Weekly News Update


*After one of the nation’s most protracted cabinet-level confirmation delays, the Senate approved Loretta E. Lynch to be attorney general. She is the first African-American woman to hold the position. [NY Times]

*Judge Richard Wesley of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has a big, bold idea for the next step in a 22-year-long courtroom war over oil pollution in Ecuador: Start again, from scratch. [Bloomberg]

*A New York judge ruled this week to grant lawyers representing two chimpanzees a hearing to challenge the animals’ confinement. The judge’s ruling comes in response to a complaint filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project on behalf of two chimpanzees held at Stony Brook University. [TIME]

*The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact the 2012 insider trading conviction of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta. Gupta is the highest-ranking corporate official to be convicted in the U.S. government’s multi-year probe of insider trading in the hedge fund industry. [The Fiscal Times]

*In an effort to avoid a trial, former AIG Chairman Maurice “Hank” Greenberg is seeking permission to ask New York’s highest court to throw out the accounting fraud case against him. Greenberg failed last week to persuade a mid-level state appeals court to dismiss the 2005 lawsuit, now led by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. [Reuters]

*Bank of America, on Wednesday, asked a federal appeals court to toss a $1.27 billion penalty imposed in a mortgage fraud case and, in a rare move, asked that the prominent Manhattan judge who oversaw its trial be replaced if the case were to continue. [USA News]

*Police officers violate the Constitution when they extend an otherwise completed traffic stop to allow time for a trained dog to sniff for drugs, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled. The justices, voting 6-3, said that officers must let the driver leave unless they have specific reasons to suspect the car is carrying contraband. [Bloomberg]

*Paul Ceglia, a fugitive who claims he owns 50% of Facebook, cannot appeal. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals called Ceglia’s attempt to revive his years-old case against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook “meritless.” [CNN]