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Week in Review

By Eric Lanter

Austrian Authorities Thwart Group Attempting to Sell Fake Picassos

Austria's criminal intelligence service apprehended six individuals who sought to sell five fake artworks they attributed to Picasso. They tried to sell Picasso originals to undercover authorities for approximately $11 million each. The group was caught after an investigation prompted by a tip that a group had planned to sell the fake artworks. The suspects insisted that they believed the artworks were legitimate.


Rolling Stone Magazine Loses Defamation Case

A federal jury delivered its verdict that Nicole Eramo, the former Associate Dean of Students at the University of Virginia, has succeeded in her claim for defamation against Rolling Stone Magazine's parent company, Wenner Media, and the author of an inflammatory article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely. The article that formed the basis for the lawsuit was published in 2014, which claimed that a sexual assault occurred, and after the assault was reported to former Associate Dean Eramo, it was ignored. However, a police investigation revealed that the incident did not occur, and ultimately, Rolling Stone retracted the article after realizing that the author did not verify any of the alleged victim's facts in writing the article.


Following Rolling Stone Verdict, Magazine and Reporter to Pay $3 Million

The Charlottesville, Virginia jury decided that the author of the defamatory article is liable for $2 million and Rolling Stone's parent company, Wenner Media, is liable for $1 million. The former Associate Dean of Students, Nicole Eramo, asked for $7.5 million in damages in her complaint, which was filed in May 2015. It is unclear whether the Rolling Stone defendants will appeal the verdict.


After Bill Cosby Saga, States Revise Statutes of Limitations for Sexual Assault

In the past two years, six states have either extended or eliminated statutes of limitations for sexual assault crimes. Bill Cosby's victims are now lobbying to add more states to the list, including Nevada, Colorado, and California, to enable women who have been sexually assaulted to have an ability to press criminal charges long after the act occurred. Opponents contend that faulty memories and spoliation of evidence should be considerations that prevent extension or elimination of statutes of limitations.


Court Rules That American International Group Must Pay Cosby's Legal Fees

When three women throughout the country brought lawsuits against Bill Cosby for defamation, he used his insurance policies on his homes in Massachusetts and California to cover his legal fees. American International Group (AIG) brought suit seeking an insurance exemption to avoid paying Cosby's legal fees. However, a Massachusetts federal judge held that AIG must pay Cosby's legal fees, as defamation lawsuits fall under the policies' enhanced "personal injury" clauses.


New York Met Yoenis Cespedes Opts Out of Contract

Following the historic World Series, there is a period where teams are able to make offers to their pending free agents, or players that are set to finish their contracts. Typically, players take the opportunity to negotiate a better contract. The New York Mets' outfielder Yoenis Cespedes exercised the opt-out clause of his contract, forgoing the remaining two years of his contract and $47.5 million. Cespedes, being 31 years old, is likely to pursue a long-term contract to finish his career with one team.


New York Met Jeurys Familia Pleads Not Guilty in Domestic Violence Case

The New York Mets' relief pitcher, Jeurys Familia, made his first court appearance regarding a domestic violence incident at his home in New Jersey. The altercation occurred in Fort Lee, New Jersey on October 31, 2016. In court, the judge left an order in place prohibiting Familia from having firearms or engaging in further domestic violence. The next court appearance is December 15, 2016. Major League Baseball, pursuant to its own rules, may suspend Familia after investigating the matter further.


In Game 7 of World Series, Another Senseless Injury

The "baseball rule" provides that fans assume the risk of injury when taking in a baseball game, and courts have regularly upheld this rule. Nonetheless, Major League Baseball's Commissioner Rob Manfred vowed to reduce injuries in the 2016 season by encouraging teams to increase the amount of netting at their stadiums. Advocates for netting hope to cover foul pole to foul pole in netting, so as to prevent the vast majority of injuries that still occur. Fans have expressed their disappointment, as the nets interfere with the intimacy of interacting with the players.


President of Boxing's Governing Body Knew of Loan, Documents Show

The president of the International Boxing Federation, Ching-kwo Wu, has been found to know of a $10 million loan to the organization from Azerbaijan. Shortly thereafter, Azerbaijani boxers received an uptick in medals. PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted the investigation, revealing that the loan was not properly accounted for on the Federation's financial ledgers.


Venezuelan Soccer Official Pleads Guilty

The Department of Justice announced that it has secured the 21st conviction relating to conspiracy charges. Rafael Esquivel admitted that for three decades he collected millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for media and marketing rights for the competitions Copa Libertadores and Copa America. He has promised to pay $16 million to the United States government as part of his plea deal.


Russia Prepares to Block LinkedIn After Court Ruling

A court in Russia ruled that LinkedIn's data gathering violates Russia's data protection rules. The court's prohibition of LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals, is the latest in a series of actions that have created more tension for American tech companies operating in Russia. Russia's five million users of LinkedIn may experience difficulty accessing the site as soon as Monday.


Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer to Merge

Effective January 1, 2017, the two major law firms Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer are to merge into Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, with more than 1,000 lawyers. Arnold & Porter, widely known as a litigation and "regulatory issues powerhouse in Washington," and Kaye Scholer, "best known for its financial services and life sciences work," combine complementary fields of practice.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 12, 2016 10:19 PM.

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