This Week by the Numbers: Double-Down Edition

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A graffiti artist who must have felt he had nothing to lose decided to tag benches and chairs in a San Diego courthouse — while he was there for a hearing on 31 graffiti vandalism charges. A sheriff’s deputy noticed the artist’s trademark “KRE8″ tag, entered a picture into a “Graffiti Tracker” program and discovered that the perpetrator was conveniently already in the building. He’s been sentenced to 180 days in jail, and we guess it’s lucky they don’t have spray paint cans in there, or he’d probably be at it again.


With the midterm elections around the corner, Democrats are taking advantage of their majority in the Senate to make a major push for judicial confirmation votes. The National Law Journal reports that since President Barack Obama assumed office in 2009, his administration has overseen the confirmation of almost 300 federal judges. Until March, the Senate had approved an average of only four judges per month. But as Democrats and Republicans continue to spar over key issues like health care and voting rights, the Democratic-controlled Senate has tried to gain leverage by confirming more of the president’s picks. Since March, the Senate has confirmed an average of 11 judges per month — a whopping increase that has helped almost halve the number of federal court vacancies from the total a year ago.

$25 million

Director Lee Daniels may be facing a $25 million suit by hip-hop producer Damon Dash, who has filed a summons in N.Y. state court providing notice of his claims over investments he allegedly made in a number of Daniel’s movies and TV projects. Dash says he helped fund Daniels’ projects, including “Precious” and “The Butler,” and was denied royalties and producer credits.

$324.5 million

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has rejected a $324.5 million settlement to resolve claims that Google, Apple, Adobe Systems and Intel had agreed not to recruit each other’s employees. Koh thinks the amount of compensation should be higher for the plaintiffs – more than 60,000 tech workers who claim their wages were suppressed due to the alleged “no-poach” agreements. Koh calculated that, to bring the settlement in line with a similar deal struck with smaller defendants, a proportional sum would be at least $380 million. Will the tech giants pony up, or might this blockbuster actually end up in trial?


Two years ago, a former Bank of America employee in California thought it would be a brilliant idea to help rob her branch by strapping a fake bomb to herself. The assistant-manager-turned-criminal then filed a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder over the incident, claiming that she had been held hostage during the robbery. Unaware of the dastardly scheme, the bank’s insurance company covered her $9,000 in medical bills and an extra $35,000 in disability benefits. The woman was sentenced last week to nine years in federal prison for the robbery, and told to report on Sept. 8. A day later, she was arrested for the fraudulent PTSD claim, and is now facing an additional five years in state prison.

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