AUSTIN, Texas - A psychologist was qualified to testify about how polygamy in a religious cult affects women and children, a Third District Texas Court of Appeals panel held March 16 in affirming a man's conviction for sexual assault of his 15-year-old "wife" (Allan Eugene Keate v. State of Texas, No. 03-10-00077-CR, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 2117).
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NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 16 granted two motions to dismiss a shareholder class action lawsuit alleging that Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and others misrepresented the investment quality of securities it sold to the shareholders in violation of federal securities law, ruling that the lead plaintiffs have failed to plead any materially false and misleading statements (NECA-IBEW Pension Trust Fund, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 10-0440, S.D. N.Y.).
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MIAMI - A law firm violated provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by falsely representing that a debt collector was a "creditor" in a debt collection notice for a loan on which the consumer defaulted, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in an opinion made available on March 19 (Michael Bourff v. Rubin Lublin LLC, No. 10-14618, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5613).
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NEW ORLEANS - The physical evidence "overwhelmingly" shows that Barge ING 4727 did not and could not have caused the north and south breaches of the eastern flood wall along the Inner-Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) that resulted in the inundation of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina, a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 20 (In Re: Katrina Canal Breaches consolidated litigation pertains to Boutte v. Lafarge Mumford, No. 05-4182 SECTION "K"(2), E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37234).
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SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 20 affirmed the dismissals of two Ponzi scheme class actions filed against JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. as the successor to Washington Mutual Inc. (WaMu) (Benson, et al., v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 10-17402; Lowell v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 10-17404, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5752).
BOSTON - A federal court reference to "emergency repairs" in its jury instruction on a manufacturer insured's "loss of use" damages was a prejudicial error, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held March 16, vacating and remanding the $13.3 million judgment in favor of the insured in a coverage dispute stemming from defective power converters used in cell phone stations (Vicor Corp. v. Vigilant Insurance Co., et al., Nos. 09-1470; 09-1494; 09-1589, 1st Cir.).
NEW YORK - The owners of Major League Baseball's New York Mets and the liquidation trustee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) agreed on March 19 to a $162 million settlement of claims relating to the defendants' alleged profiting from Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme (Irving H. Picard v. Saul B. Katz, et al., No. 11-3605, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of Ambac Financial Group Inc. on March 14 ordered that the reorganization plan satisfied the Bankruptcy Code, clearing the way for Ambac to emerge from bankruptcy (In Re: Ambac Financial Group Inc., No. 10-15973, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).