter to his client, an Atlantic Beach, S.C., church that had received a town notice that it needed to comply with zoning laws. White’s letter, copied to the town manager and later made part of the published opinion, was a scorcher:“You have been sent a letter by purported Town Manager Kenneth McIver. The letter is false. You notice McIver has no order. He also has no brains, and it is questionable if he has a soul. Christ was crucified some 2,000 years ago. The church is His body on Earth. The pagans at Atlantic Beach want to crucify His body here on Earth yet again. …“First-graders know about freedom of religion. The pagans of Atlantic Beach … [Read more...] about You’re Out of Order! Dealing with the Costs of Incivility in the Legal Profession
The ABA recently sold an office building in Washington, D.C., that it had owned since 1994. The sale, which closed on Dec. 16, means the association will lease space at another location in central Washington.ABA officials say the transaction will produce financial benefits for the association, as well as open the way for a move to space that will be more suitable to the needs of some 240 staff members and more friendly to members coming to Washington on association business.“We have been fortunate to sell the building at the top of the real estate market in Washington, D.C.,” ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III told the ABA Journal a few days after the closing. And while the building was a historic structure located just a block from the White House, it also “was a labyrinth of office space that was inefficient,” said Robinson, the member in charge of the Florence, Ky., office of Frost Brown Todd.The ABA sold its building at 740 15th St. N.W. to JBC Funds … [Read more...] about Change of Address: ABA Moving to Leased Space After Selling DC Building
The U.S. Supreme Court recently paved the way for legally married same-sex spouses to have the same federal rights and benefits as married opposite-sex spouses. In United States vs. Windsor, the Court struck down as unconstitutional the federal definition of “marriage” as only between a man and a woman and the definition of “spouse” as a legally married person of the opposite sex. The Court found that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines “marriage” and “spouse” for purposes of applying federal laws, violates the equal protection guarantees under the Fifth Amendment by not recognizing a same-sex marriage permitted by a state. This means that if a same-sex marriage is legal under state law, it must now be recognized for federal law purposes. Notably, the Court let stand the states’ right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other states. The … [Read more...] about Supreme Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional — What Does this Mean for Plan Sponsors?
Corrected: Tales recounted by a parade of witnesses at an ABA public hearing Wednesday painted a disturbing picture of how courts around the United States are being affected by budget cutbacks as state governments continue to reel from economic woes.The Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System, appointed by ABA President Stephen N. Zack in August, held its first public hearing on the opening day of the 2011 ABA Midyear Meeting in Atlanta.Co-chairs David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, along with other members of the task force heard, for instance, from Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein about how the court has taken to soliciting vendors for free pens and pencils. Former New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick told the task force about his decision to suspend civil jury trials in the state in 2009 to save money.In Michigan, many state court judges are going without health insurance because the state only pays their salaries, and many counties … [Read more...] about Public Hearing on Judiciary Funding Draws Tales of Courts Begging for Pens, Jury Trials Halted
Lone Star state capped malpractice awards, but citizens have seen no benefits Rick Perry, GOP presidential candidate Charles Dharapak/APIn his quest to win the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is perpetuating a convincing hoax: that implementing Texas-style tort reform would go a long way toward curing what ails the U.S. health care system.Like his fellow GOP contenders, Perry consistently denounces “Obamacare” as “a budget-busting, government takeover of healthcare” and “the greatest intrusion on individual freedom in a generation.” He promises to repeal the law if elected. Unlike those in the “repeal-and-replace” wing of the Republican Party, however, Perry has emerged as leader of the “repeal-and-let-the-states-figure-it-out” wing that believes the federal government has no legitimate role in fixing America’s health care system.“To hear federal officials tell it, … [Read more...] about The Mythical Benefits of Tort Reform in Texas
The State is Seeking to Align Utility Business Models With REV Policy Objectives Summary: On May 19, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission adopted an order setting forth a new model framework for ratemaking and utility revenue (Ratemaking Order) within the Reforming the Energy Vision program. The Ratemaking Order provides nine measures that the Commission expects will help utilities and other stakeholders transition to the new framework. This alert highlights two of the nine measures and provides key upcoming deadlines established by the Ratemaking Order.On May 19, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission (the Commission) adopted an order setting forth a new model framework for ratemaking and utility revenue (Ratemaking Order) within the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program. The order builds on the 2015 Framework Order, which adopted a regulatory policy framework for REV, and, as articulated in the agency’s 2016 Order … [Read more...] about New Ratemaking Order Revamps Conventional Cost-of-Service Ratemaking for New York Utilities
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has made a big splash this summer with not one, but two major announcements that will expand worker coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and, no doubt, cause employers to reconsider the configuration and costs of their current workforce. On July 6, 2015, the DOL published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, when finalized, would immediately extend overtime protection to almost five million white collar workers who are currently not entitled to overtime pay because they are exempt from the FLSA.Shortly thereafter, on July 15, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil issued Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2015-1 (“Interpretation”) advocating the DOL’s position that most workers are employees covered by the FLSA and that many employers throughout the country are improperly misclassifying workers as independent contractors. “White Collar” Exemptions … [Read more...] about U.S. DOL’s Aggressive Moves to Expand FLSA Coverage
On May 26, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a proposed rule (“Proposed Rule”) containing the first proposed revisions to the Medicaid managed care (“MMC”) program’s regulations in more than 12 years. When these proposed revisions are finalized, they will have broad-reaching effects on state Medicaid programs nationally as well as the plans, providers, and companies that serve Medicaid plans or Medicaid providers either directly or indirectly. Medicaid is the largest government payer, supplying health insurance coverage for approximately 70.5 million Americans and providing the core source of financing for safety-net hospitals and health centers that serve low-income communities, as well as nursing homes and community-based long-term care facilities. Further, as of July 1, 2011, approximately 74 percent of Medicaid enrollees received services through managed care plans, and MMC enrollment is expected … [Read more...] about CMS Issues Broad-Reaching Proposals to Better Align Medicaid Managed Care with the Commercial and Medicare Markets