Areas & Topics

March 2019 Archives

Peloton facing lawsuit alleging failure to license music

Peloton has become a premier name in home fitness in the seven years since it was founded. Its appeal isn't just its machines, like its stationary bikes, which sell for about $2,000. It's the classes you can watch on the machines as you work out for a $39 monthly membership fee.

Murder Conviction Reversed After Police Officers Resuse to Testify About Torture

The Illinois Appellate Court reversed the Circuit Court a second time, and transferred the case to a new trial judge, after two Chicago police officers refused to testify on whether the Defendant was tortured before his admission that he was present when two murders were committed in 1989.  The Defendant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison after he admitted he was present when the murders were committed.  During proceedings for post-conviction relief, the Defendant claimed his admissison was coerced when a police officer tortured him by burning him alive.  The State Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission found his torture claim to be credible, and two police officers who were present refused to testify about whether the Defendant was tortured.  The Trial Court twice refused to find that torture occurred, and failed to draw an adverse negative inference from the police officers refusal to testify.  The Appellate Court reversed both times, and transferred the case to a new trial Judge after the Second Appeal.  People v. James Gibson (Ill. App. 1st dist., March, 2019).

Are you the victim of a romance scam? You're not alone

There are a seemingly endless number of online dating sites to help people find the loves of their lives -- or just someone with whom to connect. Unfortunately, however, the people you meet online aren't always what they seem. So-called "romance scams" are more prevalent than any other kind of consumer fraud by a wide margin -- and they're becoming more common.

Vindictive Ex-GirlFriend Ordered to Pay $7,600,000.

An ex-girlfriend (Lee) was ordered to pay $7,600,000 to her former boyfriend (who sued as John Doe) after she created false social media accounts in Doe's neame, then published highly offensive material directed to hundreds of Doe's relatives, clients, bosses and professional associates.  She also slipped into Doe's secure building behind and unsuspecting resident and vandalized his car.  Doe, in his mid-40's, met Lee, a 19-year old exotic dancer and professional "Sugar Baby" in Las Vegas.  The Court awarded $2,500,000 for defamation damages and $5,000,000 in punitive damages.  John Doe v. Jessica Jiahui Lee (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Ill., case no 18-C-1193, March, 2019).

Shift the financial burden to the person liable for the accident

A personal injury claim can help innocent victims shift the financial burden of the incident from themselves to the party that is liable for the accident. This is important because many people don't have the money that it takes to get the medical care needed after a serious accident. Most won't have the funds to help with other damages, either.

Prisons Must Give Inmates Meat that meets their Religious Dietary Restrictions

The Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("the Act") requires prisons to provide their inmates with meat that does not substantially burden their ability to practice religion.  In the case of a muslim inmate, serving 225 years for murder, this means providing him with Kosher meat, which he has accepted as an alternative to keeping Halal.  The U.S. Seventh Circuit relied on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby in ruling that the act prohibits prisons from imposing a substantial burden on the practice of religion by refusing to provide Kosher meat to a practising muslim under these circumstances. Roman Lee Jones v. Robert E. Carter, jr., commissioner, Indiana Department of Corrections.  (U.S. 7th Cir., Feb 15, 2019).

Minimize the damage you have from a business lawsuit

Owning a business comes with a lot of responsibilities. It is imperative that you make decisions based on what is best for the company. Unfortunately, there might come a time when you have some difficult choices to make if your company is facing a lawsuit. The goal, in this case, is going to have to be two-fold. You will have to try to minimize the impact that the legal matter has on your company while reducing the way that the preparation affects it.

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