News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: LSC could see $600M in 2022 funding; Netflix’s 'Tiger King' to receive shorter prison sentence

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Legal Services Corp. could receive largest funding increase under new legislation

The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations approved on Thursday funding legislation that includes $600 million for the Legal Services Corp., the largest funder of civil legal aid to low-income Americans, in fiscal year 2022. The bill includes $135 million more than LSC’s current appropriation, and if enacted, would be the largest single increase in its funding. “This funding increase is particularly critical to address the surge in legal needs, such as unemployment claims, evictions, and incidents of domestic violence, arising from the pandemic,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg. The bulk of the appropriation would go to basic field grants, which support the operations of LSC-funded organizations around the country. (July 16 press release)

Appeals court calls for shortening of Joe Exotic’s prison sentence

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held on Wednesday that Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, should have received a shorter prison sentence after he was convicted of trying to hire two hit men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin in 2019. While the lower court considered each murder-for-hire count separately, the appeals court agreed that similar charges should be grouped together. “Baskin was neither murdered multiple times nor assaulted multiple times during attempted murders,” wrote Judge Gregory Phillips. “Her harm was one sustained, ongoing harm.” Maldonado-Passage, who was prominently featured in the Netflix documentary Tiger King, now faces up to 22 years—instead of 27 years—in prison. (The Associated Press, Courthouse News Service, Bloomberg Law, July 14 opinion)

Pilot alleges in $1B lawsuit that airline stole idea for text-messaging app

Commercial pilot Craig Alexander filed a lawsuit Monday against Delta Air Lines for allegedly stealing his idea for a text-messaging app for flight crews. Alexander has worked for Delta for more than 11 years, and according to his complaint, spent more than $100,000 of his own money on “QrewLive” and presented it to Delta’s executives. He also said in his complaint that the company told him the app did not meet its needs, but about a year later, introduced a similar app called “Flight Family Communication.” In describing his damages, Alexander said the value of his technology exceeds $1 billion. Morgan Durrant, a Delta spokesperson, has said the company takes Alexander’s allegations seriously but that “they are not an accurate or fair description of Delta’s development of its internal crew messaging platform.” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Business Insider, Bloomberg,, July 12 complaint)

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