A preliminary hearing officer recommended that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's case be referred to a special court-martial but that the former Taliban prisoner receive no jail time, defense attorneys said Friday. 

     The parents of the teenage "affluenza" driver who killed four people have settled the last civil lawsuit filed by his victims. 

     It's baseball playoff time and once again the obvious question springs to mind: How can baseball show us how to build a winning law firm?
     The answer by now should be obvious: analytics.
     The younger, tech-savvy lawyers in your firm should appreciate this. You need data-driven reasons for the hiring and placement of each of your fielders - er, lawyers.
     After all, does it make sense to put a macho-peacock partner in charge of a deposition if the stats show he freezes up when the opposing pitcher (questioner) is female?
     And is the guy who claims the huge number of billable hours on paper really worth paying more than the nerdy guy at the computer console who hits the home run in the clutch?
     This could and should radically change the way lawyers are compensated - and create a lively free agency and trade market.
     Obviously, the Ivy League and MIT/CalTech executives you hire as general managers will have their own formulas for building a contender, but I have a few suggestions.
     First off, you need video cameras or their equivalent everywhere.
     I say "equivalent" because you may have a hard time getting the cameras into critical areas such as courthouses, restaurants, and the back seat of cars (a favored spot for negotiation and client consultation).
     The best solution for the courthouse/restaurant situation is to require that all members of your firm be accompanied by a sketch artist. Make sure your artists are trained to capture dramatic moments and eye movement.
     As for the cars - think body cameras. Then keep careful records showing when they've been turned off.
     You'll also need to scout other firms and law students.
     Getting permission for cameras in law schools shouldn't be a problem - endow a few scholarships and point out that this could lead to jobs for graduates.
     Knowing which statistics to compile is also critical.
     Here are a few important categories:
     Grade point average in relation to apparent number of friends.
     Amount of texting during class.
     The ratio of initial complaint page count to days until settlement.
     Percentage of objections sustained in winning and losing cases.
     Eye contact with and/or winking at judge.
     Number of clients who actually pay their bills.
     Effectiveness while dressed in pantsuits as opposed to dresses or kilts.
     Are clients more successful when seated on the left or right of the attorney?
     Days in jail for contempt.
     Cases won/lost while having affairs with associates.
     If "Moneyball" taught us anything, it's that Jonah Hill can do serious acting. It also taught us that you don't need to spend a fortune to put together a winning team.
     And once it wins, you can trade your players for a new crop of hidden talent.
     Let the other guys spend a fortune on free agents.
     Curse Me: Speaking of money, I would like to be denounced.
     Surely you must think I've done something wrong. I do think I'm perfect, but you can falsely accuse me of something.
     The more scandalous the better.
     I'll deny it, of course, but that won't stem your righteous rage.
     Come on! Bring it on!
     I want to be well-funded.
     I'm speaking, of course, of the recent Planned Parenthood brouhaha. I don't have statistics for this (because what fun would that be?) but I'm pretty sure Planned Parenthood donations have gone way up since the organization has been denounced for selling baby parts or whatever.
     This is the way things go. The way to successfully attack anything is to ignore it. And the best way to fame is to be attacked.
     You know I'm right. There are zillions of examples.
     I'm old enough to remember people wanting to boycott "Married With Children."
     Suddenly it became a hit.
     Now consider Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.
     So please attack me. I dress badly and I'm overweight. There's good material here.
     Thank you.
     I am now going to ignore Donald Trump.

     The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the manslaughter convictions and prison sentences of a couple whose newborn baby died after they chose faith healing over medical treatment. 

     Immigration authorities won't hand over documents abouts their supposed relationship with a bail-bond outfit, a civil rights group claims in court. 

     In a weeklong bill-signing spree, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed bills prohibiting cities from banning artificial turf landscapes and to help low-income families pay their water bills.

     After killing an emotionally disturbed New Yorker who claimed to see God, police falsely claimed he was high on heroin, the man's mother claims in a federal complaint. 

     After eight years of navigating overloaded court calendars and reduced resources, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Kevin Culhane has been tapped as the county's next presiding judge.

     Two Spanish-speaking women who lost vital public services because of language barriers have filed a class action taking on systemic failures in Washington, D.C. 

     A federal judge awarded mentally disabled immigrant detainees $9.5 million in fees in a settlement that may allow those deported to return to the United States to contest their cases. 

     Massachusetts' refusal to accept renewable energy credits from states outside the Northeast is an unconstitutional tariff on commerce, a solar power company claims in court. 

     One of the biggest legal marijuana farms in the world sprayed thousands of plants with an unapproved pesticide that breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when it's smoked, two Coloradans claim in a class action. 

     A stunt coordinator for "Amazing Spiderman 2" ordered a stuntman to injure another one in an "act of malicious age discrimination" that ended the older man's career, the longtime stuntman claims in court.

     Kurt Busch backed out on a promotion deal with a clothing company and badmouthed it to NASCAR to prevent it from working with other drivers, the California company claims in court. 

     Los Angeles on Friday passed a law requiring property owners to retrofit 15,000 older buildings to strengthen them against earthquakes, and setting timelines for it.

     A federal jury ordered a former Stanford Financial executive to pay $50 million to the receiver of R. Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme for breaching her duties to Stanford's Antiguan bank. 

     A lieutenant facing contempt of court charges along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Friday denied that Arpaio's attorney gave him feedback on how to teach deputies to make constitutional traffic stops - though the attorney testified last week that he did so.

     A federal magistrate said in an unusual ruling that Apple must be heard before he grants the government's bid to disable the security of a suspect's seized phone. 

     Lakefront homeowners in Michigan's Upper Peninsula can sue the U.S. Forest Service over a rule barring gas motorboats on lakes in protected wilderness areas, the Sixth Circuit ruled. 

     A federal judge on Friday said convicted art fraudster Luke Brugnara does not deserve a new trial, and that he hamstrung himself with a "bullying" defense strategy that failed. 

     At least a dozen pharmacies are receiving millions of dollars in fraudulent reimbursements by passing international Abbott Laboratories products off as domestic, the drugmaker claims in a new federal complaint. 

     Two deer breeders accuse Texas of passing emergency rules that unfairly target the captive-bred deer industry and in violation of open-meeting rules. 

     Repudiating their commitments to social responsibility, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney and The Children's Place had their products made in an unsafe Bangladesh building that collapsed and killed more than 1,000, a consumer advocacy group says in court. 

     A Border Patrol agent accused of murdering a Mexican teenager pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday and is free pending a November trial. 

     Accused felons in Indiana have filed a class action complaining that the system of overworking public defenders tramples their right to counsel. 

     A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. government illegally changed its process for reviewing substances approved for use in organic farming. 

     Food Network has severed web ties with a celebrity chef charged with having sex with an underage boy in a Best Buy parking lot. 

     A Border Patrol supervisor was arrested on charges of using his position to have a legal resident arrested repeatedly for causing the agent's relative to be investigated on child rape charges in Mexico, federal prosecutors said.

     Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed into law a bill to protect the shrinking Salton Sea, and Californians who suffer from the dust from it.

     Federal investigators stonewalled WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning's request for the dossier they accrued on her over the course of a nearly 2-year investigation, she claims in a lawsuit. 

     The Sixth Circuit on Friday stayed a new Environmental Protection Agency rule defining "Waters of the United States" that 31 states accuse of trampling their sovereignty. 

     A federal judge granted bail Friday to a diplomat accused of participating a $1.3 million bribery scheme involving the former president of the United Nations general assembly.

     California Governor Jerry Brown signed a historic package of laws today to provide statewide regulations for the medical marijuana industry.

     The San Francisco 49ers settled an age discrimination lawsuit brought by two former managers this week. 

     The United States wants hefty civil penalties from Rockford, Ill., related to its operation of a sewer system that discharges pollutants into the Rock River and the Kishwaukee River. 

     California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Sunday prohibiting all public schools in the Golden State from having "racially derogatory" mascots and team names, namely "Redskins," from Jan. 1, 2017.

     The latest class action against Uber accuses it of underpaying drivers, overcharging them for cell phone use and stiffing them for bonuses promised for referring new drivers, in Superior Court.

     The drunken police chief of Whitehouse, Texas, sexually assaulted a woman in her apartment, she claims in Federal Court. 

     The Cook County Circuit Court clerk failed to report the dismissal of charges against a Gary, Ind., man so he spent 22 extra days in jail, he claims in court. 

     Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin expressed frustration and doubt about the future of executions in her state after the disclosure that an incorrect drug was used to kill child-killer Charles Warner. 

     Hours before jury selection was to begin, West Fertilizer Co. settled claims by families of three victims of the April 2013 explosion that flattened large sections of the town of West and killed fifteen people.

     A radio DJ did not defame a police officer on the air by comparing him to bumbling TV lawman Barney Fife, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled. 

     Charles Schwab owed investors a fiduciary duty not to deviate from a set investment plan, a federal judge has ruled.

     New Jersey's second biggest city is looking to approve residence-sharing services like Airbnb, unlike its Empire State neighbor.

     A Mother Jones magazine report that Idaho billionaire Frank VanderSloot "outed" a newspaper reporter for being gay were "truthful" and therefore not defamatory, an Idaho judge ruled. 

     The State Department did not provide adequate procedural protections when it imposed sanctions against a sponsor of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday. 

     Fantasy sports sites are facing real-world problems - big ones - as allegations of insider trading have prompted class actions against DraftKings and FanDuel. 

     A Texan who made $4.1 million from a pump-and-dump scam fueled by his shell company's "science fiction" oil drilling technology is liable for securities violations, a federal judge ruled. 

     Board members jeopardized the multibillion-dollar San Onofre nuclear plant settlement by hiding secret communications with state officials, a derivative shareholder class action alleges, echoing earlier claims.

     The 11th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against Cartoon Network for sharing the Android user ID and viewing history of those who watch its programs on a smartphone app. 

     Directors are selling Rentrak Corp. ("media measurement") too cheaply through an unfair process to comScor, in a 1 to 1.15 share stock swap valuing Rentrak shares at $47.69, a $732 million transaction, shareholders claim in Multnomah County Court. 

     Directors are selling AGL Resources too cheaply through an unfair process to The Southern Co., for $66 a share or $12 billion, shareholders claim in Federal Court.