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Do right woman Aretha Franklin could lose her home to tax collectors because an attorney’s mistake caused her $700,000 mansion in Detroit to slip into foreclosure over $445 in 2005 taxes and late fees. The Detroit Free Press reported that the Queen of Soul owes a total of $19,192 in back taxes on the property. She plans to pay up and reclaim it by a March 31 deadline. A spokesman for the Wayne County treasurer’s office said the foreclosure judgment for $445 was entered earlier in March. Records showed that Franklin owed $18,746 in back taxes and fees for the 2006 and 2007 tax years, but foreclosure proceedings on those debts wouldn’t begin until next year. Franklin’s slate-roofed brick mansion was built in 1927. � Associated Press The wacky side of constitutional law Someone in the California legal community has a lot of time on his hands, a wicked sense of humor and excellent forging skills. A document has been circulating with what looked like an order by the California Supreme Court for supplemental briefing in the state’s pending same-sex marriage case. The fake order’s heading format replicated the real court’s orders to a T, while the bottom of the forged document ends with the flourished signature of “George,” as in Chief Justice Ronald George. It looks realistic until one reads the six questions posed to attorneys � questions that reflect someone’s twisted take on what happened during recent oral arguments in the case. For example: “If one child can have two mothers, or two fathers, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, can one law be defended by two state officials?” “Assuming for the sake of argument that words matter, what word am I thinking of now?” “How much reliance should we place on an interim report from a legislative commission from another state? Can we out-source our legislative process to New Jersey?” The first question parodied Justice Joyce Kennard, who during arguments ended a query with the words “blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc.” The second played on several assertions during arguments about whether the word “marriage” mattered. The third refers to a recent government report out of the Garden State that was negative about that state’s civil unions. � The Recorder Expert analysis CNN has admitted that it shouldn’t have used a former U.S. attorney who quit his job after allegedly biting a stripper as an analyst about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal. No mention of Kendall Coffey’s past was made when anchor Tony Harris interviewed him on March 11 on the legal questions surrounding Spitzer’s case. Coffey quit his job in May 1996 after being accused of biting a topless dancer on the arm during a visit to an adult club after losing a big drug case. Coffey talked on CNN about what kind of charges the New York governor could face. Spitzer is accused of having a high-priced call girl visit his hotel room during a visit to Washington in February. Spitzer has resigned effective at noon on March 17. While Coffey’s past was known to CNN’s booking department, it wasn’t to the person who set up Harris’ segment. CNN spokesman Nigel Pritchard blamed a “miscommunication,” saying “Coffey has been a guest on CNN in the past but was probably not the right one for this story.” The situation was noted by The Miami Herald‘s Changing Channels blog, which said CNN got an analyst with “more experience in the field than he let on.” Coffey was identified by the network only as a former U.S. attorney. � Associated Press

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