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  Antitrust - Legal News


A lawyer for Jussie Smollett said Tuesday that she would welcome cameras in the courtroom during the “Empire” actor’s trial on charges accusing him of lying to the police, saying there has been a lot of leaked misinformation and cameras would allow the public to “see the evidence and the lack thereof.”

Attorney Tina Glandian made the comments during a brief hearing Tuesday in Cook County criminal court during which both sides agreed that cameras would be allowed at the next hearing in the case, which is scheduled for Thursday. During that hearing, the case will be assigned to a trial judge who will then likely ask Smollett to enter a plea.

During the hearing, which was held after local news organizations requested that cameras be allowed in the courtroom, Judge LeRoy Martin, Jr. said that the new judge will decide whether or not to allow cameras in the courtroom during subsequent hearings and the trial.

After the hearing, Glandian told reporters that evidence has been presented against Smollett that is “demonstrably false.”

“We welcome cameras in the courtroom so that the public and the media can see the actual evidence and what we believe is the lack of evidence against Mr. Smollett and we look forward to complete transparency and the truth coming out,” she said.

Smollett was charged last month with one count of misconduct —the felony in Illinois that people are charged with when accused of lying to police — because he allegedly lied to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack by two masked men in downtown Chicago on Jan. 29. Last week, a grand jury indicted him on 16 counts of the same crime.

Prosecutors allege that Smollett, who is black and gay, enlisted the help of two other black men and staged the Jan. 29 attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to promote his career. Those men have admitted to police that they took part in the staged attack for Smollett, who paid them $3,500.

Smollett’s attorneys have called 16 counts “prosecutorial overkill.” The actor, who is free on bond, maintains his innocence.


The New York trial of a prominent Hong Kong businessman charged in a United Nations-linked bribery conspiracy is set to begin with jury selection Monday.

The trial of Dr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho begins a year after he was arrested on charges accusing him of paying bribes so a Chinese energy conglomerate could secure business advantages. He has been held without bail.

His lawyer has said Ho is looking forward to clearing his name. Ho was once Hong Kong's home affairs secretary.

Ho has insisted he is not guilty of charges that he conspired in October 2014 to bribe the president of Chad and the Ugandan foreign minister.

Prosecutors say Ho's former co-defendant, Cheikh Gadio, will testify at trial that Ho arranged a $2 million bribe to be delivered to Chad's president in gift boxes.

Last Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska overruled defense objections, saying Gadio can testify that he understood Ho's $2 million cash payment to President Idriss Deby to be a "bribe."

Ho's lawyers had argued that Gadio's testimony as to whether the $2 million was a "bribe" was lay opinion and should be kept out of evidence the jury can consider.




Europe's human rights court handed a partial victory Thursday to civil rights groups that challenged the legality of mass surveillance and intelligence-sharing practices exposed by American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that some aspects of British surveillance regimes violated provisions in the European Convention on Human Rights that are meant to safeguard Europeans' rights to privacy.

Specifically, the court said there wasn't enough independent scrutiny of processes used by British intelligence services to sift through data and communications intercepted in bulk.

The ruling cited a "lack of oversight of the entire selection process" and "the absence of any real safeguards."

The court's seven judges also voted 6-1 that Britain's regime for getting data from communications service providers also violated the human rights convention, including its provisions on privacy and on freedom of expression.

But the ruling wasn't all bad for British spies. The court said it is "satisfied" that British intelligence services take their human rights convention obligations seriously "and are not abusing their powers."

The court also gave a green light to procedures British security services use to get intelligence from foreign spy agencies, saying the intelligence-sharing regime doesn't violate the convention's privacy provisions.


Clarke Stearns has been working as sheriff for more than 18 months in McCormick County, but it's still up in the air whether he is qualified to be the county's top lawman.

Stearns' Democratic opponent in the 2016 election, J.R. Jones, sued him within a month after his victory, saying Stearns never served as a law officer in South Carolina and therefore didn't meet the requirement of being a certified officer in the state.

Stearns' lawyers have successfully argued so far that his 30 years certified as a law enforcement officer in Virginia are more than enough to cover the qualification to be sheriff and he also got his certification in South Carolina after the election.

After a lower court judge ruled against Jones, the lawsuit is now going before the state Supreme Court. Jones' lawyer Charles Grose, told The Index-Journal of Greenwood the Supreme Court has expedited the case.

Stearns, a Republican, received 57 percent of the vote in the 2016 election.

Both sides said they have sent their briefs to the South Carolina Supreme Court and are ready for the justices either to rule or set a time for arguments.

Under South Carolina law , sheriffs must be at least 21 years old, a citizen of the United States, a registered voter and have a year of experience as a certified officer if they have a four-year college degree.


Court declines to hear Microsoft antitrust case

  Antitrust  -   POSTED: 2014/04/28 16:16

The Supreme Court has declined to take up software maker Novell Inc.'s appeal in a long-running antitrust case against Microsoft Corp.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that rejected Novell's $1 billion lawsuit alleging Microsoft undermined the once popular WordPerfect writing program in favor of its own Word program with the Windows 95 rollout.

Novell claimed Microsoft duped it into developing WordPerfect for Windows 95 only to pull the plug so Microsoft could gain market share with its own product. Novell says it was forced to sell WordPerfect for a $1.2 billion loss.

The 10th Circuit ruled that Novell's complaint came too late and it failed to make the larger case that Microsoft was protecting a monopoly on operating systems.

FTC to issue subpoenas in Google antitrust probe

  Antitrust  -   POSTED: 2011/06/23 22:44

A published report says federal regulators are preparing to issue subpoenas to Google and other companies as authorities gather information for a broad antitrust probe into the Internet search leader's business practices.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission will issue subpoenas "within days," which would signal that it has opened a formal investigation.

The FTC is looking into whether Google abuses its dominance of Internet search to extend its influence into other lucrative online markets, such as mapping, comparison shopping and travel. Rivals complain that Google Inc., which handles two out of every three Internet searches in the U.S., manipulates its results to steer users to its own sites and services and bury links to competitors.

The European Commission and the Texas attorney general have already opened investigations into whether Google uses its enormous clout as a major gateway to the Internet to stifle competition online. The EU launched its investigation after competitors -- U.K.-based price comparison site Foundem, French legal search engine ejustice.fr and Microsoft-owned shopping site Ciao -- complained that their services were being buried in Google search results.


Judge dismisses EA from NCAA antitrust lawsuit

  Antitrust  -   POSTED: 2011/05/07 10:36

A federal judge has dismissed video game maker Electronic Arts Inc. from a high-profile antitrust lawsuit challenging the NCAA's long-standing prohibition against paying student athletes for their performance.

But U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken on Monday refused to drop the bulk of the case, which accuses the NCAA and its marketing company of operating an illegal sports marketing monopoly. Led by former UCLA basketball standout Ed O'Bannon, former athletes allege they are forced to forever sign away their commercial rights to play collegiate sports.

The judge refused to dismiss the NCAA and Collegiate Licensing Co. from the lawsuit that seeks to become a class action representing thousands of former football and basketball players who say the NCAA illegally controls their images forever without compensation.

The NCAA responds that players are free to make commercial deals after they leave college. NCAA policy prohibits players from receiving compensation while they are playing.

The judge said there is enough evidence to continue the litigation. But she said Monday that there was no evidence that Redwood City-based EA conspired with the NCAA to deny the players compensation and she dismissed the company from the lawsuit.

The O'Bannon case and another led by former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller are being closely watched because of their potential to dramatically reshape the commercial relationship between the NCAA and its athletes. Keller's lawsuit also alleges that the NCAA is unfairly depriving athletes of their share of revenues generated by their performances. But Keller's lawsuit makes different legal arguments, claiming the NCAA is violating the players' commercial rights when it refuses to cut them in on marketing deals using their images. The Keller lawsuit also names EA as a defendant.

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