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Rehnquist to everyone: ‘I am not retiring’ Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, denying rumors of his retirement, said last week he will continue heading the U.S. Supreme Court as long as his health permits. “I’m not about to announce my retirement,” he told The Associated Press. “I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement,” said Rehnquist, 80, who is ailing with thyroid cancer. “I am not about to announce my retirement. I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits.” Rehnquist released the statement hours after being released from an Arlington, Va., hospital after being treated for two days with a fever. Tax Court will release special judges’ reports U.S. Tax Court Chief Judge Joel Gerber has announced that the court will end its 20-year practice of not disclosing special trial judges’ reports to litigants, among several proposed amendments to the court’s rules of practice and procedure announced earlier this month. The Tax Court recently released a special trial judge’s report, kept secret for seven years, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court holding in Ballard v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 03-184, that no statute authorizes the concealment of special trial judge reports by the Tax Court. California budget deal packs a punch for courts Court leaders are still reeling from veto messages from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last week that wiped out $57.5 million from trial court reserves and another $9.5 million the courts had expected to gain from new uniform civil filing fees. “I was absolutely stunned when that occurred,” said William Vickrey, director of the state Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). “There were no calls to me, and as far as I know, to my staff, even raising questions about these things.” Vickrey and Kate Howard, who heads up the AOC’s Office of Governmental Affairs in Sacramento, Calif., said they have conferred both with legislative leaders and with the state Department of Finance’s director, Tom Campbell, in the hope of ameliorating the cuts imposed by the governor’s budget veto message. Cooley Godward grows in east with D.C. office Five years after opening the doors to its first East Coast office, California firm Cooley Godward is opening a second Eastern office in Washington. The new office, which Cooley leaders say should get off the ground in about two months, is being anchored with three lateral hires from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. Joseph Conroy, who heads Cooley’s Reston, Va., office, will also take charge in Washington. He said that while the firm’s Reston office has specialized in technology and venture capital practices, the firm hopes to attract D.C. lawyers with regulatory, antitrust, government contracts and Federal Communications Commission practices. Pa. law firm accused of Internet hacking A Pennsylvania law firm is accused in a recently filed federal lawsuit of alleged Internet hacking to get access to archived Web pages that were blocked from public view, but one of the firm’s partners insists that “no hacking occurred” and that its use of the site www.archive.org was perfectly legal. In the suit, Healthcare Advocates Inc. v. Harding Earley Follmer & Frailey, the plaintiff claims that during the discovery phase of a prior lawsuit, employees of Harding Earley of Phoenixville, Pa., violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The plaintiff’s attorneys, Peter J. Boyer and Scott S. Christie of Newark, N.J.-based McCarter & English, allege that employees of Harding Earley were aware that the archives of Healthcare Advocates Web site were blocked, but “successfully hack[ed]” into the system. 9th Circuit: Sentencing laws are not retroactive The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Blakely decision on criminal sentencing is not retroactive to cases that were finalized before it was issued. The unanimous ruling, Schardt v. Payne, No. 05 C.D.O.S. 6037, was written by Senior Judge Arthur Alarcon and signed by judges William Fletcher and Johnnie Rawlinson. The case reached the circuit as an appeal of a habeas corpus petition filed by Dale Schardt, who was sentenced to 204 months in prison after being convicted of raping a child. Schardt had hoped that Blakely v. Washington, 124 S. Ct. 2531, would help his position. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers had filed an amicus curiae brief in support.

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