Greek court postpones retrial in US tourist's beating death
Legal Business | 2020/01/08 19:12
A Greek court on Wednesday postponed the retrial of seven suspects on murder charges over the 2017 fatal beating of a Texan tourist on an island resort to allow a lawyer newly hired by the victim's family to familiarize himself with the case.

The court in the western port town of Patras postponed the case until Jan. 13.

Six of the men -- five Serbian nationals and a British man of Serbian origin -- had been convicted by a first instance court last year and sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison, but four have since been released. The seventh defendant, a Greek barman, had been acquitted. A public prosecutor had ordered the retrial of all seven, deeming the sentences too lenient.

Bakari Henderson, a 22-year-old from Austin, died in July 2017 after being beaten in the street following an argument in a bar in the Laganas resort area of Zakynthos island.




Trump Gets Woman’s Suit Delayed Until NY Top Court Weighs In
Areas of Focus | 2020/01/06 03:12
President Donald Trump got a reprieve in a former “Apprentice” contestant’s lawsuit over his response to her sexual assault allegations, when appeals judges gave him permission to appeal to New York’s highest court and put proceedings on hold in the meantime.

Trump’s lawyers have been trying to get Summer Zervos’ defamation suit delayed through his presidency or dismissed altogether.

Courts so far have said no, but Trump’s attorneys can now try to persuade the top-level state Court of Appeals to hear the case. Tuesday’s ruling also holds off other pretrial action until the high court decides. Trump had been due to undergo sworn pretrial questioning by Jan. 31, under an agreement the two sides reached last fall.

Trump’s lawyers said they were pleased with the ruling.

“We believe that the Court of Appeals will agree that the U.S. Constitution bars state court actions while the president is in office,” Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP said in a statement.


Iowa court: Automated speeding tickets not public record
Legal Interview | 2020/01/03 17:22
The Iowa Supreme Court says names of car owners ticketed by automated speed cameras are not public records. The court considered a lawsuit filed by former Ottumwa police sergeant Mark Milligan who was ticketed in 2016 driving a city-owned car. He filed an open records request for names of car owners caught on camera and ticketed and those not ticketed.

Officials driving government cars often aren't ticketed. The city denied his request, but a judge ordered their release.

The city appealed. The supreme court concluded Friday that speed camera tickets are city citations not filed in court and therefore aren't public record.



UK woman in Cyprus gang rape case gets suspended sentence
Court News | 2020/01/03 03:13
A Cypriot court on Tuesday handed a four-month suspended sentence to a 19-year-old British woman who was found guilty of public mischief after authorities said she made up claims that she was raped by up to a dozen Israelis.

The woman continues to insist that she was raped, and that she was coerced into withdrawing her statement. Her lawyers say she will appeal.

Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said although the public mischief charge was a serious offense, he decided to give the woman a “second chance” because she admitted through her lawyers during mitigation that she made a mistake in making the false rape claim.

He also cited other reasons, including her young age, immaturity, clean criminal record, personal circumstances, psychological condition and the fact that she had already spent a month in detention during the six months that legal proceedings including her trial lasted.

The judge said he also took into account that the huge publicity that her case has received in U.K. and Israeli media had weighed against the woman, who had to put her academic career on hold as she was due to start university in September.

Papathanasiou also fined the woman 140 euros ($156) and told her defense lawyers that the sentence could be activated if she commits another serious offense within three years.


President, Supreme Court top Wisconsin races in 2020
Headline Legal News | 2020/01/02 01:22
Everyone knows Wisconsin will be in the spotlight for the presidential race in 2020. It's one of just a few states where the electorate is so evenly divided, it could swing either way. That is the biggest prize on the ballot this year, but it's far from the only contest for Wisconsin voters. Here are the highlights of what's on Wisconsin's political horizon in 2020:

PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Wisconsin will be the focus of the presidential race all year. President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016 and both sides expect another close race. Wisconsin is one of just a few states expected to be competitive and for that reason, many expect it to be the epicenter of the fight for the White House. Democrats will get a chance to vote for their nominee on April 7. With a large field and unsettled race, many expect it to still be undecided for Wisconsin's primary. Milwaukee hosts the Democratic National Convention in July and both sides are expected to flood the state with money ? and candidate appearances ? before the November election.

SUPREME COURT

Wisconsin elects its Supreme Court justices and one of them who was appointed by then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, is up for election in April. Dan Kelly was appointed in 2016 and now he's running for a full 10-year term. He's part of the current 5-2 conservative majority on the court. If he wins, that majority will not change. But if one of two liberal candidates prevail, the conservative hold on the court will drop to 4-3. Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky and Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone have Democratic support in the race. A Feb. 18 primary will narrow the field to two candidates. The winner will be elected on April 7. That is the same day as Wisconsin's presidential primary, when Democratic turnout is expected to be high. That could spell trouble for Kelly.



Court: Washington drivers must use turn signals to turn
Legal Business | 2019/12/29 19:57
The state Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that drivers must use their signal every time they turn or change lanes on a roadway.

Thursday’s ruling reverses a Court of Appeals ruling that said a signal is required only when public safety is affected. The high court ruled that the plain language of the law requires drivers “to ensure turns and lane changes are done safely and with an appropriate turn signal."

The ruling was issued in the case of David Brown, who was arrested for driving under the influence in Kennewick in March 2015. State patrol officers pulled him over after he briefly turned on his left turn signal while approaching a light in a designated left turn lane but turned it off and did not reactivate it while at the light or making the turn. He was arrested after his breath test showed .26 breath alcohol content, more than triple the legal limit.

Brown had argued that the evidence of the breath test should be suppressed because the underlying traffic stop was without cause, and a lower court agreed and dismissed the case. The only issue before the Supreme Court was whether Brown violated traffic laws. The case now goes back to the lower courts to proceed in accordance with the high court's guidance on the initial stop.



Court upholds creation of national monument in Atlantic
Court Watch | 2019/12/28 03:57
A federal appeals court on Friday upheld former President Barack Obama's designation of a federally protected conservation area in the Atlantic Ocean, a move that commercial fishermen oppose.

Fishing groups sued over the creation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a 5,000-square-mile (8,000-square-kilometer) area that contains fragile deep sea corals and vulnerable species of marine life. The monument was established in 2016.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit last year, and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the decision Friday.

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld former President Barack Obama's designation of a federally protected conservation area in the Atlantic Ocean, a move that commercial fishermen oppose.

Fishing groups sued over the creation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a 5,000-square-mile (8,000-square-kilometer) area that contains fragile deep sea corals and vulnerable species of marine life. The monument was established in 2016.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit last year, and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the decision Friday.



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