Sidebar by Courthouse News

Sidebar by Courthouse News

Sidebar by Courthouse News tackles the stories you need to know from the legal world. Join reporters Hillel Aaron, Kirk McDaniel, Amanda Pampuro and Kelsey Reichmann as they take you in and out of courtrooms in the U.S. and beyond and break down all the developments that had them talking.


February 13, 2024 36 mins

Look around, dear listener. 

Everything is heart-shaped and pink. People are getting ready for a special night with their special someone. 

In our second episode this season, we take you through the dark alleyways of online dating, where $1.3 billion vanished into the pockets of scammers in just one year, and peel back the layers of marketing sleights of hand that extend far beyond the realm of matchmaking. 

From mimosas without champ...

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Welcome to season four of Sidebar! We're kicking off our first episode of 2024 by traversing the digital terrain of internet sleuths, those armchair detectives whose keyboards are the new magnifying glasses.

Everyone has a hobby. Something to keep them busy, pass the time or unwind after work. Maybe listening to your favorite podcast is that thing. One such hobby that has grown with the help of the internet and social...

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Season four of Sidebar, a podcast from Courthouse News, kicks off just around the corner. Join our hosts and reporters as they take you around the nation to break down lawsuits, the law and how they impact you and the life you live. Follow us on Twitter @SidebarCNS and for more.

This episode was produced by Kirk McDaniel. Intro music by The Dead Pens.

Editorial staff is Bill Dotinga, Sean Duffy and J...

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December 5, 2023 33 mins

Welcome to our end-of-the-year gala episode of Sidebar.

It's hard to divvy out awards for the most important or interesting cases of 2023 when former President Donald Trump has dominated so many of them. This was the year Trump took over Courthouse News, appearing in court as a defendant many times.

From charges in New York that Trump schemed to make illegal hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and an indictm...

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November 14, 2023 31 mins

No institution in American life has a far-reaching and outsized role in communities quite like the public school system.

Take a seat, Sidebar listeners, as we dive into the heart of public education and its role in our democracy for our penultimate episode this season. We take you beyond the classroom, looking at landmark rulings like Brown v. Board of Education and highlighting the dual role of public schools: to educate and to uni...

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October 31, 2023 24 mins

Happy Halloween, all you goblins and ghouls. Prepare yourselves for a real spooky season treat as we traverse the gloomy annals of witch trials. Join us for our 12th episode this season as we dispel myths and shine a light on how and why these judicial proceedings played out across Europe and the United States. We're talking grand juries, indictments, spectral evidence and even acquittals in what were considered by the standar...

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October 3, 2023 50 mins

Another year, another five-alarm fire burning before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kelsey Reichmann, Courthouse News’ Supreme Court reporter and the newest addition to the Sidebar team, joined just in time for this year's preview of the court's upcoming term.

The top court in all the land is back at it again following landmark decisions that it has delivered for the conservative legal movement in ending the co...

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September 12, 2023 22 mins

The love story between Hollywood megastars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was destined for public fascination from the start as they merged family, philanthropy and a rather unexpected shared passion — wine. So, when they split in 2016, no one saw it coming. What followed was one of the most bitterly contested celebrity divorces in recent history. 

But what came after was in some ways even uglier — a lawsuit over Miraval, an...

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August 22, 2023 31 mins

Welcome back, listeners, from what we hope was a calm, relaxing break. 

If it was anything like ours, just when you cozied up with a summer read, you were likely jarred back to reality by a pesky robocall asking about your auto warranty. 

Receiving unwanted robocalls remains a universal experience 32 years after Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to empower Americans to fight off unwanted calls....

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June 27, 2023 28 mins

Ed Sheeran and reggaeton might have more in common than you know: the artist and the genre have been the subject of battles over whether you can copyright a groove or a rhythm. 

In our last episode before summer break, we unravel the recent Ed Sheeran copyright trial with our New York City reporter, Josh Russell, including Sheeran's snarky cross-examination, his courtroom concert and Van Morrison's unexpected ble...

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June 6, 2023 32 mins

Should state borders change to create political havens? Come along as we take a road trip through the world of secession as we look at the urban-rural divide and how it shapes these movements.

Our first stop in our seventh episode this season? The Greater Idaho movement, a grassroots organization that aims to shift the Idaho state border to encompass eastern Oregon and escape the liberal politics of the Beaver State.

The trip wouldn’...

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May 9, 2023 25 mins

Imagine stashing your hard-earned savings in a safety deposit box, only to find out the FBI has raided the place and your money is gone thanks to the controversial practice of civil forfeiture, which allows law enforcement to seize people's assets with little explanation. That's what happened to a number of Californians who stored their cash at U.S. Private Vaults in Beverly Hills.

Join us for this season's sixth epis...

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April 18, 2023 32 mins

A note: this episode contains language that might make you or your nana blush. 

Pull up a chair as we bring you into the comedy club and beyond. Laughter may be the best medicine, but how does it hold up in court? Over the decades, courts carved out clear First Amendment protections for comics facing criminal obscenity and parodists taken a little too seriously. While the past informs the present, the rare joker can still find himse...

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March 28, 2023 30 mins

Blue laws. They are quirky and annoying outdated restrictions on activities to ensure Sunday is a day of rest and worship. Some go beyond dictating when you can or cannot get a drink, and sometimes they leave you scratching your head wondering, why in the world are they still on the books?

In this season's fourth episode, we dive into the history and impact of the laws. We explore the story of a Brooklyn nightclub suing New Yor...

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March 7, 2023 33 mins

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 60 million American households have pets. That is a ton of good boys and girls out there. But have you ever stopped and wondered about the laws that define pet ownership? Are there specific pets that you can't own where you live? How regulated is the pet trade? And what about exotic animals, where the sale and trade of such creatures is a state-by-state issue?

In this episod...

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February 14, 2023 22 mins

Heads up for listeners: this episode contains explicit language. 

When legal battles come down to damages, most consider the final judgment to show who won the game and by how much. But in a highly specialized area of law, that judgment is just the beginning when the losing team refuses to pay. 

In our second episode this season, we introduce you to a few judgment enforcement attorneys, a small specialized group t...

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January 24, 2023 36 mins

Welcome to season three of Sidebar! You'll want to strap in while we bring you closer to the stars as new technology and more investors bring us deeper into space. Science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact. One thing rarely discussed in your favorite sci-fi movies is the laws that govern outer space.

If billions of dollars, dozens of political manifesto and decades of Trekkie dreams come to fruition, there is n...

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January 13, 2023 1 min

Season three of Sidebar, a podcast from Courthouse News, kicks off just around the corner. Join our hosts and reporters as they take you around the nation to break down lawsuits, the law and how they impact you and the life you live. Follow us on Twitter @SidebarCNS and for more.

This episode was produced by Kirk McDaniel. Intro music by The Dead Pens.

Editorial staff is Bill Dotinga, Sean Duffy and ...

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December 13, 2022 60 mins

While some aspects of 2022 felt like a return to easier, simpler days, the news coming out of courthouses across the country did not stop.

In this episode, we look at the year's most memorable trials: the ones that made us laugh, the ones that made us cry and the ones that made us stop and question how we got here.

We take you back to the Alex Jones defamation trials in Texas and Connecticut, which garnered e...

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November 15, 2022 37 mins

Bounty hunters. Figures from folk tales, fantasy and reality TV; free agents that work as an extension of the law. Whatever comes to mind, this latest chapter in vigilante justice is shaking things up even more at a polarized time in the country.

The enaction of Texas's Senate Bill 8 allows private citizens to file civil lawsuits against anyone who provides or helps someone attain an abortion, with a possible award of...

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