A Lawsuit of Trial Lawyers

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Bias Charge

Presidential candidate John Edwards — who led the pullout of Democrats from a planned debate sponsored by FOX News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute — now suggests President Bush owns FOX News.

Edwards made the comment while speaking about the difficulty that the political opposition in Russia is having in communicating its message — and he related a conversation he had with one potential presidential candidate about media coverage.

Ticket Master

Meanwhile Edwards' campaign is refusing to disclose what is described as a "wish list" of sports tickets Edwards requested — as part of his work agreement related to the poverty think tank he founded at the University of North Carolina. The school also will not release the e-mail — and says it does not provide or promise sports tickets in connection with the hiring process. A spokesman will only say that if the university had given Edwards the tickets — it would have been legally obligated to disclose that fact.

An attorney with the state's press association says — "It seems absurd to me that senator Edwards or the university would be treating these documents or this issue like it were a state secret."

Tickets to some of the school's sporting events can be worth thousands of dollars. And many fans who purchase season tickets are required to make large donations to the school's athletic booster fund.

The Show Must Go On

School officials in Lake Township, Ohio who had canceled a high school play after objections by the NAACP — have reversed themselves.

Officials at Lakota East High School initially pulled the plug on the production of "Ten Little Indians" — based on the Agatha Christie novel written in 1939 — because the book originally featured a racial slur for blacks in its title.

But cries of censorship — and national news coverage — followed. So officials backed down.

The students will perform an updated version of the play under the title "And Then There Were None." But school superintendent Mike Taylor still defends his initial decision — "We had hoped that this choice (to cancel) would become a springboard for a broader discussion of inclusion and tolerance. Unfortunately the community dialogue in recent days has become focused more on distracting issues like censorship and the NAACP's role in our community."

What's In a Name?

And trial lawyers who do not want to be called trial lawyers are suing each other over the name of their professional associations.

The Washington Post reports the nation's largest and most politically powerful trial lawyers group last year changed its name from the Association of Trial Lawyers of America to the American Association for Justice.

But then a splinter group formed, and it called itself the American Trial Lawyers Association.

Now the first group is suing the second group — saying the name of the new group is too close to the old name of the old group. And a third group — called the American College of Trial Lawyers — is also suing the new group — for the same reason. At stake are millions of dollars in membership fees — as well as the ego boost for whichever group wins.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.