ABA Journal

The National Pulse

437 ABA Journal The National Pulse articles.

Legal community supports Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war against Ukraine

The Ukrainian Mothers and Children Transport initiative, or UMACT, is a collaboration of lawyers, professors and law students that helps Ukrainian families secure travel visas. Its name aims to evoke the Kindertransport, which brought 10,000 Jewish children to the United Kingdom as World War II loomed, says law professor Michael Bazyler, a former refugee from Poland of Ukrainian descent.

New recreational cannabis laws could make it harder for employers to fire impaired workers

New Jersey now has the equivalent of hall monitors in some workplaces. Except these hall monitors—known officially as workplace impairment recognition experts—are keeping an eye on the adults in the building. They are looking for signs the adults are high.

Should disbarred lawyers be given second chances?

Currently, disbarment is always permanent in New Jersey and a minority of other states. In some other states, including Louisiana, disbarment can either be permanent or temporary. But in the majority of states and in the District of Columbia, disbarred lawyers may apply for readmission after a period of time—often at least five years.

State laws targeting social media platforms face First Amendment challenges

Social media platforms say they have a First Amendment right to curate content and should not be compelled to host content that they don’t want. But supporters of laws in Florida and Texas regulating social media platforms say the measures are necessary to avoid what they term “Big Tech” or “Silicon Valley” censorship.

How social media hijacked the Depp v. Heard defamation trial

Law firms are wondering what steps they can take to prevent bias like this going forward. And if they can’t prevent it, how can they use social media apps like TikTok in their favor?

Will mandatory arbitration be banned beyond in workplace sex assault and harassment complaints?

Forced arbitration has long been a controversial practice in the United States. At least one component of forced arbitration, however, has now ended.

Gaming the System? Inside the ‘Texas two-step’ strategy profitable companies use to file for bankruptcy

In recent years, Purdue Pharma, USA Gymnastics and Boy Scouts of America have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid civil liability. But it is J&J’s use of a 1989 Texas statute on divisive mergers that is facing scrutiny in federal courts and in Congress.

Progressive prosecutors are encountering pushback

When Alvin Bragg Jr. ran for district attorney of New York County last year, he broadly promised to decline prosecuting some defendants arrested for low-level crimes, prioritize treatment for mental illness and drug abuse, and to end the use of cash bail.

Tennessee court pilots new ODR platform to mediate medical debt disputes

One Tennessee small claims court is attempting to address this issue by piloting an online dispute resolution platform to keep medical debt collection out of the courtroom. Through the platform, patients can communicate with the hospital or health center about payment options and ways to potentially reduce their bills, and they can use the pro bono services of a trained mediator to reach a settlement, if needed.

Cross-section: Pandemic-era challenges spur civil litigators to shift approach to representative juries

The coronavirus pandemic’s strain on the jury system is clear to civil trial lawyers. Some are even tailoring their trial strategies to account for how the threat of disease could be changing jurors’ attitudes toward serving and cutting into the pool of available jurors in ways that could sway their cases.

I Spy: As more companies surveil workers at home, do laws do enough to protect privacy?

When demand for employee monitoring technology soared as millions moved from the office to remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, class action lawyer Benjamin F. Johns took note. “When everyone went remote, it heightened the concerns about privacy. And while employees do have to give up some of their rights, just by virtue of the employer-employee relationship, they don’t give up all their privacy rights,” Johns says.

Shortage of forensic pathologists, coupled with COVID-19, has caused major delays in cases

Nonexistent ‘Critical Race Theory’ curriculum is caught in the crosshairs

More than 30 years ago, law professor Richard Delgado began writing law review articles emphasizing the pervasive and pernicious role of race in law and society. Delgado and other pioneering law professors called for a fundamental reorientation of legal studies on race. Concepts of how race impacts society and the legal system were at the forefront of the discussion, often through telling stories of those impacted by race and societal discrimination. These scholars became known as critical race theorists and their approach known as critical race theory.

For some civil rights lawyers, police body camera video can be hard to come by

Many civil rights attorneys seeking body camera video find police departments, officials and judges can stand in their way. Sometimes, according to lawyers and legal experts, the video is selectively released or edited. That can leave lawyers with little choice but to file a lawsuit and use discovery and subpoena power to obtain recordings, delaying justice for families wanting a more complete picture of what happened to their loved ones. Even so, police say there are good reasons to withhold, edit or redact footage to protect the privacy rights of people who appear on camera and prevent interference in ongoing investigations.

Is the right to assemble and demonstrate under threat?

Legislators who are now seeking to restrict protesters say the measures are necessary to establish law and order; provide security; protect businesses; ensure the free flow of highways; and distinguish between peaceful protesters and rioters. But free speech experts warn that the legislative trend against protesting is harmful to fundamental First Amendment freedoms.

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