This UABA Blog page provides information and commentary on issues that are relevant to the organization and its members. Although the blogs are public, comments can only be made by members. If yoiu wish to join the discussion, you are welcome to become a member.
The comments expressed on these blogs represent the opinions of the authors and not that of the UABA.
The University of Pennsylvania’s law school is ranked seventh by U.S. News & World Report, but it tops a list of the institutions that send the highest percentages of grads to the nation’s top 250 law firms. The National Law Journal compiled the rankings, and TaxProf Blog added the U.S. News ranking. For 2011, the top five were: ABA Law Journal Детальніше-Read More
While every law firm is culturally unique, often the same fears and concernsundefinednamely diminished profit margins and budget difficultiesundefinedplague outside counsel when it comes to changing billing practices. For many, creative fee schemes seem to create more nightmares than profits. But a few outside firms and their business clients have found a way to make it all work. The secret is in trust, sharing and statistics. In 2004 global industrial conglomerate Tyco International Ltd. issued an open request for proposals for law firms to craft new and different models for its litigation work. Eager to achieve greater predictability of cost and legal spending, the company was also willing, for the first time, to place its entire product liability docket (the company’s largest program) with a single firm, what it calls the convergence model. More than 20 firms responded, some of which had been longtime service providers to the company. ABA Law Journal Детальніше-Read More
Late last month the Supreme Court heard arguments over the constitutionality of a 2006 law undefined the Stolen Valor Act undefined that makes lying about receiving military honors a federal offense. It’s an interesting First Amendment issue that does not, on its face, appear to have much to do with corporations. But former Solicitor General Paul Clement, speaking to a group of corporate counsel Friday, said companies should pay close attention when the court issues a ruling in the case. Why? WSJ Law Blog Детальніше-Read More
The Supreme Court on Monday afternoon took the unusual action of ordering reargument in the case heard last week that has been brought against a multinational oil corporation for aiding and abetting human rights violations in Nigeria. The case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, originally asked whether corporations can ever be held liable under a founding-era law, known as the Alien Tort Statute, that allows foreign nationals to bring civil suits in federal courts "for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States." At oral argument last week, the Court's conservatives appeared ready to hold corporations immune from suit under the Alien Tort Statute despite the law's silence over the identity of potential defendants. Monday's order, however, pushes aside the question of corporate liability to address a less politically explosive, but much more consequential question: whether any entity -- individual, state, corporation -- can be brought to justice in U.S. courts for abuses committed abroad. Huffington Post Детальніше-Read More
A federal rule that requires tobacco companies to display pictures of diseased lungs or other graphic images on cigarette packs is unconstitutional, a judge in Washington ruled Wednesday. Regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would have required tobacco companies to display the images on the top half of cigarette packs, front and back. It was scheduled to take effect in September. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the Obama administration failed “to convey any factual information supported by evidence about the actual health consequences of smoking through its use of these graphic images.” The rule, he said, violates companies’ First Amendment protections against government-compelled speech. WSJ Law Blog Детальніше-Read More
Torture victims faced skepticism at the Supreme Court Tuesday, where justices questioned whether foreign organizations, including the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the Palestinian Authority, could be sued for violating international law under U.S. statutes dating to the 18th century. The Alien Tort Statute, adopted by the First Congress in 1789, permits foreigners to sue in federal court for violations of treaties or the “law of nations,” which today is understood to prohibit torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. More than two centuries later, President George H.W. Bush signed the Torture Victim Protection Act, authorizing U.S. citizens and aliens alike to sue perpetrators of torture and “extrajudicial killing” overseas. Wall Street Journal LawBlog Детальніше-Read More
A U.S. court has dismissed a law suit filed by the former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko against Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Pshonka. Lutsenko has accused Pshonka and his subordinates of violating his human rights and parliamentary immunity, and of arbitrary arrest and unlawful imprisonment. Lutsenko is in prison in Ukraine, accused of abuse of power while in office. A verdict is expected in that case on February 27. The suit was registered in court in the District of Columbia in December. The plaintiff was instructed by the court to serve the defendant and file a status report with the court on February 8. When no report was filed or extension sought on February 8, the court extended the term until February 24. As no status report was filed or cause shown why the action should not be dismissed, the court threw out the suit. RFL/RL Read Court Order
ED NOTE: on February 24, 2012, Lutsenko's Counsel filed a motion to reopen case stating that failure to file status report was due to excusable inadvertence. Read Motion Papers
There’s little question that being easily found via the Internet is important for solos, particularly those practicing in highly consumer-facing areas like criminal defense, family law, and bankruptcy. And when it comes to Internet searches, Google reigns supreme, commanding two-thirds of the search market. Although building out a website and related online presences is critical to being found online, Google also offers a sweet little gift to your practice: a free Google Places profile. What’s Google Places? It’s the series of listings (typically 3 or 7) that appear at or near the top of the page when users search for local business related terms like “Chicago plumber” or “Miami DUI lawyer.” ABA GPSolo Report Детальніше-Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against a Michigan inmate who contended he should have received a Miranda warning before being interrogated in a prison conference room about sexual conduct with a 12-year-old boy. The court ruled in a 6-3 opinion (PDF) against inmate Randall Lee Fields, who confessed to molestation while incarcerated on a disorderly misconduct charge. The dissenters were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen G. Breyer. ABA Law Journal Детальніше-Read More