April 21, 2021
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Late-Breaking Legal News
Minneapolis police face Justice Dept. inquiry
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
The Justice Department has begun an investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department "engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing," including excessive force, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. The announcement comes one day after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on charges of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death, with sentencing to take place in about eight weeks.
Full Story: National Public Radio (4/21),  The Associated Press (4/21),  CNN (4/21),  The New York Times (4/20) 
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The US Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in two cases involving the 2019 Rehaif v. United States decision, with the Justice Department urging the justices to prevent "windfall" victories for people appealing federal gun convictions. The arguments centered on how appeals courts should address Rehaif errors, in which prosecutors fail to demonstrate that a defendant is a felon.
Full Story: Bloomberg Law (free content) (4/20) 
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A revised version of the District of Columbia's Comprehensive Plan would "exacerbate racial inequities" in D.C., according to a report from the D.C. Council's Office of Racial Equity. The land-use plan is undergoing a five-year amendment process, and the report notes that the latest version includes revisions that "elevate racial equity as a policy priority" but falls short in guiding policies to promote racial equity.
Full Story: DCist (Washington, D.C.) (4/20) 
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Technology
The Biden administration will soon require US government contractors to report cybersecurity breaches, writes attorney Leah Kaiser. Meanwhile, the White House has started a 100-day effort to improve cybersecurity in the US power grid, providing actionable steps for utility owners and operators.
Full Story: JD Supra/Husch Blackwell (4/19),  CNN (4/20) 
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Global Outlook
The European Commission has proposed rules that would restrict or prohibit uses of artificial intelligence deemed to jeopardize people's rights or safety, such as "social scoring" by governments. Among the proposals is a ban on mass surveillance via remote biometric identification, although it would carve out exceptions for some law enforcement activities.
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/21) 
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The US is examining its options for responding to Russia's military buildup at the border with Ukraine, which is asking Washington to provide additional weapons. Russia has about 120,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, and it recently has hindered foreign vessels' movement in the Black Sea and made intrusions into European airspace.
Full Story: Politico (4/21) 
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Registration Now Open
Offered virtually this year, the biennial event will bring together judges, attorneys, and other experts for presentations and breakout sessions that address how legal practice and access to justice changed during the pandemic. View the agenda.
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Laws, Cases and Regulations
New Montana laws that change which forms of ID are acceptable for voters and eliminate same-day voter registration have prompted a lawsuit from Democrats, whose lawyer called the moves voter suppression. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte said the measures are necessary to support the integrity of elections in the state.
Full Story: CNN (4/20) 
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US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett should recuse herself from a case regarding whether a nonprofit must disclose donor information to California regulators, three Democratic lawmakers say. The case involves the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which said last year that its spending to back Barrett's confirmation to the high court would be "in the seven figures."
Full Story: USA Today (4/20) 
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D.C. Bar News
April 28 CLE: The Evolution of Criminal Behavior by Counterfeiters in E-Commerce
(iStock)
Counterfeiting is the world's largest criminal enterprise, measured at $509 billion dollars in 2016 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. While federal enforcement of trademarks is the most commonly available remedy, it is also necessary to explore state statutes to enforce trademark rights. Co-sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center, this new class will outline the scope of the problem, the statutory framework and tactics for establishing evidence in trademark counterfeiting criminal cases.
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How federal agencies and states are encouraging whistleblower tips
(iStock)
Whistleblowers have increasingly played a role in helping securities and derivatives regulators identify and respond to violations at the federal and state level. On April 27 the D.C. Bar Corporation, Finance and Securities Law Community will present a panel of practitioners and top regulators from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and North American Securities Administrators Association to discuss their recently amended rules, expanded programs and proposed laws.
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