April 2023

Alec Baldwin thanks wife Hilaria and lawyer after Rust shooting charges dropped

Alec Baldwin has thanked his wife and lawyer after prosecutors dropped charges against him over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western movie Rust.

The move by New Mexico officials came just over two months after the Hollywood star was charged with involuntary manslaughter over the 2021 death.

Mr Baldwin took to Instagram several hours after the announcement to post a picture of himself hugging his wife Hilaria Baldwin.

“I owe everything I have to this woman,” he wrote in the caption, as well as thanking lawyer Luke Nikas.

Hutchins, 42, was shot and killed on 21 October 21 during filming for the movie at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.

Mr Baldwin was rehearsing for a scene with a gun in his hand when it went off, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

 (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The Oscar-nominated actor has denied ever pulling the trigger of the pistol, but ballistics experts stated in a report that it was the only way the gun could have fired.

“We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and we encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident,” according to a joint statement by Baldwin’s lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro.

Paperwork to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin is expected to be filed soon by newly appointed special prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis, per reports.

Law enforcement will continue to investigate how the events of the tragic October 2021 day unfolded, meaning that the case could be reopened in future.

The Independent has contacted the Santa Fe District Attorney for further comment.

Baldwin’s co-defendant and ex-Rust armourer Hannah Guiterrez-Reed, is still facing criminal charges at current. The two previously pleaded not

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Lawyer reveals new details on Alex Murdaugh’s life in prison

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Alec Baldwin Thanks His Wife & His Lawyer After ‘Rust’ Charges Are Dropped

Alec Baldwin today thanked two rather disparate people in responding to New Mexico dropping criminal charges today against him in the on-set shooting death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

The Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning star’s first public comments on the surprise development came in an Instagram post. Under a doting photo of Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria, the actor added the caption: “I owe everything I have to this woman (and to you Luke).”

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The latter is a nod to Luke Nikas, Baldwin’s attorney in the Rust case.

Today’s news about the charges surrounding the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the Rust set in October 2021 came less than two weeks before a mini-trial was scheduled to begin in New Mexico. A virtual status conference in the case has been scheduled for April 21 before Judge Mary Marlow Sommer.

Baldwin and Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were charged in late January with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Along with a mandatory five-year firearm enhancement that later was cast aside as “unconstitutional,” the charges carried a maximum of 18 months behind bars and about $5,000 in fines if a jury delivered guilty verdicts. At the time, New Mexico officials made a plea deal with Rust assistant director Dave Halls, who was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation.

Baldwin, who was rehearsing a scene for the movie when the gun went off, repeatedly has insisted he did not pull the trigger on the 1880s prop gun that killed Hutchins and wounded the film’s director, Joel Souza.

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

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Law enforcement asked us for Fox evidence

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The lawyer for a former Fox News producer suing the network joins MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber on “The Beat.” Gerry Fillippatos tells Melber “we’ve been contacted by numerous

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Lawyer pleads guilty to defrauding veterans, retirees out of millions

A South Carolina woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for using her position as a managing partner at a law firm to exploit military veterans and elderly investors as part of a nationwide cash flow scheme, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

From approximately 2012 to 2021, Candy Kern, 55, used her law firm to prey on retiree investors and “military veterans in desperate financial straits” by illegally assigning veterans’ benefits, a DoJ release stated.

As part of the scheme, Kern directed financially struggling veterans to accept lump sum cash payments in exchange for the veterans’ monthly retirement or disability earnings, which Kern would arrange in contracts — replete with credit background checks, interest rates and legal ramifications — to be paid out, with interest, over an agreed-upon term.

Kern and other partners would then solicit elderly investors seeking to bolster their retirement to invest in the contracts by providing the lump sum payments, which they were told would yield a return over time.

Throughout the entirety of the scheme, Kern and her partners knew that each contract was void from the start due to federal laws that prohibit the reassignment of pensions.

“For more than eight years, Kern, through her law firm, served as the banker, legal counsel, and debt collector” in the scheme, the release stated. Kern even went as far as filing suits against veterans who defaulted on their payments, according to court documents.

In all, an estimated $14 million in illegally assigned veterans’ payments were funneled through accounts managed by Kern’s law firm. The retiree investors duped by Kern and her partners lost more than $31 million.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina Adair Boroughs called Kern’s use of her standing as a lawyer to facilitate the scheme “reprehensible.”

Principal Deputy Assistant

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Wisconsin lawyer, 67, faces up to 90 days for spitting on BLM protestor

A white lawyer was convicted for spitting on a Black high school student during a 2020 anti-racism march in a Milwaukee suburb.

A jury reached the verdict Wednesday in the trial of Stephanie Rapkin, 67, of Shorewood, Wisconsin, finding her guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Rapkin faces sentencing for the misdemeanor charge later this week and is charged separately with a felony assault on a police officer who arrested her at her home the day after the spitting incident.


In June of 2020, Rapkin showed up at the protest in Shorewood and parked her car in the street, blocking the anti-racism march that was one of thousands held around the U.S. in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer.

When protesters approached her to urge her to move her car, video shows Rapkin spitting on Eric Lucas, then a 17-year-old junior at Shorewood High School. Lucas had helped organize and lead the march.

According to the criminal complaint, Rapkin told an investigating officer she was a cancer survivor and felt threatened because she was surrounded by protesters who were not wearing coronavirus protective masks.

Wisconsin Fox News graphic

A Wisconsin woman has been convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for spitting on a 17-year-old George Floyd protestor in 2020.

Video shows Rapkin did not wear a mask.

In court on Tuesday, Rapkin said that she spit toward Lucas, but not on him, according to WDJT-TV.

Defense attorney Anthony Cotton told reporters following the trial that Rapkin is remorseful and that her career has been ruined.

“She definitely has regret over what happened,” Cotton said.


Rapkin faces up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up

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Fani Willis wants lawyer for Trump fake electors off the case, says there’s conflict

What has Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis been up to? We’ve all been wondering since she said months ago that decisions from her office about its 2020 election interference probe were “imminent.” Well, we got an update this week.

Specifically, there may be some flipping among the so-called fake electors — the people who signed false slates of electors for then-President Donald Trump during the 2020 election — and it’s leading Willis to try and get a state GOP-paid lawyer kicked off the matter.

That lawyer is Kimberly Bourroughs Debrow, who’s been representing 10 of the Georgia Republicans who sought to push Trump into office despite him losing to Joe Biden. According to a filing from Willis on Tuesday, some of them have implicated another in criminal activity (though the filing didn’t specify which elector or what alleged crime or crimes). That led Willis to seek Debrow’s disqualification because, per Willis, her office interviewed some of those electors last week, which revealed not only that some of them are implicating another, but that the defense never conveyed immunity offers to the electors that were broached last year. (Debrow has denied Willis’ allegation.)

But wait. Why is Willis, the prosecutor, getting involved with defense representation? Don’t people have a right to their chosen lawyer if they’re informed about any potential conflict (and if they can afford the lawyer)?

Yes, but not without exception. A lawyer needs to keep their client’s best interests in mind, which can be complicated when a lawyer represents multiple clients. When clients’ interests conflict, that can make it close to impossible for a lawyer to act on one client’s interests without negatively impacting another’s. As Willis has framed the situation in her filing — which, again, Debrow contests — such a conflict appears to be

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Chattanooga-based Unum Group marks 175 years as insurance powerhouse

Insurer Unum Group on Friday marked 175 years in business as some employees bagged about 1,000 snack packs for food-needy children in the lobby of its downtown Chattanooga headquarters.

“It was a good year for Unum,” said Martha Leiper, the company’s chief investment officer, about 2022. “It’s a good time for employees to engage in giving back.”

The voluntary benefits company that offers disability, life, dental and vision insurance among its products has lasted so long because it meets a need, Leiper said in an interview.

“People need financial protection,” she said. “They need a way to have a backstop in case something happens in their lives.”

The company that employs about 2,800 in the city and around 10,000 worldwide is one of the oldest businesses in Chattanooga. It traces its start to 1848 when Union Mutual was chartered in Maine and later became Unum.

In 1887, Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co. was founded in Chattanooga. A series of mergers and acquisitions from 1993 to 1999 by Unum, Provident, Paul Revere and Colonial Life created what was known as UnumProvident and later Unum. Chattanooga became the headquarters of the insurance powerhouse.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga’s Unum Group names new head of diversity and inclusion)

While the combined company initially stumbled executing its business plan with the share price of its stock tumbling, it later regrouped.

Early this year, Unum posted better earnings for 2022 over 2021 on solid operating performance and favorable trends in its business, the insurer reported.

For the year, after-tax adjusted operating income was $1.25 billion, or $6.21 per share, versus $890 million, or $4.36 per share, in 2021, according to Unum.

Last December, Unum officials said it was adding about 100 new posts in Chattanooga and 200 companywide.

Leiper said the company will celebrate 175 years

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How a Chicago Injury Lawyer Can Help You Maximize Your Compensation

Are you tired of settling for insufficient compensation after an injury caused by someone else’s negligence? Look no further than a Chicago injury lawyer to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. With their expertise in personal injury law, they can help navigate the complicated legal process and maximize your settlement. Keep reading to learn how a Chicago injury lawyer can make all the difference in your case.

What is a Chicago Injury Lawyer?

If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering if you should hire a Chicago Injury Lawyer Langdonemison.Com. The answer is yes! A qualified personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.

When choosing a personal injury lawyer, it is important to select someone with experience handling cases like yours. You should also look for an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state and has a successful track record of winning cases.

Once you have found a few potential candidates, schedule a free consultation so that you can learn more about their services and fees. During this meeting, be sure to ask questions so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not hiring a personal injury lawyer is right for you.

How Can a Chicago Injury Lawyer Help You?

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you may be wondering how a Chicago injury lawyer can help you. The answer is that an experienced injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

An experienced Chicago injury lawyer will know how to investigate your case and collect

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New bill calls for restoring mortgage insurance tax deduction

The fight to restore the mortgage insurance tax deduction and make it permanent was revived in Congress, with the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives.

However, similar bills in both the House and Senate introduced in the last session failed to gain traction.

The move has broad support in the mortgage, banking and housing industries; signatories to a November letter sent to Senate Committee on Finance chairman Ron Wyden, D.-Oregon, and ranking member Mike Crapo, R.-Idaho, including the U.S. Mortgage Insurers, Mortgage Bankers Association, Community Home Lenders of America, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and American Bankers Association, among others.

This new bill, “The Middle Class Mortgage Insurance Premium Act of 2023,” is sponsored by Reps. Vern Buchanan, R.-Florida and Jimmy Panetta, D.-California.

“We are grateful to Representatives Buchanan and Panetta for their continued leadership on this critical legislation that would make permanent the ability of middle-class homeowners to deduct private and government MI premiums on their individual federal income tax returns, importantly restoring parity with the deductibility of mortgage interest,” a statement from USMI President Seth Appleton said.

Borrower-paid mortgage insurance premiums finally became deductible in 2007 after several years of efforts by the industry; in Congress this was led by Sen. Gordon Smith, R.-Oregon.

But Congress failed to make that permanent and therefore it had to be reapproved on an annual basis. It continued with several extenders but passage was not guaranteed, as battles for inclusion in 2011 and 2014 showed.

The deduction expired after tax year 2021. Between 2007 and 2020, homeowners claiming the deduction, which also applies to Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs mortgages, saved a total of over $61 billion on their taxes, the USMI said. An average of 3.3 million people claim the deduction each

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