News Roundup

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State and FTC lawsuits accuse Facebook of stifling competition

Facebook is accused of stifling competition in two lawsuits filed Wednesday. One suit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission, and the other was filed by attorneys general for 46 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. “Facebook targets competitors with a ‘buy or bury’ approach: If they refuse to be bought out, Facebook tries to squeeze every bit of oxygen out of the room for these companies,” according to a press release summarizing the state lawsuit’s allegations. The FTC said Facebook should be required to divest assets it acquired using this approach, including Instagram and WhatsApp. (Press releases here and here, the lawsuits here and here)

House passes bill to make PACER free to public

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill that would make federal court records on PACER free to most public users. High-volume “power users” would pay fees to fund the build-out, and if the money falls short, filing fees for litigants could be increased. To fund PACER in the future, federal agencies that use the system would pay fees. (Fix the Court press release, Law.com, Law360, Reason)

Texas law firm makes up pay cuts

A midsized Texas law firm, Munck Wilson Mandala, is making up pay lost to pay cuts that it implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm had already resumed normal pay. (Law360)

2nd Circuit judge, who was also first clerk for Justice Marshall, dies at 85

Judge Ralph K. Winter of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York has died at age 85. Winter, a former professor at the Yale Law School, was appointed to the appeals court by President Ronald Reagan. He was the first law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and a mentor to the founders of the Federalist Society, a conservative group. He took senior status at the 2nd Circuit in 2000. (2nd Circuit announcement via How Appealing, Yale Law School press release, Law360, Law.com)

New Jersey judge whose son was slain calls for privacy protection

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas of the District of New Jersey, whose son was killed by a gunman who came to their home, is calling for passage of a federal bill that would protect judges’ personally identifiable information from being sold by data brokers. The bill, named after her son, is the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act. “If Daniel’s death shows our country anything, it is that threats against federal judges are real, that they have dire consequences,” Salas wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. (The New York Times)