CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

March 2010 Archives

Andrew Giuliani's Golf Lawsuit Against Duke a Duffer: Judge

Andrew GiulianiAndrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has a duffer of a golf lawsuit against Duke University.

That's because a federal judge whacked Giuliani's breach of contract lawsuit against Duke and the Blue Devils' golf coach out of court today.

Your Medical Marijuana Card vs. Drug Testing at Work

A Montana man who was lawfully using marijuana outside of his employer's business, and not during his work time, is suing his employer, the Loaf-n-Jug grocery store, for wrongful termination and discrimination because of his HIV positive status.

In his lawsuit, Mike Babbitt charges that he was legally using marijuana under the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, and passed his employer's pre-employment drug screening test with flying colors.  What happened next resulted in Babbitt filing his lawsuit (see below).

Va. Sues Over Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The state of Virginia filed a federal lawsuit today, charging that if Virginia citizens and residents decide not to buy health insurance, then they can't be subject to the new federal health care and insurance law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — because they are not not engaging in interstate commerce.

Why did Virginia file its own federal health care lawsuit instead of joining the multi-state lawsuit filed by thirteen (13) other states challenging PPACA?

Healthcare Lawsuit By State AGs Attacks Health Insurance Law

Thirteen State Attorney Generals filed a federal lawsuit today alleging that the federal health care and insurance bill passed by Congress over the weekend, and signed into law by President Barack Obama this afternoon, is unconstitutional.

The heart of the multi-state lawsuit contends that the new federal health care law far exceeds federal legal authority under Article I and the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

United States vs. Tara: The Traffic Ticket Episode

Fans of United States of Tara, the Showtime television series about a housewife with dissociative identity disorder (DID) may be interested to know about a federal criminal lawsuit filed in Virginia today: the United States vs. Tara.

Is there a connection between the two Taras?

OK Court: No Proof of Marriage? No Same-Sex Divorce

Same-sex marriage is legislated and litigated in many American states. But what happens if gay or lesbian couples marry in a state or country where doing so is legal, return to their home state where same-sex marriage is not recognized, and then file for divorce? If their marriage was lawful elsewhere, must their application for divorce also be deemed legal in their home state?

In a unanimous three-judge decision, an Oklahoma appellate court ruled no (see below).

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Beating His Puppy to Death

Dudley Ramsay (right), a 25-year-old Brooklyn man was convicted by a New York City jury today for beating his five-month-old dachshund puppy 'Junior' to death.

According to charges and evidence presented by the Brooklyn District Attorney at trial before Judge Gary, the 260-pound Ramsay severely beat the puppy, later claiming that he was trying to discipline it.

Testimony at trial by an officer from the ASPCA's Humane Law Enforement agency testified that Ramsay told the officer, "I think I need help with anger management because I killed my first dog too."

How did Ramsay he beat the young puppy? According to evidence presented at trial, with repeated violence that included:

Whale on the Sushi Menu? Something's Not Fishy!

It's a whale of a legal tale, but no laughing matter for The Hump, a Santa Monica, California sushi restaurant and sushi chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto who are charged with serving Sei whale to undercover customers investigating the fishy  -- actually, mammal -- caper.

The Sei whale is a federally protected marine animal.  That makes catching and selling sei whale meat against the law.

What makes this case so brazen, however, is that Yamamoto is charged (see below) with not simply a single offense of selling whale meat to sushi customers, but that it happened multiple times…sometimes together with horse meat.

'Jihad Jane': Accused Pa. Woman Indicted on Terror Charges

Colleen R. LaRose, a suburban Pennsylvania woman, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges alleging that she conspired to engage in terrorist acts abroad, help terrorists, lied to federal agents, and tried to steal the identity of a U.S. man by taking his passport so that violent jihadists overseas could use it. The grand jury indictment accuses LaRose of agreeing to travel to Sweden to find a certain Swedish resident "and kill him."

Given today's reported arrest of seven people in Ireland today on conspiracy charges to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, it appears that U.S. and European law enforcement authorities were working together to apprehend some of LaRose's co-conspirators in the case while she has remained in federal custody during the last five months.

The parents of the married couple who died in a Lexus ES350 loaner vehicle given to them by a southern California Lexus dealer filed a products liability and negligence lawsuit (see below) in a California state court Tuesday afternoon seeking unspecified damages from Toyota and car dealer Bob Baker Lexus.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor, the parents of the CHP officer's wife Cleofe Lastrella Saylor, grandparents of the couple's 13-year-old daughter Mahala Saylor, and Christopher.Lastrella - Cleofe's brother and Mark Saylor's brother-in-law.

A federal judge in Brooklyn ordered New York City to provide to provide or build at least 1,500 integrated residential housing units each year for mentally ill residents receiving services in the city, "until there is sufficient capacity for all [of the city's mentally ill patients] who desire such housing, and no fewer than 4,500 units in" all.

Last September, the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn ruled that New York City violated the rights of mentally ill patients under the Americans with Disabilities Act by keeping them in group homes, thereby failing to help deliver mental health services in appropriate settings to New York City residents with mental illness.