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2023 Legal Rebels: Charging Forward

This year, for the first time in a while, things have started to feel somewhat normal again. That being said, when it comes to Legal Rebels, what is considered “normal” or “status quo” has never been of much concern. This year’s class is no different.



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Using N-word at home is not lawyer ethics violation, hearing committee says

A now-former judge who used the N-word in a video taken at her home did not violate lawyer ethics rules, according to a hearing committee of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board.



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$2.1M IRS civil penalty for unreported Swiss bank account merits SCOTUS review, Gorsuch argues

Justice Neil Gorsuch argued Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court should have agreed to hear the case of a woman who argued that the Internal Revenue Service violated the excessive fines clause when it required her to pay a $2.1 million civil penalty for failing to report a Swiss bank account.



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DeSantis violated Florida Constitution by suspending prosecutor, but federal court can’t act, judge says

A federal judge in Florida has ruled that the 11th Amendment prevents him from ordering the reinstatement of a reform prosecutor suspended by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.



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Judge sanctions Trump and his lead lawyer nearly $1M for 'pattern of misuse of the courts'

A federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, has sanctioned former President Donald Trump and his lead lawyer nearly $1 million for a lawsuit filed against Hillary Clinton and other defendants claiming “a malicious conspiracy” to spread false information and rig the 2016 presidential election.



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Former judge is disbarred for sexually harassing police officer, court reporter and prosecutor

A former judge in Chicago has been disbarred after he was accused of trying to kiss a police officer, asking a court reporter about the cost of sex, and making demeaning remarks about a prosecutor.



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Who leaked Dobbs? SCOTUS investigators don’t know, despite 97 employee interviews and forensic sleuthing

The U.S. Supreme Court can’t identify who leaked Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion overturning the right to abortion to Politico in May 2022, according to a report released Thursday.



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US News extends rankings survey deadline; which law schools will file?

Updated: The ABA Journal asked all ABA-accredited law schools whether they planned to submit the survey. Out of the 117 schools that responded, 30 said they would not, and 23 were undecided.



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Former BigLaw associate gets suspension for inflating time spent on document review project

A former Dentons associate in Chicago has received a short suspension for his claim that he had reviewed 425 documents for a client, when in reality he had reviewed only 20 of those documents.



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Despite 'diligent efforts,' Greenberg Traurig can’t find rapper Ye to inform him it's dropping him

Greenberg Traurig wants to drop the rapper Ye as a client but has been unable to serve him with a notice of withdrawal from a copyright lawsuit, the law firm informed a federal judge Friday.



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Supreme Court will hear case of convicted stalker to decide mental state needed for 'true threats' conviction

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider what kind of mental state a speaker must have to be convicted for “true threats” that aren’t protected by the First Amendment.



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Can the government seize property for unpaid taxes and keep the surplus after selling it? SCOTUS will decide

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether local governments violate the Constitution when they seize property for unpaid taxes, sell it and then fail to return the surplus to the owner.



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6th Circuit bans enforcement of Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors against plaintiff states

A federal appeals court has ruled that President Joe Biden exceeded his statutory power when he required federal contractors to ensure that their employees are vaccinated for COVID-19, and that they wear face masks in areas of high transmission.



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Philadelphia DA wins challenge to his impeachment in appeals court

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives had no authority to issue articles of impeachment against progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner because his alleged wrongdoing didn’t satisfy constitutional requirements, a state appeals court has ruled.



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Diversity increases among associates, but ‘we are nowhere near’ expected progress at partner level, NALP president says

Lawyers of color continue to make gains in the associate ranks at major U.S. law firms, but their progress at the partnership level “has moved at a more sluggish pace,” according to a report released Thursday by the National Association for Law Placement.



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GEICO gets chance to fight $5.2M award for STD contracted in insured car

The GEICO General Insurance Co. should have been given a chance to intervene before a trial judge confirmed a $5.2 million arbitration award to a woman who contracted a sexually transmitted disease during car sex, the Missouri Supreme Court has ruled.



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Cashed check costs United Healthcare more than $2M

United Healthcare of Texas can’t pursue a claim of more than $2 million after its check-processing contractor cashed a $24,000 check offered as a settlement, a Texas appeals court has ruled.



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Firms face year of 'mixed results and growing uncertainty,' says new report on state of legal market

Amid economic uncertainty, the legal industry will continue to grapple with shrinking demand and productivity and rising expenses and inflation, according to a report published Tuesday.



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Mistaken disclosure of confidential documents leads to suspension for lawyer representing Infowars host

Updated: A Connecticut judge has ordered a six-month suspension for a lawyer representing Infowars host and founder Alex Jones because the attorney “carelessly” handled confidential documents mistakenly released to the opposing counsel in a defamation trial against Jones.



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Federal appeals court strikes down ATF rule banning rapid-fire bump stocks

Updated: The en banc 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans has struck down a Trump administration ban on bump stocks, which are used to accelerate gunfire on semi-automatic weapons.



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Asylum-seekers entering US illegally would be subject to rebuttable presumption under Biden border proposal

President Joe Biden announced a new border policy Thursday that will admit up to 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.



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Six-week abortion ban violates right to privacy, South Carolina Supreme Court rules

The South Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the state’s ban on abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.



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Supreme Court will consider 'huge' attorney-client privilege case

The issue is whether a communication involving both legal and nonlegal advice is protected by attorney-client privilege when obtaining or providing legal advice is one of the significant purposes for the communication.



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Lawyer 'turned in the poorest performance' he has seen in 12 years on bench, former federal judge says

Updated: A former federal judge in Illinois has referred a Chicago lawyer for potential discipline after declaring that she had “turned in the poorest performance by an attorney that the undersigned has seen during his 12-plus years on the bench.”



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