Court: Exec guilty over faulty French implants
Legal Business | 2013/12/12 21:39
A disgraced French businessman was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for filling tens of thousands of breast implants with industrial grade silicone. But he left the courthouse freely after lodging an appeal, and thousands of women will have to wait longer to discover if they will receive damages.

The ruling in the criminal case by a court in Marseille, which all the trappings of a class-action lawsuit, ordered up to 40 million euros ($55 million) in damages paid to a fraction of the 125,000 women worldwide who received the implants.

However, that sum for Jean-Claude Mas' company, Poly Implant Prothese, was largely theoretical because it is bankrupt, and because the appeal froze any efforts to find alternate sources. It will be months, if not years, before any women see money many say they need to remove the faulty, leak-prone implants.

In addition to his prison sentence, the French businessman was fined 75,000 euros ($103,000).

His lawyer promised to appeal immediately, and Mas left the courthouse without comment. The appeal freezes the jail term, fine and any damages.

Four managers in the now-defunct Poly Implant Prothese received lesser sentences.

The decision established a complex system of damages for about two-thirds of the 7,100 women who joined the case, with a potential total of 40 million euros ($55 million) to be paid by those convicted. But, like Mas' fine, it was not clear where that money would come from.


Seattle lawyer left $188 million charitable trust
Legal Business | 2013/12/02 21:21
A Seattle lawyer who quietly amassed a fortune by investing his inherited family wealth has left a bequest of nearly $188 million to benefit Seattle Children's Hospital, the University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army.

Hospital officials said, in announcing Jack MacDonald's bequest Tuesday, that it was the largest charitable gift in Seattle Children's 106-year history. The Law School said it was also the largest gift in its 114-year history.

The three organizations will receive income earned by the trust each year, with 40 percent, or nearly $4 million a year, going to support pediatric research at the hospital in honor of his mother, a long-time hospital volunteer. Thirty percent of the income goes to support student scholarships and other needs at the law school, where he graduated in 1940, in appreciation of his education.

The remaining 30 percent supports the Salvation Army in honor of MacDonald's father, Frederick MacDonald, who owned MacDonald Meat Co. and wanted to help men and women in need.

Jack MacDonald died in September at age 98. He worked for three decades as an attorney for the Veterans Administration in Seattle.


Spain court rejects handing pedophile to Morocco
Legal Business | 2013/11/19 00:39
Spain's National Court has ruled against extraditing back to Morocco a convicted Spanish pedophile whose release triggered protests in the North African country.

A court statement Monday said Daniel Galvan Vina would not be handed back because under a bilateral agreement Spain and Morocco do not extradite their citizens to each other. The court said, however, it would begin a process to ensure that Galvan serves out his sentence in a Spanish jail, something the convict had originally asked for.

Galvan was convicted of raping 11 children in Morocco and sentenced to 30 years prison in 2011. He was mistakenly pardoned by Morocco's King Mohammed VI in July but was arrested in Spain days later after the king rescinded his pardon following the protests.


High court wrestles with prayer in government
Legal Business | 2013/11/08 23:02
The Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday with the appropriate role for religion in government in a case involving mainly Christian prayers at the start of a New York town's council meetings.

The justices began their day with the marshal's customary plea that "God save the United States and this honorable court." They then plunged into a lively give-and-take that highlighted the sensitive nature of offering religious invocations in public proceedings that don't appeal to everyone and governments' efforts to police the practice.

The court is weighing a federal appeals court ruling that said the Rochester suburb of Greece, N.Y., violated the Constitution because nearly every prayer in an 11-year span was overtly Christian.

The tenor of the argument indicated the justices would not agree with the appellate ruling. But it was not clear what decision they might come to instead.

Justice Elena Kagan summed up the difficult task before the court when she noted that "every time the court gets involved in things like this, it seems to make the problem worse rather than better."

The justices tried out several approaches to the issue, including one suggested by the two Greece residents who sued over the prayers to eliminate explicit references to any religion.


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Legal Business | 2013/11/02 22:07
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With over decades of experience working in some of the best law firms, our skill level allows us to give the best hands-on service to our clients. Even though we are located in Southern California, Law Offices of Craig Hubble practices in all state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout California. For most cases, we only charge if we get a favorable outcome.

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SC trial lawyer Ron Motley dies at age 68
Legal Business | 2013/08/26 18:35
Celebrated South Carolina lawyer Ron Motley has died at the age of 68, law partner Joe Rice confirmed Thursday.

No cause of death was given for the trial lawyer, and funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Motley served as lead counsel in lawsuits that ultimately yielded the largest civil settlement in U.S. history in which the tobacco industry agreed to reimburse states for smoking-related health care costs.

As part of the Ness Motley firm, he also sued on behalf of asbestos victims and the families of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack victims.

Motley's practice underwent a transformation in 2003 when he and Rice formed the Motley Rice firm. The Mount Pleasant-based practice is one of the largest plaintiffs' firms in the country. The name change was partly because 13 attorneys and about 40 support staff left to form a new firm, Richardson Patrick Westbrook & Brinkman, in 2002.

The family of deceased South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Julius "Bubba" Ness also sued the firm, saying the Ness portion of the name should be dropped since the practice was no longer connected to the family. Ness' son-in-law, Terry Richardson, was among the lawyers who left to form the new firm.

On Thursday, Richardson remembered Motley _ with whom he practiced for nearly 30 years _ as a tenacious attorney who was a major figure in a time when plaintiffs' law experienced a renaissance.


Federal court officials fear budget cuts
Legal Business | 2013/08/06 07:27
Federal courts officials in Minnesota say they're worried automatic spending cuts will jeopardize the justice system's smooth operation, with layoffs likely in both the U.S. attorney and public defender's offices.

The cuts are part of what's known as the budget sequester, and they're due to take effect Oct. 1 barring a deal in Congress.

The national public defenders service is facing a 23 percent cut, and Minnesota's federal defender, Katherian Roe, said she will likely have to reduce her staff from 18 people to 10.

Jeanne Cooney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for Minnesota, said her office will see cuts in personnel and operations but the extent isn't clear yet. The office has already been under a hiring and salary freeze.

"All indications are that all U.S. Attorney offices will be faced with huge cuts in order to get to the budget levels ordered per sequestration," Cooney said.

Each office's cuts will be determined by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, part of the Justice Department in Washington.


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