AFL may help cover Clarkson, Fagan legal fees

The AFL’s insurance system is expected to cover a large share of Alastair Clarkson, Chris Fagan and Jason Burt’s legal expenses for the inquiry into alleged mistreatment of First Nations players and their partners.

Sources familiar with the situation, who spoke anonymously to discuss sensitive information, said the AFL had a pool of well over $1 million available that could cover legal expenses for individuals, such as ex-Hawthorn coaches and officials Clarkson, Fagan and Burt.

Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan in 2015.

Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan in 2015.Credit:AFL Photos

It would also cover any other person, such as a former player, who incurred legal costs.

The pool is available through the AFL’s insurance set-up which covers each of the 18 clubs.

Under the complicated arrangement, the policy that will cover the fees in this instance is issued to Hawthorn.

Officials and club directors such as Clarkson, Fagan and Burt can apply to have their legal costs covered under the AFL’s insurance scheme, easing some of the financial pressures that officials face during an investigation or inquiry that requires expensive legal representation.

Clarkson, Fagan and Burt have the option of paying, out of their own pocket, more than the insured amount for legal costs. Clarkson has a team from Corrs Chambers Westgarth acting for him, while Fagan is represented by Clayton Utz and a Brisbane-based King’s Counsel. Burt is represented by solicitor Tony Hargreaves.

Clarkson, Fagan and Burt have strenuously denied the allegations and are putting forth their versions of events in the investigation, headed by a four-member panel chaired by Bernie Quinn, KC.

The AFL’s umbrella policy is understood not to cover the clubs that incur costs during an investigation. The league’s view is that the legal costs for individuals in an AFL investigation have to be covered to ensure that those who

Read the rest

Legal & General’s claim delays are adding to my trauma after brain surgery | Insurance

I am 35 with two young children. Seven months ago, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent emergency surgery. I made a claim on my Legal & General income protection policy as I was signed off work.

I have since undergone 33 sessions of radiotherapy, and two rounds of chemotherapy, all while trying to deal with Legal & General which is poor at replying to emails and providing updates. Every time my doctors provide requested information, it takes weeks to be assessed.

A small caveat is that, when I applied for the insurance six years ago, I ticked “no” to a question about whether I had received treatment or counselling for anxiety, depression or mental illness. I had, the previous year, received cognitive behaviour therapy for low mood, but did not think this applied.

I feel this, and the reason for my claim, are completely unrelated and that Legal & General is now trying to fish for a reason not to pay out.

My statutory sick pay ended last month, and I may be forced to return to work during treatment to pay the mortgage. Legal & General has now offered me £100 compensation for the delay, but implies a decision may still be weeks away.
CL, Witney, Oxfordshire

You have endured a horrifying few months and I’m so sorry. You are right. A course of CBT, which may seem a minor omission to you, is a major sticking point for an insurer. Mood swings can be an early sign of a brain tumour, but insurers have been known to have relied on completely unrelated conditions to avoid a payout. One reader was left over £30,000 out of pocket after being diagnosed with a kidney tumour while on holiday, because she’d failed to inform her insurer

Read the rest

Microsoft asks Sony to hand over legal details

Activision Blizzard case might get messy for Sony

Microsoft has subpoenaed Sony for legal information to bolster its attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard in a move which could force the console maker to reveal a lot of information it does not want disclosed.

Sony has been at the forefront of stopping Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard as it would bring Vole dangerously close to providing it with some competition. However, if Sony is forced to hand over legal information to Microsoft and the court it could end up telling the world its real legal plans, which might not paint it as the victim of the merger that it would like. 

The subpoena asks for Sony’s “production and a discovery schedule” which does not refer to PlayStation game production, rather to the Sony legal team’s work. Therefore, it is likely that Microsoft is looking for legal information to help build its case for acquiring Activision Blizzard.

 Sony has already filed an extension to the subpoena, which reads, “negotiations between SIE and Microsoft as to the scope of SIE’s production and a discovery schedule are ongoing.” The original subpoena was served on January 17, with a response deadline of January 20. Sony moved to extend the deadline by a week. Microsoft agreed to the extension. The document states Sony has until January 27 “to move, to limit or quash, or otherwise respond to the subpeona.”

In December, the Federal Trade Commission sued Microsoft over the pending merger. A recent report also stated that the EU is set to give the merger an anti-trust warning. Despite obstacles, Microsoft has continued to defend the deal, with CEO Satya Nadella saying it will create more competition in the video game industry.


Read the rest

Playing information roulette: using AI for legal compliance

Recent news stories about artificial intelligence and the revolutionary breakthroughs showcased by OpenAI’s ChatGPT made me curious as an employment lawyer: Can AI accurately answer legal questions and draft employment documents, like non-solicitation agreements? It cannot — at least not with consistent accuracy.

AI churns out confident-sounding, personalized answers but those answers often miss the mark. Here’s my experience so far. I went for broke on the first question. I asked the software to write an employee non-solicitation clause enforceable in New Hampshire. To my amazement, it wrote one.

Ai Screen Shot 1

Looks passable, right? It even includes buzz phrases like “directly or indirectly.” But looks are one thing; substantive compliance is another. Most problematically, the AI-generated clause impliedly includes all prospective and potential clients of the company, which is verboten in New Hampshire. While prohibiting solicitation of active prospects the employee was courting while employed with the company might fly, it is unlikely a New Hampshire court would enforce the broad language generated here. There are other issues of being too broadly written because the clause is not tailored to the legitimate needs of the company. The advice at the end about consulting legal counsel turns out to be good advice.

I next asked the software for the differences between Federal and New Hampshire tip pooling laws. Here’s the response:

Ai Screen Shot 2

Much of this is either misleading or wrong. For example, it’s misleading because it says the “employer is not allowed to keep any portion of the tip pool” but doesn’t explain that the term “employer” includes “managers” and “supervisors.” It also totally fumbled New Hampshire law. In New Hampshire, employers cannot require employees to participate in tip pools. NH RSA 279:26-b requires that any tip pooling or tip sharing must be completely voluntary and without coercion.

Changing the search inputs generates

Read the rest

How much are judges using Wikipedia?

Judges are utilizing Wikipedia, the free, volunteer-driven online encyclopedia, to help inform their decisions, according to a study released Thursday. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Cornell University, and Maynooth University in Ireland came to that conclusion after conducting a randomized field experiment that analyzed the impact of Wikipedia articles on the Irish legal system.

“To our knowledge, this is the first randomized field experiment that investigates the influence of legal sources on judicial behavior,” said the paper’s lead author, MIT researcher Neil Thompson, in a press release. “And because randomized experiments are the gold standard for this type of research, we know the effect we are seeing is causation, not just correlation.”

Thompson previously studied how scientific articles on Wikipedia influenced academic literature on the subject. His work caught the eye of Brian McKenzie, an associate professor at Maynooth University, who suggested to Thompson that they conduct a similar study on judicial influence. The researchers ultimately decided to focus on the Irish legal system, which shares a similar structure to that of the US, with higher and lower courts. However, the Irish legal system has a much smaller footprint of Wikipedia articles about key cases, like decisions from the Supreme Court. So, the team enlisted law students to develop more than 150 new Wikipedia articles on Irish Supreme Court decisions. Those writings were split into two groups: one set of articles was published on Wikipedia, while the other was kept offline to serve as a control for the experiment.

[Related: Meta thinks its new AI tool can make Wikipedia more accurate]

The researcher’s key questions were whether the cases documented on Wikipedia would be cited more as precedents in more recent judicial decisions and whether they could see the “thumbprint” of the language their

Read the rest