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Immigration courts are ‘inadequate,’ judge says Richard Posner, one of the most widely cited appellate judges in the United States, blasted the nation’s asylum adjudication system as “inadequate” and offered a number of remedies for it in a speech last week. Posner, who sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said administrative law judges who serve in the immigration courts are ill-trained and insufficient in number. He also said the bar that represents applicants doesn’t have enough qualified lawyers, and that the Board of Immigration Appeals, which has 11 members, is too small. In recent years, Posner has offered glimpses of his dissatisfaction in opinions from the bench as well. “This is a system of adjudication that is clearly inadequate,” Posner said in the address to the Chicago Bar Association. Subprime litigation shoots up in first quarter Subprime-related litigation skyrocketed in the first three months of the year, with the number of cases approaching filings seen in the early 1990s after the savings-and-loan crisis, according to a new report. In the first quarter of 2008, 170 cases related to subprime litigation were filed in U.S. federal courts, which is close to the 181 cases filed in the last six months of 2007. During a 15-month period ending on March 31, there were 448 subprime-related cases filed, which is soon expected to surpass the 559 savings-and-loan cases of the early 1990s, according to the report. The report was released on April 23 by Navigant Consulting, a global consulting firm. Firm thinks ‘small’ with nanotechnology group Chadbourne & parke has created a nanotechnologies practice headed by David L. Wallace, a partner in the law firm’s New York home office. Among other attorneys who will handle nanotech matters are Jonathan M.A. Melmed and John P. Cahill. Attorneys from the law firm’s project finance, intellectual property and reinsurance groups also will work on nanotech matters. Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating and engineering matter at the molecular levels and is used in the areas of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, packaging, electronics and more. Calif. court trims $200M from Genentech verdict The California Supreme Court has trimmed the $500 million jury award against biotech giant Genentech Inc. by cutting the $200 million punitive damages award in a breach of contract and fiduciary duties case over a genetic engineering dispute with City of Hope National Medical Center. Genentech was accused of acquiring the secrets developed by City of Hope scientists in the 1970s for creating human insulin and human growth hormone in mass quantities, but cheating the medical center of millions of dollars in royalties. The April 25 ruling came in City of Hope National Medical Center v. Genentech Inc., No. S129463. 32% of U.S. convictions are immigration-related Immigration-related crimes have driven new federal convictions for the past fiscal year, with nearly 32% of all convictions, and continued to dominate the caseload into December 2007, according to the latest Justice Department data available. The volume of federal convictions, from violent felonies to petty offenses, dipped in 2007 by 3.4%, but despite the downturn, the long-term trend in convictions has skyrocketed. Federal convictions were up nearly 91% from five years ago and up 109% from the level reported 20 years ago, in fiscal year 1987, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. TRAC, associated with Syracuse University, compiles government data based on Freedom of Information Act releases.

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