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SCOTUS Lets Bad Yelp Review Live

A recently rejected petition for cert. filed by President Trump's go-to defamation lawyer sought to force Yelp to take down a review that a California court had initially ordered to be taken down, before the California Supreme Court ruled otherwise. And now SCOTUS will let that ruling stand.

The ruling is big news for internet companies as the petition sought to challenge the federal immunity granted to online platforms for what their users publish. And if you've been on any social media platforms, ever, you know that none would exist, or be worth using, nor as popular, without that immunity.

Court Rejects Lead Paint Companies' Appeal

Ending nearly two decades of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court closed the door on paint companies and builders who used lead paint in California homes.

The justices rejected appeals from companies that were ordered to clean up lead paint after a trial judge found the companies knew about the hazards of lead poisoning. A California appeals court affirmed that decision in People v. Conagra Grocery Products Company.

The California Supreme Court and then the U.S. Supreme Court turned down appeals, marking the end for Sherwin-Williams, Conagra, and NL Industries. The companies stopped making lead paint half a century ago, but millions of homes already had their paint on the walls.

A recently filed petition for certiorari is asking the High Court to take up the Feres Doctrine and correct the judicial doctrine that has been the cause of so much heartache for U.S. service members and their families.

The case involves a married couple that were both in the armed services. Unfortunately, during childbirth at a military hospital in Washington state, Rebekah Daniel died. Her husband couldn't get answers as to what happened, and in turn, filed a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice. However, the Feres Doctrine was relied upon to dismiss his case at the district court level, and the Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissals.

Most recently in the Bill Cosby legal drama, it was reported that Cosby finally filed the petition for certiorari seeking to overturn the California Supreme Court, and rather follow the federal First and Third Circuit courts of appeal.

On the criminal front, Cosby will be sentenced this September, and it has been reported that he will be considered a Tier III sexual predator and listed as a sex offender for the rest of his life. However, that's not what the High Court's being asked to consider. Rather Cosby is asking SCOTUS whether: "an attorney's statement denying wrongdoing on behalf of a client who has been publicly accused of serious misconduct enjoys constitutional protection"?

A decision handed down by the conservative majority of the High Court this week was criticized by Justice Sotomayor as using "a sledgehammer to crack a nut."

Notably, the case involved claims under the Alien Tort Statute seeking to hold Arab Bank, a corporation located in Jordan (with a branch in New York), liable for deaths and injuries caused by terrorist acts committed abroad. The majority affirmed the holding of the lower courts that a foreign corporation cannot be held liable under the ATS if all the conduct occurred abroad, and went a step further, ruling that foreign corps can't be sued at all under the ATS.

'Very Troubling,' Scholar Says as High Court Closes Door on Injury Claims

Erwin Chemerinsky, the constitutional law scholar, may have more published opinions than any justice of the Supreme Court.

That's because media outlets often quote him, and judges generally do not talk to the press. So when Chemerinsky speaks, people usually listen.

Now that he has landed in the dean's chair at Berkeley Law, Chemerinksy also has a bully pulpit for his latest opinion: recent Supreme Court decisions are "very troubling."

The Supreme Court justices blazed a trail through the wilderness of Indian Law on Monday, guided by Lewis and Clarke. But, no, there weren't any river fordings. Sacajawea was nowhere to be found.

In a strange coincidence, the Supreme Court's first case to deal with tribal sovereignty this term is captioned Lewis v. Clarke. Rather than an expedition into the West, the case, for which the Court just heard oral arguments, deals with the reach of native tribes' sovereign immunity.

The first decision of the Supreme Court's October 2015 Term is out and it's unanimous. On Tuesday, the Court released its first opinion, on the first case it heard arguments from this term: OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs -- we'll call it Sachs from now on, since Personenverkehr doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. It's a case involving the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the ability of U.S. citizens to sue foreign government entities.

The opinion kicked off a busy week for the Court, which also heard its first oral arguments of December. Here's what you need to know.

SCOTUS Hears Arguments: Can Gov't Freeze Money to Pay Lawyers?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the case of Luis v. United States, a case of first impression for SCOTUS that asks probing questions about the role of government forfeiture of personal assets.

The legal issue at the core of Luis is this: Can prosecutors freeze all of the defendant's assets even if they are unrelated to any criminal activity and even if freezing them would hinder the defendant's ability to hire counsel?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Spokeo v. Robins, a case which could have major implications for Internet privacy litigation. Spokeo, a "people search" website, aggregates public information on individuals, from their educational levels to the cost of their house. But, whoops! Sometimes that information isn't always accurate.

When Spokeo published inaccurate information about Thomas Robins, he pursued a class action against the site for violating the privacy-focused Fair Credit Reporting Act. But besides that statutory violation, Robins couldn't point to any injury. Sure his info was wrong, but was he fired over it? Did his wife leave him? No. So, the question before the court yesterday was, then, does Robins even have any right to sue?