Gov Technology Magazine, Sacramento, CA – Full-Time Daily News Writer

You have to know how government works. So a lawyer might fit the bill, at least if he or she also has tech down cold.

Here are details and how to apply.

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If You’re Following All Those Networking Mandates From Lateral Link, You Better Have Something To Trade

Michael Allen of Lateral Link presents 14 tips for the JD Class of 2015. Those take a lot of space on

Unfortunately, too many have to do with networking. There’s more to success than putting together networks.

Unfortunately, also, even when discussing the networking tips, the experts Allen rounds up really don’t hit and hit hard two realities. They are.

One, you better have something of value to trade if you want to be taken seriously on networks. Otherwise you will become labeled as a pest. Even in Dale Carnegie seminars, which advocate sincerity, the bottom line is that the networking game is about the mutual exchange of favors. You don’t bop in empty-handed.

And, two, there are myriad ways even newbie JDs can start horse trading.

For example, if you went to elite prep schools you can trade that insight about the admissions process and contacts with key players on networks. You bet, partners want their kids to get into those schools.

Another way is to be a good listener. Many in power do not have friends. You can position yourself as Friend. However, that doesn’t always pay off since the powerful feel entitled. They may be using your ear, rent-free.

Probably more harm is done early in careers through inept networking than through any other ineffective tactic.

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Second Circuit Clerk’s Office, once again, has issues with keeping “under seal” opinion under seal

Second Circuit Clerk’s Office, once again, has issues with keeping “under seal” opinion under seal: Nearly eight years ago, I was involved in one such incident, detailed here, here, and here.

Something similar happened once again yesterday. As I previously noted in this post, yesterday the Second Circuit issued an order in a case of public interest stating that the court’s opinion was filed under seal and would be issued next Tuesday, possibly in redacted form after the parties have received an opportunity to suggest any desired redactions.

Late yesterday, however, Reuters published a revised version of its article headlined “Actavis cannot drop old version of Alzheimer’s drug — appeals court.” According to that article, “The decision was filed under seal, but a copy was provided to a Reuters reporter by a member of the court clerk’s office upon request.” It is certainly remarkable that the Second Circuit’s Clerk’s Office would apparently provide a news reporter with a copy of an under seal opinion not scheduled for public release until next Tuesday — and subject to redaction in the interim before public release — merely because the reporter asked to see a copy of the opinion.

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“Non-profit brings voting rights campaign to V.I.”

“Non-profit brings voting rights campaign to V.I.” Today’s edition of The Virgin Islands Daily News contains an article that begins, “Quirks of federal law and a century-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling about the shipment of oranges keep residents of territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands from having the right to vote in presidential elections.”

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Los Angeles Approves Minimum Wage Increase to $15 by 2020

There seems to be a new trend in minimum wage increases across the country.

Los Angeles is now the latest city to approve, in a 14-to-1 vote, increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Los Angeles follows in the footsteps of Seattle and San Francisco, which have already approved $15 minimum wages.

Los Angeles’ Minimum Wage Increase

The new wage hike actually isn’t as dramatic as headlines proclaim. The city’s minimum wage, currently $9 per hour, won’t actually reach $15 per hour until 2020. Once the minimum wage reaches $15 in 2020, the rate will increase automatically every year starting in 2022 to keep up with inflation and the increase in cost-of-living.

Comparison With Other Minimum Wages

With the higher minimum wages, employers are probably wishing they could return to the federal minimum wage. The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised since 2009, when it rose from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour.

However, throughout the country minimum wages are on a rising trend.

In Chicago, the minimum wage will rise to $13 by 2019. In Washington the minimum wage increases to $10.50 on July 1 of this year. In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio has proposed increasing the minimum wage to $13 in 2016, and $15 by 2019.

Worries For Business Owners

A recurring complaint from business owners is that small businesses will not be able to support a $15 minimum wage. However, the increase may not be as devastating to business owners as you may expect.

Lower turnover

Proponents of the higher wages claim that higher wages could cut the company’s turnover rate, saving them the cost of hiring and training new personnel. Studies have shown that losing an employee can cost you as much as twice their annual salary. Also, lowering employee turnover can increase employee productivity and engagement, resulting in higher earnings for you.

Add more jobs

When Seattle introduced its new $15 minimum wage for large companies with 500 or more employees, critics feared that businesses in the area would close down. However, since the wage hike, Seattle businesses have added 60,000 new jobs and unemployment dropped from 5.6 percent to 4.6 percent.

Employers may find themselves adding more jobs, despite the increased wages.

Related Resources:

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Brad Pitt options book on Chevron/Ecuador case

“Brad Pitt’s production company has edged out George Clooney’s to win the film rights to a book about the epic, fraud-marred Ecuadorian environmental suit against Chevron, according to two sources with indirect knowledge of the situation.” Back story: “Pitt is known to have been interested in the Lago Agrio pollution for several years, and has visited Ecuador with his wife, Angelina Jolie, to observe the situation and meet with [plaintiff lawyer Steven] Donziger’s team.” However, the book, Paul Barrett’s Law of the Jungle, includes much detail unfavorable to Donziger, who has lashed out against it and numerous other journalistic treatments of the affair such as Michael Goldhaber’s Crude Awakening. [Roger Parloff, Fortune] We’ve been covering the story for years, but alas have yet to hear from any stars interested in optioning rights.

Tags: Chevron, movies film and videos

Brad Pitt options book on Chevron/Ecuador case is a post from Overlawyered – Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

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It’s Not Like Stealing From The Mafia, But It Ain’t Smart Either

dollar sign money

Honestly, did she think she would get away with stealing from a fund for U.S. Marshal’s, police, and firefighter’s survivors? Apparently so. As reported by The Belleville News-Democrat:

A 53-year-old St. Louis woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing nearly $19,000 intended to benefit the families of police, firefighters and deputy marshals killed in the line of duty.

Pamela Denise Robtoy appeared subdued when she walked to the lectern, speaking so softly that U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon asked her to speak up, as she pleaded guilty to embezzling money from a charity golf tournament intended to benefit BackStoppers and the U.S. Marshal’s Survivor’s Benefits Fund.

She now faces 20 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, up to $250,000 in fines for each of two felony counts and mandatory restitution of nearly $19,000. She pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.

You can read more (a fair amount) here.

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“Supreme Court of Canada orders new trial in child porn case; Donny Barabash, Shane Rollison of Alberta were originally acquitted of making child pornography as videos were consensual and for private use”

“Supreme Court of Canada orders new trial in child porn case; Donny Barabash, Shane Rollison of Alberta were originally acquitted of making child pornography as videos were consensual and for private use”: The Toronto Star has this news update.

Sean Fine of The Toronto Globe and Mail has a news update headlined “Supreme Court ruling blocks adults from exploiting apparent teen consent.”

National Post has a news update headlined “Sex with 14-year-olds legal in 2008, but probably not while videotaping it in a crack house: top court.”

And The Canadian Press reports that “Supreme Court orders new trial for Alberta men who made sex tapes of 14-year-old runaways.”

You can access today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada at this link.

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Lawsuits Filed By Disabled: Competitors Uber, Lyft On Same Side On This One

“The two companies [Uber and Lyft] are named as defendants in a smattering of lawsuits from California to Texas alleging they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to make their cars handicapped accessible. In some courts, Uber and Lyft are even named as co-defendants in a single case – putting the rivals, awkwardly, in the same boat.” - Jen Wieczner, “Why the disabled are suing Uber and Lyft,” in Fortune, May 22, 2015. Here is the article.

In essence, drivers, who are contract workers, for Uber and Lyft are being accused of discriminating against the disabled. They tend not to give the rides, contend the plaintiffs. And when they do, they are not accommodating about assisting them in and out of the vehicle and making provisions for their wheelchairs and service dogs.

Anyone who has ridden public transportation which is handicapped accessible understands how the process requires special equipment. It is also time-consuming. Drivers hired as freelancers by the ride-sharing services frequently don’t have that equipment and will not be reimbursed directly for the time invested. If they are bypassing those kinds of requests for rides or showing impatience when they do that might be framed as the brute realities of capitalism.

The solution might be for Uber and Lyft to provide special vehicles with specially trained drivers that can provide safe, courteous service to the disabled.

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