CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

December 2011 Archives

Rick Perry Sues for a Place on Virginia Ballot

Texas Governor Rick Perry has sued the Virginia Board of Elections and the Virginia Republican Party over his failure to obtain the 10,000 signatures necessary to have his name included on the presidential primary ballot. Perry alleges that Virginia election rules violate his right to freedom of speech and association, and has asked the court to order his certification as a candidate on the primary ballot.

Trade Commission Backs Apple in HTC Patent Fight

Apple has won the latest battle in the ongoing smartphone IP war. The US International Trade Commission has ruled that HTC phones using Google's Android operating system violate one of Apple's patents. While the ruling does not ban the importation of HTC phones outright, Samsung cannot resume importation of the phones until it remedies the violation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged six former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives with securities fraud alleging that the executives knew and approved of untrue or misleading statements regarding the companies' exposure to risky investments such as subprime loans.  As part of the indictments, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have signed Non-Prosecution Agreements with the SEC whereby the companies agreed to accept responsibility for their actions.

DOJ Finds That Joe Arpaio Routinely Violated Civil Rights

An inquiry into the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) by the US Department of Justice has concluded that the MCSO, headed by outspoken Sheriff Joe Arpaio, engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing. The report specifically mentions racial profiling, illegal stops and unlawful retaliation by the department as the basis for its finding.

Judge Delays AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Lawsuit

The judge overseeing the Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit against AT&T regarding the company's planned takeover of T-Mobile has granted the parties' motion for a stay of proceedings in the case. The judge gave AT&T a month to file a status report informing the court about whether or not it plans to continue with the transaction, whether it plans to engage in some other transaction, and its plans for seeking any necessary approval from the FCC.

First Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Jerry Sandusky and Penn State

A man claiming to have been one of the victims of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of children has filed a lawsuit against Sandusky, Penn State and Second Mile, the charity that Sandusky founded. The lawsuit contains several accusations including claims of sexual abuse, negligence, conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Proposed Settlement in FTC Privacy Complaint Against Facebook

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a settlement with Facebook over the FTC's complaint accusing Facebook of privacy violations. The settlement requires Facebook to, among other things, refrain from misrepresenting its privacy practices, notify users when data will be shared with third parties, establish a privacy program and generate assessments of the privacy program's effectiveness.