Benghazi Defamation Case

A former U.S. marine who participated in efforts to defend the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during a terrorist attack in 2012 failed to prove that a Twitter user’s statements about him were made “with actual malice,” an appeals court in Texas ruled. The user’s Twitter handle had featured a picture of the marine’s face with the words “Liar of Benghazi.”

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Insufficient Assistance

The California Supreme Court granted a habeas petition for a potential retrial of a man convicted of murdering a police officer, finding that his counsel committed serious errors during his trial. The man’s death sentence has already been vacated because of counsel’s deficient assistance during the penalty phase.

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Electric Scooters

A federal court in Texas ruled in favor of compelling arbitration in a suit against Lime Scooters brought by a woman who claimed she crashed while riding one of the company’s electric scooters because a software problem caused “sudden excessive braking.” The court found that by signing into the company’s mobile app, the woman agreed to arbitrate such claims. 

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Sexual Assault Prosecutions

A federal judge in Texas dismissed a class action brought by eight sexual assault victims against Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore and other county and City of Austin defendants. The women had claimed the defendants systematically refused to “appropriately investigate and prosecute sex crimes against women” based on biases about women. 

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Terroristic Threats

A Marine veteran who posted on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Facebook page that he would “pay an ISIS terrorist with a nuke” to “burn the v.a. at 10 million degrees Fahrenheit,” was properly convicted of terroristic threatening, an appeals court in Arkansas ruled, finding that it was reasonable for the VA to take the statement and other parts of the post as a true threat.

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Chipotle Settlement

A federal court in California approved a $6.5 million settlement with Chipotle in a class action relating to the company’s claims that its food products were “non-GMO” and “GMO free.” The class alleges these claims were misleading because the restaurant’s dairy and meat products were from animals fed with a GMO derived feed and its soft drinks contain corn syrup. 

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CNN Bias Case

A California Appeals court ruled that former CNN producer Stanley Wilson’s discrimination claims survive the network’s anti-SLAPP motion, finding that the “First Amendment does not preclude Wilson from showing that CNN’s proffered ground for terminating his employment was pretextual and that its real motive was discriminatory.”

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Bloodless Transplant

A Texas prisoner was properly denied his request to be released on bail in order to receive a “bloodless” heart transplant, an appeals court in the state ruled. As a Jehovah’s Witness, the inmate cannot receive blood transfusions, and the hospital where he currently receives medical treatment does not perform the type of procedure he seeks.

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Sarah Palin Suit

A federal court in New York ruled that Sarah Palin is not due a cut of the New York Times’ advertising revenue attributable to its 2017 editorial titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” which linked her to the 2011 shooting of former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. Palin is suing the newspaper for defamation.

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