Wednesday, December 21, 2016

$1,400 damages plus $75,000 atty fees


Breaking News.  New survey reveals zero interest in me streaming live on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.



I like tipping people around Christmas time.  Whoever said money can't buy temporary love must not have tried it.

I've been poor.  I've been rich. But consistently I've been too stupid to think either one really mattered all that much.  What the hell is wrong with me?

Her legs were so long, she had to sit in the back seat to drive.



Michael Bublé - Haven't Met You Yet



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Arriana










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Was this lawyer-turned-WWII-spy the basis for James Bond? (podcast)

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INTERNET LAW

'It was horrible' review is taken down; lawyer had filed court petition to find out who wrote it


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A New York City lawyer who filed a court petition over a three-word Google review apparently got results, though it wasn’t through the court system.
Lawyer Donald Tobias had filed a petition asking a judge to order disclosure of the reviewer who gave him one star and simply wrote, “It was horrible.” Tobias had suspected the author was referring to a different Donald Tobias who died after allegedly throwing himself in front of a train.
After media reports on his case, the bad reviews piled up, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports. “Never worked with him,” one reviewer wrote, “but saw how he spends his time trying to uncover anonymous reviewers in order to sue them for libel. I would give 0 stars if I could.”
Late last Thursday, however, the bad reviews were gone, along with the initial “it was horrible” review. When informed of the development by the Law Blog, Tobias said he hoped the reviews don’t resurface.
“Somebody was doing their job and took it down. Good for them,” he said.


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    Hannah







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    Pineda v. JTCH Apartments, L.L.C. No. 15-10932
    Before JONES, BARKSDALE, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.
    AFFIRMED in part; REVERSED and REMANDED in part. (December 19, 2016).
    Judge JONES concurred.
    Posted in Attorney's Fees, Damages, Employment-Retaliation, Fair Labor Standards Act
    Santiago Pineda and Maria Pena, a married couple, lived in an apartment owned by JTCH Apartments, L.L.C. and leased to Pena. Pineda performed maintenance work in and around the apartment complex. Part of Pineda's compensation for this work came in the form of discounted rent. Pineda filed the underlying lawsuit initially just seeking unpaid overtime under the FLSA. He sued JTCH and its owner and manager. Three days after Pineda served JTCH with the summons, he and his wife received a notice to vacate their apartment for nonpayment of rent. The amount JTCH demanded equaled the rent reductions received over the period of Pineda's employment. In response to the notice, the couple left the apartment. At that point Pena joined Pineda's suit, and the amended complaint included retaliation claims based on the back rent demanded after the filing of the lawsuit. See 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3). During the jury trial that followed, defendants moved successfully for judgment as a matter of law on Pena's retaliation claim, arguing that a nonemployee like Pena is outside the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act. At the charge conference, Pineda unsuccessfully sought an instruction on emotional distress damages for his retaliation claim.  The jury found for Pineda on both his overtime wage claim and his retaliation claim. It awarded him $1,426.50 on the former and $3,775.50 on the latter. In post-trial rulings, the District Court awarded Pena liquidated damages of $1,426.50 and awarded his counsel $76,732.88 in attorney's fees, which was a 25% reduction from the amount requested. The reduction was premised primarily on the finding that the fee request was "grossly disproportionate to the modest recovery." In resolving Pineda's appeal, the Fifth Circuit reverses and holds that the retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act does allow a retaliation victim to recover damages for emotional distress. In resolving Pena's appeal, the Court affirms that the Act does not protect a nonemployee spouse from employer backlash, but allows only employees to bring suit. Lastly, because JTCH's challenge to the attorney's fees was not properly before it, the Court affirms the District Court's award.
    On Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Jane J. Boyle)
    Attorney for Appellant - Robert Lee Manteuffel, Dallas, TX
    Attorney for Appellee - Nadine Rowena King-Mays, Dallas, TX

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