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Gloating is a most undiplomatic activity. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the U.S. State Department has been guarded in its statements regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. But when Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, found that Osama bin Laden’s former chauffeur Salim Hamdan enjoyed at least some protection under the Geneva Conventions, lawyers at State could be forgiven if they were tempted to ring their counterparts at the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House to say, “I told you so.” That’s because both current State Department legal adviser John Bellinger and his predecessor, William Taft IV, have long argued that al-Queda detainees at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, are protected under the Geneva Conventions-a position taken by Stevens in the majority opinion. Bellinger and Taft had been on the losing end of the Bush administration’s internal debate on the status of al-Queda prisoners. Instead, an expansive view of executive power espoused by former vice presidential counsel David Addington (now chief of staff to the vice president), former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo and former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales (now attorney general) won the day. So does Taft feel vindicated? “Not really,” he said. “The really important thing is to have a system in place that brings these people to justice.” “I’m sure that John and others are focused on ‘Now what?’ ” said one former senior administration lawyer, “ as opposed to going, ‘Nyah, nyah, nyah-we really showed you, David Addington.’ “ -Legal Times Red-faced Serving on the jury in the indecent-exposure trial of former Oklahoma Judge Donald D. Thompson was a giggle-inducing experience. Thompson was convicted on June 29 on four counts related to using a penis pump while on the bench hearing cases. But first the jurors got to watch a defense attorney and a prosecutor pantomime masturbation. A white-handled sexual device sat before the jury box for hours at a time. Occasionally an attorney picked it up and squeezed the handle, demonstrating the “sh-sh” sound of air rushing through the contraption’s plastic tubing. Dr. S. Edward Dakil, a urologist called as an expert witness, repeatedly prompted laughter from the jury when discussion turned to the penis pump. Dakil defended use of the device after defense attorney Clark Brewster said it was an out-of-date treatment for erectile dysfunction. “I still use those,” Dakil testified. Brewster paused. “Not you, personally?” he asked. “No,” Dakil responded as jurors laughed. “I recommend those as a urologist.”- Associated Press Red-flagged What would you expect a lawyer to do when described on a Web site as diseased, materialistic and possibly gay? Pittsburgh attorney Todd Hollis sued. His defamation action in Pennsylvania state court targets the Miami Web site dontdatehimgirl.com, a forum for women to raise red flags about potential suitors. It also names as defendants several women who reportedly posted comments about him. Hollis claims that negative comments about his character, including a claim he has herpes, are false and harmed his professional and personal reputations. He said subsequent postings falsely declared he was homosexual or bisexual, had infected a woman with a sexually transmitted disease and tended to complain about the quality of his home and his clothing. Web site owner Tasha Joseph’s attorneys insisted Congress and the courts have established broad protections for Web site operators.- Daily Business Review

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