Court In Egypt Sentences Al-Jazeera Reporters To Three Years Imprisonment

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag of EgyptWe previously wrote HERE and HERE of the arrest, conviction, and sentencing several Al-Jazeera reporters for the dubious accusation of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood through their coverage of the “civil war” in Egypt.

Now in its latest retrial, the Court sentenced Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed to three years imprisonment for operating without a press license and broadcasting material harmful to the state. An international outcry likely will follow.

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“Judge” Brown Goes To Jail Over Contemptuous Encounter With Real Judge

082715-celebs-judge-joe-brown-mugshot-e1440765709108Former TV judge Joe Brown, 66, has surrendered to Tennessee deputies to begin serving a five-day jail term for contempt of court. Brown was held in contempt by Magistrate Judge Harold Horne for an outburst in Juvenile Court in March 2014. He took the issue all the way up to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which denied Brown’s application to appeal a Court of Appeals upholding the ruling. Brown called the court a “circus” and a “sorry operation.” Of course real judges do not have producers and set designers. When Horne told him to stop, Brown did not. He gave him a day in jail but Brown continued until he had five days in jail.

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The Brown Family Files Briefs In Sisters Wives Case In Denver

ad611-sister-wives-season-4Today the briefs of the Brown family arrived at the Denver courthouse in the Sister Wives case now before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. (The actual electronic filing was made the night before under the federal ECF system). I continue to serve as lead counsel to the Brown family in their successful challenge of the criminalization of polygamy in Utah. Last year, United States District Court Judge Clarke Waddoups issued the final decision striking down the cohabitation crime used against polygamist in Utah. The State has appealed to the federal court of appeals in Denver and below is our defense of that decision by Judge Waddoups. I want to thank my friend and local counsel (and GW Alum) Adam Alba and all of the students who have worked so hard on this case over the years. This brief benefited from the assistance of Patrick Fenior and Emily Hoyle as well as assistance from GW grad (and my local counsel in the Al-Timimi case) Thomas Huff and my assistant Seth Tate.

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Texas Judge Resigns After Disclosure That She Texted Prosecutors To Help Them In Criminal Case

tumblr_inline_mv8r6oORVN1qij8k6We previously discussed the disturbing ethics cases against Texas district Judge Elizabeth E. Coker who was caught sending text messages to prosecutors to help them with a case. Coker is now stepping down in a voluntary agreement with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, though some have objected that such a voluntary departure is not sufficient punishment for such an egregious lack of ethics.

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Washington Supreme Court Rules City Of SeaTac’s $15.00 Minimum Wage Applies To Port Of Seattle’s SeaTac Airport

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

City of SeaTac LogoIn January of 2014 we featured an article about the City of SeaTac Washington, where the Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is situated, passed a set of labor codes that included a fifteen dollar per hour minimum wage. Immediately afterward opponents filed suit in Superior Court objecting to, among other issues, that the Port of Seattle was a separate legal entity not subject under state law to Proposition 1, granting these increased wage benefits and city oversight. The trial court partially ruled in favor but struck down parts of the law’s provisions. The judge however certified the case for direct appeal to the state supreme court.

Today, the Washington Supreme Court published its opinion, siding with defendants, the City of SeaTac and Its clerk in her official capacity, in a five to four decision.

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Federal Judge Says Hillary Clinton Violated Government Policy In Using Personal Server While Secretary of State

170px-Msc2011_dett-clinton_0298sullivanHillary Clinton has insisted throughout the ongoing email scandal on two points repeated as a virtual mantra: there was no classified material sent on her unsecured personal email system and she was in total compliance with the law. I have questioned both points and noted that she is really saying that no “marked” classified material was sent (a less than compelling argument) and she is speaking of federal criminal laws as opposed to the clear official policy not to use such personal servers. It appears clear that some of this material was indeed classified and, as I discussed this week on NPR, the policy against doing what she did was clear and strong at the time of her tenure at State. Now, United States District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan has weighed in with comments this week that Clinton clearly did violate State Department policy and that violation caused much of the difficulty in retrieving her communications while in office.

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Pennsylvania Judge Vacates Order and Apologizes After Anti-Greek Tirade

collJudge Michael Coll of Delaware, Pennsylvania has vacated a child support order and apologized after a bizarre exchange with a party and his lawyer. Coll seemed intent on commenting on the Greek heritage of Kostas “Gus” Hartas despite repeated objections by his lawyer. To the credit of his lawyer, he continued to object as Coll demanded to be able to establish that “Greeks never pay taxes.” No doubt he will now warn his colleagues to beware of Greeks bearing lawyers.

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