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One of the most basic rules of lawyering is not to badmouth the judge. Los Angeles attorney Debra Koven seems to have missed that class. The California 2d District Court of Appeal has held the solo practitioner in contempt, fined her $2,000 and referred her to the state bar for investigation for impugning the court’s integrity in two venom-dripping petitions for rehearing. Even an apology-accepted by the court-didn’t get Koven off the hook. “The tone of Koven’s petitions for rehearing is spiteful and malicious,” a three-judge panel held. “Our impression is that she was more concerned with venting her anger upon this court than advancing the interests of her client.” After losing her client’s legal malpractice case at the trial court level and on appeal, Koven filed petitions for rehearing that accused the justices of bias against her client, predetermining the judgment and fixing the case. “Koven’s charges are not only false, they are outrageous,” the court ruled. “We can think of no accusation more serious or injurious to a court’s reputation than that it ‘conspired’ with a party to ‘fix’ the case.” - The Recorder Cold-blooded Following her conviction for abandoning 35 kittens, a northeast Ohio woman was escorted to a park to spend a night in the woods without food or shelter. “I don’t have warm enough clothes and I’m not even allowed to bring a sleeping bag,” Michelle Murray, 26, said before she began a sentence, which included fines, restitution and jail time. “I don’t understand how a judge can send me out there to freeze.” The kittens were recovered, but nine died.- Associated Press

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