How Appealing

Friday, February 10, 2006

Available online at Justin Scheck reports that “Appeals Court Nominee Has History With 9th Circuit.”

In other news, “Texas Appeals Court Sides With Newspaper in $1 Billion Suit Over HIV Disclosure.” My earlier coverage is here.

In news from New York, “‘Art’ Photo Is Not Subject to Privacy Law, Judge Finds.”

And the brand-new installment of my weekly “On Appeal” column is headlined “Less Is More: When Courts Decide a Law Means the Opposite of What It Says.”

Posted at 10:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“Stay of execution possible; Judge considers hearing on issue of lethal injections”: Bob Egelko has this article today in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Posted at 9:08 PM by Howard Bashman

“Bush nominates Calif. environmental agency official to 9th U.S. Circuit”: Howard Mintz had this article yesterday in The San Jose Mercury News.

Today in The Oakland Tribune, Josh Richman reports that “Bush makes pick for appeals court; State lawyer would fill 9th Circuit spot vacant for more than five years.”

And the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports today that “Schwarzenegger Administration Official Sandra Ikuta Nominated to Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Posted at 9:04 PM by Howard Bashman

“Recently retired Colorado Supreme Court Justice Kourlis speaks with Ryan Warner about her new position as founding director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System based at the University of Denver.” Last week, this segment (Windows Media Player) appeared on Colorado Public Radio‘s “Colorado Matters” program. More information about the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System based at the University of Denver can be accessed here.

Posted at 5:34 PM by Howard Bashman

Appellate commentary, now and then: At some point late tonight, will post online the latest installment of my weekly “On Appeal” column. Therein, I address the soundness of recent rulings (see here and here) from the Ninth and Tenth Circuits construing the statute governing the time within which appellate review must be sought under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 to mean the opposite of what the statute actually says. Access to all of my past columns is now available via this link.

And in Monday’s edition of The Legal Intelligencer, I will have a column addressing two critically important recent appellate waiver rulings (see here and here, with dissents here and here) that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued late last year. Because The Legal Intelligencer’s online content is available only to subscribers, I’ll post the full text of that column here before the end of next week.

Posted at 5:25 PM by Howard Bashman

Available online at “Wonkette”: A post featuring two more photographs of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. with Carol Channing than I ever thought I’d see (the story behind the story is here), and a post reporting that former Fourth Circuit nominee Claude A. Allen has resigned from his job as President Bush’s Domestic Policy Advisor.

Posted at 4:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“Appeals court rules in favor of Dallas Observer in HIV case; Billion-dollar lawsuit over unless plaintiff who sued alternative weekly for revealing his HIV-positive status appeals 3-judge panel’s ruling”: The Dallas Voice contains this article today. You can access at this link last month’s ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas.

In an article published on February 2, 2006 headlined “Testy: A happy ending to a silly lawsuit,” the Dallas Observer again reveals the plaintiff’s name. The original article giving rise to the lawsuit is here.

Back in August 2004, Texas Lawyer published an article about the lawsuit headlined “Paper Seeks Summary Judgment in Suit Over HIV-Status Disclosure.”

Posted at 4:02 PM by Howard Bashman

“Colleague Could Counter Enron Prosecution Witness, Defense Says; Testimony could call into question the credibility of Mark E. Koenig, says Kenneth Lay’s chief attorney”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

The Washington Post reports today that “Former Enron Investor Relations Chief Defends Guilty Plea; Witnesses Were Intimidated Into Deals, Defense Says.”

USA Today reports that “Lay’s attorney hits snags in dealings with witness.”

In The Houston Chronicle, Mary Flood has articles headlined “Witness defends his plea bargain” and “For juror, it’s a case of law and odor.”

The Associated Press reports that “Enron Witness to Testify for Seventh Day.” reports that “Next U.S. witness should perk up Enron trial; Koenig testimony due to wrap up next week; Rice, former head of broadband services, could take stand.”

And today’s broadcast of NPR‘s “Morning Edition” contained a segment entitled “Investor Relations Official in Spotlight at Enron Trial.”

Posted at 3:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Lethal injection ruling expected; Judge says it’s time to look at legality of the state’s method”: Claire Cooper, legal affairs writer for The Sacrament Bee, today has this article in that newspaper.

Posted at 3:03 PM by Howard Bashman

Glad that’s been cleared-up: Today an eleven-judge en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that “jurisdiction may be shown for a Hobbs Act prosecution of an individual by showing either that the crime had a direct effect or an indirect effect on interstate commerce.” The unanimity of the en banc panel’s decision is perhaps best explained, as noted in the concurring opinion of Circuit Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld, by the fact that the resolution of this issue is of absolutely no consequence to the outcome of the case in which the ruling has been announced.

Posted at 2:50 PM by Howard Bashman

“Roberts Off to Quiet Start at Court”: Gina Holland of The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “So far, Chief Justice John Roberts has led a harmonious Supreme Court, rallying colleagues to settle cases in the most limited, least controversial way. The question is whether that will last or has been just a short-term necessity for a changing court.”

Posted at 2:22 PM by Howard Bashman

“We have a three-way split.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today issued a decision in which Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner‘s opinion concurring in the judgment begins:

We have a three-way split. Judge Evans wants to hold O’Neill to his guilty plea, but remand for resentencing before a different judge. Judge Sykes wants to grant O’Neill just the limited Paladino remand. My view is that the plea should be set aside. I join Judge Evans’s proposed disposition, however, because his view is nearer to mine than Judge Sykes’s is, because we need to decide the case, and because Judge Evans’s proposed disposition does do a kind of rough justice; for O’Neill’s primary desire is just to be resentenced by another judge rather than to reopen plea negotiations. Nevertheless, at the risk of seeming a fusspot, I cannot accept Judge Evans’s analysis. I know that the life of the law has not been logic, but logic does have its claims, which in this case seem to me compelling. Either O’Neill was tricked into pleading guilty or he was not. If he was, the logical remedy is to set aside the plea; if he was not, then as Judge Sykes believes he is entitled to nothing more than a Paladino remand. I think the guilty plea should be set aside, and thus that O’Neill should not be subjected to the risk that the judge to whom the case is reassigned may think Judge Kennelly got it right and sentence O’Neill to the same 224 months.

You can access the complete ruling at this link.

Posted at 1:33 PM by Howard Bashman

“No regrets for Miers”: The Dallas Morning News today contains an article that begins, “For Harriet Miers, her ill-fated nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court seems so long ago. Even now, four months after President Bush turned to her, she isn’t sure exactly how it came to be. Nor does she have any regrets about accepting the offer that faltered in a storm of opposition by conservatives within the Republican Party. ‘There was a lot of noise,’ Ms. Miers acknowledged Thursday in her first interview since the nomination. ‘But there were also a lot of great moments.'”

Posted at 12:18 PM by Howard Bashman

“Bush Chooses Agency Counsel For 9th Circuit; Low-Profile, GOP Moderate Has No Bench Experience”: Today in The Daily Journal of California, Lawrence Hurley has an article that begins, “President George W. Bush’s latest pick for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a low-profile, moderate Republican with no bench experience who supporters confidently predict is unlikely to face many hurdles on her way to confirmation.” The article contains quotes from Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, a judge for whom the nominee clerked, and Law Professor Eugene Volokh.

Posted at 10:35 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ex-counselor gets life term for child porn; Judge calls case worst in her career”: This article appears today in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Posted at 10:25 AM by Howard Bashman

Hobby rocket enthusiasts prevail in D.C. Circuit appeal seeking reconsideration of the decision of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives to classify hobby rocket fuel as an explosive: At issue in today’s ruling is whether ammonium perchlorate composite propellant deflagrates. According to the ruling, “a substance that deflagrates burns more rapidly than something that simply burns (like paper or a candle wick), but less rapidly than something that detonates (like dynamite).”

Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman

Attorney living next door to noisy college students results in D.C. Circuit decision: On behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Merrick B. Garland today issued an opinion that begins:

It may be, as Robert Frost wrote, that “[s]omething there is that doesn’t love a wall.” In this case, however, an even thicker wall might have forestalled what the district court accurately described as a “lengthy and vitriolic neighborhood dispute.” Washburn v. Lavoie, 357 F. Supp. 2d 210, 212 (D.D.C. 2004). On one side of the wall in question was Alan V. Washburn, an attorney and thirty-year resident of the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. On the other side were four Georgetown University undergraduates. Washburn complained that the students were making too much noise. The students complained that Washburn was illegally tape-recording them. Testy letters were exchanged, and Washburn sued the students for defamation. For the reasons explained below, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the students.

You can access the complete decision at this link.

Posted at 10:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Justice moves at glacial pace for ‘enemy combatant’; Unusual circumstances keep a terror suspect, arrested in Illinois in 2001, mired in legal limbo and held in a Navy brig hoping for day in court”: The Chicago Tribune today contains an article that begins, “With the recent transfer of terror suspect Jose Padilla to a Miami jail to await trial, the sole remaining ‘enemy combatant’ in the U.S., Ali Saleh Kahlab al-Marri, still sits in the Charleston Naval Brig, awaiting the outcome of a slow legal battle over how to dispense justice when an alleged terrorist is a legal alien.”

Posted at 7:10 AM by Howard Bashman

“Voting Rights Under Siege”: The New York Times today contains an editorial that begins, “American laws that strip convicted felons of the right to vote, barring nearly five million from the polls in the last election, are the most punitive and regressive laws of their kind in the democratic world.”

Posted at 6:45 AM by Howard Bashman