A still from the official video for Ra Diggs’ Eulogy (Via YouTube)
Rap videos made by Ronald Herron, the alleged leader of the Brooklyn, N.Y., “Murderous Mad Dogs” set of the Bloods, are admissible at his murder and ­racketeering trial, but so are the views of a defense expert who will testify that “gangsta” rap is not ­necessarily a statement of truth, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis on May 8 waved off defense arguments that admission of the videos breached First Amendment protections and evidentiary rules.
Chinese electronic-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed its highly anticipated U.S. initial public offering on May 6, tapping Simpson Thacher & Bartlett for legal counsel. Sullivan & Cromwell will advise the underwriters. The filing says Alibaba plans to raise $1 billion, but the figure is expected to grow to more than $15 billion. Alibaba operates an online shopping center, Tmall, and digital payment operator Alipay, among other brands. Last year, it posted revenues of nearly $8 billion and net income of $3.4 billion.
DATA BREACH COSTS
The average two-year tab for a data breach at a U.S. company in 2013 climbed to $5.85 million, an 8 percent increase from $5.4 million in 2012, a privacy and data security think tank said. For each breached record, the businesses spent an average of $201, according to the Ponemon Institute’s “2014 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis,” released on May 5. The cost per compromised record was higher than for corporate counter­parts in the United Kingdom, Germany and the seven other countries studied.
PRELATE BEFORE HIGH COURT
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over the conviction of Monsignor William Lynn, the first Roman Catholic administrative official convicted of endangering the welfare of children abused by other priests. An intermediate state appeals court in December reversed the conviction, concluding that Lynn was not the direct supervisor of any of the alleged victims, but instead supervised the direct supervisors of the alleged victims.
DISCLAIMERS TOSSED ASIDE
Comprehensive disclaimers in collateralized debt obligation ­offerings do not necessarily shield sellers from liability, a unanimous New York state appeals panel ruled on May 9. Investment firm Loreley Financing alleged that Citigroup and Merrill Lynch worked with hedge fund Magnetar Capital to put together collateralized debt obligations that were designed to fail, so that Magnetar could profit by taking a short position, while marketing them as legitimate investment opportunities to others. The court acknowledged that such disclaimers often bar fraud claims. “But there is a limit to the efficacy of those disclaimers, as this case aptly demonstrates,”it said.
CONCUSSION CASE SNAG
Discontent among some former football players with the proposed $765 million settlement in litigation against the National Football League over players’ head injuries has resulted in a motion to intervene. Seven former football players, who say they aren’t adequately represented in the negotiations, on May 5 asked the judge for a seat at the table. “You don’t sue to settle,” said William Hangley of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, representing the group with Steven Molo of MoloLamken in New York. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has expressed her preference that the case settle.
ALLMAN SUES OVER MOVIE
Musician Gregg Allman has filed a lawsuit to block movie ­producers from continuing to film his life story after an accident on the set killed a member of the crew and injured six others. A train crashed into the movie crew as it filmed a dream sequence with an iron bed on a railroad track in rural Georgia. Sarah Jones, a 28-year-old camera assistant, was killed. Before filing the lawsuit, Rolling Stone ­reported, Allman contacted the film’s ­director, Randall Miller, pleading him to halt production.