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Bankruptcy – Commercial Shipping.

Where a shipping company’s bankruptcy trustee asserts a claim against a customer for the difference between the rates the customer negotiated and the official tariff rates on file with the Interstate Commerce Commission, the customer may assert as a counterclaim ...

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Criminal Law – Detainers.

A defendant against whom a detainer is lodged under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers must be tried within 180 days of the date that the prosecutor receives his request for a final disposition of the charges – not within 180 ...

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Drunk Driving.

A defendant accused of drunk driving in a National Park (in violation of 36 C.F.R. § 4.23(a)) is not entitled to a jury trial. U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. v. Nachtigal, No. 92-609. February 22, 1993. Lawyers Weekly USA No. 9900134) ...

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State Liable for Criminal's Assault, Even Without Specific Duty to Victim

`Public Duty’ Doctrine Abolished Where a woman was raped by a criminal who had been released from prison because of a clerical error, she can sue the state for negligence, says the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in abolishing the “public duty” ...

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When Does an Employee's Firing Violate `Public Policy'?

When does a firing violate `public policy’ so that an employee can sue for wrongful discharge? Must a specific statute have been violated? Or is it enough if some general code of ethics was breached? The courts are split. A ...

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Gun Shop Sued for Sale To `Legitimate' Buyer

Where a 19-year-old arranged for his grandmother to buy him a handgun and then accidentally shot a friend, the parents of the friend can sue the gun store for negligence, says the California Court of Appeals in reversing a summary ...

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Propane Gas Explosion In Motor Home Covered By Auto Insurance

Where a propane stove exploded in a motor home, the personal injuries of the owner are covered by auto insurance, says the Michigan Court of Appeals. The motor home was parked at a campground and the owner had connected it ...

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Harsher Punishment For Race-Based Assault

Where an assault is motivated by the victim’s “race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, or sexual orientation,” it is constitutional to make it a felony rather than a misdemeanor, says the California Court of Appeals. The state’s “hate crime” law ...

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Failure to Wear Seat Belt Doesn't Reduce Recovery

The fact that an auto accident victim wasn’t wearing a seat belt cannot be used to reduce his tort recovery, says the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Although a number of courts in recent years have adopted a “seat belt defense,” ...

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Jailed Dad Can't Reduce Child Support

A father cannot have his child support obligations reduced just because he has been put in jail, says the Montana Supreme Court. Child support can be modified only “upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to ...

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