Festival 2013

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May 29  |  Headlines  |   david

I am happy to be associated with Roanoke Festival in the Park, Inc. which has brought entertainment and activities to Roanoke over the Memorial Day weekend for more than 40 years. Congratulations on another success.

NRA and Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli Lose on Second Amendment Argument

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March 23  |  Headlines  |   david

In Woollard v. Gallagher, a case decided March 21, 2013, the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond upheld a Maryland law which places restrictions on those who can carry handguns outside the home.  Both the National Rifle Association and the Attorney General of Virginia, among others, filed amicus briefs arguing that the Maryland law violated the Second Amendment.  They lost.

The Maryland law was not an absolute ban on carrying handguns outside the home.  It provided a number of exceptions, but said others not falling within an exception must have a “good and substantial reason” for carrying a gun in order for them to obtain the required permit.  The Maryland State Police was given authority to issue the permits.  The State Police adopted a standard which sets out four categories which they would consider to meet the “good and substantial reason” requirement, the last of which was “for personal protection.”   To determine whether the personal protection requirement was met, the State Police applied an objective standard previously adopted by the Maryland Court of Appeals that there must be an “apprehended danger,” something more specific than “a vague threat” or a general fear of “living in a dangerous society.”

 In its analysis, the Fourth Circuit followed its own precedent and applied an “intermediate scrutiny,” not a “strict scrutiny,” standard in determining whether the state regulation restricting guns outside the home placed an impermissible burden on the Second Amendment constitutional right.

 The court held that Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement as applied in this case met second amendment constitutional muster.  Using the intermediate scrutiny standard, the court found Maryland had demonstrated that the statutory “good and substantial reason” requirement is reasonably adapted to Maryland’s significant interest in protecting public safety and preventing crime.

United States Sues S & P Over Derivatives Ratings

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February 5  |  Headlines  |   david

The United States Justice Department has filed a civil action against Standard & Poor’s and it’s parent company McGraw-Hill over the ratings it gave to financial derivatives which are widely blamed for causing the Great Recession.

Rose Bowl Float Side Story – Copyright

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January 1  |  Headlines  |   david

A float in today’s Rose Bowl Parade honored Korean War veterans by depicting the National Korean War Memorial on the Mall in Washington.  Fifty-five years after the war ended, the artist who created the central feature of the memorial had to fight a battle of his own over the copyright to his work.  Here is his story. The Stamp War – Copyright

Apple Ordered to Disclose Patent Infringement Settlement Details

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November 26  |  Headlines  |   david

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has ordered Apple Computer to disclose the details of the global settlement agreement it reached with HTC dismissing all patent infringement lawsuits between the two companies.  Apple had sought a permanent US sales ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and one tablet computer.  Samsung claimed the iPod Touch 5, the iPad 4, and the iPad mini infringed its patents.

Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement in U.S. History

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July 2  |  Headlines  |   david

GlaxoSmithKline LLC agreed today to plead guilty and pay $3 billion to resolve criminal charges brought by the U.S. Justice Department for introducing misbranded Paxil and Wellbutrin into interstate commerce, and failing to report safety data about the diabetes drug Avandia, and also to resolve civil claims brought by the government for alleged false price reporting practices.  It is the largest payment ever by a drug company.  http://1.usa.gov/M1nehB

Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law

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June 28  |  Headlines  |   david

The Supreme Court today released its opinion upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  http://www.scotusblog.com/

Service Mark Infringement – Eighth Circuit

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May 31  |  Headlines  |   david

The First National Bank in Sioux Falls v. First National Bank South Dakota

 In this service mark infringement suit over two banks using similar names, on May 25, 2012 the Eighth Circuit affirmed the issuance of a permanent injunction.  It held that there was sufficient evidence in the record of likelihood of confusion that the District Court of South Dakota’s factual finding of likelihood of confusion was not clearly erroneous.

 In an earlier decision, the court had not extended the injunction to prevent First National  Bank of South Dakota from using its full name.  In a redesigned logo and in advertising materials, FNB SD then used its full name but highlighted “First National” and “First National Bank” and minimized “South Dakota.”

 After the first suit, First National Bank of Sioux Falls federally registered its mark, so the second suit was brought under the Lanham Act.  In this second suit, the use of the redesigned logo and advertising materials was enjoined; however, the court held this was not an “exceptional case” meeting the statutory standard for the award of attorneys fees.


Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Briefs Filed in Supreme Court

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January 12  |  Headlines  |   david

On January 10, 2012, twenty-six states filed a brief with the US Supreme Court challenging the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that expands Medicaid for the poor and disabled.  The brief argues that PPACA’s expansion of Medicaid is so integral to the law that PPACA in its entirety should be declared unconstitutional.  The government predicts that the enrollment in Medicaid will increase by 16 million people by the end of 2020.  The states argue that PPACA would in practice make the states’ participation in Medicaid mandatory because federal funding for other programs would be eliminated if they do not.  The federal government’s brief on this issue is due February 10.

On January 7, the federal government filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the minimum coverage provision of the PPADA, which requires most US citizens to obtain health insurance by 2014 or face a tax penalty, should not be looked at in isolation and that the entire Act should be upheld.

Congressional Lawmaking: A Perspective on Secrecy and Transparency

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December 9  |  Headlines  |   david

A report from the Congressional Research Service including discussion of the 12-member budget reduction “super committee.”  http://bit.ly/sMALa4