In formal comments filed with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) this week, the Center for Individual…
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CFIF Files Comments in Support of IRS Rulemaking to Protect Donor Privacy

In formal comments filed with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) this week, the Center for Individual Freedom (“CFIF”) offered strong support for the IRS’s proposed rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that certain nonprofit organizations provide the names and addresses of contributors on Schedule B of their annual tax filings.

As CFIF notes in its filing, "the Proposed Rulemaking would help protect the First Amendment rights of subject organizations and their citizen donors, without negatively impacting the legally permissible handling of the nation’s tax laws or 501(c) organization tax filings."

Read CFIF’s comments here (PDF).…[more]

December 11, 2019 • 03:45 pm

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Jester’s Courtroom
One Down, Two to Go
Thursday, October 31 2019

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has settled a lawsuit against his former manager and law firm in what is being reported as a "massive" 8-figure deal.

Depp sued his longtime talent lawyer Jake Bloom for $30 million, claiming the mega lawyer was collecting huge fees without a contract. Several years ago, Depp had won a lawsuit against the firm Bloom Hergott, allowing him to void the oral arrangements made between Depp and Bloom, who recently retired.

According to news reports, Depp’s attorney, Adam Walkman, said, "Today, Bloom Hergott provided Johnny Depp an 8-figure payment to settle Mr. Depp’s lawsuit against the firm for fraud, conflict of interest, disgorgement of over $30 million in voidable fees and other malfeasance that they engaged in over nearly two decades."

The firm countered with a statement saying, "The former law firm of Bloom Hergott, with the help of its insurance carrier, has favorably settled the litigation with Johnny Depp for a fraction of his original demand. While the firm was confident it would prevail at trial, we are nonetheless pleased with this resolution as it expedites the firm’s winding down process and allows it to get off the endless Johnny Depp litigation train."

Depp remains embroiled in two lawsuits: one filed against him by a movie locations manager over an alleged assault and his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard.

"Now that Bloom Hergott has settled, Mr. Depp’s legal team will turn its full attention to mopping up the hoaxes perpetrated by Rocky Brooks and Amber Heard," Depp’s attorneys reportedly said.

Source: yahoo.com

Cheaters Never Prosper
Wednesday, October 23 2019

A judge in North Carolina has ordered a man to pay $750,000 to his girlfriend's ex-husband for "alienation of affection."

North Carolina is one of six states that still allows lawsuits based on claims of alienation of affection. Kevin Howard sued his ex-wife's lover, claiming the boyfriend caused the break up of his twelve-year marriage.

"Other families should see what the consequences are to not only breaking the vow to whatever religion you subscribe to, but also your legal responsibilities," Howard told news sources. "He [the boyfriend] was a colleague of hers from work. He ate dinner with us several times, we spent time together ... I thought this was a friend."

According to Howard's attorney, Cindy Mills, the defendant in the case initially didn't take the lawsuit seriously, laughing when they brought the case.

"I said, 'Do you find something funny about this process?'" Mills said. "That's very dangerous perception to have because the same person who laughed in that deposition, that defendant, now has a $750,000 judgment against them, so I don't think he's laughing now."

Source: patch.com

They Won't Drink to That
Wednesday, October 16 2019

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Bacardi, the maker of Bombay Sapphire gin, alleging the manufacturer produces its popular gin using a common spice that was banned under a 150-year-old Florida law. 

The lawsuit also names as a defendant Florida-based grocery chain Winn-Dixie that sells Bombay Sapphire.

The Florida law, § 562.455, declares that "[w]hoever adulterates, for the purpose of sale, any liquor, used or intended for drink, with… grains of paradise… or any other substance which is poisonous or injurious to health, and whoever knowingly sells any liquor so adulterated, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree." The law was adopted after the Civil War during a time when people believed the spice was a poisonous drug.

But, according to news reports, "grains of paradise," a West African ginger spice that is close to cardamom, an ingredient in the gin, is allegedly not harmful. It is worth noting as well that the federal government permits the addition of grains of paradise to food (including alcoholic beverages).

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Roniel Rodriguez, who represents plaintiff Uri Marrache, fails to allege that Bacardi or Winn-Dixie caused Marrache (or any other potential class member) any specific physical harms or side effects. Indeed, it is reported that Rodriguez "acknowledges there are no studies that he's found that show a negative health effect of grains of paradise." The alleged damage described in the lawsuit resides instead entirely in the "individual purchase price" paid by consumers — "generally less than $40."

Source: Reason.com

Lawyer and Client Sanctioned for Filing “Completely Selfish” Lawsuits
Tuesday, October 08 2019

U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck has sanctioned Miami attorney Scott Dinin for filing frivolous lawsuits on behalf of his client, claiming the attorney and his client filed the suits for “completely selfish” motives.

According to news reports, Dinin, on behalf of his client, Alexander Johnson, who suffers from hearing loss, sued more than 100 companies under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The sanctions order revealed that Dinin was improperly sharing attorney’s fees with Johnson, “egregiously inflated” his billable time and exaggerated his legal experience. Dinin allegedly billed $400 an hour for more than six hours of drafting, reviewing and filing documents that were identical to those filed in similar lawsuits.

Judge Huck wrote that the lawsuits filed by Dinin for Johnson served “to dishonestly line their pockets with attorney’s fees from hapless defendants under the sanctimonious guise of serving the interests of the disabled community.”

The order goes on to block Dinin and Johnson from filing cases in any state or federal court in the country without written permission from the Southern District of Florida.

Dinin said he respects the ruling and the opportunity it provides for him to “address professionalism and then return to serving the justice needs of people with disabilities.”

Huck’s findings stemmed from lawsuits Dinin brought against gas stations over their failure to include closed captioning on the TV screens next to gas pumps. In all, there were 28 identical cases filed.

The court ordered Dinin and Johnson to give back fees and costs from the two gas pump cases that were the subject of this suit and pay a $59,000 penalty, either to the clerk of the court or the Disability Independence Group, a Miami nonprofit aimed at protecting the rights of disabled people.

Source: law.com

A Race to the Bathroom or Courtroom?
Wednesday, October 02 2019

A former New Jersey school superintendent’s lawsuit against a local police department has recently been dismissed by a federal judge.

Former Kenilworth Schools Superintendent Thomas Tramaglini, who pled guilty to defacating on another high school’s track, claimed Holmdel police violated his constitutional rights by releasing his mug shot after he was issued summonses last year. After ruling that the mug shot did not reveal any information that was not already in the public domain, the judge dismissed the suit.

According to news reports, Tramaglini paid a $500 fine for relieving himself in public, which he blamed on a medical condition. His attorney told NJ Advance Media a “new complaint is forthcoming in state court.”

Source: TheWashingtonTimes.com



Question of the Week   
The most recent U.S. Senator to be elected President of the United States was Barack Obama. Who was the first U.S. Senator to be elected President?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"It turns out that the most revealing aspect of the long-awaited Justice Department's inspector general's report on the origins of the Russia collusion hoax comes from Attorney General William Barr's damning assessment of it.In unmistakably terse language, Barr denounced 'a small group of now-former FBI officials' for their 'misconduct,' 'malfeasance and misfeasance,' and 'clear abuse of the FISA…[more]
 
 
—Gregg Jarrett, FOX News
— Gregg Jarrett, FOX News
 
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Should House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff be investigated for subpoenaing and publishing call log records (with no details or context) of another member of congress, the president's attorney, a journalist and others?