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Taking private payments from public defendants will cost one Washington attorney his livelihood. At the request of the state’s Supreme Court, Thomas J. Earl will be permanently disbarred Thursday. The departure of the former Grant County public defender, who zipped through 413 felony cases last year, has heavily impacted local attorneys. Dozens of lawyers have been needed to shoulder Earl’s bloated caseload … Allegedly trading dollars with Iran, Libya and other prohibited nations turned into an expensive practice for one Swiss bank. Monday the Federal Reserve fined UBS $100 million for the transfers, which allegedly took place between 1996 and 2003. The bank did not admit to the charges but accepted the fine and expressed its regrets … The first court-martial connected to alleged abuses at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison will begin next week. Junior military policeman Jeremy Sivits, who is suspected of taking some of the horrific photos in the prison, faces four counts of abusing inmates. If convicted, Sivits could face dishonorable discharge, demotion to private and up to one year behind bars. The military is flying a judge in from Germany to Baghdad to oversee the trial, which begins May 19 and is expected to last no more than two days … A British former prisoner wants to sue Saudi Arabia for torture allegedly suffered in that nation’s jails. One problem: Britain’s State Immunity Act protects foreign countries from legal action. Counsel for Ron Jones is scheduled to appear before London’s Court of Appeal today to try to convince the court to make an exception. The court will also consider the complaints of former prisoners who want to sue Saudi interrogators and other officials individually … Who better to practice elder law than Jim Wilde? The new grad from UNC-Chapel Hill Law School says he plans to focus on estate planning, reverse mortgages and other legal decisions facing persons in the neighborhood of his 66 years. – Lori Patel

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