9th Circuit appeals court Judge Pamela Rymer dies
Court Watch | 2011/09/23 09:14
Judge Pamela Rymer of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has died after a years-long battle with cancer.

The federal court on Thursday announced the passing of the 70-year-old Rymer, who had been in failing health in recent months. The court says Rymer was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and died Wednesday with friends at her bedside.

President Ronald Reagan first appointed Rymer to the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in 1983. President George H.W. Bush elevated her to the appeals court in 1989.

Rymer was born in Knoxville, Tenn., and raised in the San Francisco Bay area.

The court didn't list any survivors and said Rymer requested no services.

Two scholarships in her name have been established at Stanford University, where she graduated law school in 1964.


Noted NJ attorney Michael Cole dies at 67
Court Watch | 2011/09/23 05:16
Michael Cole, a noted lawyer who held several key state government positions during his long legal career, has died. He was 67.

Cole's death was announced Sunday by the Teaneck-based law firm of DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, but further details were not disclosed. The Morris Township resident had been a partner with the firm for many years before recently retiring and was still serving as a counsel for them.

During his governmental career, Cole served as chief counsel to Gov. Tom Kean and also had been a first assistant Attorney General, where he handled matters ranging from school funding to gubernatorial powers to gaming regulation.

A graduate of Rutgers Law School, Cole was an attorney for more than 40 years. Among his survivors is his wife, state Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia.


Former Wyoming governor joins law firm
Court Watch | 2011/07/03 07:03
Former Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal has joined the international law firm of Crowell & Moring as senior counsel.

Freudenthal says in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that the firm will open an office in Cheyenne, where he will be based. He will work for the firm's Environment and Natural Resources Group.

He says he will advise clients on issues that he handled during his two terms as governor, including minerals, natural resources development and environmental permitting.

Freudenthal says he will continue to teach at the University of Wyoming College of Law and serve on the Arch Coal Inc. board of directors.

Crowell & Moring has nearly 500 lawyers with offices in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, London, Brussels and elsewhere.


Maritime Transportation - Florida Maritime Lawyer
Court Watch | 2011/02/25 17:16
In today’s global economy, our system of commerce relies on an efficient ocean transportation industry.  Whether you are a vessel owner, operator, logistics provider, terminal operator, or user of the ocean transportation system, you need the assistance of legal counsel who is familiar with the business and regulatory challenges faced by maritime participants.

If you are engaged in the maritime transportation business, Florida maritime lawyer Eric Roper has the knowledge and experience to assist you.  With his years of experience as a trial attorney in the Bureau of Enforcement at the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, Mr. Roper represents maritime industry clients in proceedings before regulatory agencies, as well as in federal and state courts.  He can help maritime businesses navigate a variety of legal challenges—from complex antitrust and regulatory issues to disputes before courts and administrative agencies.

When your business interacts with the U.S. government, you deserve representation by experienced counsel.  Mr. Roper's understanding of the regulatory, legislative, and commercial issues affecting your business allows him to provide solutions to your legal issues with minimal impact on your business operations.


Former Attorney General Mike Cox will join Dykema Gossett
Court Watch | 2011/01/13 17:11

Former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox will join Detroit-based Dykema Gossett PLLC as a senior attorney in its litigation department, the law firm CEO confirmed today.

Cox, 49, who ended eight years as the state's chief law enforcement officer on Jan. 1, starts next Monday at Dykema's Detroit office. He will practice in health care fraud, white-collar criminal law and federal and state regulatory compliance, said Dykema Chairman and CEO Rex Schlaybaugh.

Schlaybaugh said the firm leadership had talked with Cox for more than a month about his options upon leaving office. The attorney general seemed a good fit because of his involvement in health care transactions and the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted last year.

"Mike is someone with a great deal of experience with the complexities of implementing that law and a great interest in it, which will be very important to some of our strategic clients," Schlaybaugh said.

"Many federal and state government agencies are also involved in aspects of these laws, and navigating that will be a high-demand area. In that way, I think he dovetails with our firm's needs very nicely."

Cox's health care practice will focus on client responses to increased compliance and tougher anti-fraud policies stemming from the Affordable Care Act, violations of the federal Stark Law or False Claims Act and responses to inquiries from the Office of the Health Services inspector general.



Sen. George LeMieux returns to law firm
Court Watch | 2011/01/02 17:07

U.S. Sen. George LeMieux will return to Gunster law firm after leaving office.

H. William Perry, the firm's CEO and managing partner, announced Tuesday that LeMieux will resume his legal practice Jan. 4 and provide corporate counseling to the firm's clients.

LeMieux first joined Gunster in 1994. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, with his undergraduate degree from Emory University.

LeMieux left Gunster in 2009, after Gov. Charlie Crist appointed him to the U.S. Senate. LeMieux filled the seat left vacant by the resignation of Sen. Mel Martinez.

LeMieux did not seek re-election, and Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio won the seat in November. Rubio will take office Jan. 3.



David Boies Urges ABA Members
Court Watch | 2010/08/09 16:01

David Boies challenged America’s lawyers to “bring the rule of law to its full fruition here in this country … to fulfill the goals and lofty rhetoric of our founding fathers,” as the keynote speaker at the Opening Assembly of the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The rule of law was the assembly theme, as ABA members gathered in the Herbst Theater of the War Memorial Veterans Building, site of the signing of the charter of the United Nations in 1945.  

President Carolyn B. Lamm pointed to ABA efforts from activities of the Section of International Law to such projects as the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, the Rule of Law Initiative and the World Justice Project as advancing United Nations goals to spread democracy based on law around the world.

Boies, co-counsel with Ted Olson in winning a federal district court ruling Wednesday that overturned California’s Proposition 8, cited “numerous challenges to the rule of law in our own country,” in applying that theme at home.

When our nation was born, it consisted of “wes” and “theys,” Boies said, with the “wes” being white male property owners and the “theys” comprising everyone else.  As the national history unfolded, the circle of “wes” expanded to encompass more and more segments of society.  

“We have an opportunity to expand the circle of ‘wes’ until there are no more ‘theys,’” said Boies, urging lawyers to work toward ensuring that “liberty and equality and protection of individual rights is something that every citizen equally enjoys.”

To achieve that goal, Boies identified four challenges confronting his audience.

First, he suggested the rule of law works best when adversaries have equivalent resources, whether those resources are plentiful or sparse.   But the “time when our system tends to break down is when one party has tremendous resources and the other party does not.”  Those are the times that “threatened to undermine the protections of the rule of law… [and lawyers] need to find ways to reduce the imbalance,” he said.  He urged reducing procedural advantages that favor the “better resourced party,” and urged lawyers to not “use discovery as a war of attrition,” for example. 
   
Second, he called for “better tools to help juries” decide important but complex cases, such as allowing jurors to ask questions and take notes on testimony.

His third challenge was to “improve judges and the judicial machinery,” citing a “crisis in terms of financing the justice system in the United States.”  First year associates in his law firm are paid higher salaries than federal district court judges, and state court judges earn even less, he said.  “If we can’t afford to spend a fraction of what we are spending to expand that system to Iraq, something is wrong with our sense of priorities,” he maintained.  

All lawyers must stand up for the independence of judges, resisting threats to their safety when they make unpopular decisions, said Boies, noting that there already have been threats to harm the judge who  ruled in the Proposition 8 litigation.

Boies’ cited predictably equal application of the law without regard to the identity of the parties as the final challenge to the rule of law, saying that when rights depend on who is asserting them, “the rule of law is undermined.”



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