RELUCTANT TO INTRUDE

A federal appellate judge expressed skepticism about weighing in on a dispute between Congress and the White House over the constitutionality of recess appointments by President Obama. “Why drag us into it?” Judge Thomas Griffith asked during oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

FALSE CLAIMS RECORD

U.S. Justice Department officials said that the nearly $5 billion in settlements and judgments the government has collected under the False Claims Act this year topped last year’s then-record of $3.2 billion. Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West said the bulk of the recoveries flowed from health care fraud initiatives. Mortgage, housing and procurement fraud also contributed to the increase.

PATENT TREATY PASSES

Congress has voted to implement two patent law treaties to help American businesses expand into foreign markets, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a co-sponsor, announced. The Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 limits the formalities different countries can require in patent applications, removing barriers that now burden U.S. patent holders.

ZIMMERMAN SUES NBC

George Zimmerman, the Florida man charged with killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, has sued NBCUniversal Media LLC and three of its current and former reporters for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, claiming they edited audio and misreported the content of his 911 call in an attempt to paint him as “a racist and predatory villain.”

EEOC OFFICE FLOODS

Two serious floods at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s district office in New York City destroyed files and shut down operations, hindering some labor cases and complicating others. The office was flooded in July when a water pipe burst and again by Hurricane Sandy, said EEOC regional attorney Elizabeth Grossman.

PSYCHOLOGIST SANCTIONED

New Jersey has revoked the license of a court-appointed psychologist found to have coaxed a 3-year-old girl into accusing her father of sexual abuse and to have misled the family court judge. Earlier, the state Board of Psychological Examiners ruled that Marsha Kleinman engaged in gross and repeated malpractice and other misconduct that endangered the girl’s welfare and threatened her relationship with her father.

DISNEY’S ON THE HOOK

The Walt Disney Co. has failed to reverse a jury’s finding that it duped the creator of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? out of $320 million in royalties. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a 2010 jury verdict that Disney breached a contract to share the show’s U.S. profits with its creator, the British production company Celador International Ltd.

BAR: EXAM-TAKER LIED

The State Bar of California has recommended canceling the law license of a University of California Hastings College of the Law graduate who lied about having a disability to get more time to take the bar exam in 2009. Leah Harmuth had claimed that she suffered a disability and had received similar accommodations as an undergraduate student, officials said.