CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog


Remember that whole "pivot to video" a couple years ago? When media companies started laying off all their writers and editors in favor of more video content? Part of that sea change was spurred by advertisers, who surmised that video was a clever way to sneak ads by savvy internet users' ad blockers.

But you also need to know that people are actually watching the video content before you choose to advertise on it. And where are you going to get that data? From Facebook. But it turns out Facebook had inflated metrics for marketers, including average time users spent viewing online video clips. Not only that, but the social media behemoth waited months to correct the figures. And some advertisers aren't too happy about it.

Google Sued for Google+ Leak

It didn't take long. Mere hours after Google announced it was shutting down Google+ after a security breach exposed the private details of half a million users, the first lawsuit hit a federal court in San Francisco. The proposed class action, filed by two former users, claims "a software glitch ... gave third-party application developers access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018," allowing app developers to "improperly collect the Personal Information of up to 500,000 Google+ users."

The allegations include negligence, invasion of privacy, and violations of California's Unfair Competition Law. You can see the full lawsuit below.

"Relax in ultimate luxury with this cozy Zero Gravity Chair," reads the description of one such item on Bed Bath and Beyond's website. "Constructed with a rust-resistant frame, the adjustable headrest and long frame provides a multi-positional, zero gravity sensation to keep your head and feet cradled in comfort." The only problem, according to one customer, is that it falls apart after one year outside.

Michael Stutland is suing Bed Bath and Beyond, and the chair's manufacturer, claiming the defective design or manufacture of his zero gravity chair caused it to completely give way when he collapsed back onto the chair, resulting in "grievous injuries including paralysis and various debilitating medical issues." You can see the full lawsuit below.

Imagine you live somewhere far from traditional services, and have a sick pet. And imagine there is an experienced veterinarian -- one that had received a Health Service Commendation Medal from the Surgeon of the United States, in fact -- available to answer your questions about your sick pet online. That's pretty great, right?

Now imagine that the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners says this vet's advice is illegal, suspended his license, and fines him $500. Not so great, right? That's why Ronald Hines, a 75-year-old veterinarian in Brownsville who's been diagnosing pet ailments via his website for the past 10 years, is now filing his second lawsuit against the Board, claiming his online pet advice is protected speech under the First Amendment.

But will this challenge be more successful than the last?

In September PayPal joined Apple, Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, and YouTube in banning Alex Jones and his conspiracy website Infowars from its platform, based on violations of policies barring promotion of hate and violence. Jones fired back this week, claiming in a lawsuit that the payment processing company discriminates against conservative voices and that his exile was based purely on "viewpoint discrimination."

You can read the full lawsuit below.

The fight over net neutrality continues, and the battleground has moved to the Golden State. Last year, President Trump's Federal Communications Commission overturned Obama-era regulations that prohibited internet service providers from charging users different prices based on the user, content, or website. Then this year the Senate voted to reinstate net neutrality rules. All the while, California was crafting its own net neutrality legislation, a bill Governor Jerry Brown signed into law over the weekend.

But the feds aren't too pleased with the state action on the matter, and the Justice Department has already filed a suit seeking to block California's net neutrality law. You can see the lawsuit below.

SEC Files Complaint Against Elon Musk for Fraud

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured."

These 10 words by Elon Musk on Twitter have sparked a fraud lawsuit by the SEC. Read the full complaint below.

According to a new lawsuit filed in California, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has been ignoring Freedom of Information Act requests regarding significant delays in processing citizenship applications. And according to the immigrant rights groups that filed the suit, the delay is part of an effort to deny "thousands of lawful permanent residents the opportunity to more fully participate in civic life and to vote in important upcoming elections."

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, National Partnership for New Americans, and Mi Familia Vota, among others, claim "extreme vetting of naturalization applications and delays in the processing of [citizenship] applications has created a backlog of over 753,000 applications," and they are seeking government documents justifying the government's action. You can see their lawsuit below:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has pleaded guilty to two criminal charges as part of a plea deal that includes his cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Manafort admitted to conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to obstruct justice, and could be facing up to 10 years in prison.

What Manafort may tell Mueller and his team as part of the plea deal remains unclear, but you can see the plea, along with an extensive description of Manafort's crimes, below.

We all have hopes and dreams. And perhaps it was those aspirations that led Contessa Bourbon to list the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Times, Guardian, and Washington Post in her Twitter bio. But according to two of those news agencies, at least, Bourbon has never worked for them. The New York Times sued Bourbon last year, saying she falsely claimed she was a reporter representing the paper at news events and interviews.

Perhaps that's why the Gray Lady no longer appears on her Twitter page. And perhaps that's why the Wall Street Journal's parent company, Dow Jones, filed a complaint against Bourbon last week, seeking to bar her from continuing to claim a connection with the news outlet.