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Weekly Briefs: Suit claims janitor infected water bottles with STD; Ohio allows ex-jailhouse lawyer to take bar

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Suit alleges janitor infected worker’s water bottles with STD

More plaintiffs have been added to a lawsuit claiming workers at a Houston office building were infected with a sexually transmitted disease after a nighttime janitor rubbed his penis on and in their water bottles. The janitor’s conduct was discovered after a woman installed a secret camera to find out why their water tasted foul and had the scent of urine, according to a law firm press release. The woman alleges the management company failed to notify building tenants of the disturbing video for six days. Defendants include the management company and the cleaning company. The suit was filed by Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner and Spurlock & Associates. The janitor is facing charges of indecent assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. (ABC 13, Southeast Texas Record, Fox 26)

Ex-jailhouse lawyer may take bar exam, top Ohio court says

Former jailhouse lawyer Damon Ray Davis of Georgetown, Kentucky, has the character and fitness to take the Ohio bar exam, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 20. Davis is a 2022 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Before his release in 2011, Davis worked in the prison library where he found personal satisfaction in helping inmates with their appeals. After his release, his only brush with the law was a minor traffic infraction. (Ohio Supreme Court decision, the Legal Profession Blog)

5 former officers charged in Tyre Nichols’ death

Five former officers with the Memphis Police Department have been charged in the death of Tyre Nichols following a “confrontation” during a Jan. 7 traffic stop. Nichols ran from the scene after pepper spray was used, police have said. After officers caught up with Nichols, “there was an amount of aggression that is unexplainable,” said Shelby County, Tennessee, District Attorney Steve Mulroy. Nichols is a 29-year-old Black man; the officers who were charged are also Black. The now-fired officers were charged Thursday with second-degree murder, aggravated assault-acting in concert, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. (The Commercial Appeal, the New York Times, CNN)

Baker who refused to make gender-transition cake loses appeal

The Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled that baker Jack Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law when he refused to make a cake celebrating a gender transition. Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, had maintained that being forced to bake the pink cake with blue frosting would violate his Christian beliefs and violate his First Amendment rights. He won a separate case before the U.S. Supreme Court after he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. (Reuters, the Jan. 26 opinion)

14 partners leave Troutman Pepper for Goodwin Procter

Leaders at Goodwin Procter have confirmed news reports that an estimated 30 to 40 lawyers could be joining the firm from Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders. At first Goodwin disclosed only that it is adding 14 partners from Troutman. One of the partners is Thomas Gallagher, who was firmwide vice chair at Troutman. Two other partners chaired Troutman Pepper’s health-sciences and healthcare-transactions practices. (Reuters,, Law360)

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