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A Northern Idaho judge disqualified himself from hearing nearly 300 civil and criminal cases until a complaint is resolved alleging he wrongfully evicted a man from the Bonner County Courthouse because of the way the man smelled. First District Judge Steve Verby of Sandpoint voluntarily recused himself following a complaint by Steven Aver, who has a long history of acting as his own attorney in a string of legal battles with local officials. Courthouse workers say Aver’s odor makes them nauseous. He has dogs and has at times smelled of their excrement, workers told the Bonner Daily Bee newspaper. Avers said he was ejected twice this year, but another time was allowed to remain after passing a “smell test.” “You can’t just grab someone and throw them out because they smell,” he insisted. No slackers Legal associates object to complaints that they’re a bunch of slackers-less committed, intent on staying at firms only long enough to pay off law school bills, perpetually whining about wanting a better work-life balance. In The American Lawyer‘s annual associates survey, respondents said they billed an average of 2,072 hours in 2004. Data show associates billed 16% less on average in 1986. Meanwhile, cellphones, BlackBerrys and the Internet allow junior attorneys to work from home or a vacation hotel room. “Technology makes it possible for [partners] to encroach on all of your time, whether you’re awake, asleep or on vacation,” said one Shearman & Sterling associate.

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