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Judge KOs Challenge to Internet Bet Law
Topics | 2008/03/07 17:00
A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to a ban on Internet gambling brought by an online gambling association, but gave the group legal standing to challenge the law in an appellate court.

U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in Trenton determined that the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association had not shown sufficient cause to order her to block enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed by Congress in 2006.

That law was designed to stop online gambling by choking off the electronic processing of money for online wagers or payouts.

The industry group had argued that the law was unconstitutional on many fronts, including freedom of speech and invasion of privacy concerns. It wanted the court to declare that people should be allowed to gamble from the privacy of their own homes.



U.S. treasure firm ordered to identify disputed wreck
Court Watch | 2008/03/07 16:55
A U.S. judge ordered a Florida treasure-hunting company on Thursday to disclose the identity of a disputed shipwreck and dismissed some of its claims against Spain in a legal wrangle over a $500 million haul of silver and gold.

Odyssey Marine Exploration and Spain have been arguing over the treasure since the trove was found last year at an undisclosed location in the Atlantic Ocean.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday ruled on Thursday that Odyssey's lawsuit claiming rights to the treasure could go forward provided the company promptly identifies the wreck for Spain, or gives its "best available hypothesis" of the identity.

At a court hearing on Wednesday, the company's lawyers said Odyssey did not know for certain the name or nationality of the wreck, from which the company recovered some 17 tonnes of silver coins and gold.

"We want to know the identity of this vessel, and what this ruling is saying is 'It's not an answer to say we haven't decided for sure,'" said lawyer James Goold, who is representing Spain.

Merryday ruled that parts of Odyssey's lawsuit could go forward through the courts, including claims for possession and ownership of the wreck and the artifacts.

But he sided with Spain on several other elements of the suit, dismissing Odyssey's claims for monetary damages from Spain and a request for an injunction to "secure the integrity of the recovery operation against interference from a third party."

The two sides have been at odds since Odyssey announced last May that it had found half a million silver coins and other artifacts. It said the wreck, which it code-named "Black Swan," was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean outside any country's territorial waters.

The dispute turned ugly when Spanish warships twice intercepted the company's treasure hunting ships after they left the British territory of Gibraltar and escorted them to Spanish ports.



US court dismisses suit on Barr's Plan B pill
Court Issues | 2008/03/07 10:57
A U.S. court dismissed on Tuesday a lawsuit against U.S. health regulators over their decision to allow the sale of Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc Plan B contraceptive without a prescription.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Barr were sued by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and other groups that sought to overturn the FDA's decision.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted FDA's and Barr's motion to dismiss the suit.

The court said it agreed with defendants that plaintiffs failed had "to identify a single individual who has been harmed by Plan B's OTC (over-the-counter) availability," according to the ruling.

Plan B was approved in 1999 and the FDA broadened the approval in 2006 to allow sale to adults without a prescription. The pills must be kept behind pharmacy counters and only sold to girls younger than 18 years old with a doctor's order.

Separately, on Monday, another U.S. court found the patent for Bayer AG's Yasmin contraceptive drug to be invalid, paving the way for Barr to sell a generic version.

"It's a big win for Barr," Natixis Bleichroeder analyst Corey Davis said of the Bayer ruling. "This could be one of those nice generic products with a long tail on it," he said.


Law Firm Sponsors Contest To Combat Underage Drinking
Press Release | 2008/03/07 10:02

The McDivitt Law Firm and My PSA Contest are asking high school students to create unique and compelling public service announcements that encourage fellow teens to abstain from the dangers of underage drinking and driving.

Alcohol related crashes are the second leading cause of teen death and children who begin drinking by age 13 have a 38 percent higher risk of developing alcohol dependence later in life.

McDivitt Law Firm hopes that, through this PSA contest, the messages created by teens specifically for their peers might prove to be one method for helping to prevent the tragedy and devastation, which are too often the result when teenagers drink and drive.

The contest is open to high school students in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and surrounding areas. Students are being asked to produce 28 to 29 second video PSA's. The PSA's will be judged on students' abilities to analyze and discuss the topic and produce a quality video. The winner will receive a laptop computer and the school the student attends will receive a monetary donation. The winning PSA will also be aired on TV.



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