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Court hearing on potential Ontario ban of Indians name, logo
Law Firm News | 2016/10/17 20:58
A Toronto court will hear arguments on an attempt to bar the Cleveland Indians from using their team name and logo in Ontario.

The legal challenge by indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal comes on the same day the baseball team takes on the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Toronto.

Cardinal's lawyers will ask the court Monday to bar the usage of the name and logo by the team, Major League Baseball and Toronto team owner Rogers Communications, which is broadcasting the game in Canada.

The logo, called Chief Wahoo, is a cartoon man with red skin and a feather in his headband.

Cardinal says they shouldn't be allowed to wear their regular jerseys, the logo shouldn't be broadcast and the team should be referred to as "the Cleveland team."


Stepmom of scalded boy who died pleads guilty to murder
Law Firm News | 2016/09/04 23:55
A woman accused of holding her 4-year-old stepson in a scalding bath, covering his burns and not getting him medical care before he died was sentenced to at least 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder and other charges on Thursday.

A Warren County judge sentenced Anna Ritchie to 18 years to life in prison after she changed her plea from not guilty.

Ritchie was arrested after the March death of Austin Cooper. A detective said Ritchie told police that she put Austin's legs in extra-hot water as punishment because he didn't like baths and that she tried to hide his burns.

Her attorneys had tried unsuccessfully to have evidence from her interview with Franklin police detectives excluded from the case.

County Prosecutor David Fornshell alleged that Ritchie held Austin in extra-hot water for 20 to 25 minutes as he struggled, then put him to bed wearing pajamas and socks to cover his bleeding feet and burned skin, his arms cut where her fingernails had grasped him. His father found him dead in his crib more than 16 hours later, Fornshell said.



Judge in Stanford swimmer case switching to civil court
Law Firm News | 2016/08/26 14:55
A judge whose six-month sentence in the sexual assault case of a former Stanford swimmer has removed himself from handling criminal matters, but efforts to recall him remain.

Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky requested that he be assigned to civil court and that request was approved, the county's Presiding Judge Rise Pinchon said in a statement Thursday.

"While I firmly believe in Judge Persky's ability to serve in his current assignment, he has requested to be assigned to the civil division, in which he previously served," Pichon said. "Judge Persky believes the change will aid the public and the court by reducing the distractions that threaten to interfere with his ability to effectively discharge the duties of his current criminal assignment."

The move is not necessarily permanent. The assignment is subject to an annual review and takes effect Sept. 6.

Pichon said that another judge's desire to transfer to Palo Alto has made a quick swap with Persky possible. Normally such changes don't happen until a new year.

Persky ordered the six-month sentence for Brock Turner, a Dayton, Ohio, resident who had been attending Stanford on a swimming scholarship. The judge cited a probation department recommendation and the effect the conviction will have on Turner's life.


Ex-officer charged in death of black motorist back in court
Law Firm News | 2016/08/13 16:43
A white former police officer charged in the shooting death of a black motorist is returning to a federal courtroom in South Carolina.

U.S. District Judge David Norton has set a Friday hearing on the civil rights charges brought against former North Charleston officer Michael Slager. It's Slager's first appearance in federal court since his arraignment in May.

The federal charges stem from the shooting death of Walter Scott, 50, in April of 2015. Scott, who was unarmed, was fleeing a traffic stop when he was shot. A bystander's video recording of Scott's shooting reignited the national debate about the treatment blacks face at the hands of white police officers.

Slager faces a murder charge in state court in a trial set to begin in October.

The federal indictment charges that Slager, while acting as a law officer, deprived Scott of his civil rights. A second count says he used a weapon, a Glock Model 21 .45-caliber pistol, while doing so.

The third count, charging obstruction of justice, alleges Slager intentionally misled state investigators about what happened during the encounter with Scott.


Appeals court orders Utah to fund Planned Parenthood branch
Law Firm News | 2016/07/14 08:48
The Utah governor’s order to block funding to Planned Parenthood probably was a political move designed to punish the group, a federal appeals court wrote in an ruling that ordered the state to keep the money flowing.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver decided Tuesday there’s a good chance the governor’s order violated the group’s constitutional rights.

Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert cut off cash last fall for sexually transmitted disease and sex education programs after the release of secretly recorded videos showing out-of-state employees discussing fetal tissue from abortions.

The head of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah hailed the ruling as a victory for the clinic’s patients.

“Our doors are open today and they will be tomorrow — no matter what,” CEO Karrie Galloway said in a statement.

Herbert’s spokesman says the governor believes contract decisions should be made by the state and that he was disappointed in the ruling blocking the defunding order while Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit challenging it goes back to be heard by a lower court.

The state is considering its next legal steps, which could include asking the full 10th Circuit to reconsider the panel’s decision.

Herbert didn’t comment on a finding by two appeals court judges that he likely used the controversy to politically attack the group because it provides abortions. A third judge dissented and questioned whether Planned Parenthood would ultimately prevail.

Lawyers for the Utah branch argued it has never participated in fetal donation programs.


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