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EU top court adviser: Google can limit right to be forgotten
Legal Interview | 2019/01/08 09:58
An adviser to Europe's top court says Google doesn't have to extend "right to be forgotten" rules to its search engines globally.

The European Court of Justice's advocate general released a preliminary opinion Thursday in the case involving the U.S. tech company and France's data privacy regulator.

The case stems from the court's 2014 ruling that people have the right to control what appears when their name is searched online. That decision forced Google to delete links to outdated or embarrassing personal information that popped up in searches.

Advocate General Maciej Szpunar's opinion said the court "should limit the scope of the de-referencing that search engine operators are required to carry out," and that it shouldn't have to do it for all domain names, according to a statement.

Opinions from the court's advocate general aren't binding but the court often follows them when it hands down its ruling, which is expected later.

The case highlighted the need to balance data privacy and protection concerns against the public's right to know. It also raised thorny questions about how to enforce differing legal jurisdictions when it comes to the borderless internet.

Google's senior privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer, said the company acknowledges that the right to privacy and public access to information "are important to people all around the world ... We've worked hard to ensure that the right to be forgotten is effective for Europeans, including using geolocation to ensure 99 percent effectiveness."


Son of ex-Nissan head Carlos Ghosn predicts court surprises
Legal Interview | 2019/01/05 08:58
The son of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn said in an interview published Sunday that people will be surprised when his father, detained since Nov. 19 for allegedly falsifying financial reports, recounts his version of events to a Tokyo court on Tuesday.

Anthony Ghosn, 24, told France's Journal du Dimanche that his father — who will remain detained until at least Jan. 11 — will get 10 minutes to talk at the hearing, being held at his own request.

"For the first time, he can talk about his version of the allegations against him," Anthony Ghosn said in the interview with the weekly paper Journal du Dimanche. "I think everyone will be rather surprised hearing his version of the story. Until now, we've only heard the accusers."

The son has no direct contact with his father, and gets information via lawyers. He said his father, who for decades was a revered figure in the global auto industry, has lost about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) eating three bowls of rice daily, but he reads books and "he resists."

Ghosn refuses to cave in, said his son, contending that he would be freed from detention if he admitted guilt to the prosecutor.


Court extends detention for Nissan ex-chair Ghosn by 10 days
Legal Interview | 2019/01/01 08:59
the once revered auto industry figure faces allegations that have marked a stunning downfall.

Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades and helped save the Japanese automaker from near bankruptcy, was arrested Nov. 19 on suspicion of falsifying financial reports. He also faces a breach of trust allegation, for which his detention had been approved previously through Jan. 1.

The Tokyo District Court said in a statement that it had approved prosecutors' request for a 10-day extension.

Ghosn has been charged in the first set of allegations, about under-reporting Ghosn's pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015.

Those close to Ghosn and his family say he is asserting his innocence as the alleged underreported amount of money was never really decided or paid, and Nissan never suffered any monetary losses from the alleged breach of trust.

It is unclear when Ghosn may be released on bail. Tokyo prosecutors consider Ghosn, a Brazilian-born Frenchman of Lebanese ancestry, a flight risk.

In Japan, formal charges can mean a suspect will get detained for months, sometimes until the trial starts, because of fears of tampered evidence.

Another Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, was arrested on suspicion of collaborating with Ghosn on the under-reporting of income and was freed Dec. 25 on 70 million yen ($635,600) bail after more than a month of detention.

Kelly said in a statement released through his lawyers he had suffered while in detention because of his neck ailment and hoped to get medical treatment. He also said he was innocent and hoped to regain his reputation.

"I expect that the trial will start soon. I have not been involved in alleged false entry. I believe my innocence will be revealed in the trial," Kelly said.



The Latest: Shutdown affects court cases that involve Trump
Legal Interview | 2018/12/27 09:12
The partial government shutdown has prompted the chief judge of Manhattan federal courts to suspend work on civil cases involving U.S. government lawyers. The order suspends action in several civil lawsuits in which President Donald Trump is a defendant.

Judge Colleen McMahon said in a written order that the suspension will remain in effect until the business day after the president signs a budget appropriation law restoring Justice Department funding.

The Manhattan courts, with several dozen judges, are among the nation’s busiest courts.

In one case involving Trump, a judge last week ruled that a group of people suing Trump and his three eldest children can remain anonymous because they fear retaliation by the president or his followers.

Back from a 29-hour trip to visit U.S. troops in Iraq, President Donald Trump is returning his attention to the ongoing partial U.S. government shutdown, which is in its sixth day.

In a morning tweet, Trump says “we desperately need” a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, funding for which has been a flashpoint between the White House and Congress ever since Trump took office.

The president is calling on Democrats in Congress to fund his wall, saying the shutdown affects their supporters. He says: “Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are on unpaid furlough and even more are required to work without pay after Trump and Congress could not reach consensus on a short-term funding bill last week.



Spain court grants $1.7 billion compensation for oil spill
Legal Interview | 2018/12/23 05:35
Spain's Supreme Court has ruled that the captain and the insurer of the Prestige oil tanker must pay more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in compensation for Spain's biggest environmental disaster, when the vessel sank in 2002.

The court said in a statement Thursday that captain Apostolos Mangouras and The London Owners Mutual Insurance Association shall pay the damages to Spain, France and authorities in Spain's Galicia region, as well as to another 269 companies, communities and individuals affected by the spill.

The tanker sprang a leak and sank off northwest Spain, polluting a long stretch of coastline and ruining the area's rich fishing grounds. Years of legal challenges slowed the compensation process.



Fight over report on Wynn allegations back in court Jan. 4
Legal Interview | 2018/12/23 05:34
The fight over a Massachusetts Gaming Commission report on allegations of sexual misconduct against former casino mogul Steve Wynn will be back in a Nevada courtroom next month.

Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Thursday set a Jan. 4 court hearing on whether to extend an order blocking the report's release. It details an investigation into how Wynn Resorts handled the allegations and could affect whether the company keeps a gambling license for a $2 billion casino and hotel set to open near Boston in June.

Wynn has denied allegations of misconduct and sued last month to keep the report from going public. He argued that it contains confidential information obtained from his attorneys, which is protected by attorney-client privilege.

Wynn resigned from his company in February, and his name has been stripped from the new casino. It is now called Encore Boston Harbor.

Wynn Resorts attorney Patrick Byrne said Thursday that the company supports the investigation and is cooperating with Massachusetts regulators.

Ahead of the January hearing, Wynn's attorneys are negotiating with Wynn Resorts and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission over what interviews and documents his lawyers can review to determine if they're privileged.



Trump administration asks Supreme Court to allow asylum ban
Legal Interview | 2018/12/12 20:13
The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to allow enforcement of a ban on asylum for any immigrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Two federal courts have temporarily blocked the policy President Donald Trump announced in November in response to caravans of migrants that were approaching the border. Last week, the federal appeals court in San Francisco said the ban is inconsistent with federal law and an attempted end-run around Congress.

The administration said in court papers filed Tuesday that the nationwide order preventing the policy from taking effect “is deeply flawed” and should be lifted pending an appeal that could reach the high court.

Trump’s proclamation is among measures that “are designed to channel asylum seekers to ports of entry, where their claims can be processed in an orderly manner; deter unlawful and dangerous border crossings; and reduce the backlog of meritless asylum claims,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in his Supreme Court filing.

Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing immigrant advocacy groups challenging the asylum policy, said, “The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to short-circuit the normal judicial process and reinstate a blatantly unlawful policy.”

Justice Elena Kagan, who handles emergency appeals from California and other western states, called for a response from opponents of the asylum policy by midday Monday.

In the first court ruling on the issue, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar said on Nov.19 that U.S. law allows immigrants to request asylum regardless of whether they entered the country legally.

The president “may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” the judge said in his order.


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