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Former L.A. City Attorney Faces Discipline Charges for Prosecutor Misconduct

The California State Bar has filed disciplinary charges against a former Los Angeles City Attorney for allegedly hiding evidence in a death penalty case in 1985.

Carmen A. Trutanich, 65, was a county prosecutor at the time. The disciplinary action comes after a federal judge overturned the defendant's murder conviction last year.

Judge David O. Carter said Trutanich's actions in the case were "deeply troubling," including his failure to correct false testimony by a key witness. Patricia Lewis, who testified that she saw Barry Glenn Williams shoot the victim, gave a false name for the driver of the car she was in at the time of the murder. 

The judge concluded that the prosecutor knew or should have known it was a lie.

Top Hollywood Myths About Lawyers

Hollywood lawyers -- those characters created for movies and television -- represent both truths and falsehoods about lawyers in real life.

Bold or brash? Smart or smart-aleck? Self-assured or self-centered? Criminal attorney or redundancy?

Seriously, the line between fact and fiction sometimes can be quite thin. After all, everyone has seen one real-life lawyer like Vinny Gamibini from "My Cousin Vinny" or at least one with a really bad suit.

There are Hollywood myths, however. They are stories built upon false beliefs, not to be confused with true legends that seem bigger than life. Let's try to sort out the differences:

California Law School Deans Push Back at the Bar Exam

In the closing minutes of the Super Bowl this year, the Falcons sealed their fate when they made a critical mistake: they punted.

To punt -- such a well-known expression you don't have to know football to know what it means -- is to put off taking action in the face of a difficult situation. For the Falcons, it meant to delay going forward when they were winning the game. In retrospect, they lost the game because of that untimely decision.

The same could be said for California law schools faced with the lowest bar pass rates in 32 years. Rather than move forward with changes in legal education, they have asked the State Bar to lower the minimum score for the bar exam. It is a critical moment for legal education in California.

Will University of North Carolina Start a New Law School?

Once the largest law school in North Carolina, Charlotte School of Law's student population has fallen from 1,500 a decade ago to less than 300 this semester. The for-profit law school, now on probation for failing educational standards and sanctioned with no federal funding, may not survive into the summer. But as one law school dies, another may arise.

The University of North Carolina, the public university system, is considering whether to open a law school in Charlotte. The state system already has law schools at campuses in Chapel Hill and Durham, but had considered opening a law school in Charlotte before the for-profit school was accredited in 2011.

Lawyer Convicted of Raping Unconscious Client With More Charges Pending

The young woman thought her lawyer was coming over to discuss a case. Instead, they drank and he raped her while she lay unconscious.

That was evil enough, resulting in felony rape and sexual assault convictions for Vincent A. Cirillo, Jr. The 57-year-old man, who awaits sentencing in a Pennsylvania courtroom, will probably spend the rest of his life in prison.

"It's unfortunate," he said as he left the courtroom in handcuffs.

NY's Cheapest Private Law School: Syracuse

If you were going to flip a coin to choose a law school, you may want to save that coin and go to Syracuse University.

Syracuse College of Law is offering $20,000 scholarships to all admitted residents, effectively reducing tuition to $26,460 each year for qualified students. Unless another law school matches, it will be the least expensive private law school in the state.

"With over 5,000 New York state residents applying to law schools each year, this innovative program has the potential to positively impact a great number of students interested in attending Syracuse Law," said Grant Keener, interim assistant dean for enrollment management.

What to Do If You're Waitlisted for Law School

Just got a waitlist response to your law school application?

The good news is, the school is definitely interested in you. The bad news is, you're going to have to wait a few months to know more.

In the meantime, don't worry because law schools generally don't rank their waitlists. Nobody on the list has an advantage at this point. It's like lottery balls, they are constantly moving and no one knows which one will come up. Similarly, applicants may take themselves off the waitlist to go to other schools.

But to increase your chances of getting off the waitlist and being admitted, there are some things you can do. First, send the school a letter or pay a visit to show you are still interested. Second, update your resume or submit another letter of recommendation.

Here are a few tips about how to do it:

Judge Suspended for Badly Photoshopped Campaign Ad

Photoshop has created many images that you just can't unsee: a giant shark leaping to bite helicopter; Oprah's head on Ann-Margret's body; Forrest Gump in the White House ...

Seriously, when it comes to photoshopped images, the line between fact and fiction is sometimes pretty blurry. It certainly got one West Virginia judge into big trouble.

Judge Stephen O. Callaghan of Nicholas County has been suspended for two years without pay and fined $15,000 because of his "materially false" campaign ad. It was so bad, the state Supreme Court attached it to its disciplinary opinion to make the point. One judge concurred and dissented because he wanted to suspend Callaghan from law practice as well.

Judges Face Threats Over Immigration Ban Case

A courthouse changes when police stand outside with guns -- rather than sit inside next to a scanning machine.

It has certainly changed for US Judge James L. Robart, who issued a nationwide order stopping President Trump's now infamous immigration ban. A week ago, it was business as usual. Now Robart needs protection because of online threats.

"Ridiculous." "So called-judge." "Known liberal sympathizer." Those are just tweets from the president.

"Dead man walking." "Bow tie wearing freak." "Who in your family is expendable Robart?" And those are from his followers.

Disguised Lawyer Arrested Trying to Sell Court-Sealed Complaint

Jeffrey Wertkin is a smart lawyer, especially when it comes to litigating fraud claims.

Wertkin joined the prominent firm Akin Gump last year as a partner, bringing with him six years of trial experience from the U.S. Department of Justice. Having led 20 major fraud investigations there, he had in-depth knowledge of the legal and practical considerations that shape government investigations. His specialty was the False Claims Act.

So why was Wertkin, wearing a wig and using a fake name, trying to sell confidential court records for $310,000 to a company being sued under the False Claims Act?