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Conn.’s ex-chief justice subpoenaed to testify Former Connecticut Chief Justice William J. Sullivan was served last week with a subpoena to appear before the state Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, one of its co-chairmen has confirmed. The subpoena compels Sullivan’s presence and testimony, on June 27, at the committee’s inquiry into Sullivan’s alleged misconduct concerning the nomination of Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Peter T. Zarella as the next chief justice. Sullivan, who stepped down as chief justice in mid-April and took senior judge status at that time, declined comment through a Judicial Branch spokesperson. Committee leaders want to know more about why Sullivan admittedly delayed the release of a court ruling earlier this year to help Zarella, Governor M. Jodi Rell’s nominee for chief justice. Zarella voted with the majority to prevent the release of certain court records under the state Freedom of Information Act. Rell, at Zarella’s request, has since withdrawn the nomination until after the hearing. Rell has not said whether she will re-nominate Zarella or name another person to oversee the state’s Judicial Branch. Three of the four Connecticut Supreme Court justices who the judiciary committee believes can shed light on the incident accepted its invitation to testify. They are Senior Associate Justice David M. Borden and Associate Justice Richard N. Palmer. Zarella, too, has agreed to appear. Calif. mulls malpractice insurance disclosure No one knows for sure how many California lawyers lack malpractice insurance, but estimates run as high as 20%. That means almost 31,000 of the state’s nearly 153,000 active lawyers have no way of compensating clients if they mess up a case. Tough luck for the consumer. But that could change under a proposal now being circulated by the State Bar of California to enact rules requiring attorneys to tell new clients if they don’t have malpractice insurance. “This is a highly relevant piece of information,” James Towery, chairman of the bar’s insurance disclosure task force, said last week shortly after presenting the recommendation to the state bar Board of Governors. “Most new clients assume their attorneys have insurance.” L.A. civil rights attorney indicted on tax charges A federal grand jury returned an 18-count indictment last week against a Los Angeles civil rights attorney known for repeatedly filing suits against the government. In an indictment unsealed on June 23, Stephen Yagman, a lawyer at Venice, Calif.-based Yagman & Yagman & Reichmann, was charged with not paying $158,000 in federal income tax and hiding assets while in bankruptcy. According to the indictment, Yagman owes the Internal Revenue Service personal taxes and payroll taxes for his former law firm from 1994 through 1997. Yagman is charged with one count of tax evasion, one count of bankruptcy fraud and 17 counts of money laundering. Barry Tarlow, Yagman’s attorney, called his client “an innocent man wrongly accused.” DOJ asks court to hold ABA in civil contempt The Department of Justice last week asked a federal court in Washington to hold the American Bar Association in civil contempt for violating a 1996 antitrust consent decree that prohibited the ABA from misusing the law school accreditation process. The ABA, acknowledging the violations in a stipulation, agreed to pay the government $185,000 in fees and costs. Justice said the ABA failed, among other violations, to provide proposed changes to accreditation standards to the United States for review before action by the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

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