TLJ News from July 6-10, 2007

Rep. Baca Introduces Bill to Require Studies of Video Games

7/10. Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-KS), and Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY) introduced HR 2958 [LOC | WW], the "Children Protection from Video Game Violence and Sexual Content Act".

This bill would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) within 180 days to "evaluate and review the system employed by" the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to assign ratings to video games.

The bill would also require the FTC to include in this report its "opinion ... as to whether the ratings system results in the exposure to children of excessive violence and sexual content".

The bill would also require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) "conduct a study on the impact of video games on the mental stability and growth of children and young adults" within 180 days.

The bill was referred to the House Commerce Committee. None of the sponsors are members.

People and Appointments

7/10. First Data announced that Michael Cappellas will become its CEO, "following completion of the acquisition of the company by an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co." See, First Data release. He was CEO of MCI before its acquisition by Verizon. Prior to that he was CEO of Compaq Computer, and then President of Hewlett Packard, after HP acquired Compaq.

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7/10. The U.S. District Court (DC) issued an opinion [12 pages in PDF] in SEC v. Roberts, pertaining to venue in civil actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The defendant, Kent Roberts, is a former in house counsel for McAfee, a company that makes computer network security, anti-virus, and intrusion protection products. He worked in McAfee's Dallas, Texas, area offices. The Department of Justice (DOJ) brought a criminal case against him in the U.S. District Court (NDCal) in connection with his alleged backdating of stock options. The SEC brought a parallel civil action against him in the U.S. District Court (DC). He sought a change of venue for his civil action to the Northern District of California. The SEC opposed. The relevant section for the Exchange Act provides that venue lies where the defendant "transacts business". The only connection of this case to the District of Columbia is that the SEC has its headquarters in the District of Columbia, and that securities filings are made in the District of Columbia. The District Court granted his motion. This case is SEC v. Kent Roberts, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C. No. 07-407 (EGS), Judge Emmet Sullivan presiding.

Bershad Agrees to Cooperate with Prosecutors

7/9. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California announced in a release that David Bershad has agreed to plead guilty in a criminal action arising out of the payment of kickbacks to named plaintiffs in class action lawsuits filed by law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman (MWBS). See, full story.

People and Appointments

7/9. The Senate confirmed Liam O'Grady to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by a vote of 88-0. See, Roll Call No. 239.

7/9. The Senate confirmed Janet Neff to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan by a vote of 83-4. The votes against were cast by conservative Republicans. See, Roll Call No. 240.

7/9. The Senate confirmed Paul Maloney to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. See, Congressional Record, July 9, 2007, at Page S8881.

7/9. The Senate confirmed Robert Jonker to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. See, Congressional Record, July 9, 2007, at Page S8881.

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7/9. Google announced in a release that "it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Postini ... for $625 million in cash, subject to working capital and other adjustments, and Postini will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google". Google also stated that "Postini's services -- which include message security, archiving, encryption, and policy enforcement -- can be used to protect a company's email, instant messaging, and other web-based communications". Google added that this transaction "is expected to close by the end of the third quarter 2007".

6th Circuit Vacates in ACLU v. NSA for Lack of Standing

7/6. The U.S. Court of Appeals (6thCir) issued its divided opinion [PDF] in ACLU v. NSA. vacating the District Court's judgment enjoining the National Security Agency's (NSA) extrajudicial electronic intercepts where one party is within the U.S. and the other is outside. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs lacked standing, and hence, vacated the judgment of the District Court, and remanded with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. See, full story.

Go to News from July 1-5, 2007.