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WEDGE ISSUE — SUIT DIVIDES FORMER BOBBLEHEAD PARTNERS Relations have apparently soured between co-defendants sued by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for unauthorized commercial use of the governor’s chiseled features on a bobblehead doll. John Edgell, the Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist who commissioned and paid for the original production of the bobblehead dolls, now says he hasn’t heard from his business partners, Todd and Toby Bosley, the owners of the Bosley Bobbing Head Doll Co., in months. Edgell has accused the brothers of refusing to provide an accounting of sales and revenue generated from the sale of approximately 5,400 bobbleheads, including likenesses of the governor carrying an automatic weapon. In the meantime, Edgell has found a new producer for his latest bobble — Girlie Man Arnold, which depicts Schwarzenegger’s head on actress-model Anna Nicole Smith’s voluptuous body. Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions Inc. sued the Bosleys in May, alleging “unauthorized commercial exploitation of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s name, photograph and likeness.” Schwarzenegger’s attorney, William Gallagher of Townsend and Townsend and Crew, as well as Edgell’s attorney, David Greene of the Oakland-based First Amendment Project, argue that the First Amendment protects the use of the governor’s face on a bobbing doll. The case remains in federal court, but the business dispute could affect the governor’s suit since Oak Productions attorney Martin Singer cited the delivery of unsold dolls in addition to damages. – Jill Duman SANDRA DAY WASHINGTON To retire or stick around? It’s a touchy question for U.S. Supreme Court justices in an election year. When Sandra Day O’Connor addressed the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Monterey recently, she said speculation about a retirement was appropriate, and she discussed her own thoughts about how long to stay on the bench. “We have been together for 10 years. � That’s a long time,” O’Connor said. The longest the high court has ever gone without a change is 11 years, and that was in the 19th century. “I think Stephen Breyer is getting plenty tired of answering the door,” she added, referencing court tradition of the junior justice’s duty during conferences. “You know, I have to look at my own situation,” said O’Connor, who is 74. “I’m getting up there.” As for how long she plans to stay, O’Connor told an anecdote, courtesy of a friend in Arizona, to illustrate some of her thinking on the subject. According to O’Connor, her friend was watching Ronald Reagan’s funeral on television with her grandchildren and saw O’Connor appear. The friend said, “Oh, we know her. She’s from Arizona,” the justice told the crowd in Monterey. “And one of her little granddaughters looked and said, �Grandma, was she married to George Washington?’” O’Connor said. “So that begins to make me think.” — Jeff Chorney SECOND DISTRICT FURY Having testified positive to cocaine at birth in 1996 and subsequently abused for years by her father, a girl identified only as Elizabeth W. had finally found a permanent — and safe — foster home at the age of 8. But on Wednesday an irritated state appeal court had to put her new life on hold because of a bureaucratic blunder that it said crops up constantly and inexcusably. Once again, the court held, a county agency — this time the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services — had failed to comply with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which requires tribes to be notified if a youngster with a possible Native American heritage is about to be placed with a new family. The law is aimed at maintaining tribal unity. L.A.’s Second District Court of Appeal said in Wednesday’s ruling that the ICWA requirement was the only thing standing between the young girl and “the pot of gold at the end of her rainbow.” “But we publish this opinion,” Justice Miriam Vogel wrote, “with the hope that other children will fare better in the future, and that the department and its lawyers will at some point learn to give the proper notices at the proper times � keeping in mind that childhood is brief and fleeting, as is a foster child’s hope of finding and keeping a stable home.” Justices Vaino Spencer and Robert Mallano concurred. ICWA was passed by Congress in 1978 based on the determination that it was in the best interests of an Indian child to retain tribal ties and cultural heritage, and for tribes to preserve their future generations. The law requires tribes to be notified if there is even a small chance that a child might be one of their offspring. California appeal courts are constantly evaluating such cases and frequently reject termination of parental rights based on agencies’ failure to comply with ICWA. In Elizabeth’s case, the court determined that the county’s child services agency had failed to adequately investigate the father’s claims that his mother was a member of Montana’s Blackfeet Nation. “Until that is done,” Vogel wrote, “there remains the possibility, however slight we may believe it to be, that there is a sufficient connection to warrant the tribe’s intervention, and that Elizabeth’s life will once again be turned upside down.” The ruling is In re Elizabeth W., 04 C.D.O.S. 6471. – Mike McKee

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