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US courts rule for border walls both public and private
Class Action News | 2020/01/07 02:10
Crews could start building a private border wall in South Texas within the coming days following a federal judge’s ruling Thursday that lifted a restraining order against the project.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane’s order was the second federal ruling in two days in favor of border barriers. On Wednesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a lower court’s stay that had prevented President Donald Trump’s administration from diverting $3.6 billion from military construction projects to fund 175 miles (280 kilometers) of border wall.

While the White House on Thursday celebrated the appeals court’s ruling, saying it rightfully lifted an “illegitimate nationwide injunction,” Crane’s ruling actually went against the U.S. government’s position.

Fisher Industries, a North Dakota-based construction firm, wants to install 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of steel posts about 35 feet (10 meters) from the U.S. bank of the Rio Grande, the river that forms the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. The company’s president, Tommy Fisher, wants to spend $40 million on the private border wall ? originally promoted by a pro-Trump online fundraising group ? to prove that his company can build barriers more effectively.


Mother of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts dies at age 90
Attorneys News | 2020/01/03 17:40
Rosemary Roberts, the mother of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, has died. She was 90. A spokeswoman for the court said Rosemary Roberts died Saturday. Roberts was born Rosemary Podrasky in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and married John G. Roberts Sr. in 1952, according to an obituary published in The Tribune-Democrat.

She worked in Pennsylvania and New York as a customer service representative for A&P supermarkets and the Bell Telephone Company, according to the obituary.

The family moved around over the years for Roberts Sr.’s job at Bethlehem Steel Corp. and lived in New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Maryland. They later moved to Ohio and South Carolina for other business opportunities and for retirement.

Rosemary Roberts participated in local religious and charitable organizations and served as a hospital and library volunteer, the obituary said. She and her husband moved to Maryland in 2001 to be closer to their family.

Their son, John Roberts, was nominated in 2005 by President George W. Bush to be chief justice of the Supreme Court. He replaced the late William Rehnquist.

Rosemary Roberts is survived by four children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her husband died in 2008 after a long illness.




Iowa court: Automated speeding tickets not public record
Class Action News | 2020/01/03 17:39
The Iowa Supreme Court says names of car owners ticketed by automated speed cameras are not public records. The court considered a lawsuit filed by former Ottumwa police sergeant Mark Milligan who was ticketed in 2016 driving a city-owned car. He filed an open records request for names of car owners caught on camera and ticketed and those not ticketed.

Officials driving government cars often aren't ticketed. The city denied his request, but a judge ordered their release.

The city appealed. The supreme court concluded Friday that speed camera tickets are city citations not filed in court and therefore aren't public record.



Court: Airline’s workers can’t sue as class in pay dispute
Law Firm Press | 2020/01/02 01:39
American Airlines workers at Newark’s airport who claim in a lawsuit they’ve been shorted on overtime pay can’t sue as a class, a federal appeals court ruled this week.

The three-judge panel’s decision published Tuesday reversed a New Jersey judge’s ruling that would have allowed the lawsuit to go forward and include all non-exempt hourly workers employed at Newark Liberty International Airport since April 2014.

Several employees, including mechanics and workers responsible for tasks such as cargo handling, filed the suit in 2016 and said American’s timekeeping system automatically paid employees based on their schedules rather than on the hours they actually worked.

They also alleged managers regularly refused to authorize overtime pay for work performed before and after scheduled shifts and during scheduled 30-minute lunch breaks. The lawsuit sought back pay as well as punitive damages. American denied the allegations.

The appeals court sided with the airline, which argued that while the timekeeping system applied to all employees, it would be wrong to group all employees into a class because it would have to be determined on a case-by-case basis which employees worked overtime.



President, Supreme Court top Wisconsin races in 2020
Law Firm News | 2020/01/02 01:39
Everyone knows Wisconsin will be in the spotlight for the presidential race in 2020. It's one of just a few states where the electorate is so evenly divided, it could swing either way. That is the biggest prize on the ballot this year, but it's far from the only contest for Wisconsin voters. Here are the highlights of what's on Wisconsin's political horizon in 2020:

PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Wisconsin will be the focus of the presidential race all year. President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016 and both sides expect another close race. Wisconsin is one of just a few states expected to be competitive and for that reason, many expect it to be the epicenter of the fight for the White House. Democrats will get a chance to vote for their nominee on April 7. With a large field and unsettled race, many expect it to still be undecided for Wisconsin's primary. Milwaukee hosts the Democratic National Convention in July and both sides are expected to flood the state with money ? and candidate appearances ? before the November election.

SUPREME COURT

Wisconsin elects its Supreme Court justices and one of them who was appointed by then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, is up for election in April. Dan Kelly was appointed in 2016 and now he's running for a full 10-year term. He's part of the current 5-2 conservative majority on the court. If he wins, that majority will not change. But if one of two liberal candidates prevail, the conservative hold on the court will drop to 4-3. Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky and Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone have Democratic support in the race. A Feb. 18 primary will narrow the field to two candidates. The winner will be elected on April 7. That is the same day as Wisconsin's presidential primary, when Democratic turnout is expected to be high. That could spell trouble for Kelly.



Connecticut courts moving notices from newspapers to website
Class Action News | 2019/12/29 01:39
The Connecticut court system will usher in the new year by moving required public notices to its website and out of newspapers, citing lower costs and the potential to reach a wider audience.

Media representatives, however, believe the move will result in fewer residents being informed of important legal matters and will be another blow to news companies already dealing with huge declines in revenues. A single public notice can cost a few hundred dollars to run in a newspaper.

It's a concept that's been debated by government officials across the country, but so far one that appears to have gained little traction amid opposition by newspapers.

“State government’s thirst for keeping information out of the public hands knows no bounds," said Chris VanDeHoef, executive director of the Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association. “Every branch of government in our state should be focused on getting information that is pertinent to the citizens of Connecticut out in as many places possible ? not fewer.”

The Connecticut Judicial Branch has set up a legal notices section on its website that will go live on Jan. 2, when it ends the requirement to publish them in newspapers.

“It is expected that this will save a great deal of time and expense, and provide greater accuracy and broader notice than newspaper publication," the Judicial Branch said in a statement on its website announcing the move.

Most of the notices at issue are intended for people involved in civil and family court cases, usually defendants, who cannot be located because their current addresses are unknown. While a good portion of the publishing costs are paid for by litigants, the Judicial Branch foots the bill for a large number of people who cannot afford it, officials said.



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