New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves federal court, in New York. (Richard Drew)
BRADY SUSPENSION REVIVED
The four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for an alleged scheme to tamper with the air pressure in footballs has been restored by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
A divided panel voted, 2-1, on April 25 to reverse U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who last year voided the four-game suspension imposed by the National Football League and its commissioner, Roger Goodell. Berman found that Goodell exceeded his powers under federal arbitration and labor law.
A copyright suit over a “Star Trek” spinoff has ignited a legal battle over whether made-up languages — and specifically Klingon — are copyrightable.
In an amicus brief filed April 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District for California, the Language Creation Society argues that Paramount Pictures Corp. ­cannot own the language of the ­fictional Klingon alien race.
The brief supports a motion to dismiss that particular claim on behalf of Kickstarter-funded Axanar Productions Inc.
To say the filing is colorful doesn’t do it justice. Submitted by Marc Randazza of Las Vegas-based Randazza Legal Group, it is peppered with Klingon sayings­ — including a translation of a phrase from the 1998 film “The Big Lebowski.”
NEW GM COMPLIANCE CHIEF
General Motors Co. last week named former District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor as its new deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer.
Taylor, who reports to general counsel Craig Glidden, will oversee GM’s global ethics and compliance programs as well as GM’s commitment to “integrity, ethical conduct, workplace and vehicle safety, and compliance with the law and ­company policies,” according to a GM statement.
Before joining GM, Taylor was vice president and general counsel of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.
BLIND STUDENTS SUE BARBRI
Three blind law graduates filed a class action against BarBri Inc., the largest bar exam preparation course in the nation, claiming it is inaccessible to blind people.
The plaintiffs alleged in their complaint in Dallas federal district court that BarBri violated the federal Americans With Disabilities Act and its similar Texas statute “by maintaining barriers to the accessibility of its services for blind students who use talking screen reading software and failing to make reasonable accommodations or provide auxiliary aids or services.”
Plaintiffs lawyer Wayne Krause Yang said being able to access BarBri’s online test preparation materials is crucial to preparing for the bar exam.
EX-JUDGE FACES BIAS CLAIM
A federal appeals court in Atlanta last week ordered a hearing into whether former U.S. District Judge Jack Camp — before his arrest and prosecution — was racially biased against an African-American ­defendant.
The decision revives racism allegations against Camp that have been largely dormant since 2012. The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta said at the time it found no evidence of racial bias in the sentences of more than three dozen defendants whose cases Camp handled before his arrest.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit granted Harrison Norris Jr., a former professional wrestler found guilty of forcing women into prostitution, the rare opportunity to attempt to prove racial bias.
FOOTBALL STAR INDICTED
A Dallas grand jury on April 26 indicted football star Johnny Manziel on allegations of a misdemeanor assault ensuing from domestic violence.
Manziel is represented by Jim Darnell of El Paso and local co-counsel Robert Hinton in Dallas. “He is going to plead not guilty,” Darnell said. Manziel, known as “Johnny Football,” won a Heisman trophy as the quarterback for Texas A&M University and then turned pro before graduating. He was later dropped by the Cleveland Browns.