Prosecuting Torture: So much for an uninterrupted, newsless vacation for President Obama. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has named veteran career prosecutor John Durham of Connecticut to investigate possible abuses of anti-torture laws in the interrogation of certain detainees, The Washington Post reports. Click here for The New York Times piece. In a statement, Holder said CIA officers acting in good faith will not be prosecuted. He stressed that Durham's review is preliminary and that criminal charges are not a certainty. Holder called his decision to appoint Durham the "responsible course of action" for the Justice Department.
Gonzales, On the Record: Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who this month starts his visiting teaching gig at Texas Tech University, discusses a wide range of topics with the Texas Lawyer in a one-on-one interview with reporter John Council. Gonzales explores the firings of nine U.S. attorneys, his controversial visit with then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in the hospital, and the current Justice Department's denouncement of the torture memos. "My own sense, and this is a very important point, is sometimes guidance is revised much like court decisions are sometimes overturned," Gonzales said. "People have a different way of approaching issues and different way of thinking."
Overcrowded: A former prisoner in the lock up in Monterey County, California, has settled a civil rights suit against the local government for $1.85 million, The Recorder reports. The inmate suffered severe brain damage after a cellmate attacked the man during their stay in the jail. The county settled the suit in part because deposition testimony of an expert for the government raised concern about staffing ratios and housing arrangements at the jail.
A Lawyer, On Trial: The trial of a personal injury lawyer in Houston who is accused of paying $3 million in cash, BMWs, and trips, among other things, to two Hartford Insurance Co. managers to secure a $34 million settlement, began Monday, the Houston Chronicle reports. The lawyer, Warren T. Hoeffner, is charged in federal district court with 14 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
The Jackson Thriller: The county coroner in Los Angeles said in a report in the death of pop singer Michael Jackson that preliminary toxicology results show "lethal levels" of the anesthetic propofol in his body, The Wall Street Journal reports. The finding, revealed in court papers that were unsealed, suggests that criminal charges are still possible against one or more of Jackson's doctors, the paper reports.