Afternoon Briefs: 1 murder count tossed in George Floyd case; DOJ lawyer turned away from courthouse

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George Floyd protests

Protesters march in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in late May. Image from Shutterstock.com.

Judge tosses one murder charge against officer in George Floyd death

A Minnesota judge on Thursday tossed one of the charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Judge Peter Cahill of Hennepin County dismissed a third-degree murder charge but allowed charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. Cahill said he tossed the third-degree murder charge because it applies only when an act is inherently dangerous to others. Chauvin, accused of pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck, did not endanger anyone else, Cahill said. (The Minneapolis Star Tribune, CNN)

DOJ lawyer is turned away from courthouse in Trump defamation case

A Department of Justice lawyer was unable to present arguments Wednesday in a rape accuser’s defamation suit against President Donald Trump. The lawyer was banned from the Manhattan federal courthouse because he is from Virginia, which is subject to a COVID-19 travel ban in New York. The DOJ is seeking to substitute the United States as a defendant for Trump in the suit by E. Jean Carroll because he made comments denying the sexual assault claim after he was already in office. (Law.com, Law360, USA Today)

Biden would appoint commission to recommend Supreme Court changes

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, isn’t saying whether he would support packing the U.S. Supreme Court by expanding the number of justices. But he said in an interview on CBS News’ 60 Minutes that he would appoint a bipartisan commission to recommend court system reform. A number of alternatives “go well beyond packing,” Biden said. “The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football.” (CBS News)

Akin Gump will pay fall bonuses

Associates and counsels will receive a special fall bonus at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Like most other law firms paying the special bonuses, Akin Gump will pay $7,500 to $40,000, based on class year. The firm says it will also pay the usual year-end bonuses at market scale. (Above the Law, Law.com, Law360)



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