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So, Charles Pickering has a seat at last on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But as a recess appointment — installed by the president last week while Congress was out of session — he may only hold the post until January 2005. After that, he would need Senate confirmation to keep the job. Such things are indeed possible, as Howard Bashman points out. Roger L. Gregory proved as much when he followed his recess appointment by former President Clinton with a Senate confirmation to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals … Three student survivors of the Appalachian Law School shooting have joined with the family of another student to sue the school. The suits, filed just under a two-year deadline, seek a combined $22.8 million for allegedly lax security on campus … Debt collection firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson is expanding its reach by gobbling 28-lawyer Scoliere & Associates. The acquisition of the Ohio boutique will nudge Linebarger Goggan past 100 practitioners. The Texas-based firm, which specializes in recovering debt for government agencies, already has outposts in five other states … Former Mississippi Judge Wes Teel will get off with a public reprimand for failing to pay vendors with money he’d been reimbursed. The state Commission on Judicial Performance bought Teel’s claim that he’d merely been distracted, not intentionally pocketing money. No word on whether Teel will try that same argument in March, when he goes on trial for federal bribery charges … Trial transcripts from federal district courts are popping up online. In a pilot program through PACER, seven such courts will post transcripts from civil trials, with the District of Columbia publishing criminal proceedings as well. – Lori Patel

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