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States Getting Ready for SCOTUS to Legalize Sports Betting

You can bet on anything -- even the highly anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on sports betting.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide this term whether sports betting should be legal everywhere in the United States. It is already legal in Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon; New Jersey is suing to make it legal there as well.

Legislators in 18 states are betting on a win with bills ready to regulate the industry. Of course, as any gambler knows, the house always wins.

Notable Legal Tweets of 2017

In the year of the "Twitter President," it's fitting that the most notable tweets involved President Donald Trump.

Trump managed to keep the social media company in the spotlight at a time when it was losing market share. Some predicted Twitter would not survive the year, but as the President's go-to platform, it is not going away anytime soon.

Here are some of the most notable tweets of 2017, and quite naturally they involve Trump. Even when he didn't start the conversations, he was in them.

What to Know About Twitter's Anti-Hate Speech Policy

People sometimes use Twitter for the wrong reasons, but Twitter is doing something right.

Following up on its campaign against revenge porn and harassment, the company has a new program to fight hate speech. Twitter already had policies to remove threats of violence, and now the company is drilling down on hateful imagery, symbols, and related behaviors -- especially against hate groups.

Twitter is focused on eliminating hate from its platform, starting with a video President Trump retweeted from a racist group called Britain First.

AlphaBay's PR Man Indicted

How in the world is AlphaBay's public relations man going to spin this?

Ronald L. Wheeler III, the PR man for the online drug dealer, has been indicted on charges of "conspiracy to commit access device fraud."

This man doesn't need a PR person; he needs a lawyer. If only he had one before he got involved with AlphaBay.

DOJ: Trump's Tweets Are Official Presidential Statements

As the 'Twitter President,' Donald Trump may leave a legacy to the law that will outlive his judicial appointments.

According to the Department of Justice, Trump's tweets are official statements of the White House and the President. It's hardly trivial because his tweets are at issue in more than one legal proceeding.

While relatively few lawyers will litigate over the President's tweets, Twitter statements may be admissible as official records for many others.

The Hamilton Township plaintiffs are celebrating their victory (in the form of a settlement and consent decree) against a public official that blocked them from an official Facebook page where information was being publicly disseminated. This win may be the first of many in the line of recent cases over whether individuals can be blocked by official government social media channels.

The consent decree, approved by the federal district court, orders Township Trustee David Wallace Jr. to unblock the residents from the Facebook page and "any other social media site" that is used as an official, non-personal, communication channel.

Following celebrities online generally results in a mixed feed of personal news and paid-for advertisements disguised as thinly veiled personal updates. For some reason, advertisers think that people are gullible enough to buy anti-aging products from child models, and as such, it is no surprise that celebrities endorse everything these days from cellphones to cellophane and even cryptocurrencies.

However, new guidance from the SEC might give both celebrities and social media influencers pause before they make their next post lauding the way using Bitcoin makes them look younger, smell better, and run faster. The SEC is warning that failing to disclose that a celebrity promotion of a cryptocurrency was paid for is a serious criminal violation.

App Helps Lawyers Become Podcasters

Technology is great if you know how to use it, right?

And it's alright to admit if you don't know how to use everything on your computer or smartphone. Lawyers use only 10 percent of their brains anyway, right? (Well, maybe some of us.)

But if you didn't know how to create your own podcast, you can't really use the "don't-know-how-it-works" excuse anymore. That's because there's an app for that.

If you pride yourself on being on the bleeding edge of technology, then you may want to consider signing up to get your nanodegree in self-driving cars. The new program, being offered by Udacity, is designed to bring more focused talent into the workforce, where there is currently a high demand for engineers and programmers that can work on self-driving vehicles.

If you are light on the programming experience, you'll likely fall behind in the technical areas rather quickly, but there's more to this program than programming. The introductory course, and perhaps some of the general knowledge courses, being offered, could prove rather valuable in wooing potential clients working on these matters.

Is Twitter a Public Forum?

Yes. Twitter and social media can be official public forums with constitutional protections when used for official government communications. That's not to say that Twitter or Facebook are themselves public forums, rather these sites provide a space for public forums to be held.

Like consumers fidgeting with most emerging technologies, the law often seems confused with how to handle new and even old tech. Recently, questions abound whether a government official can block a citizen from an official communication channel, especially when an official's personal account is used as the official communication channel. The president, and other members of government, are currently finding themselves defending lawsuits over this very issue, likely due to President Trump's extensive use of Twitter.