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Category: Legal

Lawyer’s photoshopped celebrity pictures lead to suspension recommendation

By: Debra Cassens Weiss

A lawyer who apparently photoshopped her image into pictures of celebrities and posted them on her website is facing a possible suspension after failing to cooperate in the resulting bar probe.

A California bar court judge recommended a six-month suspension for Svitlana Sangary, saying the photos amounted to deceptive advertising, theRecorder reports. The bar court judge’s opinion(PDF) also said Sangary failed to cooperate in bar probes and delayed the return of case files to a client who fired her. The bar probes were launched to investigate the website photos and a client’s complaint that she failed to arbitrate a fee matter before filing suit. Read the rest of this entry »

Judge scolds BP for squeezing extra lines into brief

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By: Debra Cassens Weiss

BP is on notice that a federal judge will be closely scrutinizing its briefs for excess words in litigation over the Gulf oil spill.

In an order (PDF) on Monday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said BP evidently abused a 35-page limit by slightly squeezing the spacing between the lines. The limit was already 10 pages longer than usual, and it called for a double-spaced brief.

As a result of the manipulation, Barbier said, BP exceeded the already enlarged page limit by about six pages. Slate and NPR have stories. Read the rest of this entry »

NYC police to revise decoy purse operation to settle lawsuit

By: Debra Cassens Weiss

New York City’s police department has agreed to settle a lawsuit that claimed a decoy purse operation was leading to arrests of good Samaritans who hoped to return the items to their rightful owners.

Police have agreed to revise the guidelines for the sting, dubbed “Operation Lucky Bag,” the New York Times and the New York Post report. Read the rest of this entry »

San Francisco Plans to Shame Landlords Into Complying with Earthquake-Safety Ordinance

Quake shaming Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese court sentences three to death for railway station knife attacks

Knife attack at train station in Kunming, Yunnan province

By: Jonathan Kalman

A court in southern China sentenced three people to death and one to life in prison on Friday for perpetrating a gruesome knife attack on a railway station this spring, an incident that shocked the country and underscored the severity of ethnic conflict in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

At the end of a one-day trial, prosecutors in Kunming, the capital of south-west China’s Yunnan province, found four defendants guilty of orchestrating the attack on 1 March, in which eight black-clad assailants indiscriminately hacked at bystanders with knives and machetes, killing 29 people and injuring 141.

Police shot four attackers dead at the scene, and captured one. State media has offered conflicting accounts of when the remaining four attackers – three men and one woman – were detained.

Read the rest of this entry »

Texas set to execute Lisa Coleman for gruesome murder of child

Texas Execution

By: Tom Dart

When emergency services arrived at the home Lisa Coleman shared with her lover they found the bruised and emaciated dead body of nine-year-old Davontae Williams clad only in bandages and a diaper.

Ten years later, Coleman is set to be executed in Texas for her role in the boy’s death. Barring the unlikely success of a last-minute appeal to the supreme court, on Wednesday at 6pm CT the 38-year-old will become only the 15th woman put to death in the US since capital punishment was restored in 1976.

Though women commit about one in 10 murders in the US they account for only 1% of executions. But the jury in Tarrant County was persuaded to hand down the ultimate punishment after hearing testimony at Coleman’s trial that indicated the gruesome treatment the child suffered at a low-rent apartment complex a short drive south of the Dallas Cowboys’ NFL stadium. Read the rest of this entry »

Khodorkovsky Links Yevtushenkov’s Arrest to Fight Over Bashneft, Contrasts to Yukos Case

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Former director of Yukos Oil Company MikhailKhodorkovsky linked the criminal case against Vladimir Yevtushenkov with the conflict with state-owned Rosneft over the shares of Bashneft and advised to seek compromise, media reported Wednesday.

“Vladimir Yevtushenkov was stubborn, he did not want to pass his property at the conditions he was apparently offered. So it was decided to use the familiar old method. I think, there is nothing else here,” Khodorkovsky told Vedomosti business daily.

One of Russia’s richest men and the head of Sistema conglomerate, Yevtushenkov was arrested on alleged charges over his suspected involvement in money-laundering. The prosecutors are probing into Sistema’s unlawful acquisition of Bashneft oil company’s shares. The court is to determine whether the shares Yevtushenkov legalized had been stolen from Russian Bashkotorstan Republic’s oil companies. Read the rest of this entry »

New York Court Service

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Russia Calls Law on Special Status of Donbas ‘Step in Right Direction’

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Russia views the recent Ukrainian law on special status of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk region as a step in the right direction, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law submitted by President Petro Poroshenko to introduce self-administration in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The bill states that local elections are to take place in the regions on December 7 and also guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language in Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry »

US Justice Department to Look Into Racial Bias in Law Enforcement: Reports

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By: Reuters

The US Justice Department is launching a study into racial bias in law enforcement structures in five American cities, to be selected later, US Attorney General Eric Holder revealed in an interview with the Associated Press.

“What I saw in Ferguson confirmed for me that the need for such an effort was pretty clear,” Holder said Tuesday.

The attorney general noted that the three-year project, which will involve training, data analysis and interviews with community residents, could be a “silver lining” if it helps ease racial tensions and “pockets of distrust that show up between law enforcement and the communities that they serve.” Read the rest of this entry »

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