News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: US lawyer sentenced in Hong Kong tussle; Air Force at fault in mass shooting

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US lawyer in Hong Kong sentenced to prison

Samuel Bickett, a U.S. lawyer in Hong Kong, has been sentenced to four months and two weeks in jail for intervening when he saw a man attacking a commuter. The man Bickett confronted turned out to be an off-duty police officer trying to stop a turnstile jumper. Magistrate Arthur Lam Hei-wei said the officer had multiple injuries, and Bickett’s acts were “a serious threat to public order.” Bickett was formerly director of Asia-Pacific anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. (The Washington Post, the South China Morning Post)

Air Force is 60% responsible for mass shooting, judge says

The U.S. Air Force was 60% responsible for a 2017 mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, because it failed to report the gunman’s criminal history, according to a decision Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the Western District of Texas. The judge said the Air Force failed to report the military domestic-abuse conviction of shooter Devin Patrick Kelley to the FBI background check system, which allowed him to obtain a gun. Rodriguez ruled in a suit by families of the victims. (The New York Times, the Texas Lawyer)

Second state adopts Thomson Reuters evidence-sharing platform

New Hampshire will become the second state to introduce Thomson Reuters’ cloud-based court exhibit and evidence sharing platform statewide. It was announced Wednesday. The Digital Evidence Center tool permits all the parties in a case to share and organize evidence, including from their mobile phones, in a secure online platform. Earlier this year, Arizona became the first state to announce its intentions to roll out the tool statewide amid a rise in remote court hearings. (Thomson Reuters’ press release and tool website)

Google responds to states’ antitrust suit

A Google official said its mobile app store, Google Play, increases choices for consumers and promotes competition. Wilson White, Google’s senior director of public policy, defended the app store in a blog post after 36 states and the District of Columbia filed an antitrust lawsuit. The plaintiffs allege that the store abuses market power and imposes high fees on developers of mobile apps. (, Politico, the New York Times, White’s blog post)

OxyContin settlement advances after objections withdrawn

Fifteen states dropped objections this week to a bankruptcy plan for Purdue Pharma, a maker of OxyContin. The agreement advances a settlement in which the Sackler family, the company owners, will pay $4.3 billion toward the deal. The agreement will also lead to the release of tens of millions of Purdue Pharma and Sackler documents. Purdue Pharma is waiving attorney-client privilege, which will reveal communications with lawyers about tactics for pushing opioids and FDA approval of OxyContin, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. (The New York Times, Healey’s press release)

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