05 23 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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NBLSA logo

The National Black Law Students Association is holding their 47th annual convention at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower and Oregon Convention Center from March 11-15.

The student association, which is the largest student-run organization in the country, promotes the professional needs of Black law students while increasing awareness of the legal needs of the Black community.

The meeting provides an opportunity for law students to engage in panel discussions with attorneys and discuss legal issues, compete in mock trials and participate in a community service project with Lewis & Clark Law School.

Guest speakers include: Erious Johnson Jr., Oregon Department of Justice Civil Rights Director; Jason Barnwell, an attorney covering legal and corporate affairs for Microsoft; Angela Briggs, a litigation manager at Hewlett-Packard and Theresa Cropper, the Chief Diversity Officer for the firm Perkins Coie LLP.

Kim Brimm the NBLSA public relations national director said this convention is unusual because it is financed and run completely by law students. This gives students the ability to interact with attorneys and potential employers in a relaxed environment.

Brimm also said the meeting brings the study of law out of the classroom and into a real-world environment.

“(The) Convention gives students an opportunity to pick up skills and information they may not learn in the classroom,” Brimm said. “We invite lawyers with real world experience in emerging areas of law to talk to students.”

Workshops include discussions on environmental law, transactional law, pursuing a job within government and navigating the world of corporate finance.

There will be a national advocacy discussion on excessive force and the militarization of police tactics, touching on the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Professor Jody David Armour, who studies the intersection of race and legal decision making, and Bryan Pendleton, a long-time member of the San Diego Black Police Officers Association and others will lead the discussion.

Members of public who wish to attend any session, luncheon or award gala may purchase tickets either online or onsite at the Hilton Portland. Click here to see a full list of convention events.

Attendees will also be able to participate in a community service project during the convention. Lewis & Clark Law School and St. Andrew Nativity School have partnered with NBLSA to host a day of mentoring.

Law students will be paired with students from low-income backgrounds to write a personal statement, complete a legal writing exercise and go on a campus tour. Brimm said this guidance will help these young students “get a glimpse of the law school life.”

The event hosts a series of legal competitions such as the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition, the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition and the Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition.

These competitions promote academic excellence through critical thinking, oral advocacy, negotiation skills and trial preparedness. For the Thurgood Marshall mock trial, hundreds of competitors have been competing in regional trials with the hope of becoming one of the top three teams.

As NBLSA is nearing its 50th anniversary year, the event focuses on honing the talent of the next-generation, socially conscious Black attorneys in the American legal system.

Halimah Najieb-Locke, national chair of NBLSA, said the convention is an opportunity to both honor the past and look to the future.

“We gather in Portland to celebrate our rich history and to equip ourselves and our peers with the tools to serve our communities,” Najieb-Locke said.

 

To see the full convention schedule, click here.

To learn more about the NBLSA, click here.

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