Defending Michael's Doc: The Texas Lawyer brings us a profile of the defense team representing singer Michael Jackson's doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, who came under intense scrutiny following the death of the King of Pop in June. Ed Chernoff, a partner in Houston's Stradley, Chernoff & Alford, enlisted the help of partners to alter the news cycle by showing that Murrary cooperated with the police amid the death investigation. Chernoff knew he would get publicity in representing Murray but says he "wasn't fully aware of how crazy it was going to get."
Economy Sours, Depresssion Rises: The economic downturn, hurting firms nationwide, has contributed to a rise in depression among lawyers, reports The New York Law Journal via law.com. There's been an uptick in lawyers calling for help from the New York City Bar's Lawyer Assistance Program. This month the organization began a support group that meets for an hour each week for six weeks.
The Baby Conspiracy: A class action consumer antitrust suit against retail giant Babies R Us and a group of baby product manufacturers gained traction when a federal judge in Pennsylvania certified the class, according to a report in The Legal Intelligencer. The suit, in its infancy, alleges that Babies R Us used its dominance in the market to eliminate competition by coercing manufacturers to set minimum price controls and bans on discounting.
Falling Crime, Baffled Experts: Violent crime has significantly dropped in Washington and in major cities, baffling criminologists, The Washington Post reports today. Washington, New York and Los Angeles could see fewer homicides this year than in any other year in at least four decades, according to the Post report.
Contempt Ruling Tossed: An appeals court in Georgia has ruled in favor of a lawyer held in contempt for making a "sarcastic" face at a judge, The Fulton County Daily Report notes. The appellate court ruled the judge did not give the lawyer, Ella A.S. Hughes, an opportunity to challenge the contempt finding. Hughes paid a fine and avoided jail time. The state doesn't plan to appeal the ruling.