Articles Posted in Legal News & Commentary

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If you haven’t seen these 2 articles in your news feeds then you’re not doing your consumer law education reading:

New York Times articles, by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery, November 2015:

Beware the Fine Print, Part I: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice

Beware the Fine Print, Part 2: In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System

When you read these articles, and their critics and supporters, you would also be hard pressed not to think:

I need better civics lessons or maybe even a law school education to understand and discuss these issues intelligently, let alone be a smart consumer!

Binding arbitration, Shifting burdens of proof, Consumer responsibility, Consumer protection, Judicial fairness, Collusion, Competition & monopoly, Constitutional rights, Jury trials, Swindles and scams, Contract law, Oh-My: All Lead to this Timeless Warning: Buyer Beware

So, get smart:  a few among many consumer education research resources:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

1) Resources for Libraries, Parents, and others

2) “CFPB Study Finds That Arbitration Agreements Limit Relief for Consumers,” March 2015

From SCOTUSblog: an article and links to recent U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) cases on arbitration agreements:
“Opinion analysis: A class action waiver in an arbitration agreement will be strictly enforced under the Federal Arbitration Act,” by David Garcia and Leo Caseria Guest, June 21st, 2013

Be a smart consumer:
1) Oregon: Department of Justice, Oregon Law Help
2) U.S.: Federal Trade Commission

And always, stop and look both ways before signing or buying.

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On October 16th, Amazon filed a a follow-up to its King County Case No. 15-2-08579-4 SEA (filed April 8, 2015): King County Superior Court, 15-2-25395-6 SEA, for:

Breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other causes of action.

BBC News story: Amazon targets 1,114 ‘fake reviewers’ in Seattle lawsuit

Geekwire has a copy of the complaint in its article:

After undercover sting, Amazon files suit against 1,000 Fiverr users over fake product reviews,” by Jacob Demmitt, October 16, 2015

Find related articles online: amazon lawsuit fake reviews

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As of yesterday, .law domains are available for purchase, but only by licensed attorneys. This new top level domain is an attempt to provide verification to lawyer websites. For the first week the domains will be costly, although the price drops significantly each day. So expect to see big law firms gobble up the prime “real estate” first. Solo practitioners and small firms will likely get in the game as prices go down.

If you’re a lawyer, you can purchase through an authorized registrar. If you’re seeking a lawyer, you’ll see these domains pop up over the following weeks.

Source: “New .Law Domains Go on Sale Today – Here’s How to Buy One” by Robert Ambrogi.

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Ohio Supreme Court:

OPINION 2015-1
Issued August 7, 2015
Judicial Performance of Civil Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

SYLLABUS: A judge who exercises the authority to perform civil marriages may not refuse to perform same-sex marriages while continuing to perform opposite-sex marriages. A judge may not decline to perform all marriages in order to avoid marrying same-sex couples based on his or her personal, moral, or religious beliefs.

QUESTIONS PRESENTED: The Board of Professional Conduct received inquiries from judges and a judicial association on behalf of its members seeking guidance concerning the obligation of a judge to perform same-sex civil marriages: 1) whether a judge who is authorized to perform marriages may refuse to marry same-sex couples based on personal, moral, or religious beliefs, but continue to marry opposite-sex couples; 2) whether a judge may decline to perform all marriages to avoid marrying same-sex couples….” [Link to full opinion.]

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“Ethics and the Law in Oregon, spotlighted by a local lawyer,” editorial, The Bee, July 2015 (Vol. 109, No. 11)

Excerpt: “We have heard comments for quite some time, from folks in the legal profession, suggesting that large law firms in Oregon get preferential treatment by the Oregon Bar Association over the small firms and individual practitioners. Comments like that are easy to dismiss as simply sour grapes – but now, a lawsuit claims the same thing.

In a news report dated Friday, February 27, 2015, and filed by reporter Annie Ellison under the headline “Federal Suit Against Oregon State Bar Alleges Favoritism and Discrimination”, it is stated that “Software developer and former VP of Marketing for Oracle Corp. James Reilly and Victoria Jelderks filed the suit Feb. 26 against the Oregon State Bar Association and general counsel Helen Hierschbiel. ‘If you are from an influential firm in the State of Oregon, you can do whatever you want and the bar can dismiss it,’ Reilly said. ‘As a consequence, these big firms are breaking the law with impunity.’”.…” Link to full editorial at The Bee.

Citing to: Federal Suit Against Oregon State Bar Alleges Favoritism and Discrimination, Friday, February 27, 2015, by Annie Ellison, GoLocalPDX Reporter

The editorial (and GoLocal PDX article) was also saved at the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. (Why we save pages at the Internet Archive.)

Oregon State Bar, Discipline

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“Understanding the MOOC moment, by Prof. Randal Picker (guest-blogging) July 10 at Volokh Conspiracy. (Professor Picker’s website, or maybe this website.)


Next Monday, I am launching a new free online course, Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms. In it, we will wrestle with questions relating to Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon and the other great companies that define the online platforms we spend so much time with. These companies are involved in important antitrust, copyright and patent cases, both in the United States and Europe, but around the world generally.

We will also consider recent developments in net neutrality and in the regulation of platforms relating to music, video and e-books. These are great topics, and I feel very lucky to have a chance to think about them.

But my plan here is to focus not on the content of my particular course but instead on the MOOC phenomenon more generally. I will also discuss what is involved in launching a MOOC and then will report back over the next couple of months as I see day-to-day life in MOOCland....” (Link to full blog post.)

Find this post and more at Justia’s Blawg Round-up, which is way more fun than you might imagine.

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Two recent articles worth reading if you want to research online and recall the past:

Net for Lawyers: Google’s News Search is in Even Worse Condition Than we First Thought, Another in an Unfortunately Growing Series of Articles about Google Search Problems

“The Cobweb: Can the Internet be archived? by Jill Lepore, New Yorker, Jan. 26, 2015 issue.

See previous OLR post: Save that Webpage to the Internet Archive!

Link to Perma cc website.

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