A gay Texas teacher is on leave after she showed students a photo of her wife. She has few legal protections. | The Texas Tribune

BY EMMA PLATOFF

Texas law prohibits employment discrimination based on a host of factors, including sex, race, religion and disability. But there’s no express protection for LGBTQ employees

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Stacy Bailey has been employed as an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School for a decade, but she hasn’t been in the classroom since September.

Instead, she’s in limbo: She isn’t fired — her contract with the district has even been renewed — but she’s not working.

Mansfield ISD in North Texas put Bailey on paid administrative leave at the start of this school year, following complaints from a parent that she was “promoting the ‘homosexual agenda'” by showing her class a photo of her and her now-wife, Julie Vazquez, as well as mentioning that the artist Jasper Johns had a partner, another artist Robert Rauschenberg, Bailey claims in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month.

Read more…

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IRS warns tax pros of new scam posing as professional associations | Internal Revenue Service

 Security Summit: Scammers Pose as Tax Pro Associations

The IRS and its state and industry Security Summit partners alert tax practitioners to a new phishing scheme in which cyber criminals pose as state accounting and tax professional associations. A number of tax professionals have reported to the IRS they have received emails attempting to trick them into disclosing email usernames and passwords.

Cybercriminals specifically targeted tax professionals in Iowa, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina and Canada. One awkwardly worded phishing email states: “We kindly request that you follow this link HERE and sign in with your email to view this information from (name of accounting association) to all active members. This announcement has been updated for your kind information through our secure information sharing portal which is linked to your email server.”

If you are a member of a professional association, go directly to your association website by typing the address into your browser rather than opening any link or attachment in an email. If you receive a suspicious email regarding taxes, the IRS or phishing attempts to gain access to your client information, forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

Why Today’s Seasoned Lawyers Shouldn’t Mentor Newbies | Above the Law

It’s possible you’re not as wise as you think you are.

Earlier this month, ATL Columnist Jill Switzer took seasoned lawyers to task for their failure to mentor the next generation. But Switzer’s criticism presupposes that an experienced lawyers’ mentorship carries great value. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Over the past decade, technologic, economic and social forces have so transformed the legal profession that the worldview and wisdom of Boomer and GenX lawyers hold little relevance.

Celebrating 50 Years of Magistrate Judges | United States Courts

Magistrate judges play an important role in the judicial process, helping district judges in criminal and civil matters by handling complaints, issuing search warrants, holding preliminary hearings, and much more.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Federal Magistrates Act, a distinguished panel of judges discussed the work of magistrate judges in the federal Judiciary.

The program, “Knowledge Seminar: Magistrate Judges — Integral to the Judiciary,” was recorded on April 3 in Washington, D.C.

Watch the video….

The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility: What You Need to Know about Practicing before the IRS (rebroadcast) – Wednesday, June 13

This free two-hour broadcast is for tax professionals and covers:

  • Changes to the regulations governing tax practice before the IRS (Circular 230 Rev. 6/2014)
  • Due Diligence obligations of tax professionals
  • Overview of other key Circular 230 provisions
  • Practitioner responsibilities to their clients and the Tax Administration System
  • Best practices for tax professionals
  • Office of Professional Responsibility Policies and Procedures

Register for this session.

Justice Dept. Restricts a Common Tactic of Immigration Judges – The New York Times

By Katie Benner

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a directive on Thursday that places limits on a tool commonly used by immigration judges and could put hundreds of thousands of deportation cases that are essentially closed back on federal court dockets.

The move, issued in an interim decision, is unlikely to reopen all the cases. But Mr. Sessions said that immigration courts could not put such cases on indefinite hold by using a practice known as administrative closure, which temporarily removes a case from a judge’s calendar and delays a proceeding that could remove an immigrant from the country.

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Read more…

Read the ruling. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

Pretty Good Procedures for Protecting Your Email | Electronic Frontier Foundation

BY GENNIE GEBHART

A group of researchers recently released a paper that describes a new class of serious vulnerabilities in the popular encryption standard PGP (including GPG) as implemented in email clients. Until the flaws described in the paper are more widely understood and fixed, users should arrange for the use of alternative end-to-end secure channels, such as Signal, and temporarily stop sending and especially reading PGP-encrypted email. See EFF‘s analysis and FAQ for more detail.
 
 

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