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Michael Jackson has had trouble getting along with his lawyers-again. For the second time in a year, a law firm representing Jackson in one of his many financial disputes has quit, saying that it hasn’t been paid and can’t get the troubled pop star on the phone. A federal judge has given attorneys at New York’s Wachtel & Masyr permission to withdraw from a case in which a financial company claims it is owed $48 million by the “Beat It” singer. Attorney William Wachtel said he has dealt with Jackson through one intermediary after another, only to repeatedly be informed that they were quitting or had been fired. The last straw came when Jackson dropped out of contact with the firm entirely following his only face-to-face meeting with his lawyers in June, at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris. Jackson promised to stay in touch-and that was the last they heard of him. A letter from Jackson said he fired Wachtel on July 17. A group of attorneys from Latham & Watkins quit in November after reporting that its bills weren’t being paid and that it was finding it impossible to communicate with Jackson. World’s cutest K-9 Though she’s only a 6-pound Chihuahua/rat terrier mix who looks like she belongs in Paris Hilton’s purse, Midge has the will, skill and nose of a 100-pound German shepherd. The newest recruit for the Geauga County, Ohio, Sheriff Department’s K-9 unit could very well be the nation’s smallest drug-sniffing pooch. Sheriff Dan McClelland began training Midge for drug-detecting duties when she was just 3 months old, after reading about departments being sued by suspects whose cars or homes were damaged by larger dogs. Small dogs have a lot of stamina and can fit into cramped places that big dogs can’t. On the other hand, police dog trainer Bob Eden said, a smaller breed might not have “the same respect level from the public as a Lab or shepherd might.” Ardor in the court When forensic psychologist Tim Hancock took the stand in a North Carolina courtroom, he testified not about the mind, but the heart-his own. Hancock has been dating state Court of Appeals Judge Martha A. Geer for seven months. He asked her to critique his courtroom performance recently. And it was quite a show. With the help of the trial judge, the prosecutor and public defender, Hancock testified that he’s head over heels in love with Geer-and asked her to marry him. “I better say yes,” she told the court. Hancock produced the evidence-a black box containing a ring-and court adjourned to a nearby bar for champagne.

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