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Judge Strikes Campaign-Finance Enforcement Law

Enforcement provisions of Colorado's campaign finance law are unconstitutional, a federal judge said.

Judge Raymond Moore said the enforcement provisions, which empower private citizens to file complaints over campaign finance issues, violate protections for political speech. With that decision in Holland v. Williams, the judge will likely issue a permanent injunction against the state.

According to reports, the ruling has major implications for state politics. It may not matter beyond Colorado, however, because it is the only state in the nation with such private-enforcement laws.

Vouching for Your Clients -- A $900,000 Mistake

This month, in the case of Gilster v. Primebank, the Eighth Circuit upheld the long-standing rule that lawyers cannot vouch for their clients.

The Facts

This was a sexual harassment case. Plaintiff claimed that Joseph Strub, her supervisor at Primebank in Sioux City, Iowa, made comments about her legs, placed his arm on her shoulders, told her that they should hook up, pressed his pelvis against her backside, massaged her shoulders, and told her to bend over and show more bra to bring in more customers. Defense admitted that when the plaintiff inquired about a bonus in front of colleagues at a meeting, Strubs told her to take out her teeth (she wears dentures), come to his office and close the door.

Martha Shoffner Seeks Post-Conviction Acquittal

Lawyers for Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner argued before U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes that Shoffner should be acquitted on 14 bribery and extortion charges.

Holmes withheld judgment on Shoffner's earlier request to be ordered free on grounds that prosecutors didn't prove that any federal laws were broken. But Holmes opted to entertain the argument only if the jury returned any guilty verdicts, The Associated Press reports.

A jury convicted Shoffner last week, clearing the way for both sides to present written arguments to Holmes on why she should or should not be acquitted.

8th Circuit Threatens to Sanction Rogue 'Show Me the Note' Lawyer

The (fed up) Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals threatened to impose its own sanctions on a rogue “show me the note” attorney in Minneapolis for continuing to file appeals, using legal arguments that have been repeatedly rejected by the district court in Minnesota as well as the federal appeals court.

Foreclosure attorney William B. Butler is already in the disciplinary hot seat with the federal district court in Minnesota and the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

This is the third time in five days that the Eighth Circuit appeals panel has upheld the dismissal of a Butler lawsuit. As it turns out, the third time is not the charm.

8th Circuit Clarifies What Forms Lawyer-Client Relationship

What conduct forms a lawyer-client relationship? From the topic of conversation, to the type of assistance the attorney is providing, what exactly triggers an attorney-client relationship can get tricky. Last week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the issue.

The court’s decision specifically fleshed out what interactions do and do not result in a lawyer-client relationship.