October 27, 2021
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Late-Breaking Legal News
The offices of the Virginia attorney general and the Fairfax County commonwealth's attorney are appealing the dismissal of all charges against two US Park Police officers in the 2017 shooting death of Bijan Ghaisar. A federal judge held that the officers have immunity under the Constitution's supremacy clause, prompting the appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
Full Story: WTOP-FM (Washington, D.C.) (10/27),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/26) 
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Lawyer David Klein is asking the US Supreme Court to refrain from ruling in a case involving Guantanamo Bay detainee Abu Zubaydah until the Biden administration clarifies what testimony it will allow Zubaydah to provide regarding his treatment at an alleged CIA "black site" in Poland. Allowing such testimony could preclude a high court decision regarding when the government can guard information based on the claim that it is a state secret.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/26) 
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5 defendants representing themselves in Capitol riot cases
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
At least five defendants in US Capitol riot cases have opted to represent themselves in court, a path that experts say could present difficulties for prosecutors and judges, who must ensure adherence to proper legal procedures and make sure defendants' rights against self-incrimination are maintained. "The system's not really built for people to represent themselves in felony-type cases," Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson says.
Full Story: National Public Radio (10/27) 
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Courts continue to assess how to address public safety amid the coronavirus pandemic while ensuring the right to an open trial is preserved, with many courts now commonly using videoconferencing for at least some proceedings. Some in-person trials can require the use of as many as three courtrooms for the trial, juror deliberations and remote viewing by the public.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/26) 
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The State Department is adding a bureau that will concentrate on digital policy, international cybersecurity and digital freedom, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Full Story: The Hill (10/27) 
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Global Outlook
A Brazilian Senate committee has voted in favor of a report recommending criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro over how he has addressed the coronavirus pandemic. The report encourages prosecutors to indict Bolsonaro on charges including charlatanism, crimes against humanity and misuse of public funds.
Full Story: BBC (10/27),  The Associated Press (10/27) 
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Laws, Cases and Regulations
Rhode Island students are requesting that the US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit overturn a lower court's rejection of their lawsuit seeking a ruling that students have a constitutional right to an adequate civics education. "If we are raising young people to become citizens in a democracy, that requires some thoughtfulness about how they're educated," says parent Moira Hinderer, who is part of the lawsuit on her 10-year-old daughter's behalf.
Full Story: The Associated Press (10/27) 
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D.C. Bar News
Superior Court seeks comment on changes to Rules of Civil Procedure
The D.C. Superior Court Rules Committee has completed its review of proposed amendments to Superior Court Rule of Civil Procedure 12-I and conforming amendments to Rules 5, 56, 64-I and 64-II. Among the changes to Rule 12-I, the requirement for the moving party to determine whether there is opposition to the relief sought was limited to nondispositive motions, and the option to file separate points and authorities was eliminated. View the notice. Written comments must be submitted by Dec. 1 to Laura Wait or by mail.
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Nov. 3 CLE: IP Strategies, Enforcement Considerations, and Potential Pitfalls in the Cannabis Industry
Notwithstanding its illegality under federal law, the District and numerous states have legalized cannabis for medical and/or adult recreational use. The resulting tension between state and federal law complicates the legal representation of cannabis industry clients, and intellectual property matters are no exception. During this course, learn how cannabis-related IP may best be protected and potentially enforced in this legally awkward environment. For insight into the financial challenges of running a cannabis business, attend the last class in the series.
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