‘Attorney fees and liability insurance: Recovering fees paid to plaintiffs and fees incurred by policyholders,’ by William G. Passannante, Esq., and Vivian Costandy Michael, Esq.



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William Passannante

William Passannante

Vivian Michael

Vivian Michael

Sports fan’s tweets were tasteless, not criminal, Missouri appeals court says

From Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet: A defendant’s four tweets referencing a pressure cooker and the Boston Marathon during the 2013 World Series between the Cardinals and the Red Sox did not reasonably express a serious intent to commit violence, a Missouri appeals court has ruled.

Robert Metzinger’s tweets were “tasteless and offensive” but did not communicate a threat — an essential element of the criminal charge against him, according to the opinion issued by the Court of Appeals.

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Suit filed over ‘cloudy’ lethal injection as courts reject challenges

From Westlaw Journal Pharmaceutical: A week after an impure lethal injection forced Georgia to postpone the killing of its only female death row inmate, she has filed a civil rights suit accusing state prison officials of violating the U.S. Constitution by refusing to reveal the source of their execution drugs.

In a complaint filed March 9 in Atlanta federal court, Kelly Gissendaner says the Department of Corrections is hiding behind the state’s “lethal-injection secrecy act” to avoid naming the compounding pharmacists who mix its pentobarbital, the barbiturate Georgia uses to kill prisoners through a massive overdose.

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Georgia death row inmate Kelly Gissendaner, pictured here, is challenging the state’s refusal to reveal the source of its execution drugs after it botched her execution.


Injured harbor worker receives $5M

Thirty-three-year-old ship repair worker Philip Tucker reportedly sustained a traumatic brain injury as he worked cleaning the bilges on a dredge vessel owned and operated by the Army Corp of Engineers. (more…)

6th Circuit reverses dismissal of whistleblower suit under public disclosure bar

From Westlaw Journal Health Care Fraud: The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a lower court erred when it concluded the public disclosure bar deprived it of jurisdiction over a whistleblower suit by a former employee of a Tennessee hospital.

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$20 million federal suit blames United States for 2012 midair crash

By Melissa J. Sachs, Esq., Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: The wife of a flight instructor who was a passenger in one of two private aircraft that collided midair near Sumerduck, Va., three years ago has sued the U.S. government for more than $20 million in Virginia federal court.

Joyce B. Gardella filed the wrongful-death lawsuit against the United States in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, individually and as the personal representative of her husband’s estate.

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Bitcoin, digital and virtual currency: What’s the difference?

By Jenny Q. Ta

From Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability: Jenny Q. Ta, founder and CEO of Sqeeqee, a social networking site that generates income for users, discusses the differences among Bitcoin, digital and virtual currencies, as well as the advantages and disadvantages these new forms of money offer to consumers.

In today’s Internet-driven global economy, an increasing number of types of transactions are moving online, and almost daily more mediums of monetary exchange are being developed to accommodate the upsurge.  From cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to loyalty and reward points, and numerous other types of digital tender, these nontangible yet valuable electronic currencies are seeing a flood of activity that is contributing significantly to the boom in global e-commerce.

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Manufacturing, warranty claims stand in Durata lead case

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:  A federal magistrate judge in New York has recommended that a plaintiff’s manufacturing defect and breach-of-warranty claims be allowed to proceed against St. Jude Medical, in connection with an allegedly defective Durata defibrillator heart lead.  At the same time, U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott of the Western District of New York did recommend dismissal of John Teixeria’s claims for failure to warn and negligent misrepresentation.

Teixeria claims in his amended complaint that the Durata heart lead on his cardiac defibrillator needed replacement Sept. 20, 2011, just 14 days after implantation.

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Increased condo dues doesn’t equal more victims, embezzler says

From Westlaw Journal White-Collar Crime:A former property manager who embezzled $139,000 from a condominium association is seeking en banc review of a 2nd Circuit panel decision that affirmed his multiple-victim sentencing enhancement based on the increased dues that individual condo members must pay to make up the loss.

Peter Iovino says in his Feb. 11 petition for rehearing by the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the panel’s decision was contrary to the ruling in United States v. Abiodun, 536 F.3d 162 (2d Cir. 2008).

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Melton attorneys praise family’s courage

From Westlaw Journal Automotive: Calling it “the most courageous thing I have ever had clients do,” attorney Lance Cooper of Marietta, Ga., said Ken and Beth Melton risked their financial security by returning the $5 million settlement they received from General Motors LLC in their first lawsuit and suing the automaker a second time.

The Meltons have now settled that second suit, in a confidential agreement with GM.

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