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Starr has a dim moment in court Admitting new members to the U.S. Supreme Court bar is one of the court’s hoariest traditions � and a tightly scripted one. Current members of the Supreme Court bar are supposed to move the admission of potential new members during a court session, reciting their names to the justices as the candidates stand in turn. Then the movant concludes, “I am satisfied each possesses the necessary qualifications,” and the chief justice grants the motion. But last week, former independent counsel, judge and Solicitor General Kenneth Starr, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, deviated from the script just a bit. Addressing the court, Starr moved the admission of several lawyers with Pepperdine affiliations, recited their names as they stood � and then said nothing. It apparently slipped his mind to attest to their qualifications. After a few seconds of awkward silence, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. looked up and started to ask Starr, “What do you think . . . ” as if to prod Starr into revealing whether he thought his candidates were qualified. Red-faced, Starr immediately got the hint and recited the necessary words. Roberts accepted the motion, and the bar members were admitted. � Legal Times Fake lawyer to pay firm restitution Brian Valery wasn’t really a lawyer. But he admits that he played one at a New York law firm. Valery started as a paralegal at Anderson Kill & Olick, then falsely claimed he later got his law degree and passed the bar. He admits he stole more than $200,000 from the firm by collecting a lawyer’s salary for almost two years. Last week, Valery, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny. New York County Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro said he would sentence Valery to five years of probation if he repays at least $150,000 by his sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 30. If Valery of Massapequa, N.Y., fails to make restitution, the judge could send him to prison for five to 15 years. Valery worked at Anderson Kill as a lawyer at the firm until October 2006, when officers there discovered the deceit. The law firm fired Valery and reported him to the state attorney general’s office, which contacted the district attorney. � Associated Press Judge blasts trial lawyer in bias case A judge has tossed out a $1.2 million judgment in favor of a former Denver firefighter, citing “boorish and unprofessional” courtroom behavior by his lawyer. Lawyer Mark E. Brennan represented Bill Cadorna in an age discrimination lawsuit filed against the city. Cadorna was fired as a firefighter after he was falsely accused of shoplifting in 2002. Though charges against Cadorna were dropped, the city did not give Cadorna his job back. A jury ruled against the city, but U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn wrote in an order granting a new trial that Cadorna’s story got lost in Brennan’s “disgraceful” courtroom behavior. “In over 19 years on the bench, I have seen nothing comparable,” Blackburn wrote. “Such disrespectful cockalorum, grandstanding, bombast, bullying and hyperbole as Mr. Brennan exhibited throughout the trial are quite beyond my experience as a jurist, and, I fervently hope, will remain an aberration during the remainder of my time on the bench.” Brennan did not return a message seeking comment. Blackburn wrote that Brennan made sarcastic comments, ignored verbal orders and insulted a witness in front of jurors. Blackburn ruled that Brennan’s actions prejudiced the jury’s verdict and denied the city a fair trial. � Associated Press

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