Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
Fri 4/28 - OH Prisoner Sues for Train Derailment, Voting Restrictions Upheld in FL, Child Labor in AL, and Mike Pence Sings for a Grand Jury

Fri 4/28 - OH Prisoner Sues for Train Derailment, Voting Restrictions Upheld in FL, Child Labor in AL, and Mike Pence Sings for a Grand Jury

OH prisoner suing Norfolk Southern, appeals court upholds voting restrictions in FL, what law schools won the job market, Hyundai using child labor in Alabama, and Mike Pence sings.

An Ohio prisoner, Joshua Turner, has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern over his alleged exposure to chemicals from the February derailment of a freight train operated by the company in East Palestine, Ohio. The lawsuit claims that his rights under the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution were violated, seeking compensation for health concerns, including respiratory issues and skin rashes. Norfolk Southern has not commented on active litigation, including the proposed class action lawsuits filed by residents and businesses living near the crash site. The company's CEO has committed to addressing the impacts of the derailment.

Prisoner sues Norfolk Southern over East Palestine train crash | Reuters

A federal appeals court has upheld several voting restrictions in Florida that had been challenged by civil rights groups. The laws, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2021, limit the use of ballot drop boxes, ban third-party organizations from collecting voter registration forms, and prevent people from engaging with voters in line. A lower court judge had previously found the laws to be racially discriminatory, but the appeals court disagreed, ruling that there was no evidence that lawmakers deliberately targeted Black voters. The appeals court also threw out the requirement for the state to seek court approval for changes to the provisions.

U.S. appeals court upholds Florida voting law that judge found discriminatory | Reuters

New data from the American Bar Association shows that the University of Virginia School of Law had the highest percentage of 2022 juris doctor graduates who secured permanent, full-time jobs requiring bar passage. More than 95% of the law school's 2022 graduates were employed in legal jobs, surpassing Columbia Law School, which held the top spot for 2021 law graduates. Seven public universities, including the University of Kansas School of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School, were among the 20 schools with the highest percentage of 2022 graduates in permanent, full-time jobs that require bar passage.

These law schools aced the job market in 2022 | Reuters

Hyundai, the third-largest US automaker, is under investigation by the US Department of Labor for the use of child labor in its supply chain. The investigation follows a raid on a Hyundai Glovis warehouse in Montgomery, Alabama, which uncovered the use of a fake ID to allow a 16-year-old worker to be employed. The boy, a migrant from Mexico, had allegedly been hired by three local staffing agencies, who have each paid fines of $5,050 for violating child labor laws. The investigation is part of a wider probe into child labor within Hyundai's supply chain, which began after Reuters first reported on the issue last July.

Special Report: How a fake ID let Hyundai suppliers use child labor in Alabama | Reuters

Former Vice President Mike Pence has testified for over five hours before a federal grand jury investigating the aftermath of the 2020 election and the actions of then-President Donald Trump and others. This marks a momentous occasion as it is the first time a vice president has been compelled to testify about the president he served beside. Pence was compelled to recount conversations he had with Trump about blocking the election result, including on the morning of January 6, when Trump unsuccessfully pressured him to do so on a private phone call. The testimony came as Pence explores a possible challenge to Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, and it will likely elicit a strong negative reaction from his former boss. The grand jury proceedings are secret, and neither a spokesman for special counsel Jack Smith's office nor a spokesman for Pence commented on the matter.

Former Vice President Pence testifies to federal grand jury investigating Donald Trump and January 6

Pence testifies before federal grand jury investigating Trump's role in Jan. 6

Pence Testifies Before Jan. 6 Grand Jury in Blow to Trump - Bloomberg

And finally, as I mentioned in yesterday’s show, we recorded a Disney-centric, mostly, episode of Esquiring Minds last night. Its up and available in your podcast player of choice. Jacob Schumer, my co-host, along with Jason Ramsland, do a much better job than I ever could laying out what is going on in Florida and what can be expected moving forward. Check it out, if you’re interested, and if you find the banter between two highly knowledgeable attorneys and me interesting – consider subscribing. Its free, and worth it. 

Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
The idea is that this podcast can accompany you on your commute home and will render you minimally competent on the major legal news stories of the day. The transcript is available in the form of a newsletter at