WeirdOfTheNews
 

 
A regularly updated guide to random legal news that I find interesting -- and hope you will too. And links! Always links!
 
 
 

 
 

Friday, May 02, 2003

 
Supreme Court Wonks Take Note!

If you're a fan of arcane information about the secretive U.S. Supreme Court, don't miss law.com's article, which covers the recent rescission of the mysterious rule against note-taking by visitors, and the soon-to-be-infamous Justice Rehnquist bobble-head doll.
 
The Injudicious

Law.com just published its annual roundup of the country's most outrageous judicial misconduct, which you can access here.
 
"Clueless In Columbus"

California appellate justice William Bedsworth sounds off about our brethren from the Midwest, and some of their recent silly antics.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

 
California Supreme Court to Review Slave Labor Law

"The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to review the validity of a state law allowing people to sue companies that forced them into slave labor during World War II.

"The justices, without comment, decided at its weekly private conference here to examine a January decision by a Los Angeles appeals court allowing a Korean-American man to sue the former Onoda Cement Co. and its successor, Taiheiyo Cement Corp. of Japan, which has a Los Angeles-based subsidiary. Jae Wan Jeong is seeking back wages, unspecified damages, an apology and establishment of a trust fund to benefit victims of forced labor.

"At issue is a 1999 California law allowing people claiming to be wartime forced-labor victims in Europe and Asia to seek redress until 2010 against multinational firms that operate in the state," the San Jose Mercury News reports here. I linked to the California State appellate decision earlier here, and to the Ninth Circuit's subsequent decision in a related case here.
 
NY Partner Convicted Of Stealing $27.7 Million

"James P. Conroy, a former partner at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, was convicted yesterday of stealing $27.7 million from a former client, Evergreen Security, an investment firm now in bankruptcy, the New York Law Journal reports" here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

 
Hairstylist Claims Sexual Harassment on Fox Sports Show

Courthouse News Service is reporting that "A former hairstylist [Lisa Brescher] for the television series 'The Best Damn Sports Show' on the Fox Sports cable network has sued the show's producers and one of its on-air personalities [John Sally] for creating 'an environment of unrestrained sexual harassment.'" The specific allegations detailed in the complaint are pretty graphic and shocking. UPDATE: Here's a news story about the complaint, in case the Courthouse News link breaks.
 
Nation's Courts Grapple With Budget Woes

This article from the AP discusses some of the problems court systems are facing around the country. One particularly startling item: "In Texas, where lawmakers face a $1.8 billion shortfall, the chief justice has proposed a constitutional amendment to cut two of the nine justices on the state Supreme Court to save money," it says here.
 
Accused Lawyer Takes It on the Lam

"A Lafayette, La. lawyer accused of stealing roughly $130,000 that should have been paid to his clients in personal injury settlements has skipped town, investigators said. William Aubrey, 55, was charged with two counts of theft and is under investigation in connection with a third case, according to prosecutors," New York Lawyer reports here.
 
Gay Man's Title VII Claim Argued

"When a gay man is harassed by his co-workers, can he bring a federal claim under Title VII on the theory that he was the victim of sex discrimination because he didn't live up to the 'stereotype' of what it means to be a man?" Read about the interesting oral argument on the issue in Federal District Court in Pennsylvania today from The Legal Intelligencer here.
 
Sentencing in Federal "Surf Rage" Case

Two surfers who beat up a third on Federal property get home confinement, probation, and community service, SFGate reports here.
 
Michigan Man Sues McDonald's for $25,000

"A man is suing fast-food giant McDonald's after allegedly biting into a piece of already chewed gum in a salad," the AP reports here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

 
People Magazine Sued Over Scott Peterson Photos

This is weird. The woman who sold photographs of Scott Petersen and his alleged girlfriend is now suing People Magazine because the photos she sold include an image of a photograph of her hanging on the wall in the background. At least that's my understanding after reading this.
 
A Criminal Waste of Space

California appellate Justice William Bedsworth has gone and published his column again.
 
Judge Dismisses Lawyer's Loud-Music Lawsuit Against John Fogerty

"A Manhattan judge has turned a deaf ear to a lawyer's complaint that he suffered hearing damage because of an 'unreasonably loud' rock concert by singer and songwriter John Fogerty, formerly of Creedence Clearwater Revival. State Supreme Court Justice Martin Schoenfeld dismissed a lawsuit that had been filed by Jeffrey Powell, 56, saying Powell assumed the risk of hearing damage when he attended the concert," the AP reports here.
 
Music Industry Sends Warning to Song Swappers

"The record industry opened a new front in its war against online piracy on Tuesday by surprising hundreds of thousands of Internet song swappers with an instant message warning that they could be 'easily' identified and face 'legal penalties.' About 200,000 users of the Grokster and Kazaa file-sharing services initially received the warning notice on Tuesday and millions more will get notices in coming weeks," Reuters reports here.

Monday, April 28, 2003

 
Judge Bans a 'Nonsense' Anti-Tax Book

"A Las Vegas federal judge has called the anti-tax writings of a civil defendant 'nonsense' and enjoined him from distributing a book that's based on them. The case has sparked a legal battle that pits federal tax law against First Amendment rights. A suit brought by the Tax Division of the Justice Department has won a temporary restraining order that enjoins Irwin Schiff and two co-workers from 13 specific activities, such as holding seminars that promote any false or fictitious tax schemes. U.S. v. Schiff, No. CV-S-03-0281-LDG-RJJ (D. Nev.)." The ACLU has stepped in, arguing that the injunction is an unconstitutional prior restraint, The National Law Journal reports here.
 
Supreme Court Hands Victory to San Francisco in Long-Running Battle Over Giant Cross on Mount Davidson

The Court denied a writ petition, effectively ending the case, which started back in 1990 when the City sold a part of Mount Davidson Park to a private group to end an earlier case challenging the cross on public property. Details here from KPIX, or here from the AP via SFGate.com.
 
Pennsylvania Lawyer Bills 81 Hours in a Single Day

I think this story speaks for itself.
 
Bad Attitude Lands Would-Be Juror In Jail

After failing to show up for jury duty for three consecutive days, 23 year old Brian Scott Lett left an obscenity-laden message on the court's answering machine. "'We are willing to consider some reasonable requests for exclusion from jury duty, but we don't consider, '(Expletive) jury duty, bitch,' a statement we can work with,' [court clerk Gail] VanTimmeren said." The unrepentant Lett got to spend the weekend in jail, according to this. UPDATE: Here's another story, including a picture of this fine young citizen.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

 
NY Lawyer's Vacation Ends In Drafting Kingdom's Laws

"So did you hear the one about the Manhattan lawyer who goes to the Himalayas with her golf pro husband, they meet this king, and, yada, yada, yada, she has to go back next year to help write their constitution?" Read the details here from New York Lawyer.

 

 
   
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