Lawyer IOLTA accounts that help fund civil legal aid and other legal programs are likely to lose their unlimited federal insurance coverage on Jan. 1.
The ABA Governmental Affairs Office says it appears unlikely that lawmakers will act this year to extend the unlimited coverage provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., according to an ABA statement.
If Congress does not act, the amount of FDIC insurance available will be $250,000 per client, per financial institution, as long as the account is properly designated as a trust account and there is a proper accounting of each client’s funds.
IOLTA grants totaled $125 million last year. About 90% of the money supports legal aid offices and pro bono programs.
via Unlimited FDIC Insurance on IOLTA Accounts Likely to Expire; $250K Will Be New Client Coverage Limit – News – ABA Journal.
This is an interesting decision, allowing the first and fourth amendment claims of Port Militarization Resistance, an anti-war group, to go ahead.
The lawsuit arose when allegedly two civilian U.S. Army employees (Towery and Rudd) spied on the anti-war members and secretly disrupted protests. The anti-war group was protesting the use of sea ports in Washington State for shipments of military supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The lawsuit alleges defendants befriended the anti-war group and “influenced and directed” tactics to disrupt protests without cause, and that defendants broke into a confidential attorney-client list serve.
The district court dismissed most of the claims, but allowed First and Fourth Amendment allegations against Towery and Rudd to go ahead, despite their motion for qualified immunity. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
The Ninth Court stated,
“It is clearly established that intentionally enabling arrests without probable cause in order to suppress speech violates the First Amendment,” the unsigned and unpublished opinion from Seattle states.
“Plaintiffs have pled a plausible violation of their clearly established First Amendment rights,” the ruling states. “Plaintiffs have alleged that defendants ‘deterred or chilled the plaintiff’s political speech’ and that such deterrence motivated defendants’ conduct.”
via Courthouse News Service.
Recently, the NLRB released its decision (3-1) in WKYC-TV, in which the NLRB reversed the long-standing rule Bethelem Steel that agreements for dues checkoffs will not continue after the contract expires.
The new rule will not apply to pending cases. The essence of the majority decision is that because dues checkoffs are mandatory subjects of bargaining, the normal Katz rule for such topics–that they must continue while a new contract is being negotiated–should apply unless there is a reason for an exception; the majority found that there wasn’t. In making this conclusion, the majority distinguished clauses that involved the waiver of rights, like no-strike clauses. The majority also criticized Bethelem Steel for treating dues checkoff provisions the same as union security clauses (in part because of its reading of Sections 8(a)(3) and 302(c)).
Member Hayes dissented, arguing that there was no evidence that the old rule wasn’t working. Further, he disagreed with the majority’s statutory interpretation. He also stressed that limiting dues checkoffs to an active collective-bargaining agreement was more consistent with the concept of voluntary unionism.
via Workplace Prof Blog: Dues Check-Off Now Survives Contract Expiration.
The ABA Journal Blog reports on a ground-breaking agreement between TN Shelby County and the US Dep’t of Justice. The agreement regards the juvenile judicial system, includes the following provisions:
- Teens will be advised of their Miranda Rights;
- Teens will get a probable cause hearing on detention within 48 hours; and
- Teens will get help from specially trained public defenders.
This agreement arose from a federal investigation which found the following:
- Black teens were twice as likely as white teens to be detained;
- Black teens were transferred to adult criminal court for low-level offenses;
- Black teens were subjected to unnecessary restraints;
- Black teens were not advised of their Miranda rights; and
- Black teens were held in detention on weekends and holidays because no probable cause hearings were held.
via A Tennessee County Agrees to Grant New Protections to Accused Juveniles in Template for Reform – News – ABA Journal.
The Minnesota Lawyer Blog reports on the most recent appointment to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Judge John P. Smith was appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Smith will replace Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright, who was appointed earlier this year to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Smith has served on the Ninth District Court for over 21 years. He was appointed to the bench by Gov. Arne Carlson in 1991, and has served as chief judge and assistant chief judge. He has is currently president of the Minnesota District Judges Association.
via John Smith appointed to Court of Appeals – MinnLawyer Blog.