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Nicaragua high court denies farmers' appeal of canal project
Law Firm News | 2017/03/29 01:25
Nicaragua's Supreme Court has rejected a farmer group's appeal seeking to block a proposed $50 billion interoceanic canal.

The legal challenge had sought to overturn a 2013 law under which the canal concession was granted to a Chinese company.

The court's decision late Monday is in line with similar rulings it made previously.

President Daniel Ortega's government says a canal would create tens of thousands of jobs and stimulate the poor Central American nation's economy.

Detractors argue it poses serious environmental risks, would displace thousands of families in the countryside and is financially unfeasible.

No work on the canal itself has been done, though ground has been broken for some access roads related to the project.


Court hearing on potential Ontario ban of Indians name, logo
Law Firm News | 2016/10/19 03:23
name and logo in Ontario.

The legal challenge by indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal comes on the same day the baseball team takes on the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series in Toronto.

Cardinal's lawyers will ask the court Monday to bar the usage of the name and logo by the team, Major League Baseball and Toronto team owner Rogers Communications, which is broadcasting the game in Canada.

The logo, called Chief Wahoo, is a cartoon man with red skin and a feather in his headband.

Cardinal says they shouldn't be allowed to wear their regular jerseys, the logo shouldn't be broadcast and the team should be referred to as "the Cleveland team."



Hawaii Supreme Court affirms Maui solar telescope permit
Law Firm News | 2016/10/12 05:27
Hawaii's Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a permit to build a solar telescope on a Maui mountain.

The ruling denies a challenge by a group seeking to protect the sacredness of the summit of Haleakala (hah-leh-AH'-ka-lah). The University of Hawaii followed proper procedure for an environmental assessment, the Supreme Court also ruled in a separate ruling.

Last year, eight people were arrested when protesters tried to stop a construction convoy heading to the solar telescope site. Kahele Dukelow, one of the protest leaders, said opponents are disappointed and considering what their next steps will be.

"We only have one alternative now," she said. "We have to continue to protest in other ways."

They hoped the decision would be similar to the court's ruling last year that invalidated a permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island's Mauna Kea. That project has been the focus of more intense protests. Opposition to both telescopes cite concerns that the projects will desecrate sacred land.

The permit approval process was not "procedurally flawed by prejudgment" nor was it "flawed by impermissible ex parte communication," the court's 3-2 majority opinion said.

State Attorney General Doug Chin said his office will look into whether the rulings have any impact on future matters before the state land board, including the Thirty Meter Telescope.

"We are disappointed with the court's decision," said a statement from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., which represents the group that challenged the solar telescope project, Kilakila O Haleakala. "This decision impacts all who are concerned about the protection of Hawaii's natural and cultural resources."

Officials with the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope didn't immediately comment.

"We are still reviewing the full decisions, but we look forward to 'first light' when the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope will open a new era of discovery in Hawaii, about the sun and its daily impacts on all life on Earth," university President David Lassner said in a statement.

External construction of the Maui telescope is complete, with only internal work remaining, according to the university. The $340-million project is scheduled to be operational in 2019. Construction of the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope remains stalled pending a new contested case hearing scheduled to begin later this month.


Appeals court orders judge to expunge woman's convictions
Law Firm News | 2016/09/15 22:18
A state appeals court has overruled a western Indiana judge and ordered him to expunge a woman's convictions despite his disgust for her crimes.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 last week that Jay Circuit Judge Brian Hutchison must expunge the convictions of 35-year-old Mindy M. McCowan of Dunkirk for forgery in 2003 and for dealing methamphetamine in 2004.

The ruling said McCowan was released from prison in 2007 and completed probation in 2010. She has since maintained employment and earned an associate's degree and professional certifications.

The Star Press reports Hutchison declined to expunge the convictions last November, saying he has drug cases before him every day and he wasn't "doing favors for people who are causing these problems in Jay County."



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