Issues to Watch

Issues to Watch

Is the Senate Eschewing Its Constitutional Duty Concerning Confirmations to the Federal Bench?


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Is the Senate Eschewing Its Constitutional Duty Concerning Confirmations to the Federal Bench?

Laura Cress*

Since Republicans took control of the Senate in January 2015, they have been confirming federal judges at the slowest pace in more than 60 years, since 1953.  Jennifer Bendery, Congratulations, GOP.  You’re Confirming Judges at the Slowest Rate in 60 Years, Huffington Post (Sept. 17, 2015, 2:08 PM), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-judicial-nominations_55faced7e4b08820d9178a5c.  As of October 9, 2015, President Obama’s seventh year in office, the 114th Congress had confirmed a grand total of seven federal judges since January.  Confirmation Listing, U.S. Cts., http://www.uscourts.gov/judges-judgeships/judicial-vacancies/confirmation-listing (last visited Oct. 9, 2015).  For comparison, senate Democrats, during President George W. Bush’s seventh year in office, had confirmed twenty-nine of the President’s judicial nominees by this point in his presidency.  Bendery, supra.  These startling statistics should be concerning to the legal community because studies show they may impact the ability of the federal court system to dispense justice consistently and in a quality manner.  Alicia Bannon, Brennan Center for Justice Analysis: The Impact of Judicial Vacancies on Federal Trial Courts, Brennan Ctr. for Just. (July 21, 2014), https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/impact-judicial-vacancies-federal-trial-courts.    (more…)

Issues to Watch

The Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decisions Regarding Class Action Lawsuits


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A Well Fitted Suit: The Supreme Court’s Upcoming Decisions Regarding Class Action Lawsuits

Christopher Finke*

Class action lawsuits have garnered much media attention and have gathered a reputation as opportunities for greedy lawyers.  Christine Frymire, Comment, Class Actions a Thing of the Past . . . Or Are They? A Look at the Circuit Courts’ Application of Comcast v. Behrend, 48 J. Marshall L. Rev. 335, 363 (2014).  Some have gone so far as to call it “legalized blackmail.”  Id.  The Supreme Court granted certiorari to three cases, which could have strong ramifications for class action suits.  See Gomez v. Campbell-Ewald Co., 135 S. Ct. 2311 (2015); Bouaphakeo v. Tyson Foods Inc., 135 S. Ct. 2806 (2015); Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 323 (2014). (more…)

Issues to Watch

Fantasy to Face Reality: The Future of Sports Betting and Fantasy Leagues


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Fantasy to Face Reality: The Future of Sports Betting and Fantasy Leagues

Erik Johnson*

A Fantasy league takes the rush of “gambling” and combines it with the thrill and excitement of sports by allowing individuals to get involved in the games they watch.  It is no surprise then that fantasy sports have seen a massive explosion in recent years, specifically Daily Fantasy Sports, or “DFS.”  This recent evolution has brought many to question the blurred legal lines between fantasy leagues and sports betting. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Trademark & Ownership: Just Do It


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Trademark & Ownership: Just Do It

Drew Chlan*

Trademark law in the United States provides an entity with a right of property.  15 U.S.C.A. § 1051 (2002).  If a person or corporation is found to be in violation of trademark law, the Code states that:

“Any person who shall, without the consent of the registrant—
(a) use in commerce any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of a registered mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive; or
(b) reproduce, counterfeit, copy, or colorably imitate a registered mark and apply such reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation to labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles or advertisements intended to be used in commerce upon or in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive, shall be liable in a civil action by the registrant for the remedies hereinafter provided.”

Id. § 1114. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Legal Challenges of Ridesharing Companies


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The Driving Force Behind an Emerging Industry: Legal Challenges of Ridesharing Companies

Elizabeth Reinecke*

I. Introduction

The advent of technology has made it possible for anyone who owns a smartphone to have his or her own personal driver through the use of a free application (app).  Ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, allow users to enter their credit card information into the app, which will automatically be charged at the end of the requested ride.  This makes both requesting a ride and paying for a ride much easier than trying to hail a taxi.  Emily Dobson, Note, Transportation Network Companies: How Should North Carolina Adjust Its Regulatory Framework, 66 S.C. L. Rev. 701, 703-04 (2015) (citing Sara Silverstein, These Animated Charts Tell You Everything About Uber Prices in 21 Cities, Bus. Insider (Oct. 16, 2014), http://www.businessinsider.com/uber-vs-taxi-pricing-by-city-2014-10). (more…)