October 29, 2013 |
For years, Chevron Corp. has insisted a sprawling environmental-pollution lawsuit in Ecuador initiated by a Philadelphia law firm that resulted in a $19 billion judgment was riddled with fraud. Now, the company is trying to prove its case in a closely watched civil trial in federal district court in New York that could establish new limits on when and where U.S. companies can be sued over claims they caused environmental harm in foreign jurisdictions. Chevron has sued some of the lawyers and others on the plaintiffs' team, saying they doctored one expert-witness report, surreptitiously authored the findings of a court-appointed expert awarding their clients billions, and bribed a judge, among other improper and illegal acts.
October 14, 2013 |
Debra Johnson saw it coming. "Dear God. Not here, where everybody could hear," she thought. She was at a packed college basketball game, sitting alongside her great-niece, who had just learned to count. "And she was holding my hand, which we do all the time," Johnson, 54, recalled in a honeyed, Louisiana drawl. "I could see her counting her fingers, and then she would reach over and . . . count mine. " And then it came. "I have five fingers . . . . You have four?" "Yes, I do. " "Why?"
October 5, 2013 |
In late March, the U.S. Supreme Court seemed to have plunged a stake into a long-running class-action lawsuit between Comcast Corp. and plaintiffs' attorneys who claimed the company abused its market power to hike cable bills on Philadelphia-area customers. The high court voted, 5-4, on ideological lines not to certify the case - forcing it back to a lower court. They said the financial damages for two million TV customers could not be fairly measured throughout the expansive Philadelphia region.
September 5, 2013 |
If there ever was an anguish-inducing choice, the options faced by lawyers at Anapol Schwartz in the NFL head-injury lawsuit presented it. The players, many of them, had a claim and a lot of science to back up their belief that years of head-banging in the sometimes exceptionally brutal sport of professional football had left them with horrible neurological damage. But the players also had a contract with the NFL that barred them from suing their employers. They might have been able to litigate that point, arguing that the NFL had concealed the risk.
July 27, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Conflicting estimates on the number of people who lack proper identification to vote was the topic of testimony on the ninth day of the trial over Pennsylvania's voter identification law. A statistician hired by the state disputed estimates produced by a plaintiffs' expert, saying it included dead people and inmates, and counted thousands of people twice. William Wecker of the Wyoming-based Wecker Associates attacked the methodology used by Bernard Siskin, a Philadelphia-based statistician working for the plaintiffs, as "error-prone.
July 18, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - A Philadelphia-based statistician testified Tuesday that as many as 511,000 eligible Pennsylvania voters, a disproportionate number of them minorities, do not possess the forms of photo identification required by the state's voter ID law. Bernard Siskin, testifying for the plaintiffs in the suit challenging the law, told Commonwealth Court that his analysis of data from the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation and State found...
July 15, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The long-awaited trial to determine whether Pennsylvania's voter identification law violates voters' rights begins Monday. Civil-liberties lawyers representing the plaintiffs, many of them elderly and disabled, said they would argue in Commonwealth Court that the law requiring photo ID cards at the polls violates the state constitution by denying hundreds of thousands of people access to the ballot box. "This lawsuit is about a...
July 11, 2013 |
THE AMERICAN Civil Liberties Union yesterday filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 10 couples and three other people challenging Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, is the first federal case on the issue since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last month, an attorney in the case said. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast without either a freedom-of-marriage right or a civil-union statute, said the lawyer, Mark Aronchick, who called yesterday's announcement "a major moment of history.
June 29, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court cleared the way Friday for the State of California to immediately resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a 41/2-year freeze. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a brief order saying it has dissolved a stay it imposed on gay marriages while a lawsuit challenging the state's voter-approved ban on such unions worked its way through the courts. About an hour after the Ninth Circuit's order, the lead plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California's ban on same-sex marriage tied the knot at San Francisco City Hall.
June 28, 2013 |
AMID THE celebration of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, a former Temple Owl flies high. Edith Schlain Windsor, 84, plaintiff in the historic gay-marriage case, grew up in Philadelphia and received her bachelor's degree from Temple University's College of Liberal Arts in 1950. Her father lost his candy-and-ice-cream store in Philly and then his house in the Depression, according to the New York Times . Windsor sued over the federal government's insistence in the Defense of Marriage Act that a marriage can only be defined as a relationship between a man and a woman.