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•  Bar Associations - Legal News


A court in western Germany has ruled that a German man must serve the sentence of a Chilean court for his role in the sexual abuse of children at a secretive German colony in Chile.

The dpa news agency reported Monday that the court in the town of Krefeld said Hartmut Hopp must serve in Germany the five-year sentence given to him by a Chilean court in 2011 for 16 counts of aiding in the sexual abuse of children.

The crimes took place at the Colonia Dignidad enclave, where residents were physically and psychologically abused for three decades beginning in 1961 after moving there from Germany.

Hopp fled to Germany before the verdict took legal effect. The 73-year-old denies the charges and his attorney says he will appeal the ruling.




The Ohio Supreme Court wants to see unredacted autopsy reports from eight slayings in one family as justices consider media lawsuits seeking access to those full reports from the year-old, unsolved case.

The court on Wednesday ordered the Pike County coroner in southern Ohio to submit the reports within two weeks for justices to review outside of public view.

The case involves seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family who were found shot to death at four homes near Piketon last April.

The Columbus Dispatch and The Cincinnati Enquirer separately sued for access to the full autopsies.

Authorities want to shield information, arguing that its release could compromise the investigation. The coroner also says victims' relatives raised concerns about sharing details of how their loved ones died.




A U.S. Supreme Court decision reviving a challenge to several Virginia legislative districts could send lawmakers back to the drawing board, but Republicans say they are confident the state's current electoral map will withstand further scrutiny.

The justices on Wednesday tossed out a ruling that upheld 11 districts in which African-Americans made up at least 55 percent of eligible voters and ordered the lower court to re-examine the boundaries. The lawsuit accused lawmakers of illegally packing black voters into certain districts to make surrounding districts whiter and more Republican.

Democrats say they're certain the lower court will find the districts unconstitutional and force lawmakers to redraw them. Marc Elias, an attorney for the Virginia voters who brought the case, said they will push for that to happen before the November elections.

"It's important that the people of the Commonwealth don't have to have another election using unconstitutional district lines, and we will move forward as quickly as possible to make sure we have constitutional and fair lines in place for the 2017 elections," Elias said.

The top Republican in the Virginia House, however, said he's confident that the current boundaries will stand.

Supreme Court rejects 2 death row appeals

•  Bar Associations     updated  2016/12/11 08:37


The Supreme Court has denied appeals from death row inmates in Louisiana and South Carolina who questioned their lawyers' actions.

The justices on Monday did not comment on the cases of James Tyler of Louisiana and Sammie Stokes of South Carolina.

Tyler's lawyer conceded his client's guilt in the hope of drawing a life sentence, even though Tyler repeatedly objected to that strategy y.

Stokes' lawyer had previously prosecuted him for assaulting his ex-wife. The lawyer never informed the judge of his earlier role, not even when the ex-wife took the stand against Stokes.




Judge Merrick Garland found himself back on Capitol Hill on Thursday in a familiar place ? meeting with a Democratic senator who used the visit to complain about Republicans' inaction on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. said he met with Garland to "see how he's doing." Nearly six months ago, Obama nominated Garland to fill the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February. Republicans have said they won't act until the next president chooses a nominee.

"He's had to wait longer than any nominee ever has," Leahy told reporters. "We've got plenty of time. If they want to do their job, we could easily have the hearing and the confirmation in September."

Asked if he'd seen any signs that Republicans are wavering in their refusal to consider a nominee this year, Leahy said, "You'll have to ask them." The spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who's led GOP opposition to Garland, said nothing has changed.

"The majority leader has been clear: The next president will make the nomination for this vacancy," said spokesman Don Stewart.

Vice President Joe Biden also planned to be on Capitol Hill on Thursday to help turn up the pressure on McConnell.

It was Garland's first visit to Congress since he held dozens of individual meetings with senators in the spring.

The court is currently divided 4-4 between liberal- and conservative-leaning justices. Garland's confirmation would tip the court in the more liberal direction.

Both parties have appealed to voters by making the court's leaning a campaign issue, stressing that either Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump will decide that by whomever they nominate.




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