January 8 roundup

  • Pa. cash-for-kids judge allegedly came up with number of months for length of sentence based on how many birds could be seen out his office window [Legal Ethics Forum, with notes on ornithomancy or bird divination through history]; “The Pa. Judicial Scandal: A Closer Look at the Victims” [WSJ Law Blog on Philadelphia Inquirer report]; feds charge third county judge with fraud [Legal Intelligencer, more]; state high court overturns convictions of 6,500 kids who appeared before Ciavarella and Conahan [Greenfield]; judge orders new trial in Ciavarella’s eyebrow-raising $3.5 million defamation verdict against Citizens’ Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre; some web resources on scandal [Sullum, scroll to end]
  • Says drinking was part of her job: “Stripper’s DUI Case Survives Club’s Latest Attack” [OnPoint News, earlier]
  • Hundreds of lawyers rally to protest Sheriff Arpaio, DA Thomas [Coyote, Greenfield, ABA Journal, Mark Bennett interview with Phoenix attorney Jim Belanger, earlier here, here, and here]. In deposition, Arpaio says he hasn’t read book he co-authored in 2008 on immigration [Balko, Coyote] And as I mentioned a while back, Maricopa D.A. Andrew Thomas turns out to be the very same person as the Andrew Peyton Thomas toward whom I was uncharitable in this Reason piece quite a while back.
  • Ted Roberts, of the famous sex-extortion case, begins serving five-year term [AP/Dallas News, KENS]
  • New Hampshire lawsuit over leak of documents to mortgage gadfly site raises First Amendment issues [Volokh, earlier here and here]
  • Did someone say paid witness? Judge tosses decade-old animal rights case vs. Ringling circus [Orlando Sentinel, Zincavage] Bonus: Ron Coleman, Likelihood of Confusion, on PETA and Michelle Obama;
  • How’d foreclosure tax get into Connecticut budget when both parties claimed to oppose it? [Ct. News Junkie]
  • Best-legal-blog picks of Ryan Perlin, who writes “Generation J.D.” for the Maryland Daily Record, include one that’s “humorous though sometimes disheartening”, while La Roxy at Daily Asker salutes a certain website as “Lurid, i.e. satisfying”. Thanks!


  • 6,500 cases overturned. Records erased or expunged. Gee, that ought to make them feel better. BS! What about the fines and expenses that were assessed? What about the kids who were turned down for jobs because of ths being on their records? What about the kids who were unable to go to college or join the military because of this? People are asking how these two vermin were able to get away with this for so long? I’ll tell you how. The so call confidentiality of the juvinile justice system. That’s how. It is supposed to be in place, to give juviniles a second chance, but, all it does is to allow things like this to be pushed under the rug. A DA has no problem releasing the name of a juvinile offender if it suits his needs, but, when somebody tries to investigate things like this they always run into the confidentiality wall. It is a damn shame that the State of Pennsylvania doesn’t have flogging as a punishment. I’d love to see these two Judges get their quota of lashes. One for each life that they ruined.

  • I’m stunned that politicians in CT can get away with publicly opposing a tax, then passing it anyway.

    “While neither political party was able to say with any certainty who approved its addition to the state budget both guessed it was added as a way for the state to increase its revenue”

    To borrow from SNL’s weekend update, “Really!?! Connecticut??”.

    We may have some goofy politcal situations here in AZ, but that kind of silliness wouldn’t get past the public without those responsible for the tax being quickly identified and hanged in effigy outside the capitol building.

  • Maricopa’s Andrew Thomas; Still Crazy After All These Years…

    We’ve become …

  • […] “Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Peyton Thomas: Blame the Libertarians!” [Balko, earlier] […]

  • […] Enabler” [Radley Balko on Maricopa County D.A. Andrew Peyton Thomas; earlier here, here, […]