(CN) - Federal law pre-empts California prohibitions on the slaughter of any animal that cannot stand or walk, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. 


     RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CN) - Four daughters of a defector who snitched on the Colombo crime family sued their stepmother and the FBI, demanding the deed to their late father's house. 

     Money can't buy you love.
     It can, however, buy you lots of litigation.
     Those of you who might enjoy a bit of sort-of-celebrity voyeurism but want it without feeling intellectually empty should check out a ruling from a California appeals court called In re Marriage of Hill & Dittmer.
     Here we have the heart-wrenching tale of a woman who signed a prenuptial agreement thinking that her husband was worth a mere $40 million when, in fact, he might have been lying and was worth quite a bit more.
     The tragedy is compounded by the fact that the wife was worth only $10 million when she married the creep and agreed to his chintzy terms.
     I won't spoil the tale for you, but, to justify the time spent on voyeurism, I direct your attention to an appendix to the ruling that contains part of the parties' prenuptial agreement. Some of you might want to use this (or avoid this) as a template for your clients.
     Here's an ironic excerpt:
     "The parties agree that they would marry each other and enter into this agreement regardless of the nature, extent and value of each other's assets, liabilities, income or expenses...."
     But that doesn't mean their lawyers agree.
     Meanwhile, a would-be husband has sued a woman for fraud in Los Angeles Superior Court (BC476475). He says he spent more than $215,000 on "gifts, vacations, cosmetic surgeries and dentistry, and rent" and she didn't even move in with him.
     Her "repeated promises of love and affection for plaintiff were disingenuous, and (her) repeated promises to move into plaintiff's residence and co-habitate with him and to entertain the possibility of marriage to plaintiff were false when made."
     Clearly this was someone who thought money can buy you love. Or maybe love can get you money. It's an interesting chicken/egg issue.
     Warning to women dating rich guys: if they can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on you, they can also afford lawyers.
     The advent of pre-dating agreements may soon be upon us.
     
     MEL BROOKS BIAS. Here's a hypothetical for those of you needing to brush up on workplace bias rules.
     A black deputy sheriff on probation gets fired after installing some non-issue lights, failing to check the wiring in his patrol car, and using the car to go to the gym.
     Some white deputies on probation don't get fired after, among other things, driving unsafely, causing an accident, and having problems with prisoner control.
     The white guy who replaced the black guy struggled with decisions and completing reports and ran into a suspect's vehicle. He's still got his job.
     Grounds for a discrimination suit?
     Umm....
     Check out Harris v. Warrick County Sheriff's Department from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit for the surprise answer.
     After all, ignoring a few rules and crashing into suspects aren't really comparable, so how could this be discrimination?
     "(W)e do not sit as a super-personnel department to determine which employment infractions deserve greater punishment," said the rulings.
     So to avoid discrimination, treat employees as differently as possible.
     Reasonable as that might be, I think this plaintiff might have done better if he hadn't claimed that he was harassed because some detectives watched Blazing Saddles in his presence.
     I would have fired the guy for dissing Blazing Saddles too.


     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Apple bills iPhone purchasers for voice and data services even after they cancel them, and stifles competition and increases prices for software apps by charging developers an annual "application" fee, consumers say in a federal antitrust class action. 

     (CN) - Police need a warrant before using GPS to track a suspect, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, with the justices disagreeing about how to weigh these "searches" in the digital age. 

     WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) - A co-CEO of Archie Comics claims her co-CEO plotted to take over the company by defaming her, falsely telling a New York Post reporter that she "had pointed at several Archie employees and shouted 'penis, penis, penis,' ... shouted that 'you penises think you can run me out,'" and told a worker to "stand up and pull down your pants." 

     CHICAGO (CN) - A woman claims she suffered memory loss because an enraged Continental Airlines flight attendant, "punching and beating" a bag that didn't fit in an overhead bin, "filled the plane with a palatable uneasiness," and made her bonk her head. 

     CHICAGO (CN) - Westwood College faces a class action from students, and another lawsuit from the Illinois attorney general, accusing the profit-seeking school of defrauding students with false claims about its accreditation. 

     LUBBOCK, Texas (CN) - Texas Tech University rejected a settlement offer from its former head football coach Mike Leach.

     HOUSTON (CN) - A former friend of Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford claims that after he gave up his construction company to partner with Crawford and his brother on a new construction firm, and put his $123,000 life savings into it, the Crawfords raided its bank account and shut him out of the business. 

     ST. LOUIS (CN) - St. Louis police ignored a judge's order to release a victim of misidentification and held him for another 60 days in jail, the man claims in Federal Court. 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) - A company that developed a GPS and communication system for underground miners says its subcontractor secretly used its network to test and market a device developed by another company, bilking it along the way for hundreds of millions of dollars. 

     CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CN) - The owner of an alligator hunting service was fined $14,000 after pleading guilty to a federal charge of transporting an illegally killed alligator.

     CHICAGO (CN) - A man who left his home in the care of a relative who piled junk to the ceiling and blocked the front door with it wants State Farm to pay for the damage.
 

     AUSTIN (CN) - The Sierra Club claims the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality illegally gave four coal-fired power plants passes to pollute the air. 

     MANHATTAN (CN) - A man who owns a chain of perfume stores on the Mexican border was sentenced to 19 1/2 years in federal prison for using his businesses to launder Mexican drug money.

     CHICAGO (CN) - A truck driver claims his boss broke his nose and fired him because he refused to haul a load of hazardous materials that was 2 tons overweight. 


     MANHATTAN (CN) - Hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons drew heckling from a crowd of Occupy Wall Street activists as the mogul who has a net worth of $340 million joined protesters marking the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

     HOUSTON (CN) - A federal judge has conditionally certified a class of paralegals who demand overtime pay from the Texas law firm that negotiated a huge insurance settlement for hurricane victims. 

     (CN) - Police were justified in their warrantless entry of a private home to investigate whether a bullied teenager was planning to "shoot up" his high school, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, saying that the 9th Circuit's "contrary conclusion was flawed for numerous reasons." 

     (CN) - The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Catholic nonprofit's swan-song challenge to a tax it had to pay for posting an e-letter that called 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry a "notorious sinner." 

     (CN) - The 9th Circuit has asked the California Supreme Court to help determine where to send the bill for special-education students who are incarcerated in county jails, saying that the answer could have a "significant fiscal impact on local educational agencies throughout the state of California." 

     (CN) - Sex offenders do not need to register if they were convicted before enactment of a 2006 federal law, unless the attorney general makes that specific finding, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. 

     (CN) - A federal jury convicted a Riverside, Calif. man of swindling more than 200 people in $14 million investment scheme.

     AUSTIN (CN) - Johnson & Johnson will pay $158 million to settle Texas' complaint of Medicaid fraud, ending a trial in Travis County Court that began on Jan. 10.

     HOUSTON (CN) - Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corp. will pay $54.6 million to resolve federal charges that it bribed Nigerian government officials for a decade to get engineering, procurement and construction contracts.

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Postal Regulatory Commission is reviewing whether competitive products provide the appropriate minimum contribution to the U.S. Postal Service's institutional costs, and seeks comments. 

     (CN) - Despite San Diego's history of corruption, the city cannot enforce a $1,000 cap on the amount political parties donate to local election campaigns, a federal judge ruled. 


     LUBBOCK, Texas (CN) - A federal judge threw out the National Rifle Association's lawsuit challenging Texas' prohibiting 18-20 year olds from carrying concealed handguns. 


     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Federal Communications Commission said it plans to eliminate rules limiting cross-ownership of TV and radio stations in local media markets. 

     MANHATTAN - Dexia Holdings claims Bear Stearns, JP Morgan, WaMu et al. sold it more than $1.7 billion in bum residential mortgage-backed securities, and that Bear Stearns "deliberately purged its due diligence records," in New York County Court. 

     LOS ANGELES - Ron Raffaelli, who says he is known as "the King of Rock and Roll Photography," claims Getty Images violated his copyright by selling stolen photos, in Federal Court. 

     NEWARK - A federal class action claims Verizon sold a TV Protection Plan that promises subscribers with screens bigger than 32 inches would not have to pay the $75 fee for service calls, but refuses to make service calls unless they pay it. 

     HAMMOND, Ind. - Parents claim their daughter was sexually assaulted in her classroom at West Side Middle School in Gary after her teacher turned out the lights to show a dinosaur movie and left the room, in Federal Court. 

     HARTFORD - A student says she complained to Southern Connecticut State University that music professor David Chevan sexually harassed and falsely imprisoned her, whereupon Chevan's department chairman told her, "Welcome to the world of academia," in Federal Court. 

     WILMINGTON, Del. - Shareholders say Venoco, an oil company, is selling itself too cheaply through an unfair process to its CEO and majority shareholder Timothy Marquez, for $12.50 a share or $1.5 billion, in Chancery Court. 

     HOUSTON (CN) - A former union boss faces up to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to embezzle from the International Union of Operating Engineers.

     DENVER (CN) - A real estate investment fund manager pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud people of $9.7 million they invested in Texas apartment complexes.