News & Blog

California Passes Nation’s Strongest Law Protecting Consumer Privacy

Soon, California consumers will have the strongest data privacy laws in the country on their side. Although the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 was passed in 2018 (AB 375), it will take effect on January 1, 2020. If the state legislature hadn’t passed the bill, the issue would have been deferred to a ballot initiative, which was widely considered a much more extreme version...
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Fact or Fiction: A Federal Appeals Courts Ruling Protects the Homeless from Criminal Prosecution

This is fact! At least in most of the Western states. Most people have heard of the seemingly unsolvable homeless crisis in California. It’s gotten so bad in San Francisco that in 2014, software engineer Jennifer Wong created the site Human Wasteland to record and map feces-related 311 complaints. 311 is the customer service phone number for the City of San Francisco. Wong was trying to bring...
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FTC Releases New Rules for “Influencers” aka Instagram “Celebrities”

Did you know that social media “influencers,” many on Instagram, can command thousands (some even with millions) of followers can make up to $1,000 per POST? Advertisers pay these social media “influencers” to use, wear, or praise their products in social media posts. “Micro” influencers with 6,000 to 10,000 followers can even make up to $88 per post. Influencers with 50,000 to 80,000 followers can...
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Congress Passes First EVer Federal Law to Criminalize Extreme Animal Cruelty

What Are “Crush Videos?” They are usually videos that how women using high heel shoes or bare feet literally crushing, stomping on, or impaling small helpless animals. Many such videos are made to satisfy viewers with a bizarre sexual fetish. In 1999 Congress enacted a federal law, 18 U.S.C. §48, that banned trafficking in “depictions of animal cruelty.” But in April 2010, the U.S. Supreme...
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Fact or Fiction: Courts Enforce Divorcing Couples’ Agreements to Destroy Frozen Embryos

This is mostly fact! At this time there are no federal regulations governing the disposition of frozen embryos after the dissolution of marriage. So divorcing couples must look to state law in handling disputes over frozen embyros. Last week the Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled that previously frozen embryos can be destroyed pursuant to a couple’s written agreement. When they were married Jessica Bilbao and...
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How Jurors’ Dumb Mistakes Can Lead to Overturned Murder Convictions

In 2015 a New York doctor was convicted of murdering his wife and tampering with evidence. In 2012 Dr. Robert Neulander reported that his wife died after falling in the shower, but prosecutors believe he killed his wife and made it look like an accident. Neulander, 68, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison after a jury found him guilty. However, last year...
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New Law Allows Any Californian to Sue for Sex Abuse Suffered As Children — No Matter How Long Ago

California, like most states, limits the period of time time in which victims of childhood sexual abuse can file lawsuits against their abusers. Under existing California law, victims of child sex abuse have until age 26 to file a lawsuit, or three years from the time of discovery that psychological injury was caused by sexual abuse suffered as a child. But a new law will...
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Fact or Fiction: A Federal Judge Approved the U.S.’ First Supervised Injection Site

This is a fact! In a surprise ruling, federal judge Gerald McHugh, sitting in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ruled in October 2019 that a nonprofit organization’s plan to allow people to bring in their own drugs (both legal and illegal) and use them in a facility staffed with medical personnel to help reduce fatal overdoses does not violate the Controlled Substances Act. The Judge...
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Fact or Fiction: In Some States You Can Sue Your Cheating Spouse’s Lover for Money Damages

This is fact! In August a North Carolina state judge decided that Greg Jernigan must pay Robert Kevin Howard $750,000 in damages for sleeping with Howard’s ex-wife. Howard and his now-ex-wife were married for 12 years, and had two children together, before Howard’s friend Jernigan came into their lives. North Carolina and several other states still have laws, called “homewrecker” or “heart balm” laws, that...
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Google’s Big Win in Europe: “Right to be forgotten” Only Applies in European Union Countries

The “right to be forgotten” came into law through a 2014 legal ruling by the European Court of Justice, and required search engines to delete links to embarrassing or out-of-date information, when requested by the individuals concerned. The 2014 ruling came about after a Spanish man failed to secure the deletion of an embarrassing auction notice of his repossessed home dating from 1998 on a...
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