Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
Feb. 22, 2001, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 129.
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Nominations
2/21. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Brenda Becker to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Legislative Affairs. She is presently the VP of Congressional Communications for Blue Cross Blue Shield Associates. See, release.
2/21. President Bush announced his intent to nominate David Aufhauser to be General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury. He is currently a partner with the law firm of Williams & Connolly in Washington DC. Aufhauser worked for the Bush election team during the Florida election dispute, where he monitored overseas ballots. See, release.
2/21. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Maria Cino to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service. She currently works for the Republican National Committee. Previously, she worked as National Political Director for the Bush for President Campaign. She also worked as a lobbyist at the Washington DC law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding; 1998 lobby disclosure reports list INTELSAT and the PCIA as clients. She also worked for four years as the Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee and as Chief of Staff for former Rep. Bill Paxon (R-NY); she assisted in organizing the Republican takeover of the House in the 1994 elections.
Tristani
2/21. FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani gave a speech in Washington DC to the National Congress of American Indians on telephone and Internet services in Indian areas. She stated that "The digital divide persists for America's minorities, for people with disabilities, for low-income individuals and for those in rural communities." The Albuquerque Tribune reported in a Feb. 8 story that "Tristani said she is seriously considering running for office in 2002, but is deciding between the Senate, the governorship or Rep. Heather Wilson's 1st District House seat. Tristani's term at the FCC is not up until 2003, but she said she plans to return to New Mexico by the end of the year because she cannot campaign while holding her commissioner's job."
New Documents
Tristani: speech re phone and Internet access in Indian country, 2/21 (HTML, FCC).
Milberg: complaint against Emulex, 2/21 (PDF, Milberg).
Milberg: complaint against Northpoint employees, 2/21 (PDF, Milberg).
Milberg: complaint against NICE Systems, 2/20 (PDF, Milberg).
Updated Sections
Calendar (updated daily).
News from Around the Web (updated daily).
Summary of Bristol v. Microsoft (updated).
MSFT & Bristol Settle
2/21. Bristol Technology and Microsoft announced an agreement to settle Bristol's antitrust and related claims against Microsoft. Microsoft stated in a release that "The terms of the settlement are confidential, but the claims of both parties are dismissed with prejudice." Bristol issued an identical release. Bristol filed a 14 count complaint against Microsoft on August 18, 1998 in which it pled a variety of federal and state antitrust, unfair trade practices, and common law theories. On July 16, 1999, the jury ruled for Microsoft on all counts, except one alleging violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, for which it awarded a token $1 in compensatory damages. However, U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall (DConn) sought a different outcome. On Aug. 31, 2000, she released a scathing 103 page ruling in which she awarded Bristol Technologies $1 Million in punitive damages against Microsoft, based on the $1 jury award. In addition to the punitive damages, she enjoined Microsoft from publishing or distributing its WISE Mission Statement. See also, Bristol release of Sept. 1, 2000, and TLJ summary of Bristol v. Microsoft.
Securities Class Actions
2/20. An individual named Roni Nigri filed a complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (CDCal) against Emulex and eight of its officers and directors alleging violation of federal securities laws. The plaintiff, who is represented by the law firm of Milberg Weiss and other law firms, seeks class action status. Count I alleges violation of  10b of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder (fraud). Count II alleges violation of  20 of the Act by Emulex, CEO Paul Folino and CFO Rockenbach (controlling person liability). Emulex (NASDAQ: EMLX) makes Fibre Channel host adapters, hubs, ASICs and software products that provide connectivity solutions for Fibre Channel storage area networks (SAN), network attached storage (NAS) and RAID. Milberg Weiss is a law firm that specializes in bringing class action securities suits against tech companies when their stock prices drop.
2/21. An individual named Frank Blumenthal filed a complaint [PDF] in U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Michael Glinsky and Elizabeth Fetter alleging violation of federal securities laws. Both defendants were employees of NorthPoint Communications. Plaintiff, who is represented by the law firm of Milberg Weiss and other firms, seeks class action status. NorthPoint is a DSL service provider. It filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Bankruptcy Court (NDCal) on Jan. 16, 2001. It was delisted by NASDAQ on Feb. 8, 2001.
2/20. Several class action securities law suits have been filed against NICE Systems. See, for example, complaint [PDF] filed in the U.S. District Court (DNJ) on Feb. 20 by the law firm of Milberg Weiss. Nice Systems (NASDAQ: NICE) is based in Ra'anana, Israel; it has subsidiaries and offices in several other countries, including the U.S. It provides multimedia digital recording applications and related services for business interaction management.
More News
2/21. The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice submitted a comment to the FCC regarding its proceeding on Verizon's Section 271 application to provide long distance service in the state of Massachusetts. It advised that "Verizon had not yet shown clearly that it was providing nondiscriminatory access to DSL lines." See, DOJ release. Mark Cooper, Director of Research of the Consumer Federation of America praised the DOJ: "Justice has taken the first step in restoring discipline to the approval process that was developed so carefully in the New York proceeding."
2/21. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DC Cir) heard oral argument in MCI WorldCom v. FCC. This is a Petition for Review of an FCC's Advanced Services Order on Remand [MS Word] concerning application of Section 251 to DSL service. The FCC ruled that DSL service provided by US West, an ILEC, is "exchange access" or "telephone exchange service". Every major telecom company intervened, including US West, SBC, Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), GTE, AT&T, Focal, and the Telecommunications Retailers Assoc. See, TLJ Case Summary.
Law Firm Merger
2/21. The law firms Sidley & Austin and Brown & Wood stated that they are in discussions about a possible merger. A combination would create a firm of more than 1300 lawyers. Any combination would likely take place in the second quarter of 2001. See, SA release and BW release.
Today
9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission will hold a meeting. The only item on the agenda is reports from the eight bureau and office chiefs. Location: Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the FCC in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding implementation of the Children's Internet Protection Act [PDF]. This statute provides that in order to be eligible to receive FCC e-rate subsidies, schools and libraries that have computers with Internet access must have in place certain Internet safety policies, such as the use porn filtering software. See, Federal Register, Jan. 31, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 21, at Pages 8374 - 8377.
Deadline to file comments with the FCC in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding reallocation of spectrum for use by Third Generation (3G) wireless services. 3G is intended to provide broadband Internet access to portable devices. See, Federal Register, Jan. 23, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 15, Pages 7438 - 7443. ET Docket No. 00-258.
9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 5: 5GHz, 13.75-14 GHz and Maritime Issues will hold a meeting. Location: PanAmSat, 1133 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 675, Washington DC. See, notice of meeting.
People
2/20. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (NDCal) returned an indictment [PDF] of Roby Matheny for five counts of tax evasion and filing false tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7201 and 7206(1). The indictment states that Matheny is the President and owner of 100% of the stock of MSIS Semiconductor, Inc. in San Jose, Calif. He is alleged to have evaded the payment of $450,000 in taxes owed by him for the years 1994 and 1995 by failing to report over $1.5 Million in income. See, USAO release.
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