News Roundup

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Audit concludes financial wrongdoing cost law school $1.6M

The University of Texas School of Law has tightened its financial controls after an internal audit concluded that a former employee’s improprieties cost the school nearly $1.6 million. According to the audit, the wrongdoing included theft of property, personal purchases charged to the law school account, and improper payments to vendors. The former employee resigned in 2017 and is facing criminal charges in connection with the alleged scheme. (The Texas Lawyer, the Texas Tribune, audit memo)

3rd Circuit rules transit system’s ban on religious ads violates the First Amendment

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Philadelphia ruled 2-1 Tuesday that a transit system violated the First Amendment when it excluded all advertisements on public buses with religious and atheist messages. The majority said the policy adopted by the transit system in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, constituted viewpoint discrimination. Judge Thomas Hardiman wrote the majority opinion. (ACLU of Pennsylvania, 3rd Circuit decision)

Justice Department seeks proceeds from Edward Snowden’s book

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit seeking proceeds from a book written by Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked government documents. The suit says the government is entitled to the money because Snowden published the book without submitting it for prepublication review. (The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, press release, Sept. 17 lawsuit)

Booming investment in legal tech sets record

Investment in legal technology has hit $1.2 billion, already surpassing the record set last for all of last year, according to an analysis of 41 publicly reported investments. The largest deal occurred this month, when two growth equity companies invested $250 million in law practice management company Clio. (LawSites)

New plan addresses workplace complaints by federal court employees

The Judicial Conference of the United States has adopted a model dispute resolution plan to simplify and expand options for federal court employees complaining of discrimination, harassment, abusive conduct and retaliation. (Law360, press release, model plan)