DC Dicta has moved. Please visit us at:
DC Dicta will move to its new home today at noon, EDT: www.LawyersUSAOnline.com/DCDicta. You’ll be able to find all the archives there as well as all new posts. This site will no longer be updated.
The move comes as Lawyers USA unveils it’s new, revamped website, also at noon.
Also, be sure to check out our new blog focused on news and tidbits from state and federal courts across the nation: Benchmarks, at www.LawyersUSAOnline.com/Benchmarks.
New Lawyers USA website drops tomorrow! Lawyers USA is launching a new and improved website tomorrow April 14, bringing you easier access to more information. The new site will keep you up to the minute on all the latest legal news from around the country, bring you insightful features, and tips to help you run your law practice better. The new, more user-friendly site will also feature podcasts and allow you to keep on top of the news with RSS feeds and breaking news alerts. The address will stay the same – www.LawyersUSAOnline.com – so be sure to check it out!
DC Dicta is Moving! Along with the changes, DC Dicta will get a new URL: www.LawyersUSAOnline.com/DCDicta. Starting tomorrow that is where you will find the latest posts as well as all DC Dicta’s archives going all the way back to its 2007 debut. Be sure you change your bookmarks.
Benchmarks Debuts! Tomorrow Lawyers USA will also launch its latest blog: Benchmarks. Lawyers USA‘s legal editor and Benchmarks blogger Pat Murphy will give you the lowdown on recent state and federal court opinions, from the blockbuster rulings to the quirkiest cases. You can find it tomorrow at www.LawyersUSAOnline.com/Benchmarks.
And we Tweet too! Also, Lawyers USA is all atwitter. That’s right, you can follow up on Twitter – and you don’t even have to wait until tomorrow! Do it now: twitter.com/LawyersUSA.
As we know, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – a fan of 24 character Jack Bauer – sees nothing wrong with roughing up a terrorism suspect if it yields information that can help stem an attack. His colleague and frequent opera companion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, however, has a different view.
“The police think that a suspect they have apprehended knows where and when a bomb is going to go off,” Ginsburg said during a speech at Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, according to a New York Times report. “Can the police use torture to extract that information? And in an eloquent decision by Aharon Barak, then the chief justice of Israel, the court said: ‘Torture? Never.'”
Ginsburg also said that she wishes that she were not the only woman on the bench. “There I am all alone,” she said, “and it doesn’t look right.”
One thing that she did not talk about, The Washington Post reported, was any desire to step down. Ginsburg, 76, underwent cancer surgery this past winter, and is now undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Still, she hasn’t missed an oral argument – or even a beat, for that matter. At the event, during a videotaped tribute to Ginsburg, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. offered “my warm congratulations on the occasion of your reaching the midpoint of your tenure.”
You can watch the webcast of the symposium here on Moritz College of Law’s website.
This week begins on the leisurely note for most of the folks at the top of the three government branches. The Supreme Court and Congress are in recess until April 20. And today the White House hosts the event has become the hottest ticket in town: the Easter Egg Roll. Perhaps Bo, the First Pup, will make an appearance.
Point-counterpoint: The federal judiciary will soon debate a controversial Rule 56 change that would set up a “point-counterpoint” procedure, requiring the moving party to furnish an enumerated statement of facts with citations to the record for each statement of fact. The opposing party would then respond by accepting or disputing each statement of fact. The possible result? “A lot more billable hours (for the defense bar), but I don’t think it will help judges,” says one attorney. (Lawyers USA)
Pirate prosecution: The Justice Department is mulling whether Washington or New York will be the site of the criminal trial of to the Somali pirate captured in the dramatic rescue of an American merchant vessel captain that left three other pirates dead. It would be the nation’s first piracy case in recent memory. (AP)
Teflon AG: Last week was not a good one for the Justice Department – yet unlike his recent predecessors Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t being skewered over the misfortunes – he’s even garnering praise. (Legal Times)
FDA safety check: Federal regulators will ask makers of some of the riskiest medical devices to prove that their products were safe and effective – a step that critics have said was long overdue. (NYT)
Things are quiet on the Hill as both the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress sit in recess. Across town, President Barack Obama is spending today holed up with his economic team to try to find ways to pull the country out of its recession.
Clash of the right-ans: Religious groups fighting gay rights matters in courts are increasingly coming up on the losing end in the legal “clash between the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of religion.” (WaPo)
Justice Department gets judged: The Judge who presided over the hearing dismissing the conviction of former Sen. Ted Stevens gave government prosecutors who handled the case a good tongue lashing. And it wasn’t the first time the Justice Department has felt his wrath. (WaPo)
Fools as clients? The recession has boosted the number of people representing themselves on court, raising questions about the fairness of the outcomes. (NYT)
Being e-conomical: With the recession taking its toll on the bottom lines of many businesses, attorneys who engage in electronic discovery are looking to cut costs for clients. (Lawyers USA)
Things aren’t going great, and they’re not getting better: The safety of the nation’s food supply has not improved over the past three years, and an overhaul of the food regulation system is needed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (NYT)
Yesterday new assistant U.S. attorneys being sworn in at a Washington, D.C. ceremony got a surprise guest speaker: their boss, Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder, speaking as investigators are probing allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the handling of the criminal corruption case of former Sen. Ted Stevens, reiterated to the new prosecutors that their goal should be obtaining justice, not just a conviction.
“Your job as assistant U.S. attorneys is not to convict people,” Holder said, according to the AP. “Your job is not to win cases. Your job is to do justice. Your job is in every case, every decision that you make, to do the right thing. Anybody who asks you to do something other than that is to be ignored. Any policy that is at tension with that is to be questioned and brought to my attention. And I mean that.”
Holder, whose appearance at the event was not announced, addressed the Stevens case specifically. “There were mistakes made in the Stevens case,” he said. “We’ll see exactly what those mistakes were all about. …There are going to be a lot of articles, I suspect you’re going in newspapers over the next couple of days, about how things have gone wrong in the department. A lot of these articles are going to be unfair. And yet we have to deal with those perceptions. We’re capable of dealing with them, but the only way ultimately that we’re going to restore faith in this department is through the work that you all do.”
Restoring that faith means that prosecutors cannot sacrifice justice in pursuit of a guilty verdict, Holder said. “You are expected to do nothing more than the right thing. Anything other than that is unacceptable,” he said.