Just the Facts: Americans with Disabilities Act | United States Courts

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While overall civil rights cases have declined, cases brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have increased three-fold in recent years. Filings in three states - California, Florida, and New York - account for a significant number of the civil rights cases filed under the ADA. 

Learn more about this in the new installment of Just the Facts.


What Your Email Address Says About Your Law Practice - Technologist

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By George Khoury, Esq. 

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When you see another lawyer's email address, do you judge them on it? If not, you might start after reading this.

Apparently, some lawyers believe that the @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, or @aol.com accounts should be kept personal, and that a lawyer's email address should always be an @your-law-firm-name-here.com type address. However, this belief isn't always correct, and could lead many lawyers down a primrose path of being hacked for using a garbage email client that lacks adequate security.

Fortunately, thanks to the modern times we live in, email addresses can be quickly and easily changed. Below you'll find a few tips on whether you need to be shopping for a new email.

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS


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President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order eliminating the exam and competitive hiring process for administrative law judges.

The order gives agency chiefs the power to hire administrative law judges according to their own standards. The process will be similar to the way agencies hire executive branch attorneys, according to a press releasePoliticoGovExecNPRand the Washington Post have stories.

About 1,900 administrative law judges work for the federal government, and all but about 300 of them work for the Social Security Administration, according to the Post

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Jenavieve Hatch


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The Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime sets federal funding aside to assist crime victims, including the victims of human trafficking. Up until this month, in addition to services like health care, education and employment, the funds also covered legal representation ― which human trafficking victims have used to get their criminal records expunged or dismissed. More than 90 percent of human trafficking victims are arrested for crimes like prostitution, truancy or drug possession when they are being trafficked.

But the most recent iteration of the Office for Victims of Crime's budget, released on June 25, added new language:

"OVC funding may not be used for criminal defense services," it reads. "Direct representation on vacatur or expungement matters through court filings or through other litigation services, is NOT an allowable cost under this cooperative agreement or with FY 2018 funds."

Assistance in paying for legal aid is essential to victims' recovery process, wrote more than 100 trafficking survivors in a letter to the OVC on Friday.

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Beyond Citation - Critical Thinking About Digital Research

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EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

Last featured in the 11-11-2016 Scout Report, Beyond Citation is a valuable resource for librarians, scholars, instructors, and students. By allowing visitors to quickly learn about popular datasets, Beyond Citation offers an important service for researchers in all academic disciplines.

Researchers, students, and instructors use academic databases to find scholarship on topics of interest. Yet, it is difficult to get information about how these databases work and what materials are included in - or left out of - them. In response to this challenge, a group of students in a digital praxis seminar at the City University of New York (CUNY) created Beyond Citation, a website dedicated to providing the public with information and analysis about major academic search engines. As of this writing, Beyond Citation features explorations of thirteen major databases, including Google Books, Project MUSE, HathiTrust Digital Library, JSTOR, and ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Each database record includes an overview outlining what the database contains, available reviews of each database, and information about access. In addition, readers will also find a useful conversations feature, which offers links to outside analysis and criticism about the selected database. Beyond Citation not only helps researchers critically evaluate databases but also teaches researchers how to use these databases most effectively.

Copyright © 2017 Internet Scout Research Group - http://scout.wisc.edu


Lawsuit to claw back union dues filed after Janus decision--ABA Journal

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BY JASON TASHEA

Seven California teachers have filed a class action lawsuit to win back paid union fees in light of last month's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that nonconsenting public-sector employees cannot be compelled to pay union dues.

The Recorder reported Tuesday that attorney John Bursch of Bursch Law in Grand Rapids, Michigan has filed nearly two-dozen such cases throughout the country in light of the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME. "The lawsuit we filed is a refund of the fees that were illegally extracted," Bursch told the Recorder. He also told the Recorder that some of his lawsuits predated the Janus decision.


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Siri heckles UK defense secretary in parliamentary debate

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A British Member of Parliament has demonstrated the issues of having the 'Hey Siri' function active during meetings, by suddenly being heckled by his iPhone while addressing his peers in the UK House of Commons on Tuesday. 

Emergency Law Inventory | Home

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The Emergency Law Inventory, a CDC funded project, collects and simplifies the laws volunteers need and want to know.

Identifying legal issues and accessing laws can be difficult, even for lawyers. Although many laws are available on the internet, how can volunteers identify those impacting them specifically? How can they be sure all of the laws relevant to their activities are identified? And how do they know if the laws are updated and current?

ELI-V removes these barriers and gives users clear, concise summaries of those laws impacting participation in emergency activities. The laws are searchable by profession and jurisdiction so users can identify the provisions that impact them specifically.


New Form 1040 for 2019 Tax Season

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The IRS today announced plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new Form 1040 consolidates the current 1040, the 1040A and the 1040EZ into one form. The IRS will work with the tax community to finalize the streamlined Form 1040 over the summer to ensure a smooth transition.

Tax professionals can review a draft copy of the new Form 1040 and submit comments regarding the draft to WI.1040.Comments@IRS.gov.



Scout Archives - DPLA: Open Bookshelf

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LANGUAGE ARTS

On June 21, 2018, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) introduced Open Bookshelf, a one-stop shop for hundreds of e-books that are freely available online. This collection, which currently features over 1,000 books, includes titles that are in the public domain along with titles that are Creative Commons licensed. These titles are selected by the Curation Corps, a team of librarians from across the country that includes public, school, and academic librarians. The books available on Open Bookshelf reflect the diversity of the Curation Corps: the collection features classical literature (including Pride and Prejudice and Little Women), textbooks, academic titles, and children's books. Visitors may browse this collection by language or genre (e.g. science fiction, education & study aids, and computers). Individual users can access Open Bookshelf through SimplyE, a free mobile application. Open Bookshelf is also available to participating libraries through the DPLA Exchange.

Copyright © 2017 Internet Scout Research Group - http://scout.wisc.edu


BY LORELEI LAIRD


Most immigrants facing deportation wouldn't climb onto a table during their court hearings. But then again, most 3-year-olds don't go to court without parents or lawyers. 

Nonetheless, that was the situation during a recent court hearing for a child represented by the Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles.

"It really highlighted the absurdity of what we're doing with these kids," Center executive director Lindsay Toczylowski told the Texas Tribune.

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A federal judge in San Diego ordered the federal government this week to reunite families within 14 to 30 days, depending on the ages of the children. If the decision is not appealed, being reunited with parents may help the minors make their cases. However, as Reuters notes, some parents have already been deported without their kids. Advocates including ABA ProBAR director Kimi Jackson have observed that there is no federal procedure for reuniting families, and lawyers for adult immigrants say the hotlines the federal government has provided are rarely answered and provide little information when they are answered.

A group of immigrant advocates sued in 2014 for a court order granting lawyers to unaccompanied minors, arguing that it is "fundamentally unfair" to expect children to represent themselves. The suit argued that children needed lawyers under both their due process rights--which courts have repeatedly held applies to immigrants--and the Immigration and Nationality Act's guarantee of a fair hearing. That case led one Justice Department expert to testify that he'd been able to teach immigration law to young children, a claim mocked by immigration lawyers and at least one late-night comedian.

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SCOTUS Strikes Down Public Sector Agency Fee-Overturns Abood Precedent

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On June 27, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, Dkt. No 16-1466, holding that compulsory payment of public-sector union fees by non-union members violates First Amendment free speech rights.

The petitioner in Janus, challenged the constitutionality of an Illinois law requiring public employees to pay union agency fees despite an employee's choice not to join the union and his strong objection to the union's positions in collective negotiations. The petitioner argued that the payment of mandatory agency fees by nonmembers in connection with collective negotiations for government employees is inherently political and violates the First Amendment. Siding with the petitioner and striking down the Illinois law, the Supreme Court overturned its prior 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977).

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld President Donald Trump's third travel ban in a 5-4 decision.

The court said the travel ban was "squarely within the scope of presidential authority" under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the plaintiffs' First Amendment claim was unlikely to succeed.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion. Roberts said the government had advanced a sufficient national security justification, though "we express no view on the soundness of the policy." The court reversed a preliminary injunction banning the policy from taking effect and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The court did not decide whether a nationwide injunction was permissible.

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Sotomayor said in her dissent that any reasonable observer would conclude that the travel ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias that violates the establishment clause. The majority decision "leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a 'total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States' because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns," Sotomayor wrote. "But this repackaging does little to cleanse Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of discrimination that the president's words have created."

The case is Trump v. Hawaii.

Hat tip to SCOTUSblog, which quickly summarized the opinion.


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An Elmira-area judge has agreed to never seek or accept judicial office again after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct found he did not live in the town where he was a judge.

Thomas Brooks resigned earlier this year after the commission found he lived outside the town of Veteran, where he served as a judge, the commission said in a decision Friday.

The commission received a complaint in February that Brooks lived in Erin, New York, rather than Veteran. Section 23 of Veteran's laws says a sitting judge must reside in the town, according to the commission.

"A judge must meet the statutory residency requirements necessary to hold judicial office," said Robert Tembeckjian, administrator of the CJC. "Failure to do so is disqualifying."

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ILW.COM - Legal Education: EB-5 Regional Center Roundtable

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Focus: EB-5 Roundtable with Angelo Paparelli

This month's free 45-minute telephonic EB5 Roundtable with Angelo Paparelli features: 
Guest Speakers: Mark Katzoff, Brandon Meyer and Rohit Turkhud 
This month's topic is: China Collapse - India Rising - New Regulations Forthcoming: What's Next for the EB-5 Program? 
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - Time: 2:00-2:30pm ET 
Registration Deadline: 11:00pm (ET), Monday, May 28, 2018 


To register, please see: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/EB5RegionalCenterSeminars.shtm#regnow 
To view speakers and their biographies, please see: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/EB5RegionalCenterSeminars.shtm


By Christopher Coble, Esq. 

Today (June 22, 2018), the Court ruled that police must obtain a warrant to get a phone's location information from cell towers, in certain circumstances. But not every justice agreed with the majority. 

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You can see the full opinion below:

Carpenter v United States by FindLaw on Scribd


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If you have clients with disabilities, they can now put more money into their tax-favored Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enables eligible individuals with disabilities to put more money into their ABLE accounts, qualify for the Saver's Credit in many cases and roll money from their 529 plans into their ABLE accounts.

For more information about ABLE accounts and the tax reform changes, visit IRS.gov/taxreform.


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NY Sues to Dismantle Trump's Charitable Foundation - FindLaw

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By William Vogeler, Esq.

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New York's attorney general says President Trump used his charitable foundation like it was his personal checkbook, including $10,000 he paid from the foundation for a painting of himself.

In People of the State of New York v. Trump, the state alleges Trump wrote a check for $100,000 to settle a zoning dispute for his Mar-a-Lago club. The attorney general is suing to recover $2.8 million in restitution and fines for years of illegal transactions.

The Trump Organization denies the allegations, but one thing seems clear. There was no collusion because Trump signed all the checks himself.

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Verizon now has three 'unlimited' plans, and none of them are | 9to5Mac

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Not content with offering one 'unlimited' plan which isn't, and a second 'beyond unlimited' plan which also isn't, Verizon has now decided the solution to this is a third plan. The latest addition is called 'above unlimited' and, you guessed it, it's not ...


hile the federal income tax-filing deadline has ended, some of your clients may still need assistance. Several IRS resources are available year-round:

  • IRS.gov. You can find helpful information by clicking on "Help" at the top of the home page to access several online tools, obtain answers to tax questions with the Interactive Tax Assistant and the IRS Tax Map, and choose 'Where's My Refund?' to check the status of your client's refund.
  • Taxpayer Advocate ServiceTAS can help any of your clients experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems, or who believe that an IRS procedure is not working as it should. Contact TAS at 1-877-777-4778.
  • Low Income Taxpayer Clinics. The LITCsprovide professional representation to individuals who need to resolve tax problems.
  • Multimedia Center. A number of YouTube videos are available on a variety of topics in either EnglishSpanish or American Sign Language. IRS podcasts are also available in English and Spanish.
  • Twitter@IRSnews provides tax-related announcements and tips. @IRStaxprostweets news and guidance for tax professionals. Tweets from @IRSenEspanolhave news and information in Spanish.
  • The Taxpayer Advocate Service sends tweets from @YourVoiceAtIRS.

For more information, visit https://go.usa.gov/xQHcZ.


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