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Did You Know That?

- Are companies wising up about premises liability, or are more meritless claims being filed? Either way, plaintiffs are winning a smaller percentage of suits. In 1992, plaintiffs won in 44.4 percent of cases in which they reached a jury trial in state court in one of the 75 largest U.S. counties.

Sleuthing 101: Background Checks and the Law

- Databases have assumed a large role in background checks, but Nadell cautions readers about depending on databases when they conduct any criminal history searches. The larger the database, the more potential for inaccurate information. The state criminal repositories, if available, are frequently out of date, at times by months. Information obtained from a database should be verified through direct contact with the courts, Nadell advises.

Government Will Appeal Ruling on National Security Letters

- The September ruling struck down a key provision of the U.S. PATRIOT Act.

Vicarious liability

- An Iowa appellate court has ruled that Harriet Remington, the owner of a horse ranch, is not liable for the death of Lori Darling, a visitor. In the case, Darling died after being thrown from one of the ranch's horses. Darling's estate claimed that a ranch employee who allowed her to ride the horse was the cause of Darling's death. Through the legal theory of vicarious liability, the estate claimed that Remington should be held liable for Darling's death. The court ruled that the fatal ride was in no way connected to the ranch or its operation. The fact that it occurred on the farm did not make it business-related. (Darling v. Remington, Iowa Court of Appeals, No. 5-103, 2005).

Legal Report

- A court rules that a union has a duty to protect a member’s personal information, an airline violates the ADA, and legislation on port security, ID cards, and terrorism.

Legal Report

- Court cases on background screening and workers’ compensation, and bills on surveillance powers and cargo security.

Legal Report

- Judicial decisions on alarms, trade secrets, information security, port security, cybersecurity, whistleblowers, spyware, cargo secruity, private security. U.S. State legislation in New York and California.

Alarms.

- An Oregon appeals court has ruled that the police search of a citizen’s home in response to a false burglar alarm was illegal.State of Oregon v. Damon Lamon Stoudamire, Court of Appeals of the State of Oregon, No. CR02-0915, 2005)

Labor Law's Changing Tides

- Six new cases issued by the National Labor Relations Board reverse longstanding trends and establish new rules between employers and employees.

London's Police Guilty of Shooting Death of Innocent Man

- Police shot Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in a tube station a day after suicide bombers failed in attacks against London.

Patriot Act

- Before adjourning for the August recess, the House and Senate approved different bills renewing the Patriot Act. The House measure (H.R. 3199) would make permanent most of the expiring law enforcement provisions, and it would extend for ten years two controversial items—seizure of personal records, such as those held by libraries, and roving wiretaps. The Senate version of the bill (S. 1266) would also make permanent most of the provisions but would extend the two controversial provisions for only four years. In addition, the Senate legislation, which is preferred by civil rights advocates, would allow people to challenge warrants issued by secret courts and would require that those targeted be notified within seven days unless a judge grants an extension. When Congress returns in September, a House and Senate conference committee will try to draw up a compromise bill that resolves the differences.

Sexual Harassment

- The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that a restaurant is liable for the sexual harassment of a cocktail waitress.

Personality Test

- A federal appeals court has ruled that personality tests are considered medical tests under ADA.
 




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