Tag Archives: legal news

Turkey says U.S. indictment of former minister amounts to “coup attempt”

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey said on Monday its former economy minister, indicted in the United States for conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran, acted within international law and that charges against him amounted to a coup attempt through American courts.

Former minister Zafer Caglayan “has protected Turkey’s interests as Turkish economy minister, and has acted within the laws of our country and international laws while doing that,” government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said.

The charges against Caglayan were “a repetition of the December FETO coup attempt … through the American judiciary”, Bozdag said, referring to 2013 leaks about alleged government corruption which were blamed on President Tayyip Erdogan’s opponents.

Caglayan and the ex-head of a state-owned Turkish bank were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by illegally moving hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on Tehran’s behalf.

Read Full – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-turkey-spokesman/turkey-says-u-s-indictment-of-former-minister-amounts-to-coup-attempt-idUSKCN1BM24A

Should Avvo’s Legal Services Be Considered An Ethical Form Of Fee Splitting?

Avvo has argued that the fee-splitting prohibition could be a violation of the First Amendment.

A few days ago, three committees appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court jointly ruled that its lawyers cannot participate in Avvo’s Legal Services program because it engages in unethical fee splitting with non-lawyers.

Avvo’s Legal Services program works like this: A lawyer who signs up for the program will have a chance to be connected to a client seeking a 15-minute consultation. The client pays $39.95 to Avvo which is deposited to the attorney’s bank account. Soon after, in a separate transaction, Avvo debits $10 from the attorney’s bank account as an “marketing fee” for that client.

Does the above make Avvo’s Legal Services program a fee-splitting scheme? Yes. You can call it a “marketing fee” or some other name that doesn’t include the words “fee split with non-lawyers.” But it does not change the fact that a lawyer is getting paid and a non-lawyer is getting a cut of that pay. And it’s not just New Jersey that thinks this way. The state bar ethics committees of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina also ruled that this was impermissible fee splitting. I am very confident that other states will rule the same way.

Some argued that this system is no different than a credit card processing company charging a fee based on a percentage of the money received from a credit card transaction. There is a big distinction. The credit card processing company is not providing the clients. The processing company does not care whether the client is happy with the lawyer’s service. Avvo sets up a caller with an attorney. I do not know how Avvo matches up callers with attorneys, but I think it’s safe to assume that if callers are consistently unhappy with a particular attorney, that attorney will stop getting connections.

Full Article – http://abovethelaw.com/2017/06/should-avvos-legal-services-be-considered-an-ethical-form-of-fee-splitting/?rf=1

Teen murder suspect’s mom: Can’t remember talking about North Little Rock killing

The mother of a teenage murder suspect told a Pulaski County Circuit judge that she does not remember talking about the killing with her 17-year-old son.

Police say Anthony Fredrick “Lil June” Williams of Little Rock has admitted to shooting Tyrone Leon Barnett, 19, of North Little Rock two days before Christmas.

Citing an interview with the teen after his arrest, North Little Rock Detective Dane Pedersen told Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herb Wright that Williams’ mother picked him up from the area and drove him home after the shooting.

The detective testified Tuesday that Williams also told police that he discussed what he had done and why with his parents.

“He did tell me that he talked to his mother and dad about what happened and they talked about it all day,” Pedersen said.

Full Read –  http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/jun/02/suspect-s-mom-can-t-remember-talking-of/

Celebrity developer pleads no contest to Bel-Air mega-mansion charges. But what happens to the 30,000-square-foot estate?

Three years ago, Los Angeles city officials demanded that builders halt work on a colossal mansion in the rarefied hills of Bel-Air.

The massive home being erected on Strada Vecchia Road was bigger and taller than allowed, city prosecutors said. It also included entire areas — bedrooms, decks and a vast IMAX theater — that the city says were never approved.

Neighbors said they feared for their safety, complaining that the hillside above their homes had been dangerously destabilized.

City officials yanked the building permits. Luxury developer Mohamed Hadid was slapped with criminal charges. The case drew international attention with its cocktail of criminal accusations, real estate excess and star power in Hadid, who has appeared on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and whose daughters Gigi and Bella have graced magazine covers.

After more than a year of legal wrangling, Hadid pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charges Tuesday. But neighbors remain anxious about what will ultimately happen to the roughly 30,000-square-foot mega-mansion uphill.

“You still have this horrendous thing hanging over the hillside,” said Joseph Horacek, an entertainment lawyer who repeatedly lodged complaints as the home was under construction, in an April interview at his home. He has nicknamed the unfinished building, which towers over his winding street below, the “Starship Enterprise.”

The question goes to the heart of how L.A. should hold real estate developers accountable. Hadid, who did not appear in court Tuesday, is scheduled for a sentencing hearing next month. City prosecutors want the judge to impose more than a dozen requirements, including hundreds of hours of community service, fines of $1,000 for each of the three charges, and a $250,000 contribution to a community improvement fund.

Read Full – http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-bel-air-building-20170530-htmlstory.html

Ohio attorney general sues 5 pharmaceutical companies over opioid epidemic


The Ohio attorney general has filed a lawsuit against five leading prescription opioid manufacturers, alleging that the companies intentionally misled patients regarding the risks and benefits of opioid use with fraudulent marketing.

Attorney General Mike DeWine accused the companies of leading patients to believe that opioids were not addictive, which the lawsuit says fueled the current opioid epidemic in Ohio.

“We believe the evidence will also show that these companies got thousands and thousands of Ohioans — our friends, our family members, our co-workers, our kids — addicted to opioid pain medications, which has all too often led to use of the cheaper alternatives of heroin and synthetic opioids,” DeWine said in a statement. “These drug manufacturers led prescribers to believe that opioids were not addictive, that addiction was an easy thing to overcome, or that addiction could actually be treated by taking even more opioids.”

The five manufacturers listed in the lawsuit, filed in the Ross County Court of Common Pleas, are Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its subsidiary Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Allergan.

The lawsuit was filed in Ross County since Southern Ohio was the area hit the hardest by the opioid epidemic, the press release states. A record of 3,050 people in Ohio died from drug overdose in 2015, The Associated Press reported. That figure is expected to rise significantly once the 2016 figures have been tallied, according to the AP.

The lawsuit alleges that the drug companies violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and created a “public nuisance by disseminating false and misleading statements about the risks and benefits of opioids.”

Full Read – http://abcnews.go.com/US/ohio-attorney-general-sues-pharmaceutical-companies-opioid-epidemic/story?id=47750198