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We Robot: Conference on Legal and Policy Issues Relating to Robotics

We Robot: Conference on Legal and Policy Issues Relating to Robotics

Founded by University of Miami School of Law Professor A. Michael Froomkin, We Robot is the most exciting interdisciplinary conference on the legal and policy questions relating to robots.  The increasing sophistication of robots and their widespread deployment everywhere—from the home, to hospitals, to public spaces, and even to the battlefield—disrupts existing legal regimes and requires new thinking on policy issues. (See Miami Law Magazine article from the 2013 conference, “Robots at…
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Holland & Knight Real Estate Attorney Lives for the Deal

But the self-proclaimed deal junkie pushed on, making her mark in a male-dominated legal sector by helping developers etch their mark on Miami’s …
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‘Must black death be broadcast and consumed to be believed?’

I wasn’t going to write this. On this subject, I felt I had already spilled enough outrage onto enough pages to last a lifetime. I needed a break from the emotional carnage. Then I saw the dashcam video that was released last week. Granted, it told me nothing I didn’t already know. I knew how a black man named Philando Castile was pulled over last year in a Minneapolis suburb. I knew how he politely informed the police officer that he had a legal firearm in the car. I knew how the officer p…
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Governor: Opponents hope Mississippi is hurt by LGBT law

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said Friday that opponents are “desperately hoping” Mississippi will be hurt by a law that would let business people and government workers cite religious beliefs to deny some services to same-sex couples. His comments came a day after a federal appeals court lifted an injunction that has blocked the state’s “religious objections” law from taking effect for nearly a year. Speaking of the law’s opponents, Bryant said: “They hope something bad will happen to the state …
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6-member panel named to negotiate on marijuana bill

A six-member House-Senate conference committee has been selected to try and come up with a compromise bill to revamp the voter-approved recreational marijuana law. Legislative leaders assigned the panel Friday after the House formally rejected the Senate version of the bill. The House conferees are Democrats Mark Cusack and Ron Mariano, the House Majority Leader, and Republican Hannah Kane. The Senate negotiators are Democrats Patricia Jehlen and William Brownsberger, and Republican Vinny deMac…
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The Rossdale Group, LLC v. Walton

The Rossdale Group, LLC v. Walton

Miami Legal, filing under the Rossdale name, opposed the motion, supported by a declaration from Susan Lunden (Lunden), who identified herself as …
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Excommunicating mobsters? Vatican eyes new legal doctrine

The Vatican is looking to develop a new doctrine that calls for excommunicating Catholics for mafia association and corruption. That’s the decision reached this week after the Vatican hosted its first-ever conference on fighting corruption and organized crime. The meeting gathered 50 prosecutors, bishops, victims and U.N. officials for a day of talks. In a statement Saturday, the Vatican said the need had come to develop a new legal doctrine for the Catholic Church about “excommunication for co…
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Laws would make aspiring Australians pledge to share values

Laws would make aspiring Australians pledge to share values

Aspiring Australian citizens will have to make a pledge to share Australian values under proposed new laws introduced to Parliament on Thursday. The law would give Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton power to write and revise an Australian Values Statement and it would reduce avenues to appeal his decisions on citizenship cases. The bill does not spell out what Australian values are and critics argue that getting Australians to agree on what values they share is difficult. D…
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Judge faces legal quagmire in teen texting suicide trial

Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III are both sad figures in a teenage tragedy that ended with Roy killing himself and Carter charged with manslaughter. A juvenile court judge now finds himself at the center of a legal quagmire: Should he set a legal precedent in Massachusetts by convicting Carter of manslaughter for encouraging Roy to take his own life through dozens of text messages? Or should he acquit her and risk sending a message that Carter’s behavior was less than criminal? Judge Lawrence…
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Czechs to take legal action against EU weapon directive

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says his country is taking legal action against a new European Union directive on holding weapons. Sobotka says his government agreed on the move on Wednesday because it considered the directive, approved as a reaction to a recent wave of terrorism, too restrictive. The government is set to file the complaint at the European Court of Justice by Aug 17. The EU directive bans some kinds of semiautomatic weapons that are popular among the 300,000 holders of a …
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California firms up marijuana rules, will allow deliveries

California would set standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs and permit home deliveries under legislation set to be considered by lawmakers Thursday as the state prepares for next year’s start of legal marijuana sales. Lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration are working to merge California’s new voter-approved recreational pot law with the state’s longstanding medical marijuana program. They have settled on an array of regulations to protect consumers and publ…
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State court filing: Law on meaning of words does nothing new

A new law that’s been criticized as discriminatory against same-sex couples actually does “nothing new at all,” Tennessee’s attorney general contends in a legal filing. Attorney General Herbert Slatery made that argument last week in a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four married lesbian couples expecting children through artificial insemination. The law requires using the “natural and ordinary meaning” of words in state law. Gay rights groups have contended that the requirement offers a s…
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Costs rise in suit over immigration patrols in metro Phoenix

Costs rise in suit over immigration patrols in metro Phoenix

A racial profiling case involving former Sheriff Joe Arpaio that has already cost taxpayers in metropolitan Phoenix nearly $66 million over the last nine years is about to get more expensive. Officials gave preliminary approval Monday to $26 million in additional spending to cover the costs of complying with a court-ordered overhaul of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which in 2013 was found to have found Latinos were profiled during the former sheriff’s immigration patrols. The overhaul w…
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Miami Official Who Compared Weed to Pedophilia Cited for Sex Harassment in 2011

Barnaby Min, Miami’s deputy city attorney, was widely ridiculed last week for comparing legalizing weed to pedophilia at a meeting at city hall. But it turns out he’s an even worse messenger for that offensive claim than most anyone knew. Min himself was caught sexually harassing a female city auditor by emailing her the word “penis” multiple times in 2011, according to emails New Times obtained via a records request. Yet he kept his job as the city’s then-zoning administrator and later rose through the ranks in the city attorney’s office. The previously unreported case calls into question whether Min should be the person making decisions about whether children with cancer or elderly Alzheimer’s patients are able to receive medicine. In 2011, Min was working as the city’s zoning director. That January, he sent multiple emails spelling out the word “penis” to a young, female city auditor whom Min had previously asked out to lunch and to “social events,” according to city documents. The auditor then filed a complaint about Min, and in February the city’s office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs (EODP) sustained allegations of sexual harassment against him. The EODP forwarded the findings to Min’s supervisor, Orlando Toledo, who was then the director of the building department. It is unclear, however, if Min received discipline for his actions. According to his LinkedIn profile, he began working as an assistant city attorney in 2008 before moving on to serve as the city’s zoning administrator in 2010. He kept his job until February 2013, when he was “forced out” due to “mounting conflicts over his strict interpretation of the city zoning code,” according to a Miami Herald article from that year. He then worked as the director of contract management at Jackson Health Systems for eight months before he was hired as deputy city attorney in October 2013. Min and city spokesperson Diana Gonzalez did not respond to New Times’ calls and emails sent Friday requesting comment about Min’s harassment case. Via email Sunday, City Attorney Victoria Mendez vouched for Min’s judgment as a lawyer. “Mr. Min was hired as a deputy city attorney based on his legal skills and qualifications,” she said. “I am unaware of what discipline, if any, was imposed against Mr. Min by his prior zoning supervisor, when he was in the zoning department and not this office. I am confident in his legal acumen and demeanor as a deputy city attorney.” The 2011 ordeal began when the auditor was assigned to audit a series of impact fees for a building permit that she believed had been incorrectly refunded. In the chain of emails, which were attached as exhibits to the complaint, Min responded privately to the woman’s claims by asking, “Why do you sound so mean in your emails?” The co-worker wrote to the EODP that she thought the response was inappropriate. “Spare me,” she wrote back to Min. “I don’t understand why we are still on this issue??? I am very much over impact fees… for now! You are an attorney, can you please explain to your staff the difference between the old and new Impact Fee Ordinance and how each has certain requirements and a developer can just pick and choose which parts to apply to their development.” “People are reading your emails,” Min responded. “Penis.” He then added a smiley-face emoticon. The auditor wrote in her EODP complaint that she then called Min and told him to stop. “After receipt of the inappropriate email, I called Mr. Min and told him not to send emails of this nature to me,” she wrote. “He did not appear to be concerned and veered the conversation towards other city zoning business.” Three days later, on January 21, Min sent a blank email that contained nothing but a lowercase letter “p.” He then sent another email with an “e.” Then an “n,” an “i,” and an “s.” “I began receiving the first of five emails from Mr. Min,” the victim later wrote to the EODP. “Each email contained one letter, spelling out a distasteful and inappropriate word. I did not reply to any of the emails nor did I make any attempt to contact Mr. Min. The emails were very upsetting and I left the office shortly after.” The complaint says that the next Monday, the auditor emailed her supervisor and asked to have a meeting about the messages. “I want this inappropriate behavior to stop,” the victim wrote to the EODP. Last week, Min made headlines after bizarrely relating medical marijuana to pedophilia in a meeting of the city’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board. Despite the fact that Florida voters overwhelmingly legalized medical cannabis in a constitutional referendum last year, Min and City Attorney Victoria Mendez claim the city should ban dispensaries outright because marijuana remains federally illegal. In an attempt to defend this position, Min claimed that the city allowing marijuana would be akin to legalizing child rape, because — bear with Min for a second — if the city or state tried to legalize something that was federally illegal (i.e., pedophilia), the feds could still arrest people for it. Both Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commissioner Francis Suarez have since said they disagree with Min’s position and support dispensaries coming to the city. But as with the sexual harassment case six years ago, it’s unclear whether Min will face repercussions for his actions. The victim whom Min harassed asked to be kept anonymous, out of fear that publishing her name would lead to re-victimization or retaliation from the city.
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Texas adoption agency ‘religious refusal’ closer to law

Texas Republicans pushed the state closer to a law that allows publicly-funded foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents because of religious objections. The Senate gave final approval early Monday, sending it to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for his consideration. The “Freedom to Serve Children Act” has received a late push in the Republican-dominated Legislature ahead of the May 29 end of the session. Conservatives hav…
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Mail Clerk/Admin Assistant Needed for Growing Miami Law Firm

Pacin Levine, P.A. is a rapidly expanding South Florida Law Firm. We are seeking a Full-Time Mail Clerk/Administrative Assistant for its Miami location.
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Counsel Juan Azel Joins Hunton & Williams LLP’s Global Banking Practice in Miami

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE )–Hunton & Williams LLP announces the expansion of its global banking and corporate practice with the arrival of Juan Azel as counsel in Miami. For nearly 20 years, Azel has represented financial institutions as general counsel or as outside counsel on regulatory and compliance, financial crime risk management, and internal investigations and enforcement matters, with an emphasis on the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-money laundering (AML), and economic sanctions l…
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Supreme Court will avoid the fight over North Carolina's voter law

Supreme Court will avoid the fight over North Carolina’s voter law

Opponents of strict voter-ID laws won a closely watched, but perhaps temporary, victory Monday, as the Supreme Court declined to revive a four-year-old North Carolina measure. Rejecting an unusual plea from the North Carolina General Assembly, the court said it would not hear the North Carolina case in the term that will start in October. It leaves intact an appellate court ruling striking down the North Carolina law, though it also leaves unsettled some crucial issues that are likely to come b…
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Supreme Court rejects appeal over NC voter ID law

The Supreme Court shut the door Monday on North Carolina Republicans’ effort to revive a state law that mandated voter identification and scaled back early voting, provisions that a lower court said improperly targeted minority voters. The justices left in place last summer’s ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the law’s photo ID requirement to vote in person, which the court said targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision.” The measure, approved in 201…
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Rhode Island could study, delay legal marijuana debate

Rhode Island lawmakers who aren’t ready to legalize marijuana might try to study it instead. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bill that would create a legislative commission to study the effects of legalizing pot for recreational use. The 15-member commission would review how marijuana legalization has affected residents of states such as Colorado and Washington and how it’s affected fiscal conditions in those states. The group would report its recommendations bac…
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Recreational marijuana would be legal in NJ under new bill

Marijuana could be grown, sold and used in New Jersey under new legislation introduced Monday in the state Senate. Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, the bill’s sponsor, said at a news conference that the measure has little chance of being enacted under Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who opposes legalization efforts. But Scutari said he’s introducing the measure now as a way to lay the groundwork for it to be enacted by the next governor. He pointed to states like Colorado that have succe…
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Most hard drugs smuggled through legal border crossings

Most hard drugs smuggled through legal border crossings

Amid the daily traffic of workers, shoppers and truck drivers crossing the border on March 21, a customs officer in Nogales noticed a driver acting nervously. An officer with Customs and Border Protection inspects a van at the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. Statistics show 81 percent of the hard drugs caught at the border from 2012-2016 were stopped at ports of entry. Most hard drugs smuggled through legal border crossings By Curt Prendergast Arizona Daily Star The Miami County Repub…
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The Latest: North Carolina defends gay-marriage recusal law

The Latest on a federal appeals court’s consideration of a challenge to a North Carolina law allowing magistrates with religious objections to refuse to perform same-sex marriages (all times local): 1:30 p.m. An attorney for North Carolina says a state law letting magistrates refuse to perform same-sex marriages ensures the state complies with the law on gay marriage while respecting officials’ religious beliefs. Special Deputy Attorney General Olga Vysotskaya de Brito defended the law Wednesda…
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Court asked to revive challenge to gay-marriage recusal law

An attorney for North Carolina on Wednesday defended a state law that lets magistrates refuse to perform same-sex marriages, telling a federal appeals court that the policy accommodates officials’ religious beliefs while complying with the law on gay marriage. A special deputy attorney general for North Carolina told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that lawmakers worked hard to strike a fair balance with the law by ensuring that willing magistrates from nearby commu…
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Inexplicably, Ultra Miami and Ultra Europe are Suing Each Other

copyrightlawsuittrademarkultraultra europeultra miamiultra music festivalultra worldwide Ultra Music Festival exploded from its South Florida home where it got its start in 1999 to the global phenomenon we know it as today. From shows in Asia, Africa, South America, the Caribbean and more, Ultra has encompassed the globe with massive headliners and even larger audiences. However, a dispute between the head honchos of the brand and their European counterparts may be the next big lawsuit in the …
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Immigrants being held in Oregon jail staged hunger strike

Immigrants being held in Oregon jail staged hunger strike

Pro-immigrant activists and the legal director of the ACLU of Oregon said Friday that officials appear to be breaking state law by holding people for federal immigration authorities at an Oregon jail where several of the detainees this week ended a hunger strike over what they called horrible conditions. They say the deal between the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility, or NORCOR, and a federal agency violates a 1987 Oregon law prohibiting law officers in Oregon from spending public d…
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Trump warns he might not obey Guantánamo, pot provisions in new spending law

President Donald Trump told Congress Friday that he might release detainees held at the Guantánamo Bay prison for suspected terrorists, despite legislation that prohibits transfers of prisoners. He also said he would not feel bound by a restriction in a new spending law that prohibits spending money to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal for medical purposes. Trump noted that the spending bill Congress passed this week contained restrictions on transfers of Guantá…
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Florida criminals who use Bitcoins could now face money laundering charges

Criminals who use the virtual currency known as Bitcoin can be convicted of money laundering under a Florida law passed by lawmakers late on Friday. Both houses approved the bill, which now heads to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott for approval. Lawmakers approved the measure after a Miami judge last year threw out the criminal case against a man accused of selling $1,500 worth of bitcoins he was told was to be used to purchase stolen credit-card numbers online. “Cyber criminals have taken advanta…
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U.S. Top Court Deals Setback to Miami in Predatory Lending Suits

U.S. Top Court Deals Setback to Miami in Predatory Lending Suits

Writing for the court, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer said Miami had the legal standing to sue the banks but needed to present more evidence that the …
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Miami Lawsuit Against Mortgage Lenders Survives Supreme Court Review

WASHINGTON –   The Supreme Court handed a partial victory to the city of Miami Monday, ruling it was authorized to bring ambitious lawsuits alleging Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. engaged in financial-crisis era discriminatory lending that led to urban blight and falling property values. The court, however, in a 5-3 ruling, said Miami in future proceedings will have to establish that the banks caused direct harm to the city, a standard that could prove challenging. T…
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Paralegal

Robert Half once again was named first in our industry on Fortune® magazine’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” (March  1,  2017) In 2016, Robert Half was named a Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises by WBENC, the nation’s leader in women’s business development. © 2017 Robert Half International Inc. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/Disability/Veterans….
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U.S. top court deals setback to Miami in predatory lending suits

N. Writing for the court, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer said Miami had the legal standing to sue the banks but needed to present more evidence that …
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Indiana court ends lawyer’s legal quest for Pence emails

The Indiana Supreme Court is denying a request from an attorney who wanted his public records case against Vice President Mike Pence to be given a fresh look amid revelations that the former Republican governor used a private AOL email account to conduct state business. The court’s ruling effectively ends the two-year effort by Indianapolis attorney William Groth, a Democrat, for documents and emails from Pence’s tenure as governor, his lawyer Gregory Bowes said Monday. Groth initially sued aft…
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Gubernatorial candidates consider broader marijuana laws

Gubernatorial candidates consider broader marijuana laws

The Trump administration recently warned about the potential for marijuana to lead to other drug use, but candidates for New Jersey governor are considering embracing efforts to authorize recreational use in the state. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly’s recent comment that marijuana is a possibly dangerous gateway drug comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he is “definitely not a fan” of expanded use. Nonetheless, New Jersey’s Democratic-controlled Legislature plans to move forw…
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QUICKLINKS Media Inquiries Give to Miami Law Alumni & Development Submit a Story / Faculty Focus PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS J.D. Request Information LL.M. Request Information How to Apply STAY CONNECTED PUBLICATIONS Miami Law Magazine See All Miami Law Publications Clinical Professor Rebecca Sharpless, Director of the Immigration Clinic, published an article “Cosmopolitan Democracy and the Detention of Immigrant Families” in the New Mexico Law Review.  Professor Sharpless researches and writes in the…
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Law partners in Odebrecht, Panama Papers scandals get bail

A court in Panama on Friday ordered the release on bail of two partners at a law firm involved in last year’s “Panama Papers” scandal set off by the leak of thousands of documents related to offshore accounts. Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca Mora of the Mossack-Fonseca firm were arrested in February in connection with a bribery scandal involving Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petrobras. The two are accused of money laundering for allegedly setting up offshore accounts to move bribes. The cour…
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Oklahoma governor looked into case as favor to sister-in-law

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin asked a member of her legal staff to look into the manslaughter case of a former Tulsa reserve deputy as a favor for her sister-in-law, newly released emails reveal. The governor’s office released 14 pages of emails this week showing Fallin’s discourse with sister-in-law Jane Vanfossen — a friend of the jailed officer Robert Bates’ daughter — and Jennifer Chance, her then-deputy general counsel, over the case, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2occbP2 ) reported. The emails indicate Vanfossen had forwarded a plea of concern from Bate’s daughter to Fallin. “As a tax paying, law abiding citizens (sic) we have been thoroughly disappointed in the bias, influenced by a media with no ethical code, that appears in our court system,” Bates’ daughter Leslie McCrary wrote. “I won’t elaborate on the specifics but would ask for you to please review the statute that is keeping our Dad in jail …” An email from the governor noted Chance had researched the case and would contact Bates’ family. Chance later emailed Bates’ daughter and said the governor couldn’t intervene in the case, but advised that her father could have recourse regarding medical care and treatment under federal laws. In March, a Tulsa media report alleged Chance resigned as deputy general counsel after Fallin learned that Chance had recommended her husband, attorney Derek Chance, to the Bates family. Chance’s March 8 resignation letter states she left her post “to pursue other opportunities.” But the emails indicate Fallin was aware Derek Chance would represent Bates after receiving an email of gratitude in September 2016. “We hired Derek in June of 2016 and as of today this is where we are. Nowhere. UGH! Thank you again,” McCrary wrote. Spokesman Michael McNutt told the Tulsa World in a response to a question of Fallin’s interest in the case that the governor “treated this matter the same as similar requests that she receives by referring it to her general counsel’s office.” Bates was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter for the fatal shooting of Eric Harris in April 2015. Bates alleged he mistook his revolver for his Taser when Harris had tried to run away from a Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office undercover gun buy. Oops, you haven’t selected any newsletters. Please check the box next to one or more of our email newsletters and submit again. Oops, you didn’t provide a valid email address. Please double-check the email field and submit again.
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Criminals who use Bitcoin targeted under proposed Florida law

Criminals who deal in bitcoins in Florida could soon be busted for money laundering. Florida lawmakers are poised to pass a bill that will add “virtual currency” to the state’s money-laundering statute, a change hailed by law enforcement although frowned upon by some enthusiasts of bitcoins. The proposed law was crafted after a Miami judge tossed a criminal case against a Miami Beach man accused of selling $1,500 worth of bitcoins he believed was to be used to buy stolen credit-card numbe…
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Vermont's campaign finance law survives legal challenge

Vermont’s campaign finance law survives legal challenge

A challenge to Vermont’s campaign finance laws has been struck down in federal court. Dean Corren, an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor, sued the state in Vermont’s federal district court for violating his First Amendment rights, alleging that a restriction on fundraising for publicly-financed candidates is unconstitutional. The court issued its decision Tuesday. The federal suit came amid a state-level case against Corren. During his campaign, Corren accepted public financing, whi…
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The Latest: Appeals court considers Mississippi LGBT law

The Latest on arguments over a Mississippi law dealing with religious objections to same-sex marriage (all times local): 5:30 p.m. Attorneys for both sides are expressing confidence after a federal appeals court heard arguments about Mississippi law dealing with religious objections to same-sex marriage. Three judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case Monday in Lubbock, Texas. The Mississippi law would let merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny …
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Mississippi LGBT law being argued in federal appeals court

A lesbian couple from Mississippi traveled to Texas and spent their second wedding anniversary watching arguments in a court case that they believe could affect whether they face officially sanctioned discrimination in their home state. Brandiilyne Mangum-Dear said she and her wife, Susan Mangum, were married in California in 2015, a few weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. The Mississippi Legislature in early 2016 passed a law that would let merchants and…
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ACLU: Washington not ensuring kids get adequate legal help

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is suing the state’s Office of Public Defense in an effort to get the state to do more to make sure children charged with crimes have good legal help. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Thurston County Superior Court, specifically challenges what the ACLU describes as the agency’s failure to protect juvenile defendants in Grays Harbor County on the Pacific coast, but the issues aren’t limited to Grays Harbor County, said Emily Chiang, the organization’…
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