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July 12, 2011

Student Files Suit over Border Search and Seizure

Trial Begins in Vet's Claim that VA Colonoscopy Gave Him Hepatitis C

Suit: Woman Paid Less than Male Predecessors

Ford Hit with Patent Violation Lawsuit

Student Accused of Rape, Suit Against School Heads to Trial

Trial Records at Mercy of Court Reporters' Performance

Fracking Water Killed Trees, Study Finds

Houston's 14th Court of Appeals: Torts

 

 

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Laws/Cases

 

Student Files Suit over Border Search and Seizure

A graduate student has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after his laptop was seized as he crossed into the U.S. from Canada. Border officials say they took the computer because it contained pictures of rallies by Hamas and Hezbollah. In his lawsuit, the student claims the pictures were part of his doctoral research into Shiites in Lebanon. The search and seizure, he says, "violated the constitutional rights to free speech and to protection against improper searches."  Tiffany Kary, Bloomberg  07/11/2011

Read Article: Bloomberg    

 

Trial Begins in Vet's Claim that VA Colonoscopy Gave Him Hepatitis C

Sharply contrasting opening statements were presented in U.S. District Court in Miami in a medical malpractice case filed against the VA. It's the first such case to go to trial after about 11,000 U.S. military veterans learned that colonoscopies they had at three VA hospitals, including Miami's, were performed with improperly cleaned equipment. The plaintiff tested negative for hepatitis in 2006, got the colonoscopy in 2007 and was told he has hepatitis C in 2009.  FRED TASKER, McClatchy Newspapers, The Sacramento Bee  07/12/2011

Read Article: The Sacramento Bee    

 

Suit: Woman Paid Less than Male Predecessors

A former city of Detroit employee has filed a lawsuit against city claiming she was paid less than the male predecessors in her position. The plaintiff, the former head of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, alleges in her suit that her salary was almost $100,000 less per year than men who had come before her. She resigned in September after her complaints went unanswered.  Staff Report, Detroit Free Press  07/12/2011

Read Article: Detroit Free Press    

 

Ford Hit with Patent Violation Lawsuit

Ford Motor Co. has been hit with a patent infringement lawsuit over Sync, its in-car communication system. The suit, filed by Eagle Harbor Holdings, claims the automaker used patented voice command recognition technology in various aspects of the Sync system and other in-car features. Lawyers for the plaintiff have estimated that compensation from the suit could be in the millions.  Chris Woodyard, USA Today  07/12/2011

Read Article: USA Today    

 

Student Accused of Rape, Suit Against School Heads to Trial

A trial is scheduled for a lawsuit filed against the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee by a former student who was accused of raping another student in 2008. The plaintiff claims in his suit that the school failed to follow its own policy regarding sexual assault cases and due process, and that the accusations "damaged" his reputation. According to the suit, the school forced the plaintiff to withdraw for a year, a breach of the university contract.  Todd South, Chattanooga Times Free Press  07/12/2011

Read Article: Chattanooga Times Free Press    

 

Issues

 

Trial Records at Mercy of Court Reporters' Performance

In courtrooms, words matter. Whether a person ends up free or in prison can turn on precisely what was said. Appeals depend on the ability of lawyers and judges to examine an exact rendering of who uttered what and when. So mistakes can be monumentally disruptive. Perhaps the biggest curiosity of the court reporter system, however, is that, unlike other official documents generated by a court case, such as complaints and pleas, the verbatim notes of what occurred at trial effectively belong to the court reporter. In a 2006 report, the Senate Jurisprudence Committee urged the incoming Legislature to "enact legislation to state that the official transcript of court proceedings is the property of the court, not the court reporter." But lawmakers declined to act.  Eric Dexheimer, Austin American Statesman  07/04/2011

Read Article: Austin American Statesman    

 

Fracking Water Killed Trees, Study Finds

A study by researchers from the US Forest Service argues for more research into the safe disposal of chemical-laced wastewater resulting from natural gas drilling found that a patch of national forest in West Virginia suffered quick and serious loss of vegetation after it was sprayed with hydraulic fracturing fluids. It said that two years after liquids were legally spread on a section of the Fernow Experimental Forest, within the Monongahela National Forest, more than half of the trees in the affected area were dead.  MIREYA NAVARRO, The New York Times  07/12/2011

Read Article: The New York Times    

 

TEXAS LAWYER CASE SUMMARIES

 

Houston's 14th Court of Appeals: Torts

Jane Uche Amadi, Constance Nnadi and World Anointing Center Ministries Inc. sued the city of Houston and its employee, Jermaine T. Owens. Amadi alleged that Owens' negligent operation of a vehicle owned by the city, which caused a collision with Amadi's vehicle, resulting in personal injury and property damage. Appellants challenge the trial court's order granting the City of Houston's plea to the jurisdiction. The government has explicitly consented to suit through the TTCA to the extent that liability arises from the "use of a motor-driven vehicle or motor-driven equipment." The plain language of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §101.106(b) provides that simultaneous filing of this suit against the city and its employee does not constitute a bar to Amadi's suit against the city because the city has consented to suit under the facts alleged in this case. The trial court's order is reversed and remanded. Amadi v. City of Houston, Houston's 14th Court of Appeals, No. 14-10-01216-CV, 07-07-2011.  , Texas Lawyer Opinions (TTLA Members Only)  07/12/2011

Read Article: Texas Lawyer Opinions (TTLA Members Only)    


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