“A Seattle civil-rights attorney who was disbarred earlier this month after the state Supreme Court unanimously found that he had gouged some clients and bullied others into unwanted settlements has sued the Washington State Bar Association, claiming its investigation was rife with errors and conflicts of interest.” [Seattle Times]
- The customer who couldn’t be stopped? “Family of car salesman killed in 90 mph test drive gets $13M” [Obscure Store]
- Arizona bar disciplinary authorities move toward possible suspension for two high-volume consumer lawyers [ABA Journal]
- Trial begins on claim U.S. Army Corps of Engineers liable for Katrina levee breaks [John Schwartz, New York Times]
- Always good for copy: now Jack Thompson is riling Utah lawmakers [GameSpot]
- America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure® (that’d be RFK Jr.) is now blasting Obama [Brian Ross, ABCNews.com “Blotter” via ShopFloor]
- “Burning of Surreal Boat Sparks $1M Artists Rights Suit” [Heller/OnPoint News]
- Nice profile of author Philip K. Howard [The New Yorker] And a big spread from the Examiner’s Quin Hillyer including a Howard profile, some tidbits on Washington politics and why overly legalistic schools can’t teach.
- Law firm of Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe moves into Somali pirate defense [satire, h/t @trafficcourt]
The California state bar has charged San Francisco attorney Philip Kay, famed for sexual harassment lawsuits, “with turning two cases before three San Diego judges into three-ring circuses by repeatedly impugning court orders and caustically accusing the judges of misconduct in front of jurors. Prosecutors also claim Kay entered into an illegal fee-splitting agreement in his most high-profile case — a sexual harassment suit against mega-law firm Baker & McKenzie that in 1994 resulted in a $6.9 million San Francisco jury award for his client, former legal secretary Rena Weeks. (The judgment was later reduced to $3.5 million.)” The title quote is from San Diego judge Joan Weber, and refers to Kay’s conduct in a sexual harassment suit against Ralphs Grocery. (Mike McKee, “Famed Plaintiffs Lawyer Faces Bar Charges Over Conduct”, The Recorder, Dec. 5).
“In the wake of a disciplinary hearing against a top local prosecutor, the union that represents Santa Clara County prosecutors and public defenders is asking the California District Attorneys Association to sponsor a bill that would essentially curb the power of the state bar to punish all lawyers. …The proposal follows a recommendation by the state bar that Deputy District Attorney Ben Field be suspended from practicing law for three years — a punishment of unprecedented severity against a Santa Clara County prosecutor. Field is charged with committing misconduct in four criminal cases dating back to 1995, including misleading judges, defying court orders and concealing critical evidence from defense lawyers in pursuit of convictions.” The union objects (among other things) to letting disciplinary authorities look that far into the past for bad behavior. (Tracey Kaplan, “Prosecutors seek to curb powers of disciplinary board”, San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 7) (via Legal Ethics Forum).