Legal news from Monday, April 18, 2005
20:04 EDT

[JURIST] Citing allegedly unfair rulings by a US District Court judge Barbara Jones, former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers [JURIST news archive], convicted in March [JURIST report] of orchestrating an $11 billion accounting fraud that led to the telecommunications giant's downfall, is seeking a new trial. Attorneys for Ebbers claim that [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] Following heated confirmation hearings last week, a showdown vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee [committee website] is set for Tuesday over John Bolton [official profile], President Bush's nominee for the UN ambassador. Bolton has been characterized by his critics as hot-tempered and abusive of subordinates, and has been [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [court website] ruled Monday that claims against the Vatican Bank made by Eastern European survivors of the Holocaust should be heard in federal court. While Supreme Court decisions restrict the roles federal courts may assume in international matters, the Ninth Circuit ruling [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] Former President Jimmy Carter [Carter Center profile] and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III [Wikipedia profile] Monday opened the first public hearings of the Commission on Federal Election Reform [official website], set up to continue the election reforms of Help America Vote Act of 2002. Kay Maxwell, [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Texas insurance agent Jerry Gossett has sued the Republican National Committee [official website] and one of its suppliers, the Spalding Group [corporate website], alleging they stole his design for the 'W' bumper stickers used by President George W. Bush in his 2004 re-election campaign. Gossett, a Bush supporter who [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] In Monday's environmental law news, more than 600 Honduran banana pickers have filed a lawsuit against the Dole [company website], Chiquita [company website], and Fresh Del Monte [company website] food companies and the Dow Chemical [company website] and Royal Dutch/Shell [company website] chemical companies alleging that the pickers were [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Israel's Supreme Court [official English site] Monday dismissed an attempt by Jewish settlers to bar legislation enabling the government to accomplish its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The settlers filed eight petitions challenging the Evacuation Compensation bill, ratified in February, which provides government compensation for the 8,500 Israelis who [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, Coca-Cola Co. [corporate website] has announced that the Justice Department (DOJ) [official website] has closed its investigation relating to allegations raised in a whistleblower lawsuit of accounting irregularities at the company. The DOJ will not take any action. The investigation relates to [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] Following up on a story reported last week in JURIST's Paper Chase, two Houston oil executives pleaded not guilty Monday in a Manhattan federal court to charges of defrauding the UN Oil-For-Food program [JURIST news archive] and paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government. David [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] Italian authorities indicted four people on Monday in connection with the death of famed Italian financier Roberto Calvi [Wikipedia entry], known as "God's Banker" due to his close association with the Vatican. Calvi was found hanging under a bridge in London in 1982 after fleeing Italy when one of [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Monday agreed to consider whether a Brazil-based church can continue using a traditional Native American tea brewed from a hallucinogenic herb, hoasca, as a religious sacrament. The case is Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal, docket 04-1084. The 10th Circuit held [full [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] One hundred and fifteen Roman Catholic cardinal-electors [EWTN profiles] have begun to take their oaths of secrecy prescribed in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis [text] at the start of the papal conclave in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [BBC profile], dean of the College of Cardinals [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] US military officials are citing a recent overview of information obtained from Guantanamo detainees as evidence that the military should be able to conduct operations at Camp Delta without intervention from the US court system. The unclassified document [PDF], quietly released online last month, highlights the results from some [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] The first post-genocide president in Rwanda [government website], Pasteur Bizimungu [Wikipedia profile], begins his appeal process Monday before the Rwandan Supreme Court to challenge his convictions for inciting civil disobedience, associating with criminals and embezzling public funds. Bizimungu is currently serving a 15 year sentence and has continually denied [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] Recently elected Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [BBC profile] said Monday that he would refuse to sign a death conviction for former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein if he is convicted of war crimes. During a BBC television interview [recorded video] Talabani, a lawyer, said he was opposed to the death [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] Two convicted killers currently on Kentucky's death row begin a court challenge Monday to the state's use of lethal injection as its form of execution. Ralph Baze and Thomas Bowling claim that the use of lethal injection is "cruel and unusual" punishment under the meaning of the Eighth Amendment [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Congress of Ecuador [government website in Spanish] voted Sunday to disband the country's current Supreme Court [official webiste in Spanish] following an earlier attempt on Friday [JURIST report] to do the same thing by Ecuador President Lucio Gutierrez [Wikipedia profile]. Congress decided in an emergency session Sunday night [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] Six Pitcairn Island [government website] men convicted last year [JURIST report] of rape, sexual assault, and indecent assault in one of the most unusual trials in British legal history [JURIST report] began their appeal process Monday in the Pitcairn Supreme Court [PacLII court database]. The six men, four of [read more]

00:04 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Monday, April 18.The US Supreme Court [official website] hears oral arguments in two cases beginning at 10 AM ET today. In the first, Grable & Sons Metal Products v. Darue Engineering [Duke Law School [read more]

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