Failure to launch
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
The U.S. Senate's failure to ratify the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was a
disappointment, writes law professor Catherine Powell in The New
York Times. The conventioncovers the same rights that U.S.
citizens with disabilities already enjoy and would have helped
strengthen the rights of disabled Americans living abroad,
especially veterans, she says.
But not everyone agrees that the Senate made the wrong
choice. David Kopel, the research director of the Independence
Institute, a Denver think tank, argues that the treaty would have
favored the UN interpretation of the provisions, and in the past
the organization has taken "innocuous treaty language" and
interpreted it to "impose the political agenda of the global
hard left," says Kopel.
Some Republican senators -- 38 of whom voted against the
treaty --worry that ratifying such accordscan compromise
American sovereignty. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
and the Arms Trade Treaty are both coming up for a vote soon and
face strong opposition, according to the Times. By refusing to
ratify treaties, argues Peter Spiro, a law professor at Temple
University, the United States is undermining its "ability to
shape the international law to which we will inevitably have to
Say no to mistletoe
By Caitlin Tremblay
Businesses across the land are breaking out the punch bowl
to celebrate the holiday season, and employment law firm
Seyfarth Shaw wants to make sure no one's party turns into a
lawsuit (like some in the past have).
Philippe Weiss, managing director of Seyfarth Shaw at Work,
the firm's compliance services and training division, has
circulated some tips in a press release for keeping the office
festivities safe and legal.
Before the event, employers should remind everyone of
conduct rules and policies and ensure that employees have been
trained recently in proper behavior and harassment prevention.
Executives and managers should know they need to set an example
for other employees.
To decrease the risk of personal injury or workplace
violence, Weiss suggests limiting the number of alcoholic drinks
each person can have, charging for drinks or simply not serving
alcohol at all. Weiss also says employers should be wary of
party games, particularly those that involve revealing personal
secrets or making close contact with other people. Also, say no
to the mistletoe.
The day after, all party-related infractions or complaints
should be investigated and handled just as if they occurred
during normal office hours.
Can't everyone just get along?
By Erin Geiger Smith
"I hate litigation. I absolutely hate it," said Apple CEO
Cook made that declaration to Bloomberg Businessweek in a
wide-ranging interview discussing his first year in the job,
following the death of Apple icon Steve Jobs on Oct. 5, 2011.
Cook may hate lawsuits, but as legal news readers well know, the
technology giant is engaged in various high-profile legal
skirmishes, perhaps most notably with Samsung.
Samsung, however, is not only one of Apple's biggest
competitors but also one of its main suppliers. So how does that
work? "It is awkward," Cook told the magazine. He acknowledged
that he had to work with leaders at Samsung and that basically
they all do some good old-fashioned compartmentalizing. "We can
separate in our minds the different portions of the company," he
said. "So that's kind of how I try to think about it."
Yours, mine and ours
By Erin Geiger Smith
The council of the Tower Hamlets section of London had to
make a tough call to raise much-needed cash for essential
services, so it decided to sell a 20 million pound ($32 million)
sculpture by Henry Moore. The bronze artwork is called "Draped
Seated Woman," but is known locally as "Old Flo."
Don't count "Old Flo" out yet, however. A local group
called the Art Fund plans to mount a legal challenge and prove
the statue isn't the council's art to sell, London art website
artlyst reports. The Art Fund claim goes thusly: "Old Flo" was
purchased by the Greater London Council in 1962 -- for a
piddling 7500 pounds -- but Margaret Thatcher abolished the GLC
in 1986. Questions remain, Art Fund said, over whether or not
ownership then directly transferred to the Tower Hamlets
Council, which has called the legal action "a desperate PR
At least 2,500 people have signed a petition against the
sale, including Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and Tate
director Sir Nicholas Serota.
Summary Judgments for December 6
Summary Judgments for December 5
Summary Judgments for December 4
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