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Oregon launches abortion hotline offering free legal advice
Attorneys News | 2023/01/26 22:17
Oregon is launching a new abortion hotline offering free legal advice to callers, moving to further defend abortion access after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer and eliminated federal protections for the procedure.

The state’s Department of Justice announced the initiative Monday. It is modeled on similar hotlines launched by the attorneys general of New York and Delaware, as states where abortion remains legal have seen an increase in the number of patients traveling from areas where the procedure has been banned or restricted.

“The Hotline will fill an important need in our state for callers to understand the status of our reproductive health laws, including issues related to abortion access,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a news release. “This is especially important because we share a border with Idaho, which has a near-total abortion ban.”

Abortion remains legal at all stages of pregnancy in Oregon, which has worked with California and Washington to promote the West Coast as a safe haven for the procedure.

People can call the anonymous hotline from any state for free legal advice and receive a call back from a lawyer within 48 hours.


Protasiewicz leads in money race for Wisconsin Supreme Court
Press Releases | 2023/01/18 23:20
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz raised more money over the last six months of 2022 than her three rivals combined in the pivotal race that will determine majority control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Protasiewicz along with Dane County Circuit Judge Everett Mitchell are running as liberal candidates in the race. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly are the conservative candidates.

The top two vote-getters in the Feb. 21 primary will advance to the April 4 election. The winner replaces conservative Justice Patience Roggensack, who is retiring.

Races for the Wisconsin Supreme Court are officially nonpartisan, but candidates for years have aligned with either conservatives or liberals as the contests have become expensive partisan battles. The conservative-controlled court for more than a decade has issued consequential rulings in favor of Republicans, with major cases looming that could determine the future of abortion laws, redistricting and rules of elections.

The candidates and outside interests that have promised to spend millions on the race have been relatively quiet up to this point, more than a month before the primary. But those on both sides have made clear they see the race as crucial in the battleground state, with whoever winning determining ideological control of the court heading into the 2024 presidential race and at least a year after.


Egypt hands out life jail terms in trial over 2019 protests
Top Legal News | 2023/01/16 21:51
An Egyptian court on Sunday handed down life prison sentences to 38 people, including a self-exiled businessman whose social media posts helped to spark anti-government protests.

Public protests are rare in Egypt where President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has overseen a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent. But a series of video and other social media posts by Egyptian businessman Mohamed Ali, who now lives in Spain, led to scattered street demonstrations in September 2019 over allegations of corruption and other issues.

Twenty-three of those who got life terms were tried in absentia, including Ali, according to an Egyptian criminal court handling terrorism-related cases.

The court also sentenced 44 others including children to terms ranging from five to 15 years in prison over the same charges. Twenty-one were acquitted, according to defense lawyer Ossama Badawi.

Those sentenced were convicted of a set of charges that included inciting violence against security forces and state institutions. The case stemmed from the 2019 protests in the port city of Suez that sits at the mouth of the Suez Canal.

Authorities arrested hundreds of people at the time in Cairo and across the country. Many were released but others were referred to trials.

Rights groups have repeatedly criticized such mass sentencings in Egypt and called on authorities to ensure fair trials.

Egypt’s government has in recent years jailed thousands of people, mainly Islamists, but also secular activists involved in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.


State seeks long prison term for accused NYC subway gunman
Court Center | 2023/01/03 20:42
Prosecutors plan to seek a decades-long prison sentence for a man who is expected to plead guilty this week to opening fire in a subway car and wounding 10 riders in an attack that shocked New York City.

Frank James, 63, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court, admitting that he was responsible for the April 12 attack. It set off a massive 30-hour manhunt that ended when he called the police on himself.

Prosecutors told Judge William F. Kuntz II in a letter late last week that they plan to ask him to go beyond the roughly 32-year to 39-year sentence that federal sentencing guidelines would recommend. James planned the attack for years and endangered the lives of dozens of people, prosecutors said in the letter.

Defense attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, when courts were closed to observe the New Year’s holiday.

James had been scheduled to stand trial in late February.

His lawyers informed the judge on Dec. 21 that James wanted to plead guilty. Prosecutors say he plans to plead guilty to 11 charges without a plea agreement.

Ten of those charges — each one corresponding to a specific victim — accuse him of committing a terrorist attack against a mass transportation system carrying passengers and employees.


Military police enforce driving ban in snow-stricken Buffalo
Legal Watch | 2022/12/27 18:12
State and military police were sent Tuesday to keep people off Buffalo’s snow-choked roads, and officials kept counting fatalities three days after western New York’s deadliest storm in at least two generations.

Amid some signs of progress — suburban roads reopened and emergency response service was restored — County Executive Mark Poloncarz warned that police would be stationed at entrances to Buffalo and at major intersections to enforce a ban on driving within New York’s second-most populous city.

“Too many people are ignoring the ban,” Poloncarz, a Democrat, said at a news conference.

The National Weather Service predicted that as much as 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) more snow could fall Tuesday in Erie County, which includes Buffalo and its 275,000 residents. County Emergency Services Commissioner Dan Neaverth Jr. said officials also were somewhat concerned about the potential for flooding later in the week, when the weather is projected to warm and start melting the snow.

The rest of the United States also was reeling from the ferocious winter storm, with at least an additional two dozen deaths reported in other parts of the country, and power outages in communities from Maine to Washington state.


Canada condo killer faced possible eviction before shooting
Court Center | 2022/12/21 20:25
A suburban Toronto man who was killed by police after authorities say he fatally shot five people in his condominium building, including three members of the condo board, had a court hearing scheduled for the next day to determine if the building’s management could evict him.

Francesco Villi, 73, attacked neighbors on three floors of his building on Sunday night, killing three men and two women and wounding a sixth person, a 66-year-old woman who is expected to survive, according to police. One of the officers who responded to a call about an active shooter inside the building in the suburb of Vaughan shot and killed Villi, authorities said.

The attack happened the day before a scheduled online court hearing in which lawyers for the condominium corporation were set to argue that it should be allowed to evict Villi because he had spent years harassing building employees, board members and other neighbors. In court documents, the building’s lawyers said Villi ignored court orders to end the harassment and stop posting online about a longstanding dispute he had with the condo’s management.

Villi long claimed in videos posted on social media and in court documents that vibrations, noises and emissions from the building’s electrical room under his unit were making him sick, and that board members and the building’s developer were to blame.

According to court documents, at least two condominium managers quit because of him, and security guards quit or changed shifts to avoid him. Residents also said Villi would swear at them and film them.


FTX founder could be sent to US after extradition hearing
Legal Watch | 2022/12/18 04:30
Sam Bankman-Fried is back in a Bahamian court Wednesday for an extradition hearing that could clear the way for the one-time billionaire to be sent to the U.S. to face criminal charges related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

In a court in Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said he had agreed to be extradited to the U.S., but the necessary paperwork had not yet been written up. If approved, Bankman-Fried could be on a plane to the U.S. as early as Wednesday afternoon.

Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried last week at the request of the U.S. government. U.S. prosecutors allege he played a central role in the rapid collapse of FTX and hid its problems from the public and investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Bankman-Fried illegally used investors’ money to buy real estate on behalf of himself and his family.

The 30-year-old could potentially spend the rest of his life in jail. Bankman-Fried was denied bail Friday after a Bahamian judge ruled that he posed a flight risk. The founder and former CEO of FTX, once worth tens of billions of dollars on paper, is being held in the Bahamas’ Fox Hill prison, which has been has been cited by human rights activists as having poor sanitation and as being infested with rats and insects.

Once he’s back in the U.S., Bankman-Fried’s attorney will be able to request that he be released on bail.


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Oregon launches abortion hot..
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