CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal Documents Blog

CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

You might recognize Frank Sivero from such films as "Goodfellas" and "The Godfather Part II." But what about "The Simpsons"?

Sivero apparently recognized himself in a semi-recurring character on Fox's animated television series "The Simpsons." Sivero has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox claiming that the character Louie, who has appeared in 16 episodes of the long-running hit show, is based on the character Sivero "developed and played" in the 1990 mob film "Goodfellas."

What's the basis of Sivero's eye-popping lawsuit?

Arizona gays and lesbians can get married now pursuant to a letter by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.

The letter, issued early Friday, instructs the Grand Canyon State's 15 county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately, following a recent decision by a federal district court that demanded Arizona stop enforcing its gay marriage ban. The Arizona Republic reports that Horne issued a statement Friday declaring that an appeal on the issue would be "an exercise in futility" and a waste of taxpayer money.

So what is the legal effect of A.G. Tom Horne's letter for gay marriage in Arizona?

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has been granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the disposal of ashes from the incineration of an Ebola victim's possessions in a Louisiana landfill.

The TRO was granted by a Louisiana judge on Monday, reports The Washington Post. The order blocks the potential disposal in the state of ashes generated by the incineration of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan's possessions. Duncan died earlier this month in Dallas, and his possessions were incinerated in order to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

What led to Caldwell's concern about the ashes?

Prosecutors in NFL running back Adrian Peterson's Texas child abuse case have filed a motion to have his bond set aside in the case and have Peterson rearrested after Peterson allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana.

Peterson was arrested on charges of felony child abuse last month after allegedly disciplining his 4-year-old son with a wooden "switch." Following his arrest, Peterson posted $15,000 bond and was released.

But now prosecutors want a judge to set aside Peterson's bond in light of comments he allegedly made while undergoing mandatory drug testing earlier this week.

Idaho and Nevada's gay marriage bans were struck down as unconstitutional on Tuesday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel of the federal appellate court found that both states' laws were in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law. In their majority opinion, the judges also found that each state had failed to meet the level of scrutiny applied to laws which discriminate against gays and lesbians.

What does this ruling mean for states in the 9th Circuit?

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday that will prevent police in Ferguson, Missouri, from enforcing a "keep moving" rule on protesters.

This unofficial rule, also known as the "five second rule," has been used to keep protesters in Ferguson from standing still for too long. Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri, believes that this practice has been applied "haphazardly" and tended to increase tension among protesters, reports MSNBC. U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Perry found these rules to be unconstitutional, as they infringed on protesters' constitutional rights.

What was Judge Perry's reasoning behind finding the "keep moving" rule unconstitutional?

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear five gay marriage appeals, along with hundreds of other cases.

In an 81-page Order List issued Monday, the High Court detailed a slew of cases that it would hear in its 2014 Term (which began today), but gay marriage cases from five states were not among them.

Because same-sex marriage appeals from Utah, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Virginia were rejected, the rulings striking down those states' gay marriage bans are now in effect. So what happens next?

Normally you expect candidates to petition to be included on a ballot, not fight in court to be taken off. Well wake up Dorothy, because you're in Kansas politics now -- and a state court has declined to force the Democratic Party to field a candidate for U.S. Senate on the November 4 ballot.

A three-judge panel announced Wednesday that a legal petition to force Kansas Democrats to put forward a replacement for ex-candidate Chad Taylor, who quit the race two weeks ago, was supported by zero evidence and lacked legal standing.

Why was this political issue before the state district court in Shawnee, Kansas, in the first place?

California's so-called "Yes Means Yes" bill was signed into law Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. What does this law, the first of its kind in the nation, require?

In response to the growing outcry about sexual assaults on college campuses, California lawmakers in August approved a bill requiring many colleges "to adopt a policy of unambiguous, affirmative consent by students engaged in sexual activity," Reuters reports.

The bill requires both public and private colleges that receive state funds for student aid adopt the policies and protocols outlined in the bill. In addition to the new consent standard, the bill also mandates prevention and outreach programs for sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and date violence, reports the Los Angeles Times.

A Louisiana state court ruled Monday that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. That opinion was originally sealed because the case involved the adoption of a minor child, but the ruling was released to the public Tuesday.

Judge Edward Rubin, writing for the 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette Parish, ruled that a lesbian couple who had been legally married in California should be considered legally married in Louisiana. The decision was based on the law's violations of the guarantees of equal protection and due process under the 14th Amendment, as well as conflicts with the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

This ruling could mean big changes in the gay marriage landscape for Louisiana residents.