Illinois Becomes 37th State To Ratify The Equal Rights Amendment

Lawmakers for the state of Illinois ratified the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday despite the fact that the 1982 deadline for ratification was well over 30 years ago. The Prairie State became the 37th state in the nation to give its stamp of approval to the amendment.

Geoffrey Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, while speaking to the Chicago Tribune says that it is not quite clear whether the amendment can become part of the United States Constitution. Stone added that there are many other provisions that guarantee equal rights for women but says the amendment could make a significant difference in some instances.

Supporters of the amendment have raised the argument that the deadline is now a moot point following 1992 ratification of the Madison Amendment that restricts changes in the salaries of sitting Congressmen. This amendment was originally introduced in 1789.

The decision to ratify the Madison Agreement sets the precedence that Congress does, in fact, have the authority to decide for itself whether or not a large passing of time causes an amendment to become less valid. The thinking is that the U.S. Congress could similarly decide that the ERA is still a viable amendment.

Legal opposition on the matter points out that the Madison Agreement had no deadline set for ratification which is not true for the Equal Rights Amendment.

An article in the William & Mary Journal made the additional supporting argument that the time limits placed on a proposing clause of proposed amendments are not legally relevant due to the fact that states vote to ratify amendments and not the proposal.

Attorney Alice Paul was credited with the original drafting of the Equal Rights Amendment and contains clauses that give Congress the power to use legislation to enforce the amendment. This power is effective two years following the ratification of the amendment.

The proposed ERA was originally sent to states for ratification in 1972 by Congress and was given a seven-year deadline at the time. This deadline was eventually extended to 1982.

California Supreme Court Ruling Expected To Have Major Impact On Gig Economy

A recent decision by the Supreme Court of the state of California is expected to make it much more difficult for companies to designate employees as independent contractors in class actions regarding wages. It is expected that heavyweights in the gig economy like Amazon, Uber, and Lyft are expected to be greatly impacted by the Court’s unanimous decision.

Members of the law firm Clark Hill which is based in Los Angeles, Beth Kahn and Bradford Hughes, opine that opinion by the court is certain to greatly impact the industry of transportation and trucking which has seen an inordinate number of class actions filed in response to what workers say is a misclassification of their work status.

The gig economy depends on independent contractors to function, explains the National Employment Law Project, and workers can be greatly affected by any misclassifications of their work statuses. A 2016 report performed by the organization details how these misclassifications lower the income of certain workers and deny them the workplace protections that may be rightfully theirs. Some of these workplace protections include minimum wages, payments for overtime, and insurance to cover unemployment.

Same day courier services provided by Dynamix Operations West Inc. is the focus of the lawsuit that was filed in California. The company is based in Washington State and classifies drivers as independent contractors and not as company employees. The lawsuit’s plaintiffs contend that Dynamix was able to avoid wage requirements in the transportation industry as outlined by labor laws in the state.

The company has answered these allegations by stating their practices are legal under a supreme court ruling that took place in 1989 as part of the ‘Borello Test.’

The California Supreme Court disagreed with Dynamix in their ruling and gave the opinion that Borello was not the standard that could be used to classify workers as an independent contractor. Instead, the court ruled, this issue was ruled by a definition known as a “suffer or permit to work.”

How Much Should The Law Industry Be Regulated?

As we all know, the law industry has become a large part of how The United States of America functions. In fact, this has become so much the case that, many people are simply relying on flaws in the law industry to get what they want. Furthermore, to focus on this point, there are indeed many flaws in the law industry and the was it works. Now that we have an understanding of how greatly impactful this issue with the law industry is, it raises a question that desperately needs to be answered. What this question is, is how much should the law industry be regulated? The fact that many think that the law industry is too regulated, brings an even bigger issue to the question. However, no matter what anyone’s opinion of this topic is, the consensus is that the law industry has to be regulated to improve everyone’s overall benefit. Here is more about how people are working to answer this question

How The Public Is Working On Regulating The Law Industry
To answer this question, many people agree that we first have to come to the understanding that the law industry is both an industry and a profession. With this mindset, it allows us to regulate it in those ways.In an article on the law industry and how it should be regulated, the article gives this exact explanation and why this should be the case. A great example that the article gives is with lawyers themselves. For example, the article discusses how, since the law industry is a profession more than anything, lawyers should be required to produce honest and moral practices as to not take advantage of any flaw. The idea behind an example such as this one is that we are limiting the ways of exploitation within the industry. Nonetheless, we need to be more aware of the ways the law industry functions. The more we learn about it, the less we are to be taken advantage of within it.

 

Louisiana and the Stand Your Ground Law

On Thursday, May 3, Aaron Neames was convicted of attempted manslaughter by a jury in the state of Louisiana. Mr. Neames and his defense team were attempting to justify his actions in the case based on Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground law.

The Stand Your Ground Law states that a person has the right to defend himself with force if he is in a place that he is allowed to be. If another person approaches with forceful intent, a person may repulse the attack. This includes the use of deadly force if the person who is where he has the right to be believes that his life is in possible danger. The law also gives a person the right to use deadly force if that person believes that an attacker is going to inflict harm upon another person.

In the Neames case, the jury did not believe that the facts of the case met the requirements of the Stand Your Ground Law. Here is what happened.

In 2015, Benjamin Jarreau broke into the home of Mr. Neames in an attempt to get money. Jarreau stated that he had made a drug purchase at the Neames’ residence previously, so he believed that there would be plenty of cash on hand.

When Mr. Neames arrived at this house, he found Jarreau inside. Neames wrestled the gun away from Jarreau, and Jarreau ran to his vehicle to escape. While Jarreau was fleeing, Neames fired multiple shots into the vehicle striking but not killing Jarreau.

The conviction of Aaron Neames is seen as a tightening of the Stand Your Ground Law that exists in Louisiana and several other states. Prosecutors in this case wanted to emphasize the point that Stand Your Ground Law does not give members of the general public the right to take the law into their own hands.

Did The Seizure Of Documents From Michael Cohen’s Office Open Up A Can Of Worms In Attorney-Client Privilege?

The Daily Report put out by Law.com came out with a piece about the story that’s dominated most of the current news cycle; the raid of FBI agents on President Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen and the seizure of several documents. The biggest conundrum about this story is if the laws about attorney-client privilege are still alive today, or if a whole new can of worms have been opened. While many are upset about the way in which this raid was conducted, the question is whether or not the documents that those agents seized actually do fall under the attorney-client privilege statutes.

As Law.com author John Gross clarifies in the article, attorney-client privilege has to follow certain characteristics. It basically falls that direct communication between an attorney and client is confidential, but the subject of that communication or even an item unrelated that’s attached to that communication is not privileged. Also, the content of the attorney-client communication must be specifically legal advice or be related to it. Another point Gross makes is that it can only be directly between the attorney and client themselves, and if any other third parties are involved, or the communication is being conducted through another medium such as a public work server, it could lose privileged status. The privilege is also waived if it violates the “crime-fraud exception” clause.

It’s unclear whether or not the documents that were taken consisted of any direct legal advice between Trump and Cohen. But it seems what the agents were after were documents related to the hush money Cohen paid to actress Stormy Daniels, and while there are still questions whether or not the president knew this was going on, it’s likely any documents relating to those payments had direct communications with Trump and Cohen. But did any payments made by Cohen violate campaign finance and therefore the “crime-fraud exception” clause? That still remains a mystery, but there still are tremendous legal practice ramifications waiting to be sorted out when this mess is through.

Recent Giuliani Statements Could Hurt Legal Position Of President Trump

Rudy Giuliani, a recent add-on to the legal advisory team of United States President Donald Trump, drew the ire of other members of the team recently with comments he made while speaking to analyst Sean Hannity on Fox News. Many on the team believe that comments Giuliani made regarding payments President Trump made to attorney Michael Cohen as reimbursement for hush money the lawyer paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to be a serious deviation from established strategy agreed upon by the legal team.

Giuliani may have done serious damage to the defense of President Trump later in the interview when he alleges that James Cohen was terminated as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation because he wouldn’t give Trump assurance that he was not the focal point of an ongoing investigation. Giuliani furthered the thought by suggesting that Hillary Clinton did, in fact, receive such an insurance when she requested it and that when the same consideration was not issued to Trump he made the decision to fire him so that he could be “free of this guy.”

Other members of the Trump legal team felt that Giuliani blindsided them and believe the statements made by the former New York City Mayor damages the position the team has taken that Comey was in fact fired due to his handling of the investigation regarding her use of a private email server while performing her duties as the Secretary of State.

Barbara McQuade, a law professor at the University of Michigan, agrees with members of the Trump legal team and says that the comments can possibly be quite damaging to the president’s cause. McQuade explains that any demand made to former Director Comey publicly state that President Trump was not the subject of an investigation constituted an obstruction of justice.

Giuliani did not consult with members of the recently assembled legal team before speaking to Hannity but says he did speak to the president both before and after his appearance on Fox network.

Utah Attorney Gets Deadline Extension Due To Grief Over Game Lost By Utah Jazz

A Utah federal judge has given additional time to a Salt Lake City attorney to file a document that he submitted eighteen minutes late due to what he says was the “emotional impact” of the Utah Jazz losing an NBA playoff game. United States District Judge Bruce Jenkins granted the extension in an order that was signed on April 27.

Brian King, the attorney that missed the deadline is also the minority leader for the House of Representatives in the state of Utah. King explained in the motion he filed to receive the extension that he had paused his work on a legal memo to watch the game 5 National Basketball Association game that took place between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The memo was due at 11:59 at the night of April 25.

In his extension request, King said that the Jazz was winning the game by 25 points in the third quarter but “disaster struck.” The play of the Jazz became sloppy and a series of turnovers resulted in the team losing the lead and the game. King also wrote that Oklahoma City Thunder star Russel Westbrook is a “good player” before saying that it was a “painful” fact to admit

King further explained that the game was over at 10:00 P.M. and that the emotional devastation that resulted from watching the Jazz meltdown was dispiriting to the point that it made the once excellent prospect of submitting the memo in question on time extremely difficult. The written product that King submitted was characterized by himself as being two times as long and one-half as solid as it would have been otherwise. Additionally, King explained that the brief was submitted 18 minutes after the designated deadline.

The opposing counsel in the case, who works for Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis, Minnesota had no objection to the motion for extension. King surmises that this was because the opposing counsel is also rooting for the Jazz in the playoff series.

Marijuana in California Receives Support from Unlikely Quarter

During the Senate Judiciary Committee sitting on April 19th, Senator Dianne Feinstein said that she no longer opposed the legal use of marijuana. The senator revealed during an interview by McClatchy recently. She said there was no reason for federal agents to arrest the residents of California living their lives within the confines of the law.

Senator Feinstein Opine On the Legalization of Marijuana

It is an interesting turn of events that has seen the senator change her mind from opposing the use of marijuana to supporting the law that has legalized it. The senator had for a long time aroused emotions of the pro-cannabis use activists; a stance that led to her being labeled as the last prohibitionist. California voted for the legal use of marijuana in 2016. Other jurisdictions that have adopted the same approach include the District of Columbia among others. The two adopted the law in proposition 64. Ms. Feinstein is reported to have strongly opposed the move at the time. She had, however, made an exception to her position, saying that she supported marijuana use but for medical purposes. Ms. Feinstein informed the press that she had sat on the parole board of California in the 60s and had come to conclude that Proposition 64 did little to protect the youth and automobile users.

Fighting To Get Back the Power to Decide

The use of marijuana for recreational use is what has caused a bit of debate. However, many states have legalized its use as guided by certain specific laws. In what is seen as a reversal, though, the Attorney General issued a memo that quashed the guidance from the Obama administration that federal laws should not be applied in states that had legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Another Senator, Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, spearheaded efforts to pass a bill that sought to restore the power over the matter to the states. While Feinstein did not give details of her position, she said that she was open to the legalization of cannabis. Feinstein is an important participant in the debate because she is the ranking Democratic Party official on the Senate Judicial Committee. She has been close to the chairman of the committee, Mr. Charles Grassley when handling legislation relating to drugs in the state.

An In-Depth Look at the Supreme Court Case and It’s Possible Outcomes in Regards to Online Gambling

The gambling scene within the United States is a controversial subject in regards to the many parties that have interests in the industry. Online gamblers have often had to look to travelling to the state of Nevada, foreign countries, or other grey areas in order to enjoy the passive hobby of online gambling.

Legislation is beginning to be proposed in several states to introduce regulations for daily-fantasy sports, one of the more controversial gambling topics, considering that different perceptions exist to whether this is a form of gambling or a skill-based game. For now, many states either do not regulate daily-fantasy sports websites like DraftKings, or DraftKings chooses to not provide services in certain markets to better comply with local laws.

With an on-going United States Supreme Court case with New Jersey, it is expected that a precedent will soon be set to whether online wagering will become legal in the United States. Some online players will continue to play on unregulated off-shore gaming sites that inherit large amounts of risk to its players, while others continue to avoid online gambling until some form of local legislation is introduced.

Within the next sixty days a lot of questions will have answers, and the online gambling industry in the United States could significantly change in either direction. DraftKings has expressed interest in creating a sportsbook, but understands that it will have to be patient or find a sneaky method of getting around PASPA, better known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This act makes it impossible for sites to offer sports gambling anywhere except Nevada, and a select few other states.

Guiliani Joins Trump’s Legal Team

On Thursday, former New York mayor and famed prosecutor Rudi Giuliani joined President Trump’s legal team, in the hopes of bring an end to the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Guiliani said that he would like to negotiate a solution that would conclude the probe because he thinks that it would be in the best interests of the country. He also mentioned that he has high regard for both President Trump and Robert Mueller.

Jay Sekulow, who is a lawyer working on Trump’s legal team, confirmed that the mayor and former presidential candidate had joined them. John Down, who previously led Trump’s legal team in regards to the investigation, resigned a month ago. Sekulow further said that two other attorneys had joined the president’s legal team: Marty Raskin and Jane Serene Raskin.

Since Dowd left the Trump team, the team has had trouble retaining lawyers to work on the probe. In March, Ted Olson — who was the solicitor general for President George W. Bush — said that many well known Washington attorneys were steering clear of what he called both the “turmoil” and the “chaos” that he characterized as the current state of the White House.

But President Trump has denied that this is the truth. In a series of tweets, the president said that there were many lawyers who wanted to join his legal team. He further said that the problem was not that there was a shortage of lawyers, but that he was hesitant to add attorneys at this point of the investigation who were unfamiliar with the investigation.

Trump told his followers that top law firms and numerous lawyers want to represent him. He further termed the idea that he cannot find lawyers “fake news.” He said that no lawyer ever turns down what he called “fame and fortune.” Though he did admit that some attorneys were conflicted about joining his legal team. He further tweeted that he was happy with his current legal team.