Divorce lawyers dole out marriage advice

I wished this video had existed before my first (and, ahem, second) marriage. Live and learn, live and learn.

It's estimated that about half of marriages end in divorce. Why are so many people getting divorced, and how can you prevent splitting up with your spouse? We asked four divorce lawyers what they've learned in their practice on how to keep your marriage alive.

(Tastefully Offensive) Read the rest

Kavanaugh accused of sexual misconduct in letter provided by Feinstein to federal investigators: REPORT

Sexual misconduct allegations today surfaced involving Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The FBI confirms receipt of “information” which Sen. Diane Feinstein spoke of earlier today. FBI tells reporters letter has been added to “Judge Kavanaugh's background file, as per the standard process.”

The New York Times published a bombshell report today on allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. Read the rest

Mandalay Bay to mass-shooting survivors: we'll donate $500 to charity if you stipulate that we're suing you

Back in July, MGM Resorts -- owner of the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas -- sued more than 1,000 survivors of the mass-shooting that took place in October, 2017, trying to secure a judgment that would prevent any of the survivors from suing the company. Read the rest

Dallas cop charged with manslaughter after killing neighbor in his apartment

Dallas cop Amber Guyger, 30, was charged this weekend with manslaughter after killing her neighbor Botham Shem Jean, supposedly under the belief that he was an intruder in her apartment. She was in fact intruding into his apartment after returning home from work. Authorities' refusal to arrest Guyger in the days after the slaying led to an outcry, and they were only forced to act after the story made national headlines.

Lawyers for Jean's family had been calling for Guyger's arrest, saying the fact that she had remained free days after the shooting showed she was receiving favorable treatment.

''Police say Guyger, a four-year veteran of the force, told investigators she was returning home from her shift Thursday night and accidentally entered Jean's apartment. Guyger believed Jean was an intruder and shot him, police said. Police have released few other details.

"Right now, there are more questions than answers," Police Chief Renee Hall said. "We understand the concerns of the community. That is why we are working as vigorously and meticulously as we can to ensure the integrity of the case and the department is upheld."

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Creative Commons: next week's EU vote could cost us the internet

In just five days, a key EU vote could visit untold harm on the whole world's internet by subjecting all public communications to algorithmic censorship: the proposed Article 13 of the new Copyright Directive will force sites to build vast databases of known copyrighted works, and then block any user submissions (text, audio, video, code, stills) that seems to match a copyrighted work, and anyone can add anything to the blacklist of unpublishable works, without any proof of copyright and without any regard to fair dealing and other vital protections for free expression. Read the rest

Nazi-puncher fined $1

Jeffrey Winder appealed his guilty verdict after punching "Unite the Right" organizer Jason Kessler in Charlottesville the day after protester Heather Heyer died. A jury determined Winder should serve no jail time and pay the lowest fine possible. Read the rest

India decriminalizes gay sex

India's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that gay sex is not a criminal offense.

Although public opinion in India's biggest cities has been in favour of scrapping the law, there remains strong opposition among religious groups and in conservative rural communities.

But this ruling, from the top court, is the final say in the matter and represents a huge victory for India's LGBT community.

Screengrab: BBC News Read the rest

It just got easier to change your gender in California, thanks to 2 new laws

Two new laws that allow California residents to officially change their gender identification went into effect this past Labor Day weekend. Read the rest

Papers sought for We Robot: Miami's eighth annual conference on robots and the law

Michael Froomkin writes, "We Robot, now heading into its 8th year, is lots of fun -- and it's also the leading North American conference on robotics law and policy. The 2019 edition will be held at the University of Miami on April 12-13, 2019, preceded by a day of special workshops on April 11. We just today opened the submissions portal for paper and demo proposals. Full details are in the Call for Papers. Read the rest

$2m "fentanyl" bust turns out to be big bag of sugar

Last week, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon boasted of making “one of the largest seizures in the state” after hauling 12 pounds of "fentanyl" from a drug bust. Sadly for McMahon, the state crime lab says it is sugar.

“The job of the District Attorney is not to convict at all costs, but to be ministers of justice. That commitment requires us to move swiftly to dismiss or modify charges when we become aware of new evidence that calls into question a defendant’s guilt,” Ben David, the district attorney for New Hanover County, said in a statement.

The people busted aren't off the hook, as other "drugs" were found. Fortunately for them, "contributing to the epic self-own of a law enforcement officer" is not on the books in North Carolina. Read the rest

Copyright law a poor shield against online harassment

Sarah Jeong's book The Internet of Garbage was first published in 2015. Then a timely primer about online harassment, the structure of the internet, and why corporate policies can't and won't deal with it, things have since changed: everything is now worse. The Verge is publishing a new edition, The Internet of Garbage 1.5 [Amazon], which they're also giving away as a free-of-charge eBook. This excerpt about copyright law and harassment—especially the complex dangers of using the former to counteract the latter—is an excellent taster.

When people are harassed on the internet, the instinctive feeling of those targeted is that the internet is out of control and must be reined in. The most prominent and broad regulation of the internet is through copyright, as publicized in the thousands of lawsuits that the Recording Industry Association of America launched against individual downloaders, the subpoenas the RIAA issued to the ISPs to unmask downloaders, and the RIAA and MPAA’s massive lawsuits against the Napsters, Groksters, and even YouTubes of the world.

In our mass cultural consciousness, we have absorbed the overall success of the RIAA and the MPAA in these suits, and have come to believe that copyright law is how one successfully manages to reach through a computer screen and punch someone else in the face.

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Lapsed domain names paint "hack me" target on law firms

Law firms are singularly bad at technology, yet present a singularly delicious target to hackers. One particular vulnerability comes from all their abandoned domain names, which Gabor Szathmari writes "pose a significant cyber risk to the legal profession."

Domain name abandonment allows cybercriminals to gain access to, or reset passwords for online services and profession-specific portals. These online services store documents, emails and other information relating to a legal practice, including financial details, personal information, confidential information and client-legal privileged information. ...

In short, bad actors can re-register an abandoned domain of a business and take full control of email services configuring it to:

receive email correspondence sensitive in nature; and use the email accounts to reset passwords to online services.

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National Enquirer publisher turns on Trump

David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer and a 'friend' of Donald Trump, has been granted immunity from prosecution. The Wall Street Journal:

David Pecker, the chief executive of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information about Michael Cohen and Donald Trump in the criminal investigation into hush-money payments for two women during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

In exchange for immunity, Mr. Pecker, CEO of American Media, Inc. and a longtime friend of Mr. Trump, has met with prosecutors and shared details about payments Mr. Cohen arranged.

CNBC:

The immunity deal could hold significant consequences for Trump, as Pecker could have as much damaging information about the president as anyone in Trump's orbit.

He and Pecker have been friends since the 1990s, and have appear to remain so after Trump became president — the media mogul even visited the White House last year, according to The New York Times

This is the guy who bought the stories from Trump's mistresses under the false pretext of publishing them as tabloid exposés, thereby fooling them into legal agreements that forbade them from telling anyone else about the relationships. Read the rest

Prenda law copyright troll lawyer pleads guilty to fraud and money laundering

Paul Hansmeier pleaded guilty to of wire fraud and money laundering today for his role in the Prenda Law copyright scam. Prenda uploaded porn movies to download sites, got the IP addresses of users accessing the files, then shook them down for settlements with the threat of exposing them to their families and the public through court action.

Later on, it made its own pornographic films and put these on pirate sites so it could gather more cash. The documents suggest Prenda set up shell companies to gather the "settlement" fees and hide its involvement. The settlement scheme was uncovered by an investigation into Prenda Law, which saw both Hansmeier and Steele charged with fraud in 2016. Steele pleaded guilty in early 2017 to seven charges including mail and wire fraud. He also agreed to help prosecutors investigating the case.

He lost his law license in 2016. Cory:

For more than four years, we've chronicled the sleazy story of Prenda Law, a copyright troll whose extortion racket included genuinely bizarre acts of identity theft, even weirder random homophobic dog-whistles, and uploading their own porn movies to entrap new victims, and, naturally, an FBI investigation into the firm's partners' illegal conduct.

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Pope Francis apologizes for church child abuse, vows to clean house

In an "unprecedented" letter to the the laity, Pope Francis described priestly child abuse as an atrocity and the Catholic Church's protection of abusers as complicity.

With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.

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Excellent advice for new law students

Ken "Popehat" White (previously), a former Federal prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, has some excellent advice for all you newbie law-students who are just starting your law school career. Read the rest

New Zealand bans most offshore residential real-estate ownership

With today's passage of the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, the Parliament of New Zealand has banned nonresidents from buying most residential property in the country, in an effort to end the skyrocketing housing expenses (Auckland is one of the world's least-affordable cities) by freezing out overseas speculators, though these account for less than 3% of total real-estate transactions, with the majority coming from China. Read the rest

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