Atlanta immigration court backlog delays hearing for famous rapper

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP as reported by to 11Alive.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP as reported by to 11Alive.

According to 11Alive, “21 Savage, whose legal name is Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, allegedly entered the U.S. legally in July 2005 at age 7 on an H-4 visa but failed to leave under the terms of his “nonimmigrant visa” when it expired in 2006, according to ICE… He was expected to face a judge in the weeks after his release, but TMZ reported on Wednesday that with a serious case backlog in immigration courts – Syracuse University said in September it now exceeds 1 million – he still doesn’t have a court date, and continues to face deportation.”

The 11Alive report explains that according to Syracuse University’s immigration case tracker, there are more than 13,000 cases in the Atlanta court’s backlog, and the average wait time for a hearing is currently 1,250 days or nearly three-and-a-half years.

Because of the backlog, 21 Savage is in limbo and cannot travel outside the U.S., even for his concert tours.

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $10 million to two Ohio counties

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufactured opioids and Johnson & Johnson also owned two companies that processed and imported the raw material used to manufacture oxycodone, a highly addictive opioid, shown above. Photo credit: www.drugs.com.

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals manufactured opioids and Johnson & Johnson also owned two companies that processed and imported the raw material used to manufacture oxycodone, a highly addictive opioid, shown above. Photo credit: www.drugs.com.

Johnson & Johnson has reached a tentative settlement in Ohio in response to a federal lawsuit over the nation’s opioid epidemic, The Washington Post reports.

The health-care giant will pay $10 million to Cuyahoga and Summit counties, Ohio, as well as reimburse $5 million in legal fees and donate $5.4 million for opioid-related programs in the communities, The Post reports.

The case was brought by more than 2,500 counties, cities, and Native American tribes. 

In August, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay the state of Oklahoma $572 million in the first opioid-related state case to go to trial.

Cleveland County (Okla.) District Judge Thad Balkman found the pharmaceutical company responsible for the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, one of more than 40 states waging lawsuits, The Washington Post reports.

An estimated 400,000 people have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999.

Judge blocks new rules for detention of migrant children, parents

U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee. Photo credit: Wikipedia

U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee. Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Trump administration is barred by federal court order from enacting new rules aimed at detaining migrant children and their parents for longer periods of time.

U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee issued the permanent injunction on Sept. 27 in the Central District of California, The Washington Post reports.

The Justice Department had argued for withdrawal from a 1997 federal consent decree setting basic standards for detaining migrant children. 

“The decree includes a 20-day limit for holding children in detention facilities that have not been licensed by the states for the purpose of caring for minors,” The Post reports.

Federal regulators issued new regulations in August seeking to terminate the settlement and remove the 20-day limit, The Post reports.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to be heard in Sandy Hook case

Radio host and conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Radio host and conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

According to the Hartford Courant, lawyers for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones went to the state Supreme Court Thursday “to challenge a court order in a case where families from Sandy Hook Elementary School are suing him, saying the radio host claimed the school shooting was a hoax.”

The lawyer for Alex Jones argued in the Connecticut Supreme Court that he “should not have been penalized for an angry outburst on his Infowars web show against an attorney for relatives of some of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims,” reports the Associated Press.

The AP report explains, “The families of eight victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and an FBI agent who responded to the massacre are suing Jones, Infowars, and others for promoting a theory that the shooting was a hoax. A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 first-graders, six educators and himself at the school, after having killed his mother at their Newtown home. The families said they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy.”

Trump vows to revoke waiver allowing California to set auto emissions

 Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP as reported by NPR on 9/18/19.

Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP as reported by NPR on 9/18/19.

President Trump announced he will revoke a 2013 waiver issued by the EPA to the California Air Resources Board which allowed the state to set stricter air-quality standards than those imposed on the federal level.

According to an NPR report, “The move comes after the Department of Justice earlier this month launched an antitrust investigation into a July deal between California and four automakers – Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, and BMW – and is seen as a broader effort by the White House to rollback efforts to combat climate change.”

The report notes, “California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra has vowed to take the Trump administration to court. Speaking on Tuesday, California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said that while the White House ‘has abdicated its responsibility,’ his state ‘has stepped up.'”

States unveil bipartisan antitrust probe of Google

Image credit: Wikipedia.

Image credit: Wikipedia.

Tech giant Google faces a sweeping bipartisan antitrust probe by state attorney generals, an investigation announced on Sept. 9 with an initial focus on online advertising.

“Google is expected to rake in more than $48 billion in U.S. digital ad revenue this year, far rivaling its peers, while capturing 75 percent of all spending on U.S. search ads, according to eMarketer,” The Washington Post reports.

The probe is supported by 50 U.S. states and territories, excluding Alabama and California, home of Silicon Valley.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Google “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet,” though he clarified that states are launching an investigation and not a lawsuit.

“The probe marks the latest regulatory headache for Google and the rest of Silicon Valley, which have faced growing criticism — and widening state and federal scrutiny — into whether they’ve grown too big and powerful, undermining rivals and resulting in costlier or worse service for web users,” The Post reports.

Federal regulators have decided against assessing major penalties against the company, including breaking it up, but “The European Union has issued the company $9 billion in competition-related fines over the past three years,” The Post reports.

Okla. judge orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for opioid crisis

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman made a landmark ruling, which found Johnson & Johnson liable for fueling an opioid epidemic in Oklahoma. (Photo credit: Reuters as reported by The Washington Post on 8/26/19.)

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman made a landmark ruling, which found Johnson & Johnson liable for fueling an opioid epidemic in Oklahoma. (Photo credit: Reuters as reported by The Washington Post on 8/26/19.)

Johnson & Johnson must pay the state of Oklahoma $572 million in the first opioid-related state case to go to trial.

Cleveland County (Okla.) District Judge Thad Balkman found the pharmaceutical company responsible for the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, one of more than 40 states waging lawsuits, The Washington Post reports.

Judge Balkman issued his ruling Monday, Aug. 26, which The Post dubbed a “landmark decision” and “the first to hold a drugmaker culpable for the fallout of years of liberal opioid dispensing that began in the late 199os.”

An estimated 400,000 people have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999. according to the report.

Oklahoma attorneys sought $17.5 billion over 30 years for treatment, emergency care, law enforcement, social services, and other addiction-related needs, but Judge Balkman ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million “to remedy the drug crisis in the first year, based on the state’s plan,” The Post reports. The company has vowed to appeal.

California associate justice accused of sexually harassing colleague

Jeffrey Johnson, photo credit: Wikipedia

Jeffrey Johnson, photo credit: Wikipedia

An associate justice in the Second Appellate District faces accusations that he sexually harassed a colleague on the California bench, one of several alleged incidents being investigated by a judicial commission. 

The Commission on Judicial Performance at California State Bar Court in downtown Los Angeles is investigating allegations that JeffreyJohnson, an associate justice appointed a decade ago, sexually harassed more than two dozen women during the past 18 years, reports The Recorder at law.com.

Second District Court of Appeal Justice Victoria Chaney told the commission that Johnson suggested they have an affair and accused him of groping her, The Recorder reports.

Johnson’s lawyer, Reg Vitek, challenged details of Chaney’s testimony and wondered why she didn’t tell Johnson to stop his behavior and failed to immediately report him.

Chaney said she was convinced to report Johnson “after she began to hear complaints from other women,” The Recorder reports. 

The hearing is expected to last a month. Johnson faces 10 counts of misconduct, “including sexual harassment, misconduct and drunken behavior unbecoming of a judge,” The Recorder reports. 

 

No statute of limitations for one year for sexual abuse cases in New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act on Feb. 14, 2019 which extended the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse filings for one year. Photo credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig as reported by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on 8/14/19.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act on Feb. 14, 2019 which extended the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse filings for one year. Photo credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig as reported by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on 8/14/19.

Beginning today in New York, there will be no statute of limitations to prevent filing child sexual abuse lawsuits against alleged perpetrators, no matter how long ago it occurred, for up to a year.

According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “This so-called ‘look-back window’ is part of the Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations for both criminal and civil lawsuits when it was signed into New York State law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in February. The bill had floundered in the State Senate for over a decade, blocked by Republican representatives. But after Democrats took majority control in January, it quickly arrived on the Assembly floor and passed by a resounding 130-3 vote.”

The report explains, “The Child Victims Act now allows prosecutors to bring criminal charges against an alleged sexual abuse offender until an accuser turns 28, and alleged victims can also now file a civil lawsuit any time before they reach 55 years of age. Previously, child sexual abuse offenses could only be prosecuted within five years of their occurrence, and civil lawsuits could only be filed prior to an alleged victim’s 21st birthday.”

Four other states – California, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Delaware — have extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.  

 

Judge challenges contract attorney fees in Wells Fargo case

JJudge Jon Tigar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Photo credit: Jason Doiy/ALM as published on law.com)

Judge Jon Tigar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Photo credit: Jason Doiy/ALM as published on law.com)

A California judge has questioned contract attorney fees in a high-profile class action settlement involving Wells Fargo & Co.

Judge Jon Tigar, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenged the fees, which were about nine times higher than the attorney’s rate, according to a report by The Recorder at law.com.

Disputes over $68 million in attorney fees in a $240 million class action settlement against Wells Fargo & Co. have spurred a federal judge to consider setting new precedents for contract lawyer fees,” The Recorder noted.

Judge Tigar reviewed a motion for attorney fees filed by San Francisco’s Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. The case involved a settlement with Wells Fargo shareholders over the “widespread opening of unauthorized accounts to reach sales quotas and artificially inflate the company’s stock,” The Recorder reported.

“The judge thanked Ted Frank of the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness for raising the issue in his motion opposing the attorney fees,” the site noted. “Frank pointed out that the co-lead counsel paid contract attorneys between $40 and $50 an hour but requested about $415 an hour to cover their investment.”