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It might seem that after three lawyers terminated their representations of Jessica Cutler, she would have trouble finding legal counsel. Instead, Cutler, a one-time Senate staffer who was sued by her ex-lover for detailing his alleged sexual habits on her infamous Washingtonienne blog, had an attorney knocking at her door. Matthew Billips of Miller & Billips in Atlanta said that he found the invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by Robert Steinbuch so “ridiculous” that he cold-called Cutler a couple of months ago to ask if he could assist her case. As it turned out, his call was fortuitous, because just a few weeks later Cutler’s lawyer John Umana sought to pull out of her case because of her failure to pay. Now Billips is taking Cutler’s case for good, along with John Ates of Albo & Oblon in Arlington, Va. Billips has no second thoughts about Cutler’s past troubles. “I don’t expect to be paid, so that’s not an issue,” he said. Indeed, he’s already taking shots at Steinbuch. In a recent filing, Billips said that the former congressional staffer will have to explain contradictory statements he made about his reputation in other lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.- Legal Times Lawyered up In the three or so years since Joseph Wilson publicly criticized the Bush administration’s run-up to the Iraq war -and started a chain of events that led to White House officials blowing his CIA agent wife’s cover-much legal energy has been spent on the case. Now the former ambassador and his wife, Valerie Plame, are getting around to pursuing their own litigation. Last month, the two sued Vice President Dick Cheney; Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby; top Bush adviser Karl Rove; and 10 unnamed administration officials for the leaks. Wilson and Plame have hired Joseph Cotchett and his partner, Frank Pitre of Cotchett, Pitre, Simon & McCarthy in Burlingame, Calif., as their trial counsel. The team also includes Duke Law School Professor Erwin Chemerinsky and lawyers from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Cotchett is a plaintiffs’ lawyer who mixes extremely lucrative class action work with high-profile public interest cases. Whether his new case goes to trial or not, he expects a “wild” next few months. “I’m going to take Karl Rove’s deposition,” he said, with eager anticipation. -The Recorder Judge strikes out A California judge who delayed a murder trial verdict so he could attend a baseball game has drawn a public admonishment. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Paul Zellerbach “failed to give his judicial duties preference” on Oct. 5, 2004, when he left a jury deliberating a double homicide case to watch the Anaheim Angels host the Boston Red Sox in a playoff game, the California Commission on Judicial Performance said. When his clerk called the judge to say the jury had reached a verdict after one day of deliberating, he refused to return to court or to allow another judge to take the verdict. Zellerbach ordered the case held over until the next morning when he returned to court. The judge told commissioners that he hadn’t expected the jury to return so quickly, nor did he want another judge stuck with the “complicated legal issues in the case.” Other judges had delayed verdicts by a day, too, he argued. “There likely are instances where good cause exists for such delay,” the commission countered. “A judge attending a baseball game is not such an instance, however.” -The Recorder

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