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  Elite Lawyers - Legal News


A Colorado clash between gay rights and religion started as an angry Facebook posting about a wedding cake but now has big implications for anti-discrimination laws in 22 states.

Baker Jack Phillips is challenging a Colorado law that says he was wrong to have turned away a same-sex couple who wanted a cake to celebrate their 2012 wedding.

The justices said Monday they will consider Phillips' case, which could affect all states. Twenty-two states include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws that bar discrimination in public accommodations.

Phillips argues that he turned away Charlie Craig and David Mullins not because they are gay, but because their wedding violated Phillips' religious belief.

After the couple was turned away in 2012, they complained about Masterpiece Cakeshop on Facebook, then filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The state sided with the couple.

"It solidified the right of our community to have a right to public accommodations, so future couples are not turned away from a business because of who they are," Mullins said Monday.

Phillips says that artisans cannot be compelled to produce works celebrating an event that violates the artist's religion. A lawyer for Phillips pointed out that another Denver-area baker was not fined for declining to bake a cake with an anti-gay message.

"The government in Colorado is picking and choosing which messages they'll support and which artistic messages they'll protect," said Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which took the baker's case.



The Supreme Court will take up a momentous fight over parties manipulating electoral districts to gain partisan advantage in a case that could affect the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans across the United States.

At issue is whether Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin drew legislative districts that favored their party and were so out of whack with the state's political breakdown that they violated the constitutional rights of Democratic voters.

It will be the high court's first case in more than a decade on what's known as partisan gerrymandering. A lower court struck down the districts as unconstitutional last year.

The justices won't hear the arguments until the fall, but the case has already taken on a distinctly ideological, if not partisan, tone. Just 90 minutes after justices announced Monday that they would hear the case, the five more conservative justices voted to halt a lower court's order to redraw the state's legislative districts by November, in time for next year's elections.

The four more liberal justices, named to the court by Democrats, would have let the new line-drawing proceed even as the court considers the issue.

That divide could be significant. One factor the court weighs in making such decisions is which side seems to have a better chance of winning.

Republicans who control the state legislature assured the court that they could draw new maps in time for the 2018 elections, if the court strikes down the districts. If the state wins, there'll be no need for new districts.

Democrats hope a favorable decision will help them cut into Republican electoral majorities. Election law experts say the case is the best chance yet for the high court to put limits on what lawmakers may do to gain a partisan advantage in creating political district maps.

Both parties have tried to get the largest partisan edge when they control redistricting. Yet Democrats are more supportive of having courts rein in extreme districting plans, mainly because Republicans control more legislatures and drew districts after the 2010 census that enhanced their advantage in those states and in the House of Representatives.


Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch acknowledged Friday that there is "a lot of skepticism about the rule of law" in the country but defended the United States judicial system as "a blessing" and "a remarkable gift" during a talk at Harvard University.

The court's newest justice marveled that in America "nine old people in polyester black robes" and other judges can safely decide cases according to their conscience and that the government can lose cases without resorting to the use of armed force to impose its will.

"That is a heritage that is very, very special," he said. "It's a remarkable gift. Travel elsewhere. See how judges live. See whether they feel free to express themselves."

Gorsuch, made the comments during his first public appearance since joining the high court in a conversation with fellow Justice Stephen Breyer at Harvard University.

Gorsuch said that particularly in tumultuous times it's important to convince the next generation "that the project (of justice) is worth it because many of them have grave doubts."

"I think there is a lot of skepticism about the rule of law, but I see it day in and day out in the trenches — the adversarial process of lawyers coming to court and shaking hands before and after, the judges shaking hands as we do, before we ascend to the bench," he said. "That's how we resolve our differences in this society."

Gorsuch, who was nominated to the high court earlier this year by Republican President Donald Trump, said he believes there is still confidence in the judicial system. He said that 95 percent of all cases are decided in the trial court, while only 5 percent are appealed, and the Supreme Court hears about 80 cases in a good year.


Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell was appointed Tuesday to the Missouri Supreme Court, marking the first high-profile judicial selection by new Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

Powell will replace former Judge Richard Teitelman, who died in November at his home in St. Louis.

Powell, a 46-year-old Kansas City resident, was appointed by former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt as a Jackson County judge in 2008. He previously spent seven years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Kansas City and also worked as an assistant Platte County prosecutor.

Greitens said Powell has established himself as "an outstanding jurist."

"He has received high marks for being humble, fair-minded and of the highest integrity," Greitens said in a written statement accompanying his announcement. "I am confident Judge Powell will be committed to strengthening and improving our court system and guarding the rule of law as a judge on our state's highest court."

Powell's wife, Beth Phillips, was appointed as a U.S. district judge in 2011 by Democratic President Barack Obama after serving as U.S. attorney in Kansas City. His sister-in-law, Jennifer Phillips, was appointed to the Jackson County Circuit Court in 2014 by former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon after serving as an assistant county prosecutor. Powell's father, his father-in-law, an uncle and several cousins also have been attorneys.

"Coming from a clan of lawyers, this is a very special day for me and my family," Phillips said Tuesday in a written statement. "As I step into this new role, I hope to model the humility and judicial temperament exhibited by the late Judge Richard Teitelman who was known for his kindness and congeniality."

Unlike at the federal level, Missouri Supreme Court appointees are not subject to Senate confirmation. Instead, Powell will face a retention vote for a 12-year term during the 2018 general election.

Powell's appointment could shift the court a little to the right. Though Missouri appeals judges don't run as Democrats or Republicans, Teitelman had been appointed by former Democratic Gov. Bob Holden and typically aligned along liberal lines.

Powell's addition will mean three of the state's seven Supreme Court judges were appointed by Republican governors.


In the Army, Richard Ress survived duty in some of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, but on a July day in 2009, he seemed ready for his life to end in the back of a Texas police car facing his third drunken-driving arrest in less than a year.

According to the arrest report, Ress asked the officer "to shoot him and get it over with." He was struggling with flashbacks and nightmares associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, which went untreated during four months in jail. A few years later, in 2015, he got a fourth DWI.

"I knew I couldn't continue like this because I was going to die," he said.

That's when Ress was flagged for a program that aims to divert certain veterans facing criminal charges into treatment programs instead of sending them through the criminal court system. And rather than requiring veterans to travel to court appearances, this court travels to reach them in five counties near Dallas.

Judge John Roach Jr. said the court is a first of its kind, and he hopes it will be replicated in other rural areas without public transportation, where getting to hearings can be a challenge.

Eugene Assault & Violent Crimes Lawyer

  Elite Lawyers  -   POSTED: 2013/01/23 10:00

The state of Oregon determines it law on crimes on against persons based on the ORS Chapter 163. This chapter includes crimes such as homicide, assault, menacing, kidnapping, coercion, sexual assault and stalking. Many times these crimes happen in the context of a domestic relationship and can vary on how severe consequences will be depending on each specific circumstance. These types of crimes are especially difficult because it involves families. Like any kind of crime, domestic violence is not handled lightly and a conviction can have a serious impract on your life by limiting your freedom and your rights.

ORS Chapter 163 sets out Oregon law on crimes against persons. Crimes in this category include homicide, assault, menacing, kidnapping, coercion, sexual assault and stalking. These crimes often occur in the context of domestic relationships. Criminal cases involving family are usually difficult for everyone involved. A domestic violence conviction can have a serious impact on your life, affecting both your future freedom and your rights as a parent, in addition to incurring penalties such as restraining orders and even jail time. If you have been accused of domestic violence or are facing charges for any crime against the person it is important consult an experienced lawyer to protect your rights.

Menacing (threats)
Class A misdemeanor         Up to 1 year in jail and fines of $6250
Stalking
Class A misdemeanor         Up to 1 year in jail and fines of $6250.
4th degree Assault
Class A misdemeanor         Up to 1 year in jail and fines of $6250.
3rd Degree Assault
Class C felony         Up to 5 years in prison and $125,000  in fines.
2nd Degree Assault
Class B felony         Up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
1st Degree Assault
Class A felony         Up to 20 years in prison and $375,000 in fine

If you are accused of domestic abuse against a spouse or significant other that occurred in the presence of one of their children, it can elevate what would be a misdemeanor assault case to a felony assault case. Domestic violence cases also often involve restraining orders in separate civil proceedings.

We can assist you in all civil and criminal proceedings related to domestic violence. We will work to determine what happened, identify potential defenses, such as self-defense or defense of a third-party, and consider the relevancy and significance of any extenuating circumstances such as drugs or alcohol.

If you have been accused of domestic violence or are facing charges for a violent crime call MJM Law Office, P.C. to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Eugene, Oregon.

Contact Us online or call 541-505-9872 to schedule a consultation. 


The Fair Credit Reporting Act (the FCRA), a federal statute passed in 1970 to regulate the collection and use of consumer credit information, requires consumer reporting agencies (also known as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus) to maintain the “maximum possible accuracy” of the credit information they collect and use to create consumer reports (also known as credit reports).  When a consumer reporting agency fails to maintain this level of accuracy and errors occur, this federal law gives consumers the right to dispute information in their credit files and, when necessary, bring suit against those agencies and the furnishers of credit information to those agencies, to recover damages for those inaccuracies and errors.

Riley Bennett & Egloff Law combines experience and efficiency in credit reporting law to render their clients high quality legal representation. Their attorneys represents cosumers whose rights have been violated by the credit reporting agencies and runishers of credit information. Having represented a number of parties involved with these kinds of claims in federal court, their work has been acknowledged throughout the Indianapolis area. See www.rbelaw.com.

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