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Legal News Roundup: February 3

Here’s a roundup of recent legal stories in the news.

Dave Yost

Yost filed a civil lawsuit to block FirstEnergy from collecting “decoupling” revenues.

First Energy agrees to settlement that saves Ohio customers money

Ohio Attorney General News Release – FirstEnergy is agreeing to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s demands that the company stop using a clause in House Bill 6 that would have cost its customers an extra $102 million this year.

The out-of-court settlement ends a guaranteed profit rider. This is in addition to the $150 million nuclear bailout also contained in HB6 that Yost blocked in December.

Altogether, Ohioans are projected to save nearly $2 billion over the years House Bill 6 would have been effective.

Read the full story.


Cleveland defense attorney sues ex-client who sucker-punched him in court

Aaron Brockler

Attorney Aaron Brockler

cleveland.com – A Cleveland defense lawyer sued a former client who punched him in the face in open court. He also sued the two sheriff’s deputies responsible for securing the courtroom during the hearing.

Attorney Aaron Brockler’s lawsuit accuses Cuyahoga County sheriff’s deputies Jeffrey Turner Jr. and Raymond Moran of reckless and wanton misconduct for handcuffing his client, David Chislton, with his hands in front of his body instead of behind his back in line with the department’s policy. He also accuses Chislton of assault and battery.

The five-page complaint seeks a total of $600,000 in damages.

“As much as the suit is about my injuries being entirely avoidable, it’s equally about ensuring that my colleagues can practice safely and without fear so that we can deliver the Constitutional defenses that our clients deserve,” Brockler said in a statement to cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer.

Read the full story.


Trump’s impeachment team argues case is unconstitutional

Nancy Pelosi

Donald Trump was impeached for a second time.

Business Insider – Donald Trump’s team of lawyers argue that the impeachment proceedings against the former president are unconstitutional. Moreover, they claim that his speech prior to the Capitol riot was not incitement and is protected under the First Amendment.

Impeachment managers claim that “in a grievous betrayal of his Oath of Office, [Trump] incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election.”

However, Trump’s lawyers—Bruce L. Castor Jr. and David Schoen—argued in their 14-page brief that it is “moot” for the Senate to try and convict Trump for incitement of insurrection and “in violation of the Constitution, because the Senate lacks jurisdiction to remove from office a man who does not hold office.”

Read the full story.


Legal icon takes center stage in Sundance film

Pauli Murray portrait

A portrait of Pauli Murray, via Yale Law School.

NBC News – As filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen were creating ‘RBG’—their Oscar-nominated documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—they discovered an unsung social justice trailblazer who also was a strong inspiration for Ginsburg: Pauli Murray.

Born in 1910, Murray was orphaned at a young age and raised by maternal relatives in Durham, North Carolina. She forged a singular path to become a successful activist, poet, lawyer and memoirist. She earned numerous distinctions, among them becoming California’s first Black deputy attorney general and the Episcopal Church’s first Black female priest.

‘My Name Is Pauli Murray’ premiered Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival.

Read the full story.