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May 22, 2015

U.S. court hands partial win to tobacco firms over judge-ordered disclosures

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday ruled that tobacco companies cannot be forced to announce publicly that they deliberately deceived the public over the health risks of cigarettes.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against the manufacturers on several other issues as it considered a long-running racketeering case brought by the U.S. government against various companies including Altria Group Inc, Lorillard Inc and Reynolds American Inc.

May 22, 2015

Banks hope to benefit from high court ruling on discrimination

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON, May 22(Reuters) – If the state of Texas prevails
in a civil rights case about to be decided by the U.S. Supreme
Court, landlords and developers will have an easier time
defending themselves in housing discrimination lawsuits.

But the biggest beneficiary of a win for Texas could well be
Wall Street.

The case alleges that the way Texas allocates low-income
housing credits violates the 1968 Fair Housing Act, an issue
with little direct connection to banking. But trade groups
representing banks and other financial services companies hope
that the high court will set a legal precedent in its ruling
that could also be used to defend against lending discrimination
lawsuits.

May 18, 2015

U.S. top court backs police over arrest of mentally ill woman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that two San Francisco police officers cannot be sued over their use of force when arresting a knife-wielding woman with a history of mental illness in a confrontation in which she was shot multiple times.

The court, in a 6-2 decision with Justice Stephen Breyer recusing himself, concluded the officers did not violate clearly established law during the 2008 incident involving Teresa Sheehan at the group home for people with mental health issues where she lived.

May 18, 2015

U.S. top court hands win to Florida felon over gun ownership

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that convicted felons may be able to transfer their guns to someone else rather than surrendering them to authorities, siding with a former U.S. Border Patrol agent from Florida convicted on marijuana charges.

Writing for the court in the 9-0 ruling, Justice Elena Kagan said a federal law prohibiting felons from possessing firearms did not prevent ownership of guns from being transferred to another person.

May 18, 2015

U.S. top court rules against Maryland in double taxation case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Maryland cannot impose a form of double taxation on residents by not giving them credit for some taxes paid on income earned in other states, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a decision that could slash revenue collected in a number of states.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices sided with taxpayers Brian and Karen Wynne in finding that Maryland’s taxation policy violated the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against interstate commerce, upholding lower-court decisions favoring the couple.

May 18, 2015

U.S. top court hands win to employees in Edison International 401(k) dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday
revived claims made by Edison International employees who
accused the utility of favoring higher-cost mutual funds over
lower-cost ones in its retirement plan.

On a 9-0 vote, the court threw out an appeals court ruling
that limited the number of claims that could be made in the case
involving Edison’s retirement plan management.

May 18, 2015

U.S. top court declines to take up Walker campaign finance dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid to stop an investigation in Wisconsin into possible unlawful coordination between potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign and conservative advocacy groups.

In denying an appeal by a conservative group called the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the justices left intact a federal appeals court ruling from last September that overturned an earlier federal district court decision that had halted the investigation.

May 18, 2015

U.S. top court agrees to weigh U.S. Navy text message lawsuit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider advertising agency Campbell-Ewald Co’s attempt to fend off a class action lawsuit over claims the company violated a federal consumer law by sending unsolicited text messages on behalf of the U.S. Navy.

Campbell-Ewald, a subsidiary of the Interpublic Group of Companies Inc(IPG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), says the court has no grounds to hear the case brought by plaintiff Jose Gomez on behalf of himself and others who received the messages because the advertising firm offered to pay him the maximum amount available under the law to settle the claims.

May 15, 2015

Insight – Google versus Oracle case exposes differences within Obama administration

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has been locked in internal wrangling over what position to take in high profile litigation between two American technology giants, Google and Oracle, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions. It faces an end-of-May deadline to decide whether to take sides in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that will have wide implications for the technology industry.

The case involves how much copyright protection should extend to the Java programming language. Oracle won a federal appeals court ruling last year that allows it to copyright parts of Java, while Google argues it should be free to use Java without paying a licensing fee.

May 15, 2015

Google versus Oracle case exposes differences within Obama administration

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has been locked in internal wrangling over what position to take in high profile litigation between two American technology giants, Google and Oracle, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions. It faces an end-of-May deadline to decide whether to take sides in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that will have wide implications for the technology industry.

    The case involves how much copyright protection should extend to the Java programing language. Oracle won a federal appeals court ruling last year that allows it to copyright parts of Java, while Google argues it should be free to use Java without paying a licensing fee.