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Bodman LLP Establishes Richard D. Rohr Scholarship Fund
Firm News/Michigan | 2008/12/10 18:27
Bodman LLP has honored its late chairman Richard D. Rohr by establishing an endowed scholarship at the University of Michigan Law School in his honor. The Richard D. Rohr Scholarship fund was initially endowed with $100,000 from Bodman LLP, which was matched with $50,000 by the university.

The Richard D. Rohr Scholarship will be awarded for the first time in the fall of 2009. The recipient is expected to be a second or third-year law student who plans to practice law in Southeast Michigan.

“Under Richard Rohr’s leadership, Bodman grew into one of the largest and most successful law firms in Southeast Michigan,” said Larry R. Shulman, Bodman LLP Chairman. “ He had close ties with the University of Michigan Law School as an alumnus, donor and adjunct faculty member. It is fitting that we help foster the future leaders of Detroit’s legal community at his alma mater.”

Rohr, a prominent member of Detroit legal community and chairman of Bodman LLP for 25 years, died on Wednesday, August 27 at 81 years of age. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School at the top of his class in 1953 and served as editor-in-chief of The University of Michigan Law Review.

“We are deeply honored and appreciative that Bodman has established a scholarship at Michigan Law honoring the memory of Richard Rohr,” said University of Michigan Law School Dean Evan Caminker. “Dick’s association with the Law School began when he was a 1L and endured throughout his lifetime, including his service on our adjunct faculty. Moreover, he was a generous donor to scholarships. In a time when student assistance is more important than ever, there simply could be no more appropriate memorial.”


Justices chide California-based appeals court
Legal Watch | 2008/12/04 02:53
The Supreme Court took aim at one of its favorite targets Tuesday, criticizing a California-based federal appeals court for its ruling in favor of a criminal defendant.

The justices threw out a decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Michael Robert Pulido, who was convicted for his role in robbing a gas station and killing the defendant.

A U.S. District Court judge set aside Pulido's conviction because the trial judge in the case gave the jury improper instructions.

The high court said in an unsigned opinion that the appeals court ruling affirming the federal judge's action used faulty reasoning. The justices did not reinstate Pulido's conviction.

Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter agreed that the appeals court made a mistake, but would have affirmed its ruling anyway because the underlying decision in favor of Pulido was correct.

Last month, the court overruled the 9th Circuit in an environmental case involving the Navy's use of sonar and its potential harm to whales.

The case is Hedgpeth v. Pulido, 07-544.



Victim's kin file suit in Wal-Mart stampede death
Headline News | 2008/12/04 02:52
The family of a New York man who was trampled to death the day after Thanksgiving by a stampede of bargain hunting Wal-Mart shoppers has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The family also filed notice that Nassau County, on Long Island, and its police department will be sued.

The lawsuit against Wal-Mart and the Long Island mall where it is located was filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in the Bronx on behalf of Elsie Damour Phillipe. Phillipe is the sister of victim Jdimytai Damour (DHMEE'-tree Di-MOHR'), and is the court-appointed administrator of his estate.

Damour, a temporary worker hired for the holiday season, was crushed to death when some 2,000 customers stormed into the Valley Stream store.

None of the defendants in the lawsuit immediately responded to requests for comment.



Ages of Supreme Court justices and recent retirees
Attorneys News | 2008/12/03 02:49

The members of the Supreme Court, by age:

John Paul Stevens, 88

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75

Antonin Scalia, 72

Anthony Kennedy, 72

Stephen Breyer, 70

David Souter, 69

Clarence Thomas, 60

Samuel Alito, 58

John Roberts, 53

___

The last 10 justices to leave the Supreme Court, with their age and date of retirement:

Sandra Day O'Connor, 75, Jan. 31, 2006

William Rehnquist, 80, Sept. 3, 2005-x

Harry Blackmun, 85, Aug. 3, 1994

Byron White, 76, June 28, 1993

Thurgood Marshall, 83, Oct. 1, 1991

William Brennan, 84, July 20, 1990

Lewis Powell, 79, June 26, 1987

Warren Burger, 79, Sept. 26, 1986

Potter Stewart, 66, July 3, 1981

William Douglas, 77, Nov. 12, 1975

x-died while chief justice.



Colo. man charged with libel over Craigslist posts
Headline News | 2008/12/03 02:49
A man accused of making unflattering online comments about his former lover and her attorney on Craigslist has been charged with two counts of criminal libel.

"It's not a charge you see a lot of," Larimer County District Attorney Larry Abrahamson said of the 1800s-era state law that can put people in jail for the content of their speech or writing.

Abrahamson charged J.P. Weichel, 40, of Loveland, in October over posts he allegedly made on Craigslist's "Rants and Rave" section.

The case began when a woman told Loveland police in December 2007 about postings made about her between November and December 2007. Court records show posts that suggested she traded sexual acts for legal services from her attorney and mentioned a visit from child services because of an injury to her child.

Police obtained search warrants for records from Web sites including Craigslist before identifying Weichel as the suspect. Weichel shares a child with the woman.

Weichel, confronted by detectives at his workplace in August, said he was "just venting," according to court records.

No phone listing could be found for Weichel, and his attorney, Michael Liggett of Fort Collins, didn't immediately return a message left Monday by The Associated Press.

Libel is commonly seen as a civil case. Denver attorney Steve Zansberg, who specializes in First Amendment law, said prosecutors seeking criminal libel cases could have a "chilling" effect on free speech in Colorado, particularly over the Internet.

Abrahamson wasn't so sure. He said it is up to police departments to pursue cases.

Zansberg contends the law is outdated, is unclear about stating opinions and is written in such a way that dead people could be victims of criminal libel.



US court: Parents cannot sue to enforce 'No Child'
Headline News | 2008/12/02 02:50
A federal appeals court says parents cannot sue school districts to force them to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act.

The ruling Thursday comes in a case filed against the low-performing Newark Public Schools in New Jersey.

Parents say the district failed to notify them of the right to transfer out of failing schools and of other provisions required under the law.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says enforcement of the act is up to state educational agencies.

ACLU attorney Scott Michelman says the decision is not in the best interests of parents or children. A school district lawyer did not return calls.



Court revives Ariz. tribes lawsuit over research
Legal News | 2008/12/02 02:48
An Arizona appeals court panel ruled Friday that the Havasupai Indian tribe can proceed with a lawsuit that claims university researchers misused blood samples taken from tribal members.

Overturning a judge's 2007 dismissal of the case, a split Arizona Court of Appeals panel said the Havasupai and other plaintiffs had provided enough information to go to trial or at least enough to go forward in trial court pending further proceedings.

The northern Arizona tribe, whose isolated village lies deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon, claims Arizona State University and University of Arizona researchers misused blood samples taken from more than 200 tribal members for diabetes research in the 1990s by also using it for research into schizophrenia, inbreeding and ancient population migration.

The tribe claims the additional research was conducted without its permission and constituted an invasion of privacy. As a result, the tribe says, some members now fear seeking medical attention.

Attorneys for the university system and individual researchers have argued that tribal members supplied the blood samples voluntarily and that there is legitimate public interest in data that can advance disease research.



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