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Bar Hopping Tom O’Neill has no problem telling his wife he’s off to his second job, because when he’s not practicing law, he’s elbow-deep in hops and barley malt at the Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield, Conn. O’Neill is a member of a partnership that purchased the microbrewery in March 2006, nearly 10 years after it was founded as the Trout Brook Brewing Co. As chief operating officer and general counsel, he is helping guide the brewery during heady times. Recently, a major Anheuser-Busch distributor picked up Hooker as a local brewery to add to its portfolio and immediately added 100 new customers in neighboring counties who want to sell Hooker brews. Also within the past year, O’Neill launched a solo corporate and health care practice. “It was a big year,” he said, “but not something I’d recommend,” considering the uncertainty involved in both endeavors. Still, few can pity a guy whose flexible law practice � with no litigation, he has no court schedule to maintain � allows him to split time evenly between his office and his playground. “I’ve always been a beer geek,” O’Neill said. That goes back nearly 20 years when he was home-brewing and generally making a mess of his family’s kitchen. For O’Neill, who often chips in to help with the brewing, his second job is an opportunity to spread the word about good beer and have a great time doing it. “Practicing law, you have to be a little more serious,” he said. “But here you can have some fun.” � Connecticut Law Tribune Recommended, with an asterisk The Philadelphia Bar Association would like to qualify its “recommended” rating for a judge who subsequently threw out rape charges arising from an assault on a prostitute. Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support rape charges against a man accused of assaulting the woman at gunpoint. Instead, Deni said, the appropriate charge was armed robbery for “theft of services.” In response, bar Chancellor Jane Leslie Dalton of Duane Morris issued a letter that doesn’t withdraw the recommendation for Deni, who is up for retention, but comes pretty close. In her statement, Dalton said that Deni’s ruling and further comments to the media indicate she was ruling not based on the law but on personal opinion. “It is not often that the Philadelphia Bar Association comments publicly on a judge’s ruling in a legal proceeding,” she said. “Indeed, the association has, as part of its mission, the preservation of a free and independent judiciary. This issue goes to the marrow of our existence as a free and independent people.” Deni’s ruling, however, “compels” the bar to speak out, she said. A lawyer for Deni said that she based her decision on the evidence and “finds Ms. Dalton’s comments regrettable.” � The Legal Intelligencer Bird brain A woman accused of stealing a baby parrot and cutting off its leg to remove a store tag is expected to appear in court. Prosecutors in Rhode Island said that Pamela Worden walked into a pet store in May, stole the $500 bird and later snipped off one of its legs to remove an identity tag. Police found the parrot bleeding in Worden’s apartment along with an amputated foot and a pair of scissors. Worden previously pleaded not guilty to possessing stolen goods, a felony, and cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor. A spokesman for state Attorney General Patrick Lynch said that prosecutors will request prison time for Worden if she’s convicted. � The Associated Press

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