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Cruise injury cases lawyer drops out

Remember Mr. Wingate, the man who had investigators who paid for inside information on settlement possibilities with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines? He's dropping out of all 77 of those cases, despite "not admitting wrongdoing." It's a nice legal ethics brouhaha!


Lawyer held in contempt for reading Maxim in court

While waiting for his case to be called, a lawyer started perusing a copy of Maxim magazine, the rather infamous "Mens Magazine" (Only for the articles, right?). The Judge happened to see a "female topless model" on the cover, and called him up to the bench, whereupon the Judge confiscated Maxim and held the attorney in contempt, ordering a $300 fine and put him on unsupervised probation. $300 bucks for Maxim, eh? That's an expensive issue.


Ouch. IBM cuts salaries 15% in response to overtime lawsuits

Employment litigators got a result that probably didn't get them many kudos from their clients. In response to class action suits seeking to give overtime to many thousands of employees who were not eligible for overtime, IBM caved... granting the employees overtime status. But, they also cut salaries across the board 15% for those employees. Good move on Big Blue's part: now people will be forced to work overtime to just get the same money. Unintended consequence for the employment attorneys, who are probably not very popular right now.


Glass ceilings in pay?

The billing rates are high in NYC, LA, etc. What about out in the rest of America? Good news is, average rate is $240/ hr. But women billable hour rates tend to be a lot lower then male billing rates, sometimes significantly. For instance, in litigators, hiring a Female litigator averages at $126 an hour, while getting a guy will set you back on average $650 dollars an hour. Quite the disparity. But there is some good news: if you are a beverage attorney, it's better to be female, at a $500/hr rate, than a male, at $270 or so. So, women--start looking to drink! Err, at least represent them.


Tax cut details released

President Bush and House Democrats agreed on the details of a massive tax cut plan. The cut is $143.6 billion dollars, with 100 billion in the form of rebate checks: 600 for individuals, 1200 for couples. Also, tax rates are going to be cut from ten percent to zero on the first 6000 of income for individuals and 12,000 for couples. The rebates will NOT be available for anyone who makes over $75,000 individually or $150,000 for married filing jointly. Let's see, other provisions: there's an additional $300 per child children with the child tax credit. Businesses get to deduct another 50% of their business equipment purchases this year. All in all, interesting.


DC Circuit chief Justice steps down

The Honorable Douglas Ginsburg has stepped down as Chief Judge of the US Circuit court of Appeals, effective next month. This is slightly in advance of his term expiration, but was done in order to maintain the eligibility of his successor, Justice David Sentelle.


Bonds Lawyers seek indictment mitigation

Barry Bonds team of attorneys has asked the judge to dismiss part of his indictment. Their basis is their claim that the prosecutors asked Bond's "fundamentally ambiguous questions" during his grand jury testimony.


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