Archive for November, 2007

Looking for a State Job? Beshear invites your application regardless of party registration.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Governor Elect Steve Beshear  said yesterday that he has set up a web site, www.besheartransition.com to accept job applications for non-merit system positions. 

The salaried non-merit system positions include cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, commissioners, directors, pubic affairs officers, attorneys, policy managemers and some administrative assistants.    

This  invitation extends only to the 4200 non-merit system jobs.   The remaining 35,800 merit system jobs in state government are not affected by Beshars invitation.  Applicants for merit system positions should apply with the State Personnel Office. http://personnel.ky.gov  

We are advised that state government employs around 3,000 attorneys. Many of these positions are merit system protected.   Almost every agency has at least one attorney assigned to it.  Some agencies have an entire legal staff.  Many boards and agencies are assigned attorneys employed by the Attorney General’s office. 

Fed Judge Delays Phen Fen trial till May. Will consider dismissal of indictments due to Government breach of attorney client privilege

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Hearing to be set on alleged breach .   Judge said-I don’t think it’s frivolous, It must be dealt with in detail.

 By Sharon Coolidge  The Cincinnati Enquirer  Nov. 21, 2007

 COVINGTON — The criminal trial of three lawyers accused of conspiring to defraud clients of millions of dollars in the $200 million fen-phen settlement must be delayed, perhaps until May, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman said yesterday.
The trial had been set to begin Jan. 7.

 At issue is a claim by attorneys for Shirley Cunningham Jr., William Gallion and Melbourne Mills Jr. that the U.S. attorney’s office in Kentucky’s Eastern District breached the lawyer-client privilege in obtaining information used to get the indictment.

 Bertelsman said a hearing must be held on that matter before the trial can begin, noting that the breach, if it occurred, could warrant disciplinary sanctions against those involved or even dismissal of the indictment.

 “I don’t think it’s frivolous,” Bertelsman said. “It must be dealt with in detail.”
A hearing on the issue may be held as early as Dec. 10.

 The lawyers are accused of stealing $65 million from their clients in a $200 million fen-phen settlement reached six years ago in Boone Circuit Court.

Yesterday, their attorneys renewed their request to release their clients on bail, saying it’s nearly impossible to put together a defense with them in jail.
 

Attorney Hale Almand, who represents Gallion, said the continued jailing of his client will result in “inadequate trial representation,”which could constitute a ground for reversal of a potential conviction.

 Bertelsman has said he is keeping the defendants behind bars because he wants them to provide extensive financial disclosures. The judge fears if the three are released they may transfer money to offshore accounts and flee the country.

 The defendants’ attorneys also yesterday asked for a change of venue, saying potential jurors in Northern Kentucky have been tainted by extensive press coverage.

 Assistant U.S. Attorney E.J. Walbourn argued against the move.
Bertelsman postponed ruling on the motion, saying he wants potential jurors questioned first.

 “You would be surprised how many people don’t read the papers,” Bertelsman said, noting that his own daughter asked him what he was working on and hadn’t seen coverage of the fen-phen case.
 The government is accused of using an informer to tape record telephone conversatons between the defendants attorneys.

For full story see:Trial delayed in diet-drug case
Hearing to be set on alleged breach
The criminal trial of three lawyers accused of conspiring to defraud clients of millions of dollars in the $200 million fen-phen settlement must be delayed, perhaps until May, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman said yesterday.
 


 

STATE EMPLOYEE NON WORK RELATED E-MAIL DISCOVERABLE IN DIVORCE

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Nov. 21, 2007
A judge has ruled that the state must turn over e-mails to a man who wants to see messages between his wife and a male co-worker at a state office.
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd on Monday granted Stephen Malmer’s open-records request after the state attorney general’s office said the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet had violated the law by refusing to the release the e-mails.
Malmer, who suspected his wife, Bobbie, of having an affair, wants to see messages between her and former state employee David Moss from 2005 and 2006.
 
The cabinet’s general counsel had said the e-mails were exempt from public disclosure for reasons including a personal privacy exception to the statute.
In his ruling, Shepherd wrote, “In this case, the communications are by definition non-work-related, but that does not mean there is no public interest in the disclosure of such e-mails. The fact that state employees are using state resources to exchange non-work-related messages during working hours is a matter of legitimate inquiry for the public.”
For full story see: State must give man wife’s e-mail
Request granted by Franklin judge
A judge has ruled that the state must turn over e-mails to a man who wants to see messages between his wife and a male co-worker at a state office.

New York Attorneys Rally to express solidarity with imprisoned attorneys in Pakistan

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Nov. 20, 2007  BY SOL WACHTLER | Sol Wachtler is a former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals and teaches constitutional law at Touro Law School.
New York lawyers and judges rallied in Manhattan last week to express solidarity with their imprisoned compeers in Pakistan. This demonstration was more than a protest of the beating and jailing of their Pakistani counterparts: It was a reassertion of the obligation of the legal establishment to protect the rule of law wherever and whenever that rule of law is subverted by a tyrant.

The history of this past century teaches us that if a government policy is imposed on the public, it’s virtually assured of success if it’s strongly approved by the bench and bar. And the converse is also true: If a course of conduct is anathema to the rule of law and civilization, it should be manifestly rejected by those who are responsible for ensuring the proper administration of justice.

In this context, it’s interesting to compare what’s been going on in Pakistan to the part played by the legal establishment in Nazi Germany.