News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Trump must provide tax returns, court says; DA accepts gift cards in exchange for community service

  • Print.

tax return

Image from

Trump loses bid to block turnover of tax records, plans U.S. Supreme Court appeal

President Donald Trump can’t block a subpoena for his private tax records from New York prosecutors investigating hush-money payments made before the 2016 presidential election, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York held Monday. While Trump’s lawyers have argued that he is immune from both prosecution and investigations, the panel said “any presidential immunity from a state criminal process does not bar the enforcement of such subpoena.” Trump plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court; the appeal is due 10 days from the court’s decision. (The Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN)

District attorney faces questions over revenue generation

A Washington Post investigation has revealed that since at least 2011, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier has encouraged thousands of defendants to purchase gift cards and money orders for the office in lieu of completing their ordered community service. DeRosier previously faced backlash for his involvement in another controversial program called the Local Agency Compensated Enforcement, in which he and other district attorneys pay state troopers and some local police overtime to stop motorists for traffic violations. Motorists who agree to make a payment to the local district attorney’s office see their tickets dismissed. (The Washington Post)

Federal government issues guidance on hemp production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published its final interim rule on hemp production in the Federal Register on Thursday, officially establishing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and providing farmers, bankers and manufacturers with some guidance on the new crop. Hemp was listed alongside marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act until the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law in December 2018. (Courthouse News Service, Oct. 31 final interim rule)

Prominent lawyer arrested after second drunken-driving incident

High-profile defense attorney David Serna was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday after he allegedly crashed his Mini Cooper into another car, failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.16. Police say he admitted that he drank a beer and took nerve pain medication and oxycodone earlier in the day. He now faces his second drunken driving charge—the first was dropped in July after a judge ruled that officers held him too long and that there was a lack of probable cause. (Associated Press, the Albuquerque Journal, KRQE)

Lawyer-comedian blends comedy and the law in new CLE series

Lawyer-comedian Charles Star will continue to pursue his dual passions by hosting a continuing legal education lecture series called “Persuasive Authority” in New York. The first lecture, “Bonfire of the Agencies: The Shrinking Administrative State,” was Saturday and explored the past and future of the Chevron doctrine. The next lecture, planned for Nov. 30, will touch on litigation arising out of amateur wrestling competitions. Star is hopeful that the CLE Board will accredit the lectures. (Bloomberg Law)

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.