Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Sony_Entertainment_Network220px-David_Boies_2011_ShankboneThere are continuing rumblings in the media about the threat of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) lawyer David Boies over media sites using material hacked from the studio, including embarrassing emails where executives dish on leading stars like Angelina Jolie and the disclosure of contract information. Boies has warned that such material must be ignored or destroyed and suggested legal repercussions in the use of “stolen information.” But how serious is this threat? In my view, not very.

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South_eastern_railway_crestThere is an interesting story out of London where banker Jonathan Burrows has been banned from working in the financial services industry. Another cases of fudged books or fraudulent earnings reports? No, Burrows was nabbed skipping the full fare on his commutes to work from Stonegate to London — paying roughly 7 pounds instead of 21 pounds for the daily trips.

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240px-Tom_Brady_2011fcc-seal_rgb-largeMany of us watching the Patriots-Packers game so Tom Brady throwing a fit on the sideline after a bad play. He clearly was saying “f–k” over and over again but there was no audio. Those silent F-bombs however are now the basis for a series of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission from people who said that they, even if they could not hear what he said, they knew what he said and were left shocked and angry. It creates an interesting basis for a FCC: the silent F-Bomb. It is almost a Zen-like Administrative Law question: Little Grasshopper, if a silent F-bomb explodes on a sidelines and no one is around to hear it, did it make a legal sound?

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Jay_Cutler_-_11-01-2009_(cropped)As I watched the Bears ground into a fine dust by the New Orleans Saints last night, I felt that long-standing sick sensation that has been around all season in watching Jay Cutler — our $127 million franchise quarterback — continue to blow little things like foot work, telegraphing throws, and waiting too long in the pocket. It then occurred to me. I was not watching another crushing defeat but a towering victory. As an attorney, I was watching the ultimate triumph of a fellow lawyer: Cutler’s agent Bus Cook who sold the Bears on $54 million guaranteed contract for a quarterback who has literally never had a true winning season from Vanderbilt to Denver to Chicago (he was as some have noted good for a 10-5 season that fell short of the playoffs). I was watching the work of a genius and I felt a tad better. For the rest of the season, I intend to cheer for Bus — the Monster of the Midwest.

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Adam_lanza_sandy_hook_shooter220px-Police_at_Sandy_HookThe families of nine of the 26 people killed two years ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting. The lawsuit names Bushmaster, Camfour, a firearm distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, the East Windsor store where Adam Lanza’s mother purchased the Bushmaster rifle in 2010. The plaintiffs include Sherlach and the families of Vicki Soto, Dylan Hockley, Noah Pozner, Lauren Rousseau, Benjamin Wheeler, Jesse Lewis, Daniel Barden, Rachel D’Avino and teacher Natalie Hammond (who was injured in the shooting). Despite great sympathy for these families and this teacher, the lawsuit has little merit in my view in seeking liability against the sale of a lawful weapon.

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earth-screensaver_largeThe news continues to grow worse over global warming. The Peru meeting revealed new research showing that time is running out for humanity to act on climate change. Now to new reports indicate that we may have underestimate the rate of loss on the huge ice sheet of West Antarctica — new calculations under global warming could mean a rise in global sea levels of as much as 23 feet. That would create massive changes in the coasts of the world.

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black-and-white-cow-3Midamar Corp. and directors Jalel and Bill Aossey have been criminally charged in Cedar Rapids for allegedly falsely marking $4.9 million worth of meat as meeting strict halal standards and selling the noncompliant meat to millions of Muslims worldwide in Malaysia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and other countries. Also indicated is Islamic Services of America, an organization approved by Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE to certify beef for import under Islamic standards. They are facing 91 other counts for allegedly making false statements on export certificates, wire fraud and money laundering. The case could raise an interesting free exercise question.

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