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A California court case over a flammable hoverboard could force Amazon to change its entire third-party sales business model

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images In 2015, a woman named Kisha Loomis suffered burns when a hoverboard ordered on Amazon caught on fire in her house. Loomis sued Amazon in California, and saw her case against the tech giant receive a summary judgment. Amazon successfully argued that the hoverboard merchant "fell outside the chain of distribution," and that it was therefore not responsible for the accident. But now, an appellate court has cleared the lawsuit to go before a judge an...
Tags: Amazon, Texas, Law, California, China, Trends, Customers, Retail, Wiley, Browning, John Wiley, Loomis, John Browning, Patrick T Fallon, Aine Cain, Insider Amazon


Morning Docket: 05.04.21

* Georgia passed a new law aimed at curbing illegal street racing. Probably safer to stick with the midnight train to Georgia... [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] * The New York Attorney General is arguing that the NRA's bankruptcy case should be dismissed. [ABC News] * A Texas lawyer known as the "DUI Guy" has been sentenced to serious prison time for federal charges. [Dallas Morning News] * The County of Los Angeles has denied wrongdoing in a lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant over photos of th...
Tags: New York, Texas, Law, Marvel, Disney, Georgia, Iron Man, Kobe Bryant, Usa Today, Abc News, Dallas Morning News, Ant-man, Nra, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Vanessa Bryant, Morning Docket


"Tip of the Iceberg: How Much Criminal Justice Debt Does the U.S. Really Have?"

The title of this post is the title of from The Fines and Fees Justice Center.  Here are some excerpts from the report's "Introduction and Executive Summary": Over the past two decades, advocates, researchers, government agencies and the media have drawn increasing attention to the dangerous effects of fines and fees, particularly on communities of color and low-income people.  While those moving through the criminal justice system often experience fines and fees as a single, ongoing burden, ...
Tags: Texas, Law, California, New Mexico, District Of Columbia, Irs, Brennan Center for Justice, Bernalillo, Douglas A Berman, Fees Justice Center


The #TexasGeorgeFloydAct: What component bills are still moving in the #txlege homestretch?

Over the weekend, your correspondent put together an update on the status of all the various bills that make up the Texas George Floyd Act for the 65-group coalition promoting them, so let's re-post it here for Grits readers who may be interested. There are four weeks to go in the legislative session, so all these bills are in the make-or-break home stretch.The Texas George Floyd Act, as distinct from federal legislation by the same name, fundamentally has eight component parts. These have also ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Senate, House, Houston, Texas Legislature, Texas House, Gritsforbreakfast, Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, Gerald Goines, George Floyd


The QAnon insurrectionist who filmed himself begging to be shot and inciting rioters to storm the Capitol told the FBI he was only there as a 'journalist'

Andrew Jackson Morgan Jr. records himself during the insurrection on January 6, 2021. Political Trance Tribune Andrew Jackson Morgan Jr. claimed to be at the insurrection as a civil rights auditor and journalist. Several now-deleted recordings show him encouraging the pro-Trump mob to storm the Capitol. An Insider investigation reveals that he was motivated by far-right, conspiratorial beliefs. See more stories on Insider's business page. Wearing his trademark Harley Davidson beanie an...
Tags: Facebook, Politics, Texas, Media, Law, Youtube, Washington, US, America, Barack Obama, Trends, Fbi, Austin, Washington Dc, News UK, Michigan


"But if SNL thinks it can brighten or dim the star power of its host, Musk poses a particularly risky challenge."

"He’s a black hole, a rare figure who absorbs attention, good or bad. He’s already downplayed the latest news about Tesla, involving the deaths of two people in a driverless car in Texas, claiming that autopilot was not enabled, and moved on to reiterating his calls for turning humanity into a 'multi-planetary species.' His power does not depend on cultural support from the likes of SNL; he can be disliked, but not 'canceled.' None of his scandals have substantially altered his influence on the ...
Tags: Elon Musk, Texas, Law, Tesla, Atlantic, Snl, Musk, Ann Althouse, Trump and pop culture


Prez Biden gets timely reminder that criminal justice reform presents unique bipartisan opportunity

I complained in this post that Prez Biden did not have all that much to say about criminal justice issues in his lengthy speech to Congress this week. But I now see from a number of news reports that criminal justice reform got some brief, but especially notable, bipartisan attention after the speech.  This Washington Post piece, headlined "GOP lawmaker who voted to overturn Biden’s election win wants to help him on criminal justice reform," provides these details: Moments after President Biden...
Tags: Texas, Law, Congress, White House, China, America, Joe Biden, Gop, House, Houston, Biden, The Washington Post, Trump, Texas Tribune, Texas Monthly, Gribble


Unions fighting police reforms up at #txlege on Thursday

Three bills scheduled for votes on Thursday on the floor of the Texas House are all stand-alone parts of the Texas George Floyd Act: HBs 829, HB 830, and HB 834, and all by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson.HB 829 requires civil-service cities to create a disciplinary matrix to keep arbitrators from overturning punishment so often.HB 830 forbids arrests for Class C violations of the Transportation Code.HB 834 requires corroboration for police officer testimony to secure a drug conviction.For the mos...
Tags: Texas, Law, House, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Thompson, Legislature, Texas House, Gritsforbreakfast, Senfronia Thompson, Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, CLEAT


Eminent domain, sovereign immunity and a controversial pipeline through New Jersey

On Wednesday, the justices will hear argument in PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey. The case presents the question of what impact, if any, does the Natural Gas Act have on the sovereign immunity provided to the states through the 11th Amendment. This clash between the NGA and the Constitution arose because, under the NGA, companies with permits to build new pipelines can use the power of eminent domain to seize property along the pipeline route. The case has broad ramifications for the indust...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Pennsylvania, United States, New Jersey, State, D C Circuit, FERC, U S Court of Appeals, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, NGA, PennEast, 3rd Circuit


Justices add new cases on state secrets, free speech

The Supreme Court issued orders on Monday morning from the justices’ private conference on Friday, April 23. The court added three new cases to its docket for arguments next fall, including a major new case (covered in this article) on the scope of the Second Amendment right to carry a gun outside the home. The justices also turned down (at least for now) efforts by a group of states, led by Texas, to revive litigation over the “public charge” rule after the Biden administration refused to defe...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Guantanamo Bay, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington, Oregon, United States, Pakistan, Alaska, Poland, Philadelphia, Cia, Volkswagen


"Over the past decade, the United States population grew at the slowest rate since the 1930s, the Census Bureau reported on Monday, a remarkable slackening..."

"... that was driven by a leveling off of immigration and a declining birthrate. The bureau also reported changes to the nation’s political map: The long-running trend of the South and the West gaining population — and Congressional representation — at the expense of the Northeast and the Midwest, continued, with Texas gaining two seats and Florida, one. California, long a leader in population growth, lost a seat for the first time in history.... 'This is a big deal,' said Ronald Lee, a demograp...
Tags: Florida, Texas, Law, California, Global Warming, West, United States, Population, South, Midwest, Lee, Northeast, Census Bureau, Ann Althouse, Ronald Lee, University of California at Berkeley If


EDTex vs WDTex

Here is a simple chart counting law review articles discussing both patent law and either the “Eastern District of Texas” or “Western District of Texas” (or both).  Because of some law review delays and dating-games, Westlaw can really only provide data through 2019. W.D.Tex. is now the most popular district court for patent infringement claims, followed by Delaware.  E.D.Tex. still caries weight, but is no longer the go-to-district (because of venue restrictions).
Tags: Texas, Law, Delaware, Patent, Westlaw, Tex, Western District of Texas


Justices rebuff states’ request to reinstate public-charge rule, but leave door open for further litigation

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to immediately resolve an attempt by 14 states to revive litigation over a controversial Trump-era immigration rule after the Biden administration declined to defend it in court. In a brief, unsigned order, the justices said the states must first make their arguments in the lower courts, but they left open the possibility that the states could eventually return to the Supreme Court on this issue. The so-called “public charge” rule is one with which the justi...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Joe Biden, Biden, Medicaid, Executive Branch, Trump, Howe, 7th Circuit, Cook County Illinois, Elizabeth Prelogar, Prelogar, Emergency appeals and applications, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant


Assessing status of police-reform bills as #txlege reaches inflection point

The Texas Tribune published a story in the wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict interviewing families of police brutality victims pushing for the Texas George Floyd Act. While that omnibus legislation appears stalled, as we've discussed in two recent, special podcast episodes, it has also been broken up into a number of different bills, some of which are still wending their way through the process. We're now at an inflection point in the Texas legislative process: Bills that are out of committee ...
Tags: Utah, Texas, Law, Colorado, Senate, House, Dallas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Thompson, Legislature, Texas Tribune, Texas Commission, Ed Thompson, Gritsforbreakfast, Criminal Jurisprudence Committee


With chances for TCOLE Sunset legislation withering, bill heard to expand agency's authority to kick bad cops out of the profession

Your correspondent is beginning to despair that the 87th Texas Legislature may come and go without meaningful reform a the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the state's police-and-jailer-licensing agency.The TCOLE Sunset bill - which drew attention because of an especially harsh critique by Sunset staff calling it a broken system that's failing to achieve its mission - is now languishing with others in House Calendars and appears likely to be pushed off for two years. Instead the Calendars Co...
Tags: Texas, Law, Police, Senate, House, Sunset, Rodriguez, Texas Commission, KXAN TV, Gritsforbreakfast, Calendars Committee, TCOLE, 87th Texas Legislature, Senate Administration Committee


"There was almost a celebrity-like aura around him. It wasn’t a normal class. He would go on these long tangents about life and spirituality."

Said Amelia Brown, quoted in (NYT). The class Brown took with the professor, Bruce Conforth, was “Beatniks, Hippies and Punks.” [One former student] says, according to the court papers, that Mr. Conforth pressured her into a series of sexual encounters, some of them in his campus office, and later, after she had graduated, raped her in his Ann Arbor apartment. A second former student, Ms. Brown, said she was pressured into a sexual encounter with Mr. Conforth after he told her he had feelings...
Tags: Hollywood, Texas, Law, Rape, Michigan, Dan Brown, Sexual Harassment, South, University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Raccoons, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brown, Vanessa Williams, Ann Althouse, Madison Man


"As I talk closer to the family, they said that, 'Well, the real reason they stopped was because his tags had expired.' Well, I come to Minnesota to tell you your tags have expired."

"Your tags of racism has expired. Your tags of police brutality has expired. Your tags of white supremacy has expired. Your tags of looking at us different than everybody else, has expired. Your tags have expired. It’s time to renew and get some new tags. A tags of righteousness, tags of fairness, tags of treating everybody the same way. Tags of 'No justice. No peace.'... Those tags done expired... That ain’t going to happen no more.... I hope y’all are alive in Texas, we on the way. Because you...
Tags: Death, Texas, Minnesota, Law, Police, Metaphor, Christianity, Al Sharpton, North Carolina, PAUL, Sharpton, COLUMBUS Ohio, DiAngelo, Ann Althouse, Robin DiAngelo, Daunte


A Pentagon panel recommended that commanders shouldn't get a say in whether service members are prosecuted for sexual assault

The Pentagon commission on sexual assault in the military has recommended that the chain of command not apply when deciding if sexual assault cases should be prosecuted. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images A Pentagon panel recommends that commanders should not decide if service members are prosecuted for sexual assault. The independent commission said sexual harassment claims should be handled outside the chain of command. These recommendation could drastically change the way the mili...
Tags: Politics, Texas, News, Sexual Assault, Washington Post, White House, Defense, US, Trends, Cnn, Austin, Military, Pentagon, Associated Press, New Mexico, Air Force


Deeply rooted problems at Austin's police academy justified one-year recruitment delay

So much misinformation has been cast about so frequently regarding the City of Austin's budget and supposedly "defunding the police" that many political actors involved appear to have come to believe their own bullshit. Legislation purporting to punish cities that reduce police budgets, including HB 1900 by Goldman, are sitting in Calendars and could pop out at any time.In the Texas Senate, Democrats cratered; all but 2 voted in favor of "anti-defund" legislation. So the idea has so far sailed t...
Tags: Texas, Law, Austin, Houston, City Council, Goldman, Apd, Legislature, Texas Senate, Department of Public Safety, Equity Office, Kroll, Gritsforbreakfast, Spencer Cronk, Greater Austin Crime Commission, George Floyd


Sheriff's deputy resigned amidst child molestation charges, murdered three people this weekend, but still technically eligible to work in Texas law enforcement

In many other states, former Travis County Sheriff's Deputy Stephen Broderick would have lost his peace officer's license last year. He was allowed to resign in lieu of being fired amidst child molestation allegations, but like so many others before him, he remained eligible under Texas law to be hired at one of Texas' 2,500+ other law enforcement agencies.He probably would have, too, if he hadn't allegedly murdered three people in Austin this weekend then gone on the lam. (UPDATE: He has since ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Austin, House, Broderick, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Stephen Broderick, TCOLE, Sunset Advisory Commission


Claims against Broker for Insufficient Coverage Fail

    After a coverage dispute for damage caused by Hurricane Harvey was settled, the insured's claims against its insurance broker for providing insufficient coverage were dismissed. Hitchcock Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. , 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57452 (S.D. Texas Feb. 26, 2021).      The School District suffered $3.5 million in property damage after Hurricane Harvey struck. Its insurers denied coverage and the School District sued. During the litigation, the School District lea...
Tags: New York, Texas, Insurance, Arthur J Gallagher Co, School District, Tred Eyerly, Hurricane Harvey, Broker's Negligence, Hitchcock Indep Sch Dist, The School District


Justices to consider awards of costs of appellate litigation

Wednesday’s argument in City of San Antonio v. Hotels.com brings the justices a basic nuts-and-bolts question of civil procedure: how courts should decide the “costs” that the prevailing party on appeal can recover from the losing party. Generally speaking, under the “American” rule that prevails in the United States, the prevailing party in litigation must pay its own attorney’s fees. There is, however, a relatively narrow category of administrative “costs” related to litigation that the preva...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Law, United States, San Antonio, U S Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, Merits Cases, 5th Circuit the district


Morning Docket: 04.20.21

* Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. now bills at $2,295 an hour in private practice. Quite a step up from the government grind... [ABA Journal] * A disbarred lawyer has been sentenced to prison for stealing nearly $1 million from a first responder who suffered 9/11-related illnesses. [New York Daily News] * A Texas attorney has been charged in a $225 million tax fraud. [Houston Chronicle] * Attorney General Merrick Garland led a commemoration for the anniversary of the Oklahoma City ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Eric Holder, Attorney General, New York Times, ABA Journal, New York Daily News, Martin Shkreli, Oklahoma City, Houston Chronicle, Garland, Morning Docket, Merrick Garland, Eric Holder Jr


Steward Health v. Aya Healthcare: 4 Things To Know

The Texas-based health system first sued the staffing firm for 'price gouging' amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as wages for nurses shot up from $75 to $160. But the firm countersued, claiming that Steward — which owes Aya over $40 million — previously did not raise objections to its prices.
Tags: Texas, Law, AYA, Steward, Health Care / Medicine, Aya Healthcare, Healthcare Docket, Steward Health


#txlege bill eliminating Class-C arrests for traffic offenses moving forward with bipartisan support

The death of Daunte Wright traffic enforcement by police back in the spotlight, raising the profile of the issue just as HB 830 (Thompson) passed out of committee at the Texas Legislature this week. Next week will be dominated by debate over the budget, but HB 830 could hit the House floor as early as the week after.The committee substitute to the bill would ban arrests for Class C traffic violations in Texas, but not other Class Cs. Looking at recent cases, the bill would affect Dillon Puente i...
Tags: Florida, Texas, Law, House, Republican Party, Thompson, Keller, Plano, Sandra, Texas Legislature, Gritsforbreakfast, Philando Castile, Dillon Puente, Rodney Reese, Daunte Wright, Jordan Blair Woods


Two Sixth Amendment claims and an ERISA lawsuit

The Relist Watch column examines cert petitions that the Supreme Court has “relisted” for its upcoming conference. A short explanation of relists is available here. The Supreme Court didn’t have a conference last week, so it has more on its plate for this Friday’s conference than usual: 278 cases are scheduled for review. The court will likely be paying special attention to three of them, which are this week’s new relists. The court will be considering each of them for a second time. Two of the...
Tags: Health, New York, Texas, Featured, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, California, United States, Ibm, Cia, Johnson, Abu Zubaydah, Central Intelligence Agency, Wells Fargo, Scott


Austin PD won't disavow 'paramilitary' culture in its academy; Dallas cops caught using unauthorized facial recognition tech; police reform in Houston hits a dead end; and other stories

Here are a few odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention while mine is focused elsewhere. Consultant: Austin PD still embraces 'paramilitary' culture Austin's police academy retains a "predominantly paramilitary model," consultants Kroll and Associates found, and their training staff lacks diversity. "For the most part, Kroll has found APD reluctant to incorporate a lot of community/civilian input and distrustful of non-police personnel." Changes so far sound largely cosmetic: "there is ...
Tags: Texas, Maryland, Law, Austin, New Jersey, Dallas, New Mexico, Houston, Gizmodo, Apd, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Tarrant County, Lone Star State, Gutierrez, River Oaks


Dental Practice Survives Motion to Dismiss on COVID-19 Claim

    The insured dental practice survived a motion to dismiss its business interruption claim arising from closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Derek Scott Williams PLLC v. Cincinnati Ins Co ., 2021 U.S Dist. LEXIS 37096 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 28, 2021).      On March 22, 2020, the Texas governor issued an order postponing all elective surgeries and non-emergency medical dental procedures. The insured dental practice complied with the order and did not resume normal business operations until May 4...
Tags: Texas, Insurance, Cincinnati, Tred Eyerly, Business Interruption, First Party Insurance, Cincinnati Ins, COVID-19, Derek Scott Williams PLLC


Can capital punishment be another part of a bipartisan criminal justice reform story?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this lengthy new Marshall Project piece fully titled "Can The Death Penalty Be Fixed? These Republicans Think So: A growing number of conservative lawmakers want to overhaul capital punishment, or end it."  Here are excerpts: As Oklahoma officials seek to resume putting prisoners to death later this year, [state Rep. Kevin] McDugle has pursued bills in the state legislature to help those on death row prove their innocence ... in a deep-red s...
Tags: Texas, Law, Virginia, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Republican, Wood, George W Bush, Marshall Project, NewsMax, Jeff Wood, Hannah Cox, Douglas A Berman


Yes, Mr. Schaefer, police violence is a problem, even in Tyler

Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), who represents my hometown, said at the Homeland Security and Pubic Safety Committee hearing the other day that there'd been no serious police violence incidents in his district in many years. Maybe he meant police shootings or deadly force. But a couple of folks in the audience grumbled that somebody should tell that to the 15-year old kid thrown to the pavement by a Bullard police officer last fall. Here's video from the incident: The kid was 15 and had tried t...
Tags: Texas, Law, Police, Austin, Tyler, Schaefer, Smith County, Bullard, Gritsforbreakfast, Senfronia Thompson, Matt Schaefer R Tyler, Homeland Security and Pubic Safety Committee



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