CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

April 2012 Archives

First Criminal Charges Filed Over BP Oil Spill

The Department of Justice has charged a former BP engineer with two counts of obstruction of justice in the first criminal case to come out of the devastating 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The DOJ accuses Kurt Mix of intentionally destroying evidence sought by federal criminal authorities during their investigation into the largest accidental marine oil spill.

Lawsuit Accuses "The Bachelor" of Racial Discrimination

Two African-American plaintiffs have filed a class-action lawsuit against American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. and the producers of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" reality shows alleging racial discrimination in the selection of the lead roles for the shows.  The principal plaintiffs argue that the shows have never featured a person of color in the lead role, and accuse the producers of failing to provide people of color auditioning for lead roles with the same opportunities to compete that their white counterparts received.

Media Companies Ask Judge to Unseal Zimmerman Records

A group of media companies has filed a motion asking the judge presiding over the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Marting to vacate an earlier order that sealed the judicial and public records in the case.  The companies argue that the defendant failed to show that the closure of the records was necessary to prevent a "serious and imminent" threat to the administration of justice.
The Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Inc. and several book publishers alleging that the companies conspired to limit e-book price competition in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
During oral arguments in a Fifth Circuit case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the court asked the Department of Justice about its views on the authority of courts to review Acts of Congress.  The request came after President Obama stated his belief that the Supreme Court should uphold the Affordable Care Act.  In his response, Attorney General Eric Holder states that the power of courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is so firmly established that it is "beyond dispute."  Holder also reminds the circuit justices of Supreme Court precedent holding that Acts of Congress are "'presumptively constitutional,'" and states that President Obama's remarks were "fully consistent" with those principles.

Facebook Answers Yahoo!'s Claims and Files Countersuit

Facebook has filed its answer to Yahoo!'s lawsuit which accused the social networking company of infringing on several of its patents.  Not to be outdone, Facebook's answer contains a countersuit that alleges that Yahoo! has infringed on several of Facebook's patents.  
A group of legally-married same-sex plaintiffs has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the government's refusal under the Defense of Marriage Act to adjust the status of foreign-born spouses to allow them to remain in the United States.  The plaintiffs allege that this practice violates equal protection provisions of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.