Minimum Competence - Daily Legal News Podcast
Minimum Competence
Weds 5/10 - Apple Loses, Crow Says No, Santos in Trouble, Gilead Prevails, Powell in Ethics Hot Water and Trump Held to Account

Weds 5/10 - Apple Loses, Crow Says No, Santos in Trouble, Gilead Prevails, Powell in Ethics Hot Water and Trump Held to Account

Today we have Apple losing a suit to curtail iOS virtual machines, Crow says no, Santos in trouble, Gilead prevails against the government, Powell in ethics hot water and a Trump held to account.

Apple has lost its lawsuit against Corellium, a company that provides virtual iOS devices for security research purposes. The court ruled that the use of Corellium’s CORSEC simulator falls under copyright law’s fair use doctrine. This means that third-party virtual iOS devices are allowed and Apple cannot stop it. The ruling allows security researchers to run virtual desktops and OSs for research purposes. Concerns have been raised that developers may use Corellium’s security-focused VMs to try out apps without having to acquire the related hardware. Apple tried to acquire Corellium in 2018, but was obviously unsuccessful.

Apple just lost its lawsuit trying to ban iOS virtual machines | TechRadar

Texas billionaire and GOP donor Harlan Crow has refused a request from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden to detail the extent and tax treatment of luxury gifts he provided to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Crow's attorney argued that the inquiry "appears to be a component of a broader campaign against Justice Thomas and, now, Mr. Crow, rather than an investigation that furthers a valid legislative purpose." Democrats who control the Senate are ramping up inquiries into the relationship between Crow and Thomas and his wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, following reports that Thomas never reported luxury trips and other gifts funded by Crow. ProPublica also reported last week that Crow paid tuition at two private schools for Thomas's grandnephew in the late 2000s. Wyden said he is "disappointed but unsurprised" by Crow's refusal to comply and will be talking with other lawmakers on the committee about using "any tools at our disposal" to compel a response. Republicans are pushing back on Democrats' efforts, including their call for a high-court code of ethics similar to one that applies to all other federal judges.

Harlan Crow Refuses Senate Request in Justice Thomas Inquiry

Republican Representative George Santos, who was elected to a district in New York City and Long Island in 2022, is facing federal criminal charges over possible campaign finance violations. The charges could be unsealed as early as today and the case could be prosecuted out of the Eastern District’s central office in Islip on Long Island. Santos has previously rejected calls to resign after it was revealed that he fabricated much of what he had claimed about his education and career. During the campaign, he claimed to have worked for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, graduated from Baruch College in New York, played on a championship volleyball team and that he was Jewish, but none of those things were true. Santos was part of a Republican wave that picked up House seats in New York State during the 2022 midterm elections. With Republicans holding the House by just five seats, Santos’s vote is a critical part of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s hold on power. McCarthy said he would ask Santos to resign if he's found guilty.

George Santos Faces Criminal Charges by US Justice Department

A quick follow-up to an earlier story wherein we covered a rare suit by the US government to enforce a patent against Gilead Sciences.

Gilead Sciences has won a lawsuit brought by the US government over patents for its HIV-prevention regimens using Truvada and Descovy. The Delaware jury found the government's patents were invalid and not infringed following a five-day trial and a morning of deliberations. The US government had argued that Gilead failed to compensate the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for discovering that Truvada, first approved to treat HIV, could also help prevent infection by the virus. Gilead reported worldwide sales of more than $2 billion last year from Truvada and Descovy.

Gilead Sciences prevails in US government lawsuit over HIV drug patents | Reuters

Sidney Powell, a former lawyer for Donald Trump, is facing a professional misconduct complaint in Michigan over a failed bid to challenge the 2020 US presidential election results. Powell and other lawyers filed a lawsuit in November 2020 claiming that widespread voter fraud undermined the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s win over Trump. The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission filed the case on Friday, claiming the plaintiffs’ lawyers brought a “frivolous lawsuit” and engaged in “conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice”. Powell and Wood did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Giuliani, Eastman and Wood are among other lawyers in Trump’s orbit facing attorney misconduct claims related to election-related litigation.

Trump ally Sidney Powell, others face misconduct case in Michigan | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump has been found liable for sexually assaulting writer E. Jean Carroll and defaming her by calling her a liar. This is the first verdict against him in a string of legal cases that threaten to erupt during the 2024 presidential campaign. The panel of six men and three women returned the verdict after deliberating on the civil lawsuit for less than three hours. Carroll had accused Trump of attacking her in the dressing room of a Fifth Avenue department store in the 1990s and then harming her reputation by saying she made it up when she went public with her account in 2019. He must pay her $5 million in damages, $3 million of it for defamation. The trial renewed attention on Trump’s fraught history with women, and anyone who thinks women shouldn’t be abused, as he embarks on another run for the White House.  Despite the relatively high-profile trial, recent polls show Trump as the clear front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination. Trump’s attorney Tacopina said Trump would appeal Tuesday’s verdict and seek to reduce the damages. Because it was a civil rather than criminal case, and because the wealthy and powerful are rarely actually held to account, Trump was never at risk of imprisonment over Carroll’s allegations. 

Trump Liable for Sex Abuse, Must Pay $5 Million to Carroll (2)

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