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The Judge has grown weary of sulking in the shadows and letting the MeJDs and Chinaskis of Judged hog the limelight. Here you will find news about Judged, updates to our law firm rankings and the Judge’s daily ramblings. Want the real scoop? Check it out here.

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Oh, Teresa Giudice…what were you thinking?
Bravo TV reality star Teresa Giudice, who is one of the stars on the Real Housewives of New Jersey television show, is having her fair share of legal battles these days. She and her husband, Joe, recently filed bankruptcy, despite just moving into their custom built multi-million dollar home. Now the couple's been sued by their former business partner. Giudice was called to testify in court on Wednesday and she wasted no time telling the court that she never signed any legal documents and that her husband ''handled all of that''.

While the couple is struggling financially and have found themselves in several bankruptcy hearings, this most recent case includes accusations of criminal activities made by Joe Mastropole, who had been in business with Joe Giudice for years. The suit claims Giudice forged Mastropole's name on many documents, including a $1 million mortgage. Joe Mastropole is also accusing Giudice of owing him more than $260,000 from cash loans he made.

While on the stand, Teresa Giudice was asked whether it was her signature on the bottom of her home's mortgage. She replied incredulously, ''Is that under my name?'' Her husband has admitted to signing her name to numerous documents, including insurance documents and loan applications. She wrapped up her testimony by saying, ''My husband, if he had to tell me something, I'm sure he would''.

Seems as though he had good reason to keep the missus in the dark. When asked when she and her husband married, Teresa Guidice said, ''1999? I think'' and she then leaned over and asked her husband, ''Was it 1999?''

Anyone who's ever watched the television show knows well her feisty temper. She didn't mince her words, even if they were the wrong ones, when she yelled out to the former business partner's lawyer, Monica Ciccone, ''You're violating ethnics!'' The couple's attorney helped her out of the courtroom.

During the most recent season of the Bravo TV series, the couple vehemently denied rumors of financial problems. It was suggested the couple was facing foreclosure, though they denied it. Documents soon surfaced that proved their new home was in foreclosure and soon after that, the couple filed bankruptcy. The only question that remains is if she still feels as though she's ''too pretty to work''.


12-17-2010


Julian Assange might be the subject of a secret grand jury here in the States, but that hasn't stopped Michael Moore, the American filmmaker, from putting up his own hard cash as bail money for the alleged rapist. As reports are released today that a secret grand jury has been empaneled in Virginia, a British judge extended bail to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, but with very tight restrictions.

Sweden is doing its best to keep him behind bars for at least forty-eight additional hours as it decides on how to extradite him for sexual assault charges. Fears are that Assange will go underground in an effort to avoid facing the two women who say they were sexually assaulted by the 39 year old international jet-setter.

News is now breaking that controversial American filmmaker Michael Moore is forking over at least $20,000 to be used for posting bail for Assange. His reasons? “Transparency is among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and corrupt”. Of course, in Moore’seyes, the epitome of corruption is anyone Republican. He then makes the curious argument that had WikiLeaks existed a decade ago, Osama Bin Laden may not have been able to keep the 9/11 terrorist attacks under
wraps. The connection’s not yet been made as to how Julian Assange could have possibly got a head’s up on the intentions of any terrorist.

For now, Sweden is doing its best to have Assange extradited upon his release and it’s clear whether or not it happens will come down to the timing. The British judge had already put into place tight restrictions if he were released, including a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. curfew, a mandatory electronic tag and a physical appearance at a police station each day at 6 p.m. Cash is required and it amounts to around $375,000 in U.S. dollars. It’s being reported Moore has put up $20,000. There are also rumors other celebrities have forked over big bucks, but at the time of this writing, they have chosen to remain anonymous. Maybe WikiLeaks can find out who they are.

Moore has also offered up his many servers and domain names for Assange to use as a host for his infamous and troubling website.


12-15-2010


The skeletal remains of a three year old  boy were found December 8 in south Mississippi. Chase DeBlase and his older sister, Natalie, 4 have been missing for months, though it wasn't until early December their disappearance was discovered.

The boy's remains were found in a very rural area in south Mississippi, close to the county line between Jackson and George counties. Investigators had searched along Highway 57 in days past, but because of its rural area, thick brush and the amount of time that had lapsed, it wasn't until the boy's father provided detailed information on where to find his son that law enforcement was able to hone in on any one location. It is not yet known who the attorney is who will represent DeBlase or his girlfriend. It is possible, and many who live in the area say it's likely, that the death penalty will be sought in Alabama, where he faces charges.

Jackson County law enforcement worked with Mobile County, AL law enforcement during the search. Following Sheriff Mike Byrd's announcement that they had found the remains believed to be Chase, Alabama charged John DeBlase with two counts of homicide. He was already in jail pending charges for abuse of a corpse. DeBlase's girlfriend is expected to be transferred from a Kentucky jail to Mobile on Saturday.

When asked if there were difficulties finding the location, despite DeBlase's detailed description, Sheriff Byrd said it's not uncommon for the brush and growth to still be growing, even in December. Searchers held out little hope of finding anything due to the animals found in this area of the country, including coyotes, foxes and wild hogs.

A search continues in south Alabama for Chase's sister, Natalie. DeBlase has said he left her remains in a very specific, and rural, area near Mobile.

Court documents were released to the media late on Wednesday that painted a tragic picture of what the lives of these two children were like. Among other abuses, the document revealed DeBlase routinely and willfully ''maltreated the child by allowing Heather Leavell-Keaton (hisgirlfriend) to duct tape the child's hands to the side of his legs, tape a broom handle to his back, placing a sock in his mouth and then duct taping it and making the child stand in a corner all night when they went to bed, as defined in Section 13A-1-2, code of Alabama 1975 towit: causing the death of Jonathan Chase DeBlase''.

Tonight, Highway 57, the two lane highway that runs north and south throughout the state, remains closed off between Vancleave, Miss and Lucedale, Miss. as investigators continue to comb the area for more evidence. Sheriff Byrd remains in his Pascagoula office as he fields questions from the media and occasionally glances at the photos that
surround him of his own grandchildren.



12-11-2010


Call it karma or international pressure; either way, Julian Assange surrendered Tuesday morning at a London police station. His arrest, however, has nothing to do with his determination of releasing thousands of compromising and dangerous government documents. He was arrested instead on one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape. These assaults allegedly took place in the summer of 2010.

He is expected to be arraigned later in the day and then will likely be allowed to post bail, which could be between $150,000 and $350,000 U.S. dollars. What happens next is anyone's guess. The U.S., among other countries, currently do not have charges pending, though several countries have been considering what kind of charges they could pursue. Even if he is not held for the WikiLeaks scandal, he at least won't be
able to hide as it appears he's done in weeks past. Should he be granted bail, it's unlikely he will be able to disappear again.

News of his arrest hit in the overnight hours here in the states and nowall eyes are on the collective internet to see if threats of his ''insurance'' documents going live occur. Assange had threatened over the past several days that if anything happened to him, a series of evenmore dangerous documents would ''automatically go live''.

As mentioned, there are no pending charges in the U.S.; however, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said his office was considering all of its options for reining in the controversial man. In a press release on December 3rd, the AG's office said it was ''a very serious,
active, ongoing investigation, criminal in nature''. According to some sources, Assange has documents that seriously compromise national security, including cables that reveal efforts to protect Poland and Lithuania that would be kept secret so that tensions don't mount between the U.S. and Russia. Some have referred to these documents as a ''menu for terrorists'' as they seek targets around the globe.

For now, and regardless of what's going on with the WikiLeaks investigation, it appears Assange will finally have to face those rape and molestation charges that have followed him around for the past six months.



12-08-2010


That's the sentiment of one observer when this week's trial involving Google’s ''Street View'' cameras. The suit, filed by a Pennsylvania couple, claimed that the family's privacy had been invaded when one of the contractors captured images of their home in 2008 and then placed it online as part of Google's map services.

The ruling, which can be seen heres, came as Google agreed to a consent judgment with the couple, Aaron and Christine Boring. It was signed off by Judge Cathy Bissom this past week and awarded the couple one dollar. The couple's attorney, Gregg Zegarelli, said his clients feel vindicated and hope this win will result in more private citizens coming forward with their own demands of taking photos of their homes, lawns and in some instances, family members, off the internet giant's map service. He says his clients were never interested in monetary gain.

The crux of the case revolved around a ''private road'' sign the plaintiffs said the driver ignored. And it's what resulted in their win, albeit a small one.

The suit accused Google of ''intentional and/or grossly reckless invasion of privacy''. Google fought the case and actually managed to get most of the claims in the lawsuit dismissed. All that was left to challenge was the trespassing charges. The photos in question have been down since the suit was filed in 2008.

As with all things related to Google, the public is split. One observer said, ''It's a good thing I didn't catch that car down my road. That thing would've been shot full of holes''. Another insisted he was able to get more from the Borings' county tax records, which are also available online. The only thing he wasn't able to discover through the government site was images of the family pool. Still another observer commented by saying ''Welcome to the future''.

This, of course, does lead the way, as the plaintiff attorney suggested, for other private citizens to demand photos of their homes removed. The debate has officially begun: invasion of privacy or just the way a technologically advanced society now lives?


12-04-2010


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