How Appealing

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

On this date in “How Appealing” history: Two years ago today, on February 15, 2004, I had a post titled “‘How Appealing’ readers offer their favorite vocabulary words found in opinions by First Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya.”

And today is the one-year anniversary of my post titled “U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit allows enforcement of subpoenas ordering grand jury testimony from New York Times and Time magazine reporters in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation.” The ruling, which originally issued on February 15, 2005, can be accessed here.

Posted at 11:28 PM by Howard Bashman

He stole mail; This is his punishment: According to new posts today by Dan Markel available here and here at “PrawfsBlawg,” any day now Shawn Gementera will have to serve eight hours of his federal community service sentence by standing in front of a post office wearing a signboard stating, “I stole mail. This is my punishment.”

Today, in an order I have posted online here, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California rejected Gementera’s motion to eliminate that shaming punishment. Back in August 2004, I had this post on the Ninth Circuit‘s ruling by a divided three-judge panel upholding the sentence. And I collected press coverage of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in posts accessible here and here.

Posted at 8:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“The email that roared: The strange tale of a much-forwarded email chain describing ‘Lawyers behaving badly.'” David L. Yas has this article online today at Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Posted at 8:10 PM by Howard Bashman

“Enron witness: ‘This is BS’; Ken Rice, former CEO of Enron’s broadband unit, defends his cooperation with prosecutors in hope of securing a lighter prison sentence.” provides this update.

Posted at 5:32 PM by Howard Bashman

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit directs entry of injunction against Georgia statute prohibiting advertisements for vibrators and dildos: As today’s opinion makes clear, there aren’t many consumers who may lawfully purchase such items in Georgia, but because Georgia law allows the sale of such items to some people, the State cannot lawfully ban otherwise protected commercial speech offering the items for sale.

Posted at 3:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“The majority’s decision to affirm the denial of class certification means that Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Company will never be held to account if it discriminated against 1.4 million African-Americans by charging them higher premiums for industrial life insurance than it charged whites.” So begins the dissent to a ruling that a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued today.

Posted at 3:08 PM by Howard Bashman

In news from Colorado: The Denver Post provides a news update headlined “Eid appointed to high court” that begins, “Colorado solicitor general Allison Eid was appointed the 95th Supreme Court justice by Gov. Bill Owens today, replacing Rebecca Love Kourlis.” The bio for Allison Hartwell Eid available from the University of Colorado Law School states that “Before joining the faculty of the law school, Professor Eid clerked for the Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court and for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. ”

Posted at 3:05 PM by Howard Bashman

“Pa. Supreme Court Rejects Opportunity To Relax Its Harsh Appellate Waiver Jurisprudence”: The text of the most recent installment of my monthly appellate column, which appeared on Monday of this week in The Legal Intelligencer, can now be freely accessed here. I recently linked here to the decisions at issue.

Posted at 2:58 PM by Howard Bashman

“Negotiating at Gunpoint: Cities can’t be trusted with sweeping eminent domain powers.” Jacob Sullum has this essay online today at Reason.

Posted at 2:24 PM by Howard Bashman

“Third Circuit rules, en banc, Blakely and Booker inapplicable to restitution and forfeiture”: The blog “Sentencing Law and Policy” provides this report on a ruling issued today.

Posted at 12:44 PM by Howard Bashman

“Court weighs fairness of spying trial; A rare appellate hearing examines the Cuban Five spy case again, amid questions over whether the defendants received a fair trial”: This article appears today in The Miami Herald.

Posted at 12:14 PM by Howard Bashman

“W taps another throwback for important appeals seat”: Today in The Houston Chronicle, columnist Cragg Hines has an op-ed that begins, “Where does he find these people? No sooner had President Bush returned last week from Coretta Scott King’s funeral than he nominated to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a lawyer with a terrible record on civil rights.”

Posted at 11:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lawyer Questions State Action On Ex-Guards’ Cases”: The Hartford Courant today contains an article that begins, “The attorney for three men who lost their jobs as correction officers because of their ties to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club argued in a federal appeals court Tuesday that the state’s action violated her clients’ constitutional rights.”

Posted at 11:45 AM by Howard Bashman

“Witness: Skilling’s pressure fed stock deception; Former head of broadband unit says finessing earnings reports was expected.” Mary Flood has this article today in The Houston Chronicle.

The New York Times reports today that “Ex-Enron Chief Lied Often About Web Unit, Witness Says.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Skilling Implicated by Witness in Hype; Enron’s ex-chief ordered changes to earnings targets, jurors are told.”

And USA Today contains an article headlined “Witness: Skilling hid Enron unit’s status from board.”

Posted at 10:33 AM by Howard Bashman

Thou shalt not make blurry a photographic image of the Ten Commandments: The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania today contains an article headlined “Piccola laments lack of focus on Commandments” that begins, “Thou shalt not make any graven image, the Ten Commandments say. Now, a state lawmaker wants to avoid any blurred images, too. A tourist booklet of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court shows a picture of the jurists in front of a painting depicting the Ten Commandments, but the painting was blurred in the photo.”

In other coverage, The Associated Press reports that “Ten Commandments Photo Draws Objection.”

In related news, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that “Panel backs Baldwin for high court.”

And The Penn State Collegian reports today that “Trustee closer to high court.”

Posted at 10:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge Reverses Decision to Bar Moussaoui”: The Associated Press provides an update that begins, “Confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was unexpectedly allowed to re-enter the federal courtroom Wednesday for the selection of a jury to decide whether he is executed or imprisoned for life.”

Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman

“Scouts’ land fight is in appeals court; 2003 ruling found leases of S.D. property were unconstitutional”: This article appears today in The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that “Boy Scouts, ACLU square off in court over stances on God, gays.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Court considers whether Boy Scouts can use public San Diego space.”

Once the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit posts online the audio of yesterday’s oral argument, I will link to it.

Posted at 8:22 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge’s aide gets prison in fraud; She receives one-year term and is ordered to repay the $227,000 she stole”: The Sacramento Bee today contains an article that begins, “The former secretary of a Sacramento federal judge has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud in connection with her theft of $227,000 from the judge while she was working for him and handling his personal financial matters.”

Posted at 8:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Backers of gay marriage rally amid hope on key court case”: The Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger contains this article today. A bit later this morning, I’ll provide a link to a live web broadcast of today’s oral argument.

Update: At 10 a.m. eastern time today, the Supreme Court of New Jersey will hear oral argument in Lewis v. Harris, a case that presents the question “Does the New Jersey Constitution require the State to allow same-sex couples to marry?” You can access a live webcast of the oral argument via this link. And the decision under review is here.

Posted at 7:30 AM by Howard Bashman