Quiz: How well do you remember April's legal news stories?

Test your knowledge of the past month’s most important—and weirdest—legal news

April showers may have already brought May flowers, but before we lean full-tilt into springtime, we reviewed April's most significant (or just strangest) news stories. Read through the following 10 questions, then click through to the next page to see how well you remember the legal drama of last month.

 

1. Which law firm usurped Baker & McKenzie to become the world’s largest at the end of April?

a. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

b. Latham & Watkins

c. DLA Piper

d. Dewey & LeBoeuf

 

2. In its continuing efforts to advance animal rights, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took what unusual step directed at SeaWorld last month?

a. Asked its members to dress in whale costumes and barricade the entrance to the marine theme park

b. Filed a lawsuit contending that the park’s whales are being enslaved in violation of the 13th Amendment

c. Bought 80 shares of SeaWorld stock, allowing it to speak at annual meetings

d. Sent thousands of copies of “Free Willy” DVDs to SeaWorld executives

 

3. In a supreme example of fairness last month, a Michigan judge held himself in contempt for what offense?

a. His cell phone went off in court

b. He repeatedly interrupted counsel on both sides

c. He arrived late for court after his alarm clock failed to ring


4. Which major league sports organization announced it will be increasing its efforts to fight anti-gay discrimination?

a. The National Football League

b. The National Basketball Association

c. Major League Baseball

d. The National Hockey League

 

5. True or False: In a decision that will have major ramifications for music-sharing websites, a New York state appeals court recently ruled that Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protections don’t apply to any recordings made before the new millennium—that is to say, before the year 2000.


6. A new report from the Peer Monitor Index showed that overall demand for legal services dropped by 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013. But lucky lawyers in which sector escaped that decline in demand?

a. Labor and employment

b. Patents

c. General litigation

d. Corporate securities

 

7. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made headlines recently by allowing companies to use social media for what reason?

a. To share market-moving news

b. To solicit potential clients

c. To make regulatory filings with the SEC

d. To fire employees

 

8. What is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest idea in the fight against smoking?

a. Requiring all cigarettes to bear identical, black packaging with only the brand name and a warning label

b. Imposing an age restriction that would mean smokers have to be 21 to legally purchase cigarettes

c. Raising the city cigarette tax to $5 a pack

d. Running around the city, smacking cigarettes out of smokers’ hands

 

9. Regulators and companies worldwide are re-examining labor practices in the wake of what event?

a. An outbreak of radiation poisoning at a nuclear power plant

b. A deadly factory collapse in Bangladesh

c. The publication of a report revealing that more than 40 percent of U.S. factory employees are working in unsafe conditions

d. A Brazilian factory fire that killed hundreds of people

 

10. Why was BP hit with more than 2,200 lawsuits this month?

a. A new environmental survey revealed long-term effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

b. Citizens outraged by the company’s environmentally friendly ads are accusing it of false advertising

c. The statute of limitations on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was nearly up

1. Which law firm usurped Baker & McKenzie to become the world’s largest at the end of April?

a. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

b. Latham & Watkins

c. DLA Piper

d. Dewey & LeBoeuf

c. DLA Piper

DLA Piper saw $2.4 billion in revenue in 2012, just eking past Baker & McKenzie, which brought in $2.3 billion. For DLA Piper, the amount was an 8.6 percent increase from 2011. The firm also has 4,000 lawyers in its employ, more than any other.


2. In its continuing efforts to advance animal rights, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took what unusual step directed at SeaWorld last month?

a. Asked its members to dress in whale costumes and barricade the entrance to the marine theme park

b. Filed a lawsuit contending that the park’s whales are being enslaved in violation of the 13th Amendment

c. Bought 80 shares of SeaWorld stock, allowing it to speak at annual meetings

d. Sent thousands of copies of “Free Willy” DVDs to SeaWorld executives

c. Bought 80 shares of SeaWorld stock, allowing it to speak at annual meetings

PETA spent $2,273.70 on the shares, buying the smallest number necessary to allow it to attend and speak at annual meetings and submit shareholder resolutions seeking policy changes. Among the organization’s major concerns is the fate of Corky, one of several orca whales to perform at the park under the stage name “Shamu.”

The animal rights group argues that Corky and her fellow whales should be released or retired to coastal sanctuaries. A previous attempt to sue SeaWorld for 13th amendment violations failed last year.

 

3. In a supreme example of fairness last month, a Michigan judge held himself in contempt for what offense?

a. His cell phone went off in court

b. He repeatedly interrupted counsel on both sides

c. He arrived late for court after his alarm clock failed to ring

a. His cell phone went off in court

Judge Raymond Voet apparently thought that the punishment was only fair, considering that he is well-known for holding cell phone owners in contempt if their devices ring in the courtroom. The Ionia County judge also levies a $25 fine against such offenders.

But the tables were turned last month, when Voet accidentally activated voice command on his cell phone, causing it to say, “Sorry, couldn’t hear anything. Try saying, ‘call mom’ or ‘open calendar’” during closing arguments of a domestic violence argument. The embarrassed judge promptly held himself in contempt and fined himself $25.

 

 

4. Which major league sports organization announced it will be increasing its efforts to fight anti-gay discrimination?

a. The National Football League

b. The National Basketball Association

c. Major League Baseball

d. The National Hockey League

a. The National Football League

Though former Washington Wizards center Jason Collins recently came out, making him the first openly gay male athlete playing a major team sport, it was the NFL, not the NBA that announced it would be redoubling its efforts to battle anti-gay discrimination. The league will display anti-discrimination posters in locker rooms and implement tolerance-promoting training.

 

 

5. True or False: In a decision that will have major ramifications for music-sharing websites, a New York state appeals court recently ruled that Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protections don’t apply to any recordings made before the new millennium—that is to say, before the year 2000.

False.

A N.Y. state appeals court did deliver a blow to music-sharing websites with a DMCA-related ruling, but it found that recordings made prior to Feb. 15, 1972 do not enjoy the act’s protections. Anything made after that date is still fair game.

 

6. A new report from the Peer Monitor Index showed that overall demand for legal services dropped by 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013. But lucky lawyers in which sector escaped that decline in demand?

a. Labor and employment

b. Patents

c. General litigation

d. Corporate securities

b. Patents

Labor and employment and general litigation practitioners saw requests for their services drop by 3.4 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. But things were rosier for IP lawyers, owing partially to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) transition from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system, which took effect last month.

On the day before the new rules went into place, the PTO received 13,888 applications, as companies and individuals rushed to take advantage of the old regulations.

 

7. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made headlines recently by allowing companies to use social media for what reason?

a. To share market-moving news

b. To solicit potential clients

c. To make regulatory filings with the SEC

d. To fire employees

a. To share market-moving news

The decision stemmed from an SEC investigation of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who last winter used his personal Facebook page to announce that the site’s users had streamed more than one billion monthly hours of online video for the first time.

In the end, the agency announced that it would not pursue a complaint against Hastings or the company, and instead provided guidance on the appropriateness of social media disclosures. Companies can now share market-moving news with investors on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, provided that they alert shareholders in advance that they will be using these channels to make disclosures.

 

8. What is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest idea in the fight against smoking?

a. Requiring all cigarettes to bear identical, black packaging with only the brand name and a warning label

b. Imposing an age restriction that would mean smokers have to be 21 to legally purchase cigarettes

c. Raising the city cigarette tax to $5 a pack

d. Running around the city, smacking cigarettes out of smokers’ hands

b. Imposing an age restriction that would mean smokers have to be 21 to legally purchase cigarettes

Mayor Bloomberg proposes making 21 an even more momentous birthday for citizens of New York City, who, under the law, would have to wait 21 years to purchase both alcohol and cigarettes. The idea is to keep young people from forming a habit of smoking, though detractors say they can simply travel outside city limits to purchase their cigarettes.

 

9. Regulators and companies worldwide are re-examining labor practices in the wake of what event?

a. An outbreak of radiation poisoning at a nuclear power plant

b. A deadly factory collapse in Bangladesh

c. The publication of a report revealing that more than 40 percent of U.S. factory employees are working in unsafe conditions

d. A Brazilian factory fire that killed hundreds of people

b. A deadly factory collapse in Bangladesh

Just one day before the eight-story building collapsed—killing at least 500 people and leaving more than 2,000 temporarily buried beneath mounds of rubble—inspectors reportedly discovered cracks in the factory’s walls. Although some employers with offices in the complex allowed their workers to stay home, others, including the building’s owner Mohammed Sohel Rana, ordered employees to return to work.

The tragedy comes just months after a fatal factory fire killed 112 Bangladeshi garment factory workers making clothes for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The incidents have led to multiple arrests and have motivated regulators and retailers in Bangladesh and around the world to discuss worker safety concerns. 

 

10. Why was BP hit with more than 2,200 lawsuits this month?

a. A new environmental survey revealed long-term effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill

b. Citizens outraged by the company’s environmentally friendly ads are accusing it of false advertising

c. The statute of limitations on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was nearly up

c. The statute of limitations on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was nearly up.

There is a three-year statute of limitations on the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which, for the Deepwater spill, expired April 20. BP will attempt to consolidate the more than 2,200 new lawsuits lobbed at the company into an ongoing trial based in New Orleans.

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