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Law and politics by the numbers Some data on campaign contributions gleaned from various sources: 1. Lawyer/law firm contributions, 2002-$109 million. 2. Percentage to Democrats, 2002-71. 3. Lawyer/law firm contributions, 1990-$24 million. 4. Percentage to Democrats, 1990-69. 5. Percentage of law professors who contribute primarily to Democrats-74. 6. Biggest legal industry donor, 2002-Association of Trial Lawyers of America ($4.2 million). 7. Percentage of ATLA contributions to Republicans-8. 8. Biggest law firm donor, 2002-Houston’s Williams Bailey ($2.3 million). 9. Percentage of Williams Bailey contributions to Republicans-0. 10. Law firms that gave most to Republicans, 2002-Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld ($557,000); Blank Rome ($474,000); and Holland & Knight ($450,000). 11. Top recipient of 2002 legal industry contributions-Ron Kirk, D-Texas. 12. Ranking of John Edwards, D-N.C., among recipients-3d. (Sources: 1-4 Federal Election Commission; 5 Wall Street Journal ; 6-12 Center for Responsive Politics.) Economy class in u.s. v. leonti, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gives us its version of that scene in Miami Vice when Sonny Crockett prepares for the Big Meet by accessorizing his Versace suit with a case full of big bills. The opinion recounts how San Jose, Calif., meth dealer David Leonti, convicted of smuggling drugs to Hawaii, agrees to cooperate with authorities. They introduce him to a California Bureau of Narcotics agent identified only as “Castillo.” Leonti sets up Castillo to make a moderate-sized buy. But Judge Michael D. Hawkins writes, “the deal ultimately failed because Castillo couldn’t raise enough money to consummate it.” Columnist Milt Policzer notes, “California’s credit must be a lot worse than we thought.” Funny career sounding more than a little prayerful, Berkeley, Calif., lawyer Stephen T. Pastis told us in January 2002 that if enough people laughed at his newly syndicated comic strip, he could stop making a living by defending State Farm Insurance against bad-faith claims. It’s happening. His strip “Pearls Before Swine” now runs in more than 100 newspapers, and, as we go to print, it’s a nominee for the National Cartoonists Society’s best comic strip of the year. A book, BLTs Taste So Darn Good, is in its third printing. So last August, Pastis, 35, registered himself inactive with the state bar. Was it scary? Yes, and still is, he replies. But Pastis has calmed down enough to do what he didn’t think he would do: use a legal theme in the strip. “I did this thing where there’s such an abundance of lawyers, they’re being sold at garage sales,” he said. “You can, like, make a lamp out of one. Or put one in your car so you can drive in the toll lane.” CLE is people! sandwiched between a seminar on “Managing Your Trust Accounts” and a “How to Deal with Difficult People” course, the State Bar of Arizona’s continuing legal education catalog offers “Cannibalism-Where Does the Law Begin?” According to the bar’s Web site, the faculty will be four Maricopa County Superior Court judges and a commissioner. (There are no bios, so we don’t know what qualifies them.) Under the subhead “Who Should Attend,” the listing says, “All attorneys will benefit.” It’s scheduled for June 5 and approved for three ethics credits. Since it starts at 1:30 p.m., the cost-$100 in advance or $140 at the door-doesn’t include lunch.

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