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The name partner had bronchitis. Another lawyer on the case was battling a sinus infection. Oh, and two legal secretaries were out sick, too. This tale of woe impressed a Pennsylvania state appellate panel not a whit. The panel refused to grant Samuel DiMatteo of Dellavella & Associates in Philadelphia more time to argue on behalf of a family’s pet pig. A lower court judge had ruled that the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Roosevelt must vacate its owners’ premises in Philadelphia’s Lower Northeast neighborhood, citing a health code provision against keeping a “farm animal” in a residential area. The firm waited 36 days to file an appeal and, when that was rebuffed, waited another 29 days before seeking permission to proceed nunc pro tunc, with retroactive effect. That basically was asking for an excuse for tardiness, and an en banc Commonwealth Court panel wasn’t buying it. Chalk it up as another pig-related loss for the firm, which last year lost a bid to spare a pig named Jackie from a similar eviction. -The Legal Intelligencer No huge surprise The legal career of Robert Noel may be over. California’s State Bar Court has recommended disbarment for Noel, who with his attorney wife, Marjorie Knoller, made national news in 2001 when their two huge Presa Canario dogs mauled to death a neighbor, Diane Whipple, in the hallway of their San Francisco apartment building. Both were sentenced to four years in prison in 2002, but were released early on parole. Oddly, the decision in Noel’s case had nothing to do with his underlying conviction. Instead, he was dinged for ignoring state bar rules that require suspended or disbarred attorneys to notify clients and opposing counsel of their inability to practice. Noel-who was admitted to the bar on May 6, 1976-had little to say other than that he expected disbarment and had no interest in appealing to the state Supreme Court. “I’m perfectly happy not to practice law ever again,” he said. “I’m just happy doing what I’m doing now.” When asked how he’s making a living, Noel replied, “This and that.” -The Recorder Robe rage A Georgia judge is headed to state court as a defendant on charges of pointing a gun at two motorists. Columbus, Ga., Municipal Court Judge Haywood Turner, 62, has waived a preliminary hearing on two misdemeanor charges stemming from an alleged altercation on a local highway. Turner is accused of brandishing a gun after a nearby vehicle moved erratically around him. This isn’t the first time Turner has been in trouble. Four years ago, while seeking a pay raise, he said in open court that the only way to get the city council’s attention was to set off a nuclear bomb on the roof of the government center. He apologized, but won the council’s support for a raise. -The Associated Press Buy a dog A Pennsylvania judge must decide whether a 14-year-old boy accused of meowing at a neighbor is guilty of misdemeanor harassment. You could say the boy’s family and 78-year-old Alexandria Carasia do not get along. The family got rid of their cat after Carasia complained to police that it used her flower garden as a litter box. “Every time he sees me, he meows,” she testified, although the boy insisted he only did it twice. District Judge Joseph DeMarchis said he’ll hold off on a ruling, to see if the neighbors can manage to get along. -The Associated Press

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