Decided - The FindLaw Noteworthy Decisions and Settlements Blog

September 2013 Archives

Border Patrol to Share Records in Racial Profiling Settlement

The U.S. Border Patrol settled a racial profiling lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit that alleged agents were racially profiling people in a rural area of Washington state.

As part of the settlement, the Border Patrol agreed to share records of every traffic stop it makes in Washington's Olympic Peninsula for 18 months.

Half of Links Cited by U.S. Supreme Court No Longer Work: Study

Almost half of the links the U.S. Supreme Court has cited in its opinions are now deader than doornail dead.

The Nine aren't typically credited with being the most tech-savvy jurists in the nation, but according to The Atlantic, a new Harvard study found that 49 percent of the online resources linked to by the High Court don't work.

Link rot isn't only a problem for the Supreme Court, but it may be a bit more pressing if these black hole links make past jurisprudence incomplete.

NSA Phone Data Program Constitutional, FISA Court Rules

The NSA's covert call records program has been upheld as constitutional by the FISA court, in a declassified opinion released Tuesday.

According to The Washington Post -- which has been on the NSA's case for the last few months -- FISA court Judge Claire V. Eagan released the opinion on her own volition, and not at the request of the government or any lawsuit.

This opinion may be an attempt by the semi-secret FISA court to address constitutional questions about the NSA's programs. But are the justifications satisfying?

Transgender Discrimination Settlement: $50K for Firing Worker

A South Dakota woman reached a landmark transgender discrimination settlement, keeping in step with a growing trend of cases that say transgender discrimination is applicable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The $50,000 settlement is bringing transgender workers one step closer to federally recognized equal opportunity in the workplace.

Google Street View Lawsuit Can Proceed: 9th Circuit

Much to Google's dismay, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to dismiss a Google Street View lawsuit accusing the tech giant of violating federal wiretap law when it accidentally collected personal information while obtaining photographs for Street View.

Essentially, Google inadvertently eavesdropped on open Wi-Fi networks from its Street View mapping cars (yeah, those funny cars with dunce caps you've seen whiz by).

The cars' Wi-Fi-sniffing hardware, used to improve location-specific services, unintentionally intercepted people's emails, user names, passwords, and other data, reports Reuters.

The latest legal blow brings Google one step closer to being held liable for civil damages.

Bank of America Settlement: $39M for Gender Bias

A Bank of America settlement agreement for unlawful gender bias is going to cost the bank one pretty penny: $39 million, to be exact. The settlement brings to a close a class action lawsuit brought by women who worked as financial advisers in the bank's Merrill Lynch brokerage division.

The plaintiffs claimed Merrill Lynch, which was purchased by Bank of America in 2009, discriminated against women in compensation and business opportunities, reports Reuters.

Cal. Foie Gras Ban Upheld as Constitutional

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld California's ban on the sale of foie gras, a product that is made by force-feeding birds.

For those who lack a fine (and cruel) palate for the delicacy, foie gras is a dish made from the fatty liver of a goose or duck. To enlarge their livers, birds are force-fed.

But on what grounds are producers challenging the foie gras ban?