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February 2017 Archives

More Answers Needed to Delist Endangered Species, Court Says

In a judicial catch-and-release, the California Supreme Court said the state has authority to delist an endangered species in light of new scientific evidence.

Reversing a lower court decision that side-stepped the issue of delisting an endangered species, the high court sent the case back for a determination of the fate of the coho salmon. The justices unanimously said the Fish and Game Commission has the authority under the California Endangered Species Act to reconsider its prior decision to list the salmon has endangered.

"Specifically, the statute vests the Commission with authority to delist a species when it finds upon the receipt of sufficient scientific information that the 'action is warranted," Justice Ming William Chin wrote.

California wants to protect actors from age discrimination -- a noble goal, certainly. But the state's way of going about it has raised some eyebrows. Under AB 1687, certain "online entertainment employment service providers" would be prohibited from publishing information about entertainers' ages. The law would apply perhaps exclusively to IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, who has sued, alleging that the law violates the First Amendment.

Now, IMDb has won its first battle. A federal judge issued an injunction against the law earlier this week. The ruling didn't exactly come as a surprise, though. Just a few days earlier, that judge, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, had urged the state to drop its defense of the law.

Lawyer Bills Are Not Privileged After Litigation Ends

It's taken a couple of billing cycles for California lawyers to absorb the significance of a state Supreme Court decision two months ago.

In a controversial decision, the court said that lawyers' bills are not privileged after a case has concluded.

Court Rules on 'Value' in Check Forgery Case

Brian Lee Lowery should probably thank the court of appeals for ruling that the forged check he tried to cash was not worth the paper it was written on.

The Sixth District Court of Appeal reversed his felony conviction for trying to cash a forged check for $1,047.85. The court said the amount written on the check is not the same as its value.

"While the written value of a forged check may be substantial evidence of its monetary worth, a defendant may be able to show an uncashed check was worth less than its written value," the judges said.

Jeff Bezos sold his first book on Amazon.com way back in 1995. (It was a copy of 'Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought' -- not exactly a best seller.) A decade later, Amazon topped a hundred billion dollars in revenue, fueled by the sale of everything from toilet paper to washing machines (and yes, books on computer modeling, too). It's not just Amazon that's benefited from online ordering. Spending on e-Commerce is expected to surpass more than $2 trillion in sales in the near future.

With e-Commerce exploding, litigation over e-Commerce disputes is also increasing. But e-Commerce litigation isn't like any other commercial litigation. It presents unique challenges, issues that you won't often encounter in lawsuits involving "brick and mortar" commerce. Thankfully, the Rutter Group's "Traversing the Challenges of e-Commerce Litigation in Federal Court" can help you identify important issues and avoid common pitfalls in internet-based commercial litigation. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is part of Thomson Reuters, FindLaw's parent company.)