News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: 2-time SCOTUS litigant gets settlement; at-large judge elections upheld in voting rights case

  • Print.

gavel and money

Image from

Florida man wins $875K settlement after two trips to the Supreme Court

A Florida man who won twice in the U.S. Supreme Court will get an $875,000 settlement for his troubles from the city of Riviera Beach. Litigant Fane Lozman said the money covers his legal fees but “it doesn’t put any money in my pocket.” Lozman’s legal odyssey began when Riviera Beach seized and destroyed his floating home, citing its authority under the Federal Maritime Lien Act. The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the home was not a “vessel” covered by the law. He was awarded nothing on remand. The second case stemmed from Lozman’s arrest at a city council meeting after he refused an order to leave the podium. The Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that Lozman could sue for an alleged retaliatory arrest plot by the city, even if there was probable cause for the arrest. (The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post)

Judge rules for Alabama in voting rights challenge to judicial elections

A federal judge in Montgomery ruled Wednesday that Alabama’s at-large method of electing appellate judges does not dilute the voting power of black people. U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins found no violation of the Voting Rights Act in a suit by the Alabama NAACP. He issued the decision two days after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Atlanta allowed the lawsuit to proceed. The 11th Circuit held that sovereign immunity doesn’t protect Alabama from the lawsuit. (, Courthouse News Service, Watkins’ opinion)

Former owner of legal-services benefits company is disbarred

The former owner of a company that offered legal-services insurance plans to employers has consented to disbarment less than four months after his sentence to 17½ years in prison. Gary Alan Frank had been accused of exaggerating the size of his company, the Legal Coverage Group, to obtain loans that he partly used to fund a lavish lifestyle. He pleaded guilty last April. (Law360, the disbarment order, past coverage by the Philadelphia Inquirer)

Alliance creates standard way to describe legal services

After three years of work, an alliance of law firms, legal departments and legal tech companies has created a standard way to describe legal services using code sets. The standard language could aid the use of analytics by companies in choosing law firms. The group that developed the standards is called the Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry Alliance, or SALI Alliance in shortened form. (Law360, Bloomberg Law, SALI Alliance press release)

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.