Weekly News Update

weekly-news *News that the Supreme Court Justices often site “facts” from amicus briefs that were backed up by blog posts, emails or nothing at all casts a disconcerting light on the highest Federal Court in America. The U.S. Supreme Court is the only American judicial entity that depends so heavily on amicus briefs to educate itself on factual matters. [NY Times]

*The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York was the first appellate court to hear arguments on whether the National Security Agency (NSA) program is lawful, in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging the gathering of so-called metadata. [Reuters]

*NYPD precinct commanders are going back to school to study a subject that’s second nature to any teen — using social media. After a series of online gaffes — including a joke tweet about a dead woman and a hashtag that became a laughingstock — the NYPD is forcing top officers to take a course in Twitter. [New York Post]

*Few attorneys have given as much of their time and talent toward providing much-needed legal pro bono services and professional leadership as has barrister Diana Szochet, who is currently an assistant deputy chief Appellate Court attorney in the Second Appellate Division. Will this work give her an edge in the judicial race? [Brooklyn Eagle]

*Northampton mass murderer Michael Ballard has a death wish. Are Pennsylvania prison executioners ready to grant it? In the wake of three highly publicized botched executions this year in other parts of the country, as well as a shortage of the drugs used to kill those on death row, it’s a question worth asking. [The Morning Call]

*Ownership claims to over six million “likes” on a Facebook Fan Page were the subject of a recent federal court ruling covering new ground in social media law. [Nixon Peabody]

*The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the statute of limitations had expired on the Yeshiva University High School for Boys sex abuse lawsuit. It said the plaintiffs had enough information to take action decades ago and tossed out the $380 Million suit. [CBS New York]