Archive for the ‘Courts’ Category

How We Pick Juries

December 7, 2018

There’s a problem with juries. A legal loophole makes them less diverse. A Vox video.

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Lawyer Locked Up For Rolling His Eyes At Judge

November 2, 2018

Lawyer Locked Up For Rolling His Eyes At Judge

Circuit Judge David Borowski of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin ordered the detention of Public Defender Puck Tsai for a perceived lack of respect and decorum. “Rolling your eyes, throwing your hands in the air, acting like I’m some kind of idiot gets you locked up for contempt,” Judge Borowski told Mr. Tsai before the defense attorney was handcuffed and hauled off to the slammer with a belly chain.

“According to the Journal Sentinel,” notes the ABA Journal,  “it’s not the first time Borowski ordered contempt detentions. He previously did so for parties in probate cases and for a lawyer in a high-profile criminal case.”

More:

“Judge Locks Up Defense Attorney Who Dared To Roll His Eyes At Him,” Kathryn Rubino, Above the Law

“Defense lawyers group calls for Milwaukee County judge to admit error, apologize or resign over jailed lawyer,” Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal

Bonus section: 

“Eye Rolling,” Wikipedia

“Don’t Roll Your Bloodshot Eyes at Me,” written by Hank Penny, recorded by Wynonie Harris, 1951.

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Brett Kavanaugh: Perjury?

September 7, 2018

When Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during 2004 confirmation hearings on his DC Circuit Court nomination, he said, under oath, that he had not seen confidential memos regarding the judicial nomination of William Pryor that were pilfered from Democratic senators by GOP staffer Manuel Miranda, and was not involved in Bush White House discussions about the Pryor nomination. Guess what was in the “committee confidential” emails released at 3AM on Thursday? An email about the Pryor nomination.

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Client Number Three

April 18, 2018

Client Number Three

After the FBI seized documents from his office, home, and hotel room, Trump fixer Michael Cohen is on trial in New York for as-yet unspecified federal crimes, most likely bank fraud and campaign law violations relating to his hush money payoffs to women on behalf of his adulterous clients Donald Trump and Elliott Broidy. Mr. Cohen isn’t much of a lawyer, but he’s had one more client, whose identity he tried to withholdJudge Kimba Wood wasn’t having it, and “client number three” turned out to be Sean Hannity, the vociferous defender of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen on Fox News. Hilarity ensued.

More:

“Yes, Sean Hannity was a legal client of Michael Cohen’s,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“No Disclosure? No Problem. Sean Hannity Gets a Pass at Fox News.” Michael M. Grynbaum and John Koblin, New York Times

“Sean Hannity’s idea of ‘attorney-client privilege’ was right out of ‘Breaking Bad,’”  Kyle Swenson, Washington Post

“Sean Hannity’s Ties to Two More Trump-Connected Lawyers,” Rosie Gray, The Atlantic

“Michael Cohen and the Busting of the Trump Crime Family,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Trump Should Be Worried by Cohen Probe. Really Worried.” Noah Feldman,  Bloomberg View

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Trump: Yes, It Is a Muslim Ban

June 6, 2017

Trump: Yes, It's a Muslim Ban
President Donald J. Trump commemorated Saturday’s tragedy in London by tweeting a renewed call to ban travel to the US from six predominantly Muslim countries. A second version of his presidential order (he now calls it “watered-down“) is headed to the Supreme Court, and this presidential tweetstorm may have doomed the administration’s case. Even Kellyanne Conway’s husband thinks so.

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There is Law on ‘An Island In the Pacific’: Jeff Sessions is Amazed

April 21, 2017

There is Law on 'An Island In the Pacific': Jeff Sessions is Amazed
Speaking on Mark Levin’s radio show, Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed Hawaiian Federal Judge Derrick Watson’s order blocking President Trump’s latest ‘Muslim ban”:

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is clearly suggesting that Hawaii is not a real state.

As Martin Longman observes:

“… Hawaii is not only a series of islands in the Pacific, but it is the least white and most ethnically and racially diverse state in the country. That probably has at least a little to do with why a white conservative man from Alabama named after the former president of the Confederacy and the man who fired on Ft. Sumter doesn’t think it’s a legitimate part of America.”

— “Sessions Suggests That Hawaiians Aren’t Real Americans,” Martin Longman, Washington Monthly

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Bridgegate Conspirators on Off-Ramp to Prison

April 5, 2017

Bridgegate Conspirators on Off-Ramp to Prison
Two former allies of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie convicted in the Bridgegate caper were sentenced by Newark Federal Court Judge Susan Wigenton on Wednesday. Former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly will spend 18 months behind bars, and former Port Authority executive Bill Baroni will reside in prison for two years. The two Republicans will remain free on bail while they appeal their convictions. Donald Trump’s sister Maryanne is a New Jersey Federal Appeals Court judge, but she won’t be hearing the case.

In September 2013 members of the Christie Administration and Christie-appointed members of the New York Port Authority decided to punish Mayor Mark J. Sokolich of Fort Lee, a Democrat, for not supporting the governor’s re-election bid. They had George Washington Bridge access lanes in Fort Lee blocked, causing five days of massive traffic jams. Political fallout from this emerged in time to tank Christie’s presidential campaign and then push him out of the Trump transition team.

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Florida: Docs vs Glocks

February 21, 2017

Florida: Docs vs Glocks

In Florida, a pediatrician can ask if a patient’s family keeps a big dog, or has an swimming pool, but it’s against the law for a physician to ask if there are firearms in the house. Until last Friday. In a 10-1 decision, the full panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law, known as the Privacy of Firearm Owners act, violates the First Amendment rights of doctors. This caps a 5 year legal battle popularly known as “Docs vs. Glocks.”

Eight children or teenagers are killed by guns every day in the U.S.; it’s as if a World Trade Center full of children collapsed every year. Clearly, household firearms pose a health risk to children.

 

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Trump Pays $25 Million Over Phony University

November 21, 2016

Trump Pays $25 Million Over Phony University

On Friday, President-elect and litigious career con man Donald J. Trump, who prides himself on never settling lawsuits, agreed to a $25 million settlement over his fraudulent “Trump University.” You may not have noticed because Mr. Trump spent the weekend distracting the media with his theater criticism.

Donald Trump’s unlicensed “university” was a bait-and-switch scheme, offering free courses that were sales pitches for $1,000 courses, which were in turn sales pitches for $10,000 and $35,000 courses. It’s a wonder the President-elect wasn’t sued by the Church of Scientology for stealing its business model.

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Chris Christie: Unindicted Co-Conspirator?

November 10, 2016

Chris Christie: Unindicted Co-Conspirator?

With the conviction of two former aides in the “Bridgegate” trial last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been cast in an “unflattering light,” to quote the Wall Street Journal. The governor denies prior knowledge of the politically motivated plan that tied up traffic on the George Washington Bridge for four days, but the conviction of his former aides validates the existence of a conspiracy, and another aide took a plea deal. Gov. Christie cancelled weekend campaign appearances with GOP candidate Donald Trump after the verdict.

Governor Christie now heads President-elect Trump’s transition team. Maybe he’ll be named Secretary of Transportation since he knows so much about bridgesbuses, highways, rail transit, and tunnels.

More:

“After the Bridgegate Verdict, Chris Christie Comes Off As the Guiltiest of All,” Andrew Rice, New York Magazine

“Reminder: Trump Believes Own Transition Chairman Was Involved in Bridgegate, Which Is Now Officially a Felony Conspiracy,” Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate

Update:

“Pence Replaces Christie as Head of Trump Transition Team,” Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg Politics

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