Morning Docket

Muskasey alert and talking.JPG* Mukasey is going to be okay. He’s telling jokes and talking to the President. A GW doctor said “”The attorney general is conscious, conversant and alert.” [CNN]

* Do you feel sorry for sex offenders? The California 4th district court does. They ruled that Jessica’s law, a law that prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feel of a school or park constitutes “banishment under another name.” [San Francisco Chronicle]

* “A U.S.-triggered spate of global carmaker-bailout proposals may spark trade disputes over whether the Americans are unfairly trying to subsidize their industry or just making up for state aid foreign rivals already enjoy.”[Bloomberg]

* Meanwhile, the EU’s antittrust chief says the EU should resist an auto-industry bailout. [Bloomberg]

* On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the release of five Algerian prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. [Los Angeles Times]

* If you’ve been following Proposition 8, you may want to watch an upcoming gay marriage case that will be coming before the Iowa Supreme Court. [Iowa City Press Citizen]

Toilet Stocks.JPG* California’s Supreme Court agreed to hear the case against Prop. 8. [Reuters]

* For all the associates who go crazy working late into the night in dark conference rooms dreaming of embezzling money from the firm–let this be a lesson to you. Employee Angela Marie Dees was arrested for stealing 1.67 million dollars from the California law firm Moore and Waxler. The crazy thing? The firm didn’t even notice until they did an audit. []

* “Stung by outsize investment losses, some of the nation’s biggest companies are pushing Congress to roll back rules requiring them to put more money into their pension funds, just two years after President Bush signed a law meant to strengthen the pension system.” [NYT]

* A jury heard opening statements yesterday in the MySpace hoax case, the one where the suburban mother used a fake alias to terrorize a 13-year-old who killed herself as a result. [ABC]

* Even though bankers basically caused a world-wide recession causing thousands of lawyers to lose their jobs (thanks a lot), at least Barclay’s is giving the litigators some love. Barclay’s is suing a hedge fund for hiding $150 million in investments. [Bloomberg]

* Yesterday was National Toilet Day. Everybody who works on Wall Street already knew that. [UPI]


* Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who lost his bid for re-election on Tuesday, says he will not seek pardon from President Bush. []

* MJ says he is too sick to fly to testify at High Court in London in a breach of contract case. His opponent in the case, the son of the King of Bahrain, doesn’t buy it and says Jackson can be “bandaged up.” [BBC News]

* A Chicago federal court introduced a preliminary injunction that will put pressure on unionized pilots not to engage in the “sick outs” that led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights last summer. [Chicago Tribune]

* Clients choose boutique firms to sue big banks like UBS because the “Magic Circle” law firms won’t accept cases that could hurt the banks they represent. []

* Wrestling gives you STD’s! Three wrestlers are suing York College of Pennsylvania coaches for letting players wrestle with active lesions. “Herpes simplex 1 is sometimes called herpes gladitorium because it is spread in athletics contests.” [Courthouse News Service]

bud beer.jpg

* Change you can believe in? It looks like Obama has recruited a few “washington insiders”: 8 of the 10 top lawyers he has hired for his transition team are veterans of the Clinton administration. []

* After his hunt yesterday, Justice Antonin Scalia told a room full of big-time Texas lawyers that he disagreed with judges who used foreign law to interpret the constitution. [Houston Chronicle]

* “Protesters galvanized by a dragging death that has stirred memories of the notorious James Byrd case rallied twice outside an eastern Texas courthouse to speak out against a judicial system they consider racist.” [Associated Press]

* Are you ready for your close-up Mr. Rehnquist? The Hoover institution released files documenting Rehnquist’s first three years on the Court, years filled with land-mark cases like Roe v. Wade and United States vs. Nixon. [New York Times]

* California Attorney general is pushing the Supreme Court to decide the legality of Prop. 8. The Court could begin to act as soon as Wednesday, when they have their weekly conference. [San Jose Mercury News]

* Say it ain’t so! Washington regulators have finally opened up the doors on Belgian-based beer company InBev’s acquisition of Anheuser Busch, which monopolizes

50% of the US beer market. The merger will make InBev the largest beer company in the world. [Courthouse News Service]

* Sorry Ohio…President-elect Obama is probably going to wait a while before overhauling NAFTA. []

Larry Johnson.jpg* Felons can join the Army but not the New York police force. But New York State Supreme Court Judge Henry Kron wants to change that rule for Afghanistan war veteran, Osvaldo Hernandez, who served a year on Rikers Island for gun possession before joining the Army. [New York Times]

* Former O’Melveny & Myers partner Ron Klain (a.k.a. Kevin Spacey in Recount) is Joe Biden’s pick for chief of staff. [Politico]

* Woman suing Kansas City Chief running back Larry Johnson (not Grandmama). After she rejected his advances, he allegedly spit his drink in her face, threatened her life, and ordered his bodyguards to administer a beatdown. [Courthouse News Service]

* Mormons, Prop 8, and an unidentified white, powdery substance. [Los Angeles Times]

* New North Carolina senator is not a sore winner. Senator-elect Kay Hagan drops her suit against Senator-not-for-long Elizabeth Dole. Hagan had sued for defamation after Dole ran a TV ad accusing her of being “godless.” [CNN]

* Skadden sues Thelen. [American Lawyer]

whale.jpg* SCOTUS hearts the Navy, hates the whales. National security trumps environmental concerns in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council. [New York Times]

* Obama plans to give the Department of Justice a makeover. Wilmer Hale partner David Ogden and Jenner & Block partner Thomas J. Perrelli are heading up Obama’s DOJ transition team. [Washington Post]

* … Meanwhile, O’Melveny and Myers partner Thomas Donilon will oversee Obama’s State Department transition team. [Associated Press]

* Lawyers are getting busy in the Minnesota Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman. Let the recount begin. [Star Tribune via Drudge]

* Raffaello Follieri, Anne Hathaway’s conman ex, doesn’t like living in Brooklyn. His lawyer requests that Follieri be transferred to a Manhattan prison, as his Brooklyn jail cell digs are “unspeakably unsanitary” and have an “intolerable stench.” [The Smoking Gun]

Judge Judy.jpg* A New York Times round-up of law firm troubles. (Regular ATL readers will find nothing new here.) Lawyers aren’t cockroaches anymore, thriving in good times and bad. Now, law firms are the canaries in the economic coalmine. [New York Times]

* Judge Judy gets political on Larry King Live. The joys of not being a real judge include opining on Proposition 8. [CNN]

* Canadian legal scholar Ronald Daniels chosen as new president of Johns Hopkins University. [Baltimore Sun]

* Same-sex marriage comes to Connecticut today. [Boston Globe]

* Obama wants to close down Gitmo. Here’s a look at the legal challenges involved in the endeavor. [Time]

adult baby.jpg* SCOTUS weighs case that could result in a lot more travel for crime lab experts. [New York Times]

* Thirtieth child abandoned under Nebraska’s safe-haven law, intended to protect unwanted newborns from being abandoned. The “child” dropped off is an 18-year-old girl. The Legislature convenes Friday to change the law, so drop off those unwanted teens ASAP. [Associated Press]

* Deja vu. As we mentioned before, Proposition 8 has led to three backlash lawsuits. Now the California Supreme Court will decide whether a gay marriage ban needs to go before the legislature before going to voters. [Washington Post]

* Update on former ATL Ex-Judge of the Day: Richard Sasso. He testified yesterday that he used to take Vicodin and drink wine before court. [Newsday]

* This will keep the Bush administration busy until January. Judge Henry Kennedy rules in favor of private groups who want the White House to recover millions of missing e-mails. [Associated Press]

[Ed Note: Due to technical difficulties, my super awesome Morning Docket picture could not be uploaded. I suggest you visualize the most awesome picture idea ever to go along with this column. Thanks.]

* Good Morning American taxpayers. Please enjoy the $40 billion in AIG shares you just purchased. [NYT]

* Circuit City: more knowledgeable staff than Best Buy, better prices than Best Buy, higher end equipment than Best Buy, and now much more bankrupt than Best Buy. [Dealbook]

* Strip club owners lost their trademark infringement claim against Grand Theft Auto. [Courthouse News]

* Is there an appropriate earthly penalty for kidnapping a nun? [CNN]

* The post-9/11 transfer of power in the Justice Department is a big deal. []


* A state agency publicly admonished retired Superior Court Judge John M. Watson for being rude in court, citing a case “in which he repeatedly mocked attorneys.” The agency claims Watson’s actions threaten the “integrity of the judiciary.” [Los Angeles Times]

* A federal judge “opened the first hearing into the government’s justification for holding suspects at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” This hearing was made possible by a Supreme Court ruling in June that Gitmo detainess “can seek their freedom through federal habeas corpus cases.” [New York Times]

* In an effort to keep thier son on life-support, parents of a 12-year-old boy with brain cancer will take the Children’s National Medical Center to court. The hospital argues that keeping him alive is unethical because he has “no brain activity,” but his parents, Orthodox Jews, say that is not how their religion defines death. [The Washington Post]

* A jury ruled that the former administrator of Grafton, Mass was not sexually harassing his secretary when he stared at her breasts so often that she had to hold a piece of paper in front of her chest when walking through the office. His doctor said he has an eye condition, lucky guy. [On Point]

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