News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Derek Chauvin sentenced; judge won't toss climate change suit

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Chauvin sentencing

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison June 25 by Hennepin County, Minnesota, Judge Peter Cahill for the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Photo from the Associated Press/Court TV Pool.

Chauvin sentenced for George Floyd’s death

A Minnesota judge on Friday sentenced fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22.5 years years in prison for killing George Floyd with a knee to his neck. Judge Peter Cahill of Hennepin County, Minnesota, said he was basing the sentence in part on Chauvin’s abuse of his position of trust and the cruelty shown to Floyd. The sentence is not based on emotion or sympathy, Cahill said, “but at the same time I want to acknowledge the deep and tremendous pain that all the families are feeling, especially the Floyd family.” (The Minneapolis Star Tribune, CNN, the New York Times, NBC News)

Exxon must face climate change suit, judge rules

A Massachusetts judge has refused to toss a lawsuit contending that the Exxon Mobil Corp. deceived consumers and investors about climate change. The suit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey contends that Exxon misled consumers when it marketed its products as environmentally friendly and misled investors by downplaying how climate change could affect its business. (Law360, Reuters, the June 22 ruling)

Ethics opinion: Lawyers can’t buy competitors’ names for keyword ads

An Ohio lawyer or law firm can’t buy the names of competitors for online advertising that drives possible clients to their own websites, according to an ethics opinion by the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct. “The advertising lawyer is attempting to deceive the consumer into selecting the advertising lawyer or law firm’s website, as opposed to the intended lawyer or law firm,” the ethics opinion says. That constitutes violation of an ethics rule banning fraud, dishonesty or deceit or at the very least an attempted violation of the rule. (Bloomberg Law, the Legal Profession Blog, the June 11 opinion)

Lawyer gets temporary restraining order father

San Antonio personal injury lawyer Cesar Ornelas II has obtained a temporary restraining order that prohibits his father from making false or disparaging statements about him. The temporary restraining order also prohibits the elder Ornelas from coming within 100 feet of his son and his son’s family. Ornelas II obtained the temporary restraining order after his father posted on Facebook that he had an “ungrateful son” who had stolen “millions of dollars from his dad.” It’s unclear whether the spat relates to civil lawsuits that accuse the father and son of improperly paying funeral homes and other third parties to recruit clients for Ornelas II’s law firm. The father owns a funeral home. (The San Antonio Express-News)

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