By right hook or law book
The Quincy, Mass. Patriot-Ledger reports (Hat tip: Above the Law) on the career of Aleksandra Lopes, who by day is a mild-mannered attorney with Brockton, Mass.-based Babanikas, Ziedman and King, and by night a star in the boxing ring.
Lopes is currently the 8th ranked female welterweight by the World Boxing Council, with a record of 8-1. She fights this week at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.” Here’s a video of one of her fights form March, 2012.
Lopes, who was born in Poland and graduated from New England Law School, has no problem separating the disciplines, says Nick Babanikas, a partner in Babanikas, Ziedman and King. “You could never tell she was doing both things with such zealousness and intensity,” he said.
Side note: Brockton has a rich boxing history. Rocky Marciano and “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler hail from the city, and the city’s high school sports teams are nicknamed the “boxers.”
By Caitlin Tremblay
Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am is being sued by a British pop singer over a writing credit to the hit “Scream and Shout,” which Will.i.am worked on with Britney Spears.
According to the Daily Mail, singer Tulisa Contostavlos claims in the lawsuit she’s owed a writing credit for the dance track, which went to number one in Europe and could be worth royalties now. She says she wrote lyrics to “Scream and Shout” under a different title but with the same beat and recorded it for her album “The Female Boss,” but that the song was dropped from the final version of the album.
Will.i.am confirmed that Contostavlos worked on the song first, but when it was dropped from her album he worked with the song’s producers and wrote new lyrics for himself and Spears. He says he only ever planned to record the song with Spears, and told MTV UK that he rewrote lyrics to the producers’ beat after they decided they didn’t want Contostavlos to have it.
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
“Aaron’s law,” the proposed
amendment to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to
honor deceased Internet activist Aaron Swartz, will take some selling, Politico
reports. Swartz, who faced federal hacking
charges and prison for downloading scholarly articles belonging to the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology network, committed suicide in January. Since his death, critics
have questioned existing hacking laws,
Judgments reported, with some
pundits calling them “poorly defined and
Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) wants to narrow the act
to prevent prosecutors from going after others like Swartz who breach terms of
service and user agreements. Such changes are “commonsense fixes that should be
enacted to stop the kinds of abuse Aaron was subjected to from affecting
others,” Lofgren writes on Reddit,
the social media site that Swartz helped co-found.
the law is easier said than done, writes cyber law expert Orin Kerr in
The Volokh Conspiracy, “both because elected officials don’t want to seem
‘soft on crime’ and because the head of the executive branch has the veto power.” Also, he says, Internet
companies, which have substantial influence on The Hill, tend to see themselves
as victims of computer crimes.
By Anna Louie Sussman
An obscure issue relating to the policing of crime on Native American territories is holding up the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, the New York Times reports.
Under Native American law, tribal authorities have jurisdiction over their people on their lands but not over anyone else. Local law enforcement authorities, meanwhile, have jurisdiction over non-Native Americans only on non-tribal lands. The result for Native American women assaulted by non-Natives on tribal land is a black hole, with virtual impunity for perpetrators. Though federal authorities can intervene, they are often miles away and overburdened, the Times reports.
The issue is not a small one, says Democratic Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, who told the Times that Native American women suffer assault at disproportionately high rates and are 2-1/2 times more likely to be raped than other women. Three women out of five encounter domestic abuse, he said.
The issue is now holding up the passage of the 218-page Violence Against Women Act in the House of Representatives, where a few Republican lawmakers say closing the loophole will strip defendants of constitutional rights by subjecting them to ill-equipped tribal courts. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate with broad support, the Times reports.
For the good
By Anna Louie Sussman
In April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of
Offenders Act will come into effect in the United Kingdom,
slashing budgets for legal aid offices around the country and
sending pro bono units into overdrive, an opinion writer at the Guardian predicts.
One solution, writes law student Flora MacQueen, is that the
UK rapidly establish a mandatory pro bono scheme similar to the
one in New York state, where law students are required to
complete 50 hours of pro bono work before sitting for the state
bar exam. The term "pro bono," for those rusty in their Latin,
means "for the good of the people" and refers to voluntary,
uncompensated legal work.
The UK's existing pro bono programs are not a substitute for
a robust legal aid system, MacQueen maintains. Any new
initiative should be large-scale and well coordinated throughout
the country, she writes. Otherwise, "the prospect is a widening
gap for the poor in being able to access justice."
Summary Judgments for February 8
Summary Judgments for February 7
Summary Judgments for February 6
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