How Appealing

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

“Bush-appointed judges most conservative on record, new UH study finds; Lead investigator Robert Carp says slant most evident in civil rights, liberties decisions”: The University of Houston issued this press release yesterday.

Posted at 9:08 PM by Howard Bashman

“Kline’s investigation of clinics proceeds; This month’s court ruling imposed limits on inquiry”: The Kansas City Star today contains an article that begins, “Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline will continue his inquiry into abortion clinics, despite tight restrictions put on it by the state Supreme Court.”

And The Topeka Capital-Journal today contains an editorial entitled “Court Rebuke — Calm down; Attorney general Phill Kline feels strongly about abortion, but needs to restrain himself.”

Posted at 6:02 PM by Howard Bashman

“Koso gets prison time”: The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star provides a news update that begins, “A 22-year-old Falls City man has been sentenced to 18 to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to a sexual assault charge filed after he impregnated and then married a 14-year-old girl.”

Posted at 5:55 PM by Howard Bashman

Some very sad news from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: The Associated Press reports here that “Senior U.S. Circuit Court Judge Max Rosenn has died at the age of 96. Rosenn died early Tuesday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, according to Anthony J. Scirica, the 3rd Circuit’s chief judge.”

And The Times-Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania provides a newsbrief headlined “Judge Rosenn dies.”

Max Rosenn joined the Third Circuit in 1970 and took senior status in 1981. What appears to be, according to Westlaw, Judge Rosenn’s final opinion issued on January 27, 2006, demonstrating that he took the idea of life tenure on the federal bench quite seriously. He was a very kind man with a very sharp mind who lived quite a full life, and he will certainly be missed.

Update: Orin Kerr offers additional thoughts at “The Volokh Conspiracy.”

Posted at 5:34 PM by Howard Bashman

“Reasoning with Solomon”: Today in The Harvard Crimson, Cormac A. Early has an op-ed that begins, “The recent Supreme Court hearings on the Solomon Amendment have thrown the issue of military recruitment back into the limelight at Harvard. With the Court likely to reject the arguments of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), Harvard will again be forced to choose between $400 million of federal money and the unpleasantness of having discriminatory recruiters on campus.”

Posted at 4:23 PM by Howard Bashman

“Study ties toughness of judges to politics; GOP, Democrat jurists vary on type of crime”: The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, “Federal judges appointed by Republicans give tougher sentences on street crime, two Northwestern University legal scholars say, while Democratic appointees take a stricter view of white-collar offenses.” (Via “Sentencing Law and Policy“).

Posted at 3:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“$990,000 settlement in Hells Angels suit; Santa Clara County ends dispute over raid”: The San Jose Mercury News today contains an article that begins, “Santa Clara County agreed Monday to pay nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club over a 1998 police raid that resulted in three dead dogs, a torn-up sidewalk and little meaningful evidence. The $990,000 settlement was spurred by the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection in December of the county’s argument that sheriff’s deputies were immune from liability.”

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court Upholds Lawyer Reprimand”: Today in The Hartford Courant, Lynne Tuohy has an article that begins, “The state Supreme Court Monday unanimously upheld a reprimand issued by the Statewide Grievance Committee against a lawyer who wrote a scathing letter criticizing the probate judge overseeing his mother’s estate. Attorney Joseph J. Notopoulos of West Hartford claimed on appeal that the reprimand violated his constitutional free speech rights, because he was not acting in his professional capacity when he wrote the letter assailing then West Hartford Probate Judge John A. Berman and the woman Berman appointed to investigate his mother’s care and financial assets, Carolyn Levine.”

The opinion that the Supreme Court of Connecticut released yesterday states, “We further agree with the committee’s argument that the Rules of Professional Conduct apply to attorneys acting in both their personal and professional capacities.”

Posted at 2:42 PM by Howard Bashman

“Nichols May Be Tried in Atlanta Courthouse”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “A man accused of killing four people should be tried in the same downtown courthouse where the shooting spree started because no suitable alternative has been found, prosecutors say.”

Posted at 2:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“‘Legal Affairs’ to Suspend Publication of Print Version”: The February 10, 2006 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education contains this article (pass-through link).

Posted at 12:40 PM by Howard Bashman

News and notes from the day job: On December 27, 2005, I filed a Brief for Appellants in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a deliberate indifference to serious medical needs-prison conditions case from Bucks County, Pennsylvania that resulted in a $1.2 million jury award in favor of two pretrial detainees who contracted antibiotic-resistant staph infections during their confinements.

On January 23, 2006, I filed a Brief for Appellant in the Third Circuit in an interesting dispute between a consultant and a bank involving claims of breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing implied into contracts governed by New Jersey law.

And, on January 6, 2006, I filed a Brief for Appellant in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a case involving a dispute between a primary insurer and a reinsurer over whether the termination of a reinsurance treaty required the reinsurer to return more than $2 million in active life reserves to the insurer.

Also completed last month: my report in a case in which I am to serve as an expert witness; and the text of a chapter to be published in the forthcoming “Third Circuit Appellate Practice Handbook” of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

Posted at 12:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Foreign media barred from trial”: The Toronto Globe and Mail today contains an article that begins, “Foreign media will be banned from the courtroom for the long-awaited criminal trial arising from the tainted-blood scandal, an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled yesterday. At the request of the Crown, Madam Justice Mary Lou Benotto issued an order barring people reporting for or to publications, including Internet publications, from outside Canada.”

And The Toronto Star today contains an article headlined “Frustration at blood trial delay; ‘It’s been 15 years,’ ailing victim says; Don’t have full disclosure, lawyers say.”

Posted at 10:12 AM by Howard Bashman

“It’s Just Not Worth It”: CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen today has an essay that begins, “Zacarias Moussaoui’s angry outbursts Monday at the start of jury selection for his death sentence trial highlights why the proceedings will be far more trouble than they are worth.”

Posted at 9:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“State won’t seek Capano’s execution; Killer expected to serve life without parole; prosecutors and Fahey family satisfied”: The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware contains this article today.

The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article headlined “Death penalty won’t be sought anew for Capano; The prosecutor said he talked with the victim’s family after the original sentence was overturned” that begins, “Delaware’s top prosecutor announced yesterday that he would not seek the death sentence for Thomas Capano, a once-prominent lawyer found guilty of first-degree murder seven years ago in one of the state’s most sensational homicide cases.”

And The Philadelphia Daily News reports that “Delaware decides to let Capano die in jail.”

Posted at 8:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Witness in Enron Trial Struggles With Emotions”: This article appears today in The New York Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Defense Attacks Enron Witness; Lawyers question the motives of a former employee for testifying against ex-executives.”

The Houston Chronicle contains articles headlined “Defense tries to shred witness’ credibility; Skilling attorney finally confronts the former head of investor relations” and “Interest collapses much like Enron itself; Once the center of media attention, the company’s fall is now old news.”

And Financial Times reports that “Defence tries to undermine witness Koenig.”

Posted at 8:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“Having another go? Kerry doffs the gloves.” Today in The Boston Globe, columnist Peter S. Canellos has an op-ed that begins, “John F. Kerry’s decision to lead last week’s unsuccessful filibuster of Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s Supreme Court nomination met with predictable ridicule from Republicans and some Democrats, but it could end up being his smartest political move in a long time.”

And today in The Allentown Morning Call, Malcolm J. Gross has an op-ed entitled “GOP outmaneuvered Senate Democrats on Alito.”

Posted at 7:25 AM by Howard Bashman

“Gonzales Defends Spying as ‘Limited and Lawful'”: The Los Angeles Times contains this article today, along with an article headlined “Gonzales Also Ends Up Defending His Credibility; Senate Democrats accuse the attorney general of previously misleading them on the domestic surveillance program.”

The Chicago Tribune reports today that “Senators grill Gonzales over NSA spying; Warrantless policy ‘lawful,’ he insists.”

USA Today reports that “Lawmakers doubtful on surveillance; Gonzales says he’ll consider proposals.”

In The Boston Globe, Charlie Savage reports that “GOP senators add heat on spying; Specter urges AG to get court review.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that “Gonzales labels spying lawful; President didn’t need OK from courts, Congress, he says.”

The Sacramento Bee reports that “Wiretaps lawful, senators told; Gonzales defends domestic spying in contentious hearing.”

And The Washington Times reports that “‘Enemy is listening,’ Gonzales warns.”

Posted at 7:23 AM by Howard Bashman

“Outbursts Get Moussaoui Repeatedly Ejected From Court”: The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that “Moussaoui is ejected four times; Terrorist calls trial on penalty ‘a circus’ as jury process starts.”

The Sacramento Bee reports that “Moussaoui booted from court; Confessed al-Qaida conspirator causes commotion as jury selection begins.”

And The Washington Times reports that “Moussaoui ejected from sentencing trial.”

Posted at 7:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Group alleges legislature, court colluded”: The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, “Pennsylvania’s leading watchdog group alleged in a lawsuit yesterday that the highest ranks of the legislature traded millions in state aid to the courts for favorable decisions dating to 1999 – and possibly culminating last summer in generous pay raises for more than 1,000 judges.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that “Legislators bought court cooperation, lawsuit alleges.”

And The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports that “Lawmakers gave money to courts, group says; Allegations added to pay-raise lawsuit.”

Posted at 7:08 AM by Howard Bashman