Extended: The Justice Department has moved to extend from six months to five years the period of time in which the government can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, Charlie Savage of The New York Times reports. Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center expressed concern about the new guidelines. The Washington Post has coverage here.
Trading: U.S. securities regulators are investigating whether rapid trading has given some firms an unfair advantage over other investors, The Wall Street Journal's Scott Patterson and Jean Eaglesham report.
Remembered: Acclaimed civil rights lawyer John Payton died Thursday at the age of 65. President Barack Obama said in a statement: "A true champion of equality, he helped protect civil rights in the classroom and at the ballot box. The legal community has lost a legend, and while we mourn John's passing, we will never forget his courage and fierce opposition to discrimination in all its forms."
Accused: DOJ has filed suit against AT&T Corp. over allegations the telecommunications company wrongly collected millions of dollars from a government fund intended to support telephone services for hearing and speech-impaired people. Jenna Greene of The National Law Journal reports AT&T knew the service was being abused but ignored it because of the significant amount of money it generated.
Stronger: The New York Times examines U.S. Supreme Court rulings this week that said defendants have a right to an effective lawyer during pretrial negotiations. Times reporter Erica Goode said the high court rulings expand the supervisory reach of judges to include plea bargaining, an area of the law that has seen little oversight. One law professor compared the lack of oversight to a Turkish bazaar.
Affirmed: A divided federal appeals court has upheld the right of school officials in New York to suspend a boy who, in a drawing assignment, said his wish was to blow up the school, The New York Law Journal's Mark Hamblett reports. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, split in its ruling, upheld the dismissal of the First Amendment suit the boy's parents filed.
Thwarted: The Chicago Tribune tells the story of a 71-year-old liquor salesman who used a bottle of tequila to fend off an attempted robbery. "I told them to come on with it. I was going to hit them with it," the man told reporter Rosemary Sobol.