17:37, July 09 37 0 abajournal.com

2019-07-09 17:37:06
Afternoon Briefs: US prosecutor accused of misstatements; is Kevin Spacey case unraveling?

investigations

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The Department of Justice is investigating a federal prosecutor accused of falsely blaming case delays on a nonexistent backlog at the Washington, D.C., crime lab, according to court filings. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has asked federal prosecutors whether the case should be referred to ethics regulators. (The Washington Post)

A Massachusetts judge says the criminal groping case against actor Kevin Spacey could be dismissed if his accuser continues to refuse to testify. The accuser, who was 18 at the time of the alleged incident, invoked the Fifth Amendment on Monday when Spacey’s lawyer asked about text messages that appeared to be deleted from the youth’s cellphone. The phone is now missing, although police say they returned it to the father of the accuser. (The New York Times, USA Today)

A former in-house lawyer for Nokia has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was fired because of her age and sex and for complaining about the discrimination. The suit, filed Friday in Texas federal court, claims that plaintiff Sharan Rene Boudreau was passed over for a promotion in favor of a younger male lawyer. Boudreau, 56, says in the suit “she firmly believes that this devastating experience has permanently disabled her from working.” Nokia denies allegations of unlawful conduct. (Law360)

Democrats are questioning the absence of blacks and Latinos among 41 confirmed federal appeals judges nominated by President Donald Trump. Five of the judges are Asian American. (The Washington Post)

The Iowa Supreme Court has refused to toss evidence seized after a pretextual traffic stop, ruling that an officer’s subjective motivations are irrelevant as long as there is reasonable cause to think a driver violated a traffic law. A lawyer for motorist Scottize Brown had urged a test focusing on the officer’s state of mind to determine when such stops are justified. But the court majority said it wasn’t persuaded that a new approach would significantly reduce racial profiling. (The Des Moines Register, the Iowa Supreme Court)

A white lawyer who worked for the Legal Aid Society in New York claims that she was wrongly labeled a “raging racist” and discriminated against because of her race. Cynthia Taylor’s suit says she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and had to go on medical leave because of the harassment. The Legal Aid Society says the suit is without merit. (Law360, the New York Post)