News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Murder charge against 9-year-old tossed; judge bans mystery proceedings

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Judge tosses murder charge against 9-year-old boy

A murder defendant cried and hugged his father after Michigan Judge David Tomlinson tossed a murder charge against him Friday. The defendant was 9 years old. He was accused of fatally shooting his adoptive mother. Tomlinson found the boy incompetent to stand trial and said he was frustrated that he could not order mental-health treatment for the boy. (WOOD-TV, the Associated Press)

Judge stops mystery proceedings after classified hearing

U.S. District Judge John Bates of Washington, D.C., blocked two secret proceedings Sept. 20 “in a certain location” involving a terrorism suspect held for 13 years at Guantanamo Bay. Bates ruled after holding a classified hearing on a petition filed by the prisoner, Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep. Unnamed sources told the New York Times that prosecutors and defense lawyers had been approved to travel to an undisclosed overseas location as well as Guantanamo to carry out the proceedings. (The New York Times, Bates’ order)

Katten reportedly closes two offices

Katten Muchin Rosenman is reportedly closing two offices after nine of its partners jumped to Baker Botts. An internal memo cited by Law360 and Bloomberg Law says Katten is closing offices in Austin, Texas, and the San Francisco Bay area. The closings were part of a strategic plan, the memo said. Katten chairman Roger Furey said in a statement that the firm wishes the departing partners “well in their new endeavors.” (Law360, Bloomberg Law)

Judge blocks Michigan policy against LGBTQ bias by adoption contractors

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker has blocked a Michigan policy that bans state contracts with foster and adoption agencies that refuse to work with LGBTQ couples. Jonker said statements made by Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel during her campaign support a strong inference that she targeted the religious beliefs of St. Vincent Catholic Charities. (Courthouse News Service, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, Jonker’s Sept. 26 decision)

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