Pregnancy: The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that companies calculating pension benefits can give less credit to employees for pregnancy leave than for other types of medical leave if they took the time off before 1978, when Congress passed a law on the issue. The decision is likely to increase the pressure on President Barack Obama to appoint a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, writes The National Law Journal's Tony Mauro.
Ponzi & Knight: Victims who lost $4.5 million in a ponzi scheme run by Florida fund manager Arthur Nadel are suing Holland & Knight, claiming that the firm drafted misleading documents that helped dupe them into investing with Nadel's fund. The American Lawyer reports that the plaintiffs may have a tough task proving malpractice, but might have a better shot on a negligent presentation claim.
Speaking of Fraud: The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a major mortgage fraud bill, sending the legislation on to the White House for approval. The bill would create an independent commission to investigate the causes of the ongoing economic crisis and give federal prosecutors more resources to fight financial fraud. According to Reuters, it provides $165 million for each of the next two fiscal years, much of which will be funneled into the Justice Department.
Fuel Efficiency: The Obama administration is poised to announce new fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks today, bringing the entire nation in line with California's tough requirements. According to the New York Times, "The effect will be a single new national standard that will create a car and light truck fleet in the United States that is almost 40 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016 than it is today, with an average of 35.5 miles per gallon."
Copyright: The U.S. Copyright Office is suffering a massive backlog, thanks to problems with an electronic filing system that was installed last July, reports the Washington Post. The delays have tripled the waiting time for a copyright from 6 to 18 months. Of course, the Post notes, "The delays do not appear to be hampering the business of the major publishing houses or those willing to spend $685 for a 'special handling fee' that expedites registration."