Selling Kobe Litigation over whether an auction house can sell L.A. Laker star Kobe Bryant's memorabilia consigned by his mother has been resolved.
By the terms of a June 10 stipulation, Goldin Auctions of West Berlin, N.J., will include only six of the items in an online auction, starting Monday, for more than 1,000 items related to sports icons such as Derek Jeter, Thurman Munson, Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, with additional Bryant items from other sources.
Two National Basketball Association 2000 championship rings owned by Bryant's parents, Pamela and Joe, have minimum $10,000 bids. Half the proceeds from the other four items two uniforms worn by Bryant in high school when he played for Lower Merion, outside Philadelphia; an NBA all-star game ring from 2000; and a 1996 Magic's Roundball All Star medallion and ribbon will go to a charity to be announced.
Auction head Ken Goldin, who sued on May 2 for a declaratory judgment after Bryant sent a cease-and-desist letter, expects the six pieces to bring in more than $500,000 and has already advanced Bryant's parents $450,000.
The parties stipulated to dismissal of the suit a week before the trial date in federal court in Camden.
Bryant, fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list, was represented by Mark Campbell of Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles and Goldin by Jeffrey Cohen of Flaster/Greenberg in Cherry Hill.
Expanding DNA Sampling The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday recommended passage of a measure to allow taking of DNA samples from people convicted of certain disorderly person offenses.
New Jersey has been collecting DNA from those convicted of indictable crimes since 2011. The bill, S-436, would extend that procedure to any disorderly persons offense in which fingerprints are taken, such as shoplifting, prostitution, assault stemming from domestic violence and non-indictable drug offenses.
As originally drafted, the bill would have applied to all disorderly persons offenses, but the New Jersey State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey objected.
The amended bill, sponsored by committee Chairman Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, and Sen. Nicholas Sacco, D-Hudson, was approved by an 11-0 vote.
The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee passed it a year ago, with only Sen. Christopher Bateman, R-Somerset, voting no. "The bill's gotten much better, much narrower," said Bateman, of Warren's DiFrancesco, Bateman, Coley, Yospin, Kunzman, Davis & Lehrer.
Thursday's vote came less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court, in Maryland v. King, 12-207, ruled that there is no Fourth Amendment impediment to police taking DNA swabs from people arrested for violent crimes.
Giuseppe "Joe" Grillo
Early Election Legal An appeals court on Thursday dismissed a suit challenging the date chosen by Gov. Chris Christie for a special election to fill Sen. Frank Lautenberg's seat.
Christie ordered an Aug. 13 primary and Oct. 16 election the soonest dates allowable by statute. The latter is just 20 days before Election Day, Nov. 5.
Giuseppe "Joe" Grillo, who heads the Monmouth County Democratic Committee, claimed the tight time line foreclosed him from running. And the amicus New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center claimed that mandatory impoundment of voting machines after the Oct. 16 election means realistically they won't be ready for Nov. 5.
Appellate Division Judges Jane Grall, Ellen Koblitz and Allison Accurso were unmoved, saying, "the Legislature has authorized the Governor to select the date of the special elections" and "could have, but did not, limit that discretion."
The state Supreme Court said Friday that any motion for emergent relief is due Monday. "The Supreme Court obviously wants to weigh in," says the plaintiffs' counsel, Marguerite Schaffer of Shain, Shaffer & Rafanello in Bernardsville.
Attorney General spokesman Lee Moore declines comment. Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak did not reply to an inquiry.
New Bag for Gag The U.S. Supreme Court moved quickly Thursday to respond to a District of Columbia judge's voiding of a federal law banning demonstrations on court grounds.
With the approval of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., court marshal Pamela Talkin promulgated a new regulation that invokes a different law to prohibit "demonstrations" on court grounds.
It bans "picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers." It adds that "casual use by visitors or tourists" is not covered by the regulation.
The new regulation cites 40 U.S.C. 6012, which gives the marshal the authority to issue regulations to protect individuals and property at the court and to maintain "suitable order and decorum."
The wording of both the new regulation and its authorizing statute appear in some ways more specific than the broad prohibition of 40 U.S.C. 6135 that U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell struck down Tuesday on First Amendment grounds.
A lawyer who has represented protesters arrested on court grounds thinks the new regulation is just as overbroad as the law that Howell struck down. "It maybe gets rid of some of the harsher edges," said Mark Goldstone, a Maryland solo. "But now we will have to find out what a demonstrator is. The court is still prohibiting First Amendment activities on the court plaza."
By Mary Pat Gallagher, Michael Booth, David Gialanella and Tony Mauro (Legal Times)