News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Amazon GC's leaked notes may lead to lawsuit; ABA legal ed section's council seeks ideas

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Amazon GC badmouthed protest organizer in leaked notes

Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky badmouthed fired warehouse employee and protest organizer Christian Smalls, according to internal notes of a meeting leaked to Vice News. Zapolsky wrote in his meeting notes that Smalls is “not smart, or articulate, and to the extent the press wants to focus on us versus him, we will be in a much stronger PR position.” Amazon has claimed that it fired Smalls, who led a walkout over working conditions, because he didn’t abide by a 14-day quarantine for workers exposed to COVID-19. Smalls has countered that Amazon had not quarantined other employees, and he thinks he was targeted for speaking out about working conditions during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Zapolsky said in a later statement that his comments “were personal and emotional,” driven by frustration that Smalls put other Amazon employees at risk after being warned to quarantine himself. Law.com spoke with employment lawyer Carolyn Wheeler, who said Smalls could have a case for unlawful termination and retaliation and possibly a case for race discrimination. Smalls is black. (Vice News, Law.com here and here)

ABA legal ed section’s council takes suggestions on law school standards

Have an idea for the law school standards? The council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is taking suggestions for accreditation standards and rules, with a May 1 deadline for submission. The standards review committee will submit a memo about the suggestions in July with recommendations, and the council will consider the recommendations at its August 2020 meeting. Suggestions should be sent to Mary Kearin at [email protected] (ABA legal ed section’s memo)

6th Circuit allows some abortions to continue in Ohio

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati has refused to disturb a judge’s 14-day temporary restraining order allowing some abortions to continue during a ban on nonelective surgeries. U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett of Cincinnati had allowed abortions that are needed if they would save a woman’s life or health or preserve the ability to obtain an abortion before viability. (The Cincinnati Enquirer via How Appealing, the 6th Circuit decision)

Man convicted in law firm scam loses bid for release

A man who pleaded guilty in a scheme to bilk law firms out of $7.8 million won’t be able to leave prison before sentencing. Melvin Feliz had argued that he has pulmonary issues that could pose a higher risk if he contracts COVID-19. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer of New Jersey denied the request Friday. (Law360)

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