Nestle Face Lawsuit For Illegally Bottling Water

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Lawsuits |

Back in October, a group of environmental organizations filed a suit against the U.S. Forest Service, alleging that the government agency allowed food company Nestle to bottle water in California whilst using a permit which had expired.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, calls on the Forest Service to immediately shut down a four-mile pipeline which transports water from Strawberry Creek to a bottling facility. According to the lawsuit, the permit in question has been expired since 1988. The plaintiffs are demanding that the U.S. Forest Service conduct another review which takes environmental impact into consideration, according to the lawsuit. Nestle is not party to the suit.


Historic Drought

Filed by advocacy groups the Story of Stuff Project, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Courage Campaign Institute, the lawsuit comes amidst a historic drought which has prompted a number of policies regarding the personal water use of the state’s residents and requiring that it be reduced. The plaintiffs argue that corporations should not be allowed unlimited and unfettered water use, whilst regular state residents are required to cut back. Executive director of the Courage Campaign Institute Eddie Kurtz said in a statement that Nestle’s actions are not just morally bankrupt, but also illegal. He went on to say that since the government will not stand up to them, the advocacy groups are taking matters into their own hands.


Nestle’s Response

Nestle spokesperson Jane Lazgin released a statement in which she says that the permit remains in full force and effect under the federal Administrative Procedure Act. According to Lazgin, Nestle are working diligently alongside the U.S. Forest Service on the renewal of the permit. An emailed statement said that Nestle plan to continue abiding by all relevant laws and legislations as related to their operations, whether it be federal, state or local.

Operations to Continue

John Heil, a spokesperson for the Regional Forest Service, said in a statement that current policy allows Nestle to continue operations whilst a review of its application for permit renewal is underway. Nestle’s current permit is one of a range of permits from the 1930’s, and was issued to Nestle’s predecessor for the maintenance purposes of over four miles worth of water pipelines, water collection tunnels and horizontal wells in the national forest.

Critics calling for a new, thorough environmental review of this permit include former U.S. Forest Service employees.

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Muslims Sue NYPD Over Surveillance Without Cause

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Lawsuits |

Though the original case was dismissed back in February of 2014, when it was dismissed by the city in a persuasive argument, the court of appeals has returned to the case for further proceedings. The original case was filed by a group of families, business owners, and students for a possible civil rights violation. They felt the surveillance cost them their lifestyle and religious rights, threatening their careers, educations, and religious activities as they felt singled out as Muslims.

No Muslim Exception to Constitution

Legal director for the Center for Constitutional rights, Baher Azmy cites, “There is no Muslim exception to the constitution”, he represents the plaintiffs along with a group of Muslim Advocates.

The New York civil Liberties Union brought forth a similar case in Brooklyn, maintaining that surveillance runs against a long-standing court order against police surveillance in an effort to monitor political activity. Although both previous disputes have been settled, it is wondered if the surveillance is indeed an anti-terrorism campaign or in direct violation of civil liberties.


Vigilance In Protecting Constitutional Rights

Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro states, “We have learned from experience that it is often where asserted interest appears most compelling that we must be most vigilant in protecting constitutional rights”. He goes on to cite the unconstitutional internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. And while the city is reviewing this case, Mayor Bill de Blasio ended the program shortly after taking office in 2014 under strict criticism of his own.

Plaintiffs Complain Against Infiltration and Surveillance

Shortly after 9/11 police began infiltrating Muslim organizations through New York in a widespread and unprecedented anti-terrorism campaign. The plaintiffs complain that these acts subjected them to undue discrimination, threatened their education, jobs, and religious activities. The NYPD’s efforts were to stem further terrorist activities after the fall of the World Trade Center and sniff out possible terrorists still lurking inside the United States.


Can the Case be Overturned?

Although a lower court threw out the case, the plaintiffs brought the case to the third U.S circuit of appeals in Philadelphia. They found that plaintiffs had a legal standing as the surveillance did indeed single out the Muslims in a massive act of discrimination against a racial and religious group of the community. Further, there was no suspicion of actual criminal activity among the Muslim groups targeted to merit any surveillance, therefore the third court of appeals ruled the NYPD’s acts of counter terrorism violated constitutional rights of innocents based on racism and religious segregation.

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Can a Foreign Lawyer Practice Law in the USA?

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Law Schools, Bar Exam, Lawyer Practice |

Becoming a lawyer in the US is a complicated process, particularly for foreign nationals. One of the most important steps in the process is the bar exam. A bar examination is a test intended to determine whether or not a candidate is qualified to practice law in a specific jurisdiction. As an international student, taking the bar is even more complex than for US-born law students.

Admission to the bar in the United States is the granting of permission by a particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in that system. Each US state and similar jurisdiction (e.g. territories under federal control) has its own court system and sets its own rules for bar admission (or privilege to practice law), which can lead to different admission standards among states. In most cases, a person who is “admitted” to the bar is thereby a “member” of the particular bar.

A group of second and third year law students from Georgia State College of Law pose with Justice Harris Hines after getting sworn in at the Cobb County Superior Court. Handout Photo 9-17-2015

Where Should I Take the Bar Exam?

The decision on which state in which to take the bar is highly personal and depends on a variety of factors. When making your decision, remember that (with very limited exceptions), you will only be permitted to practice law in the state in which you take your exam. So, if you are planning on practicing law in the US after taking the exam, it is a good idea to take the exam in a state in which you would like to live or work.

Students studying at the New York Public Library.

What to Expect in the Exam?

The bar exam is taken in several parts over at least two days. Most states will dedicate one day to the Multistate Bar Examination, a multiple choice exam covering topics not specific to the law of any one state, such as Contracts, Torts, Property, Constitutional Law, and Evidence.

Another day would cover the law of the specific state in which you are taking the exam. This might be a multiple choice exam, an essay exam, or both. Additionally, the exam may include the Multistate Performance Test, which is designed to evaluate lawyering skills rather than substantive law.


Finally, you will need to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, which tests your knowledge of professional ethics. This exam is administered on a separate occasion from the regular bar exam.

Taking the Bar as a Foreign-Trained Lawyer

law-2016Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult for foreign-trained lawyers to sit the bar exam in the US. Completion of the LL.M. degree in itself does not guarantee eligibility to take the bar exam. Most states do require a J.D. degree for a US law school in order to sit for the bar exam. There are some states which do allow foreign law graduates to sit for the bar exam, including New York, California, New Hampshire, Alabama, and Virginia. In this case, however, foreign-educated lawyers must begin the process by getting their law degree reviewed and analyzed by the American Bar Association, and it can take up to a year to before the foreign law credentials are even assessed.For more information visit law firm marketing site.


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