Lauren Gelman's blog

The Virtue of an Activist Judge in a Time of Terror

I wrote a commentary piece for law.com about how activist judges can be a virtue in a time when the Administration is being activist in stretching the boundaries of constitutional and statuatory law. Indeed, recent actions by esteemed (and conservative) members of the Third Branch have been important checks on unharnessed Presidential power. Read the whole piece for the argument, but my takeaway: Read more about The Virtue of an Activist Judge in a Time of Terror

NYT Researcher in Beijing Charged with Disclosure of State Secrets

The dangers of speech crimes.

The NYT reports that Zhao Yan, 43, who worked in the newspaper's Beijing bureau, and has spent 15 months in prison without a hearing was indicted for revealing state secrets to the newspaper and also on a lesser charge of fraud.

Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times sad, "We've seen no evidence whatsoever that he is guilty of anything but honest journalism," Mr. Keller said. Read more about NYT Researcher in Beijing Charged with Disclosure of State Secrets

FISA Court to Investigate Wiretaps

(I'll preface this post by saying the reason I find the circumvention of the FISA Court so intriguing is that in this space, I'm usually complaining about having any secret court and the expansion of its powers in the Patriot Act. Now, things have gotten so bad that the critique of the Administration is that they should have used the FISA court-- as if it is some bastion of civil liberties protections that prevents abuse of power when, instead, throughout its whole history it has refused extremely few government requests to wiretap. We live in really troubled times) Read more about FISA Court to Investigate Wiretaps

Judge Luttig Slams Administration in Padilla Case

Wow. I had to post again. Talk about mainstream public figures stepping up to the plate. It's not just Clinton-appointed Judges who are outraged by the Administration's complete disregard for liberties and process. Judge J. Michael Luttig, who is thought to have been on the President's short list of Supreme Court nominees, today took the Administration to task for the facts surrounding the Padilla Supreme Court case. Read more about Judge Luttig Slams Administration in Padilla Case

Bush Spy Order and Bravo to Judge Robertson for Fulfilling his Oath

I haven't been blogging because I'm trying to get a paper (ironically on blogging and the First Amendment) finished by the time school resumes. But I've been procrastinating and instead glued to the news reports on the Bush spy Order. It really is as bad as we "conspiracy theorists" thought. And finally, "mainstream" figures are stepping up. Tim Russert did the best interview with Secretary Rice this weekend I've seen him do in a long time. Read more about Bush Spy Order and Bravo to Judge Robertson for Fulfilling his Oath

Utah District Court Rejects Personal Jurisdiction Based on Cease-and-Desist Letters Sent By “Patent Troll”

The United States District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division recently granted defendant Furnace Brook LLC’s (“Furnace Brook”) motion to dismiss plaintiff Overstock.com’s (Overstock) declaratory judgment action for lack of personal jurisdiction. Relying on Red Wing Shoe Co. v. Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc., 148 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. Read more about Utah District Court Rejects Personal Jurisdiction Based on Cease-and-Desist Letters Sent By “Patent Troll”

Court Orders Justice Department to Deliver Patriot Act Documents

In March 2005, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for documents pertaining to the U.S. Justice Department’s administration of the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001. Specifically, EPIC requested information about how the Justice Department had used its investigatory powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which were temporarily expanded by the PATRIOT Act. These provisions were scheduled to sunset, or lapse, on December 31, 2005, unless they were extended by Congress. Read more about Court Orders Justice Department to Deliver Patriot Act Documents

Eleventh Circuit Does Not Extend Alabama State Shield Law To Magazine Reporters

Plaintiff Michael Price, the head coach of the University of Alabama's football team, sued Time Inc., the publisher of Sports Illustrated, and a writer named Don Yaeger for libel, slander, and outrageous conduct for an article Yeage wrote in Sports Illustrated. The article alleged that Price had paid for and engaged in "aggressive sex" with two strippers in a Pensacola hotel room. The lawsuit was filed in state court and removed to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction.PROCEDURAL POSTURE Read more about Eleventh Circuit Does Not Extend Alabama State Shield Law To Magazine Reporters

Patent Claim Covering Both an Apparatus and a Method for Using that Apparatus is Invalid for Indefiniteness

Plaintiff-appellant IPXL Holdings, L.L.C. (“IPXL”) holds a patent for an “electronic fund transfer or transaction system” that stores user information, displays that information to the user in a single screen, and allows the user to select a transaction. The goal of the patented system is to allow users to execute financial transactions in fewer steps. Read more about Patent Claim Covering Both an Apparatus and a Method for Using that Apparatus is Invalid for Indefiniteness

Federal Circuit Rules Alternatives Must be Specifically Identified to be Dedicated to the Public

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction granted by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey enjoining defendants Teva Pharmaceuticals and Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals from selling a generic version of Accupril, a patented drug manufactured by plaintiffs Pfizer, Inc. and Warner-Lambert Company, LLC. The patent covered a pharmaceutical composition containing ACE inhibitors and other chemicals (claim 1) and their methods of manufacture (claim 16). Read more about Federal Circuit Rules Alternatives Must be Specifically Identified to be Dedicated to the Public

Court denies summary judgment motions focused on the meaning of “interactive” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

In a case before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, plaintiffs, major recording industry members including BMG Music, Virgin Records, Sony Music Entertainment, and UMG Recordings, among others, sued the Internet music company Launch Media, Inc. Read more about Court denies summary judgment motions focused on the meaning of “interactive” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

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