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Lawyer Blog Updates | 2014/05/02 13:23
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IMF head Lagarde in court in fraud probe
Lawyer Blog Updates | 2013/05/23 22:16
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde is facing questions at a special Paris court Thursday over her role in the 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a controversial businessman when she was France's finance minister.

The court hearing threatens to sully the reputations of both Lagarde and France. The payment was made to well-connected entrepreneur Bernard Tapie as part of a private arbitration process to settle a dispute with state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over the botched sale of Adidas in the 1990s. It is seen by many in France as an example of the cozy relationship between big money and big power in France.

Lagarde has earned praise for her negotiating skills as managing director of the IMF through Europe's debt crisis and is seen as a trailblazer for women leaders. Her decision to let the Adidas dispute go to private arbitration rather than be settled in the courts has drawn criticism, and French lawmakers asked magistrates to investigate.

Lagarde, smiling at reporters, left her Paris apartment Thursday morning and appeared at a special court that handles cases involving government ministers. She has denied wrongdoing.

At the time of the payment, Tapie was close to then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was Lagarde's boss. Critics have said the deal was too generous to Tapie at the expense of the French state, and that the case shouldn't have gone to a private arbitration authority because it involved a state-owned bank.

Court mulls trial in absentia for Hariri case
Lawyer Blog Updates | 2011/10/15 10:06
A panel of judges at a U.N.-backed court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will consider whether to stage a trial in absentia for four Hezbollah members accused in the slaying.

The suspects were indicted earlier this year, but Hezbollah has refused to arrest them and send them for trial in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's purpose-built courtroom.

The court said in a statement Monday that a pretrial judge preparing the case has asked trial judges to determine whether proceedings in absentia should be initiated against the four men.

Iranian-backed Shiite militia Hezbollah denies involvement in the Feb. 14, 2005, truck bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others, including the suicide bomber, in Beirut.

Court: Eagle feathers only for American Indians
Lawyer Blog Updates | 2011/03/28 08:53
div id=bg_contentdiv class=padding10div class=entrydiv class=articlepRestricting use of eagle parts and feathers to members of federally recognized American Indian tribes for religious purposes does not violate the religious freedoms of non-Indians seeking the same right, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday./ppThe Denver-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found that such a prohibition, under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, does not violate the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act./ppTuesday's ruling comes after several cases in which non-Indians, and one man from a tribe that is no longer recognized by the federal government, sought the right to use feathers in their religious practices./ppEagle feathers are believed to be sacred among many Native Americans./ppFederal law requires that eagle carcasses be sent to the National Eagle Repository in Denver, Colo., and that any tribe member wishing to use eagle feathers or parts in ceremonies apply for a permit to do so. The court noted that the repository receives significantly more requests than it has available eagle carcasses so there is already a long waiting period to fulfill permits./ppAll the cases noted in Tuesday's ruling weighed freedom of religion against the government's ability to protect the eagles and help maintain the centuries-old religious practices of Native Americans./ppFederally recognized tribe members agree the law should restrict access to eagle parts to those whose ancestors have been practicing such ceremonies for centuries.

Anna Nicole Smith doctor subpoenaed by med board
Lawyer Blog Updates | 2011/01/08 09:03
pAnna Nicole Smith's primary doctor, who was acquitted in the late model's high-profile drug prescription case, has been subpoenaed in a separate investigation, his attorney said Friday./ppIt's outrageous, said Ellyn Garafalo, who represents Dr. Sandeep Kapoor. This shows that this is a vendetta./ppShe said Kapoor was standing outside the courtroom where a judge dismissed most charges against Kapoor's co-defendants on Thursday when he was handed a subpoena by a process server representing the California Medical Board./ppGarafalo said the board is investigating cases unrelated to the Smith case./ppShe said Kapoor has treated many severely ill patients and has written numerous prescriptions for them./ppKapoor was tried with Howard K. Stern and psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich on charges of excessively prescribing opiates and sedatives for the former Playboy model. A jury acquitted him of all charges./ppAfter a long and costly trial prosecution, Superior Court Judge Robert Perry threw out conspiracy convictions against Stern and Eroshevich, allowing one charge against her to remain but reducing it to a misdemeanor./p

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