Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks, July 18, 2014 – As California Goes . . .

This week, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a ruling that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional.  Read Courtney Minick’s analysis of the opinion on Justia’s Verdict: Federal Judge Strikes Down California Death Penalty: What This Could Mean for California. Texas Div., Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. v. Vandergriff, et al., US 5th

Super Size It: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks, June 27, 2014

New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce v. New York City Dep’t of Health & Mental Hygiene, New York COA, (6/26/14) In 2012, in an effort to combat obesity among residents of New York City, the New York City Board of Health amended the City Health Code so as to restrict the size of cups and containers used

Justia’s Weekly Writers’ Picks – June 13, 2014

Scialabba v. de Osorio, US Supreme Court (6/9/14) Immigration Law Qualifying U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may petition for family members to obtain immigrant visas. A sponsored individual (principal beneficiary) is placed into a “family preference” category based on relationship to the petitioner, 8 U.S.C. 1153(a)(1)–(4). The principal beneficiary’s spouse and minor children qualify as derivative beneficiaries, entitled

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks June 6, 2014

Makowski v. Granholm, Michigan Supreme Court (6/3/14) Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Plaintiff-appellant Matthew Makowski filed an action in the Court of Claims against the Governor and the Secretary of State, seeking a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief to reverse then-Governor Jennifer Granholm’s decision to revoke her commutation of plaintiff’s nonparolable life sentence that had been imposed for his first-degree murder

Who Let the Dogs Out? Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks May 30, 2014

Robinson v. Legro, Colorado Supreme Court (5/27/14) Injury Law A bicyclist was attacked by two ranch dogs herding sheep while participating in a mountain bike race. The cyclist and dogs were on federally owned land on which the attack took place, subject to a sheep grazing permit and a recreational use permit. The cyclist sustained serious injuries during the attack.

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – May 23, 2014

Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., US Supreme Court (5/19/14) Civil Procedure, Copyright, Entertainment & Sports Law The Copyright Act protects works published before 1978 for 28 years, renewable for up to 67 years, 17 U.S.C. 304(a). An author’s heirs inherit renewal rights. If an author who has assigned rights dies before the renewal period the assignee may continue to use the

Never Can Say Goodbye: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks May 16, 2014

Bain, et al. v. MJJ Productions, Inc., et al., US DC Cir. (05/13/14) Civil Procedure Raymone Bain and her firm filed suit against Michael Jackson and his production company, MJJ Productions, Inc., claiming to be owed substantial sums for various services rendered. Defendants moved to dismiss, relying principally on a December 2007 release agreement where Bain broadly relinquished any claims

Let Us Pray: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – May 9, 2014

Town of Greece v. Galloway, United States Supreme Court (5/5/14) Constitutional Law, Government & Administrative Law Since 1999, Greece, New York has opened monthly town board meetings with a roll call, recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and a prayer by a local clergy member. While the prayer program is open to all creeds, nearly all local congregations are Christian.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – May 2, 2014

Envtl. Prot. Agency v. EME Homer City Generation, L. P., United States Supreme Court (4/29/14) Environmental Law, Government & Administrative Law The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for pollutants at levels that will protect public health, 42 U.S.C. 7408. Once EPA establishes NAAQS, it designates “nonattainment” areas; each state must submit a State Implementation

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – April 25, 2014

Legal news coverage was dominated this week by the Supreme Court Shuette decision, which upheld Michigan’s affirmative action ban for college admissions. Read a summary below of the Court’s decision along with a few other interesting opinions picked out by our writers this week. Schuette v. Coal. Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigration Rights, Unites States Supreme Court (4/22/14) Civil