Solar Fraud? SolarCity Settles with the Feds Over Tax Fraud Investigation

On Friday, September 22, powerhouse solar company SolarCity entered into a $29.5 million settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to end its joint investigation with the Treasury Department into allegations of SolarCity’s financial misrepresentations related to its participation in an economic stimulus program following the 2008 recession. From 2009 through 2016, a program under

So Sweet, So What?: Ninth Circuit Denies SSB Warning and Scientific Research

Some people like starting off their morning with a cup of coffee; later in the day, they may transition to sweetened waters or energy drinks, or maybe pair dinner with a soda, and then finally unwind with a cup of tea before bed. What many people do not realize is that the calories go down

Can Government Lawsuits against Requesters of Public Records be Written Off as “Frivolous Litigation?”

Just how far will state agencies go to prevent disclosure of public records? The latest technique adopted by governments have been to file suit against those submitting a public record request. Indeed, these agencies would rather see requesters in court, than accept or deny their requests. Generally, the lawsuits identify requesters as defendants, and assert

California Water Fix: Large infrastructure changes ignore the fundamental problems

California has a water problem and it is not limited to the drought. Recent trends relating to climate change have exposed a greater issue related not only to quantity of water available, but the infrastructure upon which the state relies to deliver the resource to its population. Not only is water availability a necessity for

Are Internet Companies Growing too Big?

Antitrust concerns targeting large internet companies are growing. Earlier this year, the European Union fined Google a record $2.7 billion for favoring its own services in search results. Popular YouTuber Dave Rubin and others have been speculating whether Google is manipulating which content gets “monetized” in YouTube based on Google’s own political leanings. Amazon’s $13.7

Paul Manafort and FISA Surveillance: Where Do Things Stand Now?

News broke last week that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was the subject of FISA surveillance for the second time, namely during late 2016 and early 2017 (the first time was in 2014 and related to Manafort’s work in Ukraine). What is significant about this is that Manafort, during this time, was known to

When Your Password is Your Mugshot: Constitutional Implications of Apple FaceID

What if the only thing required for law enforcement to gain entry into your cellphone was that it be held in front of your face? At a recent keynote event, a few months after the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone, Apple unveiled its new iPhone X. The redesigned smartphone stands out with its large,

Client Confidentiality Threatened at the Border

In Riley v. California, the Supreme Court held that police must generally obtain a warrant before searching a cell phone, absent exigent circumstances. This ruling allowed smartphone users to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the vast amounts of data that they have stored on their phones is protected by law. However, people may

Autonomous Vehicles in North Carolina – Buyer Beware?

The future of vehicles continues to drive toward full-automation and in 2017, North Carolina moved to establish itself as a state in which this technology can be used. In July, the General Assembly enacted a new Article 18 in Chapter 20 to regulate the operation of fully autonomous vehicles. The law provides that a “fully