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Friday Roundup

News articles I never finished reading.  As Elton John once sang, "All the science, I don't understand..."  I found this story somewhat reassuring:

Hurray for the European Court of Human Rights. It has rejected an emergency injunction to block the Large Hadron Collider from turning on on 10 September. It's the latest legal case brought against the LHC by scientists who fear that the world's largest particle accelerator will produce fearsome entities that could destroy the Earth.

We've all had clients who think if they don't win their case, it will be the end of the world, but this sorta takes the cake, I guess...

Judges?  What judges?  I mentioned yesterday that the crime issue has been missing in action in the current presidential contest.  Ed Whelan over at National Review Online mentioned something the other day that I hadn't realized:  despite the priority that many Democrats place on upcoming Supreme Court picks, neither Biden or Obama said a word about it in their speeches last week.  Whelan credited that to his belief that

Democrats have figured out that the vast center of the American electorate prefers representative government and judicial restraint, on the one hand, to government by judiciary and liberal judicial activism, on the other. 

Maybe, maybe not; surprisingly enough, although Republican speakers at their convention this week have certainly not shied away from throwing out red meat to the crowd, references to future Supreme Court picks has been equally absent. 

I think the reason for that is that Whelan is on to something, but didn't carry it out far enough.  Each party has been successful in convincing moderates that the other party is using "code words" when they talk about Supreme Court appointments.  If independents hear Democrats talking about Supreme Court appointments, they translate it as "activist judges."  If they hear Republicans talking about Supreme Court appointments, they translate it as "judges who will overrule Roe v. Wade."  Both parties know that moderates don't care much for either idea, so they don't talk about Supreme Court appointments, even though one could make a decent argument that what appointments are made in the next four years might have more long-term impact on our country than who is elected president.

Date change.  I mentioned on Monday that I'm doing a one-hour seminar this month on US Supreme Court cases for the CCDLA.  In case you're planning on attending, the date got moved from the 18th to the 25th, probably to find a new venue to handle the overflow crowds that are anticipated.  Maybe they'll take a page from the Democratic convention and have it in Browns Stadium.  No doubt. 

News articles you better believe I read.  From the ABA Journal, with the alluring headline, "Sex With Client’s Mom Requires Waiver":

It may be OK for a lawyer to have sex with a client's mother—if the client approves the relationship in a written waiver of the conflict. But you can't ethically have sex with the client, unless the relationship got started prior to the representation.

That is the gist of a Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion that imposed a six-month suspension on attorney Carlos Gamino, for violating each of these rules—with two different clients. Although the Waukesha lawyer denied both relationships, the court upheld a referee's findings that Gamino had slept with one client, as well as another client's mother. It also sanctioned him for a lack of candor with the tribunal.

I mentioned this to my daughter at dinner the other night, and her response was, "Do you need a waiver to have sex with a client's father?"  After a minute's more thought, she said, "What does it mean that with something that weird, the first thing I think of is the sexist angle?"

By the way, as best I can determine, there is no truth to the rumor that the waiver is popularly referred to in Wisconsin as the MILF Affidavit.

I'm on vacation next week, and I'll be back on the 15th.  Unless that thing with the Large Hadron Collider doesn't turn out so well.

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