Senate votes to block Trump's border emergency declaration | Calif. governor suspends death penalty | FBI report links Russian tech firm to DNC email hack
March 15, 2019
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Late-Breaking Legal News
Senate votes to block Trump's border emergency declaration
The Senate voted 59-41 to reject President Donald Trump's emergency declaration and effort to raise money for a wall along the US-Mexican border. Democrats were joined by a dozen Republicans in blocking the declaration, which Trump vowed to veto.
The Associated Press (3/14) 
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Calif. governor suspends death penalty
Gavin Newsom, governor of California, suspended the state's death penalty, spurring a wide variety of responses from murder victims' families. Newsom was inspired by the case of Pete Pianezzi, a man who was wrongfully convicted of a 1937 murder and served 13 years in prison for the crime.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/14),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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NITA’s Latest Webcast is Available for Free On Demand
Check out NITA's latest webcast, "Be a Better Conductor: Common Ways Immigration Hearings Go Off the Rails", presented by NITA Faculty, Michelle Mendez. This webcast is now available to watch at a time of your choosing and will guide you through the different stages of an immigration individual hearing. Tune in today!
FBI report links Russian tech firm to DNC email hack
An FBI report unsealed in court Thursday alleges that Russian agents used networks run by Russian entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev to hack into the emails of Democratic Party leaders before the 2016 presidential election. Gubarev was the focus of former British spy Christopher Steele's dossier, which linked the Russian businessman to the theft of emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/14),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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Benefits outweigh risks in offensive hacking, officials say
The current White House policy of hacking back against adversaries targeting the US with cyberattacks is being praised by experts, despite the risk that such moves could lead to escalating attacks from adversaries. "We have come to the conclusion -- and that's what's informed the strategy -- that ... if we ignore them, they will continue and they will undermine our security," Assistant Secretary of Defense Kenneth Rapuano told a panel during a House Armed Services Committee hearing this week.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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Make Your Message Stand Out
Launching a podcast? Live streaming a panel? Reach the audience you want and tell your story your way with the D.C. Bar's new broadcast studio, equipped with the latest in video and audio technology. We'll handle the technical side so you can focus on your content. Book your session today.
Business Practices and Professional Development
Networking supports rainmaking
Law firm rainmakers typically utilize their networks to gain leads on new clients and constantly work on expanding those contacts, writes Bruce Stachenfeld. "You don't know what will happen in any particular situation, but you do know that if you do a lot of things -- and you do them well -- good things are likely to happen," Stachenfeld writes.
Above the Law (3/14) 
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Laws, Cases and Regulations
SEC files suit against Volkswagen for emissions fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen, stating that the company profited while falsifying diesel emissions data in pollution tests and keeping stockholders ignorant. Volkswagen called the lawsuit "legally and factually flawed."
Reuters (3/15),  Fortune (3/15) 
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Sandy Hook relatives can sue gunmaker, says Conn. high court
Relatives of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre can sue the company that made Adam Lanza's gun, the Connecticut Supreme Court decided. While the court agreed the manufacturer is protected by an existing federal law, it determined that a state unfair trade practices law is applicable for the purposes of the suit.
New York magazine (tiered subscription model) (3/14) 
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Court rules woman's rights violated in middle-finger case
A federal appeals court unanimously ruled that it was a violation of Debra Cruise-Gulyas' constitutional rights to ticket her for giving a police officer the middle finger. The Michigan woman argues that the ticket infringed on her rights to free speech and against unreasonable seizure, and the court ruled that she can move forward with her lawsuit.
Detroit Free Press (3/14) 
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D.C. Bar News
Tom Mason of Rules Review Committee breaks down proposed changes
Tom Mason of Rules Review Committee breaks down proposed changes
Mason (Courtesy of Tom Mason)
The D.C. Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct pertaining to technology and confidentiality, outsourcing, In re Kline and disclosure of exculpatory information, and nondiscrimination and antiharassment. Comments are due April 5. Exclusively on the D.C. Bar website, Rules Review Committee Vice-Chair Tom Mason breaks down the proposed changes and what they mean for attorneys.
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Pro Bono Center helps Art Enables focus on its mission
Pro Bono Center helps Art Enables focus on its mission
(D.C. Bar/Art Enables)
Since 2001, Art Enables in Northeast Washington, D.C., has sold more than $1 million worth of artwork. What sets this gallery apart is that it serves as a vocational arts program for self-taught artists dealing with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. Art Enables provides the space, materials and marketing support, but the D.C. Bar's Pro Bono Center also plays a key role by helping Art Enables to operate responsibly and within budget as a nonprofit. Read more about attorney volunteers' efforts in everything from lease negotiation to employee handbook updates.
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