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FIRST RULE OF TICKET FIXING : NOT IN FRONT OF PROSECUTORS Indicted Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Danser’s big mistake was calling Anna Keane’s DUI case with prosecutors present in his courtroom — or so his court clerk, Kathi Bringuel, told the grand jury that indicted her boss last month. Keane’s is one of the cases Danser and ex-police officer Randall Bishop are accused of steering to his courtroom in an alleged conspiracy to obstruct justice. Bringuel testified that Danser regularly handed her traffic cases with instructions to enter dismissals when no defendants or prosecutors were present. But when Danser called Keane’s DUI case and forced confused Deputy District Attorney Tracy Gilliam to stand in, “everybody went nuts,” Bringuel testified. “At some point in time, did you tell the judge something to the effect: We shouldn’t have put it on this calendar?” asked Deputy DA David Pandori. “Yeah, I probably did,” Bringuel answered. “What did you mean about, not put it on this calendar? Were you thinking that it should have been on some other day?” Pandori asked. “On an arraignment calendar. There is no DA there,” Bringuel said. Bringuel also told the grand jury that Danser wasn’t the only one dismissing tickets. “Are you aware of clerks in other departments being directed by a judge to fill out dismissal minute orders for out-of-custody traffic defendants?” Pandori asked. “Yes,” said Bringuel, before adding that she couldn’t remember any specifics. – Shannon Lafferty SNIVELING WASN’T HIS THING Elizabeth Eagleson said she gasped while reading a 1989 ruling by her father, former California Supreme Court Justice David Eagleson, that laid out the circumstances under which accident victims’ loved ones could claim emotional distress damages. “No, no, no, no,” she recalled Wednesday at a state Supreme Court memorial for her dad, who died in May. “He is giving his no-sniveling argument to the whole state of California.” The ruling in Thing v. La Chusa, 48 Cal.3d 644, Eagleson said, transported her back to her Long Beach childhood when her father wouldn’t allow whining, and basically told his kids that life wasn’t always fair and to go with the flow. “No sniveling meant discipline,” Eagleson, a lawyer for San Diego’s Sempra Energy, told the amused crowd. “No sniveling made dad decisive.” In the section of Thing that Eagleson noted, her father argued that severe emotional distress is an unavoidable aspect of the human condition. “The emotional distress for which monetary damages may be recovered, however,” he wrote, “ought not to be that form of acute emotional distress or the transient emotional reaction to the occasional gruesome or horrible incident to which every person may potentially be exposed in an industrial and sometimes violent society.” Elizabeth Eagleson said that anyone who knew her father would recognize his philosophy in that ruling. And for those who didn’t know him, she said, read Thing. “Dave Eagleson is there,” she said, “and will tell you everything you need to know.” — Mike McKee THE SPIN NEVER STOPS Maybe it was for old time’s sake. A former campaign spokesman for District Attorney Terence Hallinan took newspapers’ calls and offered comments on behalf of Hallinan’s campaign Oct. 6 — despite the fact that he and the campaign had very recently parted ways. Hallinan good-naturedly remarked a couple of days later that his former mouthpiece, Marc O’Hara, is good at making statements. O’Hara said he would have referred reporters elsewhere on a typical day in the office, but they caught him during a frantic day while he was on the road working for an arm of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign. By commenting on a story he’d been talking about for weeks, O’Hara said he thought he was “doing right by Terence’s campaign.” Despite the professional split, O’Hara remains loyal to Hallinan. “If I were a Chicago voter, I’d vote for him twice.” And if imitation is the highest form of flattery, Hallinan is delivering some high compliments to Public Defender Jeff Adachi. The DA’s campaign staff is down to three people, all of whom worked on Adachi’s successful bid for public defender in 2002, notes Hallinan campaign consultant Bob Henderson. And the DA’s new campaign headquarters — he hosted a grand opening Thursday — is across the street from Adachi’s former campaign war room. “It’s not coincidence,” Henderson said, adding that staffers still know where all the good parking spots are. — Pam Smith BOLDLY GO � TO FEDERAL COURT? Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson called it a “Star Trek” argument: Pacific Grove lawyer Seth Goldstein was asking him to go where no judge had gone before. Goldstein was trying to convince Henderson that Contra Costa County rules limiting live testimony in divorce cases violate his client’s civil rights. Deputy Attorney General John Devine, who represented the county court, argued that the federal court can’t step in because the state case doesn’t constitute “extraordinary circumstances.” But even before Henderson’s Star Trek line, it was clear that the Oct. 6 hearing would be a struggle for Goldstein. The attorney, who had never appeared in federal court before, came to court late and then cited three federal court decisions that weren’t in his papers. Later Goldstein apologized because he didn’t have official citations for some of the new cases. Henderson told Goldstein he’d wasted the court’s time. “Have you read this book?” the judge asked, holding up what appeared to be a copy of court rules. Henderson also told Goldstein he’s on “thin ground” with his argument, though it’s bolstered by an amicus brief from the California chapter of the National Organization for Women. “I have read the brief. It is a compelling brief,” Henderson said. “I’m not sure the law gets me there.” The case is Margaret F.-G. v. Superior Court, 03-1175. — Jahna Berry

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