Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dogs and the law

On the same day the Roanoke paper ran this profile of Jill Deegan, a Botetourt County assistant Commonwealth's attorney who specializes in sophisticated handling of animal abuse cases, the story got out that the United States is looking to get about $1 million from Michael Vick for the cost of taking care of his old dogs.

Watch what you ask for

Here is the Virginia Supreme Court order from the case of the temporary injunction against the sale of the paintings, from this post of the Art Law Blog.

So, there you have it. I complain about not seeing the order, but no it was online after all. And, the order says - nothing in particular about the basis for the Court's decision.

You'd think that if the College is nearly broke, it is the side more likely to be irreparably harmed by a delay of six months.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Reason No. 1001 why all orders and opinions should be published, on the Web, and in the public eye

The Lynchburg paper reports here, inscrutably, that the Virginia Supreme Court has reduced the bond necessary for a temporary injunction against the sale of those paintings in the Randolph College/Maier Museum case.

What? You can't tell from the news story whether this is an outrage or not. You can't tell from the website, because the Supreme Court won't publish orders like this, for reasons that make just about as much sense as their continued use of the courier font for their opinions - that is, no reason at all, that's just the way it has been done, just another random relic of history that's long since lost its purpose. Heck, even the State Department scrapped the courier font in 2004, as described here.

Now, font preferences are one thing, but the relative inaccessibility of the Court's orders is an issue of open government, and the current way of doing things is wrong, in my opinion, as I have said here many times.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rosenstein nominated to Fourth Circuit

Also on November 15, President Bush nominated Rod J. Rosenstein from Maryland to succeed the late Judge Murnaghan on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

As previously noted, Maryland's senators are not on board with this nomination.

Here is an editorial from the Baltimore Sun, and here are stories from the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and the Baltimore Examiner.

With the nomination of Mr. Rosenstein, there are now four nominations to the Fourth Circuit waiting Senate action, the others being Judge Robert Conrad of North Carolina, Steve Mathews of South Carolina, and Duncan Getchell of Richmond. There is one more vacancy to which no one has been nominated, to replace former Judge Luttig.

Two E.D. Va. judgeship nominations

According to this press release, President Bush has nominated Mark S. Davis to succeed Judge Ellis and David J. Novak to succeed Judge Payne.

Davis is a circuit court judge in Portsmouth, Novak is an assistant U.S. attorney.

Here are reports from the Daily Press, the Virginian-Pilot, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and here's a snippet from the AP.

Evidently, Senators Webb and Warner are both on board for these choices.

Judge Davis previously worked with the law firms of Carr and Porter in Portsmouth and McGuire Woods in Norfolk, or so suggests Westlaw. Mr. Novak was recognized last year along with others from the Moussaoui trial team, with the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security.