As President Obama has intensified his push to appoint circuit judges, a study has concluded that his administration has been one of the worst in recent history when it comes to filling the nation's federal district courts. Because judicial vacancies have remained "uniquely high" throughout Obama's term, federal district court judges have rarely been more burdened by caseloads than they are now, the study from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law concluded.
SEC RULE STRUCK DOWN
A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would require oil and gas extraction companies to disclose government payments was vacated on July 2 by a federal judge. The agency "fundamentally miscalculated the scope of its discretion" and "abdicated its statutory responsibility to investors," U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington ruled in granting summary judgment to the American Petroleum Institute.
LEGAL SERVICES APPEAL
The nation's providers of civil legal services put something new between the charts and numbers of next year's budget request — the faces of children, seniors and veterans representing people to whom they provided life-changing help last year. "We're always working on how we tell the story and how we explain to people why it's so important," Legal Services Corp. president James Sandman said. As the budget process for 2014 budgets heats up, the agency does not expect public appropriations hearings on its $486 million request.
CHINA RAIDS GLAXO
GlaxoSmithKline is under investigation in China, ­reportedly for alleged bribery. The Times of London said that police raided Glaxo offices looking for evidence of alleged bribery by sales staff. "I can confirm that we are aware of an ongoing investigation by China government authorities," company spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne said. "At this stage it is still unclear what the precise nature of the investigation is." Rhyne said the company was cooperating with the inquiry. After The Wall Street Journal reported on bribery allegations by a whistleblower, Glaxo issued a statement saying it had investigated for four months and found no evidence of wrongdoing.
CLINICAL LEGAL EDUCATION
A group of clinical law ­professors has asked the American Bar Association to require that law students complete 15 credit hours of real-world lawyering coursework. The Clinical Legal Education Association argued that legal ­education lags far behind other ­professions when it comes to hands-on training and that a national standard would prevent licensing bodies in different states from adopting conflicting rules.
TRANSVAGINAL MESH TRIAL
The first of about 20,000 federal lawsuits filed over transvaginal mesh products, which are used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, was scheduled for trial today. The cases are pending in multidistrict litigation before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, W.Va. The litigation has expanded significantly during the past year. Goodwin, who has had the C.R. Bard Inc. cases since 2010, was handed four additional MDLs last year against defendants Ethicon Inc.; American Medical Systems Inc.; and Boston Scientific Corp. On August 6 of last year, Goodwin received another group of cases against Coloplast Corp., and on June 11, a sixth against Cook Medical Inc.
DILLER PAYS UP
Corporate investor Barry Diller has agreed to pay $480,000 to settle claims he violated federal antitrust law when he acquired hundreds of thousands of shares of The Coca-Cola Co. between 2010 and 2012. Diller, a billionaire media mogul known for heading a number of entertainment companies, failed to observe a waiting period and notify federal officials when he acquired 989,000 voting shares of Coca-Cola between November 2010 and April 2012, according to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.