News Roundup

President Donald Trump

President Donald J. Trump. Photo by Aaron-Schwartz/Shutterstock.com.

House committee approves articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday approved two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, sending them to the full U.S. House of Representatives for an expected vote next Wednesday. One article accuses Trump of abuse of power for Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son while using military aid as leverage. The other accuses Trump of obstruction of Congress for refusing to cooperate in the impeachment investigation. Trump told reporters that Democrats were trivializing impeachment and it is a witch hunt, a sham and a hoax. (NPR, the New York Times)

Judge wasn’t required to recuse himself after dog-fighting remarks, 4th Circuit rules

A federal judge’s remarks about dogfighting may have been injudicious, but they didn’t require his recusal, according to a federal appeals court. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found no due process violation and upheld sentences for five dog-fighting defendants. Among the remarks about dog-fighting made by Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle of North Carolina was this one: “Participation in this is a manifestation of some form of mental illness. If you treat animals in a barbaric and cruel and torturous way, then there is something wrong with you.” (The National Law Journal, 4th Circuit opinion)

After taking a drubbing last year, BigLaw firm announces more diverse new partner class

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison won’t be criticized this year for lack of gender diversity in its new partner class. Last year, the firm was targeted on social media and in news articles when an online photo of a dozen new partners showed just one woman. The others appeared to be white men, though the firm later said the partner class included one Latino and one LGBTQ lawyer. This year, the law firm promoted four men and three women to partner, including an LGBTQ lawyer. The firm has also hired seven lateral partners, five of whom are women and three of whom are lawyers of color. Historically, the firm has had a good diversity record, ranking No. 21 on American Lawyer Media’s diversity scorecard. (The American Lawyer)

Federal judge tosses suit challenging mandatory bar dues

A federal judge in Wisconsin has tossed a lawsuit that contends mandatory bar dues are unconstitutional as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Janus v. AFSCME. The 2018 decision held that requiring public employees to pay union dues for collective bargaining violates their free speech rights. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said the Wisconsin plaintiffs may be correct that Janus undermines a previous Supreme Court decision on bar dues, but it is up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether to overrule the precedent. (Law360)