News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Jeffrey Epstein's accusers speak; judge gives assignment for veteran lies

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Jeffrey Epstein mug shot

Jeffrey Epstein in 2006. Photo from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office via Wikimedia Commons.

Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers speak at unusual hearing

For more than an hour on Tuesday, women who accused financier Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing them when they were young spoke about the impact in an unusual federal court hearing. Many of the women urged prosecutors to continue investigating Epstein’s associates after his Aug. 10 suicide in federal custody. The hearing was held to consider prosecutors’ request to drop sex-trafficking charges. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said he invited the women to speak to ensure they “are treated fairly and with dignity.” (The New York Times, the Washington Post)

Midlevel associates are satisfied but worried about burnout, survey says

Midlevel associates surveyed by the American Lawyer appear more satisfied than ever. The average satisfaction level for associates from 96 law firms was 4.29 on a 5-point scale, an increase from 4.27 last year. Despite their apparent happiness, some associates warned of the risk of billable-hour burnout. (The American Lawyer)

Judge orders assignment for offenders who lied about being veterans

Two Montana men who lied about being veterans to get favorable treatment in court were given an unusual assignment. Judge Greg Pinski of Cascade County said the men aren’t eligible for parole until they handwrite the names of the 6,756 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and handwrite obituaries for the 40 Montana service members killed in those countries. Letters of apology to veterans groups will also be required. During the suspended portion of their sentences, the men will have to stand at the Montana Veterans Memorial for eight hours each Memorial and Veterans Day wearing a sign that reads, “I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I stole valor. I have dishonored all veterans.” (The Great Falls Tribune, the Washington Post)

Town dominated by polygamous sect violated nonbelievers’ rights, 9th Circuit affirms

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a decision finding that an Arizona town dominated by a polygamous sect was liable for violating the constitutional rights of nonmembers. The court ruled against the town of Colorado City, which was targeted in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. government. The leader of the sect was Warren Jeffs, who is in prison for child sexual abuse. (Courthouse News Service, the Arizona Capitol Times, 9th Circuit opinion)

20 states sue over rule allowing prolonged detention of immigrant children

Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., have filed a lawsuit challenging a Trump administration rule that would allow prolonged detention of immigrant children with their families. The rule would override the so-called Flores settlement that caps the detention of immigrant children at 20 days before their release or transfer to a licensed facility. (The Sacramento Bee, press releases here and here, the federal lawsuit)

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