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

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

It's that time again--time to test your knowledge of May's most significant (or strangest) legal happenings. Read the following 10 questions, and then click to the next page to see how well you know your news.

 

1. The activity facilitated by which popular website was ruled illegal in New York City?

a. OKCupid

b. Airbnb

c. Craigslist

 

2. True or False: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed its first ever class action genetic discrimination lawsuit this month.


3. The general counsel of what monster tech company resigned his post in early May?

a. Twitter

b. Google

c. Facebook

d. Microsoft

 

4. More than two dozen bars in New Jersey are under investigation for trying to pass what off as high-priced liquor?

a. Watered-down liquor

b. Apple juice

c. Moonshine

d. Rubbing alcohol with caramel coloring

 

5. What did the D.C. Circuit say violates employers’ free speech in its May 7 ruling?

a. The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) posting requirement

b. The NLRB’s ruling that Target’s employee handbook unlawfully discouraged union activity

c. The Working Families Flexibility Act

d. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s rule that companies must tell investors if they are going to share market-moving news on social media

 

6. A massive global data breach, reported in May, occurred when hackers stole $45 million by doing what?

a. Using prepaid debit cards to make massive ATM withdrawals

b. Transferring funds from the bank accounts of several governments around the world

c. Accessing confidential market information by hacking into executives’ email accounts, then trading on the tips

 

7. Which federal government official chose to plead the Fifth during a congressional hearing this month?

a. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Director Lois Lerner

b. Attorney General Eric Holder

c. Representative Michele Bachmann

 

8. Which media outlet did not make headlines this month over privacy concerns?

a. Bloomberg

b. The New York Times

c. The Associated Press

 

9. Which famed novelist recently found herself embroiled in a copyright suit against her literary agent?

a. Margaret Atwood

b. Carson McCullers

c. Harper Lee

d. Toni Morrison

 

10. A New York City artist attracted ire—and legal threats—from his neighbors across the street for doing what?

a. Projecting obscenities onto their building in a nightly laser light show

b. Photographing them without their knowledge through their floor-to-ceiling glass windows

c. Buying their building with plans to evict the residents and turn the space into a gallery

d. Blasting loud music at all hours as part of a performance art piece

1. The activity facilitated by which popular website was ruled illegal in New York City?

a. OKCupid

b. Airbnb

c. Craigslist

b. Airbnb

Airbnb allows users to rent out their homes or apartments for short-term stays, making it a popular service for travelers on a budget. However, this activity violates a New York City law against operating illegal hotels, an administrative law judge ruled. If guests aren’t traditional visitors, i.e. friends or family members, renting an apartment to them for less than 30 days violates the law.

"[The exemption for houseguests and lodgers] does not apply to complete strangers who have no, and are not intended to have any, relationship with the permanent occupants," the judge wrote.

 

 

2. True or False: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed its first ever class action genetic discrimination lawsuit this month.

True.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is five years old, but this is its first foray into the class action arena. The EEOC filed suit against rehabilitation and nursing facility Founders Pavilion Inc., accusing it of improperly using information it learned from mandatory medical questionnaires to discriminate against job applicants.

 

3. The general counsel of what monster tech company resigned his post in early May?

a. Twitter

b. Google

c. Facebook

d. Microsoft

c. Facebook

Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s inaugural general counsel, has been with the company for five years, seeing it through many ups and downs, including the notorious Winklevoss litigation and the controversy surrounding Facebook’s initial public offering. Perhaps all that excitement took its toll, though, as Ullyot officially stepped down on May 10.

 

 

4. More than two dozen bars in New Jersey are under investigation for trying to pass what off as high-priced liquor?

a. Watered-down liquor

b. Apple juice

c. Moonshine

d. Rubbing alcohol with caramel coloring

d. Rubbing alcohol with caramel coloring

After receiving more than the usual number of complaints about mislabeled alcohol, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control discovered that 29 bars and restaurants in the state, including 13 TGI Fridays, were passing off caramel-colored rubbing alcohol or other fake booze as high-priced liquor. This discovery was part of a yearlong investigation called “Operation Swill.”

 

 

5. What did the D.C. Circuit say violates employers’ free speech in its May 7 ruling?

a. The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) posting requirement

b. The NLRB’s ruling that Target’s employee handbook unlawfully discouraged union activity

c. The Working Families Flexibility Act

d. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s rule that companies must tell investors if they are going to share market-moving news on social media

a. The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) posting requirement

The labor board cannot require businesses to post notices informing employees of their right to unionize, the D.C. Circuit said, invalidating the posting requirement that had many businesses worried. The court found that federal law bans the NLRB from punishing a business for any speech or lack thereof, meaning that an employer’s choice not to post the notice is protected free speech.

 

 

6. A massive global data breach occurred in May when hackers stole $45 million by doing what?

a. Using prepaid debit cards to make massive ATM withdrawals

b. Transferring funds from the bank accounts of several governments around the world

c. Accessing confidential market information by hacking into executives’ email accounts, then trading on the tips

a. Using prepaid debit cards to make massive ATM withdrawals

It took just hours—and some expired key cards—for the hackers to make off with $45 million from ATMs in 27 countries. The thieves hacked into bank databases, eliminated withdrawal limits on pre-paid debit cards and created access codes. Next they loaded the data onto plastic cards with magnetic strips, including hotel key cards and expired credit cards, and used the fake cards to withdraw millions of dollars from two banks based in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

 

7. Which federal government official chose to plead the Fifth during a congressional hearing this month?

a. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Director Lois Lerner

b. Attorney General Eric Holder

c. Representative Michele Bachmann

 a.       IRS Director Lois Lerner

Capitol Hill was abuzz in May after the IRS publicly apologized for giving extra scrutiny to conservative political groups applying for tax-exempt status. The agency, which had previously denied that such targeting had occurred, admitted that during the 2012 election it flagged roughly 300 groups with the words “patriot” or “tea party” in their names.

During last week’s congressional hearing over the controversy, Lerner, who heads the IRS tax-exempt organizations division, told legislators that she had not broken any laws or agency regulations. After proclaiming her innocence, however, she invoked her Fifth Amendment rights in response to all other questions.

 

 

8. Which media outlet did not make headlines this month over privacy concerns?

a. Bloomberg

b. The New York Times

c. The Associated Press

b. The New York Times

The Associated Press did find itself in the midst of a privacy scandal this month, following revelations that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had seized two months’ worth of phone records from the organization’s reporters and editors. The DOJ typically gives news organizations advance notice before such seizures—giving media outlets the chance to challenge the request in court—but it did not do so in this instance.

Bloomberg also made privacy-related headlines this month—albeit as the offender. The news service’s editor-in-chief apologized for allowing reporters to access private client data, including login activity and contact information, using the company’s financial data terminals. Reporters no longer have the ability to access subscriber data, Bloomberg said.

 

 

9. Which famed novelist recently found herself embroiled in a copyright suit against her literary agent?

a. Margaret Atwood

b. Carson McCullers

c. Harper Lee

d. Toni Morrison

c. Harper Lee

Lee, who penned the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1960, is known for staying out of the public eye. But the 87-year-old author took to the courts this month with a lawsuit accusing her agent’s son-in-law of stealing the copyright to her famed novel. According to Lee, the trouble began when her long-time agent Eugene Winick fell ill in 2002, leaving his business largely in the hands of his son-in-law Samuel Pinkus.

Pinkus allegedly began poaching Winick’s clients, including Lee, whom he purportedly duped into signing over the rights to her novel in 2007. Lee claims that at the time she was losing her eyesight and her hearing, and does not remember acquiescing to the deal. She is seeking the return of the novel’s rights.

 

 

10. A New York City artist attracted ire—and legal threats—from his neighbors across the street for doing what?

a. Projecting obscenities onto their building in a nightly laser light show

b. Photographing them without their knowledge through their floor-to-ceiling glass windows

c. Buying their building with plans to evict the residents and turn the space into a gallery

d. Blasting loud music at all hours as part of a performance art piece

b. Photographing them without their knowledge through their floor-to-ceiling glass windows

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones—and apparently shouldn’t be surprised when their next-door neighbors photograph them as part of an art exhibition. Photographer Arne Svenson recently debuted an exhibit that features photos of the residents of a luxury Tribeca apartment building as they clean, nap and play with their children.

No faces are visible in the snapshots, but some of Svenson’s unwitting subjects are still threatening legal action for alleged privacy violations. Legal experts say that the case may be difficult to prove, though, considering that the subjects are all anonymous.

Alanna Byrne

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