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Sep 26, 2014

India’s Modi faces riots lawsuit as he kicks off splashy U.S. visit

NEW DELHI/NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s high-profile trip to the United States
will not be affected by a U.S. civil lawsuit over anti-Muslim
riots in a state he once led, India and the United States said
on Friday.

Modi and the Indian government could seek to have the suit
dismissed and it could take a judge months to decide, but its
timing – the lawsuit was filed on Thursday as Modi flew to the
United States – could not be more awkward.

Sep 26, 2014

U.S. Attorney General Holder to step down, successor faces array of challenges

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Eric Holder said on Thursday he would step down as U.S. attorney general, setting up a potentially bruising Senate fight to confirm a successor who can tackle a long list of pending challenges at the Justice Department.

Holder, an unapologetic liberal voice and one of President Barack Obama’s closest allies, will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed. His nearly six-year term, marked by civil rights advances and frequent fights with Congress, made him one of the nation’s longest serving attorneys generals.

Sep 25, 2014

U.S. Attorney General Holder, a close Obama ally, to step down

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, an unapologetic liberal voice and one of President Barack Obama’s closest allies, will announce on Thursday he is stepping down after a term marked by advances in civil rights and frequent battles with Republicans in Congress.

Holder, the nation’s first black chief prosecutor, will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed, the Justice Department said. Obama is scheduled to join him for the announcement at the White House at 4:30 p.m. ET (2030 GMT).

Sep 18, 2014

Pakistani woman embraced by Islamic State seeks to drop U.S. legal appeal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Pakistan-born neuroscientist has become a rallying cry for militant groups demanding her release from a U.S. prison. But in a little-noticed move she is trying to abandon her legal fight for freedom, saying the U.S. court system is unjust.

Islamic militants in Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan have made Aafia Siddiqui’s release a condition for freeing certain foreign hostages. Islamic State, for example, proposed swapping American journalist James Foley for her, but he was executed after their demands, which also included an end to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, were not met.

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. government faces high bar charging cop in Ferguson death

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. government prosecutors investigating the fatal police shooting of a black teenager that sparked a Missouri city’s nights of rage face an uphill fight delivering the swift or sweeping results demanded by rights activists.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch expects a local grand jury investigating the killing to take evidence until mid-October, while a federal investigation may take longer and with results just as uncertain.

Jul 30, 2014

Lawyer-turned-witness ordered to prison for U.S. tax fraud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former partner at defunct law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist, whom prosecutors have called the most important cooperating witness in the largest criminal tax fraud case in U.S. history, was sentenced on Wednesday to six months in prison.

At a court hearing in New York, U.S. District Judge William Pauley also ordered Erwin Mayer, of suburban Chicago, to pay $220 million in restitution jointly with other co-conspirators for his part in the promotion of tax shelters the U.S. government said led to $1.63 billion in lost revenue.

Jul 29, 2014

Ex-Dominican anti-drug official pleads guilty to drug charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The former chief operating officer of the Dominican Republic’s main counter-drug agency pleaded guilty on Tuesday to U.S. charges that he conspired with drug traffickers to transport cocaine into the United States.

At a hearing in U.S. district court in Manhattan, Francisco Hiraldo Guerrero, 54, said he was part of the traffickers’ conspiracy. He said he had reached an agreement with prosecutors and was waiving his right to a trial.

Jul 22, 2014

Latest Obamacare legal knot won’t be easy to untangle

NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) – U.S. judges have their work
cut out for them untangling a legal knot created on Tuesday when
two federal appeals courts released conflicting rulings hours
apart going to the heart of the role the federal government will
play in Obamacare.

The latest conservative challenge to President Barack
Obama’s healthcare overhaul will not necessarily land in the
U.S. Supreme Court, although it could end up there as soon as
this year if the two lower courts go on disagreeing.

Jul 20, 2014

RJ Reynolds’ $23-billion punitive damage award unlikely to stand: experts

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A decision by a Florida jury to impose punitive damages of $23.6 billion against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company on Friday is likely to be rejected on appeal or the award reduced substantially, lawyers with expertise in jury awards said on Sunday.

The award, which the cigarette maker has said it will contest, likely falls outside the boundaries for punitive damages that the U.S. Supreme Court has laid down in a series of cases, the lawyers told Reuters.

Jul 18, 2014

Worldwide legal claims could await Malaysia Airlines after jet downed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Malaysia Airlines may need to convince judges from several countries that it was not negligent to send a plane over wartorn eastern Ukraine if the airline hopes to avoid an outsize legal exposure for the downing of Flight MH17, aviation lawyers said.

The lawyers told Reuters they expected at least some of the families of the 283 passengers on board the flight to sue Malaysia Airlines for damages above the amount they can already seek under an international agreement.