The weekend is finally here, and it’s time to catch up on the week’s law news. Start with these five stories we’re following:
Monkey see, monkey sue?
“In January, [Bill] Maher visited fellow comedian Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. There, Maher discussed his ‘beef’ with Donald Trump… Of course, the ever-gracious Mr. Maher was quick to wish ‘the best for the syphilitic monkey who does [Trump’s] Twitter feed.’
Seizing upon the ‘syphilitic monkey’ moniker, the conversation led (as it naturally would) into a joke about Donald Trump being ‘the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan’ because, according to Maher, ‘the color of [Trump’s] hair…and the color of an orange orangutan is the only two things in nature of the same color.’ (Obviously.) Ultimately, Maher concluded the joke by announcing — in an apparent parody of Trump’s (not actually) ‘very big,’ (not remotely) game-changing pre-election announcement — ‘I hope it’s not true…but unless [Trump] comes up with proof [that he is not the lovechild of an orangutan]…I’m willing to offer 5 million dollars to Donald Trump…that he can donate to a charity of his choice.’ …
The very next day, demonstrating the sense of humor for which he has become legendary, Trump had his attorney write to Maher, formally accepting Maher’s ‘offer’ and attaching a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that Trump is indeed ‘the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan.’ … Trump demanded a $5 million payout, and when Maher ignored the demand letter, Trump actually filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court demanding $5 million in damages. Let me be clear: this is not actually a joke. This is a lawsuit that has seriously been filed.” (Greenberg Glusker)
The die is cast for legal sports gambling…
“Some of the biggest names in the legal profession wrestled with points of constitutional law on February 14 in NCAA v. Christie, the case that some have called ‘the fight for the future of American sports gambling.’ … The big issue at stake in the case is whether the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which limits single-game sports betting to Nevada, is constitutional…
However, no matter how this case is decided, the issue of sports betting outside Nevada may not go away. Even if the [NCAA, NFL, and other major sports] leagues and the [Department of Justice] prevail, Congress could still take up the issue and amend or repeal PASPA, particularly if the sports leagues ever decide in the future to relax their opposition to sports betting outside Nevada and license the right to offer sports betting subject to hold harmless agreements. For that reason, all casinos, race tracks and other gaming businesses should be familiarizing themselves with the legal nuances of the regulation of sports betting and preparing for the day when they might be able to offer sports betting to their customers as a legal and regulated product.” (Dinsmore & Shohl)
Clothes, protective equipment, or both? The Supreme Court will make the final call
“Unionized employers whose employees must wear protective equipment may soon receive direction on whether they must pay for time spent donning and doffing the gear. On February 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review on the scope of Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Section 203(o) excludes time spent changing clothes or washing at the beginning or end of each workday from the definition of ‘compensable time’ if it is treated as non-work time by a collective bargaining agreement. For the last 15 years, a battle has raged over what qualifies as ‘changing clothes,’ i.e., does it include protective equipment and if so, what forms of protective equipment.” (Ogletree Deakins)
Libor-related litigation is just heating up…
“UBS became the second bank to admit to Libor-related wrongdoing late last year, when it agreed to pay $1.5 billion to resolve investigations by U.S., British, and Swiss authorities. The UBS settlement—following the $453 million fine imposed on Barclays in June—includes a rare admission of criminal wrongdoing by UBS’s Japanese subsidiary. The Justice Department is also pursuing wire fraud charges and antitrust violations against two Tokyo-based UBS traders accused of conspiring to manipulate Yen Libor.
More revelations are certainly forthcoming. Royal Bank of Scotland is widely expected to be the next panel bank to reach a settlement with authorities, who have reportedly unearthed evidence of improper USD and Yen Libor submissions. Many other banks are under investigation or are facing litigation, including JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Citibank. These probes will likely lead to further acknowledgements of misconduct.” (Quinn Emanuel)
Sorry, Skynet – the SEC wants to stop you from taking over via the stock market…
“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently drafting a rule that would require exchanges and clearing firms to routinely test their technology for stability and security… The technology review would require market participants, which include exchanges, clearing firms, and other trading platforms, to test how their systems respond to outages and notify the agency about any disruptions. The proposed rule would convert a voluntary program – the Automation Review Policy – which was created in response the Oct. 16, 1987 market crash known as ‘Black Monday.’ Under the Automation Review Policy, exchanges voluntarily follow SEC guidance by submitting to periodic SEC inspections of their systems.
SEC Chairman Walter stated … ‘A voluntary standard is no substitute for a mandate and a requirement that you must follow.’” (Shipkevich PLLC)