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The U.S. Supreme court on Jan. 26 rendered two opinions and agreed to hear oral argument on the issue of capital punishment for juvenile offenders. Full coverage of the court’s grant of certiorari in Roper v. Simmons, No. 03-633, appears on Page 7. bankruptcy Holding that an evident redrafting error did not change the meaning of U.S. Bankruptcy Code � 330(a)(1), the court has ruled that a Chapter 7 debtor’s attorney cannot receive professional fees unless the attorney has first been approved by the court pursuant to code � 327. Lamie v. U.S. Trustee, No. 02-693. The decision upholds a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The statute, which previously made fees available “to a trustee, to an examiner, to a professional person employed under section 327 or 1103 of this title, or to the debtor’s attorney,” was amended in 1994 and the phrase “or to the debtor’s attorney” was deleted. Deletion of the conjunctive “or” rendered the provision grammatically wrong when read together with the succeeding clause. Abingdon, Va., law-yer John M. Lamie argued that the omission made the statute ambiguous. Rejecting that argument, the court said that the statute may be awkward or ungrammatical, but it is not ambiguous. “A debtor’s attorney not engaged as provided by � 327 is simply not included within the class of persons eligible for compensation,” it said. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the court’s majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and justices Sandra Day O’Connor, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer. Justice Antonin Scalia joined only in part. Justice John Paul Stevens, joined by Souter and Breyer, separately concurred in the judgment. criminal practice Lincoln, Neb., police violated a suspect’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel by questioning him at his home after he was indicted on drug-related charges, but waiting until after he had been arrested and jailed before reading a Miranda warning to him, the court unanimously ruled. Fellers v. U.S., No. 02-6320. The ruling reverses an 8th Circuit decision that the at-home statements were admissible because, while the officers had conversed with the suspect, John J. Fellers, about the indictment and his pending arrest, they had not actually interrogated him there. But, in a decision by O’Connor, the court said that the officers had deliberately elicited incriminating statements from Fellers at his home, violating his right to counsel.

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