Legal Report: Proprietary Information Protection
07/28/2010 - 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)
Legal Report: Terrorism
07/28/2010 - 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.
Legal Report: Crime
07/28/2010 - The Court ruled that a lower court must reexamine the fraud conviction of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling.
Beyond Print: Drug Control
07/28/2010 - 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.
Beyond Print: Legal Issues
07/28/2010 - The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to reexamine Chicago’s handgun ban (.pdf). The Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the ban, but it did stress that owning firearms is a “fundamental” right.
Daily Headline : Legislation
07/28/2010 - Victimized ESPN reporter Erin Andrews this week urged Congress to pass antistalking legislation that would toughen sentencing and allow law enforcement to pursue stalking undertaken via cell phone or the Internet.
Beyond Print: Privacy
07/28/2010 - A police department did not violate the constitutional rights of police officers (.pdf) when it read through their text messages, ruled the Supreme Court. The review of the text messages did not violate the Fourth Amendment, according to the ruling, because it was undertaken for work-related purposes and was not excessive in scope.
Beyond Print: Surveillance
07/28/2010 - In a case recently filed in federal court, a company claims that former employees violated their noncompete agreements by communicating with the company’s current contract employees via LinkedIn (.pdf). The case could have important ramifications for how employees use social media networking sites.
Beyond Print: Investigations
07/28/2010 - A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee may not sue her employer for retaliation after the company failed to investigate her original discrimination claim. Failure to investigate in such instances does not constitute an adverse employment action, ruled the court.
07/27/2010 - A U.S. district judge takes a hard look at the scientific validity of forensic evidence.
Legal Report: Legislation
07/27/2010 - An update on this term's relevant cases from the U.S. Supreme Court, including those on privacy, fraud, terrorism, gun control, and the constitutionality of Sarbanes-Oxley.
Daily Headline : Guards \ Security Officers
07/12/2010 - The use of stun guns is again a hot topic after three high-profile incidents in the past week, one involving the nephew of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Legal Report: IT Security
06/30/2010 - A high-school student who was taken out of her honors courses after she complained about a teacher on her Facebook page may pursue a lawsuit against her school. A federal court has ruled that the student’s post, which deemed an instructor “the worst teacher I ever met” contained no threats of violence and was protected under the First Amendment (.pdf). (Evans v. Bayer, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 08-cv-61925, 2010)