Katrina Plaintiffs Win Verdict: A federal judge in New Orleans has ruled the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' failure to maintain a navigation channel contributed to the deaths of inhabitants and destruction of homes during Hurricane Katrina,The National Law Journal reports. Assistant Attorney General Tony West of the Justice Department's Civil Division said yesterday the department is reviewing the opinion. The New York Times has this piece today on the verdict.
Gay Marriage Gets Boost: Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit this week granted health benefits to the same-sex partners of court employees, The Recorder reports. Kozinski's order comes a day after a colleague issued a directive that a federal public defender be awarded back pay because his same-sex partner's benefits had been denied.
Immigration Audits: The Wall Street Journal reports the federal government will audit about 1,000 U.S. employers for immigration violations, as pressure mounts on business owners to cease hiring illegal immigrants. The government in July announced audits of 654 businesses.
Bruno, On Trial: The New York Times examines the trial of former State Senator Joseph Bruno and the overlap of official duties and private business for lawmakers in Albany. Bruno, 80, is charged him with depriving citizens of his honest services as a public official.
Ditching the Billable Hour: More companies are paying their outside counsel off the clock, according to the Hildebrandt 2009 Law Department Survey, Corporate Counsel reports. Just over half of the 231 companies surveyed said they have started or will start negotiating non-hourly billing arrangements.