The baby who might be queen
By Caitlin Tremblay
When the news of Kate Middleton and Prince William's baby
came out, so did the usual questions that accompany the
announcement of a pregnancy. Girl or boy? What will the name be?
One of the more interesting queries concerned royal
succession, points out the Telegraph. Under current rules, sons
are favored over daughters and those in line to the throne are
barred from marrying Roman Catholics, Reuters has reported. But
in 2011, leaders of the Commonwealth nations meeting in
Australia decided those rules should be abolished.
As a next step, the leaders of the 16 nations had to give
their consent allowing Prime Minister David Cameron to propose
legislation to rewrite the succession rules. Those consents
arrived, coincidentally, just as the royal baby news was being
announced, and the machinery to publish the Succession to the
Crown Bill was set in motion.
There are theories that Kate and William's baby, even if
she's a girl, will be in line before William's brother, Prince
Harry. But that should all be cleared up once the bill comes
out, which is expected in early 2013.
The other Hathaway
By Erin Geiger Smith
Because of her starring role in the soon-to-be-released
movie version of "Les Miserables," profiles of Anne Hathaway are
a given this holiday season. But you know what we aren't seeing
enough of? Sit-downs with her lawyer dad!
To the rescue comes The National Law Journal's Leigh Jones,
who spoke with Gerald Hathaway, currently of 140-attorney
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. Until March he was a partner at
850-attorney employment firm Littler Mendelson.
Like a movie trailer, we'll give you a few highlights from
the Q&A. In December 2008, Hathaway père had an epiphany of
sorts when he realized he'd become a legal version of the human
resources executive George Clooney plays in "Up in the Air," the
guy who fires people for a living. As a labor lawyer, Hathaway
had run the layoff procedures for a lot of companiesand, he
calculated,had been part of the dismissal of 65,000 people. "I
felt a real jolt," he told Jones. At the time, his practice was
gravitating toward the entertainment industry anyway, and he
became convinced that a permanent move was necessary.
So now that Hathaway is handling clients like ABC Studios
and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc, does he ever trade on his
daughter's name? What's his favorite Anne Hathaway film?
Preview's over. You'll have to check out the article for
yourself. Hint: It involves the term "street cred."
Fair price for a follower?
By Erin Geiger Smith
What's a Twitter follower worth? If you've been waiting for
the answer to that question to emerge from a lawsuit filed by
mobile-phone news site Phonedog.com against a former employee,
you're out of luck. Mashable reports that that lawsuit has
The case involved tech writer Noah Kravitz, who built up a
follower base of about 17,000 while working for Phonedog and
tweeting under the name @Phonedog_Noah. Kravitz changed his
Twitter handle and, several months after he left the company,
demanded a percentage of Phonedog's ad revenue. The company responded with a lawsuit, arguing that the Twitter followers Kravitz amassed during his time at Phonedog were akin to a
corporate customer list that he had no right to take with him.
Phonedog valued the followers at $2.50 each.
The terms of the settlement were not made public, but
Kravitz said in a statement that he hoped both employers and
employees would recognize the importance of social media, as
well as that "good contracts with specific work agreements are
important, and the responsibility for constructing them lies
with both parties."
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
Travelers are beginning to challenge border searches by
customs agents who search and seize electronic devices, reports The New York Times. Traditionally, the government has been able
to search citizens crossing the border without being restricted
by the Fourth Amendment. But as more and more people travel with
items like laptops and cameras containing business and personal
information, some who have been stopped are questioning the
government's right to hold on to items for days on end for
There may be some clarity soon when a federal district court
in New York rules on the case of Pascal Abidor, a student of
Islamic studies who was detained at the Canadian border on a
trip from Montreal to New York. Abidor, who holds both American
and French passports, was questioned for several hours and his
laptop was kept for 11 days. Catherine Crump, an ACLU lawyer who
is representing Abidor and another plaintiff in a similar case,
told the Times that her goal is to ensure the government acts on
a reasonable belief of wrongdoing before going through
electronic devices. She also expressed concern that such border
detentions might be an affront to political speech.
In July 2012, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in U.S. v.
Cotterman, heard en banc the question of whether a border search
allows a forensic examination of a computer. The video of the
oral arguments can be found here, and Orin Kerr's report in the
Volokh Conspiracy on the case, here. The court has not yet
Breaking the waves
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
An international powwow in Dubai over revisions to a
wide-ranging United Nations communications treaty could pit
authoritarian governments that want more control of the Internet
against more free-wheeling countries, reports the BBC. The
two-week conference, which began on Monday, is considering
changes to the International Telecommunications Regulations for
the first time since 1988.
Regulators from 193 countries are participating in the
confab, Al Jazeera points out, with Russia, China and a few
other non-democratic countries calling for an overhaul of the
current system and greater authority to be vested in the
International Telecommunication Union, the UN agency responsible
for information and communication technologies. Russia, for
example, wants governments to be allowed to shut down Internet
access whenever someone uses the it to interfere in the
"internal affairs" of that country, writes Eli Sugarman in the Atlantic. Such proposals are "alarming," says U.S. ambassador to
the U.N., Terry Kramer, who wants the treaty to be restricted to
telephone calls and communication networks. If the changes are
implemented, they would "fundamentally violate everything that
we believe in in terms of democracy and opportunities for
individuals, and we're going to vigorously oppose any proposals
of that nature," Kramer said.
Google is also opposing some of the proposed treaty
language, The Hill reports, and has launched a campaign arguing
that changes "could increase censorship and threaten innovation"
Summary Judgments for December 3
Summary Judgments for November 30
Summary Judgments for November 29
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