California Supreme Court to consider suit over Yelp review

Attorney News 2016/09/23 22:40   Bookmark and Share
The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider a lawsuit that Yelp.com warns could lead to the removal of negative reviews on the popular website.

The seven-member court voted unanimously Wednesday to take up an appeal by Yelp of a lower court ruling upholding an order requiring Yelp to remove posts against a San Francisco law firm.

Yelp wants the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, saying that if it's allowed to stand, it will open the door for businesses to force the company to remove critical reviews.

Dawn Hassell, the law firm's managing attorney, says the business review website is exaggerating the stakes of her legal effort. She says it aims only to remove from Yelp lies by a former client that a judge determined were defamatory, not just negative.

Hassell referred comment Wednesday to her attorney, Monique Olivier, who said in a statement she was not surprised the Supreme Court has taken up the case given the "amount of attention" it has received.

"This case is not one of a 'bad review' " she said. "It is a case where a court adjudicated statements to be defamatory after receiving and reviewing evidence about the falsity of those statements."

Aaron Schur, Yelp's senior director of litigation, said the company looked forward to explaining to the court "how the lower court's decision is ripe for abuse, contradicts longstanding legal principles, and restricts the ability of websites to provide a balanced spectrum of views online."
top

Texas man executed for killing city code enforcement worker

Attorney News 2016/03/22 09:34   Bookmark and Share
A Texas man on death row for killing a worker who was on his property looking for city code violations was put to death Tuesday.

Adam Ward was given a lethal injection for shooting and killing Michael Walker, a code enforcement officer who was taking photos of junk piled outside the Ward family home in Commerce, about 65 miles northeast of Dallas.

Ward insisted the 2005 shooting was in self-defense, but the 44-year-old Walker only had a camera and a cellphone.

Ward's attorneys, both at his trial and later for his appeals, described him as delusional and mentally ill. Hours before his execution, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal that argued his mental illness should have disqualified him from the death penalty.

The 33-year-old Ward thanked his supporters, expressed love for his parents who did not attend the execution and said he hoped "some positive change can come from this."

But he insisted the shooting was not a capital murder case.

"This is wrong what's happening," he said. "A lot of injustice is happening in all this. I'm sorry things didn't work out. May God forgive us all."

He was given a lethal dose of pentobarbital and as it took effect, he took a deep breath followed by a smaller one. He then stopped moving.

He was pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m. CDT — 12 minutes after the drug started to flow into him.

Ward became the ninth convicted killer executed this year nationally and the fifth in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state.

In their appeal to the Supreme Court, Ward's attorneys argued the high court's ban on executing mentally impaired prisoners should be extended to include inmates like Ward who have a severe mental illness and that putting him to death would be unconstitutional because of evolving sentiment against executing the mentally ill.

The justices have ruled mentally impaired people, generally those with an IQ below 70, may not be executed. However, the court has said mentally ill prisoners may be executed if they understand they are about to be put to death and why they face the punishment.

top

State Supreme Court suspends Hawaii telescope permit

Attorney News 2015/11/18 10:12   Bookmark and Share
The Hawaii Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily suspended a permit that allows a giant telescope to be built on a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred.
 
The court granted telescope opponents' request for an emergency stay of the effectiveness of the permit until Dec. 2, or until another court order.

The ruling was issued as protesters were gathering on Mauna Kea in anticipation of blocking telescope work from resuming. Work has been stalled since April amid protests.

"Mahalo ke akua," Kealoha Pisciotta, a longtime telescope opponent and one of the plaintiffs challenging the permit, repeated several times after hearing about the ruling. "Thank God."

Telescope officials announced last week a crew would return to the site this month to do vehicle maintenance work but they wouldn't specify a date.

A representative for the project said that TMT will respect the court's decision and stand down until Dec. 2.

"The Supreme Court's decision will give all parties involved in the appeal sufficient time to respond to the motion," TMT spokesman Scott Ishikawa said in a statement late Tuesday night.

Gov. David Ige said he will be conferring with the attorney general and the Department of Land and Natural Resources to determine the state's next steps.

"They cannot legally do any work on Mauna Kea," said Richard Naiwieha Wurdeman, the plaintiffs' attorney who filed the emergency request late Monday after hearing news reports that telescope crews would be going to the mountain on Wednesday.


top

California appeals court rejects right-to-die lawsuit

Attorney News 2015/10/31 09:34   Bookmark and Share
A California appeals court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit by three terminally ill patients that sought to clear the way for doctors to prescribe fatal medication to them and others like them who want the option of taking their lives.

A state law that makes helping someone commit suicide a crime clearly applies to physicians who provide patients lethal drugs, a division of the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled.

"We believe prescribing a lethal dose of drugs to a terminally ill patient with the knowledge the patient may use it to end his or her life goes beyond the mere giving of advice and encouragement and falls under the category of direct aiding and abetting," Associate Justice Alex McDonald wrote.

The ruling affirmed a lower court decision that dismissed the lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought against the state by Christy O'Donnell and two other terminally ill California residents.

O'Donnell suffers from Stage IV cancer of the left lung and was given less than six months to live in May when the lawsuit was filed.

California has since approved right-to-die legislation, though it will not likely go into effect in time to benefit the three patients, the appeals court acknowledged.

John Kappos, an attorney for the patients, said they are considering all options, including an appeal to the California Supreme Court.

top

Appeals court: Apple must submit to imposition of monitor

Attorney News 2015/06/01 00:42   Bookmark and Share
A federal appeals panel has refused to disqualify a court-appointed monitor after a judge found Apple colluded with book publishers in 2010 to raise electronic book prices.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled against Apple Inc. Thursday. The three-judge panel concluded that a judge did not act improperly when she declined Apple's request to disqualify a monitor she had appointed to evaluate Apple's antitrust policies.

A lawyer for Apple, based in Cupertino, California, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 2nd Circuit did not yet rule on a separate appeal in which Apple is challenging the judge's finding that it colluded with publishers.

After a 2013 civil trial, a judge ordered the technology giant to modify contracts with publishers to prevent price fixing.


top

Duke Energy will be in federal court for coal ash crimes

Attorney News 2015/05/13 12:09   Bookmark and Share
As the nation's largest electricity company prepares to plead guilty to violating the federal Clean Water Act, Duke Energy has started delivering bottled water to people with tainted wells close to its North Carolina coal ash pits.

Duke has long denied its 32 dumps in the state have contaminated the drinking water of its neighbors, suggesting any worrying chemicals found in the wells is likely naturally occurring.

But recent state-mandated tests found that more than 150 residential wells tested near Duke's dumps have failed to meet state groundwater standards, and residents have been advised not to use their water for drinking or cooking.

Many of the results showed troublesome levels of toxic heavy metals like vanadium and hexavalent chromium — both of which can be contained in coal ash. And some of the residents have retained lawyers.

Duke spokeswoman Erin Culbert told The Associated Press that any homeowner who gets a state letter warning of a tainted well will get safe bottled water from Duke, if they request it.

While denying responsibly for the problem, Culbert said Duke simply wants to provide the homeowners "peace of mind."

Duke is scheduled to plead guilty Thursday to nine environmental crimes as part of a negotiated settlement with federal prosecutors requiring it to pay $102 million in fines and restitution. The proposed settlement over years of illegal pollution leaking from ash dumps at five of Duke's plants has been sealed, so it wasn't clear before the hearing whether people with contaminated well water will benefit.
top

◀ PREV : [1] : [2] : [3] : [4] : [5] : [6] : [7] : [8] : .. [15] : NEXT ▶








Disclaimer: Nothing posted on this blog is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and hosted comments are available for general educational purposes only and should not be used to assess a specific legal situation. Nothing submitted as a comment is confidential. Nor does any comment on a blog post create an attorney-client relationship. The presence of hyperlinks to other third-party websites does not imply that the firm endorses those websites.

Best Law Firm Website Design Attorney Website Design That Works