Year: 2007

Court unlikey to open broad inquiry into CIA tapes


US District Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr seemed reluctant to grant the request by an attorney representing several Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo to compel the government to explain the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes. “Why should the court not permit the Department of Justice to do just that?” he asked David H. Remes, the lawyer for the detainees.

Remes, pictured below at the podium, replied “Plainly, the government wants only foxes guarding the henhouse.”


Washington Post story here.

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with:

There’s a name for it: zebibah


During the trial I blogged about the bruise on Moussaoui’s forehead resulting from his prostrations during prayer, but I couldn’t find the Arabic term for it. Well, it is called the zebibah and the NYT today has an article about it’s popularity in Egypt among the fashionably pious.

The NYT article is here.

Posted in Courtroom, History Tagged with:

Sentencing is peachy for Italia Federici


Republican environmental advocate, and co-founder of CREA, Italia Federici was sentenced yesterday to a mere two months in a half-way house for tax evasion and obstructing a Senate investigation. Ms Federici, who once worked on former Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s Senate bid, was romantically involved with the number two official at the Department of the Interior, J. Stevens Griles at the same time CREA was receiving checks totaling $500,000. from indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff. Said her lawyer,
“each man had his own agenda and each man used her for their own pleasure and gain”.

Washington Post story here.

Posted in Congress, Courtroom Tagged with:

DC Tax employees help themselves to $20M

Two employees of the District’s Office of Tax and Revenue in charge of tax refunds had been issuing illegal checks amounting to $20 million for the past six years that were cashed by friends and family.


Harriette Walters, pictured above with her attorney, Peter Ziedenberg, appeared before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay yesterday. Walters, an $81,000 a year tax assessment manager, was wearing a red, over-sized  Atlanta “Hard Rock Cafe” sweatshirt – probably not one of the $1.4 million worth of items she purchased at Neiman Marcus.

Also charged is Diane Gustus, seen below with her attorney A. Scott Bolden, a co-worker of Walters.


Washington Post story here.

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‘Roe v Wade of business cases’-not!


Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta, hyped as “the Roe v. Wade of business cases”, had the potential of clearing the way for billions of dollars in litigation, but by the end of Tuesday’s arguments it was clear this business-friendly Court was not about to create a new liability for investment bankers and their business partners.

The sketch shows petitioner’s attorney, Stanley M Grossman, arguing before the Court. Justice Breyer removed himself from the case and was not present.

Lyle Denniston has written an analysis on ScotusBlog.

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with:

Court struggles with sentencing gudelines

The Supreme Court today revisited federal sentencing guidelines in two cases where the trial judge made a downward departure.  Two years ago the Court decided that the guidelines should no longer be mandatory, but could still be used in determining a reasonable sentence.


In the first case attorney Jeffrey T. Green argued for petitioner Brian Gall who had been given probation rather than the jail term suggested by the guidelines.


Michael S. Nachmanoff, the Federal Public Defender in Alexandria, Va., argued for petitioner in the second case, Kimbrough v. US, that involved the disparity in sentencing guidelines for “crack” cocaine compared to powder, which is 100-to-1 : five grams  of crack gets you the same time as 500 grams of powder cocaine.


Deputy Solicitor General Michael R. Dreeben faced a skeptical court with no notes on his lectern (lawyer machismo?) and no amici briefs on his side.

WaPo story here.

Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with:

GU Assailant Facebook IDed


The victim of an anti-gay assault identified his attacker from pictures on his profile.  Philip Cooney, 19, a Georgetown University sophomore was arraigned on simple assault, but may face more serious hate crime charges. The attack occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 9 along the 1400 block of 36th Street, NW when Cooney allegedly taunted, tackled and punched the victim repeatedly for being gay.

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Sen. Craig’s lawyers try to withdraw guilty plea


In a suburban Minneapolis courtroom yesterday attorneys for Sen. Larry Craig sought to withdraw his disorderly conduct plea resulting from his arrest at an airport restroom where he reportedly solicited a sexual encounter through a series of foot-tapping and hand-swiping signals.


One of Craig’s attorneys, Billy Martin, argued that the senator’s actions were merely “innocuous” behavior, but Judge Charles A. Porter seemed skeptical and said that he would have a decision by the end of next week.

NYT story here.

Posted in Congress, Courtroom Tagged with:

Sex, lies and videotape?


Capitol Police sergeant Mike Malloy, left, watches as Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Sartori questions a juvenile witness, identified only by her initials, whom officer Malloy is accused of having sex with and videotaping the act.

WaPo story here.

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Voting Rights Act challenged


An unusual panel of jurists at the U.S. District courthouse in DC, made up of Circuit Judge David S. Tatel and District Judges Paul L. Friedman and Emmet G. Sullivan, heard arguments in a Texas case that seeks to change a key provision of the recently reauthorized Voting Rights Act. As it stands, districts with a history of discrimination at the polls are required to obtain pre-clearance from Justice before making any changes to their voting procedures.

The sketch shows Chris Ward, a lawyer for plaintiff Northeast Austin Municipal Utility District Number One, arguing before the panel.

AP’s Pete Yost has the story here.

Posted in Appellate Courts, Courtroom Tagged with: ,