Lawyers: Elliott ‘target of extortion’ in complaint

Ezekiel Elliott is the “target of extortion,” attorneys for the Dallas Cowboys running back said Saturday, after a security guard opted to press assault charges over a May altercation in Las Vegas.
www.espn.com – NFL

John Oliver Shreds The Feds For Forcing Kids To Appear In Court Without Lawyers

“Last Week Tonight” host calls out a broken system.
Comedy
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PepsiCo Lawyer’s Exit Is Focus of SEC Probe

Federal securities regulators are investigating an allegation by PepsiCo’s former top lawyer that the company fired her in retaliation for the way she handled an internal probe into potential wrongdoing in Russia, according to people familiar with the matter and internal documents.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Lawyers Hope to Do to Opioid Makers What They Did to Big Tobacco

Mike Moore, a pioneer of the cigarette litigation of the 1990s, is encouraging states to sue drug companies over the painkiller epidemic.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Lawyers Are Stepping Up to Help Trans Individuals Who Need Name Changes and ID Before 2017

The hashtag #TransLawHelp was started Wednesday morning.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Lawyer’s Guide to Cheating, Stealing, and Amassing Obscene Wealth: An Impolite Brief on the Legal Profession

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A Grey’s Anatomy for Lawyers Is in the Works—and Its Name Is Kind of Perfect

Trade in those scrubs for suits and the operating room for the court room: NBC is looking to develop a legal soap, in a similar vein of ABC's medical soap Grey's Anatomy, according to The…


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A Brief (Pun Intended) History of Lawyers in Movies, Part II

2015-05-06-1430953144-9680560-verdict1

Lawyers in motion pictures have been portrayed as one of two extremes, devils or angels, almost since celluloid was invented. The first film dealing specifically with a law firm and attorneys, 1933’s Counsellor at Law, starring John Barrymore, portrayed its J.D.s as upstanding citizens, as did the early Perry Mason films of the same period. This quickly changed, however, with many attorneys portrayed as being capable of the same brand of skullduggery as their shifty clients. With that in mind, we bring you a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of lawyers in movies. Enjoy, and please refrain from suing us if you feel otherwise…

1. Devil’s Advocate (1997)
Keanu Reeves plays Kevin Lomax, a hot-shot young Florida lawyer who is all about climbing the ladder. When he gets an offer he can’t refuse from a high-powered New York firm, led by the legendary John Milton (Al Pacino). Soon Kevin’s wife (Charlize Theron) is plagued by demonic visions and he realizes he’s literally sold his soul to the Devil Himself. Pacino has one of his greatest, scenery-chewing roles this clever hybrid of Rosemary’s Baby and The Firm. Although his character’s name should be an immediate giveaway for the literate viewer, Pacino’s John Milton delivers one of the great speeches in movie history about the notion of righteousness in the post-modern world.

2. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Sidney Lumet’s classic film from Reginald Rose’s script boasts an amazing star turn by Henry Fonda as the voice of reason in a sequestered jury room full of men anxious to wrap things up and go home, even if it means sending a teenage boy, accusing of stabbing his father to death, to the electric chair. A dream cast of character stars to be (Jack Warden, Jack Klugman, Robert Webber, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, John Fiedler, Edward Binns, Joseph Sweeney, George Voskovec, Ed Begley, Martin Balsam) provide electric support to the dramatic proceedings. Although there are no lawyers present on-screen, the opposing counsels are constantly hovering in the heated debate.

3. Chicago (2002)
Richard Gere follows up his turn as a slick lawyer in Primal Fear (1994) with an even more flamboyant performance as uber-mouthpiece Billy Flynn, who has made a specialty of getting murderesses off of Death Row, the more glamourous the gal, the better. When the double golden geese of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly present themselves, Billy literally gives a song and dance for his girls that not only exonerates them in the eyes of the law, but makes them stars, as well. Gere’s performance and his beautifully-drawn character is the ultimate satirical slap in the face to officers of the court.

4. Presumed Innocent (1990)
Harrison Ford shines in one of his few morally ambiguous roles as Rusty Sabitch, a Deputy D.A. who finds himself a murder suspect when his former mistress (Greta Scacchi) is found bludgeoned to death. As Rusty scrambles to prove his innocence, the evidence against him mounts with alarming rapidity, making this both a cautionary tale and a frightening variation on Kafka’s The Trial. Based on Scott Turow’s best-selling novel, the film adapted by Oscar-winner Frank Pierson and director Alan J. Pakula, featuring fine support from Raul Julia, Bonnie Bedelia, Brian Dennehey, and John Spencer.

5. The Accused (1988)
Jodie Foster took home a Best Actress Oscar for her incendiary performance as a working class woman who is brutally gang-raped at a local tavern. When attorney Kelly McGillis takes the case, it becomes glaringly obvious how the legal system not only discriminates against victims of sex crimes, but against the wrong social class, as well. When McGillis decides to prosecute the men in the bar who didn’t participate in the crime itself, but cheered the perpetrators on, the film takes on uncharted territory, and becomes one of the greatest legal dramas ever made.

6. The Verdict (1982)
In a legendary career, this might contain Paul Newman’s finest performance. As Frank Galvin, a washed-up, alcoholic Boston attorney whose once promising career has collapsed into chasing ambulances, Newman is alternately riveting, repellent and heartbreaking. When a medical malpractice case comes Galvin’s way, the powers that be try to buy him and his clients off with a quick and easy settlement. Seeing a final chance at personal and professional redemption, Galvin takes the case to trial, facing off against a legendary fat cat attorney (the great James Mason), and a stack of odds that are decidedly against him. Jack Warden, Charlotte Rampling and Milo O’Shea are just a few of the fine actors offering excellent support in director Sidney Lumet’s masterpiece, penned by David Mamet from Barry Reed’s novel.

7. Primal Fear (1996)
A creative writing professor I had in college had a terrific analogy for stories about protagonists who think they’re in control during the duration of a story, only to have “a hammer come out of the sky and tap them on the head” in the end. This perfectly summarizes what happens to dapper, wealthy attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere), Chicago’s most high-profile mouthpiece, in director Gregory Hoblit’s 1996 hit. When the Archbishop of the city is brutally murdered by a disturbed young man (Edward Norton, in his star-making debut) Martin eagerly takes on his defense, knowing he’ll have an open and shut case with an insanity plea. Oh Marty, you have no clue. Fine support from Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard, Frances McDormand and Steven Bauer.

8. A Few Good Men (1992)
Writer Aaron Sorkin had his first bona fide hit with this Broadway smash, which he later adapted for director Rob Reiner to bring to the screen. Tom Cruise plays Daniel Kaffee, a navy JAG corps attorney who has never seen the inside of a courtroom. When he assigned the case of offending two Marines accused of killing one of their comrades, the young men claim they did it under orders from legendary marine Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson, in one of his most iconic roles). One of the best courtroom dramas ever committed to film, Cruise’s character goes from being callow and indifferent to a full-blown crusader by the film’s now-legendary climax (“You can’t handle the truth!”). Fine support from Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and the late J.T. Walsh.

9. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
The most controversial mainstream release of its era, Otto Preminger’s courtroom drama stars Jimmy Stewart as a small town lawyer who finds his defense for client Lt. Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara) becoming increasingly complicated. Accused of murdering a local bartender who he claims raped and beat up his wife Laura (Lee Remick), Stewart soon finds out that Laura has a reputation for promiscuity and Lt. Manion a notoriously violent temper. Wendell Mayes’ screenplay, based on John Voelker’s novel, contained frank dialogue for the late ’50s, such as “bitch”, “contraceptive”, “panties”, “penetration”, “rape”, “slut” and “sperm.” In fact, Stewart’s real-life father was so appalled that his son had appeared in such filth, he took out a full-page ad in his local paper, urging people not to see it! While quite tame by today’s standards, the film still boasts fine performances by an expert cast, and Stewart’s masterful portrayal of a seemingly mild-mannered fellow whose determination won’t be swayed once he’s made up his mind.

10. Better Call Saul (2015)
Okay, so it’s a TV series, not a movie, but it’s a TV series that’s better than 98% of the mainstream releases that are currently filling the multiplexes, so here it joins this auspicious list. Bob Odenkirk is a revelation, reprising his role from the iconic Breaking Bad as shifty lawyer Saul Goodman, featured here in a prequel to BB, tracing Saul’s evolution from small-time Cicero, IL. con artist Jimmy McGill, to the kind of attorney whose name and likeness adorns matchbook covers and bus stop benches. As much a dissection (and indictment) of the American Dream as Breaking Bad was, with a character who is sometimes pathetic, often unintentionally comical, but utterly human in the end: an everyman for the 21st century who is more like most of us really are, as opposed to whom we’d like to be. Michael McKean is Odenkirk’s equal, playing his long-suffering, successful older brother, a legendary Albuquerque lawyer who suffers from a host of psychological maladies, as is veteran actor Jonathan Banks, as ex-cop turned dirty tricks-for-hire covert op Mike Ehrmantraut.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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A Brief (pun intended) History of Lawyers in Movies

Lawyers in motion pictures have been portrayed as one of two extremes, devils or angels, almost since celluloid was invented. The first film dealing specifically with alaw firm and attorneys, 1933’s Counsellor at Law, starring John Barrymore, portrayed its J.D.s as upstanding citizens, as did the early Perry Mason films of the same period. This quickly changed, however, with many attorneys portrayed as being capable of the same brand of skullduggery as their shifty clients. With that in mind, we bring you a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of lawyers in movies.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Gregory Peck’s Atticus Finch became the boilerplate for the Noble Movie Lawyer in this iconic, 1962 adaptation of Harper Lee’s award-winning novel. Atticus Finch, a small town attorney in the Depression-era South, must defend a black man (Brock Peters) falsely accused of raping a white woman, causing the already-divided town’s racial tensions to boil over. Through it all, Atticus remains stoic, fair and principled, witnessed through the eyes of his precocious daughter, Scout (Mary Badham). Robert Mulligan’s film won three Academy Awards, including a Best Actor statuette for Peck, and remains a timeless classic.

2. Liar, Liar (1997)

Rubber-faced comic Jim Carrey brought his unique brand of comic genius to this riotous 1997 comedy with Carrey delivering one of his best turns as a shifty, opportunistic and very successful lawyer whose moral ambiguity would put most hardened criminals to shame. But when his young son makes a birthday wish that his father can’t tell a lie for 24 hours, his way of life comes crashing down around him. Carrey’s character literally travels the entire arc of bad guy to good guy lawyer during his revelatory rollercoaster ride, although his transformation at the end left this viewer wishing for a bit more of the bad after the final fade out, as that incarnation was a great deal more fun.

3. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

After winning the 1990 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his turn as psychotic hood Tommy De Vito in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Joe Pesci decided a change of pace was in order. His masterful comic turn as a Brooklyn con man who tries to pass himself off as an attorney ended up becoming one of Pesci’s most iconic turns. While trying to get his cousin (Ralph Macchio) and the cousin’s buddy off of a trumped up murder charge in the Deep South, Vinny and his gal pal Mona Lisa Vito (Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei) engage in some of the most pronounced culture clash and creative legal posturing in the history of film. Fred Gwynne is a hoot as the unctuous, old school presiding judge: “What is a ‘yute’?”

4. Michael Clayton (2007)

George Clooney gives one of his most compelling performances in writer-director Dan Gilroy’s drama about a “fixer” (Clooney) in a high-powered law firm who finds himself in a moral and professional quandary when a fellow attorney (Tom Wilkinson) in the firm has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit. As his carefully-manicured world starts figuratively (and literally) exploding around him, Clayton finds himself at a crossroads between life and death. Tilda Swinton took home an Oscar for her stunning turn as an amoral corporate counsel.

5. The Firm (1993)

Director Sydney Pollack and screenwriters Robert Towne, David Rayfiel and David Rabe did this crackerjack adaptation of John Grisham’s best-selling novel about neophyte Harvard Law grad Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) who is made an offer he can’t refuse by a white-shoe Memphis law firm, only to find out that he’s unwittingly sold his soul to the mob. Gene Hackman is memorable as a burned-out lawyer at the firm who represents what Mitch (and any lawyer who loses his moral compass) could become if he doesn’t wake up and smell the corruption.

6. The Verdict (1982)

In a legendary career, this might contain Paul Newman’s finest performance. As Frank Galvin, a washed-up, alcoholic Boston attorney whose once promising career has collapsed into chasing ambulances, Newman is alternately riveting, repellent and heartbreaking. When a medical malpractice case comes Galvin’s way, the powers that be try to buy him and his clients off with a quick and easy settlement. Seeing a final chance at personal and professional redemption, Galvin takes the case to trial, facing off against a legendary fat cat attorney (the great James Mason), and a stack of odds that are decidedly against him. Jack Warden, Charlotte Rampling and Milo O’Shea are just a few of the fine actors offering excellent support in director Sidney Lumet’s masterpiece, penned by David Mamet from Barry Reed’s novel.

7. Primal Fear (1996)

A creative writing professor I had in college had a terrific analogy for stories about protagonists who think they’re in control during the duration of a story, only to have “a hammer come out of the sky and tap them on the head” in the end. This perfectly summarizes what happens to dapper, wealthy attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere), Chicago’s most high-profile mouthpiece, in director Gregory Hoblit’s 1996 hit. When the Archbishop of the city is brutally murdered by a disturbed young man (Edward Norton, in his star-making debut) Martin eagerly takes on his defense, knowing he’ll have an open and shut case with an insanity plea. Oh Marty, you have no clue. Fine support from Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard, Frances McDormand and Steven Bauer.

8. A Few Good Men (1992)

Writer Aaron Sorkin had his first bona fide hit with this Broadway smash, which he later adapted for director Rob Reiner to bring to the screen. Tom Cruise plays Daniel Kaffee, a navy JAG corps attorney who has never seen the inside of a courtroom. When he assigned the case of offending two Marines accused of killing one of their comrades, the young men claim they did it under orders from legendary marine Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson, in one of his most iconic roles). One of the best courtroom dramas ever committed to film, Cruise’s character goes from being callow and indifferent to a full-blown crusader by the film’s now-legendary climax (“You can’t handle the truth!”). Fine support from Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and the late J.T. Walsh.

9. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

The most controversial mainstream release of its era, Otto Preminger’s courtroom drama stars Jimmy Stewart as a small town lawyer who finds his defense for client Lt. Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara) becoming increasingly complicated. Accused of murdering a local bartender who he claims raped and beat up his wife Laura (Lee Remick), Stewart soon finds out that Laura has a reputation for promiscuity and Lt. Manion a notoriously violent temper. Wendell Mayes’ screenplay, based on John Voelker’s novel, contained frank dialogue for the late ’50s, such as “bitch”, “contraceptive”, “panties”, “penetration”, “rape”, “slut” and “sperm.” In fact, Stewart’s real-life father was so appalled that his son had appeared in such filth, he took out a full-page ad in his local paper, urging people not to see it! While quite tame by today’s standards, the film still boasts fine performances by an expert cast, and Stewart’s masterful portrayal of a seemingly mild-mannered fellow whose determination won’t be swayed once he’s made up his mind.

10. Better Call Saul (2015)

Okay, so it’s a TV series, not a movie, but it’s a TV series that’s better than 98% of the mainstream releases that are currently filling the multiplexes, so here it joins this auspicious list. Bob Odenkirk is a revelation, reprising his role from the iconic Breaking Bad as shifty lawyer Saul Goodman, featured here in a prequel to BB, tracing Saul’s evolution from small-time Cicero, IL. con artist Jimmy McGill, to the kind of attorney whose name and likeness adorns matchbook covers and bus stop benches. As much a dissection (and indictment) of the American Dream as Breaking Bad was, with a character who is sometimes pathetic, often unintentionally comical, but utterly human in the end: an everyman for the 21st century who is more like most of us really are, as opposed to whom we’d like to be. Michael McKean is Odenkirk’s equal, playing his long-suffering, successful older brother, a legendary Albuquerque lawyer who suffers from a host of psychological maladies, as is veteran actor Jonathan Banks, as ex-cop turned dirty tricks-for-hire covert op Mike Ehrmantraut.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Robert Durst’s Lawyers Allege FBI Illegally Searched Hotel Room

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Attorneys for millionaire Robert Durst, who faces a California murder charge, say Durst’s arrest in New Orleans on weapons charges was invalid, in part because the FBI searched his hotel room illegally.

Durst, who waived extradition to California on the murder charge, was arrested last month at the J.W. Marriott hotel in New Orleans. He is set for a Thursday hearing on Louisiana charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and illegally possessing a firearm along with an illegal drug. Items recovered from his hotel room included a .38-caliber revolver and about 5 ounces of marijuana, according to court records.

A sworn statement supporting the warrant “contains a material misrepresentation designed to cover up the FBI’s unlawful, warrantless search of Mr. Durst’s hotel room,” according to a copy of a motion filed by Durst’s attorneys.

The motion asking Magistrate Harry Cantrell to throw out the warrant will likely be argued Thursday. Durst’s attorneys also have asked the judge to subpoena Fox News Channel’s Jeanine Pirro, a former New York prosecutor who investigated Durst in connection with the disappearance of his first wife in 1982, and all video surveillance for March 14 and 15 from the Marriott and Los Angeles Police Department.

The FBI and Los Angeles police, who have a warrant accusing Durst of killing his friend and spokeswoman Susan Berman in 2000 to keep her from talking to Pirro’s investigators, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Pirro has said she planned to talk to Berman. Durst’s attorneys want to confirm that she had never contacted Berman before she was killed, according to the motion.

Louisiana State Police referred requests for comment to the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office. That office does not comment on open cases or investigations, spokesman Chris Bowman said.

Orleans Parish district attorney’s investigator Jim O’Hern testified at Durst’s bail hearing that he helped Los Angeles detectives get the warrant on which Durst was arrested early March 15, a Sunday. An FBI agent had inventoried Durst’s belongings in his hotel room the afternoon of March 14 and a judge signed the warrant about 2 a.m. the next day, he said.

The affidavit used to get the warrant states that Los Angeles police and New Orleans prosecutors got a warrant, then searched the room and found the gun and drugs, according to a motion filed Tuesday and provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday by Durst’s attorneys.

“However, those items were actually discovered by the FBI in a warrantless search of Mr. Durst’s hotel room, preceded by a warrantless detention and arrest, long before the search warrant was issued,” the motion said.

Agents C. Bender and C. Williams had identified and frisked Durst, “a frail, 71-year-old man in poor health,” in the hotel lobby and should have taken him immediately to jail if they were arresting him on a California warrant, the attorneys wrote.

O’Hern testified that the search was an inventory to ensure safekeeping of Durst’s belongings. Neither FBI policy nor court rulings support such a search, “and the state cannot expect the Court to take this justification seriously,” the motion said.

Quoting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that “an inventory search must not be a ruse of a general rummaging in order to discover incriminating evidence,” they said, “the FBI agents rummaged through all of Mr. Durst’s luggage and clothing, opened every bag and pocket, and inspected, removed and photographed every item in his possession, down to his pens, glasses and medication.”

If the agents had just wanted to safeguard Durst’s property, they should have just removed and secured it, the attorneys wrote.

They also argued that Durst’s federal convictions — interstate transportation of a firearm while under indictment and possessing a firearm or ammunition while a fugitive from justice — aren’t among felonies that make possessing a firearm illegal in Louisiana.

___

Associated Press writer Kevin McGill contributed to this report.
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