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Karadzic convicted of genocide, sentenced to 40 years
Lawyer News | 2016/03/24 15:59
A U.N. court convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide and nine other charges Thursday and sentenced him to 40 years in prison for orchestrating Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead.

As he sat down after hearing his sentence, Karadzic slumped slightly in his chair, but showed little emotion.

The U.N. court found Karadzic guilty of genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in Europe's worst mass murder since the Holocaust.

Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon said Karadzic was the only person in the Bosnian Serb leadership with the power to halt the genocide.

In a carefully planned operation, Serb forces transported Muslim men to sites around the Srebrenica enclave in eastern Bosnia and gunned them down before dumping their bodies into mass graves.

Kwon said Karadzic and his military commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic, intended "that every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from Srebrenica be killed."

Karadzic was also held criminally responsible for murder, attacking civilians and terror for overseeing the deadly 44-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, during the war and for taking hostage U.N. peacekeepers.

However, the court acquitted Karadzic in a second genocide charge, for a campaign to drive Bosnian Muslims and Croats out of villages claimed by Serb forces.

Plagued by delays, California high-speed rail heads back to court
Lawyer News | 2016/02/06 20:54
California voters embraced the idea of building the nation's first real high-speed rail system, which promised to whisk travelers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours, a trip that can take six hours or more by car. Eight years after they approved funding for it, construction is years behind schedule and legal, financial and logistical delays plague the $68 billion project.

The bullet train's timeline, funding and speed estimates are back in the spotlight for a longstanding lawsuit filed by residents whose property lies in its path.

In the second phase of a court challenge filed in 2011, attorneys for a group of Central Valley farmers will argue in Sacramento County Superior Court on Thursday that the state can't keep the promises it made to voters in 2008 about the travel times and system cost. Voters authorized selling $9.9 billion in bonds for a project that was supposed to cost $40 billion.

In recent months, rail officials have touted construction of a viaduct in Madera County, the first visible sign of construction. Though officials have been working for years to acquire the thousands of parcels of land required for the project, they currently have just 63 percent of the parcels needed for the first 29 miles in the Central Valley.

Woman at center of 1961 Supreme Court case dies
Lawyer News | 2014/12/11 20:57
A woman who stood up to police trying to search her Ohio home in 1957 and ultimately won a landmark Supreme Court decision on searches and seizures has died.

Dollree Mapp died Oct. 31 in Conyers, Georgia. A relative and caretaker, Carolyn Mapp, confirmed her death Wednesday and said she died on the day after her birthday at the age of 91.

Mapp's Supreme Court case, Mapp v. Ohio, is a staple of law school textbooks and considered a milestone case on the Fourth Amendment, which requires law enforcement officers to get a warrant before conducting a search. The case curbed the power of police by saying evidence obtained by illegal searches and seizures could not be used in state court.

Mapp's path to the U.S. Supreme Court began on May 23, 1957, when three Cleveland police officers arrived at her home. There had just been a bombing at the home of Don King, who later became famous as a boxing promoter, and police believed that a person wanted for questioning was hiding in Mapp's home. The officers demanded to enter, but Mapp refused to let them in without a search warrant. More officers later arrived and police forced open a door, according to a summary of the case in the Supreme Court opinion.

When the officers confronted Mapp, one held up a piece of paper, claiming it was a warrant, and Mapp snatched it away. After a struggle an officer got the paper back, Mapp was handcuffed for being "belligerent," and officers searched her home. They didn't find the person they were looking for, but they did find some pornographic books and pictures. At the time, an Ohio law made having obscene material a crime, and Mapp was convicted, though she said the materials belonged to a former boarder. Prosecutors never produced a search warrant at trial.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court overturned Mapp's conviction in a 6-3 decision, ruling in 1961 that illegally obtained evidence could not be used in state court. The court had previously ruled that this was the case in federal court, but Mapp's case extended the "exclusionary rule" to states where the vast majority of criminal prosecutions take place, broadening the protection.

North Carolina Worker's Compensation & Social Security Disability
Lawyer News | 2014/12/02 22:24
We at DiRusso & DiRusso have been helping those in our area with legal
need for the past 23 years. Located near Mount Airy, North Carolina,
we are grateful for the citizens of Surry County for consistently
choosing us for legal representation. Our staff takes pride in this
distinction and we believe it is wise that our clients chose local

Unlike firms in the larger cities, it is important to us that our
clients speak directly with DiRusso and DiRusso, not assistants or
paralegals. This local touch extends to our knowledge of the local
employers, local court officials, and local employers. It is of upmost
importance that we are available to you and sensitive to the needs of
the area.

In addition to being local, we also have the expertise and resources
to advocate for you, no matter who you're going against. We at DiRusso
and DiRusso are here to listen compassionately about the difficult
time you may be having, while also being solution-oriented. Our
attorneys are dedicated to representing their clients, and nobody
else. We will provide you with current rules, cases, and codes to keep
you up to date with the law.

Call us today to speak with an attorney regarding your case. Your
initial consultation concerning Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, and Workers' Compensation is always free.

Grant to help veterans court expand services
Lawyer News | 2014/11/25 18:32
A federal grant will help the Tennessee Veterans Treatment Court expand services over the next three years so that it can serve more people in Shelby, Montgomery and Davidson counties.

The court allows service members and veterans who end up in the criminal justice system to choose treatment and recovery programs instead of ending up behind bars.

The Leaf-Chronicle reports the $1.5 million grant will allow the Montgomery County veterans court to increase its capacity from 40 to 78. Much of the Fort Campbell Army post is located in the county.

In all, the grant will allow the program to serve 263 more veterans over a three-year period.

"It's much more than just a way for veterans to avoid a jail sentence," said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health. "This is a voluntary decision for a service member who's arrested on a non-violent offense to seek help, get into recovery and start receiving the mental health and substance abuse treatment they need."

Officials aim to help veterans find out why they engage in criminal behavior and break the cycle. In addition to assessing, analyzing and treating problems, services including job assistance are available to those who volunteer.

Kansas watches high court justice on gay marriage
Lawyer News | 2014/11/11 23:15
Kansas gay-rights advocates are watching the U.S. Supreme Court as they hope same-sex couples can get marriage licenses this week.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday temporarily blocked gay marriages in Kansas, but it wasn't clear how long she or the high court would continue to do so.

Sotomayor put on hold a federal judge's injunction preventing the state from enforcing its gay-marriage ban. The lower-court ruling was to take effect at 5 p.m. CST Tuesday.

The judge's injunction came in a lawsuit filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union. Kansas wants to keep enforcing its ban while the lawsuit is reviewed.

Sotomayor directed the ACLU to respond Tuesday. If the justice reconsiders, gay couples could head to Kansas courthouses Wednesday morning.

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