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Legal news from Tuesday, November 09, 2004

  • 9th Circuit upholds ruling allowing music sampling by Beastie Boys
  • Environmental brief ~ San Francisco plans to scrap two power plants
  • UK High Court refers steelworkers' case to European court
  • BREAKING NEWS ~ Ashcroft resigns as Attorney General
  • Bush administration appeals Oregon assisted-suicide law
  • Belgium high court finds popular Flemish party racist
  • 9th Circuit rules deportation order violated Convention against Torture
  • Gay-rights supporters file lawsuit over Georgia's same-sex marriage ban
  • Sudan, rebels reach Darfur agreement
  • Judge requires New York City to enforce same-sex benefits law
  • Iran to try nine Internet-based journalists
  • Corporations & securities brief ~ SEC considers charges against ex-Lucent executives
  • Alleged coup plotter appears in Ghana court
  • Red Cross urges Fallujah combatants to respect humanitarian law
  • FCC exempts Internet-based phone service from states regulation
  • Moussaoui lawyers seek to delay trial to allow pretrial appeals to Supreme Court
  • Indonesian court throws out Bashir suit against magazine
  • Supreme Court upholds limited liability for agents in shipping contract
  • US Supreme Court rules drunk driving can't lead to deportation
  • Irish judge rules same-sex couple can seek legal status in Ireland
  • UN probe into possible Darfur genocide begins
  • Conservatives protest Specter's possible leadership of Senate Judiciary Committee
  • DOJ to appeal ruling on Gitmo military commissions
  • Lawyers for Milosevic ask to be removed as standby counsel
  • SEC to consider stronger governance, disclosure requirements for stock exchanges
  • Legal agenda and live webcasts ~ Tuesday, Nov. 9


  • Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    9th Circuit upholds ruling allowing music sampling by Beastie Boys
    Chris Buell at 9:06 PM ET

    [JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused on Tuesday to reconsider a decision it made last year that the music group Beastie Boys could use short samples of others' music in its own songs. The practice of "sampling" has become widespread in the music industry. The 9th Circuit ruled in 2003 [PDF] that the group had not violated copyright law in using the sample, for which it had paid a license fee. In denying the rehearing, the court wrote:
    Because Beastie Boys' use of the sound recording was authorized, the sole basis of Newton's infringement action is his remaining copyright interest in the "Choir" composition. We hold that Beastie Boys' use of a brief segment of that composition, consisting of three notes separated by a half-step over a background C note, is not sufficient to sustain a claim for infringement of Newton's copyright in the composition "Choir". We affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment on the ground that Beastie Boys' use of the composition was de minimis and therefore not actionable.
    Read the court's order [PDF]. Reuters has more.



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    Environmental brief ~ San Francisco plans to scrap two power plants
    Tom at 8:40 PM ET

    [JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, San Francisco CA officials announced a plan that would close the Hunters Point power plant (owned by Pacific Gas and Electric) by 2006 and the Potrero power plant (owned by Mirant Co.) by 2007. The plan, developed by the city and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), would scuttle the plants and partially compensate for them by building a new gas-fired turbine plant. The plan goes to a vote before CAISO officials Wednesday. San Francisco's KTVU has more. In other news, Japan is negotiating with Romania to trade emission reduction units in advance of the upcoming entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. The protocol, an instrument of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, allows a country to achieve emission reduction units which count towards the country's greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirement. Countries can trade the units, and Japan hopes to aid Romania with energy-saving projects in exchange for Romanian emission reduction units. The protocol enters into force in February. The Japan Times has the story.... The EPA condemned a report[PDF] released Monday by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, an organization set up by the US, Canada and Mexico under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation which complements the environmental provisions of NAFTA. The report recommends a number of controversial measures to prevent US corn from threatening native Mexican crops, including the milling of all US corn at the border, additional labeling requirements, and extension of the ban on planting modified corn in Mexico. The EPA says the report is fundamentally flawed and unscientific. The Chicago Tribune has more.



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    UK High Court refers steelworkers' case to European court
    Chris Buell at 8:29 PM ET

    [JURIST] The UK High Court Tuesday referred a steelworkers' case against the government over lost pensions to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The former workers at Allied Steel and Wire claim the government should have protected their pensions when the company went bankrupt in 2002. The union, Community, has claimed that European directive would have protected the workers when they were laid off in 2002 and lost 90 percent of their pension. BBC News has background and more.



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    BREAKING NEWS ~ Ashcroft resigns as Attorney General
    Bernard Hibbitts at 5:53 PM ET

    [JURIST] AP is reporting that Attorney General John Ashcroft has resigned from the Bush cabinet, along with Commerce Secretary Don Evans. Ashcroft's resignation had been expected by some observers, albeit perhaps not until January. Possible successors include Senator Orrin Hatch, currently chairman of the Senate Juidiciary Committee, and Bill Pryor, the former Alabama Attorney General controversially elevated to the federal appeals bench in a recent Bush "recess appointment".

    6:03 PM ET - The resignations were announced by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who indicated that the President had already accepted them. Attorney General Ashcroft's resignation was made in a five-page handwritten letter, in which he wrote that "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved." AP now has more.

    7:50 PM ET - President Bush has thanked both Ashcroft and Evans for their service in releases posted on the White House website. Read the release on Ashcroft and the release on Evans. Read more on Ashcroft's record from FindLaw, as well as a BBC profile. USA Today has a timeline of Ashcroft's tenure as attorney general. Law.com has more on the speculation about who will replace Ashcroft.

    9:00 PM ET - MSNBC has posted photocopies and text of Ashcroft's resignation letter. In the letter, dated November 2 (last Tuesday, election day), he wrote in part:
    The demands of justice are both rewarding and depleting. I take great personal satisfaction in the record which has been developed. The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved. The rule of law has been strengthened and upheld in the courts. Yet, I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served by new leadership and fresh inspiration. I believe that my energies and talents should be directed toward other challenging horizons. Therefore, I humbly state my desire to resign from the office of United States Attorney General.
    Read the full text here.



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    Bush administration appeals Oregon assisted-suicide law
    Amit Patel at 4:06 PM ET

    [JURIST] On the last day it could file an appeal, the US Department of Justice has asked the US Supreme Court to block the Oregon Death With Dignity Act which allows doctors to help terminally ill patients die more quickly. The appeal has been expected since May, when the US Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled that federal officials do not have the power to punish health professionals in Oregon in contravention of Oregon law. Read the full Ninth Circuit opinion here and a summary here [PDF]. More than 170 people have used the Oregon law to end their lives. The government argues that assisted suicide is not a "legitimate medical purpose" and that doctors take an oath to heal patients, not to help them die. The Supreme Court will most likely decide whether it will hear the case early next year. The Court heard a right-to-die case in 1997 holding that while Americans have no constitutional right to assisted suicide, it is up to the states to decide the issue for themselves without federal interference. AP has more.



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    Belgium high court finds popular Flemish party racist
    Amit Patel at 4:00 PM ET

    [JURIST] Belgium's highest court - Hof van Cassatie in Dutch/Flemish, Cour de cassation in French (official website here) - ruled Tuesday that the Flemish far-right Vlaams Blok party is racist. The ruling, which is final and cannot be appealed, in effect shuts down the party as the Blok will lose access to state funding and access to television. Read a court press release on the ruling here (in French). The Blok had been appealing a lower court ruling which found the party was guilty of violations of anti-racism legislation. Vlaams Blok, which advocates anti-immigration laws, is the most popular party in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders. Blok will likely launch a new party with the new name, Vlaams Belang, or Flemish Interest. Read the Vlaams Blok press release here (Dutch/Flemish). BBC News has more.



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    9th Circuit rules deportation order violated Convention against Torture
    Amit Patel at 3:55 PM ET

    [JURIST] The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has thrown out a deportation order against a Syrian family which claimed its father would be tortured if returned to Syria. The family, which has lived in the Seattle area for over 10 years, overstayed their visa and sought asylum. A three-judge panel unanimously ruled that the Board of Immigration Appeals had abused its discretion by denying the family relief under the Convention Against Torture, which prohibits countries from deporting people to places where they are likely to be tortured or killed. The court also found the family suffered from bad legal representation and unfair rulings by immigration officials, who were ordered to give the family whatever relief was required by the treaty. Read the full opinion here [PDF]. AP has more.



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    Gay-rights supporters file lawsuit over Georgia's same-sex marriage ban
    Amit Patel at 3:46 PM ET

    [JURIST] Gay-rights supporters in Georgia have filed a lawsuit over the ban on same-sex marriage voted into the Georgia constitution in last Tuesday's election. The constitutional amendment at issue, which only asked if voters wanted to define marriage as between a man and a woman, not whether to ban civil unions, passed by an almost 3-to-1 ratio. The lawsuit states the amendment should be thrown out as it is "fatally flawed ... because it contains multiple sections which deal with more than one subject matter." A group of gay-rights supporters had tried to block the amendment vote, on the same grounds that it was misleading but the Georgia Supreme Court decided it could not intervene until after a vote was taken (see a previous report on Paper Chase). The GOP has promised to fight the lawsuit which names Republican Governor Sonny Perdue as defendant. AP has more.



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    Sudan, rebels reach Darfur agreement
    Amit Patel at 3:34 PM ET

    [JURIST] The Sudanese government and Darfur rebels have reached an agreement in principle which will stop hostilities and will guarantee aid groups' access to 1.6 million civilians uprooted by war in the troubled western Sudan region of Darfur. The government has agreed to renounce hostile military flights over Darfur which rebels and African Union mediators demanded as part of a deal following widespread accusations of government bombings of villages. The two sides provided no timetable for a long-term political solution to the crisis. Over 70,000 people have died since the conflict began. The UN Security Council, is still due to meet in the Nairobi, Kenya on November 17-18 to discuss Darfur. BBC News has more and also has continuing coverage of the conflict.



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    Judge requires New York City to enforce same-sex benefits law
    Amit Patel at 3:17 PM ET

    [JURIST] New York Judge Faviola Soto has ruled that New York City must enforce a law that requires companies which do business with the city to give the same benefits to same-sex couples that they give to spouses. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had vetoed the Equal Benefits Law saying it would limit its ability to choose bidders for city work at low costs. However, the city counsel overided the veto which led to the court action. The law which requires business with city contracts over $100,000 to give health insurance, bereavement and other benefits to domestic partners went into effect on October 26. The city will appeal the ruling. Human Rights Campaign Foundation has more on the New York law here. AP has more.



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    Iran to try nine Internet-based journalists
    Chris Buell at 1:27 PM ET

    [JURIST] Iranian judiciary officials announced Tuesday that a group of pro-reform journalists will stand trial next week on charges of spreading propaganda against the Islamic government. The journalists, who wrote for Internet-based news organizations or maintained web logs, have all been arrested since September. Human rights groups, as well as some reformists in the Iranian government, have called the arrests politically motivated. Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that the Iranian government was attempting to silence Internet expression by its citizens, closing off the last outlet for communication. The journalists faced charges of "propagating against the regime, acting against national security, disturbing public opinion and insulting religious sanctities," according to the Iranian daily Etemad. Iranian journalists have turned to the Internet after the hardline government shut down over 100 pro-reform publications last year. Read the Human Rights Watch press release. Reporters Without Borders has more on the arrests of journalists in Iran. Reuters has more.



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    Corporations & securities brief ~ SEC considers charges against ex-Lucent executives
    Amit Patel at 1:20 PM ET

    [JURIST] In Tuesday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC is considering bringing civil charges against two former executives of Lucent Technologies Inc. and a third unidentified person over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by allegedly participating in a bribery scheme involving Saudi Arabian officials. AP has more.

    In other news, Bank of New York announced the SEC is investigating market-timing trades made by its stock clearing business unit Pershing LLC and the bank's relationship with BNY Hamilton Funds Inc., its mutual fund business. Read the Bank of New York's SEC filing announcing the investigation here. Reuters has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the SEC in an open meeting today voted unanimously to seek public comment on whether self-regulatory organizations (SRO's) that govern stock markets should be forced to publicly disclose financial details and the composition of their boards. Additionally, the proposed rule would separate regulatory functions from other business interests. Read the agenda for the open meeting here. Listen to the open meeting in RealPlayer or WindowsMedia here. AP has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, Merck announced the US Justice Department and the SEC is investigating what the company knew in advance of its recent withdrawal of Vioxx, its popular painkiller. The investigation relates to potential crimes committed by executives in disclosing problems in the drug to investors. Read Merck's SEC filing announcing the investigation here. Forbes has more.... Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. announced that it will lay off 3,000 employees amid fallout from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's bid-rigging probe. Read the Marsh press release announcing the move here. Read Spitzer's complaint against Marsh here [PDF]. AP has more.... As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the FCC announced state rules will not govern Internet-based calling to encourage providers such as AT&T Corp. and Vonage Holdings Corp. to expand service. Read the FCC press release here [PDF]. Read the statement by FCC Chairman Powell here [PDF]. Bloomberg has more.... The European Union has begun steps toward asking the WTO to condemn US steel tariffs by requesting talks with Washington over antidumping duties that have hit a British steel firm. AP has more.
  • click for previous corporations and securities law news



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    Alleged coup plotter appears in Ghana court
    Chris Buell at 1:12 PM ET

    [JURIST] A retired military officer appeared in a Ghana court Tuesday to face charges of plotting to destablize the government ahead of a presidential election. Nicholas Owuba was formally charged with illegally purchasing military supplies and weapons possession. Owuba was one of seven arrested over the weekend as part of the alleged plot (see this Paper Chase report). Ghana President John Kufuor is widely expected to win the Dec. 7 elections. The Ghana government was quick to clarify that no current military members were arrested in the alleged plot. From Ghana, the Daily Graphic has local coverage. BBC News has more.



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    Red Cross urges Fallujah combatants to respect humanitarian law
    Chris Buell at 12:48 PM ET

    [JURIST] The International Committee of the Red Cross Tuesday urged parties engaged in fighting in the Iraqi city of Fallujah to avoid killing or harming civilians contrary to international humanitarian law. The ICRC call came as US Central Command denied media reports that a government clinic in the city had been bombed by US planes during the attack. Aljazeera reported early Tuesday that the clinic, which was reportedly treating wounded insurgents and civilians, had been bombed. Reuters also carried reports Tuesday morning of civilians claiming the hospital had been hit. Read the ICRC press release.



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    FCC exempts Internet-based phone service from states regulation
    Chris Buell at 12:24 PM ET

    [JURIST] The Federal Communications Commission Tuesday exempted emerging Internet-based phone services from regulation by state authorities, a decision expected to increase the services' growth. Phone regulation has traditionally been left to the states, but the FCC ruled that Voice over Internet Protocol services, such as Vonage, are not linked to particular states. Opponents have argued that eliminating state regulation would mean the services would not be required to offer 911 service or follow consumer fraud laws. The FCC has said it will regulate both concerns nationally. Read the FCC press release [PDF] and statements from Commissioners Powell, Abernathy, and Copps and Adelstein [all in PDF]. The FCC has more on VoIP technology. Bloomberg has more.



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    Moussaoui lawyers seek to delay trial to allow pretrial appeals to Supreme Court
    Chris Buell at 12:04 PM ET

    [JURIST] Lawyers for accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui have sought to further delay the start of his trial while they pursue an appeal of pretrial issues to the US Supreme Court. Moussaoui's attorneys argued for the delay in a Monday filing responding to an effort by the US government to set a May trial date. According to the defense, Moussaoui has until Jan. 11, 2005, to file an appeal with the Supreme Court over access to three al-Qaeda members held by the US that Moussaoui claims will aid his case; defense attorneys say that it would be a waste of the trial court's time for it to proceed before the Supreme Court could decide whether to take the appeal. Moussaoui, the only suspect charged with conspiracy in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, was indicted in December 2001. Read the government motion [PDF] and the defense response [PDF]. More on the case is available here from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and JURIST's Paper Chase has ongoing coverage. AP has more.



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    Indonesian court throws out Bashir suit against magazine
    Jeannie Shawl at 11:41 AM ET

    [JURIST] An Indonesian court Tuesday threw out a $107 million lawsuit brought by Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir (profile from BBC News) against Time magazine. Bashir filed suit against the magazine seeking for linking him to terrorism in a 2002 article on an alleged plot to bomb US embassies in southeast Asia. The court dismissed the suit on technical grounds, ruling that Bashir should have included Time's New York headquarters in the suit. AP has more. Bashir is currently on trial for last year's hotel bombing in Bali. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on Bashir's terror trial.



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    Supreme Court upholds limited liability for agents in shipping contract
    Jeannie Shawl at 10:25 AM ET

    [JURIST] In a second opinion handed down Tuesday morning, the US Supreme Court held that federal law governs maritime contracts when the dispute is not inherently local, that a broadly written clause limiting liability in a bill of lading can be extended to cover multiple forms of transportation, and that when an intermediary contracts with a carrier to transport goods, the cargo owner’s recovery against the carrier is limited by the liability limitation to which the intermediary and carrier agreed. The case is Norfolk Southern Railway v. Kirby (case backgrounder from Duke Law School). Cornell's Legal Information Institute has posted the unanimous opinion per Justice O'Connor.



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    US Supreme Court rules drunk driving can't lead to deportation
    Jeannie Shawl at 10:15 AM ET

    [JURIST] In a decision handed down Tuesday morning, the US Supreme Court has ruled that a conviction for drunk driving that results in serious bodily injury is not a "crime of violence" that constitutes an "aggravated felony" under the Immigration and Nationality Act and therefore can't lead to the deportation of a permanent resident involved in accident. The case is Leocal v. Ashcroft (case backgrounder from Duke Law School). Chief Justice Rehnquist authored the unanimous opinion.

    10:45 AM ET: Cornell's Legal Information Institute has now posted today's opinion per Chief Justice Rehnquist. The Court held that state DUI offenses which either do not have a mens rea component or require only a showing of negligence in the operation of a vehicle are not crimes of violence under the INA.

    10:58 AM ET: AP has more on the ruling.



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    Irish judge rules same-sex couple can seek legal status in Ireland
    Jeannie Shawl at 10:07 AM ET

    [JURIST] An Irish judge ruled Tuesday that a lesbian couple who were married in Canada last year can seek state recognition of their marriage. The couple is seeking to force Ireland's tax-collection agency to allow them to file as a married couple. High Court Justice Liam McKechnie ruled that the case merited a full hearing and noted that the case "isn't simply about tax bands" but could have "profound ethical, cultural and religious" ramifications. Lawyers for the couple argue that the Irish Revenue Commissioners have discriminated against the couple "in an injust and invidious manner, in breach of their constitutional rights and the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF]." AP has more. The Irish Times has local coverage [registration required].



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    UN probe into possible Darfur genocide begins
    Jeannie Shawl at 9:32 AM ET

    [JURIST] A UN-appointed commission of inquiry has begun its work to determine whether acts of genocide have occurred in Sudan's Darfur region. The five-member commission was established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan under Security Council Resolution 1564 to "investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur by all parties, to determine also whether or not acts of genocide have occurred and to identify the perpetrators of such violations with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable." The commission members will be in Sudan until November 21 and will have three months to report back to Annan on the situation in Sudan. The UN News Service has more. JURIST's Paper Chase has ongoing coverage on Sudan.



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    Conservatives protest Specter's possible leadership of Senate Judiciary Committee
    Jeannie Shawl at 9:16 AM ET

    [JURIST] Conservative Republicans are calling for Republicans on the US Senate Judiciary Committee to block Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's bid to become chairman of the committee. Specter sparked controversy last week by warning President Bush against appointing Supreme Court justices who would seek to overturn abortion rights (see this report on JURIST's Paper Chase). Although no senators have openly opposed Specter's chairmanship, several conservative groups are working to turn votes against his chairmanship. AP has more on efforts to prevent Specter from chairing the Judiciary Committee. Knight Ridder has more on the reaction to Specter's remarks.



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    DOJ to appeal ruling on Gitmo military commissions
    Jeannie Shawl at 8:51 AM ET

    [JURIST] The US Justice Department has responded to yesterday's district court ruling that the Guantanamo military commission proceedings are unlawful (reported here on JURIST's Paper Chase) by saying it will seek an emergency stay of the ruling and will immediately appeal. US District Judge James Robertson ruled Monday that the military commission proceedings against Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, are unlawful because a competent tribunal has not determined whether Hamdan is a prisoner of war. Judge Robertson also ruled that Hamdan was due the full protections of a prisoner of war under the Third Geneva Convention until that time, and that the rules for his trial by commission - in particular with regard to review and to the accused right to be privy to evidence against him - were not in keeping with those for a court-martial due a POW. Read Judge Robertson's opinion [PDF]. A DOJ spokesman said:
    We believe the President properly determined that the Geneva Conventions have no legal applicability to members or affiliates of al Qaeda, a terrorist organization that is not a state and has not signed the Geneva Conventions. We also believe that the President's power to convene military commissions to prosecute crimes against the laws of war is inherent in his authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and has been memorialized by Congress in statutes governing the military.

    By conferring protected legal status under the Geneva Conventions on members of al Qaeda, the Judge has put terrorism on the same legal footing as legitimate methods of waging war. The Constitution entrusts to the President the responsibility to safeguard the nation's security. The Department of Justice will continue to defend the President's ability and authority under the Constitution to fulfill that duty.
    Read the full DOJ statement. Tuesday's Washington Post has more.



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    Lawyers for Milosevic ask to be removed as standby counsel
    Jeannie Shawl at 8:21 AM ET

    [JURIST] Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins, the two lawyers appointed to defend former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic in his war crimes trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, asked the court Tuesday to be dismissed as Milosevic's standby defense counsel. As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, the ICTY appeals chamber ruled last week that Milosevic could resume conducting his own defense, but said Milosevic must have a standby lawyer in case his health deteriorates. Read the ICTY ruling. Kay told the court that the rapport built up between the lawyers and Milosevic while they served as "friends of the court" to ensure a fair trial had been "completely destroyed" after they were temporarily appointed to conduct Milosevic's defense. Kay argued that failing to allow them to withdraw from the case would raise ethical questions, saying "we are putting the court on notice that there is a fundamental flaw in these proceedings." AP has more and Reuters has additional coverage of Kay's argument before the ICTY here. The ICTY has background on the case against Milosevic.

    Previously on JURIST's Paper Chase...Paper Chase also has ongoing coverage of all aspects of the Milosevic trial.



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    SEC to consider stronger governance, disclosure requirements for stock exchanges
    Jeannie Shawl at 7:55 AM ET

    [JURIST] SEC Commissioners will vote Tuesday on whether to publish for public comment several proposed rules on the governance, ownership structure and required disclosures for national securities exchanges and registered securities associations that are self-regulating. The proposed rules were formulated following allegations of widespread violations by trading firms at the New York Stock Exchange and government sanctions against several other self-regulating exchanges. All seven specialist firms that operate on the floor of the NYSE were fined several millions of dollars by the SEC earlier this year for allegedly making illegal profits by putting their own trades ahead of other investors. Read the SEC public meeting agenda and watch a live webcast of the SEC meeting. AP has more.



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    Legal agenda and live webcasts ~ Tuesday, Nov. 9
    Chris Buell at 7:00 AM ET

    [JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Tuesday, Nov. 9.

    The US Supreme Court will hear 10 AM ET oral arguments in the consolidated case of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma v. Thompson and Thompson v. Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (case summary from Duke Law School). In that case, the Court will consider the Secretary of Health and Human Services responsibility to provide funding to Indian tribes under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. The ABA has merit briefs for the case. The Court will also hear arguments in Pasquantino v. United States (case summary from Duke Law School), in which it will consider whether taxes owed to a foreign nation are considered "property" under the federal wire fraud statute. The ABA has merit briefs for the case. The Court is also scheduled to issue its first opinions of the October 2004 term.

    The Federal Communications Commission will hold an open commission meeting at 9:30 AM ET. A live webcast of the meeting is available, as well as a meeting agenda [PDF].

    The Securities and Exchange Commission will hold an open commission meeting at 10 AM ET. Watch a live webcast of the meeting, and read the agenda.

    The US House and Senate are in recess until Tuesday, Nov. 16.

    A US-Mexico Binational Commission meeting will be held today in Mexico City with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez.

    The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Afghanistan at its meeting today. A live webcast will begin at 10 AM ET via UN Channel 1.

    At the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Slobodan Milosevic trial resumes today after being adjourned Oct. 22. A live webcast will begin at 3:30 AM ET (9:30 AM local time). Also today, the Momcilo Krajisnik trial continues, with a live webcast at 11:45 AM ET, the Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura trial continues, and a status conference in the Miroslav Kvocka trial is set for 4:30 AM ET.



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