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Another wave of suits from recording industry The recording industry last week filed another round of copyright infringement lawsuits against people it said were illegally distributing songs over the Internet. This latest wave of federal litigation targeted 750 computer users across the nation, including 25 students at 13 universities, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade group for the largest music companies. The association claims that the defendants used university computer networks to distribute recordings on unauthorized peer-to-peer services, including eDonkey, Kazaa, LimeWire and Grokster. Among the universities attended by students named in the lawsuits were Indiana State, Iowa State, Ohio State and Southern Mississippi. ‘Pre-paid’ prevails in case In Mississippi, Pre-paid-Paid Legal Services (PPLS) prevailed against plaintiffs who had accused it of using fraudulent practices when selling its legal service plans. Mealy v. Pre-Paid Legal Servs., No. 02-0082 (Wilkinson Co., Miss., Cir. Ct.). This was the first case to come to trial of dozens of similar suits filed against PPLS in at least three states [NLJ, Sept. 6]. Co-defendant Dyre Law Firm of Jackson, Miss., the entity that contracted with PPLS to represent 11,000 Mississippi plan members, was also unanimously found not liable. Religious groups sue San Francisco law school A new suit claims the anti-discrimination policy at University of California Hastings College of the Law is unfair to student religious organizations. Hastings has recognized Hastings Christian Fellowship as an official student organization in the past. But this fall, the school did not give the group official status because it wouldn’t agree to accept members and officers regardless of their religion or beliefs about homosexuality. Two legal groups representing the fellowship, a local chapter of the Christian Legal Society (CLS), say they’ve launched similar challenges in other states, but this will be their first in California. The two groups are the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the CLS’ Center for Law and Religious Freedom “Will they require a vegetarian club to admit meat-eaters or a Democratic Party student group to admit Republicans?” added ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull in a written statement. Suit to make immigrant sponsors pay up fails A Los Angeles suit seeking to force county public health officials to recoup the costs of free medical care to indigent legal immigrants by tapping the immigrants’ sponsors has fallen flat [NLJ, Aug. 30]. In a defense ruling, the judge said Los Angeles County wasn’t legally obligated to ask patients about immigration status. The plaintiffs’ attorney presented no evidence, the judge noted. Anderson v. Garthwaite, No. BS086042 (Los Angeles Co. Super. Ct.) 3d Circuit makes e-filing a (compulsory) fact of life Ready or not, lawyers with federal court cases will have to start learning to file papers electronically. Starting on Nov. 1, the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will require that all briefs be filed in electronic form as well as on paper. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey will soon follow suit. By Jan. 31, the court will make mandatory participation in its heretofore voluntary e-filing system, known as CM/ECF. Lawyers will have to register with the court’s Web site and be trained in using the system. The switch to mandatory e-filing in the New Jersey district court comes in the wake of successful phasing-in of the voluntary program. U.S. lawyers cross over Another San Francisco federal prosecutor is crossing over to the other side. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Jacobs, who prosecuted several big cases-including several Enron Corp. executives -will head up a new white-collar practice in the Palo Alto, Calif., office of McDermott, Will & Emery. The firm, which has 1,019 lawyers, spearheads its white-collar practice out of Chicago. Two other big names left the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California recently. Martha Boersch, who was head of the organized crime strike force, joined Jones Day’s San Francisco office. And Patrick Robbins, the head of the securities fraud unit, went to Shearman & Sterling of New York.

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