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Afternoon Briefs: Judge trims maternity claims against BigLaw firm; prison guards ordered to wear body cams

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Judge trims claims by ex-Morrison & Foerster lawyers

A magistrate judge is allowing two former lawyers at Morrison & Foerster to pursue punitive damages in their suit claiming that the firm discriminated against them for taking maternity leave. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the Northern District of California barred retaliation claims by Sherry William and Joshua Ashley Klayman but allowed several other claims to go forward. William and Klayman were part of a group of lawyers who alleged in an April 2018 suit that “the mommy track is a dead end,” at Morrison & Foerster. (Law360, Bloomberg Law, the March 12 decision)

Judge orders guards to wear body cameras at 5 prisons

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California has ordered five California prisons to install surveillance cameras in additional areas and to require prison guards to wear body cameras. Wilken ruled Thursday after inmates accused prison guards of throwing inmates out of wheelchairs and using pepper spray on inmates with mental illness. (The Sacramento Bee, Courthouse News Service, the March 11 decision)

Juvenile detention center shut down after abuse claims

A juvenile detention center in Lima, Pennsylvania, was shut down over the weekend after the public defender detailed claims of abuse. Judge Kevin Kelly ordered all youths to be transferred out of the facility, the Delaware County Juvenile Justice Center. Among the allegations: Staff members forced one child to drink from a toilet, ignored a suicide attempt, slammed one youth’s head on a window, and used the N-word. Allegations of criminal misconduct have been referred to the state attorney general. (Tribune News Service, KYW Newsradio)

Ethics charges likely against spouse of ‘Real Housewives’ star

The State Bar of California has said in a legal filing it is “poised to file disciplinary charges” against Tom Girardi, the trial lawyer accused of stealing settlement proceeds in a lawsuit. Girardi is the husband of Erika Jayne, a star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The state bar said it plans to allege willful misappropriation of client funds. The state bar also questioned whether Girardi has dementia, as his brother has claimed. The state bar said it had videos from October 2020 and November 2020 in which Girardi discussed strategies for jury trials and complex litigation. (, Law360, the March 12 legal filing)

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