Murder

In his new book, Academy Award-winner Errol Morris has taken on one of the highest-profile murder case of the last 50 years.

Morris, known for The Fog of War, his documentary about Robert S. McNamara, just published his second book — A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald (affiliate link) — a revival of the story of a young Army doctor convicted in 1979 of murdering his pregnant wife and two children.

Americans of a certain age (i.e., older than me) almost certainly remember MacDonald, whose story was told and endlessly picked apart on television, in Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss, and The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm. But Morris’s new book is perhaps the first serious investigative look at the idea that MacDonald may very well be innocent.

Morris’s book, which has already garnered positive reviews in the New York Times and the Atlantic, is at once a thrilling true crime story and challenging philosophical look at the tricky nature of facts and the importance of narrative in the American legal system.

Let’s hear more about the book and chat with Morris….

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Michelle Kosilek and Justice Ginsburg: separated at birth?

In this case, Kosilek has proven that he still has a severe gender identity disorder. Although female hormones have helped somewhat, he continues to suffer intense mental anguish because of his sincere and enduring belief that he is a female trapped in male body.

That anguish alone constitutes a serious medical need. It also places him at high risk of killing himself if his major mental illness is not adequately treated.

– Chief Judge Mark Wolf (D. Mass.), in today’s landmark ruling ordering Massachusetts to pay for convicted murderer Michelle (formerly Robert) Kosilek’s sex reassignment surgery.

Mr. Plum in the observatory with the … Little Buddy?

Well, this is chilling. We’ve heard a lot recently about the privacy implications of warrantless wire tapping. But this is the first we’ve heard of a murder allegedly committed with the help of a GPS device designed to help parents keep track of their children.

A man is currently facing trial for allegedly shooting his wife’s lover after following her with a Little Buddy GPS device.

And to think, normal people feel bad after occasionally creeping around an ex’s Facebook profile….

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* These are some sad times in Texas, y’all. It really hasn’t been a very good week for the Lone Star state in the courts. First their redistricting plan got thrown out, and now their voter ID law has been struck down. [CNN]

* Jeh Johnson of the Defense Department may take legal action against the former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the Osama bin Laden raid, calling it a “material breach” of duty. Must be good; go buy it! [CBS News]

* Bros will be bros: disbarment has been recommended for an attorney who failed to disclose to clients that he had been suspended for banging an underage chick who worked at his office. [National Law Journal]

* Here are 15 Northeast law schools ranked by employment rate. After getting excited that mine was on the list — albeit dead last — I realized I’m seriously a low expectation havin’ motherf**ker. [Boston Business Journal]

* George W. Huguely V, the UVA lacrosse player who beat his girlfriend to death, was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Distasteful joke alert: for his sake, we hope the prison uniforms have poppable collars. [Bloomberg]

* A Maryland lawyer with autism and Sensory Processing Disorder has created a way for people to stop getting up in your personal space while riding public transportation. Say hello to the Sensory Shield! [Huffington Post]

Killer cups?

* Dewey know how much it costs to keep this failed firm on life support while its remaining partners try to collect D&L’s unpaid bills? A little more than $2M a month, according to the latest reports. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Former Missouri senators — including two Am Law 200 partners — are asking begging Rep. Todd Akin to step aside so the Republicans’ chances of securing the Senate seat aren’t legitimately raped. [Am Law Daily]

* Howrey going to explain this one to the judge? The defunct firm is blaming a deadly forklift accident at a document-storage warehouse for hindering its wind-down process. [Bankruptcy Beat / Wall Street Journal]

* “No matter what they said, it’s not material? Is that what you’re alleging?” It figures that a Skadden partner argued that employment statistics were irrelevant in the fraud class action suit against Brooklyn Law School, but at least the judge attempted to set him straight. [National Law Journal]

* Alaska is suing to overturn federal oversight of its elections, because the portions of the VRA aimed at protecting African Americans aren’t applicable if you can see Russia from your house. [Chicago Tribune]

* An official at ICE is suing because his boss, a woman, allegedly “created a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees.” Pledging totally sucks, bro. [New York Times]

* Psst, we think we know what Victoria’s secret is, and she’s no angel. According to police, she’s got a very bad temper, and if you deny her money for booze, she may strangle you to death with her bra. [Daily Mail]

* Jerome Richter, former Blank Rome litigation department chairman, RIP. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Tim Pori

[A]lthough we do not condone Pori’s conduct where he improvidently overscheduled himself and then tried to pick and choose which cases he would try, the contempt judgment is void due to technical procedural noncompliance, and the imposition of sanctions . . . is not supported by the record.

– the State of California’s First Appellate District, overturning a contempt-of-court order against Tim Pori. The Bay Area attorney was held in contempt for missing a trial because he was tied up at another court hearing.

We mentioned yesterday morning that James Holmes, the accused Batman movie theater shooter, had been seeing a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Denver, who was so alarmed by his behavior that she contacted the University’s “Threat Assessment” team.

Following that revelation, commentators are now asking if the University of Colorado could face duty to warn liability in the wake of the shooting. Let the hypothesizing begin…

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It almost feels like John Quinn is the one on trial, instead of Apple and Samsung.

* Last year, the TSA was supposed to hold public hearings about those naked body scanners everyone loves so much, but they still haven’t done it (surprise, surprise). Now the D.C. Circuit is starting to get angry. [Wired / Threat Level]

* Is there really life, hope, and maybe even an associate position beyond doc review work? This writer thinks so. [Greedy Associates]

* Remember the man convicted of murder who claimed that “celebrity angels and demons” told him to do it? His mistress and coworker of has now been arrested and charged as well. [AJC]

* This is a comic strip about a bear who also happens to be a lawyer. It is silly but also surprisingly clever, and funny jokes abound. [Bear Lawyer]

* Apple fired back at John Quinn regarding his declaration in the Apple / Samsung trial, and then the company filed “an emergency motion for sanctions” with Judge Lucy Koh. I think everyone in this case needs to take a timeout and cool their jets for a while. [Bloomberg]

* I mean, the trial is so hostile, the parties can’t even agree on the name of the case. [All Things D]

* Who murdered Robert Wone? The mystery looms as large today as it did six years ago. [Who Murdered Robert Wone]

* Holy s**t, this is like a real-life, Chinese version of “I’m Oscar! Dot com!” [Slate]

Hey boss, plz stop thnx.

* Global agribusiness group Monsanto Co was awarded $1 billion in a patent infringement case against DuPont for improperly duplicating some kind of crazy seed technology. [New York Times]

* For particularly thick-headed employers who don’t understand it’s a bad idea to ask employees for Facebook passwords, now Illinois will fine them $200 for doing so. [Chicago Tribune]

* A federal judge in Washington sanctioned well-known plaintiff’s attorney Joy Ann Bull for filing grossly inflated fee statements. She was consequently asked to resign her partnership at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd. Welcome to the breadline! [LegalNewsline]

* Should a trial judge who is a Brooklyn Law grad recuse himself from a case against Brooklyn Law filed by Brooklyn Law alumni? Meh… [National Law Journal]

* As Ralph Baxter nears retirement, who will be chosen to lead Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe? [Am Law Daily]

* The Ninth Circuit already issued an injunction against Arizona’s new late-term abortion ban. Like they say, it’s all about shakin’ hands and killing kissin’ babies. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* The psychiatrist James Holmes was seeing at the University of Colorado was so alarmed by his behavior sometime before his alleged shooting spree that she notified the school’s “threat assessment team,” but apparently nothing was done. Looks like someone missed the assessment boat, by like, and ocean or two. [Denver Post]

Where's Waldo? In court, apparently.

* Jason Cai, the software engineer convicted in the spring of murdering a young attorney, was sentenced today to life in prison without parole and ordered to pay more than $700,000 to the slain woman’s family. [Mercury News]

* An appeals court revived a discrimination lawsuit filed by a woman against her employer. And nobody cares. Wait, hold on a sec. Her employer is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. What, what, whaaaat? [WSJ Law Blog]

* James Holmes, the man accused of last week’s movie theater shooting spree, has been formally charged with 142 criminal counts. They include 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the first degree. [Courthouse News Service]

* The Twinkie defense is so played out. Now, courtesy of an ex-Citigroup employee, introducing the brand spanking new “Where’s Waldo” defense. [Reuters]

* India’s largest and oldest television network has accused Nielsen of violating the FCPA by manipulating viewership data in favor of networks that offer bribes. Say it ain’t so! [Hollywood Reporter]

* Chick-fil-A, free speech, zoning laws, and homophobia — all thrown together onto a failure pile in a sadness bowl. Noted First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, counsel to ATL, takes to CNN to educate the masses. [CNN]

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