National Roundup

Iowa
Briefs Headline:<t-1.5f$>Interrupting lawyer g­ets rare sanction

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A lawyer who angered an Iowa federal judge by repeatedly raising objections has received an unusual punishment: an order to produce a training video that denounces such tactics.

U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett issued the sanction last week to attorney June Ghezzi, who works in the Chicago office of the law firm Jones Day.

Bennett criticized Ghezzi's pretrial conduct in a case in which she successfully defended Abbott Laboratories against a lawsuit alleging its infant formula contained dangerous bacteria that caused a baby to suffer brain damage. He wrote that, during depositions, Ghezzi "proliferated hundreds of unnecessary objections and interruptions" that coached witnesses and delayed the proceedings.

Bennett says the video must be made available to Jones Day lawyers.

Jones Day said it will appeal, arguing Ghezzi acted appropriately.

Ohio
Inmates dump lunches after maggot discovery

MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Officials say about 1,000 inmates at a central Ohio women's prison dumped their lunches in the trash after another discovery of maggots in the serving area.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith tells The Columbus Dispatch that inmates at the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville got rid of their meals Tuesday after a report circulated about the fly larvae found under a stainless-steel serving line during a pre-meal inspection.

The report of maggots was the second in the Marysville prison and the eighth confirmed case in a state prison this year. The state has twice fined the private vendor that took over the job of feeding inmates last year for violations ranging from staffing shortages to sanitation issues.

Smith said no food containing maggots was served to prisoners.

Maine
Mom who did 12­4 mph with kids in car sent to jail

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Maine mother busted for driving 124 mph with her two children in the car in April has been sentenced to six months in jail, and police say she's now facing a driving under the influence charge.

Twenty-six-year-old Cheryl Gilson of Cornish was sentenced Monday in Portland District Court. She pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and other charges.

A state trooper stopped Gilson in Portland in April after clocking her driving 124 mph on the Maine Turnpike in Saco. Authorities say her children, ages 3 and 5, were in the car, along with three young men.

Scarborough police charged Gilson with operating under the influence with a 6-year-old girl in her car three weeks ago. It's not clear if the child is related to Gilson.

Maryland
Defense: Cole attack mimicked a U.S. WWII ruse

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - Lawyers for a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of orchestrating the deadly bombing of the USS Cole are asking a judge to dismiss six of the 11 counts because of what they call U.S. hypocrisy.

A military judge heard arguments Wednesday at a pretrial hearing in Cuba for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Defense lawyers say the ruse of disguising a bomb-laden boat as an innocent fishing friendly is an acceptable form of naval warfare. They showed a U.S. government video depicting plans for such a tactic during World War II.

Prosecutors counter that such an argument has been universally rejected as a criminal defense.

Seventeen U.S. sailors died in the 2000 attack in Yemen.

The hearing is being shown in a video feed at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

Utah
Briefs Headline:<t-1.5f$>Family settles w­ater suit with polygamist towns

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A family that sued two Utah-Arizona polygamous border towns over a denied household water connection has settled the dispute privately.

Documents filed Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix show Ronald and Jinjer Cooke have dropped their claims against Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Attorneys for the Cookes and the cities told The Salt Lake Tribune that the agreement is confidential.

The family had claimed they were discriminated against when they moved to the towns in 2008 and were denied a water hookup for religious reasons. The towns argued the family was denied utilities because they filled out paperwork incorrectly.

A Phoenix jury in March awarded the Cookes $5.2 million.

Before Tuesday's settlement, the cities had planned to appeal that award.

New Hampshire
 Briefs Headline:<t-1.5f$>Court says trial court should hear challenges

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the trial courts are the appropriate forum for convicts to complain about their appellate lawyers.

Addressing the issue for the first time, the court ruled unanimously that a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge should have allowed Sean Brown to make his case that his appellate lawyer's representation was flawed. The trial court denied his motion for a new trial, saying it would be inappropriate for a trial judge to order the Supreme Court to grant him a new appeal.

The Supreme Court in an earlier ruling upheld Brown's four convictions for selling drugs.

The state initially argued against the trial court hearing Brown's appeal, but agreed when the case reached the Supreme Court that the trial court was the optimal forum.

"The trial court is no less competent to assess in the first instance the seriousness of the alleged flaw and appellate counsel's reasons, if any, for bypassing a particular issue than it is to assess trial counsel's alleged miscues and strategic choices," the justices wrote, quoting a 2010 Kentucky ruling.

The Supreme Court in Wednesday's ruling noted that trial courts routinely review convicts' claims that their trial lawyers did not adequately represent them.

Attorney Jared Bedrick, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to represent Brown in his most recent appeal, said Wednesday that the court's ruling makes it easier for convicts to challenge the competence of their appellate lawyers because they could do it at their local courts. He said convicts in Berlin, for instance, won't have to travel to Concord to launch their challenge at the Supreme Court, where the rules are more stringent and challenging.

"It's a little more user-friendly in superior court," Bedrick said. "Superior Court is built for that reason, to serve the local community."

Published: Thu, Aug 07, 2014

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