ABA Journal

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Appeals court ruling means over 100 Jan. 6 rioters may be resentenced

A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a sentencing enhancement used against Jan. 6 defendants charged with felony obstruction, a decision that means that over 100 convicted rioters may have to be resentenced.



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How lawyers can use Substack to generate business

Founded in 2017, Substack, which is a publishing platform open to anyone and everyone who has something to write, has recently attracted a slew of lawyers and attorney-adjacent writers who realized how much it could help their careers.



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LGBTQ organization sues Texas AG over youth transgender records probe

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) earlier this month demanded records pertaining to the support an LGBTQ+ nonprofit provides to families seeking gender-affirming care for their transgender children—a treatment the state banned last year.



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Illinois judge removes Trump from primary ballot

An Illinois judge ruled Wednesday that former President Donald Trump should be removed from the state’s primary ballot because of the 14th Amendment ban on insurrectionists holding office.



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What happens next after Supreme Court agrees to hear Trump immunity case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to weigh Donald Trump’s claim that he is immune from criminal prosecution on charges of trying to overturn the 2020 election while president, setting historic oral arguments for the week of April 22 and further delaying his trial in Washington, D.C., during this presidential election year.



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SCOTUS agrees to hear Trump's presidential immunity claim

The Supreme Court will review Donald Trump’s unprecedented claim that he is shielded from prosecution for actions taken while in office, further delaying the former president’s federal trial in the nation’s capital on charges of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss to remain in power.



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Government lawyers' use of 'confidential information' in private practice clarified in new ABA ethics opinion

Lawyers who work in government or serve as public officials have special confidentiality obligations, and they should not use “confidential government information” when representing private clients, according to an ABA ethics opinion released Wednesday.



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ABA considers expanding law school diversity standards

Updated: Law schools have come a long way since the “good ol’ boys” days, but they aren’t inclusive enough yet, according to the ABA’s Standards Committee.



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Alabama justice who quoted Bible in IVF case often invokes religion

In the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that said frozen embryos are people, Chief Justice Tom Parker wrote a concurring opinion that sought to define the “sanctity of unborn life,” citing heavily from scripture and theology. His opinion, which drew criticism from abortion rights activists for instilling religious beliefs into a judicial decision, was the latest in nearly 20 years on the bench in which he has repeatedly invoked religion on his way to laying the groundwork to overturn Roe v. Wade.



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Justices skeptical of Texas, Florida laws that bar platforms from deleting content

A majority of the Supreme Court seemed broadly skeptical Monday that state governments have the power to set rules for how social media platforms curate content, with both liberal and conservative justices inclined to stop Texas and Florida from immediately implementing laws that ban the removal of certain controversial posts or political content.



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Supreme Court offers possible road map for schools to diversify top programs

When the Supreme Court allowed an elite magnet school in Northern Virginia to continue using a new system for admissions aimed at diversifying its student body last week, other schools were watching.



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New website will let law clerks judge their judges

A database is launching next month that will allow young lawyers to review the judges they worked for and give law students a way to learn which judges have good—or bad—reputations as employers.



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Harvard, Columbia face spike in legal fees after antisemitism claims

Columbia University was sued for a second time over its response to an explosion of antisemitism on campus. The suit is yet another indication that top U.S. universities have a long road to redemption in the public eye, a path that could lead to massive legal expenses.



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Supreme Court's internet inexpertise will be put to the test in social media content cases

A pair of cases, NetChoice v. Paxton and Moody v. NetChoice, ask whether states may dictate content-moderation standards or require individualized explanations when social media outlets remove or alter users’ posts.



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MyPillow founder must pay man $5M in 'Prove Mike Wrong' challenge, judge says

In 2021, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell offered $5 million to anyone who could disprove his claim that he had data showing voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Now, he must pay a 64-year-old from Nevada that award, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.



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Supreme Court seems poised to halt EPA plan to cut cross-state pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to cut emissions from power plants and factories to reduce pollution that blows into neighboring states seems likely to be halted by the Supreme Court, a blow to an ambitious federal initiative that environmentalists have said is necessary to protect people, especially children and the elderly, from lung-damaging smog.



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Above the Line Network launches for lawyers who work with middle-class clients

The mission of the new Above the Line Network is to bring together incubators, socially conscious law firms, nonprofit law firms and legal aid organizations to transform the delivery of legal services for the underserved middle class.



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Steven M. Wise, legal force for animal rights, dies at 73

Steven M. Wise, a legal warrior for animal rights who argued that chimpanzees, elephants, whales and other highly intelligent creatures have a fundamental right to liberty, no less than the humans who often confined or killed them, died Feb. 15 at his home in Coral Springs, Florida. He was 73.



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Meet the Delaware judge who keeps foiling Elon Musk

Few people in the world have the power to order around Elon Musk. One of them is a soft-spoken, small-town-raised, 44-year-old Delaware judge named Kathaleen McCormick.



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Clarence Thomas has 30 days to resign if he wants millions from John Oliver

When it comes to Supreme Court reform, John Oliver is tired of just talking about term limits and ethics codes. Instead, the late-night talk show host said he’s taking a page out of the playbook used by the rich and powerful, who the comedian said routinely lavish gifts on public servants to curry favor.



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What's the secret to writing a good search prompt?

Lawyers may be excellent when questioning on the stand, but when it comes to cross-examining artificial intelligence, they may need an assist. With generative artificial intelligence, it’s all about the search prompt.



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Baker & McKenzie can be sued in Chicago for work by Russian entity, Illinois appeals court affirms

A judge in Cook County, Illinois, did not abuse his discretion when he ruled that Baker & McKenzie LLP can be sued in Chicago for alleged malpractice by a former Moscow outpost on behalf of overseas clients seeking to reclaim a Siberian coal mine.



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Frozen embryos are children, Ala. high court says in unprecedented ruling

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Friday that frozen embryos are people and someone can be held liable for destroying them, a decision that reproductive rights advocates say could imperil in vitro fertilization (IVF) and affect the hundreds of thousands of patients who depend on treatments like it each year.



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AI-related tools and tips dominate '60 in 60' Techshow session

Four days of seminars, lectures and demonstrations at the 39th annual ABA Techshow boiled down to Saturday morning’s grand finale, where panelists rounded up their favorite tech tips and apps. The underlying theme: Artificial intelligence.



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