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Appellate Court Upholds Exoneration of Man Wrongly Convicted of Murder

Posted on 24 May, 2021 at 11:40 Comments comments (16482)

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upholds the exoneration of a man wrongly convicted of murder in Houston. According to the Texas Monthly, Lydell Grant was arrested for the murder of a man outside a nightclub in 2010. Six eyewitnesses identified Grant in a lineup as the murderer. Grant always maintained his innocence, but was convicted of the murder after a jury trial.


In 2019, DNA evidence was discovered that exonerated Grant. The DNA pointed to another man who later confessed to the crime. The trial court found that Grant should be exonerated. Despite the DNA evidence and the confession, the case continued through the appellate courts. The appellate court finally affirmed the trial court's decision and exonerated Grant.


Written by: Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone: (646) 942-1798

Email: [email protected]


If you have a civil appeal or criminal appeal and would like to speak with an appellate attorney at Siskopoulos Law Firm, LLP, contact us at either (646) 942-1798 or (617) 959-1628.


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


Ashley Judd Wins Appeal Against Harvey Weinstein

Posted on 29 July, 2020 at 14:05 Comments comments (26457)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court decision dismissing Ashley Judd's sexual harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein. The case stems from Judd's claims that Weinstein lured her to a hotel room in the 1990s and made sexual advances toward her. After turning down his advances, Judd claims that Weinstein effectively blacklisted her from the film industry.


Judd filed suit for sexual harassment, retaliation and defamation. As to the sexual harassment claims, the lower court dismissed the claims on the grounds that Judd was not an employee of Harvey Weinstein and therefore could not sue for sexual harassment. The lower court reasoned that California law did not permit a harassment claim between a producer and actress who did not have an ongoing employment relationship. 


According to Variety, the appellate court found that the district court should not have dismissed the claim. The appellate court reasoned that "their relationship consisted of an inherent power imbalance wherein Weinstein was uniquely situated to exercise coercion or leverage over Judd by virtue of his professional position and influence as a top producer in Hollywood” and as such, Judd was entitled to sue for sexual harassment.


Written by: Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone: (646) 942-1798

Email: [email protected]


If you have a civil appeal or criminal appeal and would like to speak with an appellate attorney at Siskopoulos Law Firm, LLP, contact us at either (646) 942-1798 or (617) 959-1628.


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

U.S. Selective Service Male-Only Military Draft Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted on 26 February, 2019 at 11:10 Comments comments (7845)

A Texas federal court judge has ruled that the United States' male-only draft registration requirement is unconstitutional. The Selective Service System currently requires all males between the ages of 18 to 25 to register for the draft. The Texas case was brought by two draft age men along with a National Coalition of Men which is a non-profit rights organization on behalf of men who argued this was gender-based discrimination. According to the Washington Post, the decision does not order the government to revise its registration requirement, but does declare that the process no longer passes constitutional muster. This now raises the issue of whether to government will be required to change the Selective Service rules to require women to register or whether the entire system will have to be disbanded. 


In its decision, the federal court stated that “[w]hile historical restrictions on women in the military may have justified past discrimination, men and women are now ‘similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft.'" The court found that the male only draft is unconstitutional gender-based discrimination. The court noted that times have changed since the Selective Services System was created at the start of World War I. This coupled with the fact that in 2015 the Obama administration "rescinded a policy that prevented women from serving in most ground-combat roles" has now made some of the arguments against having women register for the draft a non-issue. The federal judge recognized that his ruling is at odds with a 1981 U.S. Supreme Court decision finding the male-only requirement constitutional, but noted that the Supreme Court case is not longer directly on point now that ground combat has been opened up to women. 


There is currently an New Jersey case encompassing the same issue. In that matter, however, a woman wanted to register with the Selective Service and was rejected because of her gender. She is also challenging the constitutionality of a male-only draft. 


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


If you have a civil appeal or criminal appeal and would like to speak with an appellate attorney at Siskopoulos Law Firm, LLP, contact us at either (646) 942-1798 or (617) 959-1628.


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Harvey Weinstein Asks Court to Certify Appeal to Dismiss Sex Trafficking Claim

Posted on 21 February, 2019 at 10:30 Comments comments (7085)

Acccording to Courthouse News Service, attorneys for Harvey Weinstein are seeking a stay and permission to file an interlocutory appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Weinstein's attorneys want an immediate review of a district court order which refused to dismiss claims of sex trafficking against the producer.


The case is one in which an actress, Kadian Noble, claims Weinstein lured her into a hotel room and sexually assaulted her. She alleges that while the assault was taking place, she was told that "everything will be taken care of for you if you relax." Weinstein moved to dismiss the sex trafficking claim and the district court denied the request. The district court judge "concluded that the proverbial casting couch, in which women are asked to trade sex for Hollywood opportunities, could be considered a 'commercial sex act''' and therefore could constitute sex trafficking under the statute.


Weinstein's attorneys want the Second Circuit to decide what constitutes a "commercial sex act." They are arguing that normally "the promise to be free from harm or conduct that threatens the victim's physical well-being and livelihood" is the basis for a claim under the sex trafficking statute. They further argue that nothing of value was exchanged because "career-making and life-changing’ film role" is not what is contemplated under the statute.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


If you have a civil appeal or criminal appeal and would like to speak with an appellate attorney at Siskopoulos Law Firm, LLP, contact us at either (646) 942-1798 or (617) 959-1628.


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

United States Supreme Court Holds Civil Forfeiture Law Violates the Constitution

Posted on 20 February, 2019 at 14:20 Comments comments (7604)

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued a ruling on the constitutionality of civil forfeiture laws. Civil forfeiture laws allow for private property to be seized and forfeited to the government when the property has been used in a crime. Over the years, the civil forfeiture laws have been used to raise significant revenue for states and municipalities. As the use of these laws has increased, so has its criticism. Many have argued that the laws have been abused in order to raise revenue. 


The case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court involved an individual in Indiana who pled guilty to selling $225 worth of heroin to undercover officers. The State of Indiana, however, seized the defendant's $42,000 Land Rover which was purchased with money from his father's life insurance policy. The defendant argued that the seizure of the car violated the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment. The State argued that the Land Rover was used in the commission of the crime and therefore could be seized under the law. The State's position was that there was no limit on what was seized because the excessive fines clause did not apply to the individal states.


The case was taken to the Indiana Supreme Court which ruled that the Eighth Amendement excessive fines clause did not apply to state government. The defendant petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case and the court granted certiorari. 


According ot the New York Times, the U.S. Supreme Court has now held that the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause does apply to the states. As such, when a civil forfeiture is utilized, the property seized cannot be disproportionate to the crime. This decision will now limit the ability of states to seize private property under civil asset forfeiture laws. 


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


If you have a civil appeal or criminal appeal and would like to speak with an appellate attorney at Siskopoulos Law Firm, LLP, contact us at either (646) 942-1798 or (617) 959-1628.


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Court Holds Rumors About Sleeping with the Boss Can be Sex Discrimination

Posted on 20 February, 2019 at 0:00 Comments comments (6467)

Appellate attorneys successfully argued that spreading rumors about sleeping with the boss can give rise to claims for sex discrimination. According to HR Dive, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court's ruling that rumors about sleeping your way to the top is not an actionable sex discrimination claim. The district court reasoned that the harassment the female employee encountered was based upon rumored conduct and not based upon her sex. The appellate court disagreed.


The case stems from a lawsuit brought by a woman who was working at a Virginia warehouse. She was quickly rising through the ranks at the job. This prompted rumors that she was sleeping with a manager to receive this favorable treatment. It was alleged that the highest ranking manager at the facility was the one who started the rumor. This led to hostility at the job with one manager stating that he could no longer recommend her for promotions because of the rumor. She "was eventually fired and sued, alleging a hostile work environment claim for discrimination because of sex, retaliatory termination and discriminatory termination on the basis that the company fired her without adhering to its three-warning rule."


The appellate court reversed the lower court's dismissal of the claims reasoning that the woman had "plausibly invoked a deeply rooted perception that women, not men, use sex to achieve success" and therefore "the alleged conduct was gender-based."


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


If you have a civil appeal or criminal appeal and would like to speak with an appellate attorney at Siskopoulos Law Firm, LLP, contact us at either (646) 942-1798 or (617) 959-1628.


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Attorneys Will Again Argue Over the Second Amendment Right to Openly Carry a Gun

Posted on 10 February, 2019 at 17:10 Comments comments (1347)

Appellate attorneys will again argue before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals the issue of whether "the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to openly carry guns in self-defense." According to Reuters, the Ninth Circuit will convene and hear arguments before the entire appellate panel in Young v Hawaii et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 12-00336. In a recent decision by the court, the majority of the court found that Hawaii had violated the Second Amendment rights of George Young when it denied him a permit to openly carry a loaded gun in public. In a dissent, it was argued that the Second Amendment only applies to the protection of "hearth and home."


Two years prior to this decision, the Ninth Circuit granted a rehearing in a similar case and the "full 9th Circuit panel found no right to carry concealed guns in public." An attorney for Mr. Young has stated that his "client has made it clear he wants to keep fighting as long as it takes.” Given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently taken up a New York case regarding strict gun laws, this may be another case that makes its way to the Supreme Court.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Attorneys Win Appeal Over Warnings on Advertisements for Sugary Drinks

Posted on 10 February, 2019 at 16:50 Comments comments (1192)

Appellate attorneys for the beverage industry were successful in their appeal of a San Francisco law requiring warnings on advertising for sugary drinks. According to NPR, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a "San Francisco law requiring the beverage industry to post health warnings on advertisements for soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks' was unconstitutional. The court reasoned that the law violated the First Amendment by infringing on protected commercial speech.


The appeal stems from the challenge of a law passed in the city and county of San Francisco that required all advertising for sugary drinks to contain a warning taking up twenty percent of the ad space. The warning label was required to read "Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco." The city argued that the warning was to protect the health of its residents with the goal of reducing obesity. The law was opposed by the beverage industry, retail groups and advertisers who argued it infringed on their right to free speech.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Court Decides Profit Dispute Over Drake's Albums

Posted on 8 February, 2019 at 16:10 Comments comments (2134)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a New York appellate court has decided an ongoing dispute over profits from Drake's albums. The appeal stems from a lower court decision which allowed Aspire Music Group which "first signed musical superstar Drake to pursue profits claims against Universal Music." Aspire was co-founded by Lil Wayne's former manager Cortez Bryant who was alleging that "Cash Money Records and UMG Recordings are cheating a deal that entitled Aspire to one-third of net profits from Drake's first six solo albums." Part of the allegations included claims that Universal was acting as an alter ego of Cash Money. The complaint essentially alleged that Universal took control of Cash Money when it was having financial problems and by taking control, Universal took larger distribution fees reducing the profits Aspire was entitled to under existing agreements. 


The appellate court reversed the trial court's decision to allow the claims against Universal to proceed. The court reasoned that the complaint does not allege that Universal used its control over Cash Money to commit a wrong against Aspire stating that the "allegations describe legitimate business conduct; there is no indication that Universal engaged in this conduct for the purpose of harming plaintiff."


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Third Circuit Finds Delaware's Judicial Balance Mandate Unconstitutional

Posted on 7 February, 2019 at 16:15 Comments comments (990)

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Delaware's constitutional provision requiring that judicial nominations be split between the State's two major political parties is unconstitutional. According to Delaware Online, the federal appellate court found that the constitutional provision violated the First Amendment despite the State's claim that the provision was designed to bring balance to the judicial bench.


The law was challenged by an individual who is politically independent and "claimed he wanted to apply for judgeships, but he didn't meet the political affiliation requirements." The appellate court found that "[b]ecause the governor has not shown that [the mandate] is narrowly tailored to further a vital state interest, the infringement on judicial candidates' association rights is unconstitutional." The court reasoned that the State's aim to achieve political balance in the judiciary does not justify barring candidates who do not belong to either the Democratic or Republican parties. 


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.