In her first opinion, Kagan covers the bases

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan today embraced the use of footnotes, the “ordinary meaning” school of statutory interpretation, the Oxford English Dictionary, and the kindly professor approach to announcing decisions. Oh yes, she also issued an opinion for the Court, the first of her brief tenure as a justice.

Court appears divided in retaliation case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed divided on whether the nation’s major job bias law allows lawsuits against employers who retaliate against the fianc, best friend or other third party in a close relationship with a worker who has complained of discrimination.

Judge Wipes Out Civil Verdict in Pier 34 Collapse

A Philadelphia judge has ruled that an insurance company did not act in bad faith when it failed to appoint an appraiser requested by the owners of a Philadelphia pier that collapsed in 2000. The collapse led to three deaths and the indictment of the owners on criminal charges, court papers said.

DLA Piper Plans to Merge With Australian Partner

DLA Piper announced Thursday that it plans to fully merge with Australian alliance partner DLA Phillips Fox in a move aimed at giving the firm a much larger footprint in the Asia Pacific region — and positioning it as the largest firm in the world in terms of number of lawyers.

Panel selects 9 Iowa Supreme Court nominees

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A panel named nine nominees on Thursday night to fill three vacancies on the Iowa Supreme Court that were created when voters ousted some justices for their part in a unanimous 2009 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.

La. AG slams judge’s appointment of Ala. AG

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell plans to challenge a federal judge’s decision Thursday to appoint Alabama’s newly elected attorney general to coordinate all states’ interests in the litigation spawned by the massive Gulf oil spill.

NM court orders publication of environmental rules

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -The New Mexico Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with environmental groups in a pair of cases that challenged an attempt by Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to delay publication in the state register of recently approved pollution control measures.

Federal Courts in Arizona Declare Judicial Emergency

Following the shooting death of the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, his successor declared a judicial emergency on Tuesday that will temporarily lift the deadline for moving criminal defendants to trial. She cited an unmanageable caseload.

Securities Class Actions Inched Up in 2010

This past year was a relatively slow one for federal securities class action filings, according to the latest research from the Securities Class Action Clearinghouse — a partnership between Stanford Law School and Cornerstone Research.

Pa. school district sued over truancy fines

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) – A federal lawsuit accuses a Pennsylvania school district of imposing excessive and illegal fines on truant children or their families, including one parent ordered to pay $27,000 and a 17-year-old student fined more than $12,000.