How Appealing

Thursday, November 1, 2007

“Shrapnel from bullet exploded in judge’s office, forensic expert says”: The Reno Gazette-Journal today contains an article that begins, “A bullet traveled about 515 feet from a downtown Reno parking garage, flew over the Century Theatre building and across the Truckee River before bursting through a courthouse window on the morning of June 12, 2006, a detective testified Wednesday. The bullet shattered into small metal pieces that cut into the skin and clothing of Family Court Judge Chuck Weller and his secretary, Annie Allison, as they stood in his chambers, said Victor Ruvalcaba, a forensic investigator with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, during his testimony Wednesday.”

And yesterday, that newspaper contained an article headlined “Targeted judge says he suspected Mack.”

Posted at 10:35 PM by Howard Bashman

“Ala. Court Cuts $3.6B Verdict Vs. Exxon”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “The Alabama Supreme Court on Thursday threw out nearly all of a record $3.6 billion verdict that the state government won against Exxon Mobil Corp. in a dispute over natural gas royalties. In an 8-1 decision, the state’s highest court awarded Alabama $51.9 million in compensatory damages. The court threw out all punitive damages, which made up most of the $3.6 billion verdict, the largest ever in Alabama.”

The blog “Alabama Appellate Watch” has posted today’s 125-page ruling of the Supreme Court of Alabama at this link.

Posted at 10:30 PM by Howard Bashman

Check out the ten finalists for “Best Law Blog” in The 2007 Weblog Awards: Click here and scroll down some. Voting is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Posted at 10:15 PM by Howard Bashman

“States likely to delay executions until ruling; The US Supreme Court’s stay of an execution Tuesday signals a moratorium on lethal injections until it decides a key case”: Warren Richey will have this article Friday in The Christian Science Monitor.

Posted at 10:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“Jailed Gitmo Journalist Gains Support”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “A campaign to free a journalist imprisoned at Guantanamo gained support Thursday from the first Muslim member of Congress, who urged authorities to prosecute or release him after more than five years without charges.”

Posted at 4:38 PM by Howard Bashman

If you think that Carter G. Phillips had fun uttering profanities before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit last December, he may soon get to reprise his performance before the nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Court asked to block expletives on the air” reporting on this petition for writ of certiorari that the federal government filed today.

My earlier coverage of the Second Circuit oral argument, which occurred on December 20, 2006, appears at this link. According to one press account of that oral argument, “the judges may have been reluctant to swear in court, but Fox attorney Carter Phillips said ‘fuck’ and ‘fucking’ and ‘shit’ almost immediately in outlining the case, as if to get the words out, on the table and unabashedly part of the conversation.”

Thanks to C-SPAN, you can view and listen to the Second Circuit oral argument by clicking here (RealPlayer required).

A divided three-judge Second Circuit panel issued its ruling in this case in June 2007, and my posts covering that ruling can be accessed here, here, and here.

Posted at 4:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“William K. Stevens: 1917-2007; Longtime attorney and estate specialist; He was a brother of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.” This obituary appeared yesterday in The Chicago Tribune.

Posted at 3:57 PM by Howard Bashman

“Bush criticizes Democrats on Mukasey nomination; He defends his pick for attorney general for refusing to say whether he thought coercive interrogation techniques were torture”: The Los Angeles Times provides this news update.

The Washington Post provides a news update headlined “Bush Backs Attorney General Nominee.”

And The New York Times provides a news update headlined “Bush Moves to Save Mukasey Nomination.”

You can access a transcript of President Bush’s remarks at this link.

Posted at 3:52 PM by Howard Bashman

“State Court Upholds Fla. Executions”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state’s lethal injection procedures are not cruel and unusual, which could clear the way for an execution scheduled for this month.”

You can access today’s ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida at this link.

Posted at 2:12 PM by Howard Bashman

“G’town students court the Supremes”: The Georgetown Voice today contains an article that begins, “Though not wearing costumes, the 17 Georgetown students huddled around the GUTS bus stop in front of Leo’s at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday had woken up early for a special Halloween treat: a private meeting with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.”

Posted at 11:40 AM by Howard Bashman

“As a matter of federal constitutional law, a criminal suspect does not have a right to keep her mug shot and the information contained in a police report outside of the public domain–and least of all from legitimate requests for the information from the press.” A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today issued a decision that begins, “Dorothy Bailey claims that the Port Huron Police Department violated her constitutional right to privacy by disclosing her name, hometown, photograph, phone number and husband’s occupation after prosecutors charged her in connection with a drunk-driving accident.”

Information disclosed to the press included that Ms. Bailey’s husband worked as an undercover law enforcement officer, and in fact he was employed as an undercover deputy sheriff in the drug task force unit of the St. Clair County, Michigan Sheriff’s Department.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton was the author of today’s ruling.

Posted at 11:38 AM by Howard Bashman

“Protest hits home for Texas judge who refused to hear late appeal”: Yesterday’s issue of The Daily Texan contained an article that begins, “A group of activists opposing the death penalty rallied outside Judge Sharon Keller’s home in North Austin Tuesday night. Keller presides over the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and refused to accept a late death penalty appeal on Sept. 25, which resulted in Michael Richard’s execution.”

And The Fort Worth Star-Telegram yesterday contained an editorial entitled “Hello? Hello?! Criminal justice.”

Posted at 9:42 AM by Howard Bashman

“Terror case prosecutor acquitted of rigging trial; Jury: Convertino and agent didn’t hide evidence.” The Detroit Free Press contains this article today.

The Detroit News reports today that “Federal jury acquits terror prosecutor; Jubilant Convertino calls trial ‘politically motivated prosecution.’

The New York Times reports that “Ex-Prosecutor Acquitted of Misconduct in 9/11 Case.”

And The Washington Post reports that “Ex-Prosecutor, Security Officer Cleared in Terrorism Case.”

Posted at 9:30 AM by Howard Bashman

“Brian Nichols case: Fellow judge blasts Fuller; Seeking replacement: In an e-mail, Schwall calls fellow jurist a ‘fool’; Court spokesman says other judges are frustrated.” This article appears today in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper also reports that “Nichols lawyers drop contempt of court motion.” And Law Professor Anne Emanuel has an op-ed entitled “Judge easy, but wrong, scapegoat; State raised the bar, bringing on a costly defense for Nichols.”

In other coverage, Fulton County Daily Report today contains an article headlined “Ga. Judge Blasts Judge in Courthouse Murder Case as a ‘Fool’ and ‘Embarrassment’; Judge Craig Schwall blasts Fuller in an e-mail to Superior Court judges, saying Fuller should be replaced.”

Posted at 9:27 AM by Howard Bashman

“Huge award in funeral lawsuit; $10.9 million damages for kin of Marine killed in Iraq”: Today’s edition of The Baltimore Sun contains an article that begins, “A federal jury in Baltimore awarded nearly $11 million yesterday to the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, deciding that the family’s privacy had been invaded by a Kansas church whose members waved anti-gay signs at the funeral. It was the first-ever verdict against Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist Christian group based in Topeka that has protested military funerals across the country with placards bearing shock-value messages such as ‘Thank God for dead soldiers.’ They contend that the deaths are punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality and of gays in the military.”

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports today that “Phelpses found liable for $10.9 million; Spokeswoman says appeal likely to happen.”

The Washington Post reports that “$11 Million Awarded in Funeral Protest Suit.”

And USA Today reports that “Church liable for protest at funeral; Jury gives Marine’s family nearly $11M in damages.”

Posted at 9:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Two More Democrats To Oppose Mukasey; White House Says Justice Pick Will Still Be Confirmed”: This article appears today in The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times reports today that “Democrats’ resistance to Mukasey grows; Two more Democratic senators say they will not support his nomination as attorney general when the committee votes on it Tuesday.” In addition, columnist Rosa Brooks has an op-ed entitled “Mukasey’s black magic on torture: Anyone with a conscience has an opinion on waterboarding; the would-be attorney general should come clean on his.”

USA Today reports that “Mukasey draws more criticism for answers on ‘waterboarding’ issue.”

The New York Times contains an editorial entitled “Torture and the Attorneys General.” In addition, Senior U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour of the Western District of Washington has an op-ed entitled “How to Try a Terrorist.”

Posted at 9:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“Executions likely on hold until high court ruling; Reprieve in Miss. case signals more stays as justices review lethal injection”: Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that “U.S. Cuts Back on Executions as It Debates Lethal Injections.”

The Houston Chronicle reports today that “DA decides to hold off on some death penalty cases; County will wait until Supreme Court rules on punishment’s constitutionality.”

And in The Washington Post, Law Professor David R. Dow has an op-ed entitled “The Last Lethal Injection?

Posted at 8:35 AM by Howard Bashman

“Alito puts rookie year behind, gets a few words in; The former U.S. attorney brings ‘prosecutorial experience to bear'”: Joan Biskupic has this article today in USA Today.

Posted at 8:04 AM by Howard Bashman