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Trial of ex-governor of Illinois to go forward Chicago (AP)�A federal judge declined to throw out conspiracy and fraud charges against former Illinois Governor George Ryan and rejected a co-defendant’s request for a separate trial. In the opinion last week, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer also declined to dismiss charges against the co-defendant, Lawrence Warner. Ryan has pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, tax fraud, filing false tax returns and making false statements. A former lobbyist, Warner has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he pocketed about $3 million from contracts steered to his clients by Ryan. ACLU opposes list New York (AP)�The ACLU and other groups are opposing a requirement that charities screen employees against a suspected terrorist “watch list” or face losing funds from a federal donation program. So far, 15 nonprofits have joined the organization to fight the requirement, which is part of the Patriot Act passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said last week the ACLU would fight the requirement in court if it is not rescinded. Holocaust lawyer hit with malpractice award A lawyer well known for his role in Holocaust recovery cases is facing a $3.2 million legal malpractice judgment for suing the wrong party in a personal injury case and failing to oppose its dismissal. Attorney Edward D. Fagan rose to fame as one of the attorneys suing Swiss banks and German corporations for profiting from Holocaust victims’ assets and forced labor. The banks and corporations settled the suits for more than $6 billion. But a former client, Allen C. Tavel, claimed in a 2001 suit that Fagan’s involvement in the Holocaust cases led him to neglect a case against Honda Motor Corp. and the manufacturer of a seat belt that allegedly failed. He hired Fagan to represent him after a 1994 car accident. Fagan initially sued the wrong seat belt manufacturer, which moved for summary judgment, according to Tavel. He then failed to contest Honda’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that Fagan had not complied with discovery orders. The case was dismissed in September 1998. Tavel claimed in his malpractice suit that Fagan continued to assure him the case was progressing and would go to trial. Fagan, who could not be reached for comment, did not contest Tavel’s malpractice suit, which resulted in a default judgment. In May, Justice Shirley Kornreich of state supreme court in New York awarded Tavel $1.2 million for his economic losses and $2 million for pain and suffering. Tavel’s lawyer, Matthew Schwartz of New York’s Siller Wilk, said he is moving to enforce the judgment. 3d Cir. ruling on inmate porn creates circuit split In a ruling that creates a split in the circuits, the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a First Amendment challenge to a law that prohibits inmates in federal prisons from receiving material that is “sexually explicit or features nudity.” In Ramirez v. Pugh, a unanimous three-judge panel found that a lower court was too quick to declare that the law, known as the Ensign Amendment, is constitutional on the basis of the government’s argument that it was necessary to promote prisoner rehabilitation. Instead, the panel said, the lower court should have conducted hearings to determine if applying such a ban to all inmates-and not just sex offenders- meets the U.S. Supreme Court’s requirement in Turner v. Safley that prison rules be “reasonably related to legitimate penological interests.” Standard for reviewing arbitrations is clarified The 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified the standard under which a lower court can vacate an award made in arbitration. A three-judge panel said last week that many trial courts in the circuit have wrongly applied language in one of its decisions by delving into the facts presented at arbitration. 2d Circuit case law does not allow a district court judge to set aside an award based on “manifest disregard of the facts” by an arbitration panel, the court said in Wallace v. Buttar, No. 03-7158. “We recognize only the doctrine of manifest disregard of the law, which doctrine holds that an arbitral panel’s legal conclusions will be confirmed in all but those instances where there is no colorable justification for a conclusion,” the panel said. The issue arose when Daljit and Paramjit Buttar prevailed in arbitration on a claim against securities trader Robert Winston and three others connected with Montrose Capital Management. The traders were found jointly and severally liable for $1.1 million in compensatory damages and $604,805 in punitive damages for Winston’s trading in the stocks of Skynet and CNF Technologies.

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