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Gonzaga’s role in yard sale lawsuit sparks “Breaking Bad” parody

The tale of how a yard sale dispute ended up costing a Spokane Valley man nearly $5,000 has prompted spirited debate in the SR's comment fields over the role of Gonzaga Law School's University Legal Assistance program.

Frequent commenter Loudin even posted the cleverly assembled parody meme shown above. The growing comment string can be found below the online version of the article.

As detailed by SR reporter Kip Hill, Gonzaga law students participating in the school program represented a man who bought a 50-year-old boat for $950 at a yard sale and then complained about its condition. The seller failed to adequately respond to the university's correspondence, which meant the case ended up being decided on procedure rather than its merits

Fans of the widely acclaimed but now ended TV series “Breaking Bad” will recognize the character Saul as the ambulance-chasing lawyer who made his living on frivolous lawsuits and keeping drug dealers out of prison.

EFF laywer to discuss NSA and privacy at Gonzaga lecture on March 31

Cindy Cohn, legal director and general counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will discuss “National Security Agency (NSA) Mass Spying, the Constitution, and You” at the Gonzaga University School of Law Judge Justin L. Quackenbush Lecture at noon  March 31.

The lecture will be at GU's Barbieri Courtroom at the law school, 721 N. Cincinnati St..

The free lecture is open to the public.To RSVP to the event, please email alumni@lawschool.gonzaga.edu or call (509) 313-3738.

The National Law Journal named Cohn one of the 100 most Influential Lawyers in America of 2013, noting “If Big Brother is watching, he better look out for Cindy Cohn.” She has received numerous awards for her work defending electronic and digital rights. In 2007, the National Law Journal named her one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in America. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Cohn worked for the United Nations Center for Human Rights and as a civil litigator in private practice before she began working for the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1993.

“Cindy Cohn has spent her career pursuing justice – not just for herself but for all of us,” said Jessica Kiser, Gonzaga assistant professor of law. “While free speech and privacy rights are challenged on a regular basis in our increasingly digital world, Cindy Cohn and the EFF are at the forefront fighting back against large corporations and even the NSA to advocate for the public interest.”

The annual Quackenbush Lecture Series honors Judge Quackenbush for his many outstanding contributions as a U.S. District Court judge. .

Hospital staff: Crash suspect faked it

Spokane police Officer Teresa Fuller rewards crash victim Danika Packard with a free ice cream coupon for wearing her bicycle helmet. (SPD photo)

A former Gonzaga Law School student pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a hit-and-run crash that police say could have killed a 2-year-old girl had she not been wearing a helmet.

Timmy Ngoc Nguyen, 22, is out of jail awaiting trial for charges of vehicular assault and hit and run.
Nguyen is accused of driving his 2003 Honda Element drunk and striking a family riding bicycles on East Maringo Drive.

He was taken to a hospital to get a blood sample and was unresponsive, but staff told deputies they believed “Nguyen had been faking his unresponsiveness,” according to court documents.
“Security had to hold him down to re-secure his restraints,” according to court documents. “Nguyen lunged toward security with his head and tried to bite them. Nguyen was very belligerent, uncooperative, and hostile towards everyone at the hospital.

Witnesses said Nguyen turned westbound onto Maringo from North Argonne Road but entered the eastbound lanes and hit a bicycle trailer carrying Danika Packard.

A witness followed Nguyen back to the Pasadena apartment complex at East Wellesley Avenue and North Pasadena Lane, where he was arrested. Nguyen was at a party there before he left in his Honda and struck the family, police say.

Deputies say Nguyen vomited in the back of the patrol car and appeared extremely intoxicated. He refused to talk to police about what happened but repeatedly asked if he was arrested and told them he was a law student, according to court documents. ”

Nguyen asked sheriff's Deputy Nathan Bohanek if he was going home after they left the hospital. Bohanek said no.

“He told Nguyen he ran over a 2-year-old kid and could have killed them,” documents say. “Nguyen was not responsive to that.”

Police seized Nguyen's Honda and noticed damage consistent with the crash.

Nguyen had been interning for Spokane lawyer Mark Vovos.

Nguyen's trial was scheduled Tuesday for Oct. 22, but that is likely to be postponed.

More witnesses sought in hit and run

Investigators are looking to speak with people who were at a party attended by a man accused of a drunken hit and run crash that injured a 2-year-old girl in Spokane Valley last week.

Timmy Nguyen, 22, was at a party at the clubhouse at the Pasadena apartment complex at East Wellesley Avenue and North Pasadena Lane before he left in a 2003 Honda Element and alleged struck a family riding bicycles near East Maringo Drive and North Argonne Road.

Danika Packard was riding in a bicycle trailer that police say was flattened by Nguyen's car. A witness followed Nguyen back to the apartment complex, where he was arrested.

Cpl. Dave Thornburg interviewed the witness and said the man doesn't consider himself a hero, rather “he did what any parent or concerned citizen would do in similar circumstances,” according to a news release.

Thornburg is looking to speak to party goers to learn more about Nguyen's actions before the crash.

“Nobody from the party is in trouble or suspected of committing a crime, as it was not underage drinking party or anything along those lines,” Thornburg wrote.

Thornburg can be reached by phone at (509) 477-2710 and email at dthornburg@spokanesheriff.org.

The girl, who has been rewarded for wearing a bicycle helmet, was released from a hospital Wednesday and is recovery well. Thornburg served two search warrants Thursday, one of the car and another for Nguyen's medical records at Valley hospital. Nguyen, a student at Gonzaga Law School, was treated there briefly after he vomited in the back of the patrol car and police noticed labored breathing, according to the news release.

Helmet-wearing girl rewarded w/ treat

Spokane police rewarded a 2-year-old girl hit by a suspected drunken driver Monday with free ice cream for wearing her bicycle helmet.

Police said Tuesday that three new helmets already have been given to Danika Parker to replace the one destroyed Saturday evening after a motorist flattened the bicycle trailer she was riding in in Spokane Valley.

Timmy Nguyen, 22, is accused of driving drunk and hitting the trailer near East Maringo Drive and North Argonne Road, then driving away. Witnesses followed him to East Wellesley Avenue and North Pasadena Lane, where he was arrested.

Nguyen, a student at Gonzaga Law School, faces charges of felony hit and run and vehicular assault.

Police said Danika fractured her skull but is expected to recover.

A picture posted on the department’s Facebook page Tuesday showed the girl with road rash on her cheek but no other obvious injuries. She appeared in good spirits as Spokane police Officer Teresa Fuller gave her a coupon for ice cream at McDonald’s.

Law student arrested for hit and run

As a Gonzaga University law student accused of running over a bicycle trailer carrying a 2-year-old girl made his first appearance in court Monday, the victim remained in intensive care at a Spokane hospital.

Timmy Nguyen, who has no criminal record, is to leave jail tonight after appearing before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese on charges of hit-and-run and vehicular assault. He’s to stay away from alcohol and is due back in court for an arraignment in early August.

Read the rest of the story here.

Video shows suspect in GU law caper

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Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify a woman who stole a laptop computer from the Gonzaga Law Library.

Security video shows the thief (in front) entering the library with a child and a female companion about 7 p.m. on June 21.  Detectives also want to identify the second female.

Witnesses saw the lead female near the laptop which had been left on a table top.  No one in the library at the time recognized the thief as a student, and when she quickly exited the library carrying a backpack, one witness followed her.

The witness saw her retrieve the child and leave in a maroon or burgundy “American-looking” four-door car, according to police.

Gonzaga security staff was able to locate video of the suspect, the child and companion as they entered the library.  The white female suspect is in the lead and was described as between 35 and 39 years old, 5’03” tall and 180 pounds..

Anyone with information about either woman’s identity is asked to contact Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.
  

Prop. 8 judge speaking at GU tonight

The federal judge who ruled California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional will be speaking today at Gonzaga Law School.

Retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will be discussing cameras in the courtroom in a lecture titled  “Hauptmann’s Ghost.”

“The lecture’s title refers to the media frenzy surrounding the trial of Richard Hauptmann, who was convicted of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby in 1932,” according to a news release. “The subject of media in the courtroom is an ongoing controversy in the federal courts.”

The lecture, part of the annual Justin L. Quackenbush Lecture series, begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Barbieri Courtroom at the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Masses Overrate Gonzaga Law School

Here's a riddle for you: What do you get when you crowdsource law school rankings? A highly suspect list. Now, what do you get when you compare that list against the US News peer poll — wherein schools are rated by professors and law professionals and people who have a good chance of knowing what they're talking about? Schadenfreude. When you put the numbers side-by-side, our very own Gonzaga School of Law is the 6th most over-rated law school in America. Ranked 87th-best by the hoi polloi, their peers put them closer to 108th. Almost as over-rated as their men's basketball team was at the beginning of the season/Luke Baumgarten, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)

Question: Do you think Gonzaga's law school is overrated?

Gonzaga hires new law school dean

Gonzaga University School of Law announced this week that it has hired a new dean who will start July 1. 

Jane B. Korn, the vice dean at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, has been selected as the law school’s first female dean, according to a news release.

The announcement followed a seven-month search.

Korn replaces Earl F. Martin, who became dean in July 2005 and stepped down to become Gonzaga’s executive vice president.

Law professor George Critchlow has served as acting dean last year and during the current academic year.