Teacher Sues Kids Over Teddy Bear Movie Above the Law abovethelaw blog.JPG
Teacher sues kids over teddy bear movie [CNN]

* Cleared Duke lacrosse players given extra year of eligibility. [New York Times]
* ACLU v. Boeing over alleged CIA torture flights. [Jurist]
* Save it for the field, fellas. [Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Milberg partner may plea in class-action kickback case. [WSJ Law Blog]

* When the backdrops for crazy shootings tend to be God-forsaken backwaters (or suburbs), it’s reassuring to know that New York City is still home to plenty of wackjobs. [Gawker; Village Voice; Braunstein recap here]
* I love it when a guy makes good on the “You can’t make me!” threat. [QuizLaw; The Smoking Gun]
* Silly little lawsuits do not suit hip hop. Bring back the thuggery, I say. [All HipHop News]
* The CHiPs guys would never do this, but things are different down South. [Chicago Sun-Times]
* He’s short, a biter and, in all likelihood, soon to be single–single line, girls. [CNN]

A news flash for criminal defendants, courtesy of a helpful tipster: “Apparently punching out an elderly juror is no longer a surefire way to get a mistrial in your case.” Or as a second reader quipped: “Did you see this? Defendant punches a juror. Mistrial? Not so much.”
From the Boston Herald:

I Crap Extra Hard For You.jpgA tough-as-nails judge yesterday sent a message to courtroom clowns seeking to disrupt their trials, denying a defendant who cold-cocked a juror a mistrial and instead ordering him chained to the floor.

“It is becoming increasingly common for violent” offenders to try to “derail” their trials by creating chaos, said Suffolk Superior Court Judge Patrick F. Brady. But accused cop shooter Richard Glawson, 46, would not prevail as a martyr of mayhem.

Though “they saw everything that transpired” Friday when Glawson laid out a male juror as the others tried to run or were trapped trembling and weeping, Brady refused to release the remaining panelists or question them as to whether they could still decide the case without prejudice.

Good for Judge Brady. We just hope they don’t give him too a hard time on appeal.
Update: Judge Brady subsequently reversed himiself, and declared a mistrial. That was lame, Your Honor!
But it sounds like the appellate mandarins of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court — who don’t have to deal with violent offenders day in and day out, safely ensconced in the SJC’s ivory tower — may have forced Judge Brady’s hand.
Case continues despite attack: Judge refuses to let courtroom chaos end in mistrial [Boston Herald]
Mistrial declared in chaos case [Boston Herald]

State of Louisiana seal New Orleans Above the Law blog.jpgDisorder in the court, disorder in the court! From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

St. Tammany Parish deputies took two defense attorneys into custody on contempt of court accusations Monday after they got into a fight at the parish courthouse in Covington, Sheriff Jack Strain confirmed.

Michael Fawer of Covington and his brother-in-law, Joseph Bartels of New Orleans, tussled outside state Judge Raymond Childress’ third-floor courtroom at about 10:30 a.m. As a result, the judge ordered both men held, Strain said.

Fawer, 71, claimed Bartels made a profane reference to his religion, and Bartels, 56, claimed Fawer injured his neck.

And you thought you didn’t get along with your brother-in-law. Well, at least these guys are zealous advocates.
A little more about this incident, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyers of the Day: Michael Fawer and Joseph Bartels”

syringe lethal injection death penalty Above the Law legal tabloid.jpgMaybe it’s time to change the formula. The inventor of the three-drug cocktail used by many states to carry out the death penalty now believes it’s due for an overhaul. As reported by CNN:

“[T]here are other agents that work much faster and much easier,” [Dr. Jay] Chapman said, specifically pointing out an anesthetic called Diprivan. “Absolutely [Diprivan] would be better [for an execution]. If you’re wanting to give someone something so there’s no sensation, no awareness of what’s going on, that’s the drug.”

Chapman notes that to administer the formula that he created, “you have to have some skills to do it. You have to have the ability to find a vein and mix the drugs, because [some of them] come as a powder.”

Chapman still stands by his formula as a sound — if not perfect — method of execution. “It works if it’s administered competently,” he said.

And prison officials are just paragons of competence. As we’ll surely hear from Paris Hilton later this year.
Lethal injection creator: Maybe it’s time to change formula [CNN]

(We suspect that Justice Scalia’s daughter handled herself much better during her recent DUI incident.)
DUI suspect does $1,100 worth of damage with his head []

* It could have been the principle of the matter. Or maybe just the drugs. []
* Hugh Grant’s “assault” looks more like a pas de deux, but in any case, this is way more boring than another Divine Brown. [Daily Mail]
* And here I thought that “bible quiz” was just code for blow-job. [Middletown Journal]
* Australia, ultimately settled by British prisoners, seems to have forgotten its origins. [Fox News]

This was forwarded to us by a tipster:

Boalt.jpgApril 25, 2007

To: Boalt Community

From: Dean Christopher Edley, Jr.

It has been a week since the distressing events involving a Boalt student’s threat —a hoax — against the community at Hastings College of the Law. I am writing to let you know that all our actions following the incident have been taken with the intention of securing the safety and well-being of our community and that at Hastings, while respecting the procedural rights of the student.

On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, the Law School filed a complaint with the U.C. Berkeley Judicial Affairs Office against the law student who claimed responsibility for posting the threat on a website. We, the administrative leadership of Boalt, believe that the student’s action is clearly in violation of a number of regulations detailed in the Student Code of Conduct. The case will be adjudicated by Judicial Affairs according to campus regulations. Those regulations prohibit us from disclosing the name of the student against whom we are proceeding.

Based on the facts as we understand them today, we have recommended expulsion. This is based not only on the intrinsic wrongfulness of the act itself, but also the disruption, turmoil and emotional toll on the Hastings community and, to a more limited extent, the Boalt community as well. I have received ample evidence of this through a great many emails, some of them painful to read.

This incident has once again confirmed for me the strength and qualities of the Boalt community. Even in this challenging circumstance, you have engaged in thoughtful and productive discussions. We should all take some pride in this, imperfect though we are.

Christopher Edley, Jr.
Professor of Law and Dean

Does the punishment fit the crime here? Judging by some of the comments to this thread, some readers think expulsion would be an overreaction. Pre-Virginia Tech, what kind of behavior would get you expelled from law school?

Opening statements began today in the Phil Spector murder trial. Spector was making some god-awful faces, either because he’s nervous about being on trial for murder or because he’s still getting used to what he’s now done to his hair.
This on the prosecutor’s opening statements, from AFP via Yahoo! News:

In opening statements of what is the highest-profile celebrity trial in Los Angeles since the 1995 OJ Simpson case, prosecutors painted a portrait of Spector as a man with a “rich history of violence” towards women.
“The evidence is going to paint a very, very clear picture of a man, Phil Spector, who turns sinister and deadly in certain circumstances,” prosecutor Alan Jackson told the hearing at a packed Los Angeles Superior Court.
“It is going to paint a picture of a man who put a loaded pistol inside Lana Clarkson’s mouth and shot her to death.”

The prosecution referred to several prior incidents of violence toward women by Spector, evidence of which the prosecution had earlier succeeded at getting admitted over the objection of the defense.
Spector’s defense team is led by Gotti-defender Bruce Cutler. The defense opening statements have yet to begin. When they do, they are expected to lay out a defense based on Lara Clarkson having committed suicide. But like a commenter said earlier: women use pills, not guns.

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