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Opinion | Judge Emmet Sullivan’s handling of Michael Flynn is vindicated

Flynn was one of six associates of the president who were investigated and charged with federal crimes as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. In open court, Flynn entered a knowing, voluntary and intelligent guilty plea to a felony charge for lying about his substantive contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States. However, last May, acting on instructions from Attorney General William P. Barr, the Justice Department did a startling about-face in the case, seeking to dismiss it by arguing in court that prosecutors should never have brought the case in the first place.

Enter Sullivan — a judge before whom I have appeared, and who I can attest is not one to suffer fools. He declined to dismiss the case, instead bringing in an outside adviser who argued that the Justice Department’s argument smelled curiously like pretext

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Judge goal for Pakistan’s first transgender lawyer

  • Reuters, KARACHI, Pakistan

Lawyer Nisha Rao maneuvers among a throng of black-coated attorneys clustered near Karachi’s city courts searching for her client, but Rao, 28, is not just another lawyer running for a meeting. As Pakistan’s first transgender lawyer, she has carved a path from the streets to the courtroom and her example is inspiring other transgender people in the conservative nation.

“I am proud to have become Pakistan’s first transgender lawyer,” Rao said.

Life is hard for transgender people in Pakistan, where the Supreme Court only allowed them to claim a third gender on their national identity cards in 2009.

Photo: Reuters

Parliament only passed a law in 2018 recognizing transgender people as equal citizens, and protecting them from discrimination and violence.

Treated as outcasts, many transgender people are victims of sexual assault and resort to working as wedding dancers or begging to make a living.

Rao also ended

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Judge tosses cases involving Omaha protesters

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A judge has dismissed cases against 25 people who were arrested and jailed for blocking traffic at a bridge during a summer racial injustice protest in Omaha.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Douglas County Judge Marcena Hendrix ruled Wednesday that Omaha’s ordinance prohibiting the obstruction of a highway or street is “overly broad” and “clearly regulates protected speech.”

At issue was a demonstration on July 25 over the lack of charges against a white bar owner in the death of a 22-year-old Black man. James Scurlock was shot to death during unrest that followed George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

As part of the demonstration, protesters blocked the Farnam Street bridge. Police said the protesters failed to obtain a permit and ordered them out of the street. Protesters who didn’t comply were arrested.

Hendrix struck down a city ordinance that makes it “unlawful for any person purposely

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Judge orders attorneys, adviser to explain bailout bill work

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge in Cleveland has asked one the country’s top law firms to provide details about their lobbying to help a FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary win passage of now-tainted legislation to provide a $1 billion subsidy for two Ohio nuclear power plants.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Alan Koschik on Tuesday ordered three partners and a senior policy adviser from the firm Akin Gump to explain their millions of dollars in billings for lobbying and other work during the period when the Ohio Legislature was considering and then approving the nuclear bailout bill known as House Bill 6 in July 2019.

The order comes as Koschik considers final payments to Akin Gump for its work in the bankruptcy filed in March 2018 by a wholly owned subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. called FirstEnergy Solutions, which operated the plants at the time. Ownership was transferred in February to a

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Cop-Shoving Judge Faces 2nd Ethics Probe Over 2018 Case


href=”https://www.law360.com/#”>Frank G. Runyeon





Email Frank G. Runyeon


href=”https://www.law360.com/#”>Frank G. Runyeon

Law360 (November 24, 2020, 6:39 PM EST) — New York state’s judicial ethics watchdog will review a Buffalo judge’s decision to preside over and rule in favor of an attorney who owed him thousands of dollars, expanding an existing inquiry sparked by his role in a street brawl this summer.

The New York Office of Court Administration said Monday it had referred state Supreme Court Justice Mark Grisanti’s handling of the case in 2018 to the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct after Law360 reported that Justice Grisanti failed to disclose the financial relationship. The independent agency has previously censured or removed judges for similar conduct, though those cases involved repeated ethics violations.

Court records show that Justice Grisanti granted a judgment of about $18,500 in favor of a private girls school represented by

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Rittenhouse attorney says judge granted request to be allowed on case

A California-based attorney who represents Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen charged with killing two people and wounded a third during a summer protest in Kenosha, Wis., said Monday that a judge will allow him to appear in court on behalf of his client. 

John Pierce, of Los Angeles, needed permission to appear in a Wisconsin courtroom as he is not licensed to practice in the state. Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder granted Pierce’s request Monday.

“We are looking forward to trial,” Pierce told Fox News in a text message. 

Kenosha County prosecutors filed a motion to force Pierce to abide by state rules on pretrial publicity. Prosecutors asked for a hearing on the matter but it does not appear to have taken place, according to online court records.

Messages to Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jason Zapf were not immediately returned. 

MAN WHO FIRED SHOTS BEFORE KYLE RITTENHOUSE IN KENOSHA

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Rittenhouse attorney says judge allowed him on case

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — A California attorney said Monday that a Kenosha County judge will allow him to appear in court on behalf of an Illinois 17-year-old accused of killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin.

John Pierce, of Los Angeles, is not licensed to practice in Wisconsin and would need the court’s permission to appear in court for Kyle Rittenhouse. Such requests are routinely granted, but Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jason Zapf has asked for a hearing on the matter “to address several issues.”

Judge Bruce Schroeder granted Pierce’s request Monday, Pierce said. Online court records do not indicate that a hearing ever took place. Zapf didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Pierce has no real criminal defense experience and has been promoting Rittenhouse as a patriot, saying the case is one of political prosecution, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He has also worked to

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Judge Esther Salas speaks about law named after her son, killed by a gunman targeting her

Federal judge Esther Salas has been motivated by the memory of her son to fight for a new state law to protect public officials after her only child was murdered by a gunman at her family’s home this summer.

Salas, 51, and her husband, Mark Anderl, had been celebrating the 20th birthday of their son, Daniel, when he was killed on July 19 by a gunman posing as a delivery driver. The man came to the front door of their New Jersey home, rang the doorbell and then shot Daniel to death. He also shot Salas’ husband three times.

That tragic day fueled Salas to push for “Daniel’s Law,” a new law signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 20 that makes it a crime to publish the personal information of New Jersey judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, including their phone numbers and home addresses.

“I would

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Judge Esther Salas speaks out about new law after shooting death of her son

Federal judge Esther Salas has been motivated by the memory of her son to fight for a new state law to protect public officials after her only child was murdered by a gunman at her family’s home this summer.

Salas, 51, and her husband, Mark Anderl, had been celebrating the 20th birthday of their son, Daniel, when he was killed on July 19 by a gunman posing as a delivery driver. The man came to the front door of their New Jersey home, rang the doorbell and then shot Daniel to death. He also shot Salas’ husband three times.

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That tragic day fueled Salas to push for “Daniel’s Law,” a new law signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 20 that makes it a crime to publish the personal information of New

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Judge Finds the Fatal Flaw in Trump Campaign’s Pennsylvania Case

A    federal court has thrown out the Trump campaign’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania, which challenged presumptive President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the commonwealth. In so doing, district judge Matthew Brann refused the campaign’s eleventh-hour attempt to file a new complaint that would have reinstated election fraud claims the Trump campaign had abandoned a few days earlier. (I outlined the lawsuit here, and explained the Trump campaign’s last-ditch effort to amend it here.)



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump in the press room of the White House, November 20, 2020


© Carlos Barria/Reuters
President Donald Trump in the press room of the White House, November 20, 2020

Judge Brann’s 37-page opinion sets forth a variety of reasons for dismissing the case. Most of them are directed toward the complaints of two individual plaintiffs — voters who claimed that their ballots had been improperly discounted. By contrast, the court found that the Trump campaign had no standing to sue, having posited no evidence that President Trump was harmed in any

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