In the minutes before closing arguments began this morning in the trial of former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III offered a bit of advice to prosecutors who had suggested their presentation could last a full two hours. "My son is an entertainer," said Ellis, a judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. "And he can't hold my attention that long." The word of caution seemed to go unheeded.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), speaking at the start of a committee meeting, expressed frustration that the Senate has not confirmed any nominees to the federal judiciary this year. In all, he said, there are 17 nominations that the Judiciary Committee has sent to the full Senate and that are still awaiting confirmation.
A confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will be one of the last things the Senate does next week before it adjourns for its August recess, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today.
To the commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Eugene Scalia has become a familiar and frustrating presence. During the past five years, Scalia has won three of the five U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit cases challenging rule changes by the SEC.
The American Lawyer Awards
Winners will be presented with their awards at Cipriani's in New York City, on October 28, 2009. The American Lawyer Awards will be attended by over 500 noteworthy professionals in the legal community for an evening of socializing with their peers and recognizing those who have achieved honors.
There was a sense back in May that Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had been there, done that. He seemed miffed that a federal appeals court had kicked back to him a lawsuit that was first filed more than a decade ago.
The D.C. Bar's Litigation Section jumped into the debate over the District's budget today, issuing a statement opposing Mayor Adrian Fenty's proposed cuts to the civil legal services community. The cuts would reduce the money set aside for the legal services community by $1.8 million -- a 50 percent reduction from the funding approved by the D.C. Council this spring.
In a victory for those who fear federal regulation of the legal profession, the Federal Trade Commission said today it is delaying enforcement of new rules designed to prevent identity theft.
ABA ANNUAL MEETING COVERAGE
Of course, we'll be there for the speeches by former Supreme Court Justice David Souter and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. But look for many more names of legal luminaries as we cover the ABA annual meeting.
It may not come up in speeches and panel discussions, but one topic likely to crop up over cocktails is the appeal of the ABA today. The association's leadership has hired a major marketing firm to help it shore up its waning membership at a time when layoffs at big law firms, less need for regional referrals and a real or perceived political slant to the ABA have reduced membership to less than half the profession.
The US government has launched an historic economic stabilization program as the market meltdown triggers massive litigation and other legal disputes. How do legal professionals cut processing time and costs as the complexity of litigation increases? How can information in the enterprise be governed to protect the ongoing interests of the business and reduce risk? Attend this webinar and find out.
If you have Twitter account, you can now follow NLJ Editor in Chief David L. Brown at twitter.com/davidlbrownjr. Follow him for links to key stories and updates from the NLJ newsroom. You can also track news on Twitter from the NLJ's Washington bureau at twitter.com/legal_times.
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