Web Week 31/07/06

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@thelawyer.com.

Dressing to impress

Rob Moodie was all over the web this week. Lawfuel.com reported that Moodie, “67, a former representative rugby player and Police Association secretary, turned heads at the High Court in Wellington yesterday when he arrived for a hearing dressed in a skirt and carrying a handbag.

“Dr Moodie, a married father of three, said his behaviour was not a publicity stunt. He is heterosexual, but has a ‘strong female gender bias’ and has always preferred women’s clothes.

“Although he had ‘sired’ three children, he said he was born with an innate understanding of the female sex and will now be expressing it through his dress.

“Moodie arrived at court yesterday wearing a navy blue two-piece suit, with ankle-length skirt, patterned blouse and a diamond-studded brooch. He lifted his skirt to reveal dainty lace-gartered stockings covering his hairy legs.

“The outfit, one of several he has had made or bought in recent months, was worn to highlight what he called ‘the male ethos’ and ‘old boys’ network’ pervading the judiciary.”

Uklawstudent.blogspot.com/ picked up the great quote: “‘I’m objecting to the male ethos that is dominating this case and from now on I’m going to be dressing as a girl in my daily life,’ Mr Moodie… the bald, moustachioed former rugby player… said he wanted to flag up the domination of the ‘old boys’ network’ in the judiciary. ‘The more this goes on and the deeper the cover-up gets, the frocks will get prettier'”.

Reuters and then the rest of the world picked up the story a day later, proving that bloggers really do do it better.

You be the judge

Another to pick up on the theme was geeklawyer .org/blog/. “Think your judge is mad? Judge Florentino V Floro Jr of the regional trial court in Malabon City managed to remain in office for seven years despite changing his blue court robes to black every Friday to ‘recharge his psychic powers’ and professing the assistance of three invisible dwarf friends named Luis, Armand and Angel.”

Show gloating

The Wall Street Journal blog reported on the Supreme Court case of Hamdan v Rumsfeld, which concluded that President Bush overstepped his authority in plans for war crimes trials at Guantanamo Bay. That’s the worthy bit.

The interesting bit is that Neal Katyal, the young Georgetown law professor who represented Hamdan in his legal challenge, has become something of a media star.

Hamdan appeared on The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert, the voluble, right-wing talk show host.

Blogs.wsj.com/law/ reported the highlights: “Colbert: ‘Okay Mr Katyal. If that is your name. You defended a detainee at Gitmo, in front of the Supreme Court. For what reason? Why’d you do it?’Katyal: ‘Well, because of a simple thing, the guy wanted a fair trial.’

Colbert: ‘Why do you hate our troops?’Katyal: ‘I love our troops.’

Colbert: ‘When did you first realise that you hated our country? How old were you when you said to yourself, “I’m taking this country down?”‘Katyal: ‘I love our country.’

Colbert: ‘Oh do you? You got a funny way of showing it, sir.’

Taking the offensive, Katyal shows Colbert a ‘highly classified document’ – a photoshopped picture of Osama Bin Laden and Stephen Colbert in Afghanistan.

Katyal: ‘Do you have something to share with us, Stephen?’Colbert: ‘We used to be in a book group. It was me, the president of Iran, Louis Farrakhan, and Mel Gibson’s dad.'”