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Appeals court overturns conviction of ‘Making a Murderer’ inmate

June 22, 2017 By Ian Simpson (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday affirmed a decision to overturn the murder conviction of Brendan Dassey, a Wisconsin man serving a life sentence whose case was chronicled in the popular Netflix television documentary “Making a Murderer.” A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled 2-1 to uphold a federal judge’s ruling last year that overturned Dassey’s conviction for a 2005 murder. Magistrate Judge William Duffin had ruled in August that the conviction was based on a…

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Two holdouts prevented Cosby guilty verdict, juror tells ABC

June 22, 2017 (Reuters) – Two holdout jurors prevented comedian Bill Cosby from being found guilty on two of three counts in his sexual assault trial and deliberations were so tense that jurors burst into tears, a jury member told ABC News in a report on Wednesday. Only one juror thought the 79-year-old entertainer was guilty on the third charge, the jury member said in describing the 52 hours of deliberations that ended in a mistrial on Saturday. Cosby is facing a second trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting…

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U.S. stock market gets relief from strong fund flows: trade group

June 21, 2017 By Trevor Hunnicutt NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stock fund flows rebounded in the latest week, providing succor to markets after multibillion dollar withdrawals in the prior week, data from trade group Investment Company Institute (ICI) showed on Wednesday. Equity funds based in the United States pulled in $27.3 billion during the week ended June 14, driven chiefly by demand for exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Debt funds attracted $7.7 billion in their 25th straight week of inflows, ICI said. Mutual funds are heavily favored by retail investors, while…

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Supreme Court ruling threatens massive talc litigation against J&J

June 20, 2017 By Nate Raymond (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson is seizing upon a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from Monday limiting where injury lawsuits can be filed to fight off claims it failed to warn women that talcum powder could cause ovarian cancer. New Jersey-based J&J has been battling a series of lawsuits over its talc-based products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder, brought by around 5,950 women and their families. The company denies any link between talc and cancer. A fifth of the plaintiffs have cases pending in state court…

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Supreme Court and top patent court rarely see eye to eye

June 19, 2017 By Andrew Chung WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous backing on Monday of a ruling by the country’s top patent court was a rare instance of agreement with a body whose decisions in that specialized area it regularly overturns. Tellingly, Monday’s decision related to trademarks, not patents. Since its term began last October, the Supreme Court has thrown out all six patent-related decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which was set up to handle such cases. Since 2014, the high…

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Cosby deadlock makes task of finding second jury even more difficult

June 19, 2017 By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) – Now that Bill Cosby’s first sex assault trial has ended in deadlock, the difficulty of seating an unbiased jury for the famed entertainer’s retrial may have ratcheted higher, thanks to blanket media coverage of the sensational case, legal experts say. Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill has kept secret the names of the 12 jurors who spent 52 hours in an unsuccessful effort to decide whether Cosby, now 79, drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand at his…

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Mistrial declared in Cosby sex assault case after days of deliberations

June 18, 2017 By Joseph Ax NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – Pennsylvania prosecutors vowed to retry comedian Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges after a jury on Saturday failed to render a unanimous verdict despite 52 hours of deliberations in a case that echoed accusations made by dozens of women against him. Judge Steven O’Neill, of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, declared a mistrial on Saturday morning following a note from jurors saying that they were hopelessly deadlocked on three counts of aggravated sexual assault. The result was a…

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Cosby retrial could favor defense though publicity a wild card

June 18, 2017 By Anthony Lin and Noeleen Walder (Reuters) – A retrial of Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges will likely offer major advantages to the defense, former prosecutors and defense lawyers say, but the enormous publicity surrounding the case may also produce a second jury that is more eager to convict. Judge Steven O’Neill of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania declared a mistrial on Saturday after jurors said they were deadlocked after 52 hours of deliberations. Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele immediately announced…

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Despite mistrial in criminal case, civil lawsuits await Cosby

June 17, 2017 By Brendan Pierson (Reuters) – Although Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial ended in a mistrial on Saturday, his legal problems persist as he faces assault and defamation claims in civil lawsuits, where the bar for evidence is lower than in criminal cases. In civil lawsuits in the United States, plaintiffs need only show that the weight of evidence is on their side, meaning they have information to tip the scales above 50 percent in their favor, as opposed to criminal cases in which prosecutors must prove claims…

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Cosby again seeks mistrial with no end in sight for jury deliberations

June 17, 2017 By Joseph Ax NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) – Bill Cosby’s defense lawyer asked a judge to declare a mistrial in his sexual assault case for at least the sixth time on Friday night, arguing that the jury’s deliberations, which will enter a sixth day on Saturday, have dragged on too long. “We had a 36-hour trial, and this is the 52nd hour” of deliberations, a visibly frustrated Brian McMonagle told Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill at about 8:45 p.m. Friday was the jury’s fourth…

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