Most of CA Child Abuse Reports Missing From Database; Supreme Court Punts on Social Media Free Speech; Gascon Must Follow Law, Says Appeals Court; Compton Election Overturned and Other Stories: Monday Morning Memo
USPS worker told he has to work on the Sabbath by Court; Avenatti must serve his criminal sentences consecutively; $10 million recycle fraud scheme uncovered; NOW Democrats want Google to stop collecting location data
June 11, 2022
Los Angeles District Attorney
Los Angeles DA George Gascon 'overstates his authority,' can't ignore California law, court rules
A California appeals court of Thursday upheld an injunction that said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon can't refuse to charge three-strike cases, which can significantly increase prison sentences. The court affirmed an earlier ruling that said the directive not to charge strikes against dependants violates state law and the rights of prosecutors in Los Angeles County. "The district attorney overstates his authority. He is an elected official who must comply with the law, not a sovereign with absolute, unreviewable discretion."
Los Angeles DA George Gascon recall support grows: 'Figuratively and literally' in voters' hands
Recall organizers in Los Angeles County said Wednesday they were heading down the home stretch of a months-long campaign to force the exit of District Attorney George Gascon amid a crime surge. The Recall George Gascon campaign said it has collected 500,000 signatures as of Monday, leaving them with 67,000 more needed from registered voters by the July 6 deadline to put the recall question on a ballot.
Los Angeles DA George Gascon slammed by combat veteran congressman over Memorial Day tweet: 'Wrong holiday'
Republican Congressman Mike Garcia slammed progressive Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon on Saturday over a tweet that Gascon posted to commemorate Memorial Day. "When I was 18 years old, I joined the United States Army," Gascon tweeted. "I'd like to wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend as we reflect on and remember those who have served our country." Garcia, who represents California's 25th congressional district, took issue with the tweet while also criticizing Gascon's handling of crimes committed in Los Angeles.
Courts & Rulings
Jury finds ex-Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was wrongfully terminated, awards damages
A nine-member jury found Thursday former Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was fired in retaliation for sounding the alarm on corruption within the civilian police commission. The outcome of the trial hinged on the jury's answer to two questions: whether the city of Oakland unlawfully terminated her for disclosing to the city conduct she had reasonable cause to believe is unlawful, and whether the city violated her free speech rights by terminating her in retaliation for making reports on a matter of public concern.
Courthouse News Service
Court says compassionate release properly denied gang leader who conspired to commit murder
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed an order denying compassionate release to a leader of the Dog Pound Gang which engaged in 2016 in the slaying of rival gang members. A three-judge panel agreed with District Court Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the Eastern District of California that James York - also known as Aka Jamari York and "York Dog" - should remain in prison.
NLRB's 'Salt Mine' tweet decision overturned by 3rd Cir.
The NLRB was wrong to rule that the publisher of conservative online magazine the Federalist unlawfully threatened workers by tweeting that he'd send them "back to the salt mine" if they tried to unionize, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia held. The National Labor Relations Board lacked the evidence to support its ruling against FDRLST Media LLC, which runs the magazine, for publisher Ben Domenech's "salt mine" tweet, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled Friday.
California Supreme Court rules additional penalties may be recoverable for meal & rest period violations
The underlying action, Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, was a class action brought by former and current employees, alleging violations of meal period violations. The palintiffs sought not only premium wages for the violations but also waiting time penalties and penalties for failure to provide accurate wage statements. The results of the trial court decision were mixed and appealed.
National Law Review
Petition undercuts new precedent against emotional distress damages
The Supreme Court ruled in April that a deaf woman could not receive emotional distress damages from her disability discrimination suit because the statutes at issue were silent on the matter. She petitioned the court again, however, after finding evidence to the contrary. "The opinion says it was premised on the fact that the statute is completely silent as to remedies," said Andrew Rozynski, an attorney with Eisenberg & Baum representing Jane Cummings. "That is verifiably inaccurate by just looking at the statute."
Courthouse News Service
3rd Circ. won't reopen ex-USPS worker's religious bias suit
A Christian former U. S. Postal Service mail carrier wasn't illegally discriminated against when he was disciplined for missing work on the Sabbath because his absence placed an unfair burden on his employer and colleagues, a split Third Circuit ruled Wednesday.
Court declines to hear arguments for condemned Arizona man
A federal appeals court has denied a request by lawyers for an Arizona man facing execution next month to be allowed to make new arguments in an effort to overturn his death sentence in the 1984 kidnapping and killing of an 8-year-old Tucson girl. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied the request made on behalf of Frank Atwood, convicted in the killing of Vicki Hoskinson.
NBC News 12 Phoenix
The Ninth Circuit leaves open the Delta-8 THC legal loophole in an intellectual property dispute
In the first federal appellate ruling on delta-8 THC, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals deemed the substance legal - at least for purposes of trademark protection - concluding that if "Congress inadvertently created a loophole legalizing vaping products containing delta-8 THC, then it is for Congress to fix its mistake." AK Futures LLC v. Boyd St. Distro, LLC, No. 21-56133, 2022 WL 1574222 (9th Cir. May 19, 2022).
Causing deaths by driving under influence of marijuana was second-degree murder
The Court of Appeal for this district, rejecting a contention that the evidence was insufficient to show implied malice, yesterday affirmed the conviction of a man on three counts of second degree murder based on driving at 90 miles per hour while high on marijuana, going through a red light, and colliding with a vehicle, killing its occupants.
Fifth Circuit holds SEC's in-house forum is unconstitutional
When Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, it expanded the SEC's power to use its in-house administrative forum to bring enforcement actions. Supporters said this change promoted investor protection by giving the SEC a more efficient avenue in an expanded set of cases. Almost a decade after Dodd-Frank was passed, however, this benefit has not materialized. Instead, the SEC's in-house forum has been subject to repeated constitutional attacks and has been criticized for failing to serve as a fair forum to litigate cases to final judgment more quickly.
US Supreme Court halts Texas law targeting social media platforms
A divided US Supreme Court blocked a Texas law that critics say would fundamentally transform Twitter Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.'s Facebook by requiring them to allow hate speech and extremism. Over four dissents, the justices on Tuesday put the measure on hold while a constitutional challenge goes forward in a lower court, granting a request from tech groups that represent the platforms. A federal appeals court let the law, known as HB20, go into effect earlier this month.
Amazon workplace investigation is through but court battles rage on
Amazon's decision to discipline and fire employees who complained about lax safety measures in the early days of the pandemic spurred a state investigation and tangle of ongoing legal proceedings in New York. The e-commerce giant fought its latest battle Tuesday in front of the Second Circuit. At issue was a lawsuit Amazon filed in response to an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James into whether the company failed to protect workers and then retaliated against those who blew the whistle.
Courthouse News Service
Son of rapper DJ Quik who works as Compton Council liaison booked on suspicion of murder
The son of noted LA rapper DJ Quik who works as a liaison to embattled Compton City Councilman Isaac Galvan has been arrested by Downey Police Department detectives and booked on suspicion of murder, authorities confirmed Friday. The NBCLA I-Team learned early Friday morning that David M. Blake Jr., 27, was arrested in Porter Ranch and was being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
NBC News 4 Los Angeles
The mansion that fentanyl built
In July of 2021, I wrote a column called "Two overdoses in 10 minutes," about the brazen drug dealers in San Francisco's troubled Tenderloin neighborhood, in which I called attention to a video of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Currently facing a recall election on June 7, Boudin told a stunned Zoom audience "we need to be mindful of the impact our interventions have..." He went on to say that half the dealers are from Honduras and have been trafficked here to sell drugs.
U.S. lawyer Avenatti should serve consecutive sentences - prosecutors
Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer who took on former U.S. President Donald Trump, should serve consecutive prison terms for two recent criminal convictions, prosecutors argued on Friday, rejecting his request to serve time concurrently. Avenatti, 51, rose to cable news stardom in 2018 by defending porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Trump. But the Los Angeles-based lawyer's career unraveled amid accusations he stole from Daniels and extorted $25 from Nike Inc.
Six face felony charges over $10-million recycling fraud scheme against California program
Six people have been arrested and face felony charges in connection with a $10-million recycling fraud scheme, California officials said. State Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said the defendants are suspected of bringing more than nine tons of material from Arizona to Sourthern California recycling centers to "unlawfully redeem" them in the state, which accepts only recyclable containers from California under its program.
Los Angeles Times
Former Industry city manager allegedly paid out $8.5 million without approval
The City of Industry's former top administrator allegedly signed off on roughly $8.5 million in payments to a developer, now accused of fraud, without proper approvals from the City Council, according to court testimony in an ongoing criminal case. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office charged former City Manager Paul J. Philips with a single felony count of misappropriation of public funds back in September.
Man charged with murder in Downey
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that his office today charged David Marvin Blake with murdering a 33-year-old man following a dispute at a home in Downey last week. "Senseless gun violence continues to plague our communities and it needs to stop before more lives are unnecessarily taken from us," District Attorney Gascón said. "Those who commit these types of crimes will be held accountable by my office."
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
Attorney General Bonta announces 90 arrests as part of multiagency gang takedown in Stockton
California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the results of a multiagency effort - operation "Hybrid Havoc" - targeting violent street gangs in Stockton. Members of the gangs were allegedly responsible for a series of violent crimes, including at least two homicides, and were identified by the Stockton Police Department's Gang Violence Suppression Unit and the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office as a significant threat to the community. The agencies then requested the assistance of the California Departent of Justice.
Attorney General of California Press Release
Law enforcement supports Anne Marie Schubert for Attorney General 2022
How the Public Utilities Commission circumvents the California Public Records Act
The California Public Utilities Commission - which regulates day-to-day services as varied as electric utilities and ride-hailing companies - has long vowed to become more transparent in response to criticism it operates far too secretively. Yet despite those promises, the CPUC has erected multiple roadblocks to prevent the public from learning about its handling of deadly disasters and corporate scandals, according to a San Francisco Public Press review of court records and interviews with 1st Amendment attorneys.
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Democrats finally elected their first sheriff. Four years later, they have buyer's remorse.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva rode a wave of progressive energy to become the first Democrat and Spanish speaker to win the seat in more than a century. Now his party is having buyer's remorse. A campaign promise to reform a troubled department has given way to four years of scandals, attacks on journalists and conservative rhetoric aroud crime that has shocked Democrats and endea4red him to far-right media figures like Tucker Carlson.
Soros-backed PAC spends $1.95 million on local DA campaign
A political action committee funded by billionaire investor George Soros has contributed more than $1.95 million to Diana Becton's campaign for Contra Costa District Attorney. Earlier this month, county election filings showed an independent expenditure of just over $400,000 from the California Justice & Public Safety PAC. On May 28, the PAC contributed an additional $1,545,000-plus in contributions to the campaign, including $652,000 directly from Soros.
"There's an opportunity right now": Congress looks for bipartisan action in wake of Texas shooting
Gun advocates faced off with protesters over the weekend outside the NRA convention in Houston, Texas. The divide is also being felt on Capitol Hill. But Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan that he believes it's possible to get at least 60 votes for some form of gun legislation. "I do think there's an opportunity right now to be able to pass something significant. I've seen more Republican interest in coming to the table and talking this time than at any other moment since Sandy Hook," Murphy, a Democrat, said.
In Supreme Court's shadow, another important ruling for free speech online
The free speech and press freedom community has been holding its breath this week while the U.S. Supreme Court considers an emergency application for relief in NetChoice v. Paxton, the First Amendment challenge to Texas's content-moderation statute. If the justices let the law stay in effect, the result will be a significant shift in internet law. If the justices block the statute, the decision will be a landmark precedent on the application of traditional free speech principles to new digital platforms. But when and how the Court will ultimately act is still anyone's guess.
L.A.'s police union spending big on city elections, seeking to boost City Hall influence
Two years ago, some of Los Angeles' political leaders took a public stand against the clout wielded by the city's police union, announcing they would reject any campaign donations that were offered by the group. In the days after the killing of George Floyd, Councilman Mike Bonin - elected twice with the union's support - said he would disavow any additional outside spending made by the union on his behalf.
California child abuse database lacks half of county reports
More than half of substantiated California child abuse reports in recent years were not in the state's database, which could result in child abusers being allowed to care for children, state auditors said Tuesday. The unreliability of the database "puts children at risk," auditors said.
San Francisco district attorney could lose his job in blow to national movement
District Attorney Chesa Boudin is a leader of the national movement for crimnal justice reform. He could soon become a cautionary tale about its vulnerabilities. A well-funded recall campaign looks poised to unseat Boudin next week. Its outcome will echo across midterm elections, shaping the elected officials who determine how alleged crimes should be prosecuted amid the nation's oscillating debate over public safety.
Los Angeles County/City
The L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy-gang crisis
I had always heard stories - 'Don't go to East Los Angeles Station,' " Rosa Gonzalez, a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, told me. " 'You're a hard worker. Go somewhere else. East L.A., it's different from all the other stations.' " But Gonzalez, who is Mexican American and was raised in what she calls "the inner city," was drawn to East Los Angeles, a historically Latino neighborhood that has long contended with gang violence. "It's a way to give back to my own community," she said.
Compton City Council election overturned in wake of vote rigging scandal
Results of a Compton City Council race decided by one vote have been overturned following an election rigging scandal that prompted criminal charges against the winner last year. Two-term Councilman Isaac Galvan must be replaced by his challenger, Andre Spicer, after a judge determined that four of the votes cast in the election were submitted by people who did not live in the council district that the two men were vying to represent, according to a 10-page ruling issued Friday by Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court.
Los Angeles Times
Catholic woman suing LA County coroner over slain son's cremation poised for $445,000 settlement
A Tijuana woman who sued the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office over the cremation of her slain son's remains, in violation of her religious faith, is poised to receive a $445,000 settlement. A recommendation from the Office of County Counsel, aimed at resolving a federal lawsuit filed by Maria Elvira Quintanilla Cebreros, was presented earlier this month to the Los Angeles County Claims Board. "Due to the risks and uncertainties of litigation, the County Counsel proposes a full and final settlement of this case," attorney Brian T. Chu said in the recommendation.
Los Angeles Daily News
After decades in prison, California man innocent of murder
A California man who spent 21 years in prison for a gang murder he said he didn't commit has been declared factually innocent by a judge, authorities announced Wednesday. Alexander Torres appeared at a news conference with Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon and members of the California Innocence Project, which fought for his exoneration.
U.S. News & World Report
LAPD officer dies after training accident on Thursday
A Los Angeles police officer died Sunday, days after he suffered a spinal cord injury during a training exercise at Elysian Park Academy. The accident happened Thursday, according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Officer Houston Tipping worked out of the Devonshire Division. His age was not immediately released.
Los Angeles Daily News
Man found shot dead in vehicle in Palmdale
A man was found shot dead inside a vehicle in Palmdale Saturday evening, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Around 6:45 p.m., deputies responded to the 36000 block of East Windtree Circle for a report of gunshots heard in the area. When they arrived on scene, they found a man who had been shot multiple times in a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel.
KTLA Los Angeles
35-year-old man fatally stabbed after chasing hit-and-run suspect in Baldwin Park
Homicide detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were assisting Baldwin Park Police Department in an investigation related to the fatal stabbing death a 35-year-old man. The incident started at around 1:30 p.m., when Baldwin Park police responded to the 3400 block of Cosbey Avenue regarding a hit-and-run.
CBS News Los Angeles
L.A. mayor's official strikes, kills pedestrian on North Hollywood Freeway, spokesman says
The director of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's crisis response team fatally struck a pedestrian Tuesday night on the North Hollywood Freeway while driving a city vehicle alone in the carpool lane, officials said Wednesday. The driver was traveling north on Highway 170, Los Angeles Police Officer Tony Im said, and, according to investigators with the California Highway Patrol, struck a person on the 170 near Victory Boulevard about 10:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Times
Dangerous counterfeit drugs are putting millions of US consumers at risk, according to a new study
The Food and Drug Administration took 130 enforcement actions against counterfeit medication rings from 2016 through 2021, according to my new study published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy. Such actions might involve arrests, confiscation of products or counterfeit rings being dissolved. These counterfeiting operations involved tens of millions of pills, more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of active ingredient powder that could be turned into pills in the U.S. and hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.
Nexstar Media Wire
Waiting was inexcusable
Some years ago, while working as a police sergeant in South Los Angeles, I rushed to the scene in an adjacent patrol division where an officer had been shot by a robbery suspect. I arrived to find the crime scene in chaos, with officers from several patrol divisions careening in, parking their cars haphazardly, and running this way and that with no apparent purpose. Seeking to bring some order to the situation, I approached an officer standing in the middle of the intersection. "Who's in charge?" I asked.
Criminal investigation into fake Trump electors reaches new level
We learned months ago that Republicans in several states created forged election materials after Donald Trump's 2020 defeat, pretending to be "duly elected and qualified electors." The Republicans then sent the documents to, among others, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Archivist, as if the fake materials were legitimate. They were not. Among the unanswered questions is what kind of scrutiny the scheme - and those responsible for executing the plan - might receive.
Man admits plotting attack on Democratic HQ to avenge Trump loss
A 46-year-old California man accused of plotting to blow up the state's Democratic Party headquarters in a bid to avenge ex-President Donald Trump's electoral loss pleaded guilty on Friday to three charges, federal prosecutors announced. Ian Benjamin Rogers of Napa will be sentenced in September for conspiring to destroy a building by fire of explosives, possessing an explosive device, and possessing a machine gun.
California has America's toughest gun laws, and they work
The grotesque toll of gun violence is again being debated in Congress. As Luis Ferré-Sadurní and I reported over the long weekend, states are not holding their breath. Particularly this state: In ways that have tended to be underreported, California has significantly lowered gun deaths, Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, an emergency room doctor and longtime firearm violence researcher, told me this week.
New York Times
4 killed in shooting at Tulsa hospital; gunman also dead, police say
Four people were killed as a gunman opened fire inside an Oklahoma hospital Wednesday, authorities said. The gunman, described as 35 to 40 years old and armed with a rifle and a handgun, appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Tulsa Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish told reporters.
Corrections & Parole
Parole recommended for California follower of Charles Manson
A California parole panel recommended the release of Patricia Krenwinkel for the first time Thursday, more than five decades after she and other followers of cult leader Charles Manson terrorized the state and she wrote "Helter Skelter" on a wall using the blood of one of their victims. Krenwinkel, 74, was previously denied parole 14 times for the slayings of pregnant actor Sharon Tate and four other people in 1969.
The SF-Mendo-Humboldt fentanyl pipeline is surging, overdoses are rising, the Mendo DA warns of reductions in prison sentences
Two Humboldt County men have pled guilty in Mendocino County to transporting fentanyl purchased in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. On February 11, 2022, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Office deputy observed a Ford Mustang occupied by Eureka men, 70-year-old Robin Bradshaw and 30-year-old Tyler Trujillo, make abrupt maneuvers that suggested the pair were evading law enforcement.
More COVID-19 outbreaks reported at California prisons, among inmates and staff
Outbreaks are underway at several state prisons among both inmates and staff, data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation show, amid a broader surge of COVID-19 spreading across California and nationwide. Prisons reported nearly 1,500 new inmate COVID-19 cases between May 1 and May 29, an almost 20-fold increase compared to just 75 infections reported over the preceding four weeks, according to a CDCR online data tracker.
Woman gets 15 months in prison for punching flight attendant in the face
A California woman who repeatedly punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant last year, bloodying her face and chipping three of her teeth, was sentenced on Friday to 15 months in federal prison, prosecutors said. The woman, Vyvianna M. Quinonez, 29, of Sacramento, will also have to pay nearly $26,000 in restitution and a $7,500 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California.
New York Times
Dispensary owner sentenced to 2 years in federal prison for bribery, tax evasion
A Central Coast cannabis dispensary owner was sentenced to just under two years in federal prison Friday after previously pleading guilty to counts of bribery and tax evasion when he tried getting favorable treatment for his business, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles. Helios "Bobby" Dayspring, 36, of San Luis Obispo appeared before Judge Andre Birotte, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District, where he was sentenced to 22 months in prison after he pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count each of bribery and subscribing to a false income tax return, according to U.S. Attorney's spokesman Ciaran McEvoy.
Santa Ynez Valley News
L.A. serial killer convicted of five 2014 murders faces life in prison
A man who killed five people and injured several others during a months-long shooting rampage that stretched from the Sasn Fernando Valley to West HOllywood in 2014 was convicted of all charges Wednesday and will spend the rest of his life in prison, prosecutors said. Alexander Hernandez, 42, was found guilty of five counts of murder with special circumstances, 11 counts of attempted murder and several other offenses following a six-week trial, according to Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Michele Hanisee.
Los Angeles Times
Articles of Interest
Democrats ask Google to stop collecting location data following Supreme Court leak
A group of more than 40 Democrats sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai Tuesday evening urging the company to stop collecting and storing location data out of concern that it could be obtained by prosecutors to target individuals seeking abortions. "We believe that abortion is health care. We will fight tooth and nail to ensure that it remains recognized as a fundamental right, and that all people in the United States have control over their own bodies," the members, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), wrote.
Donald Trump loses court battle to halt NY investigation
A New York federal judge ruled against former President Donald Trump on Friday in a suit that sought to block the state attorney general's probe of the Trump Organization and its eponymous leader. Trump brought the suit against Office of the New York State Attorney General in December 2021 with his personal attorney Alina Habba.
Courthouse News Service
Disgraced liar Jussie-Smollett already planning big comeback with directorial debut
Hollywood has a notoriously short memory when it comes to shunning one of their own. Disgraced actor Jussie Smollett will make his directorial debut in the upcoming release of "B-Boy Blues" on the BET+ streaming service on June ninth. No matter whether he perpetrated a hate crime hoax against himself and was found guilty of lying to the police. Considering the cases of Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski, what Smollett perpetrated was amateur hour.
In Uvalde shooting, police waited an hour for backup - an outdated tactic, experts say
Most "active shooter" attacks in America end within five minutes. The attack on Uvalde school children lasted an hour. That is how long police waited for backup Tuesday instead of moving on the gunman, who sprayed classrooms with bullets, leaving 19 children and two teachers dead. That revelation, which a Texas law enforcement official provided Thursday, has enraged parents who wonder whether a quicker response could have saved lives - though details about the exact sequence of events remain unclear.
NBC News 4 New York
Trudeau proposes stricter new gun laws for Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday announced a move to halt the sale and transfer of handguns in Canada among a package of gun control proposals heralded by some as the country's "most significant action on gun violence in a generation." "These are actions that doctors, experts and chiefs of police have been calling for for years, and we're acting on their advice," Trudeau said during a news conference on Monday.
U.S. News & World Report
Supreme Court leak investigation heats up as clerks are asked for phone records in unprecedented move
Supreme Court officials are escalating their search for the source of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, taking steps to require law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits, three sources with knowledge of the efforts have told CNN. Some clerks are apparently so alarmed over the moves, particularly the sudden requests for private cell data, that they have begun exploring whether to hire outside counsel.
Depp and Heard face uncertain career prospects after trial
A jury's finding that both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were defamed during their long-running public dispute capped a lurid six-week trial that also raised questions about whether the two actors can overcome tarnished reputations. The verdict handed down Wednesday in Virginia found that Depp had been defamed by three statements in an op-ed written by his ex-wife in which Heard said she was an abuse victim. The jury awarded him more than $10 million. Jurors also concluded that Heard was also defamed, by a lawyer for Depp who accused her of creating a detailed hoax surrounding the abuse allegations. She was awarded $2 million.
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