In the latest issue of Supreme Court Brief, NLJ's newsletter on the high court, we reported on a recent panel discussion of transparency issues facing the justices, including -- but not confined to -- camera access to court proceedings. One speaker, former appeals court judge Kenneth Starr, urged the justices to "grow an extra layer of skin" and allow cameras in. Also, we delved into the last-minute switch in lawyers arguing before the court in a high-profile Michigan affirmative action case October 15. Plus, a look at a brief in a case being argued next week that defends the role that states play in antitrust litigation. Our next issue will be emailed to subscribers on November 4, when the justices return to the bench for their next cycle of arguments.
Following a deal last month to stop a weeks-long blackout of CBS on Time Warner Cable Inc. systems, the cable provider has hired Dentons to lobby on retransmission consent.
Dentons senior managing directors Valerie Nelson and Todd Bertoson, as well as principal Megan Delany, are handling the account, according to lobbying registration paperwork filed with Congress Tuesday. Bertoson and Delany count media regulation among their specialties.
In addition to retransmission lobbying, the lobbyists' work for Time Warner Cable will include advocacy on broadband deployment and privacy matters.
A Washington judge today halted the operations of FilmOn, a controversial online television streaming service. The judge found the television broadcast networks suing FilmOn X LLC for copyright infringement were likely to succeed.
The networks accused FilmOn of "exploiting…some of the most valuable intellectual property created in the United States" by allowing users to stream live television programs online. The plaintiffs, including major broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, sought an injunction last month. Today, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer concluded that FilmOn was retransmitting copyrighted material in violation of federal law. She
granted the network's request for a preliminary injunction.
injunction applies across the United States, with the exception of the boundaries of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit—which includes New York, Connecticut and Vermont—where the networks lost a motion for an injunction against a similar streaming service. FilmOn founder Alki David said today that he planned to appeal.
Detained: British authorities on Sunday detained David
Miranda, the partner of Guardian
reporter Glenn Greenwald, at London's Heathrow Airport under a British terrorism
law, the British newspaper reports. Greenwald has written a series of
stories revealing mass surveillance programs by the U.S. National Security
Settled: Seven victims of convicted serial child molester
Jerry Sandusky have reached a deal to settle with Penn State, The Legal Intelligencerreports.
Streaming: Viacom Inc. tentatively has agreed to let Sony
Corp. stream Nickelodeon, MTV and its other cable channels on an Internet TV
service that Sony is developing, The New
Not Guilty: A six-member jury on Saturday acquitted George
Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, the Orlando Sentinelreports. "Obviously we
are ecstatic with the results," defense attorney Mark O'Mara said moments after
the verdict was read. "George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything."
Abortion Fights: The Texas state Senate on
Saturday passed a sweeping set of abortion restrictions, becoming the latest in
a series of state-level political fights that are triggering a frenzy of
legal action, The Washington Postreports. "Now people really understand this is national trend, this is a wave," said
Louise Melling, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Center of
Liberty. "It's an effort to change the landscape across the country for
abortion, even if it's state by state."
Billing Rates: Law firms charged the most for finance and
securities work last year, and that partner rates in New York outpaced those in
any other U.S. or Canadian city by more than $100 an hour, according to a new
analysis on billing rates from TyMetrix Legal Analytics and CEB, Corporate Counsel reports.
More than three years after a California judge approved a $70 million settlement resolving claims of age discrimination against television writers, the D.C. Court of Appeals today upheld an arbitrator's decision dividing up attorney fees in the case.
At stake were more than $23 million in fees. The three-judge panel, noting the court exercised "extremely limited" review of arbitration awards, found the arbitrator in this case didn't exceed his authority.
Two former class counsel, Daniel Wolf and Maia Caplan, argued the arbitrator was wrong to rely on representations made to the California judge related to fees, since the plaintiffs lawyers had privately agreed that what they filed with the court wouldn't be binding in arbitration. The court found the arbitrator appropriately rejected that argument based on his reading of the co-counsel agreements.
A company that makes it possible for users to stream television programs live online is fighting a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the major U.S. broadcast networks. In a
counterclaim filed late last week in Washington federal court, FilmOn X LLC argued the networks were violating the public trust by trying to block consumers' ability to watch free over-the-air broadcasts.
The ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC television networks, their local affiliates in the Washington metropolitan area, and several other national broadcasters sued FilmOn in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in late May. The networks accused FilmOn of "exploiting…some of the most valuable intellectual property created in the United States" by distributing their programs without a license.
FilmOn, according to court filings, uses tiny antennae to capture television broadcast signals in local markets and stream the live programming online. In counterclaims filed June 27, FilmOn, represented by attorneys with Baker Marquart in Los Angeles, denied it was infringing the networks' copyrights.
"Gideon's Army," a documentary about the struggles facing public defenders in the South, is set to make its national television debut July 1 on HBO. One the lawyers at the heart of the film, Jonathan Rapping, spent the first decade of his legal career as a public defender in Washington and said the experience played a major part in informing the work he does today supporting defenders nationwide.
The film, which screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, follows the lives of three young public defenders and features the work of Gideon's Promise, an Atlanta-based organization founded by Rapping that supports public defender offices across the South. In a phone interview today, Rapping said Gideon's Promise was a product of his desire to transfer the successful model of the D.C. public defender office to offices elsewhere in the United States.
Rapping spent 10 years with the public defender office in Washington, first as a staff attorney and later as the training director. He said he took for granted the fact that he was in "an environment where excellent representation of poor people was expected."
The media company founded by conservative commentator Glenn Beck has turned to Wiley Rein for help in its first foray into Washington lobbying.
Mercury Radio Arts Inc., which produces The Glenn Beck Program, GlennBeck.com and TheBlaze media network, has hired the firm to advocate for it on program carriage matters, according to a lobbying registration report filed with Congress on Tuesday. The New York-based company didn't have any lobbying firms registered to advocate for it before it retained Wiley Rein, according to congressional records.
Senior public policy adviser Scott Weaver, as well as public policy consultants Peter Krug and John Simpson, are handling the account. Weaver and Simpson also lobby for the National Association of Broadcasters, the leading trade group for radio and television broadcasters.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Tuesday urged Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. to allow live broadcast of the Supreme Court's opinion announcements in the blockbuster cases due to be issued before the end of June.
“It is not unreasonable for the American people to have an opportunity to hear firsthand the arguments and opinions that will shape their society for years to come," Durbin wrote to Roberts in a letter released Tuesday.
Coming so late in the term, the letter amounts to a Hail Mary pass, especially since the court has stubbornly resisted live broadcast of any of its proceedings since the earliest days of radio. But Durbin's letter is different from other efforts in that it seeks broadcast of the court's opinion announcements, not just its oral arguments.