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December 2015 Archives

Texas Film Incentive Denied to 'Machete Kills' Filmmakers

A federal court this week killed claims by the Machete Kills filmmakers that a Texas film incentive program was unconstitutional and violated its right to free speech by denying them grants. The filmmakers argued that prior dismissal of their claims in a Texas court were erroneous, but they failed to convince the feds.

Machete Kills is the sequel to the very popular Machete, starring Danny Trejo and Robert DeNiro. But if Texas doesn't want to incentivize more Machete movies, that's okay says the federal court.

In season three of "Justified" U.S. Marshal Raylan battles illegal OxyContin dealers in the hills of Kentucky. As it turns out, Kentucky itself has been battling legal Oxy producers in court for the past 8 years, and the state finally secured a $24 million settlement in the case.

The so-called "Heroin of the Hills" has been ravaging the state for over a decade, leading to explosions in drug addiction and abuse, and increased medical costs. Kentucky is hoping to use the funds to prevent drug use and provide addiction treatment services to state residents.

The Big 4: Major Cases and Legal Issues of 2015

Legally speaking, this year is most likely to be remembered for the recognition of same-sex marriage in the summer of 2015. But there were other big cases, and even some small ones that could mean big things to many people, that are also worth review.

Let's look at some of the major legal issues of 2015 and how they played out in the courts.

Supreme Court Decides Arbitration Is Appropriate in DirecTV Case

The Supreme Court this week ruled that California DirecTV customers cannot sue the company in a class action but must resolve disputes in arbitration. The ruling is considered a blow to consumers by some, including two of the Justices on the bench, reports The New York Times.

The case arose from a 2008 lawsuit brought by two customers who objected to DirecTV's early termination fees and sought to represent a class of similar customers. But in 2011, after the Supreme Court allowed companies to use their contracts to forbid class actions, DirecTV asked a state court judge in California to dismiss the lawsuit and require arbitration. This week, the Supreme Court confirmed that arbitration is appropriate. But some are unhappy about it, including some Supreme Court Justices.

Samsung Settles Apple iPhone Suit ... Sort Of

Last week, Samsung announced that it agreed to pay Apple almost $550 million by mid-month to partially settle an iPhone patent infringement lawsuit. The settlement was filed in a California federal court after years of legal jousting between the companies. But the war is not over.

Samsung has expressed disappointment over the damages Apple claimed and reserved the right to seek reimbursement, Top Tech News reports. Apple sued Samsung in 2011 and at one point there were reportedly more than 50 intellectual property cases between the two companies pending in courts internationally. Now, there are two cases left, but experts predict a long road ahead before final settlement in this case.