COURTS

Sonja Farak, left, stands during her arraignment at Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown, Mass., Tuesday Jan. 22, 2013.
Don Treeger / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Western Massachusetts prosecutors will dismiss more than 5,000 drug convictions tied to former drug chemist Sonja Farak. 

Many actors, politicians and executives, including at NPR, are now facing sexual-harassment allegations in the court of public opinion.

But in actual courts, such cases filed by workers against their employers are very often dismissed by judges. The standard for harassment under the law is high, and only an estimated 3 percent to 6 percent of the cases ever make it to trial.

The Trump administration cannot withhold federal money to punish local governments for their noncompliance with immigration authorities, according to a ruling by a federal judge in California.

In an order announced Monday, Judge William Orrick permanently blocked the policy, issued as one of President Trump's earliest executive orders, ruling it was "unduly coercive" and violated the separation of powers.

As more alleged victims of sexual harassment have come forward in recent weeks, it's clear that they've found strength in numbers.

But workers' rights advocates fear that cases before the Supreme Court could end up limiting employees' abilities to bring collective action on harassment and other issues in the workplace.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has heard arguments in an appeal on whether a major gunmaker should be held liable in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

A federal appeals court in California has ruled that the Trump administration's long-delayed travel ban can go into partial effect, allowing the government to temporarily keep travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Prosecutors have filed new charges against members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State, alleging that newly recovered video shows them serving pledge Timothy Piazza excessive quantities of alcohol. The charges filed Monday — which range from involuntary manslaughter to aggravated assault and hazing — rely on surveillance footage taken during the pledge event connected with the 19-year-old's death.

U.S. Supreme Court.
MattWade / Creative Commons

George and Maxine Maynard have what you might call a complicated relationship with New Hampshire's state motto. 

The Berkshire Museum in a file photo.
AlexiusHoratius / Creative Commons

Updated Nov. 11, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

A Massachusetts appeals court judge has blocked the auction, scheduled to start next week, of dozens of works of art owned by the Berkshire Museum.

Gov. Charlie Baker in November of 2016.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Gov. Charlie Baker said his public safety secretary "incontrovertibly" had nothing to do with giving an order to scrub a State Police arrest report of embarrassing details and references to the suspect's father, a state Trial Court judge.

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