- “Crash survivor sues publisher, claims he was exploited by book’s false claim of visit to heaven” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal on William Alexander “Alex” Malarkey claim against Tyndale House Publishers] More: Lowering the Bar;
- Attorney-client privilege and the raid on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: my Saturday chat with Yuripzy Morgan of Baltimore’s WBAL radio [listen] On the same general subject, Clark Neily chats with Caleb Brown for the Cato Daily Podcast, and Ken at Popehat has a Stormy Daniels/Michael Cohen civil litigation lawsplainer;
- “While there were many problems with the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, one thing the Republican-led Congress got absolutely right was defunding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” [Robert Romano, Daily Torch, earlier on AFFH]
- “The nearest Macy’s department store is several thousand miles away” but a small hair salon in Scotland will need to change its similar name or face lawyers’ wrath [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
- Facebook sued for allegedly allowing housing discrimination by way of ad targeting [autoplays] [Seth Fiegerman, CNN Money]
- Beverage equivalent of clear backpacks: South Carolina bill would make it a crime to let teenagers consume energy drinks [Jacob Sullum]
On the legalities of the raid on Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen, a good place to start is with Ken White’s for the New York Times (his earlier blog post). Also: “Lawyers should be reminding people, pundits and groundlings alike, that this is an extreme measure, a dangerous measure, that may be necessary” but should not be the occasion of glee [Scott Greenfield]
Meanwhile, the New York Times has managed to discover the worst argument.
A proposal from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has drawn “unanimous fire from a broad coalition of financial companies, as well as from the American Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, which called it unconstitutional. The plan would prohibit targets of civil investigative demands or notice and opportunity to respond and advise letters — CIDs and NORA letters — from disclosing the receipt of such notifications. Legal experts called the proposal a restraint on free speech and warned that it could run afoul of laws that require companies to disclose material information to shareholders.” A second element of the proposal would allow the CFPB to “share privileged information with any ‘federal, state, or foreign governmental authority, or an entity exercising governmental authority’ whenever ‘it is relevant to the exercise of the agency’s statutory or regulatory authority.'” The ABA has sharply criticized the provision as a weakening of attorney-client privilege. [Lorraine Woellert, Politico Pro, reprinted at House Financial Services Committee]
“Calling the Department of Labor’s new interpretation of its LMRDA Persuader Rule ‘defective to its core,’ the District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction” against the Final Rule published on March 24, 2016.” [Labor Relations Today, earlier] We summarized the regulations early on:
New Department of Labor regulations will require, on pain of serious criminal penalties, regular disclosures by lawyers, consultants, advisers, website developers, P.R. firms, pollsters and many others whose activities might persuade employees not to sign union cards. (Current regulations require disclosures only regarding consultants who actually meet with employees, as opposed to generating information that might reach them.)
The result would be not only to put we-know-where-you-live intimidation pressure on a much wider range of persons, and create many new tripwires for damaging liability, but also imperil attorney-client privilege, as with a provision demanding that attorneys disclose relationships with other clients.
Not like you manufacturing defendants who are going to have to hand over your hard disks’ contents to us because you’re mere non-lawyers. “If a company’s sole business is licensing and litigating patents, plus it’s run by lawyers, what isn’t protected by privilege?” A subsidiary of patent holding firm Acacia is appealing a judge’s ruling denying some of its broad privilege claims. (Zusha Elinson, “IP Case Tests Boundaries of Privilege”, The Recorder, Oct. 20).