Weekly News Update


*For years, judges of the federal appellate courts have complained that too many briefs are repetitive and full of outmoded legal jargon, and that they take up too much of their time. A recent proposal to bring the limit down by 1,500 words unleashed an outcry among lawyers. As a result, the new word limit — which takes effect on Dec. 1 — will be 13,000 words, a reduction of 1,000 words. [NY Times]

*The Supreme Court will be deciding whether The Slants, an Asian American rock band, can trademark its name despite the government’s objection that it is an offensive term. This clash between free speech and trademark protection has drawn wide attention in part because the Washington Redskins football team is locked in the same dispute. [LA Times]

*Drivers can’t sue over being stuck in traffic, an appellate court has ruled, throwing out a lawsuit against the city’s Department of Transportation. Carl Person had filed the lawsuit in March 2015, claiming bike lanes and pedestrian walkways were leaving him battling rush hour. [New York Post]

*The chances that the USSC would ever agree to hear the O’Bannon case were always low. O’Bannon — named for the lead plaintiff, the former U.C.L.A. basketball star Ed O’Bannon — was the lawsuit brought in 2009 and tried in 2014 that offered the first serious legal challenge to the N.C.A.A.’s amateurism rules. [NY Times]

*The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a free-speech clash with big stakes for retailers and credit-card companies, agreeing to decide the fate of laws in 10 states that limit how merchants can describe the lower prices they charge for cash transactions. [Bloomberg]

*A group of persistent moms claimed victory Thursday over the Health Department, when an appellate court continued to smack down a 2013 Bloomberg initiative that required mandatory flu vaccinations for preschool-aged kids in city-sponsored day care. [New York Post]

*One major group directly affected by the Wells Fargo scandal — the customers who had fraudulent accounts opened in their names — may have their hands tied. As lawmakers pointed out at recent congressional hearings, many Wells Fargo customers are blocked from suing the company because of arbitration clauses. [Washington Post]