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Former bank exec’s slander claim must be arbitrated (access required)

Free speech bandages

A former bank executive signed away his right to sue his boss for slander when he agreed to a far-reaching arbitration clause with the bank he helped create, the South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled. The decision, apparently the first of its kind in South Carolina courts, may portend a more harrowing path to the judicial system for employees as state case law aligns with rulings from the federal courts about arbitration clauses.

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New split of the sheets (access required)

Divorce cake

A recent South Carolina Supreme Court decision which found disability benefits and trust distributions can be considered marital property appears to have unsettled two areas of law regarding division of assets in a divorce.

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Supreme Court skeptical of warrantless DNA collection (access required)

DNA

WASHINGTON – As they grilled the lawyers arguing before them on the issue of whether police can collect DNA samples from unconvicted arrestees without a warrant, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged just how high the stakes are. “I think this is, perhaps, the most important criminal procedure case that this court has heard in decades,” said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. during oral arguments last week in the case Maryland v. King.

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Jury shoots down vet’s $105 million request (access required)

brake light

A former U.S. Marine who asked for $105 million in damages after he was hit by a drunk driver will walk away with less than $30,000 after a jury trial that the defendant failed to attend. Christopher Payton was parked on the side of the road early one morning in November 2007 when Joseph Platts plowed his car into Payton’s van at a speed of nearly 70 mph. Platts’s blood alcohol level was later measured at .206, and a friend of Payton’s who saw the accident testified that he believed Platts was racing another car at the time of the accident. Platts was uninsured.

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There be e-Dragons (access required)

Were you to draw a map of today’s legal landscape, you’d put electronic discovery in a roiling sea dotted with serpentine creatures and labeled with the scripted warning, “Beyond this place there be e-dragons.” Many factors make the navigation of e-discovery difficult: rapidly evolving technology and trends in communication; concerns about confidentiality breaches and work-product protection; a paucity of case law, particularly on the state court level; and widely varying judicial opinions. (That’s just for starters.)

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Soybean seed case pits law against technology (access required)

soybeans

During arguments in a case demonstrating the ongoing tension between emerging technologies and centuries-old legal doctrines, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court sought to define the limits on a farmer’s use of patented, self-replicating soybean seeds beyond a first harvest.

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