Prince Harry trial – live: Mirror lawyer ‘called journalist London’s best criminal’

Britain's Prince Harry leaves the Royal Courts Of Justice in London, Thursday, March 30, 2023. Prince Harry returned to a London court Thursday as his lawyer fought to keep his phone hacking lawsuit against a British tabloid publisher alive. The Duke of Sussex arrived after lunch for the conclusion of a four-day High Court hearing on his invasion of privacy case against the company that publishes The Daily Mail. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Prince Harry is taking legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mirror. (AP)

The High Court trial between Prince Harry and the publisher of the Daily Mirror over claims of phone hacking has finished its third week.

Today, 26 May, saw Mirror Group Newspapers’ ex-head of legal Marcus Partington deny referring to a former Mirror journalist as ‘London’s best criminal’ because he was a phone-hacker.

He also admitted writing a 2007 note in which he said MGN had “no choice but to settle” an employment claim with another former Mirror journalist who, the note said, had the company “over a barrel”. The journalist had also accused journalists at all MGN’s titles of being involved in unlawful activities.

Partington also said he was “very angry” over an allegation that he had tried to “stand up” a story which was based on UIG, by getting an ex-footballer’s phone records disclosed through an injunction litigation in 2001.

On 25 May, Paul Vickers – formerly MGN’s group legal director – claimed he had asked 43 editors and senior journalists to confirm they had not engaged in UIG after the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World had broken in 2011. “They lied to me, clearly lied to me”, he said.

The Duke of Sussex is one of four people – alongside former soap actress Nikki Sanderson, comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman and actor Michael Turner – bringing claims of unlawful information gathering against Mirror Group Newspapers

MGN has said in a statement about the litigation: “Where historical wrongdoing has taken place, we have made admissions, take full responsibility and apologise unreservedly, but we will vigorously defend against allegations of wrongdoing where our journalists acted lawfully.”

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Haverhill Arranges for Free Legal Aid for Residents; Program Aims to Address Housing Issues

Free legal help is now available to low-income and other vulnerable Haverhill residents with housing and other issues.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said Tuesday the city developed and is paying for the program staffed at the Haverhill Citizen’s Center by local lawyers from Northeast Legal Aid. The program kicks off today, March 8, and will run Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from noon to 4 p.m., at the Citizen’s Center, 10 Welcome St., room 13 on the lower level.

The mayor said he has been working on getting the program up and running for several months as part of a package of proposals to address the need for more affordable housing and support residents struggling with rising rental prices.

“When a landlord dramatically increases the rent or is threatening eviction, many times low-income individuals and families don’t have the means for legal advice or help,” Fiorentini said. “There are a lot of heartbreaking stories out there right now, and this is a program where people can go to get help.”

Northeast Legal Aid has been providing free legal services to the poor, indigent and underrepresented for 50 years. The organization offers free legal services for civil cases including housing matters, especially tenant/landlord issues, as well as elder law, family law, consumer protection, disability benefits and education advocacy.

Residents may reach Northeast Legal Aid by calling 978-458-1465 or visiting

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City introduces free legal aid for low-income residents | News

HAVERHILL — The city has launched a free legal assistance program to help low-income and other vulnerable residents with housing and other issues.

Mayor James Fiorentini said the program, which is located at the Citizen’s Center and is staffed by local lawyers from Northeast Legal Aid, is available from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The legal assistance program debuted, March 8, in the Citizen’s Center, Room 13 (lower level), 10 Welcome St.

Fiorentini said free legal aid, funded with federal American Rescue Plan Act money, is part of a package of proposals to address the need for more affordable housing and support residents struggling with rising rental prices.

Free pro bono legal services for civil cases include housing matters, especially tenant/landlord issues, as well as elder law, family law, consumer protection, disability benefits and education advocacy.

“When a landlord dramatically increases the rent or is threatening eviction, many times low-income individuals and families don’t have the means for legal advice or help,” the mayor said. “There are a lot of heartbreaking stories out there right now, and this is a program people can go to for help.”

Northeast Legal Aid is an organization that for 50 years been dedicated to providing free legal services to the poor, indigent and underrepresented.

You can reach Northeast Legal Aid at 978-458-1465 or online at

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Partnership offers free legal services for MCC students

McLennan Community College is teaming up with Greater Waco Legal Services to provide free legal counsel on campus for students.

The partnership, part of MCC’s Title V Grant Project, is meant to increase student success by strengthening supports for low-income students and minority students. From 1 to 5 pm every Thursday at the Student Life Center, attorneys will do intakes and conduct free consultations. Greater Waco Legal Services founder Kent McKeever said if someone needs further representation, the firm will either offer it directly or connect students to other options.

The nearly $3 million grant from the Hispanic-Serving Institution Program of the US Department of Education was awarded to MCC in 2020 and is broken down to about $600,000 per year for five years. The grant program is meant to boost MCC’s ability to create successful outcomes for Hispanic and low-income students. About 34% of MCC students are Hispanic, and about 70% of all MCC students qualify for financial aid.

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MCC’s Title V project includes a few goals for first-time college students:

Increasing the first-year course completion rate to 85%

Bringing the percentage of students who return for a second year, the persistence rate, to 70%

Raising the graduation rate from 20% to 30%

And increasing transfer rates to four-year schools from 13% to 20%.

“Our goals are to enhance the first-year experience and increase our students‘ sense of belonging,” Title V Grant Director Paula Unger said in a press release. “When students have unrelated legal issues, they will have a harder time focusing on their education. We want this new partnership to help alleviate some of that burden.”

McKeever said in providing more direct access to affordable legal services for students the partnership is meant to ease some stress and help

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UK mother unlawfully denied legal aid in case against abusive ex, court rules | Legal aid

A decision to deny a single mother legal aid to enforce a child custody agreement against her abusive ex-partner was unlawful, the high court has ruled.

When Susie (not her real name) separated from her ex-partner, who would physically and verbally abuse her when he had been drinking, they initially shared custody of their son equally. But when he breached their agreement, limiting her access, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) refused her application for funds because it decided that as her son was not then living with her, he was not her dependant.

However, Mr Justice Andrew Baker ruled on Wednesday that means-testing rules passed by parliament allowed for a dependent to be treated as part of more than one household. As a result, the guidance from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) that a child could be a member of only one household was wrong and unlawful.

He also ruled that, when making its decision, the LAA should have taken into account the fact that Susie needed legal aid to enforce the previous agreement, under which her son had been living in her home more often.

The judgment means that the LAA must reassess whether Susie qualifies for legal aid and the MoJ has to update its guidance to reflect the decision.

Susie said: “I thought that if I left my abusive partner I would be able to enjoy time with my son in a peaceful environment. Instead, my ex-partner managed to coercively control my child into staying with him, so the abuse and control has continued.

“I was sure that I would get legal aid to contest what was happening as I had an extremely low income as well.

“I was absolutely disturbed to find I couldn’t because my child was classed as not a dependent, or part

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Israeli ministers approve bill on $270,000 gift to Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Cabinet ministers on Sunday advanced a bill that would allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to keep a $270,000 donation he received from a relative to pay for his legal bills as he fights corruption charges.

The bill is part of a proposed overhaul of Israel’s legal system by Netanyahu’s new government. The plan has drawn fierce protests for over two months in Israel, the largest seen in years.

Netanyahu has been on trial for charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes for almost three years. He denies wrongdoing and says the accusations are part of a “witch hunt” orchestrated by a biased media, law enforcement and justice system.

Last year, Israel’s high court ordered Netanyahu to pay back the funds given by a late cousin to cover the legal expenses for him and his wife, Sara.

Sara Netanyahu became a target of the protests last week when demonstrators gathered outside a Tel Aviv salon where she was having her hair done. Scores of police officers were called in to escort her out of the salon and away from the jeering crowd.

On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill that would let public officials accept donations for legal or medical bills, despite vocal objection by the country’s attorney general that it would promote corruption.

A committee in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, also advanced bills to curtail the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review and give parliament the ability to override high court decisions.

Netanyahu’s allies say these changes are needed to reduce the power of unselected judges. But critics say they will eliminate checks and balances, concentrate power with the ruling majority and defang the Supreme Court. They also say that Netanyahu, as a criminal defendant, has a conflict of interest.


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New resources help Washingtonians find free legal assistance for reproductive rights

There is a new website to help healthcare providers, seekers, and helpers get information on pro bono legal assistance to facilitate abortion access, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday. is a legal services website managed by the Lawyering Project.

People looking for help on the website will be connected to attorneys in a nationwide pro bono network to provide free legal guidance and resources. This includes several Washington law firms recruited by the Attorney General’s Office.

Advocacy organizations have also partnered with law firms and the Attorney General’s Office to connect people to important services. the ACLU of Washington, LegalVoiceand If/When/How provided training to Washington attorneys.

“Radical laws in other states are creating chaos for providers, out-of-state patients, and individuals assisting their friends and families to access health care,” Ferguson said. “The changing legal landscape is causing providers and others to question whether they face legal jeopardy by helping someone come to Washington for legal abortion care. This resource will help them navigate these important issues and protect their freedoms.”

Ferguson has also produced a “know your rights” flyers. The brochure outlines Washington laws to protect abortion and contraception access. It also gives options for insurance coverage for abortion care.

Along with the brochure, Ferguson created a specific form for Washingtonians to file complaints on violations of their reproductive rights. Anyone with complaints or concerns about violations of reproductive rights under state law is encouraged to fill out the form.

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Leading-Edge Law: Is ChatGPT ready to make legal services cheaper?

Can ChatGPT, as it currently exists, make lawyers more efficient and, thus, less expensive?

As you probably know, it’s a generative artificial intelligence chatbot. It can crank out authoritative-sounding, well-written processes.

It also sometimes says crazy things. In a recent experiment using ChatGPT through the Microsoft Bing search engine, it expressed desires to steal nuclear codes, start a pandemic and be alive.

I’ve experimented with it and read other lawyers’ reviews. It isn’t ready for legal prime time. But the day will come, perhaps soon, when it or another AI will be a critical companion to practicing law cost-effectively.

What lawyers do depends upon their specialties. Still, most kinds of legal practice involve drafting correspondence, performing legal research, writing memos and briefs, drafting legal instruments such as contracts, doing fact research, brainstorming legal theories, and lots of editing.

Except for editing, all those tasks require a lawyer to know the applicable law, find the relevant facts and apply the law to those facts. ChatGPT does poorly in those areas.

ChatGPT is often confidently wrong (although there is AI technology that might partially fix this in future chatbots). If you ask it to state the law in a particular area, it will give you an authoritative-sounding answer. But ChatGPT’s answers sometimes omit key elements, misstate fundamental principles or cite authority inaccurately, such as identifying the wrong court.

That means the lawyer must know the law to know when ChatGPT messes up. Thus, not much time is saved. Still, it might be good to discover some statutes, regulations or cases the lawyer didn’t know about, but the lawyer will still have to verify those authorities.

Keep in mind that experienced lawyers rarely start a project from scratch. Whether it’s writing a brief, memo, contract or corporate document, experienced lawyers often start with

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Area-based legal services firm expands again | Legal

Clark Goodman

Clark Goodman

Latitude, a Franklin-based legal services firm, is expanding to Charlotte, its fifth new office in the past year.

The Charlotte office is led by Clark Goodman, previously managing partner of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Charlotte office. Since early last year, Latitude has also opened outposts in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Louis.

Led by CEO Ross Booher, the company provides attorneys on an as-needed basis to both law firms and businesses.

Goodman had worked with Womble Bond Dickinson for nearly three decades, since graduating from Harvard Law School. He has also taught at Wake Forest University School of Law.

“We continue to see increased demand from legal department and law firm leaders for the peer-level contract attorneys we specialize in providing,” Booher said in a release. “Clark is a natural choice to lead our Charlotte-based team. He is a trusted leader who understands first-hand the high standards of our legal department and law firm clients. His deep connections in the Carolinas will help us better serve our clients in this area and further expand our extensive bench of financial services, health care and technology attorneys available for contract engagements.”

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NYC paid out more money in 2022 to settle police misconduct lawsuits than in past 5 years

According to a new analysis from the Legal Aid Society, the city of New York paid out more money to settle police misconduct lawsuits in 2022 than they did in the last five years.

The city paid over $121 million to settle lawsuits against the NYPD in 2022. While the number of lawsuits settled on behalf of the NYPD has declined steadily in the last five years, the payouts have increased.

Several payouts were made in police misconduct cases towards protesters following the death of George Floyd in 2020, according to the Legal Aid Society’s analysis.

In the wake of Tire Nichols’ fatal beating by Memphis police, the Legal Aid Society is calling on the mayor and the NYPD commissioner to hold its officers accountable on top of settling lawsuits.

“We see that in many cases where there are large payouts… just no discipline, or at most a slap on the wrist,” said Molly Griffard of the Legal Aid Society.

The NYPD respondents with the following statement:

“While the decision to settle a lawsuit, and for how much, remains with the Law Department and the Comptroller — the NYPD actively seeks out information learned from these lawsuits in order to improve officer performance and enhance training or policy, where necessary.”

The Legal Aid Society says it is concerned that the current system is sending a message to NYPD officers that their misconduct will be tolerated.

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