Legal Briefs: What’s Happening in Law

October 5, 2014

Each week, we bring you updates on the legal world.

Looking ahead…

The subprime loan crisis keeps getting worse. Used-auto dealerships are the focus of inquiry into whether they have been inflating buyers’ incomes in loans for car purchases. Prosecutors are working on cases in New York, Alabama and Texas, and other states are expected to start their own inquiries soon. (New York Times)

Are drones like wandering cows? A man in New Jersey shot down his neighbor’s small drone as it crossed into his yard. Trespass law is unclear on how to treat drones, whether as imminent threats (a burglar brandishing a gun) or as an inconvenience (a cow). The courts are going to have some tough issues to resolve as private individuals acquire more and more drones for personal use. (Popular Science)

The first man to be diagnosed in the United States with Ebola is facing prosecution in his home country of Liberia. On his travels, he allegedly lied to airport authorities, telling them he didn’t have contact with Ebola-infected individuals in West Africa. Legal analysts say the case will provide an interesting precedent for future incidents in which people knowingly deceive health authorities about their conditions. (The Atlantic)

Tomorrow the Supreme Court will start hearing arguments about whether inmates in Arkansas should be allowed to grow beards. Interestingly, the Federal government has submitted an amicus curiae to the Court supporting the inmate’s petition. (SCOTUS Blog)

And in case you missed it…

A woman is suing a sperm clinic in a wrongful birth suit. After requesting sperm from a white donor, she instead received sperm from a black man. This, in turn, led to “suffering and pain,” as alleged in her suit, because she has faced a “steep learning curve” regarding “African American culture.” (Mic)

It got very real this past week for a Real Housewives star. Teresa Guidce was sentenced to 15 months in prison on various financial corruption charges. Her husband was sentenced to 41 months on similar charges. (Kansas City Star)

A former Assemblywoman in New York is also facing prison time for dubious activities. She was accused and convicted of entering into a “sham marriage” to gain citizenship.  (Politics on the Hudson)


Image: Thomas Hawk via photopin