Green Light for Bias Suit Against Law Firm: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that a sex discrimination and harassment lawsuit brought by Alyson Kirleis against the Pittsburgh firm Dickie McCarney and Chilcote could proceed in court, rejecting assertions by the firm that it should go to arbitration. This story in the Legal Intelligencer says the court found that Kirleis never agreed to arbitration when she became partner.
Questions Raised on Possible U.S. Attorney: Neil MacBride is former counsel to then-Sen. Joseph Biden, and is currently an associate deputy attorney general. But because his resume also includes lobbying for computer companies, the Washington Post is reporting that some are wondering whether he should now be a leading contender for the post of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria.
Big Tobacco News Item 1: The New York Times spotlights the work of a young associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell named Kirsten Rutnik -- now Gillibrand -- who helped Philip Morris fend off prosecutors' requests for documents in the 1990s. Now Democratic senator from New York, Gillibrand declined to talk to the Times about that part of her legal career.
Big Tobacco News Item 2: After losing two big damage verdicts brought by Florida smokers, tobacco companies won one Wednesday when a St. Petersburg jury cleared Altria and R.J. Reynolds in a case brought by a widow whose husband died of lung cancer. According to this report from The American Lawyer via law.com, the defense pointed to medical records in which the deceased told his doctors he did not want to stop smoking.
Scalia, the Laugh Leader: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is generating far more laughter during oral argument this term than any other justice. Over at the DC Dicta blog, which keeps a running tally based on the laughter notations in oral argument transcipts, Scalia weighs in with 36 laugh lines, Stephen Breyer at 30, and John Roberts Jr. at 26. This is one contest Justice Clarence Thomas is not going to win; he hasn't uttered a word, funny or otherwise, during oral argument in more than three years.