Since it’s Friday, we thought we’d share the above clip, which is one of our favorite depictions of a legal hearing in popular culture. It comes from the 1981 film, Absence of Malice, starring Sally Field as a naive young newspaper reporter and Paul Newman as the peeved object of her journalistic investigation (as well as that of her affection). Field’s reporter has been led to believe by the governmental authorities that Newman’s character is under investigation for murder. This scene, which comes late in the film, shows Wilford Brimley, who plays a senior Department of Justice official, taking everyone – and we mean everyone – to task for their unsupervised antics and sloppy approach to the administration of justice. (The second half of this clip can be found here).
Yesterday, in a divided opinion, the Fourth Circuit issued an important decision in the removal context of which defense counsel should be aware. In announcing its new adherence to the last served defendant rule, the Fourth Circuit stated that it would “join the Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits in adopting thelast-served defendant rule and hold that in cases involvingmultiple defendants, each defendant, once served with formalprocess, has thirty days to file a notice of removal pursuant to28 U.S.C. § 1446(b) in which earlier-served defendants mayjoin regardless of whether they have previously filed a noticeof removal.“ Barbour v. Int’l Union United Auto. Aerospace & Agric. Implement Workers of Am., — F.3d –, No. 08-1740 (4th Cir. Feb. 4, 2010) (PDF). For some early analysis on this matter, see this post at the North Carolina Appellate Blog.
This past December, the ABA Journal issued its third annual list of the best legal blogs. (We here at Abnormal Use are keeping our fingers crossed for best new legal blog next time!). Until then, though, at our Twitter page, we have created a public list of links to the Twitter accounts of all those so honored (at least all those with Twitter accounts). If you’re a Twitter user, you can follow that list here and see the original ABA Journal article here.
Self promotion mode on. Here in South Carolina, lawyers are now nearing the end of their CLE compliance year. Accordingly, one of our blog’s contributors – as well as another lawyer from our firm – will be making presentations to next week’s Greenville County Bar Association End of Year CLE. Senior associate and blog contributor Jim Dedman will be speaking about “Cybersleuthing 101,” a topic about which we can assure you he knows much. Shareholder Stuart Mauney will also be making a presentation entitled “The Lawyer’s Epidemic: Suicide, Depression, and Substance Abuse.” Mauney was recently appointed to chair the South Carolina Bar’s H.E.L.P. Task Force (Health and Education for Legal Professionals). You can learn more about the event, which takes place a week from today, on Friday, February 12, in this month’s Greenville Bar News [PDF].