Executive Privilege if You Are Not the Executive?

At the recent testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the Senate Intelligence Committee, he frequently stated that that he would not answer questions that related to private conversations that he had had with President Trump. This frustrated some of the members of the committee, but Sessions refused to waiver from his position.


Sessions claimed to be protecting the president’s right to executive privilege. Several legal experts have weighed in on if the attorney general was correct in his use of the constitutional protection or not.


The primary platform of those experts who believe that Attorney General Sessions was not acting according to the constitution, stated that executive privilege can only be invoked by the president. When Sessions testified, the president had not yet invoked executive privilege to his conversations with the attorney general.


Because this particular hearing was planned in advance, the president had the opportunity to instruct Sessions not to answer any questions about their conversations and base his request on executive privilege. To the best of our knowledge, that is not what happened.


If the Senate committee wants to force Sessions to answer questions, they would have to vote to cite the attorney general of contempt, and he would have to be tried in a court. It is pretty clear that no one in the Senate had reached that point to get answers to their questions about private conversations with President Trump.


Supporting Sessions, one legal expert stated that, in the past, other executive branch officials have failed to give information on items that they perceived the president may want to execute privilege in the future. The term “executive privilege” was first used under President Eisenhower, but its use goes all the way back to George Washington.

Supreme Court Justice Argues for Heightened Scrutiny of Discriminatory Citizenship Laws

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court has taken a stand against federal immigration laws that treat unwed fathers and mothers differently. Presently, it is easier for children born to US-citizen mothers to obtain automatic citizenship compared to those born to fathers. Justice Ginsburg said that such discriminatory laws were not only outdated but also unconstitutional.


Ginsburg made the ruling in a case brought forth by Luis Ramon Morales-Santana who sought to gain automatic US citizenship similar to those enjoyed by children born to US mothers since his father was a US citizen. Luis Ramon argued that children in similar situations as him should have their US citizenship determined by the same laws used for US-citizen mothers. However, Justice Ginsburg failed to uphold Louis Ramon’s request.


Unfair Application of Federal Immigration Laws


Writing for the court, Ginsburg noted that the Immigration and Nationality Act laws that dictated requirements for children born abroad to unwed parents were outdated. She said that the 1940 laws were written in an era that had overbroad generalizations of women and men. She continued that, today, such laws must be subject to closer scrutiny.


Under the present immigration laws, a child born outside the US to an unwed US-citizen father can only automatically become a citizen at birth if their father had lived in the country for ten years, five of which should be after he turned 14. On the other hand, a child born to a US-citizen mother automatically becomes a citizen if their mother hand spent only one year in the country.


Justice Ginsburg said that taking into consideration the equal protection jurisprudence developed by the court since 1971, the different treatment of unwed fathers and mothers under the context of immigration law citizenship was stunningly anachronistic. She, however, failed to hold that children born to US-citizen fathers should be eligible to use the same standard applied to US-citizen mothers. She wrote that moving forward, Congress should address the issue and come up with a uniform prescription that does not discriminate persons based on gender.


How Securus Technologies Solved a Recent Crime Spree

My job as a crime scene investigator changes from week to week. Some days we are hunting for the most dangerous fugitives, other times we are trying to piece together evidence to identify a suspect. This month we had a unique combination of both. A dangerous fugitive was on the loose, but we only had the clues that he left after the home invasions to go by. His techniques were the same in each robbery, so all we really had was his patterns of crimes to go by.


Without any solid leads, we were unable to reach out to the family or friends of the suspect, so my resources were very limited in this case. I thought if I went to the local jail, maybe if I described his actions to the inmates, someone would be able to point me in a direction. I learned a long time ago however that these inmates would rather have a longer sentence that cooperate with authority, so I had to keep trying in case I could break one inmate.


Around this time, Securus Technologies was in the jail installing a new inmate phone monitoring system. The call system was going to help officers in the jail listen more closely to how inmates talk on the phone and the LBS software was going to be able to alert officers if specific chatter was detected. It was around that time one of the officers came to me to say that my conversations with the inmates has really sparked some unique chatter on the phones.


One inmate was talking about how he was nervous I was there trying to connect him to our suspect, and that his family needs to lay low for a while. We staked out that residence and were able to identify that a person of interest was involved in the next violent home invasion and hiding at that residence.


Austin and San Antonio Challenge the New Texas Immigration Laws

Officials of San Antonio and Austin cities recently filed lawsuits to stop the enactment of the anti-sanctuary-cities-law that was passed by Texas State and is set to take action as from September 1. The employees of the two cities revealed their intentions toward the end of May and San Antonio went the to federal District Court to file their case on the same day. The law is called the Texas Senate Bill 4, and the two cities claim that it violates the processes by introducing vague regulatory rules. It also threatens to impose harsh penalties for individual who do not comply.


According to the Austin and San Antonio officials, SB 4 does not respect the First Amendment since it imposes penalties on people who support any policy that goes against its mandate. The new law is also against equality protection since it allows that police to use enhanced interrogation on immigrants who lack the right documents. It also bases its arguments on ethnicity, race, immigration status, and nationality. The officials also disagree with the Texas State since the SB 4 forces the local law enforcement to obey any requests that are made by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest immigrants. It also demands the sacking of officials who will support the sanctuary cities idea. More than 300 local and state authorities in different parts of the United States have policies that make them not to work with the federal immigration efforts.


The SB 4 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on May 7, and it has had mixed reaction in the 85th Legislative session. El Paso County and Maverick Country are also against the law since they believe it will not keep the people of Texas safe. The officials believe that everyone in the state needs to feel safe whenever he or she reports a crime to the police. Discriminating the immigrants will make them lose their trust in the local authorities.


Finding a Place with Larkin and Lacey

We all like getting affiliated with a particular group of people, while at the same time receiving full love and attention. Human approval is always what we seek for since it makes us feel more at home. Globally, there are different types of societies some of which are civilized while others still maintain some barbaric aspects. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737

In the primitive societies, individuals act like savages and oppress everyone in their wake. For years on end, crumbling societies have undermined migrants and at the same time exploited their rights and freedoms to their advantage. In most cases, the perpetrators of such heinous offenses have gone unpunished causing a lot of anguish on their path.

It is because of such atrocities that migrants have undergone an emotional meltdown mainly because they lack a voice to speak on their behalf. However, they have found an unlikely ally in Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, two journalists who at one point in time have been subject to police brutality.

Their ordeal with the Maricopa County Sheriff has made them zealous in helping other people in the same situation they went through seek justice. Since the duo got rewarded with a $3.75 settlement back in 2007, they have used each penny at their disposal to support organizations that protect people’s interests.

For years, Jim and Michael have made use of their Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund to finance many organizations across the globe. Top on the list has been The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, an institution created to protect refugees from physical and emotional injury.

As an NGO, The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project protects refugees from all over the world that get detained in centers around Arizona. Detained refugees in the State of Arizona mainly face the risk of getting deported to their mother countries for no apparent reason.

Since most of them do not have sufficient funds to hire a lawyer, they end up facing the full wrath of law yet they might not necessarily be guilty. Thus, the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund seeks to support detained refugees financially so to increase their fighting chance in a court of law. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

Through The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, detainees get free legal representation since in most instances their cases are solid sturdy hence worth winning. The organization also offers refugees with free social support since in most cases the detainees face a lot of emotional distress, especially while at the hands of oppressive systems.

They take care of torture victims whom from time to time might lose their mind. Also, the institution provides medical support to those individuals that suffer from life-threatening diseases like diabetes. Apart from serving adults, the services of The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project also extend to children who in most cases suffer from indirect assault.

Through The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, migrants have been able to get more informed on their rights and freedoms thus reducing their susceptibility to exploitation. Thus, what Jim and Michael are doing is going a long way to helping preserve the rule of law as well as to protect innocent civilians from oppressive regimes.

Ravel Law’s Acquisition by LexisNexis, GSK Suits and More

Lawyers’ jobs are difficult in nearly all regards, especially browsing through briefs, past cases, law changes, and other pertinent information. Such browsing actually takes up the majority of attorneys’ time spent on the clock. Ravel Law makes browsing through United States caselaw a breeze, with a comprehensive search engine and visual maps linking relation between cases. Fortunately for the creator of Ravel Law, Daniel Lewis, the platform has recently sold to LexisNexis, a provider of professional information sources.


With such software becoming more available to attorneys, traditional law firms might be in trouble. Mark Cohen of Forbes believe that law firms just might be becoming obsolete.


Clients are increasingly becoming dissatisfied with results provided by law firms. Profit-per-partner, often shortened to PPP, has been dropping recently. This essentially equates to higher salaries paid to partners with less performance provided. Only time will tell what happens to law firms, though.


GlaxoSmithKline, a large pharmaceutical company, has recently — well, has nearly alwaysfaced flak about its antidepressant Paxil. In 2010, a lawyer who recently started taking a generic version of Paxil killed himself by jumping in front of a train. The jury chosen for this case recently awarded $3 million to plaintiff Wendy Dolin, the wife of late lawyer Stewart Dolin. However, GSK has been slow to pay the reward.


GSK argues that because they did not actually produce that generic medication, although they did invent Paxil, they should not be liable for the $3 million in damages. Dolin’s legal team argues that GSK failed to warn the lawyer of an increased risk of suicide in adults who take Paxil. King & Spalding, the law firm representing GSK, has stated they do not believe many more similar cases will flood in, given the recent ruling against GSK.


New cases may be tried in California because of the state’s friendliness towards awarding claims against pharmaceutical giants. News about GSK’s actions will undoubtedly be huge in the legal world.


Eric Lefkofsky Is on a Mission to Find a Cure for Cancer

Eric Lefkofsky knows how to create a successful startup. He has taken a number of startups public, and managed to make a lot of money along the way. As such, he is an undisputed tech founder that is making an impact on the world. Unfortunately, his wife received a cancer diagnosis and his mission in life changed. A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, even confusing. Once over the shock, people often look for answers that are elusive. Those suffering from blood cancer along with their loved ones end up with far more questions than answers.

Lefkofsky has channeled his genius into taking a data-driven approach to curing cancer. The secret is learning to leverage machine learning and genomic sequencing to understand a patient’s tumor growth. It is disruptive technology, and positions itself to change how the medical industry peers inside the human body at a molecular level. There will come a time when doctors will be able to guide medicine applications and treatments with precision.

Even a professional like Lefkofsky strains at the thought of managing a new startup. However, Tempus, his new company, was born out of a personal problem that begged for a solution. His education offers some insights as to why he is able to bring ideas to fruition. Eric Lefkofsky presently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago. He graduated from the University of Michigan and went on to receive a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. He has a gifted mind that utilizes his diverse education experience.

Lefkofsky is also worth $1.7 billion dollars. As such, he is more than willing to put hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money into projects. This gives him an edge that positions him to be a mover and shaker in the world.

To know more visit @: chicago.curbed.com/2015/1/6/10005148/groupon-ceo-eric-lefkofsky-the-man-behind-195m-home-sale

Interracial “Loving” Marks its 50th Anniversary

A half century after the famous “Loving” decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, interracial marriage has become commonplace in the United States. However, some of those involved in such relationships still face resistance, proving that 50 years may not be sufficient time to overcome entrenched feelings.

At the center of what was then a controversial subject were Richard and Mildred Loving, who were legally married in the District of Columbia in 1958. The couple was prosecuted after returning to Virginia, where interracial marriage was not allowed. Eventually, the issue reached the Supreme Court, which issued its historic decision on June 12, 1967. The unanimous ruling declared as unconstitutional Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, which became law in 1924 and prohibited anyone determined to be “white” from marrying a “colored” person. The underlying purpose of the law was, of course, to protect the “purity” of the dominant race. Based on the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, often referred to as the “equal protection” clause, the 1967 ruling also took down similar laws then in effect in 15 other states.

American attitudes concerning interracial marriage have shifted dramatically in the past 50 years have even changed significantly in only half that period of time. In 1990, some 60 percent of the white population still opposed interracial marriage. In the latest poll, opposition from the same demographic group was only 14 percent. Opposition is higher in certain groups, however, such as those who have not received a formal education beyond high school.

Though legal in many areas of the country, interracial marriage was rare before the 1967 ruling. Based on the latest data, approximately one in six American marriages involve individuals of a different race or ethnic group. Though more common today, the practice is not universally accepted. One interracial couple that today lives in Virginia has reported experiencing criticism from others who are still uncomfortable this type of marriage arrangement. Fortunately, the couple and their children are legally protected, thanks to the court ruling of 50 years ago.


Low-income Americans May Experience Justice Gap

The justice gap is the disparity between populations that are able to attain proper legal representation and take advantage of the civil court system, on one hand, and other populations that are unable to do so. Increasingly, low-income people are falling into the latter category as upwards of 80 percent can’t afford the right kind of legal representation.


The civil court system is especially important for low-income individuals because it helps protect their persons, possessions, families, property, and livelihoods against the predations of larger societal forces. The housing bubble of 2008 and the foreclosure crisis that ensued provide a textbook case of how “equal justice under law” became merely words.


A recent study, “The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Needs of Low-income Americans,” provides more clarity of this issue. The study found that 86% of low-income Americans filing civil legal cases in the last year received either no legal assistance at all or inadequate legal help with their cases. Increasingly, money is a barrier to full access to legal representation and the justice system.


Lack of resources is another reason frequently given by legal teams for their inability to offer low-income populations the legal representation that they need to adequately defend themselves in civil court. The low-income individuals surveyed by the study disproportionately had legal or monetary issues related to the following: foreclosures, personal debt, foreclosures, child support, maintenance of income and wage garnishment, and the continuation of disability payments.


For many of these low-income individuals the fight is one of life or death. Sometimes inadequate legal representation can mean living on the streets, forgoing needed medical care, or missing disability payments.


The study took a look at two thousand low-income individuals and found that legal teams were often stretched too thin to offer thorough counseling and case preparation. The will on the part of legal professionals is absolutely there, but too frequently the resources simply aren’t up to the task of the reality.


Jeremy Goldstein Applauds New York State’s New Online Attorney Referral System

Jeremy Goldstein, partner at the boutique law firm Jeremy L. Goldstein & Associates, LLC, is pleased to announce that the New York State Bar Association has created a new online referral site that makes it easier than ever for clients to find the right attorneys for their needs. The Bar Association’s well-respected Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS) runs the site, which uses the power and convenience of the Internet to connect legal consumers with LRIS-vetted attorneys.


People seeking legal help are often involved in stressful situations. The LRIS site offers a low-pressure way for people to get the help they need. The site is easy to use, with a clean design and clear, simple instructions. It is available 24 hours a day, making it convenient for everyone’s schedule. Most important of all, people can feel confident in the referrals because the New York State Bar Association reviews the credentials of all the attorneys listed in the system to ensure they are in good standing.


People seeking legal help can now simply go to the LRIS site and answer a few simple questions. State Bar staff will review their answers and match them with attorneys who are nearby and who handle their type of legal problem. The site serves people from 81 counties in New York State, and attorneys from more than 40 practice areas are available. All information that people enter on the site is kept confidential.


The referral system is free to use. People may set up an appointment with a referred attorney, but they are not obligated to do so. Attorneys in the system agree to provide an initial consultation for $35 or less. After the initial consultation, if the individual and the attorney decide to continue working together, they will then decide on fees. Lawyers in some practice areas, including personal injury, workers’ compensation, and social security, do not charge any fees for their initial consultations.


This new online system should benefit both clients and attorneys by eliminating some of the obstacles people face in finding the right attorneys. People can quickly request referrals online. However, if they prefer to use the phone or need additional help, they can also call LRIS at 1-800-342-3661 from 9:30 a.m. until noon and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 9:30 to noon on Fridays.


Jeremy Goldstein is the founder of Jeremy L. Goldstein & Associates, LLC, where he is currently a partner. He is one of the country’s leading executive compensation attorneys and is a widely sought speaker and writer on corporate governance and executive compensation legal issues. He has worked on many of the largest corporate acquisitions and mergers. He is honored to be the current chair of the Mergers & Acquisition Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Executive Compensation Committee.


Before starting his own law firm, Jeremy Goldstein was a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where his work emphasized executive compensation issues arising from corporate mergers and acquisitions as well as the relationship of corporate governance to executive compensation. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law. He has an M.S. from the University of Chicago and did his undergraduate work at Cornell University, where he graduated with distinction. You can call Jeremy Goldstein at (212) 256-1225 or email him at [email protected]

Follow Jeremy on LinkedIn and @jgoldstenlaw1