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Afternoon Briefs: FBI lawyer accused of changing email; trial during pandemic surprisingly normal

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FBI lawyer accused of altering email in Russia probe

An information filed Friday accuses FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith of changing an email used in 2017 to justify continued surveillance of Carter Page, a former adviser to President Donald Trump. Clinesmith changed an email to indicate that Page was not a CIA source, when he had actually provided information to the agency about his contacts with Russian officials. Clinesmith’s lawyer, Justin Shur, said in a statement that his client never intended to mislead and he thought that the information he relayed was accurate, but he accepts responsibility. (The National Law Journal, the New York Times)

Apple trial with pandemic precautions was surprisingly normal

The lawyers who obtained a $506 million verdict against Apple for infringing 4G LTE patents said the trial was surprisingly normal, despite COVID-19 precautions. Jurors wore face shields, witnesses were protected by a plexiglass barrier, and lawyers were distanced from others in the courtroom. Irell & Manella partner Jason Sheasby told Law360 that the trial was “a wonderful thing.” “It shows there’s something else, that we can keep going. I think that’s super important: There’s a path forward in our lives, it’s not just this virus every single day,” he said. (Law360)

5th Circuit upholds all-male draft

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans has upheld the all-male draft in a challenge filed by the National Coalition for Men. The appeals court said it was bound to follow a 1981 Supreme Court decision finding no Fifth Amendment violation. The case was argued by Marc Angelucci, who was shot and killed outside his home last month. Another men’s rights lawyer, Roy Den Hollander, has been linked to Angelucci’s death. Hollander apparently shot himself after killing the son of a federal judge presiding in another challenge to the male draft that he had filed. (Courthouse News Service, the Associated Press, the Aug. 13 opinion)

9th Circuit rules for Qualcomm in antitrust case

A federal appeals court has ruled that Qualcomm Inc., a maker of cellphone chips, did not engage in anti-competitive behavior through a “no license, no chips” policy. Under the policy, makers of phones could not buy Qualcomm wireless chips unless they also signed a license to Qualcomm’s patent portfolio. The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco overturned a 2019 ruling against Qualcomm in a suit by the Federal Trade Commission. “Anti-competitive behavior is illegal under federal antitrust law,” the 9th Circuit said. “Hypercompetitive behavior is not.” (The New York Times and TechDirt via How Appealing, the Aug. 11 opinion)

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