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Site Map - Legal Issues

Supreme Court to Hear Retaliation Case

- The U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether government employees may sue their employers for violation of the First Amendment when the speech in question is a matter of private, rather than public, concern.

School District Settles Lawsuit Brought Over Webcam Spying

- A suburban Philadelphia school district has agreed to pay $610,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by students who claimed that district employees spied on the students using two-way Webcams that were incorporated into school-issued laptops.(Corrected)

Lawmakers Seek to Close Corruption Loophole

- The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Tuesday to discuss a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, which narrowed the application of federal law that prosecutors had used to bring fraud cases against corrupt corporate executives and politicians.

Security Officers

- A New Jersey prosecutor has dismissed a felony assault charge against a security guard. The guard was indicted after a scuffle at his workplace resulted in an injury to a thief who had come to rob the facility. Recordings of the guard’s 911 calls led prosecutors to rethink the charge. Read the New Jersey prosecutor’s petition to dismiss the case.

Legal Report

- A prosecutor dismisses a felony charge against a security guard, and an employee may not sue her company for failure to investigate her discrimination claim.

Morning Security Brief: NIST Issues Testing Procedures, Dreadlocks Not a Clear Sign of Religion, and HHS Withdraws Privacy Rule

- New cybersecurity procedures for testing health information are issued; an applicant who sued a security guard company may not pursue his religious discrimination claim; and a federal health agency has withdrawn a final rule over privacy concerns.

Credit Reporting Agencies Responsible for Watch List Errors

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a credit reporting agency can be held responsible for correcting errors on credit reports that originated from government watch lists.

Police Must Obtain a Warrant Before Using GPS Tracking

- A federal appeals court has ruled that police may not use a global positioning satellite unit to track a person’s movements for a long period of time without a warrant.

Identity Thieves Selling Kids' Social Security Numbers

- The Social Security numbers of children are the newest hot commodity in the identity theft marketplace.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Trade Secrets

- In litigation between an insurance company and its former agents, the company claimed that agents misappropriated trade secrets when they used print-outs from the electronic files of insurance policyholders in their search for other jobs. However, the court found that because the same information from the password-protected electronic files was readily available in another format, unsecured physical files stored in the agents’ offices, it cannot be considered a protected trade secret. (Nationwide Mutual Insurance v. Mortensen et al, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, No. 08-5214-cv, 2010)

Supreme Court Update: Terrorism

- The Court has ruled that a law prohibiting “material support” to terrorist organizations is constitutional and that it is permissible to ban any support to such groups—including humanitarian support—because all support is tantamount to promoting terrorism.

Supreme Court Update: Fraud

- The Court ruled that a lower court must reexamine the fraud conviction of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling.

Disability

- Oregon’s disability laws do not shield employees who use illegal drugs, including medical marijuana, and employers don’t need to accommodate such use, ruled the Oregon Supreme Court. In a case brought by a worker who was fired after his employer learned of his medical marijuana use, the court noted that the state must yield to federal law in this instance even though the use of the drug is legal for medical purposes in Oregon.
 




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