Tag Archives: victims

70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on payments

70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on paymentsAs many as 100,000 Californians are eligible to receive payments for the damages they suffered from a series of devastating wildfires over the last several years. Concerned that as many as 70,000 victims may miss out on payments, attorneys filed court papers Friday to alert the bankruptcy judge that wildfire survivors — many still traumatized and struggling to get back on their feet — aren’t aware of their rights to file a claim. “People really are overwhelmed and don’t understand what they need to do,” said Cecily Dumas, an attorney for the Official Committee of Tort Claimants, a group appointed by the court to represent all wildfire victims in the bankruptcy.



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Alan Dershowitz Gets Rival Lawyer Booted From Epstein Victim’s Case

Alan Dershowitz Gets Rival Lawyer Booted From Epstein Victim’s CaseREUTERS/Andrew InnerarityAlan Dershowitz may have lost his battle to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre—who claims Jeffrey Epstein kept her as his “sex slave” and forced her to have sex with Dershowitz. But the Harvard Law professor scored his own victory: persuading a federal judge to disqualify Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, and his firm, from her case.In an opinion filed Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said she would deny Dershowitz’s motion to dismiss the case—Dershowitz claims Giuffre is lying about having sex with him and tried to extort him—but grant his motion to disqualify Boies’ firm. It was a blow to Boies, who’s sparred with Dershowitz for decades, and Sigrid McCawley, a partner at the firm who represents multiple victims of Epstein.In a statement, McCawley said her firm would appeal Preska’s decision to remove them from Giuffre’s litigation in Manhattan federal court.“Today’s decision rejects Alan Dershowitz’s chronic capacity to make this case about anything but the facts and what he has been accused of by our client, Virginia Giuffre. The defamation case against Alan Dershowitz is going forward and he will have to face justice,” McCawley, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP,  said in a statement.“The decision, however, to disqualify our firm, which has had the privilege of representing Virginia and advocating for her brave voice and continued call for justice, is deeply disappointing and it will be promptly appealed.”Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Names Powerful Men in Alleged Sex RingThe Biggest Bombshells in Newly Unsealed Epstein DocumentsThe order comes almost a month after Giuffre’s and Dershowitz’s legal teams faced off during oral arguments, after which Dershowitz held a press conference and accused Giuffre and her advocates of doing “a terrible disservice” to the MeToo movement. Boies and his firm have represented Giuffre for years, including in a separate defamation suit filed against Epstein’s alleged madame, Ghislaine Maxwell. (A cache of court records in that case were unsealed last summer, providing a deeper look into the sexual abuse allegations against Epstein and his powerful friends.)Dershowitz, 81, argued the 78-year-old Boies should be booted from his case based on a conflict of interest: He was briefly a client of Boies’ firm and says he provided an attorney with confidential information related to his fight against Giuffre’s accusations. The professor also argued Boies and his firm’s attorneys would be called as witnesses in Giuffre’s case.The latter argument was more significant, according to Preska’s order, which noted, “Because disqualification is so clearly required under the advocate-witness rule, the Court does not reach the conflict of interest argument advanced by Dershowitz.”According to the rule, an attorney cannot represent a party where the attorney will be called as a witness. “The rule differentiates between an attorney who will be called on behalf of his client and an attorney who will be called as a witness other than on behalf of his client,” Preska wrote in her order.“A lawyer may also not act as an advocate where ‘another lawyer in the lawyer’s firm is likely to be called as a witness on a significant issue other than on behalf of the client, and it is apparent that the testimony may be prejudicial to the client,’” Preska added.In her complaint, Giuffre said Dershowitz’s statements that she conspired with her lawyers to extort him and Epstein’s associate and client Les Wexner are false. She also referenced a secretly-recorded phone call between Dershowitz and Boies; Dershowitz says Boies declared on the call that Giuffre was “simply wrong” in her accusation, while Giuffre has said Boies’ assertions were taken “out of context.”“By so pleading, Giuffre made the truth of these statements … a necessary—indeed essential—part of the Complaint,” Preska ruled.“Dershowitz’s allegation of an extortion conspiracy is no mere throwaway line,” the judge added of Giuffre’s complaint, which was filed in April. “Giuffre explicitly characterizes Dershowitz’s ‘central assertion’ as the facts that Giuffre committed perjury and that she and her attorneys ‘hatched a scheme to falsely accuse Dershowitz of sex trafficking as part of a criminal attempt to extort a settlement from another party.’”Giuffre must prove at trial that Boies Schiller Flexner (BSF) lawyers didn’t participate in the extortion scheme Dershowitz has alleged. “Either way, BSF is immersed in the facts it pled,” Preska stated.“Again it is essential to follow the litigation jujitsu at work here,” the judge continued. “Giuffre says Dershowitz defamed her by falsely saying she and BSF engaged in an extortion scheme; Dershowitz says he said it and it is true. Giuffre’s burden is to prove it is false in the face of Dershowitz’s vehement claim that it is true.”According to Preska’s order, new counsel for Giuffre and Dershowitz’s legal team must submit a proposed discovery plan by Nov. 13.Giuffre released a statement on Wednesday following the ruling: “I am grateful for the Court's decision to deny Alan Dershowitz’s shameful attempt to dismiss my defamation case against him. I will no longer be silenced. I will no longer be shamed. I will see Alan Dershowitz in a court of law," she said."But I am dismayed by the Court's decision in this case to deprive me of my counsel. For over five years, my lawyers at Boies Schiller Flexner have worked tirelessly to bring Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators to justice. When it was not in vogue and not a breaking news story, my lawyers Sigrid McCawley and David Boies stood up to the muscle of the Epstein machine and its grip on the legal system. It is no surprise that Alan Dershowitz, who was part of Epstein's ecosystem of power and privilege, is attempting to manipulate the legal system in the face of the serious charges I have brought against him. The reckoning of accountability has begun and today's decision will be appealed.”Dershowitz’s attorney, Imran H. Ansari, said the academic is "pleased" with Preska's decision to remove Boies from the case. “Disqualification is clearly required by the advocate-witness rule and by the very allegations made by the Plaintiff in her own Complaint," Ansari said in a statement. "Professor Dershowitz will call David Boies and his colleagues at trial to prove that their client—in Boies’ own words—is 'wrong… simply wrong' in accusing him. Any appeal taken of Judge Preska’s decision regarding disqualification will be met with stiff opposition by Professor Dershowitz."Meanwhile, Dershowitz argued Giuffre’s complaint should be dismissed because the statements he made in 2018 and 2019—calling her a “total liar” who fabricated allegations against him for money—are “substantially identical” to statements he made in 2015 and therefore barred under the statute of limitations.Yet, Preska’s order states that Dershowitz “admits he took affirmative steps to republish his prior statements to defend himself and his reputation by influencing new audiences or re-influencing old audiences.”“Said differently, Dershowitz went looking for trouble, and by his repeated affirmative republications, he found it.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Payouts for Vegas victims a 'cold, mathematical calculation'

Payouts for Vegas victims a 'cold, mathematical calculation'They may have been united by a love for country music, but the people gunned down two years ago at a Las Vegas concert will not be seen as equals when up to $ 800 million is paid out from a legal settlement. The administrator overseeing the process will have the icy task of calculating the value of a life based on how much victims earned, the gravity of survivors’ wounds and the hazy concepts of pain, suffering and emotional distress. “It is a cold, mathematical calculation,” said attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who has administered payouts for the nation’s highest-profile tragedies but isn’t involved in the Las Vegas settlement.



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Harvard accepted over $8 million in donations from Jeffrey Epstein. The university plans to redirect unused funds toward supporting victims of human trafficking and sexual assault.

Harvard accepted over $  8 million in donations from Jeffrey Epstein. The university plans to redirect unused funds toward supporting victims of human trafficking and sexual assault."Harvard is not perfect, but you have my commitment as president that we will always strive to be better," the university's president wrote.



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Hong Kong Protesters Paused Their Demonstration to Show Solidarity With 9/11 Victims

Hong Kong Protesters Paused Their Demonstration to Show Solidarity With 9/11 VictimsHong Kong protesters called off their demonstration on Wednesday to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks after the Chinese state newspaper predicted they would mark the day with terrorist attacks of their own.Thousands of protesters have occupied the streets and other public places for months to voice their opposition to Beijing's encroachment on Hong Kong's sovereignty but they stopped those efforts temporarily Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the victims of 9/11.“In solidarity against terrorism, all forms of protest in Hong Kong will be suspended on Sept. 11, apart from potential singing and chanting,” the protesters said in a statement obtained by Reuters.The decision to pause demonstrations was made after the Chinese state newspaper equated the protesters to the 9/11 attackers and suggested they would employ similar tactics.“Anti-government fanatics are planning massive terror attacks, including blowing up gas pipes, in Hong Kong on September 11,” the Hong Kong edition of China Daily said in a Facebook post featuring a photo of the attacks at the World Trade Center.The protests began in response to the introduction of an extradition bill that would have allowed the Chinese authorities to extradite Hong Kong citizens suspected of crimes to face trial on the mainland.Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced that she would withdraw the bill last week after temporarily suspending it in June in response to the public backlash. But the protests have grown in scope beyond opposition to the extradition bill; demonstrators are now demanding greater protections from police abuses and more democratic control over their government.



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The Latest: All 34 victims of California boat fire ID'd

The Latest: All 34 victims of California boat fire ID'dAuthorities say they have now identified all 34 victims of a boat fire off the Southern California coast. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office added the last seven names on Thursday. The scuba diving boat Conception burned and sank off Santa Cruz Island before dawn on Sept. 2.



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9/11 Victim’s Son Explains the Attack to Ilhan Omar: ‘There Is No Uncertainty’

9/11 Victim’s Son Explains the Attack to Ilhan Omar: ‘There Is No Uncertainty’During a 9/11 memorial service on Tuesday, the son of a woman who died in the World Trade Center castigated Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for the dismissive way she recently characterized the attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans.Nicholas Haros Jr., wearing a black shirt emblazoned with the phrase “some people did something?” took the stage during the memorial service at Ground Zero to remind Omar and those assembled of what took place at the site exactly 18 years ago.“’Some people did something,’ said a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota,” Haros said, referencing Omar's description of the event. “Today I am here to respond to you exactly who did what to whom. Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?” Haros asked. “On that day, 19 Islamic terrorist members of al-Qaeda killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear?”Omar offered the flippant description of the 9/11 attacks earlier this year during a speech before the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Her speech focused on the federal government's encroachment on the civil liberties of Muslims in the wake of the attacks, which, she falsely claimed, served as the impetus for CAIR's founding.“CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” Omar said. CAIR was actually founded in 1994.Haros concluded his remarks by admonishing Omar — and the three fellow freshman progressive lawmakers who together refer to themselves as “the squad” — not to use the events of September 11th to score cheap political points.“Stop. Stop. Please stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as props for your political theater,” Haros said. “Their lives, sacrifices, and death are worth so much more. Let’s not trivialize them or us. It hurts.”



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While paying tribute to 9/11 victims, Trump blasts Taliban as Afghanistan peace talks falter

While paying tribute to 9/11 victims, Trump blasts Taliban as Afghanistan peace talks falterWhile paying tribute to the fallen of 9/11, President Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed the Taliban for the cancellation of Afghanistan peace talks.



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Hurricane Dorian victims fleeing devastation kicked off boat headed for US ‘because they did not have visas’

Hurricane Dorian victims fleeing devastation kicked off boat headed for US ‘because they did not have visas’Bahamians attempting to flee the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian have been kicked off a boat headed to the US.People from the Caribbean nation are normally allowed into the US without a visa as long as they fly there, have a passport and hold a clean police record.



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Trump news – live: President’s approval rating slides further, amid scaremongering about migrants and hurricane victims in wild rally speech

Trump news - live: President’s approval rating slides further, amid scaremongering about migrants and hurricane victims in wild rally speechDonald Trump's approval rating has fallen to 38 per cent, down six points on his July career-best according to a new ABC News/Washington Post, as concerns over the fate of the American economy linger.The president held his latest “Keep America Great” rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Monday night, attacking the “America-hating left”, scaremongering about the release of “horrible, hardened criminals” in sanctuary cities and saying he rolled back energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs because: “I look better under incandescent light”.



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