Wednesday, December 05, 2012

B-girls trial still ongoing

Some girls flirt with some guys and take them for a bunch of money and we've made a federal case out of it.  And a long one!  It started back in early October!  It's the Energizer Bunny trial. 

David Lat is profiled here in Details. The intro:

Earlier this year, after weeks of hearing rumblings from a network of tipsters, David Lat, the 37-year-old managing editor of Above the Law (ATL), one of the most widely read legal blogs on the Web, published a story he never dreamed possible. In the post, cheekily titled "Where's LeBoeuf? An Update on Doings at Dewey," Lat broke the news that one of most prestigious law firms in the world, Dewey & LeBoeuf, which employed more than 1,300 attorneys in 12 countries in 2007, was on the verge of imploding. "I was flummoxed," says Lat, a former Assistant United States Attorney. "It seemed absurd."
Dewey & LeBoeuf was the child of a 2007 boom-time megamerger between a 100-year-old firm bearing the name of three-term New York governor Thomas Dewey and another old Gotham stalwart that represented some of the nation's biggest utilities and insurance companies. In the legal world, the possible dissolution of Dewey & LeBoeuf was on par with Lehman Brothers' monumental bankruptcy in 2008. Lat, a blogger by trade, had the skinny on what was really happening in those hallowed halls. Armed with a network of inside sources, a dogged reporter's sense, and a good, old-fashioned hunch, Lat dropped the latest in a string of bombs on the beleaguered legal profession.
After that initial post, the doomsday stories—and scoops—came fast and furious: Dozens of partners were leaving (ATL had the names), and an internal memo (leaked to Lat) actually blamed "U.S. legal blogs" for making some of the firm's woes public. That was followed by the announcement of a 60-day-notice policy designed to retain the remaining partners—more than 20 percent had announced their depatures by this time —and reports that Dewey was considering closing three international offices. In late April, Steven Davis was ousted from his role as chairman, and the Manhattan District Attorney's office began a criminal probe to investigate his actions. Finally, on May 28, three months after Lat's first post, Dewey filed for bankruptcy. For Lat and his staff, the story was only just beginning.
"We would get our intel in a number of different ways," he says, citing a flood of e-mails and texts, including information from friends and friends of friends who worked there and a "well-placed source at the firm" who leaked the memo. ATL even unearthed details about the company's downfall in what appeared to be minor stories—like the firm prohibiting lawyers from using Federal Express and not being able to afford black car service. "[Web] traffic during the Dewey period was phenomenal," recalls Lat, whose breaking stories were cited by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Throughout the summer, Lat kept tabs on the key players, digging around for answers about what went wrong and reporting that, even as the firm was sinking, many of its multi-millionaire partners were still pulling in six-figure checks. "They were like pigs at the trough, all muscling each other aside to get a share of the feed," Lat says. "The story delved into a lot of themes, whether it's greed or anxiety or the distribution of spoils in the legal profession." In other words, it was catnip for Lat and the ATL faithful.

The NY Times is covering border searches and whether our devices should be subject to search just because it's the border:

The government has historically had broad power to search travelers and their property at the border. But that prerogative is being challenged as more people travel with extensive personal and business information on devices that would typically require a warrant to examine.
Several court cases seek to limit the ability of border agents to search, copy and even seize travelers’ laptops, cameras and phones without suspicion of illegal activity.
“What we are asking is for a court to rule that the government must have a good reason to believe that someone has engaged in wrongdoing before it is allowed to go through their electronic devices,” said Catherine Crump, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union who is representing plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging digital border searches.
A decision in one of those suits, Abidor v. Napolitano, is expected soon, according to the case manager for Judge Edward R. Korman, who is writing the opinion for the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
In that case, Pascal Abidor, who is studying for his doctorate in Islamic studies, sued the government after he was handcuffed and detained at the border during an Amtrak trip from Montreal to New York. He was questioned and placed in a cell for several hours. His laptop was searched and kept for 11 days.
According to government data, these types of searches are rare: about 36,000 people are referred to secondary screening by United States Customs and Border Protection daily, and roughly a dozen of those travelers are subject to a search of their electronic devices.
Courts have long held that Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches do not apply at the border, based on the government’s interest in combating crime and terrorism. But Mr. Pascal’s lawsuit and similar cases question whether confiscating a laptop for days or weeks and analyzing its data at another site goes beyond the typical border searches. They also depart from the justification used in other digital searches, possession of child pornography.
“We’re getting more into whether this is targeting political speech,” Ms. Crump said.

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