News Roundup

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So far, 9 jurisdictions have plan for remote bar exam in July

California’s July 2021 bar exam will be remote, the California Supreme Court announced Friday. The first testing day, on July 27, will consist of five one-hour essay questions and a 90-minute performance test, according to the administrative order. A total 200 multiple-choice questions will be given July 28. As of March 2, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have also announced plans for a remote July 2021 bar exam, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners website. (California Supreme Court order, National Conference of Bar Examiners website)

Texas AG sues electric company for huge bills during outage

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued Griddy for charging electricity customers “outrageous amounts” during power outages that sometimes reached thousands of dollars per day. Griddy, which offers variable rates that fluctuate with demand, is accused of deceiving customers when it promised wholesale pricing. (NPR, Texas attorney general press release, the lawsuit)

New York governor could be subpoenaed to testify in harassment probe

New York Attorney General Letitia James has broad subpoena powers to investigate sexual harassment claims against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the governor’s office authorized the probe. The governor himself could be called to testify. James plans to hire and deputize a law firm to conduct a “rigorous and independent investigation.” One of Cuomo’s accusers, former aide Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo had kissed her on the lips without invitation and had gone out of his way to touch her on her lower back, arms and legs. A second woman, entry-level staffer Charlotte Bennett, said Cuomo had asked her whether she was monogamous and had sex with older men. Cuomo said he may have made inappropriate remarks that could have been interpreted as flirtation, and he now recognizes that his interactions were insensitive. But he said he never touched anyone inappropriately. (New York attorney general press release, the New York Times)

Top Georgia judge to allow jury trials

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton has said he will allow jury trials in the state beginning March 9. Melton said state judges should “dust off” their plans for jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that participants are safe. (Law360)

Garland’s nomination for AG wins committee OK

The nomination of Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for U.S. attorney general advanced to the Senate on Monday after approval by a 15-7 vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Garland told the committee that he wouldn’t be swayed by politics, and “I am not the president’s lawyer.” One of the seven Republican senators who voted against Garland, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said Garland had skirted questions on policies regarding guns, immigration enforcement and the probe of the origins of the Russian election influence investigation. (CNN, Reuters, Roll Call)