How Appealing

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Here’s hoping that life doesn’t imitate “24“: The Associated Press has a report headlined “Oldest US nuke plant could get new license” that begins, “Regulators don’t have to consider the threat of a terrorist attack on the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant, a federal court ruled Tuesday, and a vote on a new 20-year license for it is scheduled for Wednesday.”

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

Posted at 7:44 PM by Howard Bashman

The other Adam Liptak is losing weight thanks to the recession: This past Sunday’s edition of The Boston Globe contained an article that begins, “As a banker who puts together complex loan packages for developers and other high-fliers, Adam Liptak has felt the recession’s pain in the now all-too-familiar ways. But in the months since the credit markets went into piston-lock, he has noticed an unexpected and beneficial side effect: He has dropped 35 pounds.”

Posted at 7:32 PM by Howard Bashman

“Judge Keller’s disclosures omit nearly $2 million in real estate, public records show”: Yesterday’s edition of The Dallas Morning News contained an article that begins, “The presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, while seeking state aid to defend herself against ethics charges, failed to abide by legal requirements that she disclose nearly $2 million in real estate holdings, according to an analysis of public records by The Dallas Morning News.” And today, the newspaper has an update headlined “Civil, criminal complaints filed against Judge Sharon Keller over real estate holdings.”

The Associated Press reports that “Ethics complaint filed against Keller.”

And at the “Focal Point” blog of The Austin American-Statesman, Chuck Lindell has a post titled “Watchdog group files 2 complaints against Keller.” The blog has also posted “Keller’s 2008 financial disclosure statement“; “Ethics Commission complaint“; and “County attorney complaint.”

Posted at 3:45 PM by Howard Bashman

“Mixed-Up Names and Mixed Motives at the Supreme Court”: Tony Mauro has this post at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.”

You can access the transcript of today’s U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc., No. 08-441, at this link.

Posted at 3:30 PM by Howard Bashman

In praise of Hewlett-Packard‘s customer service: At the start of 2009, I upgraded my office’s computer system to a machine that’s running the 64-bit Windows Vista operating system. As a result, it was also necessary to upgrade my office printer-photocopier-scanner-fax all-in-one machine from the hp LaserJet 3330 to the hp LaserJet 1522nf.

The new printer was performing wonderfully until last Friday, when it began to stop printing documents before all pages had emerged. That issue persisted through yesterday, when the printer also exhibited the dreaded “Scanner Error 5” malfunction code.

Mid-morning yesterday, I called Hewlett-Packard’s toll-free customer service number, where a helpful representative located in Costa Rica had me attempt a number of possible fixes (all to no avail) before offering to supply a replacement printer at no charge. According to the customer service representative, the replacement printer was scheduled to arrive in two to three business days. Fortunately, I had retainer my older printer, which is capable of printing from my current system.

This morning at 10 a.m. — less than 24 hours after a replacement printer had been promised — FedEx delivered the replacement printer, which had been sent overnight from California. That’s the fastest under warranty replacement of technology that I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience.

Posted at 1:45 PM by Howard Bashman

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issues “chutzpah” footnote: See footnote five (located on page seven of the PDF file) of this opinion issued today (via “Wait A Second!“).

The sentence to which the footnote pertains states, “Despite their flat-out refusal to comply with the District Court’s lawful orders, the Uzans now have the chutzpah to seek post-judgment, equitable relief from complying with those orders.”

Posted at 11:33 AM by Howard Bashman

“Office of Legal Counsel Nominee Still Awaiting Vote”: Today at “The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times,” David Ingram has a post that begins, “Dawn Johnsen, nominated to be assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, may have to wait at least another three weeks for a vote in the Senate.”

Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings in argued cases: The Court today resolved three argued cases.

The first ruling that the Court released today issued in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, No. 07-1372. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the opinion at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

The second ruling that the Court released today issued in Rivera v. Illinois, No. 07-9995. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court. You can access the ruling at this link and the oral argument transcript at this link.

Third and finally, the Court today issued a per curiam order dismissing the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted in Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Williams, No. 07-1216. You can access the oral argument transcript at this link. The case was argued on December 3, 2008, suggesting that the decision to dismiss the case as improvidently granted was not reached with typical dispatch. In any event, no dissents from this disposition are noted in the Court’s order.

At “SCOTUSblog,” Lyle Denniston has a post titled “Tobacco punitive verdict stands.”

I guess, at the end of the day, the analysis expressed in the February 11, 2008 installment of my “On Appeal” column headlined “Not Even U.S. Supreme Court Victory Can Vanquish $79.5 Million Punitive Award Against Philip Morris” proved to be correct.

In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that “Court ends Philip Morris appeal of $79.5M award“; “Hawaii wins land dispute at Supreme Court“; and “Court refuses to throw out murder conviction.”

Posted at 10:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Legal Group’s Neutrality Is Challenged”: Today’s installment of Adam Liptak’s “Sidebar” column begins, “Two weeks ago, the American Bar Association’s eight-year exile ended. The Obama administration restored the group to the special status it had enjoyed since the Eisenhower years, and it will once again get early word about potential nominees to the federal bench.”

Liptak’s report links to a paper titled “Bias and the Bar: Evaluating the ABA Ratings of Federal Judicial Nominees,” recently posted online at SSRN.

Posted at 8:05 AM by Howard Bashman

“Can A True Statement Form the Basis for a Defamation Lawsuit? In a Controversial Ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Says Yes.” Julie Hilden has this essay online at FindLaw.

Posted at 8:02 AM by Howard Bashman

“Commission to select chief justice nominees for state Supreme Court”: This article appears today in The Providence (R.I.) Journal.

Posted at 8:00 AM by Howard Bashman

“CNN analyst gives history of Court”: Today’s edition of The Brown and White — the student newspaper of Lehigh University — contains an article that begins, “Jeffrey Toobin, journalist and analyst for CNN, discussed the public and private sides of the U. S. Supreme Court on Wednesday in Packard Laboratory.”

And in other coverage, Lehigh University issued a news release headlined “Toobin offers perspective on presidents and justices.”

This evening at Lehigh, law professor Jeffrey Rosen will deliver this year’s Tresolini Lecture, titled “Obama’s Constitution: The Future of the Supreme Court.”

Posted at 7:58 AM by Howard Bashman