Former Trump inaugural chairman Tom Barrack's bond set at $250 million by federal judge

Inaugural Committee chairman Tom Barrack

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A federal judge set the bond for Tom Barrack, a prominent financier and former ally of former President Donald Trump, at $250 million during a Friday hearing. 

US Magistrate Judge Patricia Donahue stipulated that Barrack must wear an ankle bracelet and cannot spend more than $50,000 at a time as conditions of this bond. The hearing follows Barrack’s Tuesday arrest by federal agents in California.  


Earlier this week, federal prosecutors charged Barrack and two co-defendants, Matthew Grimes and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, with one count of acting as an unregistered foreign agent and one count of conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent each. 

Barrack was also charged with one count of obstruction of justice and four counts of lying to the FBI. 

Barrack and Matthew Grimes are set to appear in federal court in Brooklyn, where they are charged, to enter their pleas at noon on Monday. 

“Mr. Barrack has made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset,” a representative for Barrack told Insider upon his arrest. “He is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty.”

Read more: 3 things to know about Tom Barrack, the real-estate titan and Trump associate charged with illegal lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates

Barrack made his name as a successful commercial real estate investor and executive chairman of Colony Capital. He first became friends with Trump through the real estate business in the mid-1980s, and went on to serve as the chairman of Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee. He is the eighth former official in the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, transition, and administration to be indicted on federal charges. 

Barrack is accused of violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, by lobbying on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. Prosecutors say Barrack and the co-defendants used Barrack’s high-level connections to heavily lobby on behalf of the UAE without properly registering themselves as foreign agents with the Department of Justice. 

“The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected President, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko of the DOJ’s National Security Division said in a news release. 

Alshahhi, a UAE national, is currently at large and has not yet appeared in court. 

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Activision Blizzard influencers are turning their backs on the video game giant after a bombshell lawsuit

The entrance to the Activision Blizzard Inc. campus is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., August 6, 2019.   REUTERS/Mike Blake

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After a bombshell lawsuit was filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against video game company Activision Blizzard on Tuesday, influencer partners are reeling. 

Blizzard was founded in 1991 and has created some of the most popular franchises in video game lore, like “Warcraft,” “Starcraft,” and “Diablo.” The company and its work have attained legendary status in the video game world.

But Tuesday’s lawsuit alleged that the company engaged in unfair workplace practices, discriminated against female employees, and failed to take proper disciplinary action against bad actors. 

Even more shocking were claims that a former member of senior management would “hit on female employees” in a room dubbed the “Cosby room” after alleged rapist Bill Cosby, and the claim that a female employee “committed suicide while on a company trip due to a sexual relationship she had been having with her male supervisor.” 

Four influencers spoke to Insider about how the lawsuit has impacted them.  

A fervent community of Blizzard fans and influencers is struggling to come to terms with the allegations in the suit  

Blizzard has a fan base unlike many other major gaming companies, who have dedicated their entire fandoms and bits of their personalities to the games they play. “World of Warcraft” (WoW), the company’s massively multiplayer title, has over 4.4 million players daily and their shooter “Overwatch” generated over $1 billion since its 2016 release, according to SuperData. The company’s yearly BlizzCon convention has drawn in tens of thousands of attendees since its launch in 2015.  

Additionally, a world of influencers that dedicate themselves and their communities to Blizzard’s titles has quickly grown on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and other platforms. Some are having to come to terms with choosing between their livelihood and content in the wake of the lawsuit news. 

Twitch streamer Asmongold, who has 2.3 million followers, commented in a Twitter video that many Blizzard streamers specialize in a single video game. “They go to another game, their stream is going to be f—- dead.” 


“Blizzard will take a hit for this,” Twitch streamer Halie Atisuto told Insider. “Hopefully they learn, grow, and build something better from what’s left. But they aren’t looking so hot right now.”

Atisuto paints on her Twitch channel with over 100,000 followers and has collaborated with Blizzard on projects in 2018 and 2019, painting characters from the “Overwatch” franchise at the company’s headquarters, with plans to collaborate again once the game’s sequel is released.

Now, Atisuto says, those plans are on shaky ground.

“Not only as a person who is firm with morals, but someone who has experienced similar treatment with people equally desensitized to my problems, I don’t see it happening as it feels wrong,” Suto said. 

Anthony Travino, who streams Blizzard’s card game “Hearthstone” as Ant to his 22,000 Twitch followers, says he’s done working with the company. Travino has been playing professionally and streaming the title since 2016 and told Insider he wouldn’t work with Blizzard again until “something is done.” He claims to have experienced the company’s “frat boy culture,” a characterization used in the lawsuit firsthand. Travino said he had his first sip of alcohol at a 2017 event in Shanghai and that “most of the times that I’ve been drunk in my adult life were at Blizzard events.” 

“It’s appalling and honestly not surprising,” Travino said about the claims in the lawsuit. “I’m not exactly very well off so I would have to choose between my morals or paying the bills, I can’t imagine what women who work at Blizzard have to go through.” 


Brian Kibler, one of the most popular content creators focusing on Blizzard’s “Hearthstone” title has over 470,000 followers on Twitch and has been outspoken in the past about Blizzard’s controversies. 

“I wish I could say I was surprised to hear the stories of some of the women who have been brave enough to speak up, but I understand that this kind of culture has long been pervasive not just at Blizzard, or in the gaming industry, but wherever groups of men have largely unchecked authority,” Kibler told Insider. 

He told Insider he has “taken a hiatus” from playing Blizzard titles but he “expects to come back.”

Another personality, Malik Forte, had been working with the company on multiple events since 2014, including hosting the Overwatch League and BlizzCon All Access stream show. Forte, who is black, cut ties with the company in 2020 and told Insider that he had “run-ins with racist rhetoric often” but “the amount of times I found myself coming to bat for women co-workers when men would display sexist behavior towards them was exponentially more.” 

While hosting the 2018 Overwatch League season, Twitch chatters would spam the “Trihard” emote of a black man whenever he was on screen, causing Forte to publicly call out the action as “racially insensitive.” 


“It was traumatic reading those court documents, yet not surprising,” Forte said. “I’ve definitely heard accounts from many women that match the claims.” 

Sexism in the video game industry isn’t unique to Activision Blizzard

Though the Anaheim-based developer is receiving a lion’s share of the current internet discourse and criticism, it isn’t unique in the video game industry. Claims of sexism in the field are endemic. 

Certain game developers have received some of the reckoning. In 2018, Kotaku published a groundbreaking investigation revealing claims of misogyny and sexism at Riot Games. In February 2021, CEO of Riot Games Nicolò Laurent was investigated by his own company after a lawsuit from a former executive assistant claimed she was subject to sexual harassment. The company later cleared him of wrongdoing.

In 2020, Bloomberg and French newspaper Liberation reported that Ubisoft executives would host business meetings in strip clubs and that women employees were told by their managers to “smile more” and made inappropriate comments about their bodies. It also claimed that reports to HR were commonly ignored. After the stories were released, three executives including the head of HR stepped down from their roles in the company. 

Blizzard did not return a request for comment but they called some allegations “distorted” in a lengthy statement to other journalists. 

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First-year lawyers now make over $200,000, 7% more than three years ago. But their hourly fees have grown twice as fast, to $665 an hour.

A white person, sitting at a desk with only their torso and arms visible, uses a calculator next to a stack of bills and paperwork.

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Dozens of elite US law firms recently raised salaries for entry-level lawyers to over $200,000, the first industrywide raises in three years. But the rates firms charge for those lawyers’ work have increased even more.

Between salary increases and seasonal bonuses, total pay for a first-year associate at a firm like Paul Weiss, Kirkland & Ellis, or Simpson Thacher could be as high as $227,000 this year. That’s about 7% more than the $212,500 first-years made last year.

But hourly billing rates for first-year associates at such firms have risen even faster. A typical first-year associate at a firm like Simpson or Kirkland billed $665 an hour this year, according to Bodhala, which provides legal-rate benchmarking services for corporations.

That’s nearly 17% higher than $570, the going first-year billing rate three years ago. Bodhala said it couldn’t share the exact rates charged by specific firms.

Rates charged by firms with lower average hourly rates didn’t grow as fast, but the change was still significant, about 15 or 16%, the company’s data showed. Meanwhile, young lawyers aren’t working any less.

“We have not seen an appreciable decrease in first-year hours, including in the pandemic,” Bill Josten, a legal-industry analyst at Thomson Reuters, said. For the past several years, associates have been working an average of about 135 billable hours a month, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared with about 120 billable hours for equity partners.

When workplaces shifted to become fully remote at the start of the pandemic, and the stock market went into free fall, many law-firm associates were just happy to have a job.

But as deal flow came roaring back, and companies pushed forward with their mergers and acquisitions and offering plans, young lawyers — particularly those in transactional practices — worked long hours. Many now feel burned out, and others have hopped jobs to take advantage of generous signing bonuses.

Veterans say that the gap between billable rates and compensation isn’t necessarily what it may seem. Young lawyers typically generate profits for their partners, but some clients, like Bayer AG, won’t pay for the work of first-year associates at all. About 20% of 366 in-house legal departments said in a 2011 survey they followed a similar policy.

Even when that’s not the case, law firms often don’t charge clients for all the time worked by their first-years because they’re learning as they go, said Robert Hirshon, who teaches a course on the legal industry at the University of Michigan Law School.

“What they’re actually billing is substantially less than what their rates suggest they’d be billing,” Hirshon said. 

To be sure, billing-rate and compensation changes have been far from universal. Only about 85 law firms have raised base salaries for first-year lawyers to $205,000, a number that doesn’t include bonuses, according to the blog Above the Law.

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Meet the 9 top lawyers suing governments and energy companies like Exxon over the climate crisis

black and white headshots of Matt Edling, Tessa Khan, and Maura Healy against an orange-yellow-green gradient background with gavel and globe icons

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From coastal cities preparing for sea-level rise to mountain counties in Colorado, states and municipalities are suing big fossil-fuel-energy companies as they brace for the multibillion-dollar costs tied to the climate crisis.

The majority of lawsuits allege that fossil-fuel companies are responsible for the damage caused by the climate crisis and should help pay for it. It’s a series of lawsuits that could have far-reaching consequences, similar to the litigation against tobacco companies that resulted in a $206 billion price tag and widespread reform.

The pace of litigation involving the climate crisis has been ramping up in recent years, with a handful of attorneys leading the charge on the most prominent cases. 

In 2017, there were 654 active cases involving the climate crisis in the US. These include a wide variety of litigation, from those seeking damages from fossil-fuel companies to some claims against the government under the Endangered Species Act. By 2020, there were 1,200 cases, according to a recent litigation report from the United Nations Environment Programme and Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. 

In some of the most high-profile cases, states and cities are suing oil companies, alleging deceptive marketing practices. These cases have largely become mired in procedural issues, with lawyers fighting over whether they should be heard in state or federal courts.

While the specifics vary, the lawsuits are generally about who will have to front the monumental costs associated with the climate crisis.

“People are asking the courts to give them a remedy in light of that reality,” Karen Sokol, a professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, said. “We haven’t had much climate in the courts, but this is our new reality.”

So far, six attorneys general and more than a dozen of cities and counties have brought lawsuits against fossil-fuel companies. They’ve been aided by a handful of nonprofit organizations and law firms — with the most prominent being San Francisco’s Sher Edling, which is involved in lawsuits from several states and municipalities. The fossil-fuel companies have been represented by Big Law firms including Paul Weiss and Gibson Dunn.

Insider put together a list of the top lawyers leading the fight against big oil companies and governments, according to industry insiders and experts.

Vic Sher and Matt Edling

A headshot of lawyer Matt Edling

Vic Sher and Matt Edling, the partners and cofounders of Sher Edling, are leading the way for climate-crisis-accountability lawsuits in the US, according to industry insiders.

The San Francisco lawyers are assisting four attorneys general in lawsuits against fossil-fuel-energy companies and have lent their expertise to nearly a dozen cities and counties.

Many of Sher and Edling’s cases have been delayed by procedural arguments over whether the cases should be heard in federal or state court. Oil companies have been pushing for the cases to be heard in federal court, saying that worldwide emissions should not be litigated in state courts under different state laws.

A headshot of lawyer Vic Sher

In January, Sher argued on behalf of the city of Baltimore that the allegations of “fraud, deception, denial, and disinformation” fell under state law and should be heard in state courts.

“From coast to coast, states and communities are suffering the consequences of the fossil fuel industry’s deceit and disinformation, and that’s why they’ve gone to court — to protect their residents, consumers, and taxpayers,” Sher and Edling said in a statement.

Maura Healey

MA Attorney General Maura Healey standing at a podium

Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts came into the spotlight in October 2019, when she filed a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, alleging that the oil and gas company deceived Massachusetts’ investors and consumers about the effects of fossil fuels on the environment and the threat the climate crisis posed to the value of its business.

Healey accused the company of positioning itself as a leader in clean energy with misleading “greenwashing” campaigns to sell its products.

The state’s lawsuit was the first to allege harm to both consumers and investors, a twist in the emerging legal area of climate-emergency litigation. Healey said her goal was to “stop this illegal deception and hold Exxon accountable for its lies.”

Exxon has denied the claims and attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed, though a state judge recently rejected the effort.

Keith Ellison

Headshot of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

Attorney General Keith Ellison of Minnesota sued Exxon, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute in June 2020, alleging a decades-long campaign of fraud and deception. Ellison’s lawsuit said that the effects of the climate crisis would “disproportionately impact people living in poverty and people of color.” 

But Minnesota’s lawsuit stands out because it didn’t just target oil and gas companies, according to Sokol, the environmental-law expert. The lawsuit seeks to hold the American Petroleum Institute responsible for its role in climate-crisis messaging over the years. Sokol said API served as “nerve central” that directed a lot of the industry’s work over the past decades. 

“They had a duty to warn the public that they knew fossil fuels were harming Minnesota’s economy, infrastructure, and environment, but they lied about it instead, all for the sake of their own profit,” Ellison said in a statement. 

The lawsuit is held up by procedural arguments over where it will be heard. The defendants said in court documents the lawsuit was part of a plan by plaintiff’s attorneys, climate activists, and special interests to force a political and regulatory agenda.

Marco Simons 

Headshot of lawyer Marco Simons

Marco Simons, the general counsel for the nonprofit EarthRights International, is helping represent Colorado’s Boulder County, San Miguel County, and the city of Boulder in a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil and Suncor Energy.

The lawsuit, filed in 2018, was the first climate-crisis-accountability suit to be brought by communities not on the coast. These mountain communities — which are also being represented by Niskanen Center and the Hannon Law Firm — face unique challenges because of the climate emergency, including reduced snowpack, which would affect cities’ water supply, and droughts. 

Simons, who has worked on other climate-related lawsuits, said these cases were not about regulating emissions moving forward, which would fall on policymakers. But he said the courts did have a role to play, which is to compensate people who have been harmed. 

Exxon and Suncor have denied the allegations, writing in court documents that the plaintiffs are attempting to hold them liable for the “lawful production, promotion, refining, marketing and sales of fossil fuels.”

Sara Gross 

Of the roughly couple dozen climate-crisis lawsuits in the US seeking damages from energy companies, perhaps none have gotten more attention than a lawsuit brought in 2018 by Baltimore against BP. The city alleges that the company spent years deceiving people about the harm fossil fuels could do — especially to coastal communities like Baltimore.

Sara Gross, the chief of Baltimore’s affirmative-litigation division, is leading the city’s lawsuit against 26 oil and gas companies. Sher Edling is also serving as outside counsel in this lawsuit, which was filed in 2018.

Gross said these actions had been particularly detrimental “to low income Baltimoreans, who bear the effects of climate change disproportionately.” The case, like many others, is still working through procedural arguments over where it will be heard. 

Julia Olson

Julia Olson

Another high-profile climate-crisis lawsuit is Juliana v. United States. It began in 2015 when 21 children sued the US government, alleging its actions have caused the climate emergency and subsequently violated their constitutional rights.

In court documents, the government’s lawyers have said the plaintiffs don’t have standing to bring this lawsuit and that it should be dismissed.

The case has been led by Julia Olson, the executive director and chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust, which she started in 2010 to lead legal campaigns for young people against governments throughout the world.

She said she had seen much more appetite in recent years to use the courts — which she views as a “vital player” — to battle the climate crisis. But there have still been frustrating delays, she said. Six years in, the plaintiffs have not been able to make their case in court, as they are awaiting a judge’s ruling after filing a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, she said.

“We’re in an emergency,” Olson said. “This should be a wartime effort that every company and government and person on the planet with capacity is working toward eliminating fossil-fuel production.”

Tessa Khan 

A headshot of Tessa Khan

Ambitious climate lawsuits outside the US have generally been more successful. Tessa Khan is a member of Urgenda Foundation’s legal team and a codirector of the Climate Litigation Network.

Urgenda filed a lawsuit in 2013 with about 850 plaintiffs that ended six years later, when the supreme court of the Netherlands upheld a ruling that the country had to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by 25% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.

Roger Cox

Roger Cox makes a statement after a recent ruling against Shell

In perhaps the most consequential climate-crisis court case to date, a Dutch court ruled in 2021 that Royal Dutch Shell had to cut its emissions by 45% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels.

Roger Cox, a lawyer for Friends of the Earth Netherlands, which brought the suit against Royal Dutch Shell, said the ruling marked a “turning point in history,” according to The Guardian. Shell, headquartered in The Hague said on July 20 that it would appeal the ruling, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Giant inflatable rats used by labor unions are constitutionally protected free speech, labor board rules

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Labor unions have a constitutionally protected right to protest using giant inflatable rodents, a federal board ruled Wednesday.

“Scabby the Rat,” as it is known, has became a staple of labor protests in the United States, often rolled out when a company has decided to hire non-union contractors. The menacing inflatables were first deployed in 1990 by a bricklayers union in Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune. Some have been as tall as 25 feet.

In this case, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, headquartered just outside Chicago, had brought a 12-foot “rat” along with it to a trade show for recreational vehicles. The target was Lippert Components, which supplied parts for another firm, MacAllister Machinery, that the union accused of engaging in unfair labor practices.

Under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, unions are generally prohibited from engaging in secondary boycotts, or seeking to intimidate so-called “neutral” companies that are not the direct target of their dispute. The question considered by the National Labor Relations Board — an independent federal agency whose members are appointed to five-year terms by the president — was where to draw the line between legal speech and illicit intimidation.

The Trump administration had sided against labor, submitting a legal brief maintaining that the giant rats were “glaring in character and size and an unmistakable symbol of contempt,” their “red eyes, fangs, and claws” constituting a threat, not constitutionally protected expression. The ACLU, in turn, argued that the First Amendment was at stake, arguing that the previous administration was “attempting to exterminate Scabby because he is a labor symbol.”

Ultimately, even those members of the NLRB who were appointed by former President Donald Trump sided with the ACLU and organized labor.

In her opinion, NLRB Chairman Lauren M. McFerran, a Democrat and appointee of President Joe Biden, wrote that courts “have consistently deemed banners and inflatable rats to fall within the realm of protected speech, rather than that of intimidation and the like.”

The NLRB’s three other members, all Republicans, likewise agreed that while federal labor law limits activities targeting a “neutral” employer, it does not override the Constitution and its protections for free speech.

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Leading Democrats oppose Biden plan to end house arrest and potentially return inmates to prison after the pandemic

In this Feb. 18, 2020, file photo, prisoners stand outside the federal correctional institution in Englewood, Colo.

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Two leading Senate Democrats are urging the White House to reconsider a legal opinion that could potentially return thousands of people to a federal prison.

At issue is a pandemic-era policy, approved by Congress, that allowed the federal government to release inmates who were deemed to have especially serious health issues putting them at heightened risk from the spread of COVID-19 behind bars. Those prisoners — 28,587 since March 2020 — were allowed to serve out the remainder of their sentences under house arrest.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that the Biden administration had concluded, like its predecessor, that the authority to transfer prisoners to home confinement would expire once the federal government lifts the state of emergency declared due to the pandemic.

There are currently 7,225 federal inmates in home confinement, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday that there is no reason to return those people to prison.

Since being released, those now in home confinement “have posed no threat, and are already reintegrating into society, reconnecting with their families, and contributing to our economy,” he said in a statement.

Durbin urged the administration to other reconsider its legal analysis or use other tools, “like compassionate release and clemency,” to ensure that no one is returned to prison.

Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey and leading advocate in the upper chamber for criminal justice reform, said he was “deeply troubled” by the Biden administration’s interpretation of the law.

“The Trump-era’s Office of Legal Counsel opinion that will require incarcerated individuals return to prison once the public health emergency ends serves no public health purpose,” he said in a statement, “and only works to unnecessarily incarcerate people who have succeeded in re-entering society.”

In April, Durbin and Booker sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland arguing that Congress never intended to rescind home confinement. They say have not heard back.

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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A federal judge gave Indiana University the green light to move forward with its COVID-19 vaccination requirement, potentially setting the tone for other colleges and universities in the US

Fourth-year medical student Anna Roesler administers the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Indiana University Health, Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., December 16, 2020.

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A federal judge ruled that Indiana University could keep its policy requiring students to get COVID-19 vaccinations before returning to campus in the fall. 

Judge Damon Leichty denied the motion for a preliminary injunction request by eight students who sued the university over the policy in June. 

Students and staff can only be exempt from getting the vaccine if they’re completely online or qualify for a religious, ethical, or medical exemption, the University’s policy said.

Those who qualify for an exemption would have to wear masks, and quarantine in case of an outbreak. Those who don’t qualify for an exemption can have their classes canceled. 

The New York Times reported that about 400 campuses across the country are requiring vaccinations against COVID-19.

In their lawsuit, the students argued the policy violates state law and “the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which includes rights of personal autonomy and bodily integrity, and the right to reject medical treatment.”

The complaint had a list of reasons why the students opposed the vaccine, including the lack of knowledge on its long-term impact. The complaint also compared the vaccination requirement to the infamous decades-long Tuskegee experiment, where scientists monitored Black men with syphilis but never treated them.

“The university isn’t forcing the students to undergo injections. The situation here is a far cry from past blunders in medical ethics like the Tuskegee Study,” Leichty, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote in his ruling. 

They also opposed the measures put in place for those unvaccinated. 

In his ruling, Leichty wrote: “the students aren’t being forced to take the vaccination against their will; they can go to college elsewhere or forego college altogether. If this case were merely that, merely the right to attend university, this state action wouldn’t trample on their rights. There is no fundamental or constitutional right to a college education, much less one at a particular institution.”

James Bopp Jr., an attorney for the eight students, said they plan to appeal the ruling. 

“Today’s ruling does not end the students’ fight—we plan to immediately appeal the judge’s decision,” James Bopp said in a statement. “In addition, we plan on asking the judge to put a hold on IU’s Mandate pending that appeal. We are confident the court of appeals will agree that the Mandate should be put on hold.”

IU did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication but told CNN: “We appreciate the quick and thorough ruling which allows us to focus on a full and safe return. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our campuses for the fall semester.”


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Who to know when you're launching a family office

Todd Angkatavanich, Natasha Pearl, Bill Bjiesse, and Lisa Featherngill on a pink background.

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Whether they’re rags-to-riches entrepreneurs or old-money heirs, many of the wealthy have created their own family offices to oversee their assets. 

Citi estimates that as many as 15,000 family offices have been created in the past two decades alone.

Insider spoke with more than a dozen family-office professionals to find out who the wealthy go to when deciding to set up their own shops. Whether they’re lawyers or wealth managers, here are 21 must-know family-office experts. 

You can read our full story if you’re an Insider subscriberThese are the 21 advisors, accountants, and lawyers to know if you’re thinking about starting your own family office

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How to best prepare for and excel at the LSAT, according to testing and law-school experts

standardized test

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To get into most law programs in the US, you must first take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). 

The LSAT consists of two parts, a multiple-choice exam and an essay, that together assess several key skills that have been identified as important for success in law school, including critical reading, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and persuasive writing. 

Test takers have traditionally taken the exam in testing centers. However, during the pandemic, LSAC began offering an alternative called the LSAT-Flex, where the test is completed online at home or in a quiet place but requires a camera on the computer, as it’s proctored from afar.

According to the LSAC website, this format has been extended until June 2022 due to “the expressed preferences of the substantial majority of test takers.”

Mark C. Miller, professor of political science and director of the Law & Society Program and university pre-law advisor at Clark University, said law schools treat scores from the LSAT and LSAT-Flex as identical.

Here’s how to best prep for and excel on this crucial exam, according to experts.

Weigh studying each section equally, even for the LSAT-Flex

John Ross, founder and CEO of test-prep review company Zivadream, said that while the LSAT-Flex is the same as the traditional LSAT in terms of substance and difficulty, one notable difference is that the length of the test has been reduced.

“The proportion of logical-reasoning questions will be different on the LSAT-Flex compared to the traditional LSAT — however, LSAC has given assurances that they will not double-count or weight that section any differently,” Ross said. He added that all three sections of the LSAT-Flex will consist of questions of the same type and difficulty as previous tests.

Though some students may be tempted to reallocate study time away from the logical-reasoning section, he believes the shift makes that section of the exam that much more important.

“As such, I would advise to keep study times and allocations the same,” Ross said.

Practice under comparable test conditions

Ross said applicants should adjust their practice-test routine to mimic what the real exam will be like.

He recommended taking the practice test on your laptop in the same place you’ll take the LSAT on test day, with a webcam on — perhaps even simulating the real experience by having a friend or family member watch you on a webcam or sit behind your computer. 

Phillip Millar of law firm Millar’s Law expressed amazement at students telling him they don’t want to take a sample test close to the test date because if they get a low score, it will ruin their confidence for the actual test.

“Think about that and the logical flaws contained within that position,” Millar said. “Logic would tell that practicing sample tests improves your chances at a better score.”

He added that with an early result, students can then see where their strengths and weaknesses are and allocate study time and resources accordingly.

In addition to running through the general test logistics, Ross suggested mastering your pacing.

Break your studying up into small chunks

Chris Lele, LSAT expert at online test-prep firm Magoosh, advised making your goals smaller and more achievable if you feel unfocused. This will help you keep progressing in your studies while building confidence.

“If you’re like many of us right now, you may be having trouble staying focused on your tasks when you sit down to study,” Lele said. “Your ability to concentrate and retain knowledge falters under stress.” 

Instead of setting a goal of studying for a three- to four-hour stretch and covering a ton of material, for example, try doing just one logic game or quizzing yourself on a list of logical fallacies.

Give yourself incentives

Steve Schwartz, founder and CEO of LSAT Unplugged, agreed that aside from the content of the LSAT, one of the biggest barriers that students face relates to maintaining motivation and focus.

Inspired by Nir Eyal’s book “Indistractable,” he suggested decreasing the effort required to study by making the process as easy as possible.

“Leave your books at work, school, in your car,” Schwartz said. “Use LSAT prep podcasts and YouTube videos to listen and watch on the go. Create or use a detailed LSAT study plan to remove all the guesswork about what to do and when.” 

He also suggested creating an external financial motivator.

“Make an agreement with yourself that each day you don’t study X hours [or] don’t complete X problems, you have to donate $X to your favorite charity or give it to someone else holding you accountable,” Schwartz said. “When there’s money on the line, you’ll have more skin in the game.”

Avoid looking like you’re cheating

When taking the exam, not only will a live person be watching and listening, but everything from start to finish will be recorded and analyzed by artificial intelligence. If there are any questions as to the integrity of your performance, the recording of your session will receive further review.

“Given this level of extreme oversight, it is critical that students not do anything that makes it even appear like they may be cheating,” Ross said. “Do not stare off-screen or straight down for too long, don’t talk to yourself, and definitely don’t have a phone or other device close by.”

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Arizona Democrats call for investigation after report that Trump, Giuliani pressured state elections officials

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Arizona Democrats are calling on the state’s Republican attorney general to launch an investigation into reports former President Donald Trump and his allies pressured local election officials to overturn his loss.

“The evidence reported is clear: that members of his own party, both nationally and right here in Arizona, have conducted illegal and horrific behavior that threatens our democracy,” state Rep. Reginald Bolding, a candidate to be Arizona’s top elections official, said on a press call Friday.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who in June launched a bid for the US Senate, did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, The Arizona Republic obtained phone records showing Trump and others urged officials in the state to stop counting ballots after it became apparent that President Joe Biden was on his way to victory.

Clint Hickman, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, confirmed to The New York Times the former president repeatedly tried to call him. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former personal attorney, Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward, and the attorney Sidney Powell also lobbied Maricopa County officials.

Biden won the county, home to Phoenix, by more than 45,000 votes, a victory certified by the Republican-led board of supervisors, which has rejected the conspiracy theories pushed by other members of the GOP.

Immediately following the election, Attorney General Brnovich also rebutted conspiracy theories such as “SharpieGate,” the false claim that Republican voters’ ballots were being rejected because of the kind of writing utensil they were handed by poll workers.

At the same time, Trump’s allies were working to overturn the results. “I have a few things I’d like to talk over with you,” Giuliani said in a voice mail for one Maricopa County Republican who later certified Biden’s victory. “Maybe we can get this thing fixed up … I think there may be a nice way to resolve this for everybody.”

Meanwhile, Brnovich, competing in a crowded Republican field for a chance to run against Democratic US Sen. Mark Kelly, has been less outspoken in recent months.

Following the revelation of Trump allies’ efforts to pressure Maricopa County officials — “We need you to stop the counting,” Chairwoman Ward said after the election — Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, urged Brnovich to investigate what she described as potential felony election interference. He has thus far declined.

On Friday, Democrats accused Brnovich of complicity in the false claims being circulated now, suggesting it was for political gain — namely, avoiding the ire of one man.

“His silence now that he’s running for Senate shows that he’s folding for President Trump,” state Sen. Rebecca Rios charged.

A day earlier, for example, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan — whose company is leading a highly irregular “audit” in Maricopa County that experts have dismissed as a sham — asserted local officials had not bothered to verify signatures on mail-in ballots, a claim quickly rebutted by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.

“There is a radical right-wing element of Republicans that is never going to take anything less than ‘Yes, President Trump should be president,’ and at some point we just need to stop engaging with this craziness,” she added. But right now, “It’s spreading like a cancer.”

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