And now a word from our lawyers…

Well, not “our” lawyers, so much, but a buncha law-related stories that I thought I’d toss together while waiting for my client to call this morning. First up, the Vatican is setting up roadblocks…er it’s legal strategy in its most recent slate of sex-abuse lawsuits.

The Catholic Church has been dealing with its sex-abuse problems for decades. In that span, thousands of lawsuits have been filed, and millions upon millions have been paid out to victims.

But lawsuits filed against the Vatican have been few and far between. The vast majority of the litigation has been aimed at individual priests, bishops and dioceses.

With that as a backdrop, let’s give you the news: The Vatican itself is soon due to defend itself in U.S. court, after failing to thwart a lawsuit claiming it ordered American bishops to cover up evidence of child sex abuse. In court filings expected next week, the Vatican likely will provide the most comprehensive look yet at how it plans to defend itself against the accusations. Click here for our story in Friday’s WSJ.

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Next, something from TV lawyers, as we learn (much to our dismay), that Law and Order is officially, and truly canceled after 20 years on TV (tying Gunsmoke for the record of longest live-action drama in prime time).

The news is as unwelcome as the death of an old friend, even if you knew he was sick: NBC has canceled “Law & Order” after 20 years. The longevity of this beloved series has been a mystery to many critics, but its appeal has been undeniable. How many holidays have I spent on the couch watching “two separate but equally important groups” investigate, interrogate, and try murderers? How many such days have you, hypocrite lecteur, thus wasted too?

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Then there is this, far more sobering story about a 7-year-old child who was accidentally shot and killed (by the cops themselves) during a police raid.

It’s only been two weeks since the video of the February raid by the Columbia, Missouri SWAT team went viral. It caught fire because of the brutal, pointless, banal killing of the family dog, as cops in helmets and body armor swept into a home with a young child. The one saving grace, if it can be called that, is that they didn’t shoot the child. This time they did.

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Finally, there is this suit, concerning(of all things) Superheroes and, well lawyers:

Even caped crusaders can wind up in court.

After months of discussions, DC Comics, a unit of Time Warner’s Warner Bros., filed a lawsuit today against Los Angeles-based attorney Marc Toberoff in an attempt to protect rights to its lucrative “Superman” property.

The Perfessor