I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby

Lewis Libby Scooter Libby I Lewis Scooter Libby Above the Law Blog.jpgOkay, ‘fess up. You didn’t follow the Scooter Libby trial that closely. It struck you as kinda confusing, kinda boring.
You didn’t read that much about the trial while it was going on — maybe an article on the day of opening arguments, and an article or two after the verdict. Whenever the Libby case came up at cocktail parties, you tried to steer the talk towards Britney’s shaved head, afraid of your ignorance being exposed.
Live in fear no longer. Just read this excellent Talk of the Town piece by Jeffrey Toobin, which tells you all you need to know about the case, in clear and concise fashion.
(We heart the MSM! They write about stuff like the Libby trial, so we don’t have to.)
Talk of the Town: Verdicts [New Yorker]

Lewis Libby Scooter Libby I Lewis Scooter Libby Above the Law Blog.jpgEvery time we step away from our computer, big news breaks. Here’s a thread for discussion of the verdict in the Scooter Libby case.
We’ll update this post with comments and links as we read the coverage.
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Okay, so here’s the Washington Post lede (which we like better than the NYT and AP ledes — it’s the most substantive and informative of the three):

A federal jury today convicted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby of lying about his role in the leak of an undercover CIA officer’s identity, finding the vice president’s former chief of staff guilty of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice, while acquitting him of a single count of lying to the FBI.

It’s a big victory for special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald (a proud graduate of Regis High School, which is also our alma mater). It’s a blow for Libby’s two talented defense lawyers: Theodore V. Wells Jr., of Paul Weiss, and William Jeffress Jr., of Baker Botts.
(Random digression: Ted Wells was at Lowenstein Sandler in New Jersey for many years, before he was wooed to the other side of the Hudson. Bill Jeffress was previously at the super-elite boutique of Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin, which was acquired by Baker Botts.)
During his closing argument, Ted Wells broke down in tears. Now he has real cause for crying.
His client must be even more sad. Per the Post:

Under federal sentencing guidlines, Libby faces a probable prison term of 1 1/2 to three years when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton June 5.

Update: As one of you notes, sentencing guru Doug Berman thinks Libby’s sentence could go much higher. See here.
Libby reacted to the verdict stoically. Again from the Post:

As the jury forewoman read each guilty count in a clear, solemn voice, Libby was impassive, remaining seated at the defense table, gazing straight ahead and displaying no visible emotion. His wife, Harriet Grant, sat in the front row with tears in her eyes and was was embraced by friends. Later she hugged each of Libby’s lawyers.

Personally we feel bad for Scooter Libby. Much of his defense rested upon claims of memory lapses, and we know all too well about memory problems. We blame our rapidly deteriorating memory upon blogging, which does strange things to one’s mental architecture, and excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners.
Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Case [Washington Post]
Libby Guilty of Lying in C.I.A. Leak Case [New York Times]
Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Trial [Associated Press]

Valentine's Day shirt Lewis Libby Scooter Libby Above the Law.jpgWe’ve given it almost no coverage here at ATL (largely because it doesn’t seem very amusing). But yes, in case you haven’t heard, former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is being tried on perjury charges.
The jury has been deliberating for over two days. And they’ve just lost a member:

The presiding judge dismissed one female juror in her 70s, an art curator, after she disclosed to her peers that she had come into contact over the weekend with information about the case of Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff. The foreperson reported it this morning to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who interviewed the jurors and decided the female juror had not intentionally sought to ignore his orders that all 12 jurors avoid contact with media coverage and any other information about the Libby case.

So having contracted the informational cooties, she had to be booted. According to the Washington Post, “Libby and several defense attorneys wore broad smiles at the news of the woman’s removal.”
But why were they so pleased? This juror seemed to be an independent-minded sort:

The juror, who had white-blonde hair and wore large, stylish black-frame glasses and took extensive notes, distinguished herself from her peers at one point during the trial. On Valentine’s Day, the jury filed into the courtroom’s jury box at mid-afternoon, wearing identical red T-shirts with a white heart. She was the only juror who had not donned a T-shirt.

Might this juror have turned into a legal as well as fashion holdout? We’ll never know.
Juror Dismissed in CIA Leak Trial [Washington Post]
Libby Juror Booted; Deliberations Go On [Associated Press]

Happy Valentine’s Day!
* Miss Brazil wins lawsuit competition. [CNN]
* ABA: Pay the judges! [Law.com]
* Cheney and Libby will not testify in CIA leak trial. [
CNN]
* What makes a good or bad law school exam answer? [Volokh]

* Dahlia Lithwick on SCOTUS and the death penalty. [Slate]
* A panel of the Seventh Circuit is made up entirely of Sixth Circuit judges sitting by designation. Of course, recusal seems to make sense when the defendant plotted to attack the Seventh Circuit’s courthouse. [How Appealing]
* Novak testifies: he got the info from Armitage and Rove. [CNN]
* Pay the judges! [WSJ Law Blog]
* I’ve my got my mind on my merger and my merger’s on my mind. [
Law.com]

football 3 Above the Law Legal Gossip Site.jpg* More details constantly emerging from the Scooter Libby trial [CNN]
* That Boston duo is out of custody for ATHF ads that caused a bomb scare. They gave a bizarre press conference, insisting on speaking only about ’70s haircuts. One reporter asked, “[Lawyer], are you disappointed by your client’s behavior?” to which the attorney responded, “My client is a performance artist.” [CNN]
* Yesterday an article discussed the NFL’s IP enforcement. Today, they enforce. [SI]
* Of course, “Dodgeball” is also subject to IP enforcement. [Hollywood Reporter Esq.]
* When fantasy football meets “legal prowess,” you get the WSJ Law Blog Football Hall of Fame. [WSJ Law Blog]
Have a great Super Sunday,
Big Game weekend, lawyers! All billing stops at 6:25 EST.

Jack Bauer 24 Kiefer Sutherland.jpg* When you use YouTube to bootleg 24, the terrorists win. [WSJ Law Blog]
* North Carolina doctors refuse to play executioner; executions temporarily blocked. [Jurist]
* Wal-Mart agrees to cough up $33 million for overtime violations. [FindLaw]
* This wasn’t the law already?. [AP via Yahoo!]
* Seven defendants, including the estate of Kenneth Lay, dismissed from Enron shareholder derivative suit. [Jurist]
* Can someone please fix the damn clock in the Lewis Libby courtroom, before every news outlet turns it into a metaphor? [New York Times]

[Ed. note: We'll get back to associate pay raises shortly. But for those of you with no interest in the staggeringly high sums being earned by your Biglaw buddies, Stella Q has some Non-Sequiturs for you.]
* I’m not sure how they do it, but Reputation Defender can rid cyberspace of slanderous detritus, even if you’re probably the one who put it out there in the first place. [Reputation Defender via Daily Candy]
* For those of you who are solo practitioners and/or have your face on a bus, then this service may actually make good business sense. [Blawg]
* So we’ve been preoccupied with Charney, Shanetta and the tightening of the golden handcuffs — don’t forget the juicy bits (betrayal! secrets! lies! some racial stuff!?) coming out of the Scooter Libby trial too. [Dean’s World via Media Bloggers]
* Puns kill. [Law.com]
* Is it presumptuous for the gorgeous, ageless Sidney Poitier to identify with Thurgood Marshall? (The answer is no, doubters! The evidence lies in these 25 questions.) [Vanity Fair]
* Yeah, but do any of them look like this? Also, I welcome recommendations as to up-and-coming bloggers or just quirky, personal favorites. [Blawg Review]

alberto gonzales alberto r gonzales attorney general.JPG* AG Gonzales: Federal judges are unqualified to make national security decisions. [MSNBC]
* AG Gonzales: Federal judges should be making national security decisions. [MSNBC; Washington Post]
* Affirmative action takes center stage at Boalt. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Dahlia asks, “Have the Supreme Court’s opinions become suggestions in Texas?” [
Slate]
* Linda discusses the Texas death penalty cases as well. [New York Times]
* Former Cendant Chairman Walter Forbes get sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison, on accounting fraud charges. The prosecution was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey; Forbes was represented by Williams & Connolly. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Picking a jury for the Scooter Libby trial in D.C., the biggest small town in America: it ain’t easy. [Washington Post]

* “Utah’s highest court says don’t diss the judiciary, or else it might diss-miss your case.” [How Appealing]
* Major legal issues continue to arise at Gitmo. [Washington Post]
* Libby trial jury selection should take a few quick…months. [MSNBC]
* Should district judges appoint prosecutors? [New York Times via Concurring Opinions]
* North Carolina’s Attorney General, Roy Cooper, answers Mike Nifong’s cry for help. [New York Times]

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