News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Lawyer denies 'monstrous' harassment; US appeals judge dies from COVID-19

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Kentucky lawyer says sexual acts were consensual

A Kentucky lawyer accused of “monstrous and inhuman” sexual misbehavior says two former employees who sued him for harassment consented to “touching and petting” and willingly exchanged explicit photos. The lawyer, Shane Romines, said in his lawsuit response, filed last week, that one of the women offered him oral sex if he would pay for her breast augmentation and a tummy tuck. (The Lexington Herald-Leader, the Louisville Courier Journal, the Times-Tribune)

DC Circuit judge dies from COVID-19 complications

Judge Stephen Williams, a federal appeals judge, has died at age 83 from COVID-19 complications. Williams, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, died Friday. Williams was a free-market advocate known for his down-to-earth style. His grandfather had died in the 1918 flu pandemic. (The Washington Post, the National Law Journal)

Group sees conflict in legal work for Trump and Kanye West campaigns

A left-leaning group alleges that a Husch Blackwell lawyer working for rapper Kanye West’s presidential campaign violated legal ethics rules by also representing President Donald Trump’s campaign. The group, Campaign for Accountability, is asking the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation to open an ethics probe of the lawyer, Lane Ruhland. Stephen Gillers, a professor at the New York University School of Law, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that there is no conflict if West and Trump have the same goal—to help Trump by drawing votes from presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden. (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,, Campaign for Accountability Aug. 7 press release)

11th Circuit rules for transgender student

A Florida school district can’t ban a transgender high school student from using the restroom that matches his gender identity, according to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Atlanta. The appeals court said the school violated the 14th Amendment’s equal protection guarantees and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. A dissenter warned of “radical consequences for sex-separated bathrooms.” The case is Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, Florida. (Courthouse News Service via How Appealing, 11th Circuit decision)

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