Airbnb will hand over the names, addresses and other personal data of 124 of its hosts to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, after providing requested anonymous data for 16,000 users in May. Airbnb said in a blog post that the 124 individuals represent “far less than 1 percent” of its New York hosts, and that the majority of them were no longer on the site. The company reassured users that the AG was investigating only a small number of “bad actors” for potential violations of housing laws, and “did not mean to target regular New Yorkers.”
A proposed amendment to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure would cut the maximum length of principal briefs filed with the federal appellate courts from 14,000 to 12,500 words. Reporting on the potential change on the How Appealing blog, Howard Bashman estimates that the new limit would cut about six pages off the 66 he typically reaches in an appellate brief containing the current maximum word count. Public comments on the word limit and other proposed amendments are being accepted until February 2015.
What say you, appellate practitioners? Are you ready for (relative) brevity?
A Pennsylvania lawyer with a side business selling fine wine wants his stash back. Early this year, Arthur Goldman was busted for selling some yummy beverages to an undercover police officer and charged with violating state law on the transport and sale of liquor. Goldman got off with probation and community service, but the authorities seized his vast collection of vino, including 2,426 bottles of wine with an estimated value of $125,000.
Party at the precinct? Nope, the cops say the bottles are contraband and plan to destroy them. Goldman claims the majority of the wine seized was from his own personal collection and not for sale, and plans to fight to get it back. In the meantime, wine connoisseurs will be horrified to know that all those bottles are sitting in an evidence room at (gasp) room temperature. “At this point, the state police do not believe there is an obligation to store it in a climate-controlled environment,” Sgt. Dan Steele told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives announced this week that they have retained Baker & Hostetler LLP to argue their case that President Barack Obama overreached his executive powers by pushing forth the Affordable Care Act. In case you’re wondering, the firm did not take the case pro bono, and its services will come with a hefty price tag: $500/hour. The bill will be footed by U.S. taxpayers.
Four words to live by when it comes to social media: Think before you post. Two Minnesota attorneys who lost a case this week probably could have used a friendly reminder on this front sooner. Following a not-guilty verdict in a sexual assault trial, prosecutor Pamela Harris took to the platform to complain about the “12 idiots” who didn’t rule in her favor. Her colleague Jenny Samarzja replied to Harris’s comment, adding that the jurors should “wake up.” Unsurprisingly, the two are now facing disciplinary action.
17,000 New Jersey drivers just got out of paying fines for running red lights because they never received their tickets . The reason? A technical glitch. The Garden State requires drivers to be given tickets within 90 days of an offense, and a flaw in red light cameras prevented the tickets from being issued promptly, so the state judiciary ordered that tickets issued in 17 different towns be tossed.
Two questions: First, are people going to start baking judges cupcakes as a thank you for saving them from a trip to traffic court? And second, let’s think for a minute: 17 towns, 17,000 tickets for running red lights, so on average 1000 red lights were run per town? We’d say we’re surprised, except… it’s Jersey.