News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Bulls proposal leads to prison time; conviction obtained in death of lawyer hero

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Ex-prosecutor gets prison time for bulls proposal

Jeffrey Siegmeister, the former state attorney for Florida’s Third Judicial Circuit, was sentenced Tuesday to 40 months in federal prison, partly for asking a criminal defense lawyer to buy one of his bulls in exchange for favorable treatment of the lawyer’s client. He also admitted diverting more than $500,000 in assets from an estate to pay his personal expenses. Siegmeister had pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to use a facility of commerce for unlawful activity, conspiracy to commit extortion, wire fraud and tax fraud. His sentence also requires him to forfeit nearly $519,000. (Department of Justice press release, Law360)

Lawyer hero’s killer gets life without parole

A man convicted for killing a moonlighting staff attorney with the magistrate court in Cobb County, Georgia, was sentenced last week to life in prison without parole. Terrance Scott was found guilty of shooting and killing lawyer Rajesh “Raj” Mehta, who is thought to have died trying to stop Scott from breaking into a woman’s home in May 2020. Police think that Mehta was driving for Uber when Scott entered his car and forced him to drive to the home. (The Marietta Daily Journal via Yahoo News)

Former US attorney general dies

Former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti has died from Parkinson’s disease at age 87. Civiletti, who served in the Carter administration, ordered the seizure of $12 billion in Iranian assets during the Iranian hostage crisis. In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Civiletti “wrote into policy the norms established to ensure the department’s independence, fair application of our laws and adherence to the rule of law.” Civiletti was Garland’s first boss when he was a special assistant at the Department of Justice in 1979. (The New York Times, Garland’s statement)

3rd Circuit’s first female judge dies

Retired Judge Delores Sloviter of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Philadelphia has died at age 90. Sloviter was the first female judge on the 3rd Circuit and the nation’s fourth female federal appeals judge. According to a press release, Sloviter, a former chief judge for the appeals court, graduated with “sterling credentials” from the University of Pennsylvania’s law school in 1956, where she was one of eight female students. But initially she was offered jobs as a law librarian. “Undeterred and courageous—two hallmarks of her long career—Judge Sloviter forged a successful path” as a law firm partner and a law professor before her appointment to the bench, the press release said. (, 3rd Circuit Court press release via How Appealing)

ACLU sues for immigrants’ access to counsel

Five legal service organizations have filed a lawsuit alleging that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has failed to ensure access to counsel for immigrants in at least four detention centers in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the plaintiffs, along with other groups and two law firms: Milbank and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. (American Civil Liberties Union press release, Reuters, the Oct. 13 lawsuit)

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