Friday, January 14, 2011

Federal Courts Workload Statistics

Statistics are now available for the federal courts' workloads during the year 2010 sessions. Bankruptcy courts experienced a 14% increase in filings; district court filings increased 2% and courts of appeals caseloads decreased by 3% according to the Third Branch newsletter.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mass. Supreme Judicial Court blocks foreclosure sales

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts today voided the actions taken by Wells Fargo and US Bancorp to seize two homes in Springfield. The SJC's ruling, U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez (SJC docket 10694), upholds an earlier Mass. Land Court ruling. Justice Ralph Gants wrote the unanimous decision, concluding that the banks did not prove that they held the mortgages at the time of foreclosure.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Obama Signs Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Boston College Law School has long been at the forefront of the fight against the discriminatory policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The law, which went into effect in 1993 during the Clinton administration, allowed gay men and women to serve in the military as long as they remained silent about their sexual orientation. Openness meant risking discharge; indeed, some 13,500 servicemembers were discharged under the law.

The House voted 250-175 for repeal on December 15, 2010. Three days later, on December 18, 2010, the Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the policy. President Obama signed the bill on December 22, 2010, making it Public Law No. 111-321. Pentagon officials must complete implementation plans before the repeal goes into effect, and President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and the chairman of the joint chiefs must certify to lawmakers that repeal won't damage combat readiness. The repeal is expected to be implemented in the next several months.

One of the attendeees at Obama's signing ceremony was the son of a World War II veteran who was saved by a gay comrade during the Battle of the Bulge.