Friday morning docket: Bankruptcy, preemption and Brad Pitt – oh, my!

capitol3The justices of the Supreme Court will hold a private conference this morning, but most of the legal news is coming from across the street as lawmakers deal with bankruptcy mortgage modifications, medical device regulation, the role former White House officials played in U.S. attorney firings and more. Oh, and um, Brad Pitt was hanging out with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi!

But let’s get to the legal news:

Cramdown showdown: The much-watched bill that would allow bankruptcy judges to change the terms of mortgage loans passed the House yesterday, but the real battle lies ahead in the Senate. (Lawyers USA)

Preempting preemption: One day after the Supreme Court ruled that prescription durg lawsuits are not automatically barred by FDA approval, House and Senate lawmakers renewed efforts to allow lawsuits against drug device makers as well. (Lawyers USA)

Contingency deductions: A new bill would allow lawyers working on a contingency fee basis to deduct some costs as they are incurred, rather than waiting for litigation to conclude years later. (Lawyers USA).

Still trying to sue the pants off ’em: A former judge is now free to ask the Supreme Court to take up his appeal in the case of the missing pants after the D.C. Court of Appeals denied his request en banc.(AP)

No longer privileged: After a two-year standoff, former White House aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers have agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the role White House officials played in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ tenure. (Lawyers USA)

Returning to the scene of the crime: Guess who else is in DC? Former N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer! And you’ll never guess where his new office is. (AP)

And in other news, move over Brangelina, we now have “Brancy”:

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