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Recent Blog Posts

Downloading into Prosecution

The federal government has been quite aggressive in prosecuting Internet downloaders under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, so aggressive that one downloader, Aaron Swartz, committed suicide in despair. Swartz, a computer genius who developed RSS and Reddit, was a fierce Internet activist who believed that academic papers and research, often funded by government and… Read More »

Arbitration Clauses in Contracts

All of that small print in those contracts you never quite read, but “accept” with a click has meaning — more meaning than you might expect. A 2011 Supreme Court decision blocked a consumer class action case against AT&T because the plain language of the never-read contract for mobile phone services had two provisions: Any… Read More »

Did My iPhone Steal My Privacy?

The United State Supreme Court has not quite decided what constitutes an expectation of privacy in this new Facebook, Twitter and Global-Positioning-System (GPS) world. In a decision issued in January 2012, United States v. Jones, the justices agreed that police who physically placed a GPS device on a suspect’s car without a warrant had violated… Read More »

Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit Elicits Children’s Testimony

Prince and Paris Jackson, the children of deceased superstar Michael Jackson, have been deposed in a wrongful death suit brought by their grandmother Katherine Jackson against concert promoter AEG for the untimely death of their father. According to the complaint, AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray to attend to Jackson to make sure that the singer… Read More »

Blogger Claims Defamation Suit Should Be Dismissed

Joined by friends of the court, The New York Times, the Washington Post and Dow Jones & Co., a co-defendant in a defamation suit against the now-deceased conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart argued for dismissal of the charges before the D.C. Court of Appeals. The defamation suit was filed in 2011 by former Agriculture Department rural… Read More »

New Forensic Test May Be Used in Homicide Investigations

Canadian police are using a new forensic test, stable isotope analysis, to determine where a homicide victim may have lived before death. Isotopes are variations of basic chemical elements and are deposited in hair and bone through food and water consumption. This stable isotope analysis has been used in several European criminal investigations. Questions have… Read More »

Drugs Missing from Southampton Police Crime Unit

The Southampton Police Department is the latest law enforcement agency to come under scrutiny for failing to process evidence properly after an arrest and search. The missing drugs include crack, marijuana and prescription painkillers tied to a Southampton drug unit. These sloppy tactics have constitutional ramifications. It’s called the chain of evidence. In order to… Read More »

Irving Picard Loses Civil RICO Charges Against Medici Enterprise

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly known as RICO, provides the government with authority to prosecute for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization and permits a civil cause of action by victims to recover stolen assets. That criminal organization can be devoted to activities such as: Gambling Drug dealing Extortion Money laundering… Read More »

Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Doesn’t Need to Be Loved

When you are looking for a criminal defense attorney, especially in a case where there is likely media coverage, whether or not the attorney is lovable just isn’t important. A criminal defense attorney should be commanding, fearless and experienced. That works better for a criminal defendant than being loved. Consider Joe Tacopina. The New York… Read More »

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Two Important Securities Law Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two securities law decisions in late February 2013 that may affect the number of securities fraud cases brought by Securities and Exchange Commission and the number of securities fraud class actions. One case addressed how quickly the SEC must act when pursuing fraud charges. The second concerned private plaintiffs pursuing… Read More »