What Happens When Somebody Kills an Endangered Species?

Endangered and threatened species are protected for a reason: once a species is extinct, there's no bringing it back. (Sorry, Jurassic Park aficionados.) So the Endangered Species Act aims to protect threatened and endangered species of plants and animals, as well as the habitats in which they are found.
So what happens if someone kills an endangered species? The answer to almost every legal question is: it depends. And when it comes to endangered species, it will generally depend on who's doing the killing.
Private Citizens or Companies
The Endangered Species Act prohibits any action that results in a “taking” of a listed species, including “harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing and collecting listed species.” The Act lists species in two categories, endangered and threatened, and the penalties for violations under the ESA will depend on which category the violation involved, and how many violations a person has previously..

Top 5 Legal Tips for Teens

Teenagers seem to occupy a social and emotional middle ground: not children, but not quite adults; so much responsibility, but not all of it; independent in so many ways, dependent in others. Much of that is also true when it comes to legal grounds.
The law is a little different when it comes to teenagers, so here are some of our best legal tips for teens, from our archives:
1. Is It Legal to Move Out at 17?
Most teenagers' first order of business is to get out of the house — school, extracurricular activities, shopping, socializing, etc. Most of them also want to be out of the house permanently, but how old do you have to be before you can move out on your own?
2. Can Parents Kick Teens out of Their Home?
And then there are the teenagers who don't want to leave, perhaps to their parents' chagrin. Parents have a legal responsibility to provide for the wellbeing of their children, but how long does that responsibility require them to put a roof over their heads?
3…

Motel 6 Accused of Reporting Guests to ICE

Normally if you're concerned with ice at a hotel, it's locating the nearest machine to your room. There was a different concern for guests at two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix, Arizona — that employees were calling ICE to report guests who may be in the country illegally.
A recent news investigation found at least 20 Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests made at those locations, and some of those arrested claim no one else knew they were there. So how did immigration enforcement know?
Motel Snitch
The Phoenix New Times broke the story, recounting the tale of Manuel Rodriguez-Juarez, who checked into a Motel 6 on I-10 after an argument with his girlfriend:
The front-desk clerk told him that he needed to show identification in order to reserve a room. Rodriguez-Juarez handed over the only thing he had — a Mexican voter ID card. Six hours later, he was lying on the bed, watching TV, when he heard a knock at the door. He opened it. Three agents from Immigrations and Cu..

What Is Prejudgment Interest?

When you win your court case, you will generally receive monetary damages. Damages come in a few different forms, such as those meant to pay back medical bills and those meant to compensate for lost wages or pain and suffering.
In a court case, a party seeking a judgment, or a monetary award, can also be entitled to prejudgment interest if they win. Prejudgment interest is essentially additional money that a court can award based on the interest that the judgment would have earned over the period of time from when the claimant was entitled to receive those monies.
Can I Get Prejudgment Interest?
Whether or not your type of case will allow you to claim and collect prejudgment interest will depend on your state's laws.
Sometimes, certain types of cases will just not qualify. Generally, the amount of monetary damages, or the damages for which interest is sought, must be certain. For example, in a contract dispute, the amount of money in dispute will usually be rather specific and..

Staying Out of Trouble Online: 5 Recent Developments in Internet Safety

The internet has gobbled up everything from our shopping to our social lives, to the point that even the most committed luddites have trouble staying offline. But as many of us know, going online can get you into serious legal trouble.
Many of us just accept that internet use comes with some risk to our privacy, personal finances, and even psychological wellbeing. But here are some of the most recent developments in internet law, and some ways to minimize or eliminate those risks:
1. Will the Email Privacy Act Become Law?
While many of us consider email as the online equivalent of a handwritten letter, the law — especially in the criminal context — treats them quite differently. Even though police would need a search warrant to open letters or pull documents from the desk in your home, they don't need one to scan your emails or download them from the servers of whichever email service you use.
2. Can Social Media Sites Use Your Content in Ads?
Don't want that lovely fa..

Can You Be Fired for Having Your Period at Work?

'Every woman dreads getting period symptoms when they're not expecting them,' said Alisha Coleman, 'but I never thought I could be fired for it.' It's not a legal question often asked, but Coleman should know better than most. She was fired from a 911 call center in Georgia, allegedly after experiencing heavy menstrual symptoms related to the onset of menopause while at work.
With help from the American Civil Liberties Union, she is now suing her former employer, the Bobby Dodd Institute, for gender discrimination. “I don't want any woman to have to go through what I did,” Coleman stated.
Working Woman
According to her suit, Coleman was experiencing symptoms of premenopause at the time of her firing, which can include “irregular and unpredictable sudden onset menstrual periods, which could be heavy at times.” In August of 2015, Coleman “unexpectedly experienced a sudden onset of her menstrual period that resulted in her accidentally leaking menstru..

DeVos Plans to Dismantle Standards for Campus Sexual Assault Investigations

Donald Trump's new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced plans to rescind a six-year-old policy issued by Barack Obama's administration that advised colleges and universities on how to handle sexual assault allegations on campus. “Washington has burdened schools with increasingly elaborate and confusing guidelines that even lawyers find difficult to understand and navigate,” DeVos told a crowd at George Mason University. “That's why we must do better, because the current approach isn't working.”
But DeVos wasn't as clear about what the new approach would look like as she was about rebuking the old approach. So where does that leave victims, alleged abusers, and schools trying to meet their legal obligations?
Out With the Old
In 2011, Obama's Department of Education issued what is known as a “Dear Colleague” letter, addressing the requirements of colleges and universities under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in regards to sexual violenc..

Defense Secretary Puts President Trump’s Transgender Ban on Hold

In the wake of President Donald Trump's proclamation that openly transgender individuals be discharged from the military, in addition to the lawsuits, there has been some pushback from an unexpected source: the Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis.
After sources reported that the general was appalled by the president's proclamation, soon after, he came out with a plan that effectively puts the ban on hold. While socially, and politically, transgender rights are a polarizing and controversial issue, it may not be possible to read anything more than prudence into Mattis's actions. Making a sweeping change like this to the military requires careful planning and assessment.
What's Mattis's Hold Up?
The general, reportedly, has instituted the hold on implementing the newest ban in order to study the effects and strategically plan how to actually do it (and potentially even whether to do it at all). Although the president, in a series of Tweets, claimed to h..

Does a Lawsuit End If the Defendant Can’t Be Served?

Remember Seth Rogen's character in Pineapple Express? No, he wasn't a butler — he was a process server, an obscure yet essential part of the legal system tasked with delivering the bad news of a lawsuit to the person being sued. After all, if people don't know they're being haled into court, it's kind of hard to defend themselves.
Because service of process is the necessary first step to a lawsuit, many think if they can just avoid the process server for long enough, they can't be sued (hence Rogen's disguises). But is that true?
Fruitless Searching
The issue has come to the forefront of the news after Montana real estate agent Tanya Gersh sued the owner of the racist website Daily Stormer, claiming he unleashed a “tsunami of threats” against her and her family. Gersh is being represented by attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center, who have thus far been unable to locate and serve Andrew Anglin with the suit.
The process servers hired by t..

Here’s the Latest on Trump Immigration Reform Efforts

It's not untrue to say that Donald Trump has had a 'busy' presidency — the Twitterer-in-Chief has been as active on social media as he has been with executive orders. But many of those orders have been met with litigation and currently stand somewhere in legal limbo between lawsuits filed and Supreme Court review.
One of Trump's most active areas of executive authority has been immigration. Here's the latest on Trump's immigration reform efforts, where they stand (legally speaking), and what they could mean.
1. Trump's Travel Ban Headed to Supreme Court
Perhaps Trump's most infamous executive order on immigration, and certainly his most litigated one, is the attempted ban on immigrants and refugees from several majority Muslim countries. Blocked by federal circuit courts, rewritten, then blocked again, the Muslim ban is now in the hands of the Supreme Court, although many of the main legal issues may be moot by the time the Court hears oral a..