A Special Installment of 'Where's Andrew?'

I am on special assignment the rest of the week, so there will be no regular Bench Conference updates. However, since this is a dialogue and not a monologue, I wanted to give you an opportunity to guess what I'll be doing between now and the end of the week. Here are your choices:

1. I will be attending Michael Nifong's disbarment hearing in North Carolina so I can better recognize the warning signs the next time an experienced lawyer in a high-profile case mentally implodes. All that was missing from the start of the "legal ethics" trial Tuesday was Andy Griffith (circa Matlock).

2. I will be scouring the countryside looking for someone who still has "confidence" that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is competent enough to run a bingo parlor, much less the Department of Justice. Either that or I'll be trying to determine whether former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins truly is lazy, the charge leveled against him, apparently, by the White House a few months ago just as the prosecutor scandal was breaking.

3. I will be travelling to Los Angeles to visit Paris Hilton in jail now that she apparently has found religion and declared that she will no long "play" dumb. If I have to, I plan to shove Barbara Walters out of the way to get to Hilton. However, I will in no circumstances succumb to Hilton's charms (if she had any).

4. I will be interviewing lawyers and clients who have had cases before Roy L. Pearson, an administrative law judge in the District of Columbia, whose multimillion-dollar laundry lawsuit against a family-owned dry cleaner is fascinating only because it has gotten as far as it has. I want to know if there were any signs of this creepy behavior in his past rulings.

5. I will be interviewing the direct heirs and descedents of Ruffian to see if they now plan to sue ESPN for showing a movie last Saturday night about the great filly's life and death.

6. I will be hunkering down in a secret remote location with some icy cold Fresca and a notepad to come up with a comprehensive and fair new policy toward terror detainees.

7. I will be presiding over a coin toss in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, the results of which will determine whether former White House official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will have to begin his prison term even while he pursues his appeal. Call it in the air, gentlemen.

8. I will be attending a special screening of "Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon"-- a kung-fu film shot in Guam which apparently has generated what on the surface appears to be a newsworthy lawsuit between island officials and the director.

9. I will be watching the series finale of "The Sopranos" again so that when a class-action lawsuit is filed by disappointed fans against creator David Chase (for intentional infliction of emotional distress), I will be conversant in the details of the episode. And I will be avoiding long, stuffy analysis pieces about the show. It's fiction. It's over. Let's move on.

10. I will be travelling to Omaha to judge a lawsuit brought by two (former) best friends who have inexplicably become involved in litigation over College World Series tickets. Where is that crazy Anna Nicole Smith judge when we need him?

By Andrew Cohen |  June 12, 2007; 4:31 PM ET
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Gee, what a great set of choices. I'll guess that the one that you are NOT doing is searching the country for someone who still has confidence in Attorney General Gonzales. That would surely be a fool's errand. On the other hand, if you were to search in Albania . . .

Posted by: H. R. ( | June 13, 2007 09:50 AM

The Nifong mess makes me sad, because that's the kind of case where I hope that a prosecutor does give a second look; defending compromised & voiceless folk against privilege; particularly in something hard to prove like a rape case. But the public prejudicial statements, and actually the media-show put on by both sides, seem unnecessary and cruel to all parties (and irresponsible on the part of the prosecution).
In #4, is that judge still a judge? How did that make it to trial?
Anyways, I think you're busy with #1, but I suspect #5, and I hope for #2 or #6
Have fun: )

Posted by: JK | June 14, 2007 09:46 AM

Here in northwest Illinois you would probably find that 50 percent of those polled support Gonzales. They might not have ever heard of him, but they would say, "he's a Republican? Of course I support him." After all, national polls still show that 50 percent of the population still think Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

Posted by: Dave | June 14, 2007 09:59 AM

Those are too close to a David Letterman Top Ten. It's both a little disappointing and a little frightening when you think about how these are real and not simply comedy.

Posted by: DC | June 14, 2007 11:08 AM

Also a nice way to point out the range of issues. Have fun!

Posted by: Dennis S | June 14, 2007 11:21 AM

How 'bout undertaking a nationwide search for a viable new AG? The Right Rev. Former Sen. John Danforth would do it, if asked, and could be just the right AG Richardson/Saxbe/Levi amalgam for a new millennium. Seriously, can't Specter and McConnell make Bush an offer he can't refuse? Or is Bush really that far gone?

Posted by: G. Hall | June 15, 2007 12:25 PM

Having read your previous writings on the Duke lacrosse case, I can't wait to read your "rowback", where a newspaper/reporter does a 180° turn, without ever acknowledging their previous mistakes on the case. Unfortunately for you, your columns survive in the ethernet. Oh, for the days when only those subscribers to LEXIS-NEXIS could dig up those inconvenient past opinions.

Posted by: Brian | June 17, 2007 08:30 PM

DOJ update

This one is just amazing. Just when you think "these people can't get any more revolting..."

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/06/hbc-90000293

Posted by: wrb | June 18, 2007 09:21 AM

Brian: I don't think that Andrew needs to make some public confessional acknowledgment of past statements. Big deal. He seems to be substantively based from what I've seen the last few months (no one has perfect predictions), and he did allude recently to Nifong giving him congratulations.

Posted by: Vern | June 20, 2007 07:01 PM

As you are undoubtedly aware, a $54 million lawsuit was recently brought in DC District Court against a small neighborhood drycleaners over a pair of alleged lost trousers. While the Court found resoundingly in favor of the business owners, Jin and Soo Chung, their ordeal is not yet over--they have drained their saving accounts contesting this frivolous lawsuit, and they have racked up over $100,000 in legal expenses.

In order to help the Chungs defray their legal bills, ILR and the American Tort Reform Association are co-hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, July 24 at 6 p.m. at the US Chamber Building in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, businesses large and small across America must deal every day with similar extortionist tactics from some plaintiffs' lawyers. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity. Additional details, sponsorship opportunities and easy online registration are available at www.chungfundraiser.com.

Posted by: legalreform | July 5, 2007 02:25 PM

As you are undoubtedly aware, a $54 million lawsuit was recently brought in DC District Court against a small neighborhood drycleaners over a pair of alleged lost trousers. While the Court found resoundingly in favor of the business owners, Jin and Soo Chung, their ordeal is not yet over--they have drained their saving accounts contesting this frivolous lawsuit, and they have racked up over $100,000 in legal expenses.

In order to help the Chungs defray their legal bills, ILR and the American Tort Reform Association are co-hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday evening, July 24 at 6 p.m. at the US Chamber Building in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, businesses large and small across America must deal every day with similar extortionist tactics from some plaintiffs' lawyers. The collective outcome is not justice, but lost jobs, ruined businesses and billions of dollars in lost economic opportunity. Additional details, sponsorship opportunities and easy online registration are available at www.chungfundraiser.com.

Posted by: legalreform | July 5, 2007 02:25 PM

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