Questions Surrounding the Community Caretaker Exception in Light of the Recent SCOTUS Writ of Certiorari Grant

Photo Credit: https://www.abajournal.com/news/article/supreme-court-to-consider-constitutionality-of-home-search-during-gun-owners-hospital-visit (last visited Feb. 15, 2021).

Written By: Rachel Leigh
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          On November 23, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to rule on: whether law enforcement’s search of a gun owner’s home while the individual was in the hospital for a suicide evaluation was justified under an exception to the Fourth Amendment.[i]   Continue reading “Questions Surrounding the Community Caretaker Exception in Light of the Recent SCOTUS Writ of Certiorari Grant”

You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here: The JPML’s Recent Decisions Regarding Consolidation of Cases against Insurance Carriers for Business Interruption Coverage

Photo Credit: Link Here (last visited February 9, 2021).

Written By: David Newman
Editor in Chief, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          Beginning in March 2020, many small businesses across the country struggled to stay afloat after state and local governments began implementing lockdowns and restrictions on businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]  These lockdowns and restrictions caused more than 1.4 million small businesses to shut-down or temporarily close in the 2nd quarter of 2020.[2] For the businesses that did survive, many experienced significant cash losses from the involuntary shut-downs.  As a result, many businesses began filing claims for business interruption coverage under their property or casualty insurance policies. Continue reading “You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here: The JPML’s Recent Decisions Regarding Consolidation of Cases against Insurance Carriers for Business Interruption Coverage”

Toxic Tributaries: The Result of Hamstrung Regulation, Lack of Enforcement, and Hasty Permitting of Industrial Discharge Permits

Photo Credit: https://www.activistpost.com/2013/04/7-tap-water-toxins.html (last visited January 29, 2021).

Written By: Dylan Martin
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          Pollution, climate change, and environmental regulations have been at the forefront of political and legal debate for years and had reemerged once again throughout the 2020 Presidential campaign. Naturally, depending on the swing of the political pendulum of power in the White House every 4 to 8 years, immense changes and rollbacks of environmental protections come and go with the change in the political tide. According to a recent New York Times analysis, since the beginning of President Trump’s administration in 2016, there have been “100 environmental protections that have been reversed or in the process of being rolled back.”[i] To be fair, even with significant rollbacks of protections there will always be the occasional violation or underenforcement of an environmental regulation. Continue reading “Toxic Tributaries: The Result of Hamstrung Regulation, Lack of Enforcement, and Hasty Permitting of Industrial Discharge Permits”

Changes to DACA Filing Recommendations in Light of: Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California Supreme Court

Photo Credit: https://www.carnegie.org/topics/topic-articles/immigration/supreme-court-rules-continue-daca/ (Last Visited November 12, 2020).

Written By: Grey Robinson
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California, a case concerning the potential termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.[i]  The Court in a 5-4 opinion,  ultimately rejected the termination of the DACA program on administrative grounds. Continue reading “Changes to DACA Filing Recommendations in Light of: Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California Supreme Court”

Creating Precedent in Sex Trafficking Litigation

Photo Credit: https://simonlawpc.com/missouri-laws-work-to-combat-sex-trafficking-at-hotels-other-tourist-spots/ (last visited on Nov. 10, 2020).

Written By: Landon Whatley
Student Materials Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post giving a brief overview about sex trafficking litigation against hotels and motels circulating the United States.[i]  Section 1595 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“the Act”) provides a private right of action for sex trafficking victims against the traffickers and those who knowingly financially benefited or received any value from the trafficking.[ii]  At the time of my first post, the Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation recently denied transfer of twenty-one different actions in twelve different districts to a centralized location. Continue reading “Creating Precedent in Sex Trafficking Litigation”

It is Legal for Businesses to Reject Cash?

Photo Credit: Link (last visited Jan. 5, 2021).

Written By: Tayler G. Hansford
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          Whether businesses can legally reject cash has been in the news this year. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses began rejecting cash payments in favor of credit card payments.  In large part, this was because of the minimal contact nature of credit payments along with a national coin shortage.[1]  By rejecting cash, these businesses caught the eye of many who believed doing so was illegal. Continue reading “It is Legal for Businesses to Reject Cash?”

Testing Positive: How Furloughed Employees can Capitalize on Suspended Employment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo Credit: https://nypost.com/2020/08/09/does-someone-doing-my-job-while-im-furloughed-mean-i-am-laid-off/ (last visited November 19, 2020).

Written By: Michelle Fleenor
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          The word “furlough” and its heavy implications have proven a harsh reality for many employees during the 2020 year.  Particularly, the introduction of COVID-19 into the American workforce was expected to and has caused a significant downturn in business.[i] Due to the pandemic, companies across the country have responded with crisis management tactics, many of which have affected the normal day-to-day employment practices.[ii]  One of these tactics in particular is the “furlough.”[iii] Continue reading “Testing Positive: How Furloughed Employees can Capitalize on Suspended Employment During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

MITIGATING RISK IN LIGHT OF COVID-RELATED LITIGATION

Photo Credit: Link (last visited September 6, 2020).

Written By: Mitchell J. Surface
Online Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          The COVID-19 crisis has drastically impacted businesses around the world. More specifically, it has severely impacted the compliance officers of healthcare organizations at all levels. In addition, the disrupted economy and sudden change in the “standard of care” has also critically affected employees. Not surprising then, whistleblower (“qui tam) actions and employment related litigation is on the rise, with June recording a 43% explosion of workplace claims.[i] Continue reading “MITIGATING RISK IN LIGHT OF COVID-RELATED LITIGATION”

The Day the Music Died—Can Performing Arts Venues Use Eminent Domain to Save an Industry Shuttered by COVID-19?

Photo Credit: Link (last visited November 1, 2020).

Written By: Caroline Jane Smith
Executive Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

I. Background and Current State of the Performing Arts during the COVID-19 Pandemic

          In April of 2020, live music venues, performing artists, employees of the arts industry, and other performance spaces across the United States joined together to form the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).[i]  As the COVID-19 pandemic raged throughout the United States, performance spaces were among the first to close and due to social distancing restrictions, will likely be among the last to reopen.  Continue reading “The Day the Music Died—Can Performing Arts Venues Use Eminent Domain to Save an Industry Shuttered by COVID-19?”

A Divided House: When the Electoral College Ties

Photo Credit: The Visual and Data Journalism Team, US Election 2020 Polls: Who is Ahead – Trump or Biden?, BBC (Sept. 7, 2020) https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-53657174.  

Written By: Savannah Stewart
Articles Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

          As Bear Bryant famously said, “A tie is like kissing your sister.”[1]  No one likes a tie, especially when it is for the Presidential election.  The U.S. Constitution and its Amendments lay out the procedure for the rare occurrence of an electoral college tie. Five hundred and thirty-eight electors compose today’s Electoral College. Continue reading “A Divided House: When the Electoral College Ties”