News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Suit tossed over 'stateless' BigLaw partners; Lafayette Square claims dismissed

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Perkins Coie wins suit dismissal because of ‘stateless’ partners

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago has ruled that former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page can’t sue Perkins Coie for defamation in federal court. Page had alleged that the law firm and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on former President Donald Trump. The law firm then facilitated meetings with the news media, leading to false allegations that Page colluded with Russian officials, Page had alleged. The 7th Circuit tossed the suit for lack of diversity jurisdiction. Although none of Perkins Coie’s partners live in Page’s home state of Oklahoma, three partners are U.S. citizens living in China. Those partners are “stateless” and aren’t covered by the statute giving federal courts jurisdiction over suits involving citizens of different states, the appeals court said. The stateless status must be attributed to the Perkins Coie partnership, destroying diversity and federal courts’ ability to hear the case, the opinion concluded. (Law360, the Cook County Record, the June 21 opinion)

Judge tosses most claims over clearing of Lafayette Square

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich of the District of Columbia on Monday tossed most claims in four lawsuits contending that federal officials used unnecessary force to clear peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square before a photo op last year by former President Donald Trump. Trump and former U.S. Attorney General William Barr were among the defendants. Friedrich did allow First Amendment claims against Arlington County, Virginia, and District of Columbia officials, as well as a federal claim over continued restrictions on access to Lafayette Square. (, BuzzFeed News, the Washington Post, Politico, Friedrich’s June 21 decision)

Law school scholarships to support LGBTQ community awarded by ABA section

Three law students have been awarded LGBTQ public interest scholarships from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Each student will receive $5,000, according to a news release. The recipients are Lydia Renee Harris, a St. Mary’s University School of Law student who is scheduled to start an externship with the Transgender Law Center; Matt Palmquist, a University of Southern California Gould School of Law student who is a legal intern at the ACLU of Texas; and Cirrus Jahangiri, a University of California at Davis School of Law student who is clerking with the Center for Workers’ Rights. (ABA press release)

9th Circuit allows assault-weapons ban to remain in effect

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco has stayed the decision of a federal judge who overturned California’s ban on assault weapons. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California had cited the Second Amendment in overturning the ban. The 9th Circuit paused Benitez’s ruling pending an appeal in another case. (The Los Angeles Times via KTLA, the Washington Post, the 9th Circuit’s June 21 order)

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