Weekly News Update


*Google can go forward with its digital library of millions of books without paying their authors, a U.S. appeals court said, ruling the project a “fair use” of published material under copyright law. [Crain’s New York]

*A federal appeals court on Monday upheld parts of New York and Connecticut gun control laws banning semiautomatic assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, ruling the measures passed after a 2012 school massacre did not violate the Constitution. [Reuters]

*A former top lieutenant of hedge fund mogul Steve Cohen is a free man. Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara on Thursday dismissed all charges against Michael Steinberg, who was convicted by a federal court jury in December 2013 of five counts of insider trading. [New York Post]

*Sanctions against attorneys in NY often take the form of non-public discipline, wrote NYU law professor Stephen Gillers. Complaints against lawyers are usually disposed of with a letter of discipline that stays confidential. Generally, it’s only when a court imposes public discipline do allegations ever become public. Mr. Gillers, in a letter to the court system this week, said that a recently proposed move would actually be a step backward for transparency. [Wall Street Journal]

*It was the rare trial that had captured the attention of lawyers across the country: a criminal case against some of their own, the top leaders of a once large and prominent law firm. But the monthslong case against three former executives of Dewey & LeBoeuf resulted in a mistrial on Monday as a Manhattan jury deadlocked on dozens of charges after 21 days of deliberations. [NY Times]

*A Manhattan judge ​has ​tossed a lawsuit by three terminally-ill New Yorkers and five doctors who wanted to overturn a law that makes assisted suicide a felony. The patient plaintiffs​ ​– including a 55-year-old former FedEx worker with AIDS, an 81-year-old retired attorney with bladder cancer and a 60-year-old philanthropist with Lou Gehrig’s disease — will be filing an appeal. [New York Post]

*A U.S. appeals court upheld a lower ruling on Tuesday, allowing Yale University to keep a painting by famed Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh and denying a request by the great-grandson of a Russian art collector to argue his ownership of the painting. [Reuters]

*Amazon is going after those who post “false, misleading and inauthentic” reviews online. The online retailer filed a lawsuit against 1,114 fake reviewers who sell fabricated comments to companies seeking to improve the appeal of their products. [NY Daily News]