Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Obama Administration Lawyers 'Deeply Divided' Over Enemy Combatants

Obama administration lawyers have pulled back from claims that the president has far-reaching powers to indefinitely detain terrorism suspects, but they have disagreed behind the scenes on the paramaters.

The lawyers are “deeply divided,” the Washington Post reports. “The rift has been most pronounced between top lawyers in the State Department and the Pentagon, though it has also involved conflicts among career Justice Department lawyers and political appointees throughout the national security agencies,” the story says.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

BC Law - Class of 2013

Tomorrow we welcome the admittees for the Class of 2013 to the Law School. This is always an exciting time and we're opening the Law Library doors for tours, the groundskeepers are out planting flowers, and the window washers are making their rounds. Spring really has arrived - along with our latest group of students!

Health Care Bills - Comparison of drafts

Want to compare the language of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (passed by the Senate on Dec. 24, 2009) with the language of H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, passed by the House on March 21? ProPublica, the group devoted to "journalism in the public interest," has posted both versions on its website and highlighted the differences in various colors. The group's document setting out the importance of analyzing the draft differences, is here.

WestlawNext - Pricing Furor

While the legal research community has been bombarded with advertisements and promotional meetings concerning WestlawNext, there has been a scarcity of information about product pricing. Now subscribers are speaking up about the enormous price increases associated with this new release.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Patient Protection and Affordability Act, H.R. 3590, passes

Last night, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, agreeing to the amendments made by the Senate in December 2009, thus sending the landmark healthcare and health insurance reform legislation to President Obama for signing. The House also passed a healthcare reform reconciliation bill, H.R. 4872, which will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Competition

The ABA Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section is sponsoring the 2010 Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Competition. Law students who are student members of the Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section are eligible to submit an essay up to 12 pages in length on a problem or issue related to presidential control of agency rulemaking. There is a $500 cash prize for the winning essay. In addition, the winner will receive airfare and accomodations to attend the fall conference of the Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section in Washington, DC. For entry procedures and competition rules, click on the title to this blog entry.

Friday, March 12, 2010

U.S. House of Representatives Impeaches Federal Judge

On March 11 2010 the United States House of Representatives voted to impeach Federal Judge Thomas Porteous of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The United States Senate will now take up the case. In the Senate, a two-thirds majority is required to convict Judge Porteous of committing high crimes and misdemeanors while in office, specifically perjury and accepting bribes from lawyers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Consumer bankruptcy practitioners - Free speech

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 8 in Milavetz v. U.S. that consumer bankruptcy practitioners are considered debt relief agencies under BAPCPA. Debtors' attorneys are barred from advising clients to incur additional debt prior to filing for bankruptcy without a "valid purpose" such as paying medical bills. Justice Sotomayor's opinion resolves a circuit split on the issue.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Open Public Access for the Law

Carl Malamud, the founder of public.resource.org, has organized a national conversation to plan for an open source, authenticated registry and repository of all primary legal materials in the United States which would go by the name law.gov. Mr. Malamud believes we all have a right to view, read, and utilize public documents and the information they contain without any bureaucratic or financial barriers. He hopes to have within the year in a report to federal policy makers that will be an easy to follow blueprint for making the written law freely available to the public within a responsible business plan that details the economic impact of the project, projects citizen privacy, and enables users to ensure the authenticity of the information within the system. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #lawgov.