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Pennsylvania Senate OKs on Medical Cannabis Act

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By: P.Aiden Hunt

Pennsylvania senators on Wednesday approved the state’s proposed medical marijuana act. The vote was 43-7 and the bill now goes to the state’s House of Representatives.

State Senators Daylin Leach, a Democrat, and Republican Mike Folmer introduced the bipartisan bill last November. But after amendments were added by the Law and Justice and Appropriations committees, the legislation is significantly watered down from its original language.

S.B. 1182 was formerly known as the “Governor Raymond Schafer Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act.” Sponsors originally named it for the Pennsylvania governor who headed up President Richard Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. After the commission was formed in 1970, Schafer led the two-year study on the potential harm of marijuana use and concluded in a report that marijuana should be decriminalized nationwide. Read the rest of this entry »

How to enforce a money judgement

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Judge Modifies $48 Million Verdict Against ‘Manipulative’ MP3Tunes Founder

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By: Eriq Gardner

U.S. District Judge William Pauley, who since 2007 has presided over what might be the most complex copyright lawsuit of all time, took the opportunity on Monday to slam both sides of litigation that produced a $48 million jury verdict against MP3Tunes and its founder, Michael Robertson.

Record labels and music publishers sued Robertson for running websites that allowed its users to upload music, listen to music, and transfer — or “sideload” — music from third-party websites to storage lockers. The case dealt with many complex issues, and not even legal observers closely following the case were exactly sure of what was happening in the run-up to the trial. The jury’s verdict (which included $7.5 million in punitive damages) nevertheless got tremendous attention, and afterward, Robertson asked the judge to set aside the verdict as being unsupported by evidence. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Suing Headphones Entrepreneur for Claiming to Be a Beats Co-Founder

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By: Eriq Gardner

The story of how Beats Electronics was founded just got more interesting.

On Friday, the new Apple subsidiary filed a false advertising and unfair competition lawsuit against Steve Lamar for holding himself out to be a co-founder of the headphones company alongside Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.

As we’ve been detailing since January, Lamar is involved in a separate dispute over whether Beats owes as much as 4 percent of royalties on newer headphone sales. In May, Lamar brought a cross-complaint that contended that in 2006, he took his concept for celebrity musical artist-endorsed headphones to Iovine, the co-founder of Interscope Records, and that the two worked with a design firm before the partnership crumbled. Read the rest of this entry »

Wrongly labeled a porn star by DJs, former 1L is awarded $1M in suit against radio station

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By: Debra Cassens Weiss

A former law student at the University of Kansas has been awarded $1 million in a suit against a radio station asserting its DJs wrongly labeled her as a porn star.

Federal jurors on Friday ordered radio station owner Entercom Kansas City to pay the plaintiff, Ashley Patton, $250,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages, report the Kansas City Star, All Access Music Group, Fox4KC and KSHB.

Entercom will not appeal the verdict as a result of a high-low agreement reached by the parties during jury deliberations, according to KSHB. Read the rest of this entry »

Do job personality tests discriminate? EEOC probes lawyer’s complaint, filed on behalf of his son

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By: Debra Cassens Weiss

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is investigating a lawyer’s complaint, filed on behalf of his son, that claims well-known companies discriminate against the mentally ill through the use of personality tests in job screening.

Roland Behm, a former in-house counsel at Nokia Corp., filed discrimination charges with the EEOC on behalf of his son, Kyle Behm, who has bipolar disorder, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The youth was rejected by seven companies after he applied online for hourly jobs in 2012.

The EEOC included complaints against two of the companies–Kroger and PetSmart—in an investigation already under way to determine whether personality tests discriminate based on disabilities such as depression or bipolar disorder, the story says, citing documents sent to Behm. Kroger declined to comment while a PetSmart spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal the company is “committed to fair recruitment and employment practices.” Read the rest of this entry »

What is a Paralegal?

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Russian Billionaire Rybolovlev Must Face Ex-Wife’s Suit

By: Chris Dolmetsch

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev lost a bid to throw out his ex-wife’s lawsuit over the $88 million purchase of a New York City penthouse bordering Central Park.

New York State Supreme Court Justice Milton A. Tingling in Manhattan denied Rybolovlev’s request to dismiss the suit, saying the billionaire didn’t prove New York wasn’t the proper place for the trial. Tingling, in an order made public today, also granted a request by the ex-wife, Elena Rybolovleva, to have her former husband questioned under oath.

Rybolovleva sued in March 2012 accusing Rybolovlev of fraud, saying he used property acquired during their marriage to buy the penthouse at 15 Central Park West, in violation of a Swiss court order. Rybolovlev bought the apartment from former Citigroup Inc. Chairman Sanford Weill in the most expensive residential deal in New York.  Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Irish Tax Deal Engineered to Boost Employment, EU Says

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By: Gaspard Sebag and Jesse Drucker

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s tax agreements with Ireland were criticized as unfair by European Union regulators who said the deals were improperly designed to give the iPhone maker a financial boost in exchange for jobs in the country.

Apple risks repaying illegal tax breaks from as far back as 2003 on suspicions that “employment considerations” trumped compliance with tax rules, according to a European Commission letter outlining its case to Irish officials dated June 11 and posted on the EU website today. The regulator’s findings are preliminary.

“Overall, it looks like Ireland is caught,” said Alex Cobham, a researcher at the Center for Global Development in London, who studies tax avoidance. “They’ve done a deal to fix some minimal tax payment for themselves, while turning a deliberate blind eye to the fact that this legitimizes the non-taxation of large amounts of Apple’s profits.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Wal-Mart Blames Tracy Morgan for Injuries Stemming From Accident

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By: Erik Larson

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) said actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is to blame for injuries he sustained in a June highway crash because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

Morgan, who was critically injured when the limousine bus he was in was struck by a Wal-Mart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike, sued Wal-Mart for negligence. Investigators found the truck driver was speeding and hadn’t slept for at least 24 hours, but Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, said Morgan is responsible “in whole or in part” for his injuries.

“By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seatbelts,” Morgan “acted unreasonably and in disregard” of his own best interests, Wal-Mart said in a filing yesterday in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.  Read the rest of this entry »

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