CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

February 2017 Archives

One of the precepts of the rule of law is that the laws apply to everyone equally. And the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S Constitution prohibits states from denying "any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." So when you have a law that only applies to women (like, for instance, Fort Collins's statute saying, "No female who is ten (10) years of age or older shall knowingly appear in any public place with her breast exposed below the top of the areola and nipple"), that might be a red flag that a law doesn't apply to everyone.

The good people at Free the Nipple sued Fort Collins, claiming the law discriminated against women. And a federal judge found that the group was likely to win their case and granted them an injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law. You can see that order below.

Maybe it's not all that surprising that a lawsuit involving a virtual reality company called Magic Leap, known in in venture capital circles as a "unicorn," would involve some discussion of wizards. But the claims made in the lawsuit are very real.

A unicorn is defined as "a startup company valued at more than $1 billion even though it has yet to bring a product on the market." A wizard is defined as "a man who has magical powers." And ignoring, insulting, and firing female employees, especially those hired to fix your company's gender issues, is a text book case of "hostile environment sex discrimination and retaliation."

Making headlines across the country tonight, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower federal district court's order, issued last week, blocking President Trump's controversial immigration executive order, commonly referred to as the "Muslim ban," from taking effect nationwide. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a rare unanimous per curium decision, repeatedly explained that the federal government's arguments were untenable.

The lower court put a stop to the executive order, which allowed immigrants, and lawful permanent residents, who were being denied entry under the order, to enter the country. The Ninth Circuit's ruling essentially means that those who would have been affected by the executive order but for the lower court's ruling, will still not be affected by it. However, it should be noted that all of these orders are preliminary, and will only be in place until a final resolution is reached as to the constitutional challenges to the executive order, which could take years if it is allowed to continue.

It seemed as if as soon as President Donald Trump announced his executive order banning Syrian refugees and instituting "extreme vetting" for travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the lawsuits started flying. One of the most important was filed by the state of Washington and was successful in getting a temporary restraining order blocking federal officials from enforcing the order.

Trump's lawyers appealed the TRO, requesting a stay until the case ran its course, but that request was denied over the weekend. The parties are still battling in court, and 97 companies decided to join the fray, filing a brief in support of Washington and claiming, among other things, that the order "effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies." You can see their full filing below:

U.S. District Judge James Robart issued a nationwide injunction blocking enforcement of President Donald Trump's recent executive order that banned citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations from traveling to the United States. Robart, appointed to the Western District of Washington by Geroge W. Bush, ruled in favor of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who sued over the order last week.

Robart ruled that Washington State had standing to bring the case forward. In his oral ruling, he declared that Washington provided evidence that Trump's order has immediate harm and that the lawsuit against the order has substantial likelihood of succeeding in challenging the constitutionality of the order.

Robart will be issuing a final written ruling. In the meantime, you can see Ferguson's proposed temporary restraining order below.

The reality may be virtual, but the jury's verdict is very real. Oculus VR, makers of the Rift virtual reality headset, along with founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe, were found to have violated a nondisclosure agreement as well as copyright infringement and false designation in a legal rift with ZeniMax Media. And now Oculus -- or more accurately its new owner, Facebook -- owe ZeniMax half a billion dollars.

Here's a breakdown of the jury's verdict, along with the verdict itself: