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Disgraced ex-journalist Stephen Glass, who fabricated articles for major magazines in the 1990s, is not fit to practice law and has been denied a law license, the California Supreme Court has ruled.

In a unanimous opinion (attached below), California's highest court concluded Glass has not overcome the stain of his tarnished and infamous past as a journalist who fabricated stories for prominent publications in the late 1990s.

Glass was a magazine journalism wunderkind with articles appearing in Rolling Stone, Harper's and The New Republic. Eventually, he acknowledged that 42 articles were partially or wholly fabricated, according to a filing prepared by Glass's lawyers.

Glass's actions were called the most sustained fraud in modern journalism and led to the critically-acclaimed movie "Shattered Glass."

After his journalism career ended, Glass attended law school and spent the past six years pursuing admission to the California State Bar. Concerns about Glass' character kept him from being admitted to the New York Bar in 2004.

A lawyer for Glass, Jon Eisenberg, told Reuters that Glass "appreciates the court's consideration of his application and respects the court's decision."

Undocumented Immigrant Granted California Law License

The California Supreme Court granted a law license Thursday to an undocumented immigrant, a first-of-its-kind ruling that allows the man brought to the U.S. as a toddler to practice law in the state.

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Sergio Garcia's undocumented status does not disqualify him from becoming a lawyer, and that the final obstacle was removed when the Legislature passed a law allowing otherwise-qualified applicants to join the bar regardless of their immigration status.

"There is no state law or state public policy that would justify precluding undocumented immigrants, as a class, from obtaining a law license," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in the ruling.

Garcia was brought to the United States as a toddler, put himself through law school and has waited nearly two decades for legal residency.

But will he be able to find work as an attorney?

Federal law would still prohibit Garcia from working for a law firm or any other paying employer. Still, state officials say he could represent clients as an independent contractor, and Garcia plans to do so despite arguments by Obama administration officials that he would be working illegally.

The U.S. Department of Justice had opposed Garcia's application, while California Attorney General Kamala Harris supported it.

Lawyers like to write intimidating, legalese-laden cease and desist letters. It happens everyday. But one New Jersey lawyer’s snarky response letter has gone viral for calling out a municipal attorney and injecting some classic legal humor.

Richard D. Trenk, representing West Orange, New Jersey, wrote a cease and desist letter over an “unauthorized” website that “is likely to cause confusion [sic].” Trenk demands the website’s owner change domain names and “anything else confusingly similar thereto.”

Enter Stephen B. Kaplitt instantly memorable response letter: “Obviously [your cease and desist letter] was sent in jest, and the world can certainly use more legal satire. Bravo, Mr. Trenk!”

Now sit back and enjoy Kaplitt’s full response letter — it’s one for the ages.

An affidavit has surfaced in which lawyers at the world's largest law firm trade casual e-mails about running up legal bills for a client. One attorney jokes "that bill shall know no limits." Another described a colleague's approach to the assignment as "churn that bill, baby!"

It's not every day you read documentary evidence of possible churning -- the creation of unnecessary work to drive up a client's bill. But that appears to be what The New York Times found in a Manhattan Supreme Court filing last week involving the law firm DLA Piper.

DLA Piper is in a fee dispute with client Adam H. Victor, an energy industry executive. DLA Piper sued Mr. Victor for $675,000 in unpaid legal bills. Then Mr. Victor filed a counterclaim, accusing the law firm of a "sweeping practice of overbilling."

Do law firms inflate bills by performing superfluous tasks and overstaffing assignments? Here are some highlighted portions of DLA Piper's emails:

"I hear we are already 200k over our estimate -- that's Team DLA Piper!" wrote Erich P. Eisenegger, a lawyer at the firm, the Times reports.

"Now Vince has random people working full time on random research projects in standard 'churn that bill, baby!' mode. That bill shall know no limits," replied another DLA Piper lawyer, Christopher Thomson, noting that a third colleague, Vincent J. Roldan, had been enlisted to work on the matter.

A DLA Piper spokesman told TheTimes the firm did not comment on pending litigation.

Octomom's Doctor Michael Kamrava Sued by CA Medical Board

Dr. Michael Kamrava, the Beverly Hills fertility doctor who helped his patient Nadya Suleman (a/k/a 'the Octomom') birth octuplets after delivering her six other children via in vitro fertilization, was sued by California's Medical Board for multiple counts of gross negligence.

According the lawsuit (see below), Kamrava:

  • Negligently used fresh embryo transfers when he should have used already available frozen embryos;
  • Systematically transferred an excessive number of blastocyt embryos that exceeded the medically recommended number for Suleman's age and medical history;
  • Failed to refer Suleman for a mental health evalution, given her multiple IVF births to six children prior to getting pregnant and delivering octuplets;
  • Failed to maintain adequate medical records;and
  • Engaged in repeated acts of negligence which, in addition to the above allegations, included giving Suleman high doses of Gonadotropin protein hormones

Ex-N.Y. Judge Convicted of Shaking Down Attorney

Thomas Spargo, a former N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice was convicted by a federal jury today in Albany today of attempted extortion and bribery.

According to his original indictment (see below), in 2003 Spargo solicited a $10,000 bribe from any attorney who had cases pending before him. At trial, it federal prosecutors proved that when the attorney refused to pay the bribe, the Judge called the attorney on the telephone and told him that he and another judge in New York's Ulster County were assigned to handle divorce cases, including the attorney's own pending divorce case.

The message was clear: while he was sitting on the bench, then-Justice Spargo suggested that the attorney's failure to pay the bribe could have potentially negative personal and professional repercussions.

Judge Says Dole Case Is "Bananas!"

The movie "Bananas!" purports to be an intense look at the struggles of Nicaraguan farmers to obtain compensation for sterility resulting of the use of pesticides on banana plantation.

If the Dole Food Co. and a California Supreme Court Judge are right, however, the movie might have to change its ending.
Judge Samuel Kent received some good news and some bad news yesterday.  Well, it was really a case of bad news and it-could've-been-worse news.

Kent, you may remember, is the federal district court judge from Galveston, Texas who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice related to the investigation into allegations (which he later admitted were true) that he had non-consensual sexual contact with courthouse employees.

Judge Allegedly Hides Money for Stripper, Loses Job

You would think that, after all the times that a prominent, successful man has seen his career undone through association with a stripper, eventually people would learn that success brings with it certain behavioral strictures.

But, human nature being what it is, the pattern keeps repeating itself again and again, and even an erudite man of the bench can get caught up in it.

Thomas E. Stringer was, until February of this year, a judge on Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeal in the Tampa Bay area.  He broke down barriers by becoming the first black graduate of his law school, Stetson University College of Law, and worked as a state attorney before becoming a circuit judge and then joining the Court of Appeal.

Then, last March, his legal career of thirty-plus years came crashing down.