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Weekly Briefs: Man pleads guilty in cold-case murder of law librarian; near-total abortion ban upheld in Idaho

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John Getreu

John Getreu pleaded guilty to the 1973 murder of Leslie Perlov, a Stanford University law librarian. (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

DNA leads to guilty plea in 1973 murder of law librarian

A man convicted as a minor in 1964 for killing and raping a teen girl in Germany has pleaded guilty to the 1973 murder of a Stanford University law librarian. John Getreu, 78, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the murder of Leslie Perlov and admitted he had also sexually assaulted the 21-year-old woman. Police arrested Getreu after a police detective re-examined the case in 2016 and submitted the victim’s fingernail clippings for DNA analysis. Police used ancestry records to find suspects, then found a match when they tested a Starbucks cup Getreu had used. Getreu was also convicted in 2021 for the 1974 murder of the daughter of a Stanford football coach. (The New York Times, Santa Clara County Office of District Attorney press release)

Top Idaho court upholds near-total abortion ban

The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld a near-total abortion ban in a Jan. 5 opinion. The court ruled the Idaho Constitution does not provide an explicit or implicit right to abortion. (The Idaho Statesman, Courthouse News Service, the Jan. 5 opinion)

Former Harvard law prof joins boutique firm

Retired Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe has joined the litigation boutique Kaplan Hecker & Fink as of counsel. Kaplan Hecker partner Roberta Kaplan has represented people injured in a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and a litigant who successfully challenged the ban on federal benefits to same-sex married couples. Tribe told Reuters he chose Kaplan Hecker because “its profile of cases is the most interesting to me.” He said he is eager to get involved in cases involving people who pose a threat to the rule of law, including former President Donald Trump. (Reuters,

Former SCOTUS contender resigns from 9th Circuit

Judge Paul Watford of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to resign. Watford, 55, was once considered a contender for a Supreme Court vacancy during the Obama administration. Watford said he anticipates returning to private practice. He was formerly a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson. (Reuters,

Lawyers who investigated Trump launch pro bono firm

Two lawyers who once investigated former President Donald Trump’s business practices, Mark F. Pomerantz and Carey R. Dunne, are launching a pro bono law firm with a third lawyer, Michele A. Roberts, who was formerly the executive director of the NBA Players Association. The firm will be called the Free and Fair Litigation Group. Initially the lawyers will focus on voting rights, gun control and free speech. They will work without salaries. They also plan to hire a small staff, with the support of outside donations, and will partner with advocacy groups and larger law firms. (The New York Times)

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