There are three main ways to gain access to up to the minute case updates free of charge. The first is through listserves which provide case updates as they are released. The second is court websites which contain links to recent opinions. Finally, opinions can be searched through PACER. PACER (or Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is primarily known for containing electronic docket sheets and court documents, which can be accessed for a fee of 8 cents per page. However, a relatively new addition to PACER allows free searches for written opinions. To search for opinions under PACER, go to the PACER site for a district, look for “Reports” and then click on “Written Opinions.” The opinions can be searched by date and by division. It is also possible to search for an opinion by name. A search for the Southern District of Texas Bankruptcy Court revealed that there were sixteen opinions released from May 1 to June 7, 2008. PACER is the most comprehensive source for new bankruptcy court opinions.
However, the written opinions feature only goes back to April 2005 and is not searchable by keyword. As a result, it requires some patience. Here are the best sources for opinions relevant to Texas Bankruptcy lawyers. The best source for Supreme Court updates is the Cornell Law School Supreme Court listserve. By subscribing to this free service, readers receive updates as to cases which have been granted cert and opinions released. The updates are released in real time so that it is a very good way to stay up to date on developments in the Supreme Court. The nice thing about this listserve is that it contains both summaries of the opinions and links to read the opinions themselves. This makes it easy to scan through the day’s opinions to decide which ones merit further reading. The initial page lists opinions released that day. The other nice feature of the Fifth Circuit opinions page is that they offer an opinions subscription which provides an email twice a day listing the opinions released that day and attaching copies of the published opinions.
Opinions can be received in either WordPerfect or PDF format. Both the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas participate in a site sponsored by the Southern District of New York called Courtweb. The opinions can be searched by keyword. Curiously, a search for the term “bankruptcy” turned up only eight opinions from the Southern District, but found 121 decisions from the Western District. Each of the four bankruptcy courts in Texas has a website. However, each district has a different approach to posting its opinions. The Northern District of Texas offers several options for opinion searching. It has a comprehensive list of opinions which can be sorted by judge, by date, by case name or by case number. One nice feature of this page is that it includes retired judges as well as current judges. While the opinions can be sorted by date released, the page does not list those dates.
Thus, it is necessary to open up the opinions to find out just how recent they are. One unique feature contained on the Northern District page is that it includes an email subscription service which allows the reader to receive updates whenever new opinions are released. The Southern District judges previously released opinions intended for publication on the Courtweb site and selected unpublished opinions on the Court’s website. Unfortunately, no new Southern District opinions have been added to Courtweb since July 18, 2007. As a result, PACER is currently the only way to find current Southern District Bankruptcy opinions. The Eastern District recently unveiled a new and improved website. It includes an opinions page for its two judges. The page breaks down opinions by subject matter, date and whether they are published or unpublished. Unfortunately the page for Judge Parker is still under construction. However, litigants appearing before Judge Rhoades can browse through 76 of her opinions on topics ranging from admissions to zip codes. The Western District of Texas site contains two unique features. First, the front page of its opinions section lists the ten most recent opinions by date. This makes it easy to keep up with what is current in the Western District. The page also includes a key word search. A search for the term “means test” pulled up 43 hits. The opinions only date back to April 21, 2005. However, that is still a considerable body of cases. The courts are constantly updating their websites. As a result, it is helpful to check frequently to see what is new. I will update this article from time to time to try to keep up with new developments.
It is for this reason why that the Afghan Taliban led by Mulla Omar operates from this area and hence the name “Quetta Shura”. It is this “Pustoon” element that is also being used by the Pakistan Army to try and dominate the Balochistan landscape. One of the main pillars of Musharraf’s Balochistan policy was to pit the Pushtoon tribals, who are generally considered to be “outsiders” against the indigtenous Baloch tribals. Very often contending claims by Baloch and Pushtoon tribals has held up exploitation of mineral resource for the betterment of the local population. One such was the coalfields at Chamalang where exploitation was impossible because of the contending claims of the Pushtoon Loni and the Baloch Marri tribes. The project was only allowed to take off after the Pushtoon interests were accommodated. Today there is a flourishing township, a large imported labour force and wage-earning facilities for the local Baloch. To the exchequer went more than Rupees five billion.
John Turner went on a robbery spree in Memphis. He was apprehended and indicted by a Tennessee grand jury on multiple counts of aggravated robbery. He retained a lawyer, who engaged in plea negotiations with state prosecutors. The federal government got involved, and an AUSA informed Turner’s lawyer that his office intended to indict Turner and charge him with robbery and firearms charges carrying for the firearms charges alone a mandatory minimum sentence of 82 years. However, the AUSA made a plea offer with a 15 year federal sentence that would resolve all charges, state and federal, the offer to expire upon Turner’s indictment by a federal grand jury. Before the en banc Sixth Circuit in Turner v. United States were the following questions: (1) Did Turner have a Sixth Amendment right to counsel to advise him in these preindictment plea negotiations with the United States? Did it make a difference that Turner already faced a state indictment and charges based on the same conduct that underlay the federal plea? The Court held that Supreme Court precedent, Kirby v.Illinois, 406 U.S. 682 (1972) and United States v. Gouveia, 467 U.S. ]” So Turner had no Sixth Amendment right to counsel with respect to the plea negotiations with the United States government. The Court also held that Turner’s state indictment made no difference, because the state and federal charges were not the “same offense,” even if based on the same conduct and having the same essential elements. This ruling was derived from the “dual sovereignty doctrine” which the court concluded was followed by a majority of circuits. The dual sovereignty doctrine dictates that two distinct offenses are committed when conduct violates simultaneously both state and federal law.
Now that the end is nigh for the latest dustup in Salem (next week sometime), PERS members have escaped another session without any further attempts to lower future PERS benefits. But, this is probably not cause for any celebration. Unfortunately, the mad-at-PERS set will almost certainly set their sights on either the November ballot box, or next February’s long (6 month) session. Insofar as November is concerned, I’ve heard rumors of at least two ballot initiatives being developed to take the PERS matter out of the Legislature’s hands. Those are usually very blunt instruments that rarely survive court challenges, but PERS would be obligated to enforce any changes until the Supreme Court rules on their outcome in 2019 or so. The second route would be the Legislative route. Finally, for those who just read conclusions, my primary point is ELECTIONS MATTER. Pay attention and vote in November’s election. It also might help to influence outcomes by voting in the May primary.
While one might think of business ethics as being a field that covers insider trading, sexual harassment, and treatment of employees, the field has grown over the years. Business ethics now includes a laundry list of ethical issues including development ethics, animal ethics, environmental ethics, justice ethics, and more. Below is a list of current emerging cases involving business ethics issues, including the recent Supreme Court decision involving corporations, health insurance hikes by Anthem Blue Cross, Sara Lee’s organic practices, and Monsanto’s genetically modified agriculture products. In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are “persons” in a case that essentially allows corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money to campaign financing (Citizens United vs. What this ruling does is give corporations the same power as individual citizens when it comes to rights. In business ethics, this changes how corporations are seen – especially when it comes to acquisitions, political power, and influence on small businesses (not to mention the influence corporations have on politics). This is a case to watch in the coming months.
Recently, Anthem Blue Cross determined it would raise their California insurance premiums by percentages in the double digits as high as 39% starting in May, calling attention to their unfair insurance practices. When this fee hike went public, it also came to the attention of California insurance regulators that Anthem Blue Cross had many complaints filed for non-payment of benefits, low settlement offers, and more. The problem with fee hikes is that the hikes are aimed at some 800,000 independently insured persons (generally independent contractors, sole proprietors, etc.) and this hike can be a severe burden on the insured. This case is sparking political discussions about ethical insurance practices, and should spark discussions in your company about how fee increases should be handled. Sara Lee, best known for its baked goods, has come to news attention due to the claim that Eco-Grain production is organic. Another agriculturally related business ethics topic is the production of Genetically Modified agriculture products produced by Monsanto. Monsanto is the company that came up with DDT, Agent Orange, and Round Up. Monsanto is also largely responsible for the types of seeds used to grow your food. They have genetically modified and patented a variety of seeds, including corn, soybeans, cotton and more, and they pursue lawsuits against farmers who use their seeds without purchase. Many questions have been raised about whether these are ethical practices – especially since their GMOs are invasive and take over crops. This case raises interesting questions about what can be patented, how cases are pursued, and fair business practices. It’s hard to always have your eye on every potentially questionable ethical practice, but it is important to try to run your business in a way that is consistent with ethical values. Make sure to perform risk assessments and research the effects of those potentially affected by your practices before undertaking any business venture.
I too fully endorse this viewpoint. Why wear patriotism on your sleeves? Senior and eminent advocate of Supreme Court Rajeev Dhavan rightly said that, ‘The anthem had a ceremonial significance and a ‘sacred element” which should not be trivialized by playing it four times a day in cinemas”. Can Indian politicians ever dare to do so? Not just this he terms dreaded terror leaders like Osama Bin Laden, Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salaluddin as ‘Osama to hero hain ji hero. Hafiz Saeed to hero hain ji hero. Bharat ke liye yeh aatankwadi hain paar Pakistan ke liye to yeh hero hain ji hero bilkul aasli freedom fighter hain ji”! Can there be anyone more shameless than us that we still forgot everything and accorded him VVIP treatment? Commonwealth countries had expelled Pakistan but India got them readmitted! Don’t our politicians still shamelessly sing national anthem? Does it serve any purpose other than fooling illiterate people? It is noteworthy that the court specified that if the anthem is played in theatres, moviegoers will have to stand in a show of respect, but said that differently abled people would be exempt.
The exemption granted to the disabled persons ‘shall remain in force on all occasions”. The Bench while disposing of a PIL which had asked to specify what would constitute disrespect and abuse of national anthem said that, ‘Citizens and people living in India are bound to show respect”. Truth be told, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra clarified that it is not mandatory to play the anthem before screenings. The court left the choice of whether to play the anthem or not to the discretion of individual cinema hall owners. However, if the anthem was played, patrons were bound to stand up in respect. Going forward, the Supreme Court accepted the Centre’s submission that an inter-ministerial Committee constituted on December 5 was looking into all aspects relating to the playing and singing of the national anthem and let the government have a final say. Supreme Court had justified its November 2016 order making it mandatory to play the national anthem in cinema halls saying it was ‘for the love of the motherland”. It had also said that the national flag be displayed on the screen while the anthem was playing.
It may be recalled here that Justice Dipak Misra before he became the CJI, headed the Bench that issued the order which had been backed by the government. But the order came in for criticism from the court in October 2017 when Justice DY Chandrachud very rightly asked if people needed to stand up to prove their patriotism. Leaders have just no convincing answer except evading it or giving lame excuses! Instead they foolishly resort to senseless slogans like ‘Bharat mein rahane hain to Vande Mataram kehana hain, Bharat mein rahane hain to rashtra gaan gaana hain. Jinhe nahin gaana hain who jain Pakistan”! UP has maximum pending cases and still it has least benches whereas peaceful states like Karnataka, Assam and Maharashtra have 3, 4 and 3 benches each! To act earnestly and sincerely always so that people gains most is the best way to be nationalistic. Just like if a bench is created in West UP more than 9 crore people will benefit and litigants would not be compelled to travel many times without reservation whole night all the way to Allahabad to get justice. Not tolerating nonsense from any foreign country is the best way to show nationalism! But how much we keep tolerating cross border terrorism is known worldwide and it requires no elaboration!
This year, however,the slating meeting, which began yesterday, is at the Erie Cafe, on the west end of the River North area. Neither my office nor the Daley Center has moved, and I have too much on my desk to permit me the luxury of attending. It would be one thing if there were useful, productive legal work on my desk. After all, the practice of law is my day job — this blogging enterprise may be fun for me and informative for my readers, but blogging won’t pay my bills. But the truth is, the red-hot, five-alarm emergencies on my desk are mostly discovery matters. The discovery matters on my desk break down into two categories — (1) needless and pointless form discovery and (2) discovery deployed as a “tactical game,” notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s admonition against that sort of thing in Williams v. A.E. I haven’t seen anything half as good since. And I’ve seen far too many discovery requests and responses and piles and piles of subpoenaed records. As a solo practitioner, I’m still looking. I have to: I have no junior associates or paralegals on whom to dump the thankless task of completing form discovery responses. So, while I’m very grateful for the uptick in paying legal work, my current caseload (in my experience, the mix changes over time) includes a lot of litigation matters, all in the discovery phase. Because I have to do the discovery myself I see first-hand the effect that “discovery” of things already known and/or really unimportant to the disposition of a case has on the cost of litigation. Discovery deployed as a tactical weapon is even more costly — and injurious to our stated professional goals of civility and access to justice.
Today, I am going to take the day off from talking about the economy, the markets and my favorite subject the credit rating agencies, and talk about the soon to be new opening on the Supreme Court. First, let me say that I am not a lawyer, never have been a lawyer, nor taught constitutional law. Almost 50 years ago, I took a course in the political science department on constitutional law and have always found The Court’s decisions interesting. The pendulum swings back and forth in our Supreme Court’s interpretation of our constitution. Some may say that the court under President Obama is ready to swing back to the left, or a more liberal court. I remember some of the justices on the Supreme Court from the 1960s, and even the 1950s. For me, those were some great years for the Supreme Court. Civil Rights was a big thing then, and back then as today, that grabbed my attention.