Podcast category: Legal News

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

The Panama Papers

An offshore investment scandal known as the Panama Papers has taken the world by storm. The controversy centers around the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and its connections to high-ranking political figures, their relatives, celebrities, and business figures, including Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.

Recently, a German newspaper announced that 11.5 million confidential documents between 1970 and 2015 had been leaked from the firm to journalists. These “Panama Papers” revealed how clients hid billions of dollars in offshore tax shelters.  There are many issues at hand here: establishing these offshore entities, evading taxes, fraud, money laundering, and overall corruption.

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts Bob Ambrogi and Craig Williams join Jessica Tillipman, the assistant dean for field placement at George Washington Law School, and Professor William Byrnes, a member of the law faculty and an associate dean with Texas A&M University School of Law, as they take an inside look at the Panama Papers. They discuss Mossack Fonseca’s role, shell companies and offshore bank accounts, the issue of data security, tax evasion, investigations into these clients, and the future of Mossack Fonseca.

Jessica Tillipman is the assistant dean for field placement at George Washington Law School and an expert in corruption, government ethics, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She is a senior editor of the FCPA Blog, which has been following the Panama Papers revelations.

Professor William Byrnes is a member of the law faculty and an associate dean with Texas A&M University School of Law. William held a senior position of international tax for a Big 6 firm and has been commissioned on fiscal policy by a number of governments. He is currently developing a tax and legal risk management online curriculum for professionals. Texas A&M University is the fifth largest U.S. public research institution and one of only 62 institutions to be designated a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

ABA Law Student Podcast

Marcia Clark on “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” Sexism, and Her Latest Book

Marcia Clark is best known for being the lead prosecutor for the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The former Heisman Trophy Winner was accused and found not guilty of the June 1994 death of Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ronald Lyle Goldman in a trial that captivated the country. Thrust back into the spotlight by “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” miniseries, a new generation is now fascinated by Clark, the discrimination she faced during the trial, and the writing career that followed.

In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, hosts Fabiani Duarte and Sandy Gallant-Jones sit down with Marcia Clark, most notably known for serving as the prosecutor for the trial of O.J. Simpson, to discuss her new novel “Blood Defense.” Marcia provides deeper insight into the motivation behind the creation of, and the personality differences between, her long running character Rachel Knight and her new protagonist, Samantha Brinkman. She also speaks briefly about her experience writing through the prosecutorial lens and the catalyst behind her recent shift towards writing from the perspective of the defense. The focus of the discussion then pivots toward an analysis of her experiences during the O.J. Simpson case and her prosecutorial experience. Marcia reflects on the adversity she faced during the trial as she balanced raising a family, fighting a custody battle, and the sexism she experienced in the courtroom and the office. She closes the interview with advice on helpful skills that law students can develop while in school, such as discipline and persistence, and how those experiences can be applied to their work in the profession.

Marcia Clark has been a practicing criminal attorney since 1979 and served as prosecutor in the Los Angeles DA’s office for 10 years. There, she served as a prosecutor for the trials of Robert Bardo, convicted of killing actress Rebecca Schaeffer, and, most notably, O.J. Simpson, tried for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and Ron Goldman. Marcia wrote a New York Times best-selling book on the Simpson case titled “Without a Doubt” which was re-released as an e-book, coinciding with the debut of the hit FX series “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.” For nearly a decade, Clark has been a prolific novelist authoring four legal thrillers featuring Rachel Knight, a driven and gritty city prosecutor. On May 1st, Clark flips to writing from the perspective of a defense attorney in the launching of her fifth novel “Blood Defense,” the first in a new series featuring an ambitious and hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney named Samantha Brinkman. Marcia is a California native and received her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

North Carolina’s HB2 Controversy, Transgender Legislation, and Litigation

North Carolina’s House Bill 2, better known as the “Bathroom Law”, has taken center stage and has created a great debate. On March 23, 2016, Gov. Pat McCrory signed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, also known as House Bill 2 or HB2. The law bans people from using bathrooms that don’t match the sex indicated on their birth certificates, which opponents argue is discriminatory toward the transgender community.

Supporters of the new law say it is a safety and privacy issue, protecting women and children from men who use the law as a pretense to deliberately enter the wrong restroom. Legislation involving the transgender community is not only happening in the state of North Carolina, but Mississippi and Tennessee have pushed similar legislation as well.

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join Ilona Turnerlegal director at the Transgender Law Center, Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute and Professor Katie Eyer from Rutgers Law School as they take a look at North Carolina’s HB2 controversy, reaction, litigation surrounding HB2, anti-LGBT discrimination bills and LGBT protections nationally, and the quest for equal rights for the transgender community.

Ilona Turner was a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where her work frequently focused on issues affecting transgender clients. She previously practiced law at Cohen, Weiss, & Simon LLP in New York City, representing unions, union-run health and retirement plans, and employees. In the early 2000s she worked as the lobbyist for Equality California, where she helped to shepherd groundbreaking legislation that prohibited housing and employment discrimination against transgender people and dramatically expanded the rights of domestic partners in California.

Andrew Beckwith is a graduate of Gordon College and the University of Minnesota Law School. Andrew is a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps Reserve where he holds the rank of major. He has also served as an immigration trial attorney for the Boston office of the Department of Homeland Security.

Katie Eyer joined the Rutgers law faculty as an assistant professor in June 2012. Katie also litigated civil rights cases prior to entering academia full time, and secured a number of precedents in the Third Circuit expanding the legal rights of LGBT and disabled employees.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

The Latest on the FBI/Apple Legal Battle

The FBI and Apple, Inc. have been immersed in an ongoing legal battle over privacy and security. The legal battle reached a boiling point when the FBI and Apple engaged in a dispute over whether the federal court may compel Apple to create new software that would enable the FBI to unlock an iPhone 5C it recovered from one of the shooters in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. So, is this a threat to our data security or will Apple’s assistance to the FBI provide key information needed to prevent future terrorist attacks?

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join David O’Brien, a senior researcher at the Berkman Center and Robert E. Cattanach, a partner with the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP and a former justice department attorney, as they take a look at the latest on the FBI/Apple Legal Battle. They discuss San Bernardino, encryption, privacy, national security, and the future impact of this case.

David O’Brien has contributed legal and policy research to a variety of Berkman Center’s projects, spanning the topics of privacy, cloud computing, copyright, cybersecurity, interoperability, and internet governance. David currently leads the Berkman Center’s efforts in the cybersecurity and the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project.  David also serves on the advisory board for Harvard’s Open Data Assistance Program.

Bob Cattanach has represented numerous clients in breach responses, development of privacy policies and procedures, and provided counsel to corporate boards of directors, and audit committees on matters of cybersecurity, privacy and internal governance. Bob’s long history of interaction with key government agencies began with his service of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, which represents the interests of the United States and its agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Departments of State, Defense and Energy. His longstanding relationship with those agencies enables him to engage with key players on major cyber issues, and be the “go-to” attorney for all matters cyber.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

The Digital Edge

The Law is Not Copyrightable: Fastcase Sues Casemaker

Recently, the legal publishing company Fastcase received a takedown notice from the parent company of another publishing company, Casemaker, claiming they had exclusive rights to distribute, for commercial use, the Georgia Administrative Rules and Regulations. Fastcase CEO Ed Walters was surprised by this demand, because public law is not copyrightable. As a response, Ed decided to initiate litigation with Casemaker for the rights to the regulations and also to set a countrywide precedent. But why did Casemaker think they had exclusive rights to these Georgia laws in the first place?

In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Ed Walters about the case, why he thinks keeping public law in the public domain is so important, and the history of law citations, annotations, and publication.

Topics include:

  • The verbiage in Casemaker’s takedown notice to Fastcase
  • Contracts with the Secretary of State of Georgia and other states
  • The importance of having a federal court declare that private publishers can’t own the law
  • The history of laws published with citations, annotations, or editorial enhancements
  • How the digitalization of laws has changed the publishing landscape
  • What happens when a state designates a version of the code as official (even if it was published by a private company like LexisNexis)
  • What will happen next with the Casemaker/Fastcase lawsuit

Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase, a legal publishing company based in Washington D.C. Before working at Fastcase, he was a lawyer at Covington & Burling in Washington D.C. and Brussels. Ed also teaches The Law of Robots at Georgetown University Law Center.

Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNowCloudMask, and Scorpion.

Special Reports

ABA TECHSHOW 2016: Keynote Speaker Cindy Cohn on NSA Mass Surveillance

At the ABA TECHSHOW, Cindy Cohn gave a keynote speech discussing the NSA, the fourth amendment, the Apple vs. FBI case, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Afterwards, she stopped by to discuss these very relevant topics with Legal Talk Network hosts Bob Ambrogi and Dennis Kennedy. They talk about how the NSA is gathering and filtering our online communications, why Cohn believes this mass data diversion doesn’t meet the Constitution’s definition of a warrant, and why average (non-terrorist) citizens should care. The keynote speaker then touches on the currently pending Apple vs. FBI case and the long-term security risks of being required to have backdoors in our devices. They end the interview with a quick discussion about how lawyers can provide assistance, if they are interested.

Cindy Cohn is the executive director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit working across the board to bring American’s constitutional and legal rights into the digital age. The National Law Journal named Ms. Cohn one of 100 most influential lawyers in America in 2003, noting, “[I]f Big Brother is watching, he better look out for Cindy Cohn.”

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

Prosecutor’s book offers first-hand look at ‘Making a Murderer’ subject Steven Avery

A year before Netflix’s viral hit Making of a Murderer was making headlines, Manitowoc County prosecutor Michael Griesbach released his book The Innocent Killer: A True Story of a Wrongful Conviction and its Astonishing Aftermath. Griesbach was the prosecutor who worked to free Steven Avery after DNA evidence proved he had been wrongfully convicted of a terrible assault.

In this episode of the Modern Law Library, we speak with Griesbach about his work to achieve Avery’s exoneration; why he decided to write a book on the topic; whether watching Making a Murderer changed his mind about Avery’s guilt in the murder of Teresa Halbach; some of the evidence the documentary left out; and how the release of the Netflix documentary has affected Manitowoc County.

Special Reports

ABA TECHSHOW 2016: Collaboration Tools That Save You Time: Part 2

This Special Report continues the discussion of independent collaboration tools that streamline processes and reduce the time you spend working together. Adam Nguyen stops by to chat about these new tools with Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti during ABA TECHSHOW 2016. Adam, one of the hosts of the ‘Realtime Collaboration Isn’t Just for Conference Rooms Anymore’ presentation, talks about how lawyers who work together in systems like Google Docs rather than sending emails back and forth can really save time.

Adam Nguyen is co-founder and COO/CFO of eBrevia, a company that automates the contract review process by using machine learning technology. Adam holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Columbia and a JD from Harvard Law School. He has also studied at the University of California, Berkeley as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Public Policy and International Affairs, and at the University College London.

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