News Roundup

Lawyers charged in Molotov cocktail attack mull plea offers

Two lawyers charged in a Molotov cocktail attack on an unoccupied police car are reviewing plea offers, according to a court filing. The incident happened during a Brooklyn protest in New York City over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. Public interest lawyer Urooj Rahman is accused of throwing the bottle with gasoline, while suspended Pryor Cashman associate Colinford Mattis is accused of acting as the getaway driver. A status letter submitted to the court noted the offers but did not give any details. (Law360, Reuters)

Harvard Law profs introduce new journal about legal issues and equality

Randall Kennedy, Martha Minow and Cass Sunstein, all of whom are Harvard Law School professors, are working with MIT Press to launch a new publication, titled the American Journal of Law and Equality. Inspired by the killings of George Floyd and other African Americans by police, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, the journal’s first issue is expected in the summer. It will include essays related to the book “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?” A 2020 book written by Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel, the book examines how the odds are stacked in favor of the fortunate and the role that plays in the country’s polarization. (Harvard Law Today)

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother sues men accused in his death

The mother of Ahmaud Arbery has filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging that the three white Georgia men charged with felony murder in her son’s death were acting as surrogate police officers. The suit filed by Wanda Cooper-Jones claims that the men were “entrusted by local law enforcement to respond to recent trespasses” in the neighborhood where Arbery was killed during a jog in February 2020. (ABC News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NPR, the Feb. 23 lawsuit)

7th Circuit overturns verdict against Chicago for shooting by off-duty cop

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago has overturned a $44.7 million verdict against the city of Chicago for a shooting by Patrick Kelly, an off-duty officer in Chicago, which left his friend paralyzed. The suit had contended that the city was responsible because of lax disciplinary policies that led Kelly to think he could act with impunity. The appeals court said the city was not responsible for “private violence.” (The Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Feb. 23 decision, all via How Appealing)