A New Jersey lawyer isn't letting his age get in the way of vigorously defending clients with theatrical flare.
Frank Lucianna, 94, is still going strong, 66 years after he began his legal career, The Record reported Monday.
The decorated World War II veteran and Englewood Cliffs resident has defended murder suspects, politicians, thieves, and drivers facing DWI charges. His signature style includes raising his voice and emphatically chopping the air with his arms.
"Your Honor, sometimes I wish they would throw all the laws out!" Lucianna said during a soliloquy in which he criticized mandatory sentencing, complimented the judge for being "assiduous" in the pursuit of justice and lauded the "young prosecutor."
The son of Italian immigrants and a lifelong runner, he said his athleticism has given him the stamina to keep up with the demands of the job. He only stopped running a year ago because of a fractured vertebra.
"This is a very consuming profession and it has taken a lot out of my life," Lucianna said. "I am constantly involved in preparing cases, and it's a tremendous strain, both mental and physical. Physical because when you go to trial in a case, your whole being is obsessed with trying to help the person you represent, and it places your body and mind under tension."
He founded Lucianna & Lucianna in Hackensack where he works with a staff that includes his daughter Diane.
"Physically, we help him," she said. "Like, he was wearing shoes that were way too heavy. I said, 'Dad, you need new shoes!' So we took him to the orthopedic shoe store for a new pair. Little things like that. But mentally, he's terrific. No one is covering for him."
Lucianna says he still feels 64 and doesn't want to retire and move to Florida. "Florida is inhabited by a lot of old retired people who, if you are living among them, are annoying," he said.
Joseph Wapner, the retired Los Angeles judge who presided over "The People's Court" with steady force during the heyday of the reality courtroom show, died Sunday at age 97.
Son David Wapner told The Associated Press that his father died at home in his sleep. Joseph Wapner was hospitalized a week ago with breathing problems and had been under home hospice care.
"The People's Court," on which Wapner decided real small-claims from 1981 to 1993, was one of the granddaddies of the syndicated reality shows of today. His affable, no-nonsense approach attracted many fans, putting "The People's Court" in the top five in syndication at its peak.
Before auditioning for the show, Wapner had spent more than 20 years on the bench in Los Angeles, first in Municipal Court and then in Superior Court. At one time he was presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, the largest court in the United States. He retired as judge in November 1979, the day after his 60th birthday.
"Everything on the show is real," Wapner told the AP in a 1986 interview. "There's no script, no rehearsal, no retakes. Everything from beginning to end is like a real courtroom, and I personally consider each case as a trial."
"Sometimes I don't even deliberate," he added. "I just decide from the bench, it's so obvious. The beautiful part is that I have carte blanche."
"The People's Court" cases were tried without lawyers by the rules of Small Claims Court, which has a damage limit of $1,500. Researchers for the producer, Ralph Edwards Productions, checked claims filed in Southern California for interesting cases.
The plaintiff and defendant had to agree to have the case settled on the show and sign a binding arbitration agreement; the show paid for the settlements.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid says he is convinced that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will nominate Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if she is elected president.
Senate Republicans have blocked Garland's confirmation since President Barack Obama nominated him in March. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the next president will choose the person to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Reid said on a conference call Thursday that he is predicting Clinton will pick Garland "with some degree of credibility." He praised Garland and said Clinton's team would not want to "rock the boat" with a new pick.
He said Republicans who are blocking Garland's nomination are "minions" and "enablers" of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He said Trump is unfit for office.
A Shariah high court in Nigeria's northern Kano city has sentenced a Muslim cleric and nine others to death by hanging for blasphemy.
The court of Islamic law made the ruling Tuesday against cleric Abdulaziz Dauda and nine others, saying they also incited people to perpetuate religious violence.
Those who filed the suit against Dauda say he equated the Prophet Muhammad with the late leader of another religious order during a public gathering in Kano in August.
Prosecutor Lamido Abba Sorondinki said the accused were found guilty after five witnesses, including police, testified against the cleric. The 10 have the right to seek redress at an upper appellate court.
A moderate version of Shariah is practiced alongside Western-style justice in the mainly Muslim northern states.
Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans demonstrated Tuesday that party endorsements count as they nominated five party-backed candidates for the state Supreme Court.
Democrats nominated both of their endorsees — Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court Judge David Wecht — and Superior Court Judge Christine Donohue, although she had not been endorsed because the party could not muster enough votes for a third endorsement.
Republicans picked Superior Court Judge Judy Olson, Adams County Judge Mike George and Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey, all backed by the GOP state committee.
Dougherty waged an aggressive TV advertising campaign with $1.4 million raised mainly from labor organizations, lawyers and businesses. His brother is the business manager of the Philadelphia local of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a generous supporter.
Wecht, who's based in Pittsburgh, trailed Dougherty in fundraising with $900,000 in contributions. He's a former Allegheny County judge and the son of pathologist Cyril Wecht, whose inquiries into the deaths of well-known figures such as Elvis Presley gained him national fame.
A Florence attorney has pleaded guilty to defrauding his clients. U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Friday that 48-year-old William J. Rivers pleaded guilty to mail fraud.
Authorities began investigating after some of Rivers' clients complained to the South Carolina Bar Association. Between 2006 and 2012, prosecutors say more than 100 of his firms' clients were defrauded of more than $3.3 million.
Authorities say Rivers settled personal injury cases but didn't tell his clients or medical providers about the settlement money, which he kept. Prosecutors say that action left Rivers' clients still owing money for treatments they had received.
Prosecutors say Rivers' law partner committed suicide during the investigation. Rivers faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when he's sentenced.
Lawyers convicted of child pornography charges will automatically be disbarred and prohibited from practicing law in California, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
Deciding the fate of an Orange County lawyer whose license was suspended after he pleaded guilty to having child porn at his home, the court said that keeping sexual images of children constitutes an act of moral turpitude that makes an attorney unfit for the legal profession.
"The knowing possession of child pornography is a serious breach of the duties of respect and care that all adults owe to all children, and it shows such a flagrant disrespect for the law and for societal norms, that continuation of a convicted attorney's State Bar membership would be likely to undermine public confidence in and respect for the legal profession," Justice Carol Corrigan wrote in the opinion.
The unanimous ruling came in the case of Gary Douglass Grant, a former Army lawyer at the Los Alamitos Army Reserve Base in Orange County. Grant pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly possessing child pornography in 2009 after sheriff's deputies found videos and photographs of underage girls mixed in with a large adult pornography collection on his computers and data discs.