Monday, November 3, 2008

Diana Levine

Diana Levine looked radiant at the Supreme Court on Monday.

Strikingly white hair. Silver medallion around her neck. Purple dress. And, oh yes, one arm cut off below the elbow.
Did the justices see her? For that matter, was she deployed by her attorneys as a visual reminder of the human element in the case called Wyeth v. Levine? It's not out of the question. After all, uniformed military officers seem to show up in the justices' lines-of-sight during national security cases.
Levine's attorney, David Frederick, brought this handsome, artistic-looking woman out to the steps of the Capitol following oral arguments in the closely watched case called Wyeth v. Levine. (Is there any more commonly used phrase in Supreme Court reporting than "closely watched case?" The answer is, yes: "high-stakes case.")
"The drug manufacturer was negiligent in its warning," Frederick told reporters on the court steps, with Levine by his side, "and the results are here for all to see."
Levine declared herself "speechless" and said she was "just trying to digest" the legal arguments she had just heard. Other than that, Levine was silent; at least, in front of the mass of reporters. Which was too bad; Diana Levine struck me as an intriguing character whose physical presence articulated just the start of a fascinating story.

Businesses have much at stake in drug suit's outcome

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court conservatives on Monday sounded sympathetic to a drug company's pleas for protection from state court lawsuits.

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