Always Relevant, Never Hearsay, Sometimes Argumentative. In each episode of Objections, Adam Klasfeld navigates listeners through the top legal stories of the week with experts in a straightforward, analytical and factual manner.
Klasfeld is a senior investigative reporter and editor for Law&Crime. Adam has reported on every corner of the legal system for more than a decade, with datelines from federal courts, state courts, the United Nations, Guantánamo Bay, the Ecuadorean Amazon, and a court-martial inside a military base near NSA headquarters.
After $220,000 Court Win Against Hobby Lobby, a Transgender Manager Finally Can Use the Women’s Restroom (Feat. Meggan Sommerville & Jacob Meister)
A little more than a week after her landmark $220,000 victory against Hobby Lobby, a transgender manager and her lawyer have confirmed that the conservative Christian-owned crafts company now allows her to use the women's restroom.
Hobby Lobby denied frame department manager Meggan Sommerville that right for more than a decade, a policy that an Illinois appellate court recently found caused her "emotional devastation" deserving of the toughest penalty the state's Human Rights Commission has ever awarded.
"Fortunately, about a week and a half ago, they told Meggan that, for the first time, they will abide by the court's decision, and she can use the women's room at work," her attorney Jacob Meister reveals on the show.
Fresh from her victory from a unanimous three-judge panel, Sommerville opens up about the turmoil Hobby Lobby's former policy caused her.
"I still will have dreams, nightmares of being in environments where I'm not accepted, where I am just in this constant battle to prove to the world around me who I am," Sommerville said. "It's tough. I don't wish this on anybody. Hopefully one day I will be able to get past it, but it's been emotionally devastating."
Her lawyer Meister unpacks the significance of his client’s court victory for other transgender people in the workplace and explains why lawyers say in cases involving gender: "It always comes down to bathrooms."
Toward the end of the episode, Sommerville shares an anecdote about the support she received from one of her Hobby Lobby customers when she first transitioned.
Meet One of Fledgling Artist Hunter Biden's Toughest Critics: Obama's Ex-Ethics Czar (Feat. Walter Shaub)
From his stint on a Ukrainian oligarch's company board to endless conspiracy theories about his laptop, the career path of the president's son Hunter Biden has ignited controversy for years. His recent foray into the art world, however, has put him under fire outside the familiar corners of the political right.
Take former President Barack Obama's ethics czar Walter Shaub, whose criticism has been persistent and stinging.
The week after the New York Times reported that the First Son hopes to fetch up to $500,000 apiece for some 15 works of art, Shaub did not mince words.
"I just think that's absolutely appalling," Shaub said on Law&Crime's podcast "Objections: With Adam Klasfeld."
"Now, that's a criticism of Hunter Biden, and he's a sympathetic character, who we can feel bad for on many levels," Shaub continued. "But some of his problems are of his own making, in that he has always built his career around being Joe Biden's son. And here he is doing that, once again. If he were a patriot—if he cared about this country—he would not want to tarnish his father's reputation that way."
Learn more about why Shaub believes the fledgling artist's debut showing—and the White House's response to it—stands in the way of an "ethical Renaissance" in Washington, which he fears will undermine the president's promise to turn the corner from the Trump era.
'Under Wraps and Heavily Redacted': 'Perversion of Justice' Author Reflects on Transparency Fight Two Years After Jeffrey Epstein's Death (Feat. Julie K. Brown)
Swift and enduring, the impact of the Miami Herald's three-part investigative series "Perversion of Justice" reanimated the Jeffrey Epstein docket, brought survivors from the shadows onto the record, led to the disgraced exit of a presidential cabinet member, and has been credited with sparking two federal prosecutions. Its author Julie K. Brown's subsequent open records battles foisted thousands of pages onto the public domain and established legal precedent in favor of sunlight.
Still, Brown's accomplishments have not made her optimistic about a new era of openness.
"We've had to fight so hard to get every single little document that we've gotten," she said, exasperated. "Instead of becoming more and more transparent, the process is becoming less transparent, because so many people are involved."
Reflecting on her fight for transparency on Law&Crime's podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld," Brown talks about her new book about her watershed investigation, her interactions with Epstein's victims, her lingering suspicions about his death, and why she believes that courts remain "under pressure" to keep the rest of the story "under wraps and heavily redacted."
Ex-DOJ Official’s Reported Plot to Subvert the 2020 Election for Trump Raises Expert’s Alarm About ‘Insider Threat’ (Feat. Ryan Goodman)
Even by the standards of a feverish post-election cycle, a recently disclosed draft letter by a Department of Justice staffer seeking to undermine the election results in Georgia reached new heights of paranoia.
Jeffrey Clark, the former head of the Justice Department’s civil division under Trump, cited an unspecified theory about hackers having evidence that a Dominion voting machine "accessed the Internet through a smart thermostat with a net connection trail leading back to China," according to a draft letter first reported by ABC News last week.
Dated Dec. 28, that draft letter urged top Peach State officials to evaluate supposed election “irregularities,” and Clark sent it to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue. Both reportedly rejected the overture, but the disclosure of the thwarted scheme reportedly spurred Rosen to share what he knew about the plans the Justice Department’s inspector general and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
On the latest episode of Law&Crime's podcast "Objections: With Adam Klasfeld," New York University School of Law Professor Ryan Goodman reflects on last week's revelations in Clark's saga and what it means for what national security experts like him call the "insider threat."
'Defanging the Kraken': Detroit's Attorney Speaks Out About Sanctions Fight with Election-Attacking Lawyers (Feat. David Fink)
Soundly defeated in four separate courts, the election-attacking legal monster known as the "Kraken" has been morphing into a different beast.
Associated with pro-Trump conspiracy theorists Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, the Kraken took its name from an octopus-like creature of mythology and inserted its tentacles into federal courts in Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan. The last court is where the Kraken met perhaps its most formidable adversary: Detroit's lawyer David Fink, who decided that defeating the lawsuit alone was not enough.
"Step one was stopping the Kraken," Fink declared on the podcast. "Step two is caging the Kraken."
In December, Fink became the first attorney to seek heavy sanctions against the lawyers pushing former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. A federal judge in Michigan has been considering Fink's long-pending request to refer Powell, Wood, and seven other attorneys working with them for disbarment proceedings. He also wants the judge to sanction the nine lawyers with a fine for the money that they raised in support of their election conspiracy theories.
That brought Fink to another phase of his opposition: "Defanging the Kraken."
Learn more on this podcast.
'A Slap on the Wrist': Legal Expert Pans Multibillion-Dollar Opioid Settlement (Feat. Jen Taub)
"Big, Dirty Money" author Jen Taub sounds off on a month of opioid settlements with the Sackler family, Purdue Pharma and others on the latest episode of "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."