Morning Docket

energizer-bunny.jpg* One of the first big decisions to result from the Supreme Court’s Boumediene ruling. Judge Ricardo M. Urbina orders that 17 Uighur detainees be released by next week. [New York Times]

* California has had a Gold Ring Rush. Over 11,000 couples have married since the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in May, meaning more same-sex marriages than Massachusetts has had over four years. [New York Times]

* The latest bizarre twist in the corruption trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. [WSJ Law Blog]

* In case you’re tired of analyzing the debates along policy lines, here’s the rundown on Obama and McCain’s Nashville face-off in terms of body language, style, and vocal control. One candidate was a jazz musician while the other was the Energizer Bunny. [Los Angeles Times]

* Not everyone loves Oprah. [Courthouse News Service]

* This case speaks to the importance of spellchecking your motions. [The Legal Intelligencer]

Thumbnail image for DontMessWithTexas.jpg* Senators Obama and McCain head to Nashville for a town hall style face-off tonight. [CNN]

* More thoughts on Obama, McCain, and SCOTUS. A look at the judicial philosophies of the presidential candidates based on pivotal campaign speeches. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

* D.C. Circuit rules against forcing testimony from Harriet Miers, Joshua Bolten, and others, in the congressional investigation of U.S. attorney firings. [Washington Post]

* Scientists suggest that the urge to punish is hard-wired into our brains as a result of human evolution. But so is the urge to forgive. [New York Times]

* At least three U.S. attorneys, in New York and New Jersey, are probing whether Lehman Brothers misled investors before declaring bankruptcy. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

* The tables are turned. The city of McAllen sues Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. [Houston Chronicle]

michelle obama.jpg* Citigroup convinced Justice Charles E. Ramos of the New York State Supreme Court to issue an emergency order this weekend blocking Wachovia’s sale to Wells Fargo. “The litigation could be a blockbuster, pitting some of the nation’s largest surviving financial institutions against one another and giving work to the most expensive legal talent money can buy.” [New York Times]

… * UPDATE: Wells Fargo and Citibank may divvy up Wachovia. [Bloomberg]

* Shocker from Michelle Obama’s new biography! She was dissatisfied with firm work at Sidley Austin. Even when they gave her Coors beer ads. [Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times]

* Expect the future of SCOTUS to get attention in the last month of the presidential race. Reverend Wright to One First Street? [New York Times]

* Charges in the Italian legal “Parent Trap” case. The Italian judge and her non-lawyer twin sister who swapped places for a day will be charged with fraud. [Reuters]

* We welcomed SCOTUS back earlier today. More on the term ahead and the lawyers who will be working their magic before the justices. [Legal Times]

sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpg* Senator Biden and Governor Palin had their cage match last night in St. Louis. If you played a drinking game around the word “maverick,” you may have a hangover today. The New York Times lets you relive the magic and review the transcript. [New York Times]

* Sandra Day O’Connor addresses the economic crisis, lamenting the number of judges who don’t know squat about complex business issues. [Washington Briefs]

* DOJ lawyers withheld evidence from the defense in the corruption trial of Senator Ted Stevens. Judge Emmet Sullivan no longer has confidence in “the government’s ability to meet its obligations to ensure a fair trial,” but the show will go on anyway. [Washington Post]

* O.J. Simpson case goes to the jury. [Los Angeles Times]

* Nebraska safe-haven law was created for Dumpster babies, but it’s netting a bunch of Dumpster teenagers. [New York Times]

* “Lounge entertainer.” Is that what they’re calling it these days? [On Point News]

video_camera.jpg* The Senate is ready to bail out. Senate-approved rescue plan will go to the House on Friday. [Washington Post]

* SCOTUS will not revisit its decision on the death penalty for child rapists. Still unconstitutional. [Washington Post]

* “How would you like to be Osama Bin Laden’s lawyer?” [Doyle Reports]

* Two Neiman Marcus employees were having sex at the office. Their manager installed a camera to catch them. Then he fired them. And showed the tape to a few people, including a nationwide online database of security personnel. It’s so wrong, but so right. [Chicago Tribune via AmLaw Daily]

* DUI attorney charged with DUI. Doh. [Overlawyered]

* The Magic Circle firms are better prepared for the economic downturn than their U.S. counterparts. [American Lawyer]

* Judge Elizabeth Halverson’s husband pleads not guilty to attempted murder. With a frying pan. In the bedroom. [Las Vegas Sun]

Sarah Palin Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hottie.jpg* Alaskan Republicans think Sarah Palin has enough on her plate preparing for Thursday’s debate. They’ve filed a proposed order to stop the Troopergate investigation and a motion for a new judge. [Courthouse News Service]

* The Ninth Circuit rules that San Francisco can make employers contribute to a fund for universal health care. This could take ERISA to new places. [New York Times]

* “No more clubbing for federal judges.” [Legal Times]

* The difference between special counsels, special attorneys and special prosecutors. [Slate]

* J. Michael Flanagan, the hard-working attorney of Britney Spears, is trying to get her traffic case dismissed. [Celebrity Cafe]

* The Senate gets its chance to vote on the bailout plan. [Washington Post]

* Does the U.S.-attorney-firing-gate rival Watergate? [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Nora Dannehy special prosecutor acting U.S. attorney Connecticut.jpg* Alberto Gonzales and pals cannot rest easy just yet. AG Michael Mukasey has chosen Nora Dannehy, acting U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, as special prosecutor to determine whether criminal charges should be brought in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. [Associated Press]

* Many of us are tempted away from work during the day by Facebook. Lucky Kirkland and Ellis partner Ted Ullyot gets to go do the Facebook thing full-time. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Heath Ledger’s former lawyer sues for payment on a $10-million life insurance policy on behalf of Ledger’s daughter. [Canadian Press]

* Ladies, rejoice. Judge rules in favor of “ladies’ nights” in Manhattan. [CNN]

* Thirty-three pastors started a crusade against federal tax law this weekend. Slamming Sen. Barack Obama from the pulpit, they hope to start a legal battle that will lead to the end of a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship. [Washington Post]

* Which law firms lose out in the Wachovia sale to Citi? [AmLaw Daily]

parent trap.jpg*The bailout plan was hammered out this weekend, and will be voted on this week. Lawmakers will give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a bunch of money to clean up the mess that is our economy. Hopefully, Pennsylvania Avenue fares better than Wall Street. [Washington Post]

*No criminal charges expected in DOJ attorney firings. [New York Times]

*Williams & Connolly’s $180k starting salary announcement last year is the last increase we should expect to hear about for quite a while. Pay will stay stagnant… but hours are a different matter. [Legal Times]

*It’s the Italian legal version of The Parent Trap. A part-time judge in Milan had her non-lawyer twin sister step in to advise clients. [Reuters]

*Lawyer going after Wal-Mart in Massachusetts over missed meal breaks wakes the state up by telling it the megastore owes $600 million in back fines for the lunch-denying practice. [Boston Herald]

*Good news for celebs with legal problems. [New York Times]

*Model sues magazine because he wants to be a “dapper college man” and not a gay pin-up boy. [Daily News]

* Shana tova. Happy Rosh Hashanah.

flipphone.jpg* The bailout is not on. Talks imploded at 10:30 p.m. last night. Congress is back at it today. [New York Times]

* Two-time ATL Lawyer of the Day Jack Thompson, the crazy controversial video game crusader, has been permanently disbarred. [Crave / CNET News]

* Words to live by: Don’t make sex videos. And don’t store said sex videos on your cell phone. [Courthouse News Service]

* A whistleblower suit against Medtronic for perks paid to doctors was filed by the company’s own lawyer. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

* The young Indiana Jones has a crushed hand, but no misdemeanor. No DUI charges for Shia LaBeouf after all. [People]

republican not gop.jpg* President Bush wants lawmakers to hurry up and pass the $700 billion bailout plan. Sounds like taxpayers are going to be paying back those $600 economy stimulation rebates and then some. The Dems agree to drop the provision giving greater authority to bankruptcy judges. [New York Times]

* Democrats sue in Washington to force “G.O.P.” gubernatorial candidate to embrace his “Republican” identity. [New York Times]

* Guantanamo prosecutor quits, citing ethical concerns. [Washington Post]

* Kudos to these four law firms. Covington, Arnold & Porter, Katten, and Pillsbury make Working Mother magazine’s best employers list. [National Law Journal]

* Who would have thought a gas mask would be needed for a DUI arrest? [WSAZ]

* Gibson Dunn’s Ted Olson will appear before SCOTUS for the 50th time this fall. One secret to his success: St. Michael the Archangel. [Legal Times (subscription req.)]

* ATL’s former bling-bling lawyer of the day, Gabriel Schwartz, was robbed of property worth only $63,000, by his random-lady-friend-turned-thief. [Associated Press]

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