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JUSTICES BECOME GLOBE-TROTTERS Financial disclosure reports for 1999 show last summer our arbiters of justice left the nation’s capital for fully subsidized trips all over the world. Universities and others were only too glad to pay for the excursions for the honor of featuring a justice as a teacher or speaker. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a guest lecturer at Louisiana’s Tulane University law school’s summer program in Greece. Justice Stephen G. Breyer took on lecturing duties in Austria and Chile. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor made it to Japan for a speech and discussions in Kyoto, and participated in conferences and meetings in Scotland and the Czech Republic. Auckland, New Zealand, was Justice Antonin Scalia’s destination for a seminar at the University of Auckland; he also taught for two weeks at New York’s Hofstra University’s summer law program in Nice, France. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy had a stint as a law professor in Austria, Moscow, London and Edinburgh. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist got his expenses paid for teaching at the University of London but turned over a $2,000 honorarium to his church. Justice Clarence Thomas stayed stateside, giving speeches and judging moot court competitions at Utah’s Brigham Young University, the University of Montana and the University of Chicago. Justice John Paul Stevens was reimbursed for trips to speak at the Gerald Ford museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., and at a University of Iowa event. Justice David H. Souter, the court’s ascetic New Englander who likes to spend virtually all summer at his home outside Concord, N.H., listed no reimbursed trips for 1999. From The Legal Intelligencer NOT OUR KIND OF CROWD David Letterman’s “Late Show” has purged law firm groups from its studio, according to sources at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler and other firms quoted in the New York Observer. The reason: too few yuks, too few hoots. “You’re just not the kind of crowd we’re looking for,” a staffer supposedly said. A spokeswoman said the true problem is a group ticket backlog caused by Dave’s absence for heart surgery. From The National Law Journal THE SOUND OF MUSIC Next time you’re at a law firm reception, or at the wedding of an attorney friend, don’t assume the musicians playing in the jazz trio or the string quartet over in the corner went to Julliard or Oberlin. They may have gone to Suffolk University Law School. The Boston Bar Association (BBA) Orchestra, one of the few attorney orchestras in the country, is getting ready for its annual Esplanade concert at the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston. The full orchestra has about 60 players, most of them attorneys with full-time practices. Employment and probate attorney Brenda G. Levy, of the Boston law firm Simonds, Winslow, Willis & Abbott, joined the orchestra soon after it began in 1985. “Music becomes a passion for us. Some of our members have played chamber music through the years,” said Levy, the principal flute player. “The concert is a way to play in public and be with friends.” The musical selections this year will range from Beethoven to Gershwin. Cambridge attorney Douglas H. Wilkins, a litigator with Anderson & Kreiger, was a first assistant attorney general for many years, and a bassoonist since childhood. The bassoonist part doesn’t dovetail at all with the rest because, as he puts it, “That’s the point.” From American Lawyer Media RECUSAL WRIT LARGE The downside of appointing former attorneys general to the Supreme Court is that they often have to recuse themselves, especially when they make up a majority of the Court. So it was in New Jersey, when the State Parole Board sought a stay of an appeals court decision to release Thomas Trantino — New Jersey’s longest-serving inmate — Chief Justice Deborah Poritz and Justices Peter Verneiro and Jaynee LaVecchia bowed out due to their stints in law enforcement. (LaVecchia once headed the Division of Law.) Appellate Division Judges David Baime and James Havey joined Justices Virginia Long, Gary Stein and James Coleman Jr. to make a quorum. That was four days before the newest Supreme Court justice, James Zazzali, took his oath of office. And Zazzali is — you guessed it — a former attorney general, having served 11 months in 1981 while Trantino was still in jail, pursuing fruitless attempts to make parole. Will Zazzali recuse himself when the justices conference on whether to hear the appeal, leaving a Court of three? Only he can say — and he couldn’t be reached for comment. From The New Jersey Law Journal

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