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US appeals court upholds Maryland assault weapons ban
Attorney Blogs | 2017/02/24 08:40
Maryland's ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent.

In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., said the guns banned under Maryland's law aren't protected by the Second Amendment.

"Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war," Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who led the push for the law in 2013 as a state senator, said it's "unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment."

"It's a very strong opinion, and it has national significance, both because it's en-banc and for the strength of its decision," Frosh said, noting that all of the court's judges participated.

Judge William Traxler issued a dissent. By concluding the Second Amendment doesn't even apply, Traxler wrote, the majority "has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms." He also wrote that the court did not apply a strict enough review on the constitutionality of the law.



Greek court rejects extradition for Turkish servicemen
Attorney Blogs | 2017/01/27 06:50
Greece's Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an extradition request for eight Turkish servicemen who fled their country by helicopter after a coup attempt.

Presiding judge Giorgos Sakkas, reading out the decision, said the servicemen were unlikely to face a fair trial if returned to Turkey.

The eight officers fought extradition in a six-month legal battle, arguing that they face mistreatment in prison if returned.

Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis earlier this week had said he would respect the court decision and not make use of executive powers in the extradition case.

Lower courts issued mixed decisions on the return of the officers in a series of separate hearings.

The extradition case has further complicated ties between neighbors and NATO allies Greece and Turkey, which remain at odds over war-divided Cyprus and boundaries in the Aegean Sea.

Hours ahead of Thursday's decision, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said he expected the servicemen to be returned.

"Our greatest expectation is for the coup plotters to be delivered to the Turkish judicial (authorities). We shall be following the results of this case," he said. "These coup plotters should not go unpunished."



Greece court cancels TV license overhaul; blow to government
Attorney Blogs | 2016/10/24 23:58
A high court has canceled a television license auction in Greece, dealing a blow to the country's left-wing government which carried out the sale as part of an anti-corruption drive.

Judges from the Council of State court ruled 14-11 late Wednesday that the auction in September was unconstitutional because the process bypassed an independent media regulator.

The ruling means the government will have to pay back money it has received from the 246 million euro ($275 million) sale. And its plans to reduce the number of national private broadcasters from seven to four will be canceled.

The auction triggered a major political spat over corruption and control of the news media.

Opposition parties accused Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras — whose left-wing Syriza party is a relative newcomer to mainstream politics — of trying to gain influence over the news media.

Tsipras had made the auction the centerpiece of his reforms. He argued it would sever a corrupt relationship between traditionally powerful political parties and industrialists who used media ownership to seek lucrative state contracts — a relationship the government said created decades of financial mismanagement and was a cause of Greece's crippling financial crisis.

In weekend speech to party members, Tsipras had promised to defend the license overhaul.


California Supreme Court to consider suit over Yelp review
Attorney Blogs | 2016/09/24 05:03
The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider a lawsuit that Yelp.com warns could lead to the removal of negative reviews on the popular website.

The seven-member court voted unanimously Wednesday to take up an appeal by Yelp of a lower court ruling upholding an order requiring Yelp to remove posts against a San Francisco law firm.

Yelp wants the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, saying that if it's allowed to stand, it will open the door for businesses to force the company to remove critical reviews.

Dawn Hassell, the law firm's managing attorney, says the business review website is exaggerating the stakes of her legal effort. She says it aims only to remove from Yelp lies by a former client that a judge determined were defamatory, not just negative.

Hassell referred comment Wednesday to her attorney, Monique Olivier, who said in a statement she was not surprised the Supreme Court has taken up the case given the "amount of attention" it has received.

"This case is not one of a 'bad review' " she said. "It is a case where a court adjudicated statements to be defamatory after receiving and reviewing evidence about the falsity of those statements."

Aaron Schur, Yelp's senior director of litigation, said the company looked forward to explaining to the court "how the lower court's decision is ripe for abuse, contradicts longstanding legal principles, and restricts the ability of websites to provide a balanced spectrum of views online."


Florida asks court to deny inmate's execution-delay request
Attorney Blogs | 2016/01/13 19:51
Florida has asked the state's high court to reject a condemned inmate's request to delay his execution based on the U.S. Supreme Court's finding that Florida's procedure for imposing the death penalty is illegal.

In a brief filed Thursday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office said the U.S. Supreme Court's finding should not be applied retroactively to already-settled death penalty cases.

Ruling on the Hurst v. Florida case Tuesday, the nation's highest court ruled 8-1 that Florida's procedure is flawed because it allows judges, not juries, to decide death sentences.

Attorneys for convicted killer Michael Lambrix cited the ruling in their request for a new sentencing hearing for him.

Lambrix is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Feb. 11.

It wasn't clear when the court would rule.



Massachusetts Joint Will Lawyer – Law Office of Alan Segal
Attorney Blogs | 2014/08/28 19:00
Do you have a will?

Wills and estate planning all deal with your well-being and needs once you’re unable to care for yourself. Wills and estate planning include financial, tax, medical, and business planning.

Your will should control all your property, interest, and assets, like bonds, jewelry, bank accounts, real estate, furniture, and stocks.

Your will also controls what you might hold as an asset in different title forms other than your name. Joint tenancy is a regular form of ownership that takes away assets from control by will or living trust. Beneficiary designations on securities and bank accounts are alternatives that may be considered as well. Last, assets that have beneficiary designations, such as life insurance and IRAS are important parts of your estate which require careful coordination with other assets when writing up a will.

What is a Joint Will?

A joint will is made in combination with another person’s will;
Essentially, a joint will transfers the ownership of property at his/her respective death through one will.

If you are seeking legal assistance with your will, contact our
Needham MA wills Lawyer Attorney Alan Segal today.



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