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Ex-Enron prosecutor joins law firm in D.C
Headline News | 2007/02/02 05:58

Former Enron prosecutor Kathy Ruemmler has joined the law firm of Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C.

Ruemmler was one of three Assistant U.S. Attorneys who took leading roles in the 2004 Enron Nigerian barge case and the criminal trial of former Enron executives Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay last year.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice in 2001, Ruemmler was Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton. She also handled white collar criminal defense cases and civil litigation at both Latham and Zuckerman Spaeder in Washington.

She joins former Enron Task Force chief Sean Berkowitz, who joined Latham in November.

Former NYT reporter Miller testifies at Libby trial
Court Feed News | 2007/02/01 03:47

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller testified on Tuesday in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby concerning conversations Libby had with Miller, during which he allegedly told her about his frustration with the CIA and revealed to her the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Wilson. On cross-examination, defense counsel wanted to ask Miller about other sources with whom she had discussed a separate intelligence leak, but the prosecution argued that she should not have to answer the questions, since they were not specifically relevant to Libby's case. Judge Reggie M. Walton will rule on whether he will admit the line of questioning on Wednesday.

If Miller is called to answer the questions and refuses, she could face charges of perjury, as she did in July of 2005 when she was jailed after refusing to reveal sources in conjunction with the federal criminal investigation into the leak of Plame's identity. Miller resigned her post at the Times after her release from the 85-day jail term.

Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the CIA leak investigation.

Anit-Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit Launched
Legal Career News | 2007/02/01 02:47

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Wan J. Kim, announced today the creation of the Human Trafficking Prosecution (HTP) Unit within the Criminal Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The Unit is designed to develop new strategies to combat modern-day slavery by focusing the Division’s human trafficking expertise and expanding its anti-trafficking enforcement program to further increase human trafficking investigations and prosecutions throughout the nation. “The Justice Department is proud to be at the forefront of the Administration’s efforts to combat the heinous crime of human trafficking,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “With the creation of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, we will expand and enhance our ability to fight this crime by working together with federal, state and local investigators, and NGOs, to tackle the enormous challenges posed by this evil. We will continue to develop new ways to help victims and to bring their captors to justice.”

The HTP Unit will work to enhance the Department’s investigation and prosecution of significant human trafficking and slavery cases, such as multi-jurisdictional cases and those involving financial crimes. The Unit will also engage in training, technical assistance and outreach initiatives to federal, state and local law enforcement and NGOs.

The HTP Unit will be headed by noted anti-trafficking prosecutors who have prosecuted traffickers and freed hundreds of foreign and domestic victims from sex trafficking in brothels and forced labor in fields, homes and factories. Robert Moossy will head up the Unit, and is joined by Chief Counsel Lou de Baca and Special Litigation Counsels Hilary Axam and Andrew Kline, who bring significant anti-slavery experience to this effort and have been leaders in developing the modern victim-centered approach to human trafficking investigations and prosecutions. They will be joined in the coming months by additional federal prosecutors, a victim/witness specialist, and support staff. Attorney General Gonzales has made combating human trafficking a top priority of the Justice Department. In the last six fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed, quadrupled the number of defendants charged, and tripled the number of defendants convicted. In FY 2006, the Department initiated 168 investigations, charged 111 defendants in 32 cases, and obtained a record number of convictions totaling 98.

BP Colorado wind farm financing closes
Headline News | 2007/01/31 20:43

The financing closed for the construction of BP Plc's 301-megawatt Cedar Creek wind farm in Weld County, Colorado, the law firm representing the lenders said.

International law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP said in a release that Cedar Creek entered into a long-term supply agreement with Xcel Energy Inc.'s Public Service Co of Colorado for the sale of electricity from the project.

The law firm represented the lenders, Mizuho Financial Group Inc.'s (8411.T: Quote, NEWS , Research) Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., Bayerische Landesbank [BAYLB.UL] and HSH Nordbank AG [HSH.UL]. It did not reveal the amount of financing the lenders provided.

Cedar Creek is a venture between BP's BP Alternative Energy North America Inc. subsidiary and Australian investment firm Babcock & Brown's (BNB.AX: Quote, Profile , Research) Babcock & Brown Operating Partners LP.

BP said in a release earlier this month it expected part of the project would to start operating in the second half of 2007.

Once completed, the Cedar Creek project, which is under construction, will have 274 turbines and generate about 301 MW of power - enough to power 120,000 homes.

Separately, Milbank said the financing for the construction of Spanish wind energy company Gamesa's (GAM.MC: Quote, Profile , Research) 80 MW Allegheny Ridge wind farm in Pennsylvania.

Milbank said it represented the lenders Mizuho and HSH Nordbank AG on the Allegheny project.

Gamesa entered into several long-term supply agreements with FirstEnergy Corp.'s (FE.N: Quote, Profile , Research) FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. subsidiary for the sale of electricity from the project.

The Allegheny Ridge project, expected to enter service in early 2007, will have 40 turbines rated at two megawatts each.

Macon law firm's dissolution has temporary fix
Court Feed News | 2007/01/31 20:42

The Boston Passante law firm reached a temporary agreement in court today on its dissolution.

The agreement will allow the firm to pay debts and provide income to its partners for the next two months as both sides try to find a permanent solution.

Russell Boston, his wife, Wendy S. Boston, and other partners Lauren L. Benedict and David M. Cusson petitioned Bibb County Superior Court in December to dissolve the firm, and they cited problems with managing partner Brian Passante's completion of his duties.

Passante filed a countersuit earlier this week denying the allegations and blaming Russell Boston for the problems in the firm.

US begins court bid to extradite two in drugs case
Legal Career News | 2007/01/31 18:41

A BID to extradite two people to the United States over an alleged international operation to produce an illegal drug got under way yesterday.

Brian Howes, 43, and Kerry Ann Shanks, 29, are wanted by the American authorities to face 82 charges over the alleged supply of chemicals to people believed to be involved in the production of methamphetamine, better known as crystal meth.

An initial extradition hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard claims that chemicals allegedly supplied by the pair, of Bo'ness, were traced to more than 80 unlawful laboratories in the US.

Sheriff Isabella McColl remanded them in custody until a further hearing in March.

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