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The facts of life

By Victoria Ni, Senior Attorney Sometime during early childhood, I’m sure you picked up these facts of life: Only women can bear children, and only women can produce breastmilk. It’s human biology. There are no exceptions. But for courts, nothing — not even human biology…

Solitary confinement: What the Shawshank Redemption doesn’t teach us

By Adrian Alvarez, Goldberg-Robb Attorney “He is a man buried alive; to be dug out in the slow round of years,” Charles Dickens wrote in 1842 after visiting prisoners living for years in solitary confinement at a penitentiary outside Philadelphia. Back then, solitary confinement was…

Bartlett: A nonsensical result required by neither law nor policy

By Claire Prestel, Staff Attorney I know everyone is eager for the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage and voting rights. But don’t let the Court’s alarming ruling today on generic drugs get lost in the shuffle: By a 5-4 vote, reflecting the typical right/left…

Worst Supreme Court arbitration decision ever

By Paul Bland, Senior Attorney So, today, in American Express v. Italian Colors, the U.S. Supreme Court said that a take-it-or-leave-it arbitration clause could be used to prevent small businesses from actually pursuing their claims for abuse of monopoly power under the antitrust laws. Essentially,…

Pittsburgh citizens protest UPMC’s use of 14th Amendment to sue city

By Claire Prestel, Staff Attorney The outrage is building against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s unsavory claim that its civil rights are being violated by the City of Pittsburgh’s challenge to its tax-exempt status. A few weeks ago, I blogged about Pittsburgh’s lawsuit against…

Global warming: The good news and the bad

By Richard Webster, Power-Cotchett Attorney As I keep up with the news on global warming, I find myself alternately pessimistic and hopeful. Most of the world is behaving like addicts. We prefer to pretend either that we don’t have a problem or that we don’t…