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A federal judge has declined to get involved in the pandering business. U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle suggested that was the essence of a motion filed in a trademark fight between Web sites that openly promoted prostitution. The operators of worldsexguide.org wanted Pechman to block a competitor from diverting Web browsers to its own sites, including worldsexguide.info. According to Pechman, the original site described places to find prostitutes, “including details such as cost, location, names of particular women, and the extent of the ‘services’ offered.” It billed itself as a “travel and entertainment” service, but the judge said she wasn’t having it, “given the actual content on the site.” “Illegal prostitution services cannot be regarded as legitimate ‘entertainment,’ ” she wrote in a 10-page order. “ In addition, the ‘travel reports’ for Washington state that are posted on the site do not provide the type of information associated with a travel guide.” In fact, the judge noted, the site warned its readers about anti-prostitution activities by police. Pechman cited the “clean hands” doctrine in telling the Web site operators to get lost. The doctrine holds that the courts are not obliged to assist people in “consum[m]ating a crime.” “The Court fails to see how the public has an interest in reducing consumer confusion between websites that provide information about prostitution services, given that prostitution is illegal in virtually all of the United States,” she wrote. -Staff reports Succor for Souter It seems Justice David Souter can go home again after all. His neighbors have voted better than 2-1 against seizing his more than 200-year-old farmhouse in Weare, N.H., to build an inn. The move would have been in protest of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on eminent domain. Souter sided with a 5-4 majority to support New London, Conn.’s efforts to seize homes for economic development. The inn would have been named the “Lost Liberty Hotel.” But in a largely symbolic gesture, town voters decided 1,167 to 493 on March 15 to leave Souter’s house alone-and instead urged the state Legislature to adopt a law that forbids such property transfers to private interests for economic development via eminent domain. Logan Darrow Clements, the Los Angeles businessman who led the eviction campaign, said that the effort “lost to big government. So we’ll take the battle to end eminent domain elsewhere.” -Associated Press O-o-p-s Spell-checking on his computer is never going to be the same for Santa Cruz, Calif., solo practitioner Arthur Dudley. In a brief to California’s 1st District Court of Appeal, a search-and-replace command by Dudley inserted the words “sea sponge” instead of the term “sua sponte”-Latin for “on its own motion.” “Spell check did not have sua sponte in it,” said Dudley, who, not noticing the error, shipped the brief to the San Francisco state court. That left the justices reading-and probably laughing at-such classic statements as: “An appropriate instruction limiting the judge’s criminal liability in such a prosecution must be given sea sponge explaining that certain acts or omissions by themselves are not sufficient to support a conviction.” And: “It is well settled that a trial court must instruct sea sponge on any defense, including a mistake of fact defense.” The sneaky “sea sponge” popped up at least five times, making Dudley the butt of some mild ribbing. Local attorneys, he said, have started calling his unique defense the “sea sponge duty to instruct.”- The Recorder

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