How Appealing

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

“Justice stands to gain from ruling; Sanders should have recused himself from case, ethics experts say”: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer today contains an article that begins, “Justice Richard Sanders, who sued the state to get documents about himself, could be awarded much more money because of a ruling he wrote recently for the state Supreme Court. Sanders’ lawyers say new legal guidelines — ones the justice himself created — mean he should get far more than the $18,112 he was already awarded in his lawsuit. They contend the state should have to pay him something closer to $614,670. Legal-ethics experts say Sanders probably should not have participated in the high court case because of its similarity to his own.”

The newspaper also contains an editorial entitled “Judicial conduct: On the edge.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Supreme Court justice may benefit from own ruling.”

Posted at 11:27 PM by Howard Bashman

“Obama’s Court Nominees Are Focus of Speculation”: In Wednesday’s edition of The New York Times, Neil A. Lewis will have an article that begins, “President Obama will soon begin naming a small stream of nominees to the federal appeals courts, administration officials said, a step that will provide the first signs of how much he intends to impose any ideological stamp on the nation’s judiciary.”

Posted at 11:20 PM by Howard Bashman

“Appeals court panel denies Nacchio bond”: The Denver Post provides this news update.

The Denver Business Journal reports that “Appeals judges deny Nacchio’s motion to stay out of prison.”

The Associated Press reports that “Ex-Qwest CEO cites health in latest court document.”

And Reuters reports that “Ex-Qwest CEO Nacchio asks again for jail term delay.”

You can access today’s order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.

Posted at 11:09 PM by Howard Bashman

“University Club ‘Public Service’ Discount for Justices Causing a Stir”: At the ABA Journal’s “Law News Now” blog, Terry Carter has a lengthy post that begins, “The University Club of Washington, D.C believes it has found a way to bring back Supreme Court justices and federal judges who had to give up their free memberships because of a new law prohibiting ‘an honorary club membership with a value of more than $50 in any calendar year.’ The club recently replaced the ‘Honorary Membership’ with a new and deeply discounted ‘Public Service Membership’ category. It is only for justices and judges who previously had the free memberships. Typically, members over age 35 pay $3,400 annually ($185 monthly dues and $100 monthly minimum food and beverage purchase) and that is on top of a $5,000 initiation fee. The justices and judges now pay $588 a year. Their savings in comparison to other members: $2,812. Some believe that looks like a gift valued at more than $50.”

Posted at 5:27 PM by Howard Bashman

“Defense to appeal Joyce’s 46-month prison sentence”: The Erie (Pa.) Times-News has an update that begins, “A federal judge this afternoon ordered former state Superior Court Judge Michael T. Joyce to serve three years and 10 months in prison for defrauding two insurance companies of $440,000 in 2002. The defense, which wanted probation, said it will appeal.”

Jason Cato of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a news update headlined “Erie judged sentenced to prison in fraud scheme.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Retired Pa. judge gets 46 months in jail for fraud.”

Posted at 4:05 PM by Howard Bashman

National Public Radio examines the use of solitary confinement in prison: This past Sunday’s broadcast of “All Things Considered” contained audio segments entitled “Ex-Prisoner Sues California Over Years In Solitary” and “Is The Use Of Maximum Security Prisons Abused?

And yesterday’s broadcast of “Day to Day” contained an audio segment entitled “Solitary Confinement: Cruel and Inhuman.”

RealPlayer is required to launch these audio segments.

Posted at 3:08 PM by Howard Bashman

When the plaintiff and the defendant in a civil suit file cross-motions for summary judgment, and a federal district court grants the defendant’s motion and denies the plaintiff’s, what happens if the plaintiff appeals only from the denial of her summary judgment motion? In a ruling issued today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds that the notice of appeal should be construed to include a challenge to the district court’s decision granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit examines the federal government’s obligations to the loyal Mdewakanton band of the Sioux tribe: You can access today’s lengthy ruling at this link.

The case reaches the Federal Circuit from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, whose rulings on the matter can be accessed here and here.

In late October 2004, Minnesota Public Radio had a report headlined “‘Loyal Mdewakantons’ win land dispute” about the first of those two rulings.

Posted at 2:30 PM by Howard Bashman

“Justice Souter’s Habit of Mind”: Tony Mauro has this post at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

C-SPAN videotaped yesterday afternoon’s panel presentation on “The Humanities in a Civil Society” at which Justice David H. Souter was a participant, and you can view it online, on-demand by clicking here.

Posted at 12:28 PM by Howard Bashman

“Alleged sleeper agent appears in US criminal court”: The Associated Press has a report that begins, “Alleged al-Qaida sleeper agent Ali al-Marri appeared in a U.S. court Tuesday to face terror charges for the first time after being held for more than five years as an enemy combatant.”

And today’s edition of The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier reports that “Al-Marri to go before judge; have first chance to enter plea.”

Posted at 11:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“A Key Legal Right at Risk”: Today in The Washington Post, former Vice President Walter F. Mondale has an op-ed that begins, “More than 45 years ago, as attorney general of Minnesota, I joined with the attorneys general of 21 states in asking the Supreme Court to ensure that counsel would be appointed for all people facing criminal charges who could not afford it. The court answered our plea. Yet today, its historic decision in Gideon v. Wainwright is at risk.”

Posted at 10:20 AM by Howard Bashman

“Obama Looks to Limit Impact of Tactic Bush Used to Sidestep New Laws”: Charlie Savage has this article today in The New York Times.

The Washington Post reports today that “Obama Pledges to Limit Use of Signing Statements; Bush Drew Controversy by Frequently Attaching Addendums Taking Exception to New Laws.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Obama orders review of Bush’s signing statements; Officials must consult the Justice Department before enforcing them; Obama also says he will limit his own use of such statements.”

USA Today contains an article headlined “Obama curbs use of signing statements; Memo: To raise constitutional issues only.”

Bloomberg News reports that “Obama Orders Reviews of Past Presidential Signing Statements.”

And at, Josh Gerstein has a report headlined “Obama: Ignore signing statements.”

Posted at 10:15 AM by Howard Bashman

“Supreme Court limits the reach of Voting Rights Act; The justices rule in a North Carolina case that there is no duty to draw voting districts that would elect black candidates in areas where blacks are less than a majority”: David G. Savage has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Jess Braven of The Wall Street Journal reports today that “Ruling Limits Scope of Voting Act; Supreme Court Decision Could Make It Harder for Some Minority Candidates to Win.”

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor reports that “US Supreme Court holds to narrow interpretation of the Voting Rights Act; Critics say the ruling on ‘crossover’ districts could reduce the political clout of minorities.”

The Washington Times reports that “Justices limit reach of voting act.”

And The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina reports that “Justices’ ruling could hinder black candidates.”

Posted at 10:03 AM by Howard Bashman

“Field Poll shows voters evenly divided on gay marriage”: Today’s edition of The Sacramento Bee contains an article that begins, “Four months after the passage of Proposition 8, a new opinion poll released today shows California voters almost evenly divided over same-sex marriage but significantly more accepting of it than just three years ago.”

Posted at 9:57 AM by Howard Bashman

“U.S. high court to hear suit over fees; The justices’ decision could make it easier for fund investors to challenge the levies”: This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 9:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“Internet Free-for-All Promises An Ongoing Test of Free Speech”: Columnist Marc Fisher has this essay today in The Washington Post.

Posted at 9:54 AM by Howard Bashman

“Another sign of tough times: legal aid for the middle class; Among the resources available to the newly cash-strapped are online services, self-help centers and lawyers who offer group rates.” Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 9:52 AM by Howard Bashman

“Lawyer cowboys up for Wyoming roughnecks; The oil field is a dangerous workplace, particularly in this Western state, where courts have made it harder to hold companies liable for negligence; A small-town mayor is working to change that”: The Los Angeles Times contains this article today.

Posted at 9:50 AM by Howard Bashman

“Antonin Scalia revels in the lighter side of the law; The Supreme Court justice tells a Los Angeles audience what drew him to the profession (a comfy lifestyle) and gives lawyers some advice (keep it short)”: Carol J. Williams has this article today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 9:48 AM by Howard Bashman

“Upholding of Plea Deal Questioned by Judge”: Today in The Washington Post, Jerry Markon has an article that begins, “A federal judge questioned yesterday whether the Justice Department lived up to its plea agreement with a former Florida professor convicted on a terror charge and gave his attorneys another chance to argue for dismissal of new charges that he refused to cooperate with law enforcement officials.”

Posted at 9:44 AM by Howard Bashman

“Court negates deal by MOVE father for payout”: The Philadelphia Inquirer today contains an article that begins, “A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling to reverse an agreement made by the father of Birdie Africa — the only child to survive the 1985 MOVE bombing — to get a lump sum of money on a settlement he reached with the city in 1991.”

And The Associated Press reports that “Court scolds firm paying advances on settlements.”

You can access last Tuesday’s ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit at this link.

Posted at 8:25 AM by Howard Bashman