Courts - Court Round Up

New Hampshire

High court refuses to reconsider $110M ruling

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The New Hampshire Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its ruling rejecting the state's claim to $110 million surplus from a fund that underwrites medical malpractice insurance.

In January, the court upheld policyholders' claim they had a constitutionally protected contractual right to the money. The court said the state could not change law to apply retroactively to the contracts and take the surplus.

The state asked the court to rehear the case. The state said the court disregarded facts, expanded the definition of vested rights to apply to policyholders and improperly shifted the burden of proof to the state.

The ruling adds $45 million to New Hampshire's budget shortfall.

In its Thursday ruling, the court refused to grant the request by the same 3-2 margin as its January decision.

West Virginia

Trial set for lawyer accused of beating a client with a bat

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A Charleston lawyer accused of beating a client with a baseball bat is facing an April trial.

Joshua Robinson pleaded not guilty to embezzlement, obstructing justice and malicious wounding Monday. Robinson, who had not obtained an attorney, denied the charges.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom scheduled trial for April 19.

Robinson is accused of stealing more than $1,000 from a client, then attacking the client with a baseball bat during a confrontation over the money.

The client, David Lee Gump II, originally was charged with breaking into Robinson's house. The case was dropped after a magistrate found no probable cause to support them.

Tennessee

Woman pleads guilty to faking breast cancer

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A Tennessee woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to faking breast cancer in a scam that netted thousands of dollars worth of sick leave donated by her City Hall co-workers and money from a church and other charities.

Keele Maynor, 39, pleaded guilty to theft and forgery and a Chattanooga judge set a May 17 sentencing. Maynor remains free on bond. She declined comment, as did Assistant District Attorney Neal Pinkston.

Maynor has not spoken publicly about the case since she abruptly resigned from her job as an assistant in the city's land development office in December 2008, when her false illness claim was discovered. She said in an e-mail then that her five-year claim of having breast cancer was a "charade."

Maynor's attorney, Stuart Brown, said prosecutors agreed that the prison sentence will not exceed six years. Brown has said he is hopeful Maynor will receive probation, which would allow her to continue working to repay the money.

Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole asked Maynor if she understood that the sentence could range "all the way from probation to the penitentiary," and she nodded yes.

Published: Wed, Mar 10, 2010