2021 is moving along and we’re almost at the end of February. To round up this week, we have a number of posts discussing some forward progress in immigration law, a look back at the impeachment trial, and the recognition of 15 Black legal pioneers.

Top 10

Depositions in shorts after the pandemic? Remote depositions are likely becoming the norm, but dress-down shouldn’t

Remote depositions are likely to become the norm even after the pandemic has passed, but that doesn’t mean that those attending should become comfortable dressing casually. Jay Sawczak of Farrell Fritz stresses the need to continue professionalism even when not appearing in person at New York Commercial Division Practice blog.


Inclusive immigration: USCIS nixes “alien” terminology but much more must be done

The USCIS has removed the word “alien” from all of its immigration documents, substituting “noncitizen” instead. Angelo Paparelli of Seyfarth Shaw discusses the importance of inclusive language and more steps that can be taken moving forward: “Establishing a customer-service ethos at USCIS is even more important, as is ‘actual proof’ that the public, noncitizens, and U.S. businesses need to see in order to become believers.” He goes into more detail at BIG Immigration Law Blog.


Don’t smile at the camera – new biometric data laws

There are currently no uniform federal biometric data privacy laws, though a few states have come up with their own. Gary Kibel and Oriyan Gitig of the International Lawyers Network talk about new, pending, and existing state laws around the country on ILN IP Insider.


Pennsylvania Democrats propose new bill for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s license

A new bill has been introduced in Pennsylvania that would allow driver’s licenses to be granted to individuals who don’t have a Social Security number. Undocumented immigrants would be able to receive a learner’s permit or a driver’s license, by using just their taxpayer identification number and some additional documents. Raymond Lahoud of Norris McLaughlin goes into detail about initial reactions to the bill and the Green Light Law on Immigration Lawyers Blog.


Honoring Black History Month: Fifteen Black legal pioneers

To commemorate Black History Month, Angelica Cesario of Lawline  highlights 15 Black legal pioneers who were true trailblazers in the legal industry. Among them are recognizable names such as Thurgood Marshall and Eunice Carter and others who have transformed the legal landscape.


Any guesses for when we might again have a fully functioning US Sentencing Commission?

Douglas Berman of Law Professor Blogs Network discusses the need for the USSC to fill its slate of Commissioners so it can start advancing criminal justice reform. Right now, the new administration has not confirmed an Attorney General. He explains how the USSC has been functioning the past four years and what needs to happen moving forward on Sentencing Law and Policy.


Apple allegedly banned COVID-19 tracker app to thwart competition

A New Hampshire federal court is claiming that Apple kept COVID-19 tracking applications out of its App Store in order to reduce competition for its own COVID-19 tracker. Dani Alexis Ryskamp of Expert Institute explains the allegations against Apple, some key issues in the lawsuit, and the role some experts may play in it going forward.


A different kind of “mask mandate”: Civil rights law does not protect employees disciplined for tearing “Black Lives Matter” masks at work

Whole Foods workers faced discipline and retaliation, including docked pay, cut hours, and even termination, for wearing face masks bearing the slogan “Black Lives Matter” at work. Civil rights law did not protect these employees. Amanda Nugent and Giovanna Tiberii Weller of Carmody discuss this case and how the Massachusetts court ultimately described the workers’ claims as a First Amendment free speech case framed as civil rights case on Carmody @ Work.