By Anna Louie Sussman
Mary Cowell Ross, who died in early February at age 102, was a former president of the New York Women’s Bar Association who helped other women lawyers advance but said she herself had not experienced the adverse effects of sexism, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
An Oklahoma native who graduated from Vassar in 1932, Ross earned her law degree in 1938 from what is now the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. After working for the Justice Department, she moved to New York and joined the predecessor law firm to Rogers & Wells, which later became London- based Clifford Chance LLP, practicing estate law.
Elizabeth Bryson, a past president and current board member at the bar association, told Bloomberg that “Ross and another early president of the association, Florence Shientag, who died in 2009 at 101, were ‘glamorous’ figures who made newspaper society pages yet reached out to help ‘women who got the opportunity to go to law school but did not come from money.’”
Yet Ross herself did not feel the effects of sexism personally. “I don’t remember feeling terribly bad about being a woman,” she told the World-Herald newspaper of Omaha, Nebraska, in 2003.
Ross passed away in an apartment on the 24th-floor of the Pierre Hotel that overlooks Central Park.
Free to not believe
By Anna Louie Sussman
The Michigan chapter of a national atheist
group has settled a lawsuit with a
country club that cancelled a speech by evolutionary biologist and atheist
Richard Dawkins, allegedly for
his lack of faith, the news site MLive
The legal director for the Center
for Inquiry, Steven Fox, told MLive that “this is the first case we know of that uses
the civil rights that protect against discrimination in use of public
accommodations on behalf of the non-religious.” Since the case was not
heard by a judge or jury, it is not precedent-setting, but Fox said the
settlement should be “persuasive to some other court that the non-religious do have
these rights,” MLive reports.
Dawkins had been scheduled to give a speech at
a $95-a-plate dinner in October 2011 at the Wyndgate Country Club in Rochester Hills, Michigan, hosted
by the Center for Inquiry Michigan. It was cancelled after Wyndgate owner Larry
Winget saw Dawkins discuss a book of his on atheism on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” prompting the center to sue for unspecified damages for illegally
denying “use of its facilities to the public based on religious beliefs.”
The suit alleged the country club violated
federal and state civil rights statutes, and breached its contract with the Center for Inquiry, which had to move the event to another venue.
Details of the settlement were not disclosed, but Michigan chapter representative
Jennifer Beahan said, “I’m happy it
was a good amount (with which) we are able
to cover our costs and support our programming.” Wyndgate staff will have to undergo sensitivity training about the
rights of atheists, MLive reports.
Category: Binders of women
By Anna Louie Sussman
After her long and inspiring journey from a difficult childhood in the Bronx to the highest court in the land, Justice Sonia Sotomayor finds herself in an odd position: a binder.
Sotomayor was one of several high-achieving women named in the category “A Binder Full of Women” on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” ABC News reports. She was filed, for $400, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and 1976 Summer Olympics gold medalist Nadia Comăneci among others, according to an excerpt on Youtube.
The category, introduced by host Alex Trebek to laughter from the audience, referred to a phrase uttered by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney during a debate where he described his search for qualified women to fill cabinet posts. He said he asked women’s groups for suggestions, and they responded with “binders full of women” who might be suitable.
No country for frogs
By Anna Louie Sussman
New Orleans landowners have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and the Department of the Interior for designating their land a “critical
habitat” for the endangered dusky gopher frog, Nola.com reports.
lawsuit says the government’s June 2012 designation was illegal and asks the
court to declare it invalid, arguing that the St. Tammany Parish property
doesn’t have the essential features of a critical habitat for the frog in
designation renders the 1,544 acres, which is currently a tree farm, less valuable by
requiring regular burning, said Edward Poitevent of New
Orleans. According to statements Poitevent has made in
the past, the
designation could cost his family, which owns most of the land in dispute,
millions of dollars, Nola.com reports.
“As it stands this rule effectively stops us from selling or
developing the land, as no one will build on it or buy it now that the rule has
been issued,” Poitevent said in a statement Tuesday.
the second lawsuit filed this month against the same defendants. The first was filed on Feb. 7 on behalf of
Markle Interests LLC, which owns part of the land under dispute.
Law and disorder
By Ted Botha
Did officers in the Los Angeles Police Department buy and
resell guns to other officers, civilians and gun dealers? A
25-year veteran claims that after he discovered and documented a
resale ring, he was retaliated against, suspended and
threatened, according to Courthouse News Service. Now the
officer, Armando Perez, is suing the City of Los Angeles and the
Los Angeles Police Department in Superior Court.
In May 2010 Perez started a detailed inventory of the
metropolitan division's firearms, according to the suit. He
discovered that there was trading going on of SWAT-stamped
pistols made by the New York-based Kimber company. Officers in
the unit were possibly reselling the guns at large profits to
people inside and outside the police force, as well as to Cinema
Weaponry and Lucas Ranch Gun Sales, according to Perez. None of
the officers are named as defendants in the suit, but are listed
as "Does 1 through 100."
Perez claims he reported the illegal sale of firearms,
illegal kickbacks and fraudulent accounting to his commanding
officer, Captain John Incontro, who asked him to look into the
matter further and to take his own name off the list of
suspects. Another officer allegedly ordered the investigation
handed over to the Internal Affairs Group, which, without
interviewing Perez, determined in a 39-page report that no
misconduct had occurred. Then, Perez alleges, the retaliation
started, culminating in a 257-page report detailing his
infractions, which lead to a five-day suspension.
A later investigation by the Inspector General proved the
Internal Affairs probe deficient, and a story in the Los Angeles
Times about illegal gun sales in the police force led to only
more retaliation against Perez. He says he has endured veiled
threats, ostracism and his job responsibilities have been
systematically removed in an attempt to force him to leave the
Summary Judgments for February 26
Summary Judgments for February 25
Summary Judgments for February 22
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