How Appealing

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"Child-Soldier Case Trips Tribunal": Jess Bravin and Alex Frangos have this Guantanamo-related article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 10:18 PM by Howard Bashman


Federal district court rejects facial challenge to the validity of the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which gives the Superior Court of Arizona the power to suspend or revoke the business licenses of employers who intentionally or knowingly employ unauthorized aliens: The Arizona Republic provides a news update headlined "District judge upholds employer sanctions law."

And The Associated Press reports that "Az Illegal-Immigrant Hiring Law Upheld."

You can access today's ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona at this link.
Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman



"Encrypted Laptop Poses Legal Dilemma": The Associated Press provides this report.
Posted at 10:05 PM by Howard Bashman


"This service mark infringement case is about the use of a purely descriptive term, 'Ski,' in conjunction with a geographically descriptive term, 'Vail,' or more precisely, 'Ski Vail.'" A divided three-judge panel of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued this 62-page ruling today.
Posted at 09:55 PM by Howard Bashman


In a case in which two co-defendants are also co-appellants filing separate appellate briefs, may one co-defendant use its reply brief to join in the opening brief of the other co-defendant? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit considers the meaning of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(i) -- which provides that "In a case involving more than one appellant or appellee, including consolidated cases, any number of appellants or appellees may join in a brief, and any party may adopt by reference a part of another's brief. Parties may also join in reply briefs." -- in footnote two of this opinion issued today.
Posted at 08:54 PM by Howard Bashman


"More Ammo for Gun Rights": ABC News correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg -- who will be speaking in the Philadelphia area tomorrow morning -- has this post at her "Legalities" blog.

And via this link at "SCOTUSblog," you can access amicus briefs filed in support of the respondent's position in the D.C. gun ban case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Posted at 08:44 PM by Howard Bashman



"Jury Awards $33 Million In Lawyer Fight": Today's edition of The Albuquerque Journal contains an article that begins, "It's a legal battle between two prominent New Mexico lawyers that started as a dispute over $160,000 in legal fees and allegations of a 'stolen' client. On Wednesday, a Bernalillo County jury delivered a verdict that included more than $33 million in punitive damages for attorney Robert McCorkle in his countersuit against one-time friend and colleague Turner Branch and the Branch Law Firm. The punitive damages award dwarfed the $165,000 in compensatory damages awarded in the case, and Branch's lawyer said he expected to appeal."

That's a punitive-to-compensatory damages ratio of 200:1.
Posted at 03:54 PM by Howard Bashman



The Associated Press is reporting: An article headlined "House, Senate Members Back DC Gun Owners" begins, "Bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate are backing gun owners in a landmark Supreme Court case."

An article headlined "Commuting of Va. Death Sentence Delayed" begins, "A man in the center of a case that led to the U.S. Supreme Court banning execution of the mentally retarded will remain on death row for now. A judge Thursday agreed to a request by special prosecutors to stay his order to commute Daryl Atkins' sentence to life in prison while they appeal the ruling to the Virginia Supreme Court."

And an article about Salim Ahmed Hamdan is headlined "Lawyers: Gitmo Detainee Breaking Down."
Posted at 03:40 PM by Howard Bashman



"Attorney general: No waterboarding investigation." CNN.com provides this report.

And The Associated Press provides a report headlined "CIA Boss: Waterboarding May Be Illegal."
Posted at 03:34 PM by Howard Bashman



Eighth Circuit holds that federal district court may, if it so desires, reconsider sentence imposed on two men for crack cocaine-related crimes in light of crack cocaine-powder cocaine sentencing disparities: You can access today's ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit at this link.

Despite ordering a remand to allow the district court to exercise a power that the district court did not recognize it possessed when it imposed the sentences in question, today's Eighth Circuit ruling goes on to explain: "We do not believe, though, that Kimbrough means that a district court now acts unreasonably, abuses its discretion, or otherwise commits error if it does not consider the crack/powder sentencing disparity."
Posted at 11:50 AM by Howard Bashman



En banc Sixth Circuit issues decision addressing "reasonableness" review of criminal sentence imposed under federal Sentencing Guidelines: The court splits 9-6 over the outcome, and one of the three dissenting opinions cites U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf's blog-based "top ten" list.
Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman


"Warring sides in same-sex marriage debate look to court date": Today in The San Francisco Chronicle, Bob Egelko has an article that begins, "The California Supreme Court scheduled a March 4 hearing Wednesday for the long-awaited clash between gay-rights advocates, the state and religious conservatives over the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage."
Posted at 09:55 AM by Howard Bashman


"Crack-Sentencing Reductions Decried; Mukasey: Gang Members Would Be Let Go." This article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:54 AM by Howard Bashman


"Anti-Clinton film backers take on campaign-funding law; Activists, in appeal to Supreme Court, say TV ads promoting 'Hillary: The Movie' are covered by free speech." David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 09:48 AM by Howard Bashman


"Clarity Sought on Electronics Searches; Travelers' Devices Seized at Border": This front page article appears today in The Washington Post.
Posted at 09:36 AM by Howard Bashman


"White House Defends CIA's Use Of Waterboarding in Interrogations": Dan Eggen has this article today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that "Waterboarding is legal, White House says; The assertion stuns critics and revives debate over the widely condemned interrogation technique."

And The Boston Globe contains an editorial entitled "The CIA's criminal admission."
Posted at 09:34 AM by Howard Bashman



"Court Panel Questions School Ban on Phones": The New York Times today contains an article that begins, "Most of the judges on a state appellate court panel seemed to be sympathetic on Wednesday to arguments by parents that a ban on cellphones in New York City schools trampled on their right to make decisions about the safety of their children. During a hearing in Manhattan on the constitutionality of the ban, the five judges indicated that they were looking for a compromise policy."

The New York Daily News reports today that "School cell ban fight back in court."

The New York Sun reports that "Parents Ask for School Cell Phone Ban To Be Lifted."

And The Associated Press reports that "NYC parents take school cell phone fight to appeals court."
Posted at 09:30 AM by Howard Bashman



"Justice attorneys may have known CIA had destroyed tapes; Federal court documents show that prosecutors had been informed of the destruction of the interrogation videos": This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times reports today that "C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes as Judge Sought Interrogation Data."

ABCNews.com reports that "Terrorist's Appeal Uncovers CIA Tape Info; Documents in Moussaoui Case Show How Much Government Knew of Interrogation Tapes."

And The Associated Press reports that "Prosecutor May Have Known of CIA Tapes."

The relevant filings that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unsealed yesterday in redacted form consist of: (1) Moussaoui's motion for a limited remand; (2) the federal government's brief in opposition thereto; (3) Moussaoui's reply brief in support of his motion for a limited remand; (4) a supplemental letter from the federal government; and (5) Moussaoui's supplemental response. The fourth and fifth items on this list appear to be particularly relevant to the news articles linked above.

Another motion that Moussaoui's appellate lawyers have recently filed, and that the Fourth Circuit unsealed in redacted form yesterday, points out that those lawyers are greatly restricted in their ability to discuss the case with their client.
Posted at 09:15 AM by Howard Bashman



"SJC blasts 2 lawyers for ethics breach; Disbarment caps long-running case": Today's edition of The Boston Globe contains an article that begins, "The state's highest court ordered the disbarment of two Boston lawyers yesterday for crossing ethical boundaries in the Demoulas supermarket family feud in the 1990s, issuing the harshest possible ruling in what is probably the final chapter of the long-running case. In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said Gary C. Crossen, a prominent lawyer and former adviser to Republican governors, and Kevin P. Curry, a longtime defense attorney, shamed themselves and the legal profession. The two men were trying to prove that the Superior Court judge on the case was biased and committed misconduct."

You can access here and here yesterday's rulings of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in this matter.
Posted at 08:37 AM by Howard Bashman



"Gravel's justice of choice: Akhil Amar; Constitutional law scholar says he is not quitting his 'day job' for seat on Court." The Yale Daily News today contains an article that begins, "Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel, currently polling at 0 percent, will probably never have an opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court justice. But if he has the chance, the former Alaska senator says he has already made up his mind. His man: Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar '80 LAW '84."
Posted at 08:25 AM by Howard Bashman


"Wecht's private correspondence handled on county time, aide says": This article appears today in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And today in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Jason Cato has an article headlined "Coroner's 'invoices' bogus: witness."
Posted at 08:23 AM by Howard Bashman



"Criminals get a break on fines; Court rules that many penalties don't have to be paid": Today in The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has an article that begins, "Since the mid-1970s, Texas courts have fined criminals the old-fashioned way: If there were 10 criminal counts, there could be 10 separate fines, and together they added up to some potentially large penalties. That formula changed Wednesday when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that many court fines must now run concurrently instead of consecutively, much the same way many prison terms must be served at the same time instead of being stacked one after the other. Under the 5-4 ruling, a defendant pays the largest fine assessed by a court, and then every other fine is considered paid in full, providing a substantial reduction in a criminal's debt to society."

Yesterday's ruling of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in State v. Crook consists of an opinion announcing the judgment of the court and two dissenting opinions (here and here).
Posted at 08:18 AM by Howard Bashman



"Objection! Funny Legal Ads Draw Censure; Sharks, Pit Bulls Out In Florida; UFO Clients Get the Ax in Syracuse." Nathan Koppel has this front page article today in The Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 08:00 AM by Howard Bashman


"The Supreme Court Agrees to Review a Sixth Circuit Ruling that Narrowly Construes Title VII's Protection Against Retaliation": Joanna Grossman and Deborah Brake have this essay online today at FindLaw.
Posted at 07:45 AM by Howard Bashman






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