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Despite court ruling, China gay rights movement makes gains
Law & Politics | 2016/04/15 08:40
For years, Chen Tiantian could only read about the gay rights movement in faraway places. She knew that there were activists in Beijing and a vibrant community in Shanghai, and that in San Francisco, a distant mecca, gay pride parades took up entire streets.
 
But on Wednesday, the 20-year-old English major sat on the steps of a courthouse and spoke fervently about how the struggle for equality had arrived in her central Chinese hometown — and how she planned to take part.

"It's hard to believe, but we're right in the middle of this," said Chen, who is lesbian and came with several friends to support a local couple who had challenged the city's civil affairs bureau after they were denied a marriage certificate. "It's like I'm finally entering the struggle myself."

Though it was dismissed by the court in Changsha, China's first legal challenge to a law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples has galvanized many of the hundreds of young Chinese gay rights supporters who gathered at the courthouse, some of them waving small rainbow flags. The hearing's sizable public turnout and coverage by usually conservative Chinese media appeared to reflect early signs of shifting social attitudes in China on the topic of sexual orientation.

The lawsuit that was dismissed was brought by 26-year-old Sun Wenlin against the civil affairs bureau for refusing to issue him and his partner, Hu Mingliang, a marriage registration certificate. The judge's ruling against the couple came down after a three-hour hearing — but that didn't dampen the mood of many of the hundreds of young Chinese who gathered outside the courthouse hoping for a chance to "witness history," in the words of one supporter.


Thai court sentences migrants to death in murder
Law & Politics | 2015/12/21 18:52
A Thai court on Thursday sentenced two Myanmar migrants to death for the murder of two British backpackers on a resort island last year, in a case that raised questions about police competence and the treatment of migrant workers in Thailand.

Human Rights Watch called the verdict "profoundly disturbing," citing the defendants' accusations of police torture that were never investigated and questionable DNA evidence linking them to the crime.

Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 22, have denied killing David Miller, 24, and raping then murdering Hannah Witheridge, 23, last year on the island of Koh Tao. Their defense attorney said they planned to appeal.

Miller and Witheridge's battered bodies were found Sept. 15, 2014, on the rocky shores of Koh Tao, an island in the Gulf of Thailand known for its white sand beaches and scuba diving. Autopsies showed that the young backpackers, who met on the island while staying at the same hotel, suffered severe head wounds and that Witheridge had been raped.

The killings tarnished the image of Thailand's tourism industry, which was already struggling to recover after the army staged a coup just months earlier in May 2014 and then imposed martial law.



Court says Chuck Yeager can sue Utah gun safe company
Law & Politics | 2015/02/16 21:06
A federal appeals court says record-setting test pilot Chuck Yeager can sue a Utah gun safe company that named a line of safes after him.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Tuesday that the 91-year-old can sue Fort Knox Security Products over an oral agreement from the 1980s that allowed the use of his name and picture in exchange for free safes.

The decision says the arrangement ended around 2008, after Yeager's wife started asking questions about it.

The court dismissed some claims but ruled that Yeager can sue over claims that the company kept using his likeness after the agreement ended. The company disputes that accusation.

Yeager served during World War II and became the first person to break the sound barrier in 1947.


Salvatore Scanio – Ludwig & Robinson PLLC.
Law & Politics | 2014/04/13 22:52

Salvatore Scanio, Attorney

Salvatore Scanio, Attorney

Mr. Scanio has extensive experience in complex domestic and international litigation and regulatory matters, involving federal and state banking, financial transactions, insurance coverage, and contract and other commercial disputes.

Mr. Scanio represents banks, insurers and other companies in cases involving negotiable instruments under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), electronic bank payments, fraud, fiduciary duty, accounting, lender liability, loan losses, lost profits, statutory and regulatory violations, professional liability, class actions, and claims against the federal government. He advises clients as to liability, defenses and loss recovery on a wide range of bank fraud and corporate fraud schemes, including check fraud, credit and debit card fraud, unauthorized electronic funds transfers (EFT) including fraudulent wire transfers and ACH transactions, identity theft, check kiting, deposit account fraud, malware attacks, cybercrime, account takeovers, loan and mortgage fraud, embezzlement, and bank insider fraud.

Selected Professional Awards and Associations

  • American Bar Association: Business Law Section, Committees on Banking Law, Business and Corporate Litigation, Consumer Financial Services, Uniform Commercial Code; Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Committees on Business Litigation, Fidelity and Surety Law, Insurance Coverage Litigation

  • Defense Research Institute: Committees on Commercial Litigation, Electronic Discovery, Fidelity and Surety, Insurance Law

  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Trial Skills


Affirmative action foe wins California court fight
Law & Politics | 2013/12/20 19:11
In a bitter fight over the effects of affirmative action, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that law school data on race, attendance and grades should be available to the public.

The unanimous decision represents a legal victory for a law professor seeking to test his notion that minority students are actually harmed by preferential admissions policies.

University of California, Los Angeles law professor Richard Sander created a firestorm when he published his "mismatch theory" in the Stanford Law Review in 2004.

Critics swiftly attacked his conclusions, saying Sander understated the positive effects of affirmative action and based his thinking on inadequate statistics.

To further his research, Sander sought data on ethnicity and scholastic performance compiled by the State Bar of California with a public records request in 2008. The state bar denied the request, prompting the lawsuit.

Information compiled by the bar, a branch of the state judiciary responsible with licensing and disciplining lawyers, is "unparalleled," Sander said after the ruling Thursday.


International court summit debates Africa issues
Law & Politics | 2013/11/22 18:22
The International Criminal Court's vexed relationship with Africa took center stage Wednesday on the opening day of the annual summit of its 122 member states.

The prosecutions of Kenya's president and his deputy have plunged relations between the world's first permanent war crimes court and the African Union to the deepest point in the court's 12-year history.

Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto is on trial for allegedly fomenting violence in the aftermath of his country's 2007 elections, and President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to go on trial in February on similar charges. Both men insist they are innocent.

"The court is facing a test of its veracity and its effectiveness," Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohamed told delegates. "This meeting must come up with practical solutions to the challenges facing the court and the entire Rome Statute system."

The Rome Statute is the court's founding document, and one of its provisions is that heads of state do not enjoy immunity from prosecution.

But the African Union argues that Ruto and Kenyatta's trials should be delayed because Kenya needs its leaders to help fight al-Shabab terrorists in neighboring Somalia and at home.


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