Trump reverses policy separating immigrant families | Supreme Court rules states can require online sales tax collection | Grand jury report on Pa. clergy sex abuse to remain sealed
June 21, 2018
DCBar SmartBrief
Late-Breaking Legal News
Trump reverses policy separating immigrant families
Trump reverses policy separating immigrant families
(John Moore/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order directing authorities to keep immigrant families together when they arrive at the US-Mexican border illegally, reversing a widely criticized policy that separated children from parents. Trump initially said he was powerless to change the law governing treatment of such families.
Reuters (6/21) 
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Supreme Court rules states can require online sales tax collection
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday that states can require online retailers to charge sales tax on purchases made by their residents. The ruling overturned a precedent that retailers weren't responsible for collecting the tax if they didn't have a physical presence in the state, but major retailers have long objected to that standard, saying it creates an uneven playing field.
New York Post/The Associated Press (6/21),  CBS News (6/21) 
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Grand jury report on Pa. clergy sex abuse to remain sealed
An order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court indefinitely prevents the public release of a grand jury report related to a child abuse investigation in six of the eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state. Court spokesperson Kimberly Bathgate said "all grand jury matters are sealed, including the rationale" for the order.
The Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News (tiered subscription model) (6/20) 
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Fla. airport to require facial scans of all international passengers
Orlando International Airport's use of face-scanning technology that employs Department of Homeland Security data to confirm travelers' identities is set to expand to all international passengers arriving to or departing from the US. Privacy expert Harrison Rudolph of the Georgetown University Law Center said concerns include problems with accuracy in scanning minority travelers.
The Associated Press (6/21) 
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Business Practices and Professional Development
Commentary: It's time to overcome "fatigue," work harder on diversity
The legal profession has made some progress toward equity for women, minorities and people with disabilities, but the progress has been too little to allow diversity efforts to slow down, writes attorney Jill Switzer. "Diversity fatigue is unacceptable," Switzer writes.
Above the Law (6/20) 
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Laws, Cases and Regulations
Panel allows appeal by death row inmate from Mexico
A three-judge federal appeals panel on Tuesday found that Ramiro Ibarra, a Mexican man sentenced to death in Texas for the murder of a 16-year-old girl, can appeal his sentence based on his claim that his attorneys erred during the sentencing phase of his trial. The panel also dismissed the claim that mental impairment makes Ibarra ineligible to be executed.
The Associated Press (6/20) 
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Several centers holding immigrant children face abuse allegations
A federal judge in Virginia is scheduled in July to hear a case alleging that a facility under federal contract to provide "secure placement" for immigrant children has subjected those children to "unconstitutional conditions that shock the conscience." Thirteen facilities awarded a total of $1.5 billion in grants by the Office of Refugee Resettlement since 2014 face allegations including sexual abuse, excessive physical restraint and improper administration of drugs.
The Associated Press (6/21),  Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting (6/20) 
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Fraud among federal charges against W.Va. high court justice
Charges that a federal grand jury brought on Wednesday against West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry include fraud, witness tampering and making false statements. Loughry is suspended without pay, the West Virginia Supreme Court said.
National Public Radio (6/20) 
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D.C. Bar News
In setting up your IOLTA account, location is key
In setting up your IOLTA account, location is key
Stillabower (D.C. Bar)
In the June/July issue of Washington Lawyer, D.C. Bar legal ethics counsel Erika Stillabower reminds D.C. lawyers that location matters when it comes to trust accounts. Under D.C. Rule 1.15(b), D.C. lawyers who primarily practice in the District and accept funds that belong in a trust account, such as advance fees and expenses or settlement money, must have a D.C. IOLTA account unless certain exceptions apply. Have questions about establishing a D.C. IOLTA account? The D.C. Bar Practice Management Advisory Service offers resources to get you started.
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CLE: Trump administration's Buy American, Hire American EO and its impact on US business immigration
CLE: Trump administration's Buy American, Hire American EO and its impact on US business immigration
In April 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American (BAHA) executive order, seeking to create higher wages and employment rates for US workers and to protect their economic interests by enforcing immigration laws. But how is "putting American workers first" affecting US business immigration? Sign up for the CLE Program's June 26 course on business immigration, offered in person at the D.C. Bar and by webinar, and learn what the BAHA Executive Order means for your clients. The class will cover Customs and Border Protection actions, shifting views at the State Department and current trends in PERM labor certification.
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