January 2023

Congress must pass George Floyd’s policing reform bill

Ben Crump, the attorney for the family of Tyre Nichols, called on Congress to pass federal police reform legislation in the wake of the 29-year-old’s death.

“Shame on us if we don’t use his tragic death to finally get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed,” Crump, who also leads the Floyd family legal team, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We told President Biden that when he talked to us.”

Crump placed the onus on Biden to spark a renewed push for policing reform, saying the president should “marshal the United States Senate” and “try to get the House to reengage.”

Video released late Friday showed officers in Memphis, Tenn., beating, kicking and punching Nichols after a traffic stop. Nichols died three days later. Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder in his death.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was introduced in 2021 after Floyd’s death in Minnesota at the hands of police. It passed the House under Democratic control, but talks for a compromise in the Senate collapsed.

Crump on Sunday emphasized the fact that federal leaders have not acted on sweeping police reform for decades, even as cases of violent deaths at the hand of law enforcement have continued to emerge.

“It didn’t happen with Rodney King, it didn’t happen with Michael Brown in Ferguson and it didn’t happen with George Floyd,” Crump said. “How many of these tragedies did we have to see on video before we said we had a problem, America?”

The White House last week called for policing reform legislation, but Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, and Republicans hold a slight majority in the House, dimming the chances of passing policing reform in this Congress.

Updated at 10:16 am

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Tire Nichols video release: Former Memphis cop never ‘crossed the lines that others crossed,’ lawyers argued

An attorney for former Memphis police officer, Desmond Mills Jr., who is charged with second-degree murder in the deadly arrest of Tyre Nichols, asserted Saturday his client never “crossed the lines that others crossed.”

“The videos released on January 27 have produced as many questions as they have answers,” attorney Blake Ballin said in a statement to Fox News. “Some of the questions that remain will require a focus on Desmond Mills’ individual actions.”

“We are confident that the questions of whether Desmond crossed the lines that others crossed and whether he committed the crimes charged will be answered with a resounding no,” Ballin said.

A view from a camera mounted above the intersection where Memphis police caught up with Tire Nichols, who died three days later.  authorities released footage of the deadly encounter between Nichols and police Friday.

A view from a camera mounted above the intersection where Memphis police caught up with Tire Nichols, who died three days later. authorities released footage of the deadly encounter between Nichols and police Friday.
(Memphis Police Department)


Ballin’s comments came following the Friday release of bodycam and streetlight footage that depicted the violent sequence of events in which a group of Memphis police officers repeatedly beat Nichols while he was restrained with his hands behind his back using batons, fists and repeated kicks as he lay on the ground.

At one point in the video officers could be seen holding Nichols upright while others exchanged blows to his head.

Nichols, who was pulled over for an alleged traffic stop, was also tasered and sprayed with pepper spray in an incident that took place three houses down from his mother’s house on Jan. 7.

He died three days later in hospital after succumbing to his injuries.

It is unclear what role Mills played in the botched arrest that has been decried as a “failing of basic humanity,” as several officers arrived after

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Legal Aid files to join city lawsuit against VineBrook Homes

CINCINNATI — VineBrook Homes is facing a new legal attack by tenants asking to join the city’s lawsuit against the investor-owned real estate company that owns more single-family rental properties and files more evictions than any other Hamilton County landlord.

“We chose to intervene in this lawsuit to make sure that the tenants and residents in the community who are impacted by VineBrook’s harmful practices have a voice in how the lawsuit plays out,” said Jordan Cotleur, a Legal Aid attorney who filed a motion to intervene Thursday on behalf of five clients.

A proposed complaint attached to the motion includes many of the same legal arguments raised last week in the city of Cincinnati’s lawsuit against the company. But it includes some tenant-specific demands that the city did not request, including:

  • Compensatory and punitive damages for five plaintiffs who allege they were harmed by VineBrook’s actions.
  • A court order requiring VineBrook to participate in and pay for mediation before suing tenants for eviction.
  • A court order requiring VineBrook to appoint “local representatives to respond to Hamilton County residents’ property maintenance and (customer service) portal concerns within 48 hours for non-emergency concerns and within 24 hours for emergency concerns.”

VineBrook has yet to respond to the Legal Aid complaint. But in a statement last week, it said it would vigorously defend itself against the city’s accusations and added:

“We view this latest development as an opportunity to refocus our efforts and we remain committed to providing safe, functional and affordable single-family rental homes to residents to help set them on a pathway to home ownership and a better financial future.”

Both the city’s case and the new Legal Aid filing accuse VineBrook Homes of using illegal lease provisions to shift maintenance expenses to tenants and engaging in

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Tire Nichols’ death must galvanize efforts to reform police, attorney says

Jan 29 (Reuters) – The attorney representing the family of Tyre Nichols, the Black man who was fatally beaten by Memphis police officers, called on Sunday for the US Congress to pass police legislation reform, and said Nichols’ mother hoped the tragedy could lead to a “greater good.”

“Shame on us if we don’t use his tragic death to finally get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed,” Ben Crump told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

All five officers are scheduled to appear for a bond arrangement on Feb. 17 at 9 am in front of Judge James Jones of the Shelby County criminal court, court records show.

Crump said he and the Nichols family had spoken with President Joe Biden on Friday and urged him to use Nichols’ death to galvanize support for the act’s passage.

Nichols’ mother was coping with her son’s death by believing he was destined to change the world, Crump said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

“She believes in her heart Tire was sent here for an assignment and that there is going to be greater good that comes from this tragedy.”

The “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” was introduced in 2021 after George Floyd died when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, sparking worldwide protests over racial injustice.

The bill, which aims to stop aggressive law enforcement tactics, passed the Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives in 2021 but stalled in the Senate. Biden on Thursday called on Congress to send the legislation to his desk.

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How three legends inspired Farmers Insurance Open exemption Michael Herrera

“And he told me, you know, ‘We don’t play this sport. It’s not for us.’”

But Herrera, who was 10 at the time, kept asking. One day, Hugo, determined to make a point, took a U-turn and pulled into Cottonwood’s parking lot.

“He said, ‘You know what, let me show you how much it is and why we don’t play,’” Herrera remembers.

Father and son entered the pro shop. Much to Hugo’s surprise, the fee to play the course, which is made up of eight par 3s and one par 4, was just $5. It costs the same amount to rent clubs.

“So, for less than $20, we went out and played,” Herrera says. “And we had the best time of our life and we fell in love with the game right then and there, and we tried to go back as often as we could after I got off school. That’s how we picked up the game.”

Herrera’s dad liked the game so much that he bought a set of clubs from Wal-Mart that the two could share. Soon, he got a junior set from US Kids Golf for his son. Herrera – who didn’t have a formal lesson until his second year as a pro – studied YouTube videos to learn the game. His dad also bought the book “How I Play Golf” that Woods collaborated on with the editors of Golf Digest

“I just tried to replicate everything he did,” Herrera says. “Mannerisms, even the way he got mad on the golf course, I tried replicating everything.”

Herrera and his dad eventually found a course closer to their home, but it was $85 to play 18 on the Pete Dye design so playing there regularly wasn’t an option. It had a driving range, though, and for

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Tire Nichols’ lawyer urges lawmakers to pass urgent police reforms

Lawyer Ben Crump stands at a letter

Ben Crump urged Joe Biden to use Tire Nichols’ to pursue police reform

The lawyer representing Tyre Nichols’ family has called on the US Congress to pass urgent police reform legislation in the wake of his death.

Mr Nichols, 29, was fatally beaten by five police officers in January.

Speaking to US media, Ben Crump urged President Joe Biden to use Mr Nichols’s death to gain support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

And he said Mr. Nichols’s mother was coping with her son’s loss by hoping that his death could lead to change.

“She believes in her heart Tire was sent here for an assignment and that there is going to be greater good that comes from this tragedy,” Mr. Crump said.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was introduced in 2021 after Mr Floyd was killed by a white police officer kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. His death sparked international protests.

The bill would see a federal ban on the use of chokeholds by police and make it easier to bring charges against offending officers.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives – which was then controlled by the Democratic Party – passed the bill in March 2021, but it was later held up by opposition in the Senate.

“Shame on us if we don’t use his tragic death to finally get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed,” Mr Crump told CNN. The lawyer said if the law did not change, the deaths at the hands of the police would continue.

Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP civil rights group – also called on legislators to take action.

“By failing to write a piece of legislation, you’re writing another obituary,” Mr Johnson said in a statement. “We can name

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Generative AI Tools Will Upend Legal Services: The Morning Minute

AI HAS ENTERED THE CHAT – When the artificial intelligence research and deployment company OpenAI released ChatGPT—a “chatbot” that responds to users’ prompts with complex, human-like accuracy—for public use in December 2022, they unleashed a new era of technology frenzy that no one saw coming . US Law.com’s Stephanie Wilkins writes in this week’s Barometer newsletterit’s not a question of if generative AI will impact legal professionals, it’s just a question of how and when. But regardless of the application, helping—not replacing—humans is the goal. As Gaurav Oberoi, CEO of Lexion, which has already created an AI Contract Assist feature, was careful to stress: “The human is still very much at the center. You’re not eliminating the expert, you’re augmenting the expert.” To receive the Law.com Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.

A FIRM OUT OF TIME – Shortly after the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, Shearman & Sterling was still a marquis name in the legal community. The firm, then ranked No. 5 in the Am Law 100, was high-priced, effective and had a market reputation as a firm that you called. But Shearman’s trajectory—a one-time Wall Street darling to now actively courting merger options to gain scale and thrive—contrasts with that of several of its New York peers, which advanced their profit and platform in the last two decades to gain considerable scale and stay in the Am Law 20, according to an analysis by Law.com. So what happened? “The market changed, and [Shearman] did not,” Tim Corcoran, a long-time legal industry consultant, told Law.com’s Patrick Smith. “It seems to me they’ve been resting on their laurels.”

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our two best derivative bets for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines

The best value play for top-10 markets, top-40 markets

Farmers Insurance Open prediction

Tony Finau watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Houston Open golf tournament, Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Houston. The Associated Press

The Farmers Insurance Open gets underway Wednesday from Torrey Pines, and we’re here to offer some PGA Tour predictions for the event.

Having already outlined our two favorite outright selections for the event, we now transition into the derivative markets. By applying my statistical modeling (see below) and relevant course history, I’ve landed on two players that show value in respective markets.

Odds come courtesy of BetMGM and are reflective at the time of writing.


Before we get to the picks, it’s important to note the statistics I used to construct a model. By doing this, it helps sort the fields and allows me to identify the best batch. Here’s the model:

  • Strokes-Gained: Off The Tee (10%) & Driving Distance (5%)
  • Strokes-Gained: Approach (15%), Proximity: 175-200 yards (5%), Proximity: 200+ yards (5%)
  • Greens in Regulation Gained (10%) & Strokes-Gained: Short Game (5%)
  • Bogey Avoidance (10%)
  • Par 4 Efficiency (10%), Par 4 Efficiency: 450-500 yards (5%)
  • Par 5 Efficiency (10%), Par 5 Efficiency: 550-600 yards (5%), Par 5 Efficiency: 600-650 yards (5%)

Farmers Insurance Open Derivative Bet No. 1

Tony Finau Top-10 Finish (Ties Included) (+100)

Not only does Finau rate out quite well in my statistical model, but he owns an excellent history at Torrey Pines.

Although he missed the cut at this event in 2022, Finau posted consecutive top-10 finishes at the 2020 and 2021 versions of this tournament. Expand the sample to include the three prior tournaments and bettors will find he’s recorded a top-10 finish in four of his past five in which he made the cut.


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Healey, the state’s top judge rallied for $49M state investment into legal aid for low-income residents

Lawyers, bar association leaders and advocates are urging Massachusetts legislators to allocate more money for civil legal aid programs in the next state budget. They say the past few years showed an increased demand for these programs, which provide low-income residents with free legal advice and representation.

Hundreds of people attended a virtual event Thursday in support of a $49 million allocation, including some heavy hitters in Boston’s legal circles, such as Gov. Maura Healey and Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Kimberly Budd. The budget-writing process for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, is revving up as the governor drafts her ideas for tens of billions in state spending.

“Our legal system is dedicated to the principle of providing equal justice for all,” said Budd. “But too often we fall short of the ideal because many people still lack the legal resources that they need to present their cases in the courts, and our legal aid organizations work tirelessly simply do not have enough funding to provide counsel for everyone who comes to them seeking help.”

Budd said in the last three years, civil legal aid cases involving unemployment insurance quadrupled from pre-pandemic figures, and that domestic violence cases, housing and immigration all increased by 20%.

Fewer people were turned away from legal aid services this past year thanks to state funding — but advocates say more is needed.

Louis Tompros, chair of the Equal Justice Coalition, which hosted Thursday’s event, said last year state dollars helped cut down on how many qualified recipients had to be turned away by legal aid programs across the state: 47% last year, down from 57% the year before.

“More funding means more people being served, and yet there remains a huge unmet need,” he said. “Almost half of low-income residents

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Florida battle brews over AP African American Studies program, attorney Crump threatens DeSantis with lawsuit

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump on Wednesday threatened to file a lawsuit on behalf of three high school students against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s rejection of an Advanced Placement African American studies program.

Speaking from the Florida Senate in Tallahassee Wednesday, Crump said he was giving “notice to Gov. DeSantis that if he does not negotiate with the College Board to allow AP African American Studies to be taught in classrooms across the state of Florida, that [the three high school students] will be the lead plaintiffs in a historic lawsuit.”

“Will we let Governor DeSantis or anybody exterminate Black history in the classrooms across America?” Crump asked. “What this really is about is saying you cannot exterminate us. You cannot exterminate our culture and you can never exterminate the value of our children in this world.”

Crump’s threatened lawsuit came a day after the College Board announced plans to revise the AP African-American Studies course.


While the College Board did not cite reasons for the plan to make changes, dustups surrounding its content were longstanding in The Sunshine State.

Gov. DeSantis previously blocked the course from Florida high schools, citing a violation of the state’s “Stop WOKE Act” signed into law last year while alleging that the material was “historically inaccurate.”

Attorney Ben Crump speaks at a press conference outside the federal courthouse on July 15, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Attorney Ben Crump speaks at a press conference outside the federal courthouse on July 15, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
(Getty Images)

“This course on Black history, what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory,” DeSantis said earlier this week. “Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda.”

The course contains tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and elements of

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