Friday morning docket: Administration change edition

officialobamaLet’s face it – the only thing on the minds of just about everyone in this town is the four-day weekend of inaugural activities, particularly Tuesday’s events surrounding the installation of the country’s 44th president: Barack Obama. So while people buy extra layers of outwear to withstand the cold of the outside activities, and pick ip those last inaugural ball accessories, let’s take a look at the legal news:

Bush says bye: In his last televised speech to the nation, the outgoing president reflected on the last eight years, saying: “I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right.”

Holder in the hot seat: It wasn’t all fun and games. During Senate confirmation hearings yesterday attorney general nominee Eric Holder talked of torture, trying Gitmo detainees in U.S. courts, and restoring morale and credibility to the Justice Department. (NYT)

Another FDA SNAFU: A report said that the Food and Drug Administration should fulfill promises it made to fix its system for approving medical devices. (NYT)

Fraudulent helping hands: One of the fallouts of the mortgage foreclosure debacle is a cottage industry of mortgage modification or “mortgage rescue” companies. And when many of these companies say “rescue” they really mean “fraud,” consumer advocates warn. (Lawyers USA)

Get a lawyer at your own risk: In a decision that halts one of the most common bases for appealing deportation decisions, Attorney General Michael Mukasey has ruled that defendants in removal hearings cannot make Fifth Amendment claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. (Lawyers USA)

Top 10 verdicts of 2008: Check out Lawyers USA’s list of the top individual-plaintiff verdicts last year. (Lawyers USA)

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