supreme court

Legal Briefing: Supreme Court Considering Music File-Sharing Case

In today's legal news, the Supreme Court has expressed interest in a case involving a teenager's illegal music file-sharing, the legal battle over stem cell research has already pushed some scientists to other fields, and a third woman has alleged that a Wisconsin DA harassed her with sexual text messages.

Legal Briefing: Obama Backs Utilities in Climate Change Case

Eight states, New York City and three groups won the legal right to sue greenhouse-gas emitting utilities. The companies appealed to the Supreme Court and the Obama administration has filed a brief supporting them. Find out the implications of this move.

Legal Briefing: McDonald's Sued for Too-Hot Chocolate

The infamous McDonald's coffee lawsuit has a sequel. A mother has sued the fast-food giant because too-hot chocolate burned her daughter. But the coffee suit was much stronger than was reported and may bolster the new case.

Legal Briefing: So What If the Prop. 8 Judge Is Gay?

In the wake of Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that California's Proposition 8 gay marriage ban violated the U.S. Constitution, some are charging the judge was biased because he's gay. But Walker has another set of biases that his detractors would probably prefer not to discuss.

Legal Briefing: Ex-Enron Chief Jeff Skilling Seeks Bail

In the wake of Supreme Court ruling that restricted the use of the "honest services" statute as a basis for fraud convictions, former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling has joined the queue of high-profile corporate convicts asking for bail pending their fraud appeals.

Legal Briefing: Novartis Settles Sex Discrimination Case

Pharmaceutical giant Novartis lost a huge gender discrimination case in May, and faced $250 million in punitive damages, plus possibly hundreds of millions more in compensatory damages. Rather than deal with years of appeals, both sides settled Wednesday for $152 million.

Legal Briefing: Court Gives the OK for 'Indecency' on TV

When the FCC decided in 2004 to start fining broadcasters over the use of fleeting expletives, the agency became a caricature of a state censor. Now, the Second Circuit has ruled that the 'indecency' policy was unconstitutionally vague. So what's next for dirty words?

eBay Hit With $3.8 Billion Patent Lawsuit

eBay got slapped Tuesday with a $3.8 billion patent infringement lawsuit over its payment system technology. XPRT Ventures alleges inthe suit that eBay and its subsidiaries PayPal, Bill Me Later, Shopping.com and StubHub violated six of its patents.

Legal Briefing: U.S. Targets More Rich Tax Cheats

Now that they are nearly done squeezing Swiss bank UBS for information about its wealthy tax-dodging clients, the IRS and the Justice Department are moving on to new tax fraud targets: Clients of London-based bank HSBC Holdings, mostly those with ties to India and Singapore.

Legal Briefing: DOJ May Sue to Block Ariz. Immigration Law

The Department of Justice may file suit Tuesday over Arizona's controversial immigration law, but if the lawsuit is crafted as has been rumored, it will frustrate all sides in the debate, because it avoids the merits of the law and focuses instead on Arizona's lack of authority to enact it.

High Court to Rule on Arizona's Other Immigration Law

Though the recently passed Arizona law empowering police to detain suspected illegal immigrants has gotten more attention, on Monday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to rule on a different, but extremely important Arizona immigration law, one that punishes employers for hiring illegal immigrants.

Tobacco Industry Dodges a $280 Billion Bullet

The Supreme Court will not weigh in on seven tobacco industry appeals, which means that all sides will come out losers to a degree. But by passing on the cases, the justices did the most good for the tobacco industry, which is safe from the threat of having to pay the government $280 billion.

A Clause for Conflict at Heart of Gun Rights Ruling

On Monday, the Supreme Court declared the Second Amendment applies to the states as well as the federal government, which essentially gives all Americans an individual right to possess a handgun. But the constitutional underpinnings of the ruling are shaky -- and potentially revolutionary.

The Supreme Court's Murky Patent Ruling

Can business methods and similar intangible inventions be patented? At what point are inventors seeking to patent mere concepts and principles? Today's Supreme Court ruling didn't really tackle those big questions.

Enron's Skilling Wins Partial Victory, May Get a New Trial

Will Enron ex-CEO Jeffrey Skilling get out of jail? The Supreme Court ruled today on several aspects of his convictions, and it vacated one of them. It's now up to a lower court to review the ruling and decide whether Skilling deserves a new trial.

Conrad Black's Conviction Set Aside

The Supreme Court set aside the conviction of former media baron Conrad Black for defrauding shareholders of Hollinger International. At the heart of these cases was the interpretation of the Honest Services law.

What Enron's Ex-CEO Jeff Skilling Thinks He Did Wrong

Later this month, the Supreme Court will rule on whether former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling will get a new trial, or possibly see his sentence reduced. In the meantime, Fortune has published a sympathetic profile of Skilling in which he describes three key mistakes he feels led to his conviction.

NFL Loses Court Case Over Logo Licensing Deal

For almost a decade, Reebok has had an exclusive license to sell headwear with NFL team logos, but perhaps not for much longer. A unanimous Supreme Court just ruled that the NFL's 32 teams are not automatically exempt from antitrust rules when it comes to granting merchandising licenses.

What Would a Justice Elena Kagan Mean for Business?

Elena Kagan would bring brilliance, hard work, good character and gender diversity to the Supreme Court as the replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens, according to most coverage to date. But her positions on substantive business issues are still pretty much a mystery.

Legal Briefing: Your Name on a Petition Isn't Private

Supreme Court Justices challenged arguments from lawyers trying to keep private signatures on a petition to repeal a Washington domestic-partners law. Also in this roundup of legal news: The first genetic discrimination suit and Wal-Mart's settlement of wage charges.

Jeff Skilling's Bid to Make Dishonesty the Best Policy

The former Enron CEO, who oversaw a company that was fundamentally dishonest, is trying to get the Supreme Court to throw out a law that requires executives to behave honestly. If his lawyers succeed, he'll go free. But Skilling really deserves to stay in jail forever.