October 2014

(Yes, this is ridiculously late. But we hope, for the love of God, that you don’t rely upon us for real legal news. News aggregation is not our primary purpose, and there are many other sites that do it better and faster.)
* Now that President Ford has passed away, everyone must write the obligatory article about his long-lived SCOTUS appointment, Justice John Paul Stevens. [Chicago Tribune, ABC News, Los Angeles Times, WSJ.com; all via How Appealing]
* State bars tend to give government lawyers a wide berth. So when a bar brings ethics charges against a prosecutor, you know something stinks to high heaven. [Associated Press]
* Videotaping an execution is pretty grotesque. But then again, it’s probably no more disturbing than this video. [CBS News]
* You can accuse the Catholic Church of many things; but selective application of their teachings is probably not one of them. The Vatican opposes the death penalty even for Saddam Hussein. [Associated Press]
* Speaking of death penalty cases, the Supreme Court’s incredible shrinking docket may be getting even smaller. [SCOTUSblog]
* Biglaw + Racial Issues = Lively Blog Comment Threads. [Overlawyered; WSJ Law Blog]
* Tax lawyers at Cravath aren’t the only ones with a weakness for underage girls. [Associated Press]
* Oyez, oyez: Interested in an administrative gig that pays over $150K? The Second Circuit is seeking a new Clerk of Court. [2nd Circuit (PDF) via How Appealing]

We were pretty lazy in our recent discussion of the upcoming trial in Steinbuch v. Cutler. And even our former colleagues at Wonkette were kind of phoning it in.*
But not everyone is so unmotivated. Over at Eat the Press, Melissa Lafsky — of Opinionistas fame — has penned an excellent analysis of this case and controversy. It’s exactly the sort of informed yet accessible account that would one expect from a lawyer-turned-writer, and we recommend it highly.
* We can hardly blame the Wonketteers for tiring of L’Affaire Washingtonienne. Wonkette has been covering that blogospheric sex scandal since since blogging was in its infancy.
(And yes, we think blogging has moved beyond the infant stage. But we concede that it’s not yet potty-trained.)
Sex, Bloggers & Privacy: Let The Lawsuits Begin [Eat the Press / Huffington Post]

Robert Steinbuch Jessica Cutler Washingtonienne sex playboy.jpgSince we’re feeling lazy and under the weather, we’re not going to do anything more than provide you with a bunch of links (collected below). Also, we don’t get want to get sued by the famously litigious* Professor Steinbuch.
Happy Reading!
* Please note that our characterization of Robert Steinbuch as “famously litigious” is merely a statement of our personal opinion. Furthermore, we believe it to be a fair comment on a matter of public interest, with ample factual support.
It is factually supported by Steinbuch’s filing of multiple lawsuits against his ex-lover, Jessica Cutler, in multiple jurisdictions, both state and federal. It is further supported by Steinbuch’s decision to add former Wonkette editor Ana Marie Cox as a defendant, even though she merely linked to (and commented upon) Cutler’s salacious blog.
Old Sex Blog Scandal Soon To Bore Judge, Too [Wonkette]
Former IRS Attorney Proceeds to Trial in $20M Suit v. Former Girlfriend for Revealing Details of Their Sex Life on Blog [TaxProf Blog]
Senate Sex Blog Suit Heads Toward X-rated Trial [CNN]
Steamy D.C. Sex Blog Scandal Heads to Court [Associated Press via MSNBC]
Robert Steinbuch bio [UALR Law]

* Chief Justice John Roberts is still as perfect as ever. In between reshaping the Supreme Court, he still has time to visit sick friends in the hospital. He probably makes them chicken soup, too. [Legal Times]
* It’s a busy time of year — not just for retailers processing returns, but for lawyers-turned-politicians with White House aspirations. [New York Times]
* Is the D.C. Circuit fallible? Bite your tongue! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Saddam Hussein is not long for this world. If only the Ninth Circuit had heard his death penalty appeal. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* Defense lawyers want the feds to get involved in the Duke lacrosse team rape sexual assault and kidnapping case. [ABC News]
* It’s official: Michael Wallace has asked the White House to withdraw his Fifth Circuit nomination. Will other controversial nominees follow suit? [Biloxi Sun-Herald via How Appealing]
* We wrote briefly about the passing of President Gerald Ford last night. Here’s a little bit more, including some interesting info about his time at Yale Law School. [WSJ Law Blog]

stack of bills cash money.jpgLaw firm bonus season is over, at least in terms of announcements (even though some firms won’t dole out the cash until next year). We’d like to use this quiet week to do some final follow-up and housekeeping on the bonus front.
Please email us, at tips AT abovethelaw DOT com, with any of the following:

(1) any significant New York bonus announcements that we missed;

(2) any bonus announcement memo that we’re missing — e.g., the Proskauer memo (if there was one) — because we like to archive these for posterity; and

(3) any non-New York bonus news you’d like to pass along (since we realize we’ve been neglecting legal markets outside NYC).

You can see what we have and haven’t covered by clicking here, and scrolling down through our past bonus coverage. Or you can search the entire site for the name of the firm in question.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, please take our Biglaw bonus poll. We’ll keep the voting open until at least January 2.
Re: Low Bonus? No Bonus? Anyone hear of this? [Infirmation / Greedy NY]

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr Gerald Ford Gerald R Ford Above the Law.jpgLike so many other presidents, Gerald Ford was a lawyer. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1941, in the top third of his class (back when they ranked students). He practiced law in Michigan before entering politics.
Some random trivia. Gerald R. Ford was:

(1) the longest-lived U.S. president ever, exceeding the record set by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93;

(2) the first person appointed to the vice-presidency pursuant to the 25th Amendment, having replaced the disgraced and scandal-ridden Spiro Agnew; and

(3) the first American president to hold that office without having been elected either president or vice-president, since he assumed the presidency after the resignation of the disgraced and scandal-ridden Richard Nixon.

(On a completely random note, we used to go trick-or-treating at President Nixon’s house.)
Former President Ford Dead at 93 [Associated Press]
Biography of Gerald R. Ford [WhiteHouse.gov]

As previously mentioned, we’re on a reduced publication schedule this week. We’ll be doing a daily news round-up (and maybe a few other random posts here and there). We’ll return to our normal diarrhea of the keyboard publishing schedule on January 2.
* Civil libertarians, just raise the white flag. The Justice Department knows what you’re doing RIGHT NOW. [Washington Post]
* His father always knew there was “something special” about Judge Frank Easterbrook. And litigants who have appeared before FHE feel the same way. [Buffalo News via How Appealing (of course -- no offense, but we aren't regular readers of the Buffalo News)]
* In other Seventh Circuit news, Judge Richard Posner delivers remarks about maritime law to an audience of supermodels. We swear we’re not making this up. [Washington Post]
* Following up on our prior report, here’s a clear sign that Chadbourne & Parke partners don’t have enough business. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If McDonald’s french fries never taste the same, blame it on the anti-trans-fat legislation. [UPI]
* Complications of diabetes: not just medical, but law-related, too. [New York Times]
* If you’re a judge with unfulfilled literary aspirations, try writing something safe and non-controversial. Ideally it should be something nobody would want to read. We suggest a pop-up book about the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via How Appealing]
* Even more fun than charades: take Peter Lattman to a party, start reading out random newspaper headlines, and challenge him to find a legal angle to the stories. [WSJ Law Blog]

AboveTheLaw will be on a reduced publishing schedule this week. Check in for our once-a-day news wrap-up. Your fearless leader, the wonderful and prolific David Lat, will be back full-time on January 2nd.
Happy Holidays from everyone at Dead Horse Media.
Elizabeth Spiers

kwanzaa happy kwanzaa kwanza candles.gifThe week before a major holiday is usually pretty slow. And the Friday before the holiday weekend is usually dead — the perfect time for Mike Nifong to announce he’s dropping the rape charges against the Duke lacrosse team defendants.
Other highlights from the past week in legal news and ATL:
* Get to know this year’s Alito clerks!
* And help us get to know the current Breyer clerks.
* Dean Harold Koh’s Christmas gift to Yale Law School conservatives: newfound warmth and friendliness.
* Speaking of Yale Law School, YLS grad Yul Kwon just won Survivor. Congrats, Yul!
* Stuff you knew already: Supreme Court clerks are cooler than you. Lawyers have mediocre sex lives. Pro se litigants are insane.
* Last week dragged in a few more law firm bonus announcements, but nothing exciting. To skim the coverage, click here, then scroll down through the headlines.
* On the subject of bonuses, Biglaw associates: Please take our 2006 bonus poll (first announced here):

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Mike Wallace Michael Wallace Michael B Wallace Phelps Dunbar Fifth Circuit.JPGVia How Appealing, of course (because who else besides us and Howard Bashman is blogging right now):
1. Controversial Fifth Circuit nominee Michael Wallace (at right), a member of the Elect (Rehnquist/OT 1977) who was still rated “unqualified” by the ABA, will ask President Bush to withdraw his nomination next week.
This is a smart and gracious move by Wallace, which will allow the White House to save some face. Since Wallace couldn’t even get confirmed in the Republican-controlled 109th Congress, his chances of confirmation in the 110th Congress would have been next to nil.
Manuel Real Manuel L Real Manuel Lawrence Real Judge.jpg2. Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon Judge Manuel Real (C.D. Cal.), the Los Angeles federal judge accused of improperly intervening in a bankruptcy case to rescue a damsel probationer in distress (Deborah Canter, routinely described in news accounts as “a comely female”).
Ladies and gentlemen, chivalry is officially dead. What’s the point of being “a comely female” if you can’t get favorable treatment from the federal courts?
Judge Real has appealed the censure ruling of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council to the Judicial Conference of the United States. It’s not clear when they will rule.
Judicial hopeful steps aside [Clarion-Ledger]
Michael B. Wallace bio [Phelps Dunbar]
Web error reveals censure of U.S. judge [Los Angeles Times]
Manuel L. Real bio [FJC]

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