No Money Maker: Attorney General Michael Mukasey stood to earn a lucrative contract as a DOJ corporate monitor last year before his nomination to lead the Justice Department. Mukasey, then a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, was in the running to oversee an unidentified troubled corporation that had reached a deferred prosecution deal with federal prosecutors. The practice of steering no-bid contracts is under scrutiny after reports that ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft's consulting firm stands to profit up to $52 million from such work.
Not Guilty: A Philadelphia jury yesterday acquitted Morgan Lewis & Bockius in a $20 million breach-of-contract suit brought by a water-purification company that claimed the firm gave it misleading advice on its sales to Cuba. In 2000, the firm's owners Don and Stefan Brodie were indicted based on the Trading With The Enemy Act and later reached plea deals with prosecutors.
Bowing Out: The embattled Atlanta judge overseeing the fatal 2005 courthouse shooting stepped down Wednesday after a report from The New Yorker called into question his impartiality. In the article, Jeffrey Toobin, also CNN's legal analyst, quotes Judge Hilton Fuller Jr. saying, "everyone in the world knows he did it" in reference to shooting suspect Brian Nichols.
Disabled Care Ruling: The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, acting on a referral by the Employment Tribunal in London, today in a landmark opinion ruled that work discrimination laws for disabled employees also extend to those who care for them. Sharon Coleman, whose son is disabled, says she was forced to resign as a legal secretary at a London law firm in 2005 after not being given the same benefits as other workers. UK observers say the ruling has huge ramifications for employers and care providers.
Reprieve: A North Carolina federal judge yesterday removed disgraced Durham prosecutor Michael Nifong from a civil lawsuit filed by three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape against the city, police and others. Nifong filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago, citing more than $180 million in liabilities from potential litigation damages. He was disbarred for his handling of the 2006 case after the victim changed her story and he was accused of rushing the charges.