Man charged with killing Memphis officer to appear in court
Court News | 2015/08/12 15:38
An ex-convict charged with fatally shooting a Memphis police officer during a struggle is scheduled to appear in county court Wednesday.

Twenty-nine-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn is being held on $10 million bond on a first-degree murder charge in the Aug. 1 death of Officer Sean Bolton. It's not clear whether Wilbourn has an attorney to contact for comment on the case.

Wilbourn's sister, Callie Watkins, told The Associated Press last week that her brother told her during a phone conversation after the shooting that he was forcibly pulled out of a car by Bolton.

Police have said that Bolton approached the 2002 Mercedes Benz on foot after pulling up in his squad car and that he interrupted a drug deal.

Police say Wilbourn took out a gun and shot Bolton multiple times. Wilbourn was arrested after a two-day manhunt.


Penn State ex-officials' case heads to appeals court hearing
Court News | 2015/08/11 15:46
The criminal case against three former high-ranking Penn State administrators is headed to a Pennsylvania appellate courtroom, nearly four years after two of them were first charged. A decision against them could clear the way for trial.

The group of Superior Court sessions in a state Capitol courtroom on Tuesday will address the actions of Penn State's then-general counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, as the men were being investigated for an alleged cover-up of child sex abuse complaints against Jerry Sandusky.

The judges are expected to conduct three separate half-hour sessions, one each for former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The appellate court file is sealed, so the precise nature of the legal dispute is somewhat clouded. But the appeals were launched after a January order by Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover that rejected their arguments attacking the fairness and legality of the process that led to charges.


UK jury says trader guilty of manipulating key interest rate
Court News | 2015/08/03 22:27
A British jury has found a former Citibank and UBS trader guilty of being the ringmaster in the manipulation of a key interest rate, the London Interbank Lending Rate, or Libor.

The jury on Monday found 35-year-old Tom Hayes, who specialized in products pegged to yen-denominated Libor, guilty of manipulating the rate from 2006 to 2010. He was charged with conspiring with other traders — but he says he was made a scapegoat for a common practice.

Libor is a key rate that banks use to borrow from each other. Revelations that it was rigged shook the markets because the rate affects what people pay when they take out loans, such as a car loan.

Hayes is the first to be convicted by a U.K. jury of Libor rigging.



Appeals court revives challenge to consumer agency
Court News | 2015/07/27 15:39
A federal appeals court on Friday revived a legal challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal office created to protect consumers in financial dealings with banks, lenders and credit card companies.
 
The federal appeals court in Washington ruled that a Texas bank could challenge the constitutionality of the watchdog agency's powers even though the bank's conduct has not been subject to any enforcement.

A federal district judge had dismissed the lawsuit in 2013 after finding the bank had no legal standing to bring the claims.

The independent agency was created in 2010 by a sweeping law that overhauled financial regulations following the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street interests and Republicans in Congress fiercely opposed the agency.

The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court to consider the challenges.

Eleven states had joined the lawsuit filed by State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, to argue that Congress delegated too much power to the bureau. They also argue that it should not be headed by just one person and that President Barack Obama illegally appointed the agency's director, Richard Cordray, during a congressional recess. Cordray was later confirmed by the Senate.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court said those arguments could proceed. Judge Brett Kavanaugh said the bank did not have to intentionally violate the law in order to launch a constitutional challenge.

But Kavanaugh said the bank could not challenge the constitutionality of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, created by the financial overhaul law to designate certain financial companies deemed "too big to fail" for additional regulatory oversight.

The court also rejected the bank's challenge to part of the law that allows the Treasury secretary to order liquidation of a failing financial company that poses a risk to the financial stability of the U.S. government.

The government has argued that the bureau's structure and powers are constitutional.



Appeals court revives challenge to consumer age
Court News | 2015/07/25 22:58
A federal appeals court on Friday revived a legal challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal office created to protect consumers in financial dealings with banks, lenders and credit card companies.

The federal appeals court in Washington ruled that a Texas bank could challenge the constitutionality of the watchdog agency's powers even though the bank's conduct has not been subject to any enforcement.

A federal district judge had dismissed the lawsuit in 2013 after finding the bank had no legal standing to bring the claims.

The independent agency was created in 2010 by a sweeping law that overhauled financial regulations following the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street interests and Republicans in Congress fiercely opposed the agency.

The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court to consider the challenges.

Eleven states had joined the lawsuit filed by State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, to argue that Congress delegated too much power to the bureau. They also argue that it should not be headed by just one person and that President Barack Obama illegally appointed the agency's director, Richard Cordray, during a congressional recess. Cordray was later confirmed by the Senate.




NY state Sen. Sampson found guilty of obstruction
Court News | 2015/07/24 22:58
A once-powerful New York politician was convicted Friday on charges he lied to the FBI in an attempt to obstruct a corruption investigation targeting him for embezzlement.

A federal jury in Brooklyn reached the verdict after deliberating for about a week at the trial of state Sen. John Sampson.

The Brooklyn Democrat was found guilty of one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements. He was acquitted on six other counts, including witness tampering.

Sampson, 50, who was re-elected last year, was at the center of the latest federal trial resulting from federal prosecutors' campaign against dirty dealing in Albany.

The verdict showed that the jury agreed that the defendant has an "utter disregard for the rule of law and criminal justice system," acting U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie said outside court.

Defense Attorney Nathaniel Akerman called the mixed verdict a partial victory, and told reporters he would pursue all his appeal options to appeal the convictions "until Mr. Sampson is vindicated."

Also speaking outside court, jury forewoman Kim O'Meally said that jurors decided to clear Sampson on the counts tied to a government cooperator, real estate developer Edul Ahmad. Asked what she thought of the witness, she replied: "He's dirty."

Prosecutors originally charged him with embezzling funds while acting as a court-appointed referee for home foreclosure proceedings in the mid-2000s. They also alleged he persuaded Ahmad to loan him nearly $200,000 to cover up the theft in exchange for political favors.


Ill. high court rejects intervention on state paychecks
Court News | 2015/07/19 16:09
The Illinois Supreme Court has denied a request by state officials to decide the issue of paying government workers during the budget crisis.

The high court made no comment Friday in rejecting the plea by Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Madigan sought intervention because two separate courts ruled opposite ways last week on pay for 64,500 employees.

A Cook County judge ruled it would be illegal to pay most of them. But an appellate court reversed that decision Friday and sent it back for additional arguments.

A St. Clair County judge decreed it would violate the Constitution not to pay them.

State Comptroller Leslie Munger began paying workers this week.

A new fiscal year began July 1 but Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats can't agree on a spending plan.



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