Effective January 1, 2003, California enacted new Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1, which effectively lifts the statute of limitations completely on suits alleging childhood sexual molestation for a period of one year. Some cases alleging abuse as long as 30 years ago are going forward. Many think the entertainment industry, with its infamous “casting couches,” is about to get hit as hard as the Catholic Church has been, according to this.
News & Politics
This article discusses a study of claims of asbestos disease submitted by plaintiffs’ firms to the Manville Trust, which was created and funded with $2 billion following the 1982 bankruptcy of Johns-Manville. The Trust pays out set amounts to those who file injury claims alleging exposure to its products. Among many disturbing findings, the study found one doctor who had diagnosed a staggering 30,467 claimants with low-level asbestos disease in a six-year period. According to my calculations, that works out to an average of about 21 positive diagnoses each day for six years! Sound fishy to you?
A Federal Court had ruled the law unconstitutional, but now a State Appellate Court has disagreed and held that plaintiffs can go forward with claims for things that happened over 50 years ago in foreign countries. The opinion can be read here (PDF).
Patricia Russell Brown says she was promised partnership when she lateralled to 750-lawyer Dorsey & Whitney in 2000. But she never got it, allegedly because she is black. She says no black associate has ever made partner there, and the firm has only three black partners in total, according to this.
A partner in the Bangkok office has been ousted from Clifford Chance and has accused the firm of defamation, which is a criminal offense in Thailand, Lawyer News reports.
The first jury hung, but the judge entered a life sentence. On retrial, a second jury convicted and sentenced David Sattazahn to death. The Court held that — because the first jury hung — the second trail was not double jeopardy, according to this. You can read the opinion here.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case in which a Nevada State employee was denied Family Medical Leave to care for his wife in violation of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). At issue is whether the FMLA applies to state employees, according to this. UPDATE: Here’s a detailed article about tomorrow’s argument.
Attorney James E. Stern tried for several years to make a living as a lawyer, but eventually gave up in frustration and moved to France with his French wife. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, hoping to shed about $150k in educational loans. But the court found that he hadn’t made the requisite showing, and refused to discharge the debt, according to this.