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March 16, 2012 UABA News Update

15 Mar 2012 9:04 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

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Premarital Agreement Issues Checklist

There are many details to think about when you’re planning your wedding; however, a prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement) shouldn’t be left to the last minute. Here’s a list of issues to think about before you speak to your fiancé and your lawyer regarding a premarital agreement. If often helps to know your own feelings about these issues before decide to talk to your fiancé about them. ABA GPSolo Report;Aarticle by Diana Mercer Детальніше-Read More

Ugandan Gay Rights Group Sues U.S. Evangelist

A Ugandan gay rights group filed suit against an American evangelist, Scott Lively, in federal court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda. The lawsuit maintains that beginning in 2002, Mr. Lively conspired with religious and political leaders in Uganda to whip up anti-gay hysteria with warnings that gay people would sodomize African children and corrupt their culture. NY Times Детальніше-Read More

Supreme Court Seen Influenced by Politics in Health-Care Ruling

Three-quarters of Americans say the U.S. Supreme Court will be influenced by politics when it rules on the constitutionality of a health-care law signed by President Barack Obama two years ago. The sentiment crosses party lines and is especially held by independents, 80 percent of whom say the court will not base its ruling solely on legal merits, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. More Republicans than Democrats, by 74 percent to 67 percent, say politics will play a role in the court’s health-care decision.
Bloomberg Businessweek
Детальніше-Read More

Court House Humor: Disorder in the American Courts: Cross-Examination of a Pathologist

These quotations are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?


ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?


ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law. Police Link Website

Top BigLaw Feeder Schools Named; Penn Is Ranked No. 1

The University of Pennsylvania’s law school is ranked seventh by U.S. News & World Report, but it tops a list of the institutions that send the highest percentages of graduates to the nation’s top 250 law firms. The National Law Journal compiled the rankings, and TaxProf Blog added the U.S. News ranking. For 2011, the top five were: ABA Law Journal Детальніше-Read More

Facing the Alternative: How Does a Flat Fee System Really Work?

While every law firm is culturally unique, often the same fears and concerns namely diminished profit margins and budget difficulties plague outside counsel when it comes to changing billing practices. For many, creative fee schemes seem to create more nightmares than profits. But a few outside firms and their business clients have found a way to make it all work. The secret is in trust, sharing and statistics. In 2004 global industrial conglomerate Tyco International Ltd. issued an open request for proposals for law firms to craft new and different models for its litigation work. Eager to achieve greater predictability of cost and legal spending, the company was also willing, for the first time, to place its entire product liability docket (the company’s largest program) with a single firm, what it calls the convergence model. More than 20 firms responded, some of which had been longtime service providers to the company. ABA Law Journal Детальніше-Read More

Stolen Valor Act: A Business Decision?

Late last month the Supreme Court heard arguments over the constitutionality of a 2006 law undefined the Stolen Valor Act undefined that makes lying about receiving military honors a federal offense. It’s an interesting First Amendment issue that does not, on its face, appear to have much to do with corporations. But former Solicitor General Paul Clement, speaking to a group of corporate counsel Friday, said companies should pay close attention when the court issues a ruling in the case. Why? WSJ Law Blog Детальніше-Read More

Supreme Court Expands Corporate Human Rights Case, Avoids Corporate Liability Question

The Supreme Court on Monday afternoon took the unusual action of ordering reargument in the case heard last week that has been brought against a multinational oil corporation for aiding and abetting human rights violations in Nigeria. The case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, originally asked whether corporations can ever be held liable under a founding-era law, known as the Alien Tort Statute, that allows foreign nationals to bring civil suits in federal courts "for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States." At oral argument last week , the Court's conservatives appeared ready to hold corporations immune from suit under the Alien Tort Statute despite the law's silence over the identity of potential defendants. Monday's order, however, pushes aside the question of corporate liability to address a less politically explosive, but much more consequential question: whether any entity -- individual, state, corporation -- can be brought to justice in U.S. courts for abuses committed abroad. Huffington Post Детальніше-Read More

USDC Judge: Graphic Cigarette Labels Violate First Amendment

A federal rule that requires tobacco companies to display pictures of diseased lungs or other graphic images on cigarette packs is unconstitutional, a judge in Washington ruled Wednesday. Regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would have required tobacco companies to display the images on the top half of cigarette packs, front and back. It was scheduled to take effect in September. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the Obama administration failed “to convey any factual information supported by evidence about the actual health consequences of smoking through its use of these graphic images.” The rule, he said, violates companies’ First Amendment protections against government-compelled speech. WSJ Law Blog Детальніше-Read More

Justices Skeptical of Bringing Torture Cases to U.S. Courts

Torture victims faced skepticism at the Supreme Court Tuesday, where justices questioned whether foreign organizations, including the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the Palestinian Authority, could be sued for violating international law under U.S. statutes dating to the 18th century. The Alien Tort Statute, adopted by the First Congress in 1789, permits foreigners to sue in federal court for violations of treaties or the “law of nations,” which today is understood to prohibit torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. More than two centuries later, President George H.W. Bush signed the Torture Victim Protection Act, authorizing U.S. citizens and aliens alike to sue perpetrators of torture and “extrajudicial killing” overseas. Wall Street Journal LawBlog Детальніше-Read More

New on the UABA website The website now has a gadget known as Google Translate. It is on the left-hand upper corner of each page and uses the Google translation engine to translate English pages to Ukrainian and vice versa. Although the translations are not perfect by any means they at least give non-Ukrainian readers the ability to obtain the general gist of what is being said. This also works in reverse, non-English readers can read pages in Ukrainian.

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If you have any questions, please feel free email myroslaw@smorodsky.com

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