News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Suit allowed over website's bankruptcy-lawyer ban; judge resigns and ends case

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The California Supreme Court has revived bankruptcy lawyer Robert White’s civil rights suit against the online payment service Square. White contended that he was wrongly denied service by the company because of a user agreement that banned bankruptcy attorneys or debt collectors from using its services. The court said White didn’t have to enter into an agreement with Square or ask for a waiver to have standing to sue under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. (The Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Gizmodo,California Supreme Court)

A part-time town justice in New York has ended disciplinary proceedings against him by resigning from the job. Jonathan D. Katz of the New Paltz Town Court had been facing accusations that he signed an arrest warrant and an order of protection for the husband in a domestic matter, at the same time he was serving as lawyer for the wife in a related divorce action. (The Poughkeepsie Journal, press release, stipulation)

New York’s attorney general is leading a coalition of 22 states and seven cities in a suit that seeks to block the Trump administration from rolling back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which required states to cut greenhouse gas emissions at power plants. (The New York Times, press release, Aug. 13 lawsuit)

Final rule changes announced Monday are expected to weaken the Endangered Species Act. The changes allow regulators to take economic impact into account when deciding whether a species should be protected. They also make it more difficult to consider the effects of long-term climate change on wildlife. (The New York Times)

A Manhattan judge has sealed the marijuana convictions of more than 300 people under a New York law allowing the sealing of some criminal records after 10 years have passed. The judge, Carol Edmead, acted in response to a class action filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and several legal groups. (The New York Post, the New York Daily News, press release)

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