THE TOL LAW BLOG

Joe Biden, the 27th Lawyer President

By TOL Social

Inauguration Day: A Tale of Two ESQs   On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden took office as the 46th POTUS, but he also added his name to a long list of attorney predecessors––26, to be exact. He earned his J.D. degree from the College of Law at Syracuse University in 1968. His Vice President, Kamala Harris, a long-time prosecutor, graduated from UC Hastings Law in 1989.    Lawyer Presidents: A Brief History   In all, Biden became the 27th attorney out of 45 presidents (not out of 46 because Grover Cleveland took office for two non-consecutive terms as both the 22nd and 24th president). For those who are counting along, the following presidents were lawyers:    ...

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Donald Trump & Incitement of Insurrection 

By TalksOnLaw Editorial

President Trump Impeached for "Incitement of Insurrection"   President Trump was impeached for the second time on January 16, 2021. Impeachment under our Constitution follows “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but what were the exact charges leveled against the President? In this case, the "high crime" is incitement of insurrection. What is incitement of insurrection, how is it defined in House Resolution 24, and how is it different from incitement of violence?   What is incitement of insurrection?   First off, it’s good to remember that “high crimes and misdemeanors” don’t actually have to reflect federal or state crimes. In fact, it is up to Congress to judge wh...

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New COVID-19 Testing Rule for International Travel

By TalksOnLaw Editorial

CDC's COVID-19 Order on International Travel The CDC issued a new order restricting travel to the United States from a foreign country. Under the new rule, air passengers entering the U.S. must pass a COVID-19 test prior to flying or be cleared by a medical professional after recovering from the virus. The order also provides that additional instructions and guidance for airlines may be forthcoming. The rule takes effect on January 26, 2021.   The Legal Justification What legal grounds does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use to justify regulating air travel? Under 42 CFR § 71.20 (Public Health Prevention Measures to Detect Communicable Disease), the C...

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Dominion Voting v. Powell

By TOL Social

Lawsuit of the Week. Dominion Voting Systems sues Donald Trump's attorney Sidney Powell for over $1 billion in a defamation action. In a 100-plus page complaint, Dominion cites Powell's claims that their voting machines were used to flip votes from President Trump to President Elect Joe Biden in Georgia. The lawsuit highlights and argues "demonstrably false" statements including that: Dominion software "trashed" votes cast for President Trump Dominion "injected conterfeit ballots" to support the candidecy of Joe Biden Dominion software was created for the purposes of rigging elections on behalf of Venezualian leader Hugo Chavez  According to the lawsuit file...

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Joe Biden, the 27th Lawyer President

Inauguration Day: A Tale of Two ESQs   On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden took office as the 46th POTUS, but he also added his name to a long list of attorney predecessors––26, to be exact. He earned his J.D. degree from the College of Law at Syracuse University in 1968. His Vice President, Kamala Harris, a long-time prosecutor, graduated from UC Hastings Law in 1989.    Lawyer Presidents: A Brief History   In all, Biden became the 27th attorney out of 45 presidents (not out of 46 because Grover Cleveland took office for two non-consecutive terms as both the 22nd and 24th president). For those who are counting along, the following presidents were lawyers:    ...


Published: January 20, 2021
New COVID-19 Testing Rule for International Travel

CDC's COVID-19 Order on International Travel The CDC issued a new order restricting travel to the United States from a foreign country. Under the new rule, air passengers entering the U.S. must pass a COVID-19 test prior to flying or be cleared by a medical professional after recovering from the virus. The order also provides that additional instructions and guidance for airlines may be forthcoming. The rule takes effect on January 26, 2021.   The Legal Justification What legal grounds does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use to justify regulating air travel? Under 42 CFR § 71.20 (Public Health Prevention Measures to Detect Communicable Disease), the C...


Published: January 14, 2021
SEC Releases 2020 Examination Priorities

2020 SEC OCIE EXAMINATION PRIORITIES—HIGHLIGHTS On January 7, 2020, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released its 2020 examination priorities. The annual publication outlines the practices, products, and services that the SEC believes present potential risks to investors and the U.S. markets. The report highlights 8 focus areas for fiscal year 2020: (1) retail investors, including seniors and individuals saving for retirement; (2) information security; (3) financial technology (fintech) and innovations, including digital assets and electronic investment advice; (4) additional focus areas involving registered investment advisers (RIAs) and inv...


Published: February 12, 2020
Beyond the Law: The Fighter

There are hard-hitting lawyers and there are hard hitting lawyers. For Julie Cohen, a litigation partner at Skadden, Arps, the combat takes place both in the courtroom and in the ring. When Cohen isn’t busy fighting for her clients, she’s training as an A-Class Muay Thai fighter at her home gym, Five Points Academy, in New York City. Having taken up the sport just three years ago, Julie has gone from beginner to elite, fighting at prestigious tournaments and promotions around the country in the process. We sat down with Julie to learn more about how a full-time litigator at one of the nation's most demanding firms could also become one of the top female Muay Thai fighters in the...


Published: September 3, 2019
What Is “Reading the Law,” Kim Kardashian's Law Study Apprenticeship?

When media personality Kim Kardashian-West announced to her loyal following that she was studying to become a lawyer without attending law school, many of you asked "HOW?" (and some asked "why," but that’s for another day). How can you become a lawyer without attending law school or, in Kardashian’s case, without a college degree? We are here to explain. Kardashian’s path to lawyerdom is sometimes called “reading the law,” which, while exceptionally rare today, was once the norm.   WHAT IS READING THE LAW? So first, what is “reading the law?” Basically, it’s a JD via apprenticeship but without the actual degree. In her case, Kardashian will need to spend at least four yea...


Published: June 21, 2019
Extradition Battle: Who Gets Julian Assange?

Who gets Julian Assange? The (in)famous Wikileaks founder was arrested on April 11 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.  But with charges still pending in the UK (skipping bail), the possibility of a sexual assault case in Sweden, and a felony charge in the US for “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” (helping Chelsea Manning take and release classified military docs), who will end up with custody of the famous white-haired hacker?  While many experts see the U.S. as the favorite for custody, Sweden is also a contender; Assange’s alleged rape victim is pushing Swedish prosecutors to reopen her case.  Another mystery yet unsolved – why after 7 years of asylum (plus Ecuado...


Published: April 11, 2019
Should Sending Nude Pics Be Illegal?

A Texas state senator, backed by the founder of the popular dating app Bumble, is pushing to criminalize unsolicited nude or indecent photos in Texas. The law would apply to images sent over text, social media, and dating apps.   Bumble founder, Whitney Herd, argued before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, "If indecent exposure is a crime on the streets, then why is it not on your phone or computer?” The bill, drafted by State Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) and co-authored by Rep Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth), would criminalize sending photos of: "(A) a person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed; or (B) covered genitals of a ma...


Published: April 1, 2019
Donald Trump & Incitement of Insurrection 

President Trump Impeached for "Incitement of Insurrection"   President Trump was impeached for the second time on January 16, 2021. Impeachment under our Constitution follows “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but what were the exact charges leveled against the President? In this case, the "high crime" is incitement of insurrection. What is incitement of insurrection, how is it defined in House Resolution 24, and how is it different from incitement of violence?   What is incitement of insurrection?   First off, it’s good to remember that “high crimes and misdemeanors” don’t actually have to reflect federal or state crimes. In fact, it is up to Congress to judge wh...


Published: January 15, 2021
Dominion Voting v. Powell

Lawsuit of the Week. Dominion Voting Systems sues Donald Trump's attorney Sidney Powell for over $1 billion in a defamation action. In a 100-plus page complaint, Dominion cites Powell's claims that their voting machines were used to flip votes from President Trump to President Elect Joe Biden in Georgia. The lawsuit highlights and argues "demonstrably false" statements including that: Dominion software "trashed" votes cast for President Trump Dominion "injected conterfeit ballots" to support the candidecy of Joe Biden Dominion software was created for the purposes of rigging elections on behalf of Venezualian leader Hugo Chavez  According to the lawsuit file...


Published: January 9, 2021
What Does the Cole Memo Mean for Marijuana?

WHAT IS THE COLE MEMORANDUM? On August 29, 2013, the Department of Justice issued the now infamous Cole Memorandum, signaling a shift in federal law enforcement policy on marijuana in America. While the memo (signed by then United States Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole) reiterates the view that marijuana is a “dangerous drug” and federally illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, it provided some comfort to the cannabis industry by offering some restraint in terms of enforcement of the prohibition.   Specifically, the memo provided guidance to federal law enforcement regarding crimes relating to the cultivation, distribution, sale, or possession of marijuana in stat...


Published: February 12, 2020
Embryo Wars

EMBRYO WARS LA couple Anni and Ashot Manukyan have filed suit against a fertility clinic after one of their embryos was carried to term by another woman in New York.  In a mind-twisting legal case filled with what must be incredible personal heartbreak, the baby boy has now been returned to his biological parents in California.  The Los Angeles Times reports that the woman who gave birth to the Manukyan's baby is of Korean descent and that she was “surprised” when “neither of the two baby boys [that she delivered]… were of her own ethnicity.”  Predictably, law suits have followed. The Manukyans have sued the clinic in LA. The New York City family, identified only as A.P. a...


Published: July 15, 2019
Robert Mueller's 12 Secret Criminal Referrals

Deep within its appendices, the report lists 14 criminal referrals that were made by the special counsel’s office.


Published: April 19, 2019
Contested Paternity between Identical Twins

► TOL Foreign Law Update A woman is pregnant, and the father is one of two identical twins.  But what happens if each twin claims he is not the father? Well, according to a court in Brazil, both will pay. The twins, referred to by the court as Fernando and Fabrício, are alleged to regularly impersonate one another while pursuing women.  The judge, left unable to identify the father, imposed child support on both men.     Additional Resources For an in depth conversation on bioethics, including the ownership of sperm and contested paternity, watch this interview with Harvard Law Prof. Glenn Cohen.  Click here. For the legal decision (in Portuguese), click here.  ...


Published: April 3, 2019
EU Bans Single-Use Plastics

The European Parliament approves a new law banning single-use plastics by 2021.  The law bans items such as plastic straws, plates, q-tips and plastic cutlery.  Additionally, the new legislation calls for EU states to reach 90% collection targets for all plastic bottles by 2029.  “Today, we have taken an important step to reduce littering and plastic pollution in our oceans and seas. We got this, we can do this.” Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission. Additional Resources For details on the ban from the European Parliament, click here. For the EU's factsheet on the new rules reducing plastics and the damage of such plastics to the oceans, click he...


Published: March 28, 2019