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Torch song At least a few attorneys were in evidence when the Olympics torch made its single U.S. appearance in San Francisco on April 9. Some 10,000 people turned out either to cheer the torch on its way to the summer games in Beijing, or else to protest China’s human rights policies. Runners were to convey the torch along the city’s bayfront, but officials moved the procession to a quieter route some miles away. Varya Simpson, of counsel to Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, walked over from her office to watch the scene. One of a number of local attorneys who work pro bono for Tibetan asylum seekers, she hadn’t heard of many other lawyers who planned to attend. “Many firms are doing work with China and are interested in increasing their work with China. I think there might be some ambivalence about coming to an event like this,” she said. American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney Michael Risher was there to observe police tactics amid a cacophony of chants, shouts and blaring music. Risher looked unfazed by it all. “I was a public defender [in Alameda County, Calif.,] before here. This is not a stressful situation,” he said. “And, I do a lot of martial arts.” � The Recorder Kitten with whip is out of the bag A video of motor racing chief Max Mosley consorting with prostitutes � including a break for tea � reappeared on a tabloid newspaper Web site on April 9, immediately after Britain’s High Court refused to issue an injunction against it. Mosley, 67, has faced pressure to quit as president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile since the News of the World ran a story last month claiming he took part in a five-hour sadomasochistic orgy with prostitutes that involved Nazi role-playing. The allegations are particularly sensitive because Mosley is the son of the late Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain’s fascist movement before World War II and a friend of Adolf Hitler. Mosley’s lawyers had sought an injunction to prevent the News of the World from posting covertly filmed footage of the orgy on its Web site. But Justice David Eady said the paper could post the 90-second clip. He said it contains “shots of Mr. Mosley taking part in sexual activities with five prostitutes, and it also covers the tea break. “The very brief extracts which I was shown seemed to consist mainly of people spanking each other’s bottoms,” the judge noted. Eady said that, although the footage was “intrusive and demeaning,” it had been published so widely that granting an injunction against it “would merely be a futile gesture. “The dam has effectively burst,” the judge said. Eady said that, from the time the footage was posted on March 30 until it was removed by the newspaper the next day, it had been viewed more than 1.4 million times. � Associated Press Courting ridicule Courtroom drama is usually nothing to chuckle about � unless it’s in the Laugh Factory and Tom Arnold or Sinbad are the lawyers. Jamie Masada was sitting in his venerable Sunset Boulevard comedy club one night when a patron screamed so loudly at a joke that the guy sitting next to him claimed hearing damage. Next thing the club owner knew, he was being named in a lawsuit. “It was so ridiculous. I thought, ‘This is a TV show.’ ” Not long after, the Supreme Court of Comedy was born. The premise is the same as The People’s Court with a twist: The parties are represented by comedians acting as their lawyers. “We spend so much money on these cases, and they really belong in a comedy club, not a courtroom,” Masada said of his idea to take them to television. � Associated Press

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