EX- OHIO AG SUSPENDED

The Ohio Supreme Court has suspended the law license of former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann for six months over ethics violations related to campaign fund crimes. The court on November 20 determined that Dann, a Democrat who served 17 months in office before resigning in 2008, engaged in conduct that reflected adversely on his fitness to practice law. In 2009, he was convicted of using campaign funds for personal use and for falsifying financial statements, both misdemeanors.

HP TAKES $8B WRITE-DOWN

Hewlett-Packard Co. said on November 20 it will take an $8.8 billion write-down related to its purchase of Autonomy PLC and alleged that Autonomy executives committed accounting fraud to inflate the company’s value during the sale. HP acquired the Cambridge, U.K.-based e-discovery and enterprise search stalwart in 2011 for $10.3 billion.

FEDS ACT ON OBAMACARE

Following what lawyers say was a pre-election slowdown in the pace of federal agencies tasked with crafting rules for implementing the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on November 20 announced three new rules, including one that will make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

NO MANDATORY PRO BONO

It appears that a New York-style pro bono requirement for law students won’t be going national anytime soon. Several organizations and legal leaders have asked the committee that is updating the American Bar Association’s law school accreditation standards to add a 50-hour pro bono requirement, but that idea got a chilly reception from the committee at its most recent meeting on November 16 and 17. None of the nine committee members in attendance endorsed the idea.

POSNER JABS AT HIGH COURT

After taking aim at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last summer, appeals court judge Richard Posner has broadened his attack to include the entire Supreme Court, decrying what he said was its “silly” behavior on and off the bench. In a Chicago speech on November 15, Posner said justices have become such active questioners that “lawyers can hardly get a word in edgewise.”

RULING FOR RITZ CAMERA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with Ritz Camera on November 20 in an unusual appeal brought by SanDisk Corp., which is fighting an antitrust class action alleging that it misused its IP to maintain a near monopoly in the flash memory market. A unanimous three-judge panel ruled that even though Ritz represents a class of flash memory purchasers and isn’t a rival patent holder, it can pursue its case under a 47-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision.

LA. LAWYER RE-DISBARRED

Since he apparently didn’t get the message the first time, the Supreme Court of Louisiana disbarred a former Verizon Communications Inc. lawyer a second time. And this time the court did so with feeling. After nearly a decade of keeping his first disbarment a secret, James Turnage was permanently banned from practicing law in the state on November 16.