If you're a legal professional in the Evergreen State, we've got some good news for you. FindLaw just launched its new Washington Revised Code and Constitution section, bringing you the best source for Washington codes you can find.
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Judge Lucy Koh won't be asking attorneys if they're smoking crack from her seat on the District Court of the Northern District of California much longer. That's because Judge Koh is on her way up -- up to the Ninth Circuit.
Koh, who has been one of the most important and entertaining judges in Silicon Valley for years, was moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a vote of 13 to 7, several months after she was originally nominated in February. That leaves only a full vote in the Senate standing between Koh and her spot on the Ninth Circuit.
If the sun and surf weren't good enough, things just got a little better in America's youngest state. The world's number one legal website (you're looking at it) now offers Hawaii's revised statutes and constitution online, for free.
So if you need to know who can sell used cars in Honolulu, what can happen if you steal cable on the Big Island, or are just wondering who owns the state's subterranean minerals, FindLaw has you covered.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act can't be used against companies that "dispose" of hazardous substances through air pollution, the Ninth Circuit ruled last week, in a case of first impression.
The State of Washington and Colville Tribes had sought to use CERCLA, also known as the Superfund Act, against a Canadian smelter that had released hazardous pollution into the air, pollution which was later deposited in Washington. But, the Ninth ruled, that smelter cannot be considered a person who "arranged for disposal" of hazardous substances under that law.
By sending out a wall of sound through the oceans, Navy sonar can detect enemy ships hundreds of miles away, day or night, in weather fair or foul. But that blast of sound can be damaging to the ocean's inhabitants, deafening whales and disturbing other marine mammals. Some marine mammals swim hundreds of miles to escape sonar, others may bleed from their eyes or ears, and some beach themselves on shore to get away from the harsh sounds.
And while the Navy's current peacetime sonar use makes efforts to reduce those impacts, it does not go far enough, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Friday, finding that government approvals for the sonar program violated the requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
A social media company that accessed Facebook user's profiles, with the user's permission but against warnings from Facebook, violated a federal anti-hacking law, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Tuesday. Power.com, a now-defunct social network aggregator, had encouraged its users to recruit others through their Facebook accounts, sending form messages and emails promoting its website. And they persisted after being told to knock it off. That continued access of Facebook, after the company issued a cease and desist, constituted a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Ninth Ruled.
The ruling is the Ninth Circuit's second decision taking a broad interpretation of the CFAA in as many weeks and it should give any computer user pause.
Culverts can be tricky things, especially if you're a fish. Culverts, those tunnels and pipes that carry creeks and streams under roadways, are an easy way to allow traffic to cross small waterways. But some of them also choke off fish entirely, becoming obstacles for salmon swimming from their upstream breeding grounds to sea. The problem is particularly pronounced when culverts are aging or in disrepair. And plenty of Washington State's culverts are aging and in disrepair.
Twenty-one of the state's Native American tribes, joined by the federal government, sued over the state of Washington's culverts, arguing that they impeded salmon runs and violated the tribes' treaty rights to catch fish. Those tribes were successful in the Ninth Circuit on Monday, with the court upholding a district court order that requires Washington to fix more than 800 derelict culverts.
At FindLaw, we love to get questions from our readers. So when you ask, we try to answer. One reader recently wrote us to wonder about the relationship between judicial scrutiny, appellate standards of review, and recent Second Amendment cases. In sum: what's up with all that?
The question actually goes to the heart of legal battles over concealed carry laws, assault-weapon bans, and Second Amendment rights. And it's bound to come before the Supreme Court, sooner or later. Let's dive in.
Donald Trump spent the last few weeks touring the country, securing the Republican presidential nomination, and announcing his potential Supreme Court picks. But in court, Trump still faces accusations that his Trump University misled and defrauded students.
Now, the methods Trump University used to sell itself to students are likely to get a bit more publicity. On Friday, a judge in the Southern District of California ordered the release of Trump University "playbooks," internal guides for sales personnel on how to market the now defunct, non-accredited "university."
The need for clean, renewable energy is growing ever more urgent in the face of worsening climate change predictions. But large scale green energy developments aren't without their environmental costs. Wind turbines can turn into deadly Cuisinarts when placed in a bird's migratory path; sprawling solar farms can displace endangered desert wildlife.
And such was the conflict in a recent Ninth Circuit case, in which the court was asked to determine if plans for an Oregon wind farm adequately calculated the impact of the project on the greater sage grouse. They had not, the court found, sending the project back for further review.