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Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert may be an accused child molester, but he's not a poor one, not after years of working as a high-paid lobbyist. That lobbying money has come in handy of late and not only to cover up "past misconduct." Hastert has dipped into his savings hired some of the best lawyers money can buy.

The ex-speaker has retained Thomas Green, a well known white-collar defense attorney, to represent him against accusations that he broke banking laws in an attempt to pay off a victim of sexual abuse.

Ninety years ago today, John T. Scopes, a substitute teacher in Datyon, Tennessee, was arrested for teaching the theory of evolution, in violation of a recently passed state law. His case, the Scopes "Monkey" Trial, was the first "trial of the century." It pitted two great lawyers against each other -- William Jennings Bryan, a frequent presidential candidate and senator known for his religious conviction, verses Clarence Darrow, an openly agnostic and widely celebrated defense attorney.

The high profile of the lawyers and the controversial nature of the law turned the trail into a media circus. Which is exactly what was wanted. The trial was organized as a test case by the recently formed ACLU. Scopes lost, but through the suit, the ACLU was able to capture the attention of the public and shape a debate which continues to this day.

Christmas miracle? Not quite. Mark Stopa is a defense-side foreclosure lawyer in Florida who wants to give away a house. The deadline to apply has already passed, but we wonder who the lucky winner will be.

Stopa announced November 3 that one lucky family would win a brand-new foreclosed house if they submitted a 200-word essay by December 23.

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican or neither, the one thing you can agree on after Tuesday's election is it's time to party in three more states! Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., all voted to legalize recreational marijuana.

Each law is slightly different, though, so if you're practicing in any of these jurisdictions, it's helpful to know just what they cover and when they go into effect. There are actually lots of issues here for many attorneys, including criminal defense, tax, corporations, and property. So read up!

Don't Be a Partner in Shelter Tax Crime

This tax season, don't be a partner in shelter tax crime like the attorneys at Nix, Patterson & Roach in Texas.

In NPR Investments v. United States, the Fifth Circuit frowned upon the law firm partners' investment scheme to generate $65 million in artificial losses, so they could ultimately create a tax shelter for their huge litigation fees.

So what happened in this case?

The Affluenza Defense: Brilliant Lawyering

A lot of people are rightfully enraged at the moment. A drunk 16-year-old, with two people riding in his truck bed, slammed into three people who had stopped to help a stranded motorist. Those four people died, one of the individuals who was riding in the pickup truck bed can now only communicate by blinking, and who knows how many people were injured between the truck's other passengers and the oncoming car that collided with the wreckage.

Three hours after the accident, the kid's blood alcohol content was 0.24, three times the limit for someone of legal drinking age, an age he won't reach for five more years, reports the Star-Telegram.

Any other defendant would have spent at least some time in a juvenile incarceration facility, and maybe even an adult facility. Prosecutors were seeking a twenty-year term. His punishment? Ten years of probation, and treatment at a $450,000 per year rehabilitation facility in Newport Beach, California.

Why? Quite literally, because he is rich.

Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, has its merits, and the most important one may be the great debate that has stirred up at water coolers around the country. For every woman who wants to lean in, there's one that wants to lean out, and thus the latest iteration of the mommy wars continues.

Earlier this week, The New York Times published an article about Sara Uttech, a woman, mother, and employee, who is not so much concerned with "leaning in," as trying to have a good balance in her life. The snarky tone of the article insinuates that Sandberg is off-base by telling women to lean in, because according to a survey by the Families and Work Institute not everyone wants more responsibility. For working women that percentage is at 37.

What the article failed to grasp, however, is that the very acts they laud by Ms. Uttech, such as asking to work from home on Fridays, are actions that Sandberg would suggest. Not only that, had Uttech's female supervisors not leaned in, they may not have been amenable to her request for a flexible work schedule.

But we're not keeping score, right? Right?

Who is Wikileaks Leaker PFC Bradley Manning's Lawyer?

Most of us, even lawyers, are unfamiliar with the military justice system. So, when soldiers are in need of an outside attorney, they seek out someone with very specialized experience.

Reuters calls Private First Class Bradley Manning’s defense attorney David Coombs a “low-profile” lawyer. That may be true, at least in private practice. To be fair, he has only been a sole practitioner for a little more than a year, which is hardly enough time to raise one’s profile.

Before entering private practice, he spent more than a decade serving in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, first as a prosecutor, then as a defense attorney. He also served as a professor at the Judge Advocate General’s School and the Roger Williams School of Law.

DUI Defenders Pick Your Poison: Probable Cause or Plea Bargain

In September, the Supreme Court agreed to address whether a law enforcement officer may obtain a nonconsensual and warrantless blood sample from a drunk driver under the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement based upon the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream.

We say address, rather than decide, because the split opinions the Court issued today don’t quite make for a clear-cut decision that will help DUI defense attorneys.

'The Defendant Doesn't Normally Wear Eyeglasses' Jury Instruction

If you advise clients to dress professionally for court you may want to draw the line at suggesting they wear glasses since that might become the subject of a jury instruction.

Criminal defendant Donnell Harris wore glasses to his second-degree murder trial and the prosecution noticed that it wasn't his typical style. Something about the glasses was so different that they suspected he'd made the change just to trip up witnesses trying to identify him at trial.

Over the defense's objection, the judge issued an instruction to the jury that they could consider Harris's change of appearance as potential evidence of personal feelings of guilt. That instruction then became the basis for an appeal of Harris's conviction.