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Monday status conference: Not a creature is stirring…

As Washington continues to dig out from the weekend’s big snow storm, federal agencies and courts are closed today. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers on House side had already wrapped up for the holiday season, but the Senate is still in session.

Senators were at it until the wee hours last night, eventually ending debate on the controversial health care bill. The bill is now primed for a final vote before the end of this holiday-shortened week. As for today, the decision of whether each individual senator’s office will be open or closed today will rest with the lawmaker.

As you thaw out, here is some legal news:

Privilege protections: A bill that would bar attorneys in any government department from requesting a waiver of the attorney-client privilege in exchange for consideration in criminal or civil investigations has been filed by a bipartisan group of House lawmakers. (Lawyers USA)

Judiciary budget boost: Although the final amount was less than requested, judicial officials praised Congress’s approval of $6.9 billion in appropriations for the federal judiciary in fiscal year 2010. (Lawyers USA)

Good news cert denial? The Supreme Court’s decision Monday not to review Chrysler’s bankruptcy may turn out to help GM product liability claimants who were left in the lurch. (Lawyers USA)

SCOTUS consequences: The Supreme Court’s ruling in the case Maryland v. Shatzer could fundamentally affect the case against the man accused of killing Chandra Levy. (McClatchy)

Cranky senators: All work and no play makes the Senate an grumpy place. (Politico)

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