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Judge Thomas Ambro joined the Third Circuit in 1999, as a Clinton appointee. A graduate of Georgetown University for both undergrad and law school, he previously worked in the law firm of Richards, Layton & Finger for 34 years.

In private practice, Ambro focused on bankruptcy and business law. On the bench, he has become a reliable voice for liberalism on a wide range of social and civil rights issues.

'Porngate' Justice Seamus McCaffery Is Laughing His Way to the Bank

Justice Seamus McCaffery, suspended by his colleagues in the wake of a pornographic email scandal, resigned in October. It seemed like a sad end to the man's long career in public service and on the bench.

And to some, it seemed like a bit of an overreaction. (Though, on the other hand, if the extorting-a-fellow-justice claims were true, forced retirement was exactly what he deserved.)

Overreaction or not, how's he doing now? Financially, he's doing pretty damn well.

With McCaffery, Castille Leaving, Pa. High Court Set for Change

Earlier this week, the long-simmering and now-public feud between Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery and Chief Justice Ronald Castille finally ended with McCaffery's resignation. Their bitter battle goes back years (and ended with a pornographic email scandal); many suspect it was the reason why Castille ran a retention election knowing that he'd only be able to serve a single year because of the state's age limit. Castille himself admitted that he was gunning for McCaffery, calling him a "sociopath" in the court's suspension order earlier this month.

McCaffery is gone. Castille has two more months on the bench. And much of the rest of the bench is gone, or on the way out. Let's take a look at the openings, and how the seats will likely be filled.

We Finally Got the Name of Pa.'s 'Porngate' Supreme Court Justice

There's just something about Pennsylvania, porn, and the race for governor.

Last month, a guy who starred in a "torture porn" flick showed up in a campaign ad for Tom Wolf, the Democrat running for governor. It was worth a laugh or two -- not the least bit because the star's day job is as an attorney, and in the movie he played a cannibalistic attorney -- but really, it was much ado about nothing (especially for Wolf, who leads by double digits).

Then last week, word leaked that subordinates of incumbent (and behind-in-the-polls) Gov. Tom Corbett were forwarding porn to each other on their work accounts for years -- something that was discovered during the Jerry Sandusky investigation, but was only just now released because ... election season?

But the most ridiculous non-issue of the bunch was the news, from earlier this week, that a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice may have sent and received some of the emails, from a private Comcast email account, way back in 2008 to 2009. Guy looked at porn six years ago! The only thing worse would be getting a lap dance when you were in your 20s!

As a general rule, one shouldn't send porn through a work email account during work hours. As a more specific rule, one shouldn't do that if one is a state official, and as an even more specific rule, the head of the state police really shouldn't be doing that at all.

And yet, here we are. The Pennsylvania state attorney general's office last week named eight current and former high-ranking state officials who were part of an investigation into state officials' sending and receiving pornographic emails on state email accounts on state computers.

A "sovereign citizen" who claims he's a "crown prince emperor" can't remove his case to federal court, a judge has ruled.

What are "sovereign citizens"? They're Americans who, for some reason, don't believe the law applies to them. They are real problems in some parts of the country, where they gum up local court systems by filing copious documents containing ridiculous legalese and citations lifted out of context from court opinions.

Sovereign citizens claim the U.S. government has no power over them, as they are their own sovereign nation, and they're governed by English common law (if they're governed by anything at all). Their antics can from delightfully misanthropic to seriously dangerous.

If you're working on a case headed for oral arguments before the Third Circuit, then a trip to Philadelphia (if you're not already based there), is in store for you. I spent five years of my life in the City of Brotherly Love -- four years as an undergrad, and one year as a judicial clerk -- so I thought I'd share some things to do while you're in Philadelphia.

Leave the Gun, Take the Cheesesteak

I haven't lived in Philly since 2000, and yes, I am still missing Philly cheesesteaks. Now, most Philly guides will tell you that you need to go to Pat's or Geno's in South Philly -- they are wrong. I really don't know what all the fuss is about, I tried 'em and didn't like 'em.

My personal favorite is Jim's Steaks, and a truly good combo is beef (or chicken), mushrooms, onions and provolone. If you're more of a fine dining person, be sure to check out Laurel, Nicholas Elmi's (a/k/a the newest winner of the title "Top Chef") restaurant.

On Wednesday, President Obama announced that he intended to nominate Cheryl A. Krause to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, reports The Washington Times. He stated: "Cheryl Ann Krause has displayed exceptional dedication to the legal profession through her work and I am honored to nominate her to serve the American people as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals," and added, "She will be a diligent, judicious and esteemed addition to the Third Circuit bench."

We had a chance to read her impressive bio and we can see why the President nominated Krause. To learn more about her, read on.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware are keeping practitioners on their toes with a host of legal issues arising from hot news stories. Here's a roundup of the goings on in the states of the Third Circuit...

Giffords' Advocacy Group Urges Passage of NJ Gun Law

Governor Christie signed ten new gun bills into law on Thursday, but Gabbie Giffords' advocacy group is urging Christie to sign another into law, with a petition of over 3,000 signatures.

Ryan Hart's Electronic Arts Lawsuit for Video Game Not Over Yet

The video game industry is not off the hook just yet. Former Rutgers football player, Ryan Hart, just got the go ahead from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to continue his Electronic Arts lawsuit. Hart had sued EA for misappropriation of his likeness in their NCAA Football video games depicting a college football player similar to him when he played.

This case is about all balancing rights; a celebrity's rights of publicity and the video game company's rights of expression. The Third Circuit reversed the district court decision holding EA's college football video games were entitled to First Amendment freedom of speech protection.