legal defense

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I'm No Murderer, Knox Tells Court

Yes you are, says Kercher's lawyer—you did cartwheels

(Newser) - Amanda Knox today made her final, impassioned plea to the jury in the Meredith Kercher murder trial. The American defendant told the court that behind her placid demeanor, she is “not calm” but “confused, sad, frustrated,” and “afraid of having the mask of a murderer forced... More »

Hasan May Plead Insanity: Lawyer

Not-guilty plea likely in Fort Hood shooting

(Newser) - Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, will likely plead not guilty to the charges against him and may use an insanity defense at his military trial, his attorney said today. John Galligan, the civilian attorney for Hasan,... More »

Letterman Blackmailer Heads Back to Court, May Want Trial

With $100K raised for defense, Halderman plea deal looks unlikely

(Newser) - The man accused of trying to blackmail David Letterman has raised $100,000 for his defense fund ahead of tomorrow’s first hearing in the case, and some experts think Robert “Joe” Halderman won’t accept a plea bargain despite his reported money woes. “This lawyer is a... More »

CIA Will Cover Legal Bills for Officers in Inquiry

(Newser) - Leon Panetta couldn't stop the Justice Department's widening inquiry into the CIA's interrogation policies, but the agency's director can make sure his employees don't go broke paying legal fees. The agency will see to it that case officers caught up in the investigation have representation, the Washington Post reports. Most... More »

Palin Besieged by Ethics Complaints

Alaska's GOP chief: number of grievances 'unprecedented'

(Newser) - The world’s most famous hockey mom is skating on thin ice with some of her constituents, Politico reports. Sarah Palin has fielded more than a dozen complaints from Alaskan citizens in the last 7 months, concerning everything from the governor’s use of state funds, her political action committee,... More »

Palin Pals Create Legal Fund

(Newser) - Backers of Sarah Palin are creating a legal fund to help her pay off her approximately $500,000 in legal bills, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Alaska governor racked up the bills defending herself against a slew of ethics complaints and charges that she improperly fired her former brother-in-law... More »

Falling Interest Rates Whack Legal Aid Groups

Funds tied to Fed's benchmark rate

(Newser) - There’s been some collateral damage from the Federal Reserve’s slashing of interest rates: legal aid societies. These groups, which aim to help the poor in civil cases, such as unemployment or foreclosure disputes, have long relied on little-known programs to draw interest from short-term deposits from clients. With... More »

Fritzl's Lawyer Sees 'Good But Also Bad' in His Eyes

'My job is to show him as a human being,' attorney says

(Newser) - Josef Fritzl's attorney is bonding with his client and painting a new picture of him for the press, Der Spiegel reports. “Josef Fritzl is being portrayed as a horrific monster and sexual tyrant," said Rudolf Mayer, a renowned Viennese lawyer. "My job is to show him as... More »

Bar Association Seeks to Halt Executions

Rampant inequities & sloppy cases demand moratorium, says group

(Newser) - After a three-year study of the death penalty in eight states, the American Bar Association is calling for a nationwide moratorium on executions until prevalent problems in the system are rectified. Defense attorneys nationwide are under-qualified and underfunded, cases are plagued by sloppy evidence gathering, and race influences sentencing, the... More »

Spector's Cash His Best Defense

It was money, not celebrity, that aided the producer’s case

(Newser) - Phil Spector’s money mattered more than his celebrity in convincing two jurors of his innocence in this week’s mistrial on second-degree murder charges. Several jurors had never heard of the record producer—so it was his ability to hire a pricey team of lawyers, forensic experts, and private... More »

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