Weekly News Update


*New York’s highest court filled its empty seats Monday after two longtime jurists nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo sailed through confirmation hearings and were confirmed by the state Senate. Justices Leslie Stein and Eugene Fahey started hearing cases Tuesday. [Daily Freeman]

*Harper Lee’s lawyer, who discovered her soon to be published book Go Set a Watchman, is now facing scrutiny over the surprise book deal. Harper Lee has been intensely private in the decades since she picked up honors for her 1961 Pulitzer Prize winner. She had told friends and relatives for years that she didn’t plan to publish another book. [NY Daily News]

*For the last half-decade, criminal prosecutors have won almost every insider trading case brought to trial in Manhattan. However, after recent decisions, the Second Circuit has turned insider trading law on its head, making it exceedingly difficult for the government to demonstrate criminal insider trading in many circumstances. Despite new rules that favor defendants, though, the government has probably not played its last card on insider trading. [Here is the City]

*Bobby Chen last fall caught the attention of Supreme Court watchers when he managed to persuade the justices to take up his case despite having no lawyer and being close to broke. His story took a bizarre twist last month when the high court dismissed the case because they never heard from him and couldn’t track him down. This case of the vanishing Supreme Court litigant has been solved—but not without a bonus twist and some lingering mystery. [Wall Street Journal]

*Kuwait Airways refused to allow a New York woman to board a New York-London flight because she holds an Israeli passport. Comparing her case to that of Rosa Parks, Iris Eliazarov plans to take legal action against the company. [RT.com]

*The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “pay what you wish” policy is seen by many New Yorkers as a misleading tactic designed to trick them into coughing up cash for what is supposed to be a free service. Last week, however, their legal challenge to the policy was struck down in an appeals court. [The Real Deal]

*Several news organizations have filed court papers seeking to compel the judge in the Etan Patz murder case to make public aspects of the trial he has so far kept secret. The proceedings in dispute include the questioning of jurors before the trial’s start last month, as well as a handful of hearings on the admissibility of certain evidence. [Pro Publica]