Legal news from Wednesday, November 17, 2004
19:11 EDT

[JURIST] In Wednesday's environmental law news, the US has encouraged 13 other countries to join an international agreement to reduce methane emissions by trapping the gas and using it for power generation. The program, Methane to Markets, is an attempt to reduce methane emissions by up to 50 million metric [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Three plaintiffs supported by the Kentucky Fairness Alliance have filed a lawsuit against Kentucky's recently-approved constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the grounds that it applies both to marriage and civil unions. The suit says that by not allowing voters to vote on the two aspects separately, the proposed [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Cross examination of Disney CEO Michael Eisner began Wednesday in a shareholder suit against Walt Disney Co. over whether the executive board neglected its duty to shareholders in allowing former president Michael Ovitz to leave with a $140 million severance package after only 14 months of work. The case [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Petco Animal Supplies has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the animal supply company's website violated federal law by misrepresenting privacy promises it made to its customers, the FTC announced Wednesday. The Commission said Petco did not take reasonable or appropriate measures to prevent hacker attacks, allowing [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] An Federal Communications Commission spokeswoman said Wednesday that the FCC has received a number of complaints about the opening scene of ABC's most recent airing of Monday Night Football. The agency may decide to investigate the incident, which could result in a maximum indecency fine of $32,500 per ABC [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] In Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, federal officials are investigating former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay's wife in connection with a $1.3 million Enron stock sale just days before the energy company went under. The couple's lawyer indicated the Lays learned about the investigation in circumstantial ways and have [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that House Republicans have adopted a change in rules that would protect re-elected GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay from having to relinquish his party leadership post in the event of his indictment by a Texas grand jury. DeLay could face such an indictment in the wake [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that President Bush has picked deputy chief of staff Harriet Miers as White House counsel, the post to be vacated by attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales.1:10 PM ET - The AP story is available here. Harriet Miers formerly served as Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, and [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning film director, urged England's highest court on Wednesday to allow him sue via video link to avoid being extradited to the US on charges of child sex offenses. Polanski, who lives in Paris, wishes to sue Vanity Fair magazine in the UK for libel. Polanski [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The SEC announced Wednesday that Gary Pilgrim and Harold Baxter, founders of Pligrim Baxter mutual funds, have agreed to pay $80 million each and be barred from associating with mutual funds in settlement of charges the SEC had brought over market timing abuses. The $160 million payment will be [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary David Blunkett said Wednesday that government plans to issue national ID cards will help protect people's identities rather than threaten their civil liberties. Blunkett, who was speaking at the Institute of Public Policy Research, said the extent of information on the cards would be limited to [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of forensics experts have concluded that institutional intimidation at the FBI prevented agents from correcting an obvious mistake that led to the arrest of an innocent Oregon lawyer in connection with the Madrid train bombings last spring. The panel's report, which was published in the November/December issue [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] A man who lit himself on fire Monday in front of the White House was a key government witness in the case against Sheik Ali Hassan al-Moayad, who is accused of raising millions for terror groups including al-Qaida, defense attorneys for al-Moayad have said. Mohammed Alanssi, a 52-year-old Virginia [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, the current ruling party in the nation's Diet, has finished a draft proposal of reforms to the country's constitution. Included in the proposed reforms are specific changes to the structure and purpose of the nation's military, which has been defined as purely a self-defense force [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is "very concerned" by a fatal shooting of an apparently unarmed and wounded Iraqi man in a Fallujah mosque by a US soldier, Allawi's office said Wednesday. US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte expressed regret over the shooting Wednesday and said the US was [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] An administrative law judge presiding over a California Public Utilities Commission investigation has concluded that Southern California Gas Company should forfeit $28.8 million in profits earned during the 2000-2001 energy crisis in California, according to a report released late Tuesday. If approved by the full commission, the finding would [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Both the EU and Iran Wednesday sought to condition a tentative agreement on Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment on further cooperation between both sides. Iran warned that it would halt its suspension if further progress was not made when it meets with European leaders in December, while the EU [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Two senior insurance underwriters with Zurich Financial Services, the third-largest commercial insurer in the US, pleaded guilty Tuesday night to charges connected to NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's ongoing insurance bid-rigging investigation. Also Tuesday, Zurich reported receiving a subpoena from the SEC and Spitzer. The executives pleaded guilty to [read more]

05:11 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Wednesday, November 17.On Capitol Hill, the US Senate will meet at 9:30 AM ET and will begin consideration of the Debt Limit Extension Bill (S 2986). Watch a live webcast (via C-SPAN).... The US [read more]

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