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TAKING A GAMBLE ON THE NEXT JUSTICE When it comes to picking the next U.S. Supreme Court justice, the safe thing would be to put $100 on Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. But if you really want to make some money, go with the long shot, 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski. Both men are among the candidates listed at Betcom.com, an online betting site based in Costa Rica. The site, which sports a model dressed in an American-flag-print bikini, lets people wager on everything from football scores to whether Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton will get a divorce. “We have people that monitor what’s happening in the world — what’s newsworthy, so to speak,” says Betcom.com President Robert Evans. Earlier this month, the site began taking wagers on whom President George W. Bush would appoint to the high court. So far, more than 2,000 bets have been placed, according to the site. Besides Luttig and Kozinski, the list includes a dozen other candidates, complete with odds. Kozinski’s odds, for example, are expressed as “+1,500,” which means a $100 bet would return $1,500 if he’s picked. Yet Luttig’s “-350″ means that a $350 bet placed on him would yield only $450 if he’s named to the Court. The odds are set by Betcom.com and won’t move with wagers. Gamblers can make pretty good money if California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown gets the nod — her odds are +600, the same as former Solicitor General Theodore Olson’s — and even more in the unlikely event it’s Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who’s at +1,200. You can also bet on who will be the next chief justice. Antonin Scalia is the favorite; David Souter, the long shot. Evans says Betcom.com came up with the candidates and odds by canvassing Internet and media sources, including Newsweek, Time, and television stations, as well as by injecting a little bit of personal opinion. There’s also an ulterior motive to the Supreme Court betting. The U.S. Department of Justice argues that Internet gambling, which is unregulated, is illegal, and it has moved to block major media outlets from accepting advertisements from Betcom.com and its competitors. Evans says the issue could eventually wind up in the high court itself, so he thought he’d drum up a little publicity by making the Court itself the subject of wagers. Like a true gambler, Evans expresses Betcom.com’s motives in numbers: 80 percent is due to public interest in the Supreme Court, 20 percent is because “of what our industry is up against.” — Jeff Chorney, The Recorder SURVIVORS’ SETTLEMENT Last week the government settled a class action brought by Hungarian Holocaust survivors and their heirs that claimed the U.S. Army illegally sold, misappropriated, and lost gold, silver, jewels, paintings, and other luxury items stolen by the Nazis during World War II. The Hungarian Gold Train case — filed in 2001 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida — is believed to be the first by Holocaust survivors against the U.S. government. Judge Patricia Seitz had ordered the parties into mediation and appointed Fred Fielding, a Wiley Rein & Fielding partner, as mediator. The exact terms of the agreement are still being worked out, but settlement will include a financial award, according to R. Brent Walton, a lawyer at Seattle’s Hagens Berman, which was a co-lead counsel on the case. The suit had initially sought as much as $10,000 for each of the 30,000 potential plaintiffs. A hearing to approve the settlement terms is set for Feb. 25. — Bethany Broida THE FEW, THE PROUD After a 30-year career advising the armed forces, the Marines’ former top lawyer has joined the D.C. office of Holland & Knight as a partner in its legislative and regulatory practice. Peter Murphy advised the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years on issues ranging from major weapons systems acquisition to commercial legal issues, including base closures. In private practice, Murphy will be on the other end of the bargaining table, advising clients on Defense Department and Homeland Security policy issues. Murphy says the 1,000-lawyer Holland & Knight reminded him of his Marine Corps experience because of an emphasis on teamwork. But after years as a military lawyer, some things in private practice take getting used to: “It’s familiar as far as the subject areas,” Murphy says. “But it’s a very different environment as far as billable hours and all.” — Lily Henning AS SEEN ON TV In the season finale of HBO’s “The Wire,” drug gang enforcer Slim Charles escaped a raid by police that locked up top members of his crew. Last week, the actor who plays Slim Charles escaped jail time for a 2002 gun possession charge in the District. Ralph Anwan Glover, lead singer of a popular D.C. go-go band and an up-and-coming actor, faced a maximum five years in prison after pleading guilty to felony gun possession in October. D.C. Superior Court Judge Maurice Ross sentenced Glover, 31, to unsupervised probation, however, after Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu recommended that Glover remain free. Glover, who spoke briefly at the Dec. 22 sentencing, said that he carried the loaded handgun in his vehicle for protection. “I realize it was wrong for me to carry a weapon in the District,” said Glover. “My life was threatened. I was very scared for my life.” Glover, who goes by the nicknames Big G and Genghis, grew up in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood and has prior arrests for weapons and drug offenses. In 1997, Glover was shot several times while performing at a Maryland club with his Backyard Band. Glover’s lawyer, Frances D’Antuono, claims that Glover has turned his life around by launching a successful acting career. At the sentencing, D’Antuono said that Glover was about to audition for a role on “Law & Order” and that shooting for the fourth season of “The Wire” will begin in January. — Tom Schoenberg BUILDING BATTLE Disability rights groups filed suit in a Baltimore federal court last week, charging one of the nation’s largest residential apartment developers with discrimination. Archstone-Smith Trust is accused of violating the civil rights of people with disabilities in the design and construction of more than 100 apartment complexes in 18 states and the District. Representing the plaintiffs, which include the Equal Rights Center, are the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll. Since 1991, developers have been required by law to make renovated or new multifamily housing accessible for the disabled. Isabelle Thabault, director of the Fair Housing Project at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, says the suit, which seeks compliance and unspecified punitive damages, is unique both because of the size of the defendant and the number of apartment complexes affected. Englewood, Co.-based Archstone did not return a call for comment. — Lily Henning TAKING ON CHINA Keller and Heckman has opened its first Asian office in Shanghai, China, where it will advise clients on chemical and food regulations. The firm cited the growth in the number of requests for regulatory assistance in Asia as the chief reason for creating the new office. “We realized that to provide maximum effectiveness we must be ‘on the ground’ in Asia,” said a statement by partner John Eldred, who will head the new office. “You can’t do the entire job from Washington, San Francisco, or Brussels.” Currently, Eldred is the only attorney in the new office, which opened on Dec. 1. — Bethany Broida QUESTIONS FOR CONDIT The whole idea was to put the kibosh on gossip about his sex life. But now it looks like a suit by ex-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.) is forcing the politician to discuss exactly the kind of salacious details he wanted kept out of the public eye. Condit had sued Vanity Fair columnist Dominick Dunne for defamation because of remarks he made on talk shows and at a Los Angeles dinner party about Condit’s alleged connection to the disappearance and death of Chandra Levy. A federal judge in New York recently ruled that Condit must answer questions about any sexual relationships he might have had with Levy or two other women. “Unfortunately for plaintiff, he opened that door himself by filing this lawsuit,” wrote Senior U.S. District Judge Peter Leisure. Condit, whose political career ended after the Levy scandal, refused to answer questions about the relationships under deposition questioning from Dunne’s lawyers at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Condit has hired L. Lin Wood of Georgia and Lazer, Aptheker, Rosella & Yedid of Melville, N.Y. — Jeff Chorney, The Recorder

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