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Court Rejects Holocaust-Denying Bishop's Appeal
Law Firm News | 2014/04/15 22:09
A German court has rejected an ultraconservative British bishop's appeal against his conviction and fine for denying the Holocaust in a television interview.

The state court in Nuremberg said Friday it found no legal errors in a January 2013 decision by judges in nearby Regensburg to convict Richard Williamson of incitement and fine him 1,800 euros ($2,500).

It was Williamson's second appeal against the ruling and follows a lengthy legal saga — an earlier conviction was overturned on procedural grounds.

Williamson told a Swedish TV station in during a 2008 interview conducted near Regensburg that he didn't believe Jews were killed in gas chambers during World War II. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany.

A traditionalist breakaway Catholic group, the Society of St. Pius X, expelled Williamson in 2012.


Tenino man pleads guilty to child pornography
Law Firm News | 2013/12/30 23:00
The U.S. attorney's office says a Tenino man pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Tacoma to possession of child pornography.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors are recommending a four-year prison term when 47-year-old James Donald Mobley is sentenced in March.

The U.S. attorney's office says the former teacher at Tenino Elementary School is one of 348 people arrested worldwide as part of the "Project Spade" investigation into a Toronto-based website.

Investigators found Mobley purchased child pornography from the company. He was arrested last January. A search of his computer found 650 photos and 45 videos of child pornography.


Gay couples wed in Utah after judge overturns ban
Law Firm News | 2013/12/23 21:11
Elisa Noel rushed to the county clerk's office with her partner immediately after learning that a federal judge overturned Utah's ban on gay marriage. They waited in line for a wedding license and were married in an impromptu ceremony punctuated with Noel giving the officiant a high-five.

"I can't believe this is Utah," Noel said moments after a ceremony that took place about 3 miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church.

Others had a similar reaction after a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby that declared Utah's voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The recent appointee by President Obama said the ban violates the constitutional rights of gay couples and ruled Utah failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.

The ruling prompted a frenzy of activity by lawyers and gay couples. The Republican governor blasted the ruling as going against the will of the people. Gay couples rushed to the Salt Lake County Clerk's office en masse to secure marriage licenses, waiting in line by the dozens and getting married on the spot by the mayor and ministers.


Planned Parenthood Asks Supreme Court's Help In Texas
Law Firm News | 2013/11/04 22:32
Planned Parenthood is asking the Supreme Court to place Texas' new abortion restrictions on hold.

The group says in a filing with the high court Monday that more than a third of the clinics in Texas have been forced to stop providing abortions since a court order allowed the new restrictions to take effect Friday.

Planned Parenthood says that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals went too far in overruling a trial judge who blocked the law's provision that requires doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The filing was addressed to Justice Antonin Scalia, who oversees emergency matters from Texas.


Calif. court: Spanking with wooden spoon not abuse
Law Firm News | 2013/10/11 18:00
A state appeals court on Tuesday tossed out child abuse findings against a frustrated Northern California mother who spanked her 12-year-old daughter hard enough with a wooden spoon to cause bruising.

The 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose reversed the child abuse determination made by the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services. Social workers waned to report Vernica Gonzalez to the state Department of Justice's child abuse database with a "substantiated" abuse determination. That determination was upheld by a trial court judge.

The appeals court said the spanking came close to abuse, but that social workers and the lower court judge failed to consider the family's entire circumstances.

Gonzalez and her husband testified that other forms of punishment such as groundings and taking away her phone had failed to persuade their 12-year-old daughter to do her schoolwork and avoid gang culture. The parents said that other family members had testified that spankings in the household were a rarity.

The appeals court said the mother's growing frustration with her daughter's behavior and her intention not to inflict harm in the April 2010 spanking weighed heavily in its ruling.


Outgoing NC Sen. Stevens resigns, joins law firm
Law Firm News | 2012/09/12 19:14
A state senator has resigned from the North Carolina General Assembly and is joining a Raleigh law firm to help clients on economic development, regulatory and other government policy issues.

Five-term Republican Sen. Richard Stevens of Cary resigned effective last Friday, and the Smith Anderson law firm announced his hiring Monday.

Stevens already had announced in February he wasn't seeking re-election this fall. He served in the budget-adjusting session that ended in early July. Stevens is a former Wake County manager who once served as the trustee board chairman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It's unclear whether Wake County Republican leaders will choose someone to serve out the remaining four months of Stevens' term, since there are no plans for the Legislature to reconvene this year.


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