Podcast category: Legal News

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: The Criminal Justice Section with James Felman

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews the ABA Criminal Justice Section Chair James Felman at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Felman discusses the sections three projects: the Clemency Project 2014, the Federal Economic Crimes Task Force, and the Collateral Consequences Project. He encourages any lawyers who are interested to become involved and volunteer pro bono hours. James Felman is a white collar criminal defense attorney at Kynes, Markman & Felman, P.A. in Tampa.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: The Lifetime Obligation of Student Loans with Scott Sharinn

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti Interviews Scott Sharinn, panelist on the discussion “Student Loans: The Obligation of a Lifetime” at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Together they discuss student loan debt burdens, the requirements for loan discharge, the cost of education versus the return on investment, and how to work with your creditor if you can’t make payments. Sharinn encourages all students to shop around for loans and keep their expenses as low as possible. Scott Sharinn is a partner at Sharinn & Lipshie, P.C., a debt collection law firm representing creditors for distressed debt, and a single father working to pay off his own law school debt.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Section of Science and Technology Law with William Baker

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews William Baker, budget officer of the Section of Science and Technology Law, at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Baker talks about the section’s focus on cutting edge legal issues as they intersect with technology and science. This includes education and discussion about subjects such as drones, 3D printing, cyber security, virtual worlds, driverless cars, facial recognition software, and other exciting inventions and discoveries. After thirty years at the big law firm Wiley Rein LLP, William Baker is now a partner at the Potomac Law Group, a virtual law firm in Washington D.C.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard

Digital Detectives host Sharon Nelson interviews ABA President William C. Hubbard about current legal issues in the United States at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Hubbard discusses current and future ABA involvement with legal representation concerns in the areas of unaccompanied minor immigration, domestic violence, and criminal justice. He talks about the problems with overincarceration and non-violent felons reentering society. In addition to being the ABA President, William C. Hubbard is a partner with the Columbia, S.C., office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.

Special Reports

Florida Bar Winter Meeting: Shawn Vincent on Social Media and the Zimmerman Case

Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares interviews Shawn Vincent about being the communications director for O’Mara Law Group at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Vincent advises anyone working in a high profile case to treat local and national newscasters the same, tell the truth, know what you can and cannot say, and demonstrate respect for the legal system. He goes on to discuss pressure and how to deal with negativity in social media. As the communications director at O’Mara Law Group Shawn Vincent managed the media attention the firm received during the high profile Zimmerman case. At the Solo and Small Firm Technology Conference, he spoke about the challenges of dealing with big data in litigation.

 

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

Author Tells Tangled Tale of the $19B Verdict Against Chevron in ‘Law of the Jungle’

In February 2011, an Ecuadorean court found the Chevron Corporation liable for environmental damage caused by oil-drilling activities in the rainforest region El Oriente in the 1970s and 1980s. Chevron, which in 2001 purchased Texaco (the company which had actually operated the oil wells), was ordered to pay $19 billion to the class-action plaintiffs who brought the suit. These plaintiffs, a collection of small farmers and indigenous peoples, had the support of a team of Ecuadorean and American attorneys, including the charismatic Steven Donziger. Donziger, a media-savvy graduate of Harvard Law, had helped them gain the support of variety of environmentalists and celebrities.

Although it is tempting to fit this into a simple narrative–either “scrappy band of lawyers wins enormous victory for oppressed people against an evil corporation” or “responsible corporation preyed upon by voracious plaintiffs attorneys over scurrilous accusations”–the truth just isn’t that simple. And the $19 billion verdict was far from the end of this story.

“When you combine the rainforest, multinational oil company and indigenous tribespeople, most people think they know the story with just those three facts,” said Paul M. Barrett, author of the new book Law of the Jungle: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win. “Life is always more complicated than that.”

Barrett first reported on this case when he wrote a profile of Donziger for Bloomberg Businessweek, where he is assistant managing editor and a senior writer. In this Modern Law Library podcast, he discusses with moderator Lee Rawles the wild twists and turns this case has taken, both before the verdict and afterwards.

As of this publication, legal battles are still being fought as accusations of fraud, forgery, bribery and conspiracy have been leveled against Donziger and the rest of the plaintiffs’ legal team. And as Barrett explains, the result of those battles could have severe and wide-ranging effects for all class-action lawsuits against major corporations.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Soto v. Bushmaster

On December 14th 2012, a lone gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Of those, 20 were first graders and six were adults. Nearly two years later, the families of the slain filed civil suit against Bushmaster Firearms International, the manufacturer of the firearm used in those murders. In their suit, the plaintiffs claim multiple counts of wrongful death and loss of consortium. Although no one questions the tragedy of these deaths or pain suffered by the families, is the firearm manufacturer the proper party to seek redress? In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi interviews Elliot Fineman from the National Gun Victims Action Council, Charles Heller from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and Professor Nicholas Johnson from Fordham University School of Law. Together they discuss the merits of this case, the Second Amendment, and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Tune in to hear outcome predictions as well as debates regarding self-defense and gun control. Where do you stand on the ownership of firearms and how responsible should companies be for the actions of others?

Elliot Fineman’s son was murdered in 2006 when a paranoid schizophrenic murdered his son with a legally obtained firearm. Since that time, he founded National Gun Victims Action Council and has become a leading voice for a network of gun victims, survivors, and the faith community seeking to change America’s gun laws. Among many other appearances, Mr. Fineman has been on CNBC, CNN, and Fox News. He has been quoted by top media outlets including USA Today, National Public Radio, and the Chicago Sun-Times and has hosted a bi-monthly radio program called “It’s The Guns, Stupid” on 1480 WPWC in Washington DC.

Charles Heller is the former Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (now their Communication Coordinator). Mr. Heller is a talk show host for shows like Swap Shop, Liberty Watch, and America Armed and Free on 1030 KVOI in Tucson, Arizona. He has been a state-certified concealed-weapons instructor since 1994 and lists his political affiliation as a “Freedomist”.

Nicholas Johnson is a Professor of Law from Fordham University School of Law where his principal subjects are Contracts, Environmental Law, Gun Control, and Gun Rights. He’s published many articles on the 2nd Amendment and Gun Control including a recent article about the Soto v. Bushmaster case titled “Newtown Suit Proceeds Under False Pretenses”.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

 

Robert Half Legal Report

Legal Jobs and Practice Areas to Watch in 2015

In this episode of The Robert Half Legal Report podcast series, Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal, and George Denlinger, senior district president of the company, take a look at the practice areas that will drive demand for legal jobs in the months ahead. They also discuss trends to watch in the legal profession for 2015, including how the need for specialized legal expertise is influencing the ways organizations approach hiring and retention.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Robert Half Legal.

 

Digital Detectives

The Sony Hack: You Can’t Keep the Barbarians Outside the Gate

In November of 2014, hackers infiltrated Sony’s computer network lifting terabytes of corporate data, human resources information, internal intel, films, corporate emails, and other valuable information. This led the corporate world to question how protected we really are from cyber attacks. In the 1990’s, the only computer issue was viruses, but the attack vectors have since changed. Companies and individuals are now subject to spear phishing, spyware attacks, malware, drive-by downloads, and browsers. What steps are now necessary to keep hackers from accessing your valuable data? And on a separate but equally interesting subject for lawyers, who really was behind the Sony attack?

In this episode of Digital Detectives, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek analyze the progression of data security over time, look into data loss prevention steps, and consider each potential suspect of the Sony hack. Nelson describes the internet security suites that have been developed to include protection from all different types of attacks. However, she explains, these security systems are unlikely to keep out a sophisticated and determined hacker who is specifically targeting a corporation, law firm, or individual. The newer systems simply try to detect the infiltration and respond to it, observing what data is compromised and trying to identify the hacker. Simek explains several systems that are being used for security including data loss prevention, intrusion detection, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products which correlate data to figure out what’s normal.

Nelson and Simek then go on to analyze why Sony was attacked and who may have done it. The hosts explain security blogger Bruce Schneier’s theories on the suspects ranging from an official North Korean military operation to a disgruntled ex-employee. Listen to the podcast to hear the hosts’ strong case for who they think the hacker was. Nelson also reviews Sony’s reaction to the security attack. Stay tuned until the end for the NSA’s rumored ability to create a cyber defense system and the international implications of an automated cyber attack response.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

The Senate Committee Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program

In December 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. Among the many infractions alleged were unlawful torture, coverups, wrongful detention, and unauthorized dissemination of classified information. Since its release, there have been many critics of that report including the Senate Republican Minority, former Vice-President Dick Cheney, the CIA, and its former directors. In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi interviews Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) attorney Professor Mark Denbeaux, Project 21 Chair Horace Cooper, and Cato Institute Policy Analyst Patrick Eddington. Together, they discuss the legalities of enhanced interrogation, whether or not it’s effective, and the morality of its use in the theatre of war.

Professor Mark P. Denbeaux is the director of the Seton Hall Law School Center for Policy and Research, which is best known for its distribution of the internationally recognized series of reports on the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp. Professor Denbeaux’s interest in the conditions of detainment arose during his representation of multiple detainees including Abu Zubaydah, who was held in a CIA dark site, as well as two Tunisian detainees from GTMO.

Horace Cooper is co-chairman for Project 21’s National Advisory Board and adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research. In addition to having taught constitutional law at George Mason University, Mr. Cooper was general counsel to U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey.

Patrick Eddington is a policy analyst in Homeland Security and Civil Liberties at the Cato Institute. A former senior policy advisor to U.S. Representative Rush Holt from New Jersey, Mr. Eddington’s legislative portfolio includes security, intelligence, and detainee interrogation issues.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

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