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eBay Scheme Earns Reprimand for Lawyer
The Delaware Supreme Court yesterday issued a public reprimand against lawyer Joseph N. Gielata for "an ill conceived plan" to orchestrate eBay purchases in order to recover treble damages from PayPal. Seeking to cash in on a money-back guarantee PayPal offered, Gielata reportedly sold a friend three paintings via eBay for $3,000 then represented the friend in a lawsuit against PayPal seeking to recover the purchase price plus treble damages and attorney fees. Gielata pled guilty to misdemeanor theft before facing the ethics complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed the recommendation of the state Board on Professional Responsibility, which concluded:
[Hat tip to Legal Profession Blog.]
Questioning Craig's 'Criminal Intent'
Once an editor always an editor. At the blog LawBeat, Mark Obbie, former executive editor of The American Lawyer, issues an assignment to reporters who cover the law: "Tell us what it takes to prove criminal intent in a case like Sen. Larry Craig's." As Obbie notes, the police report describes Sen. Craig as having "placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door," then tapping his foot and swiping his hand under the stall divider. Apart from the obvious question of where else is there to put a roll-aboard suitcase in a cramped bathroom stall, Obbie sees larger issues for journalists to explore:
In Craig's case, those questions appear to be legally moot, given that he signed a plea of guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct. But Craig's plea raises questions in its own right. Although the plea states, "I now make no claim that I am innocent," any lawyer who has ever handled a criminal matter knows that a guilty plea is often more a concession than an admission. Criminal defendants (and criminal prosecutors) regularly enter into plea deals for reasons that have little to do with guilt or innocence and much more to do with the costs of contesting the case -- in money, time or, as here, reputation. Is the criminal-justice system truly interested in achieving justice? There's a question for an enterprising reporter to pursue.
Short List Emerges to Replace Gonzales
Following up on our post Monday, With Gonzales Gone, Who's Next? the Associated Press is reporting -- with credit to a "senior Bush administration official" -- that five names have come to the top of the list as possible replacements for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, while the full list of "possible, if highly speculative candidates" could number as many as 24.
Short-list candidates identified by AP are Ted Olson, former solictor general and now a partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; George J. Terwilliger III, deputy AG under former President George H.W. Bush and now a partner with White & Case; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Larry D. Thompson, former deputy attorney general and now GC of PepsiCo; and the acting AG, Solicitor General Paul D. Clement.
Rodrigo González Fernández
Renato Sánchez 3586