Crime

He bakes the most wonderful pies I have ever tasted in my life.

– McLean resident Joan Bretz, discussing her neighbor Joshua Gessler, the Arnold & Porter associate and George Mason adjunct law professor accused of producing child pornography.

Joshua Gessler

Today brings bad news for Arnold & Porter — or maybe make that Arnold & Porno. If the allegations are true, the venerable Washington-based law firm has been employing a lawyer who made child pornography, starring a 15-year-old girl.

A 41-year-old associate in the Tysons Corner office of A&P, Joshua Gessler, has been charged with one count of producing child pornography and five counts of possession. The accusations, reported last night by NBC Washington, are on the lurid side.

Gessler connected online with a 15-year-old prostitute back in April, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant, and offered her $200 to meet up — with the condition that she not be “camera shy” (i.e., that she be willing to be photographed).

Josh Gessler allegedly brought some equipment to their get-together. And we’re not talking about a camera and a tripod….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Arnold & Porter Associate Accused of Kiddie Porn Production”

I can’t remember the last time I was this happy about an indictment. From NPR (gavel bang: Going Concern):

Former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, who testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2008, with his former trainer, Brian McNamee, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C.

According to the Department of Justice, he has been “charged with one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury.”

Go get him, feds. You go get that bloated, shady, suspicious, bat-throwing antichrist. Get ‘em all, I say; you lie to Congress, you get the horns!

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former Major League Baseball Pitcher Roger Clemens [NPR]
Roger Clemens indicted [ESPN]


There was a time when Americans knew how to protest a war. Now is not that time. From the Detroit News:

One protester, Ahlam Mohsen, a Michigan State University senior from Coldwater, was arrested and faces arraignment today on a felony charge of stalking, as well as misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct, Big Rapids police said. She is accused of throwing the apple pie at [U.S. Senator Carl Levin] after her friend Max Kantar made a lengthy statement at a public event at Peppers Cafe and Deli in downtown Big Rapids.

I can accept that money is speech. I can accept that mosque building is religious freedom. But if your political discourse devolves to pie throwing — or shoe throwing, for that matter — you’re just an idiot.

Senator Levin wasn’t injured by the iconic American dessert…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pie-Throwing Protester Arrested”

Here’s an interesting issue for the pro-death penalty crowd: If killing violent offenders passes as justice, are they happy when a violent offender kills himself? That’s the question being bandied about the blogosphere in the wake of Philip Markoff’s apparent suicide.

Markoff was in jail awaiting trial as the “Craigslist Killer.” He allegedly murdered Julissa Brisman after meeting her on Craigslist.

Over on Sentencing Law and Policy (gavel bang: WSJ Law Blog), Ohio State law professor Douglas Berman makes an interesting point:

[A]ssuming he was guilty, my first reaction here is to be pleased. By killing himself, Markoff saved a lot of time, money and energy for those who would be tasked with prosecuting and defending him. And the family of his victim would, I hope, get some measure of closure from Markoff’s death.

Actually, the family of the victim does not seem at all pleased by Markoff’s apparent suicide…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Craigslist Killer’s Self-Imposed Death Sentence Leaves Some Unsatisfied”

In Friday’s Non-Sequiturs, while linking to an interesting article about a man who served 27 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, I used an intentionally inflammatory blurb:

Would Michael Green, exonerated of rape charges by DNA evidence, be worth $2.2 million today if he hadn’t gone to prison? Just asking.

Judging from some of the comments, it seems that this blurb offended some of you. If so, I apologize.

(But I should also note that part of the blogger’s job is to troll provoke readers, intellectually and emotionally. Elie is tasked with baiting provoking the conservatives, and I’m in charge of provoking the liberals. If we don’t offend you every now and then, we’re not doing our jobs.)

In making my excessively irreverent quip, I was trying to get at a fairly serious question: How can we put a price on a man spending years behind bars for a crime he did not commit?

Let’s discuss….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Should Years of Wrongful Imprisonment Be Valued?”

We touched upon this issue in Morning Docket, both today and yesterday: Is Steven Slater — the JetBlue flight attendant who reportedly unleashed a profanity-laced tirade over the airplane’s public-address system, before fleeing the plane via the emergency-evacuation chute, beer in hand — a criminal?

Slater was hit with felony charges of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, on the reasoning that the deployed evacuation chute could have hit someone below. But his lawyer argues that there was no endangerment, since Slater — a flight attendant with about 20 years of experience, since he entered the business at age 19 — checked to make sure nobody was below before deploying the slide.

Let’s explore the legal issues a bit more — with the help of one of our favorite commentators, memoirist turned litigatrix Elizabeth Wurtzel….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Did the JetBlue Flight Attendant Go Down the Slippery Slope Slide to Criminality?”

Samuel McMaster, Jr. didn’t play his cards right before, but hopefully he can now. The former stockbroker admitted to 26 felony charges of securities fraud, after having sold half a million dollars of worthless promissory notes to his victims. He faces up to 12 years in the clinker.

But, apparently, McMaster is a skilled poker player. And as one would expect from an expert swindler, he’s quite a smooth talker. According to ABC News (via Dealbreaker), New Mexico prosecutor Phyllis Bowman agreed to an unusual deal with him: he can try to play poker for his freedom.

White collar defense attorneys, listen up. If McMaster can win back the $440,000 he owes his more than 20 victims, he’s a free man…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Plea Deal of the Day: Poker Payback for Securities Fraud”

Stephan Addison (left) and Benjamin Butler (right)

We like to provide updates on lawyers we’ve covered in the past, just to close the loop and keep readers informed. For example, if a lawyer is accused of wrongdoing, we cover the allegations, and then the charges are dropped, we’d like to write about the clearing of that person’s name. (If you’re aware of such a situation, please email us.)

Sometimes attorneys are punished rather than exonerated, however. Today we bring you news about the Illinois bar’s disciplining of Stephan Addison and Benjamin Butler, both 2004 graduates of the University of Wisconsin Law School, whom we first wrote about back in 2007. The two were once associates at large law firms — Addison at Seyfarth Shaw, and Butler at Schiff Hardin. They left their firms after being accused of sexual assault, after a drunken three-way hook-up that went very, very wrong.

So what are they up to now?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ex-Biglaw Bad Boys Accused of Sexual Assault:
Where Are They Now?”

Firing people sucks. The fired feel lousy about themselves. Those doing the firing feel like jerks. The day the ax falls is a dark one for everybody.

But it’s darkest for the ones who lose their jobs. Especially if they have to leave the building immediately. And don’t have time to clear out their desks. And have things in their desk that will result in at least 15 years of prison time.

Back in June, Jones Day confirmed that it had laid off staff in Dallas and Los Angeles. A recent press release from the FBI suggests that the firm had layoffs in D.C., too. The firm did not mention this back in June, perhaps because it did not want to have to relate the disturbing story of what was found in the desk drawer of one of their recently-axed employees…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Jones Day Laid Off a D.C. Employee, It Discovered a Surprise in his Desk”

Page 82 of 1181...787980818283848586...118