Catholic Church

A federal class action claims the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops defrauded donors to its “Peter’s Pence” collection of “hundreds of millions of dollars” by not using it for charitable causes, as promised, but putting it into “suspicious investment funds,” such as luxury condominium developments and Hollywood movies, while paying fund managers multimillion-dollar commissions.

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Anti-SLAPP

Reversing, a California Appeals Court ruled that the trial court incorrectly declined to grant the anti-SLAPP motion of a film producer who was sued by an investor who said no “substantial” work had been completed on a documentary about the Syrian refugee crisis — the appeals court found project is an act “in furtherance” of protected speech.

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Eastwood Film on Olympic Bombing Stirs Up Atlanta

After a bomb exploded in a downtown Atlanta park midway through the 1996 Olympics, a security guard initially cast as a hero was recast as a villain virtually overnight. More than 20 years later, a Clint Eastwood movie to be released this week, “Richard Jewell,” explores the roles played by law enforcement and the media in the guard’s ordeal.

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Ninth Circuit Urged to Revive ‘Shape of Water’ Copyright Spat

As a Ninth Circuit panel weighed whether to resurrect a copyright infringement lawsuit against the filmmakers behind the Oscar-winning “The Shape of Water,” one judge called attention Monday to what she described as a troubling trend of cases involving literary works being prematurely dismissed by lower courts.

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Jane Does Ask for Millions in Porn Fraud Trial

During closing arguments Monday in the civil fraud trial against GirlsDoPorn, the attorney for 22 Jane Does – who claim they were coerced into shooting pornography that was distributed on the website – contended they were vulnerable victims of “the ultimate bait-and-switch,” while the website’s attorney said it was paternalistic to question the decision-making of adult women. 

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Abortion Foe Walks Back Testimony on Conference Security

The defense in a racketeering and fraud case against anti-abortion activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt hit a snag Tuesday when Planned Parenthood attorneys refuted Merritt’s testimony about inadequate security at an abortion industry conference where she and Daleiden secretly recorded Planned Parenthood doctors.

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Panama Papers

Mossack Fonseca, the international law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers scandal, and its two principals are suing Netflix for defamation in Connecticut federal court over the movie “The Laundromat,” which they say depicts them as “ruthless uncaring lawyers who are involved in money laundering, tax evasion [and] bribery.”

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Abortion Foes’ Videos Spurred Safety Concerns, Clinic Workers Testify

A Planned Parenthood doctor who was surreptitiously recorded by anti-abortion activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt at a National Abortion Federation conference in San Francisco said her sense of security was shaken after a video of what she thought was a private conversation about fetal tissue donation was released online.

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