October 2014

stephen breyer justice.jpgIn case you missed it, yesterday we profiled the four current clerks to Justice Samuel Alito. Click here to read that post.
Moving up the seniority chain brings us to Justice Stephen G. Breyer. According to Wikipedia, these are Justice Breyer’s four law clerks for October Term 2006 (please notify us of any errors you see):

1. Jaren Casazza (Columbia ’04 / Jacobs / Wood(S.D.N.Y.))

2. Tacy Flint (Chicago ’04 / Posner)

3. Stephen Shackleford (Harvard ’05 / Boudin)

4. Thiru Vignarajah (Harvard ’05 / Calabresi)

To profile the SGB crew, we need a little help from you. Please send us interesting tidbits, fun facts, or amusing anecdotes about these members of the Elect, by email. We also welcome any photographs you might have. Please be sure to include the clerk’s full name somewhere in your message (because we often locate messages relevant to drafting a specific post by running searches in our inbox).
We note that Amber Taylor has already profiled this foursome. We therefore implore you to send us information that is especially salacious and scandalous quirky, so we don’t simply repeat what’s in her write-ups. Thanks!
List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States [Wikipedia]
The Breyer Clerks [Prettier Than Napoleon]
A Law Clerk Hiring Update: Alito’s Experienced Hands, Breyer’s Hires, and More [Underneath Their Robes]
Earlier: Justice Alito’s OT 2006 Law Clerks

ACLU Patrick Agin high school senior medieval chain mail ACLU.JPG* I have been remiss in not updating you on the legal woes of the blogger everyone loves to hate. And if you still think Paris Hilton when you hear Perez Hilton, well, I wish I were you and had never discovered the e-crack that is the gossip blog. [Los Angeles Times]
* Professor Volokh expresses his indignation at an entire generation of selfish bastards. Holla. Also cf: this for proof that academics may have too much time on their hands. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* The high school’s zero-tolerance policy for weapons may ironically save this senior (at right) from getting his ass kicked. And keep alive a glimmer of hope that he will not die a virgin. [New York Times]
* I think people who take LSAT prep classes or 1L Boot Camp before law school are lame. So you can guess what I think about law students who buy other students’ outlines, and for that matter, the students who sell their outlines (who might not be so cash-strapped had they not taken the LSAT prep classes or 1L Boot Camp in the first place). [The Conglomerate]
* I think this is funny, and rest assured, the baby is okay. But I still feel like someone is going to be sued, especially if the baby ends up growing a different set of genitals. [AP via Forbes]

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco Eumi Choi Eumi Choi Above the Law.jpgWe have been begging you for dirty laundry to air about the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco (Northern District of California). From what we hear, the high-profile office is in a state of turmoil. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Eumi Choi has been trying to quell a line-assistant rebellion that has been described as “the best-coordinated insurgency outside of Iraq.”
We don’t care whether you’re part of the pro-Eumi Choi or anti-Eumi Choi faction. We’re not taking sides here. We just want the inside scoop on the internal warfare, plotting and backstabbing going on over there right now. It’s for entertainment purposes only (because few things are more entertaining than workplace drama).
Thus far, you’ve been holding out on us. That’s okay; we have other sources. Like judges’ chambers:

I worked for a judge in the Northern District of California, where [U.S. Attorney] Kevin Ryan’s main office is. Although I haven’t had any personal contact with the USA [himself], I remember the AUSAs and their law externs who would appear before my judge were particularly unruly, talkative and disrespectful in the court.

A number of times, my judge would be trying to talk in court over the hum of their own personal discussions. When it got out of hand, he would stop, glare at them over his glasses, and it would be about a minute before they realized that the judge wanted them to shut up.

Other times, the judge would have to say, “Counsel!” Then the oblivious AUSAs would look up like contrite 5th graders. They also argued a lot amongst themselves in the hallways and, indeed, acted very much like children.

So it’s not just “line AUSAs vs. the front office”; the line assistants can’t even get along with each other. Not good.
We remain interested in goings-on over at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the N.D. Cal. Please email us with any information you might have. Thanks.
Earlier: How Yummy Is Eumi?
What Part of “Fabulous” Do You Not Understand?

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch NYT wedding announcements Above the Law.jpgWe were starved for Wedding Watch material in the weekend of December 9-10. We couldn’t even find the standard three couples in which at least one spouse is a lawyer.
So we did the next best thing — we found two couples in which a parent of a spouse is a lawyer (and a third couple of two lawyers). Here are this week’s contestants:

1. Cornelia Henning, Nicholas Van Amburg

2. Ariella Rosenberg, Matthew Maron

3. Marla Tusk, Josh Gottheimer

Scores and commentary for this trio of lovebirds, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: December 10, 2006″

what's the matter with kansas.jpgNot all ATL readers live in big coastal cities. Check out this comment, by “Leona” (which we kinda loved):

I really enjoy reading Althouse, she is conversative [sic] definitely but I would like her to be more christian friendly.

She supports gay marriage which I find disgusting.

But she loves our president which is great.

Hands down, K Lo is the best though. She is the real christian that speaks the words that are in my heart. K Lo is also so smart and witty. I love some of her comments in the corner [NRO blog]. She always hits some zingers at the secular, progressives that hate America. She also has so much courage to live in NYC, which is full of all of the gays, and still be able to be strong and continue to speak her mind. I love that about her. Go K Lo.

We don’t know where “Leona” lives (except NOT New York); but we suspect she’s from the heartland. Maybe she’s a constituent of Senator Brownback?
(Or might she be this lady?)
Earlier: Vote Ann Althouse for Grande Conservative Blogress Diva

Elmo Tickle Me Elmo.jpgIf you enjoyed the Best Notice of Appeal Ever, as well as the complaint in Ward v. Arm & Hammer, you’ll enjoy our latest pro se filing, too.
It’s an interesting challenge to jurisdiction, filed by a fellow who legally changed his name to Elmo Fred; Griffiths. (Yes, the semicolon is legally part of his name.) The case is a guardianship proceeding for Griffiths’s mother, Ruth Griffiths, brought by one of Elmo’s siblings.
Here’s the first page:
Elmo Fred Griffiths 1.jpeg
And there’s more. The rest of the document appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tickle Me, Elmo Fred; Griffiths”

stack of bills cash money.jpgCahill Gordon & Reindel gets with the program, per Infirmation / Greedy NY.
Was there a memo? If so, can someone please email it to us?
We’d like to add it to our growing collection of banal, boilerplate bonus memos. Thanks.
CGR just matched [Infirmation / Greedy NY]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)

Marissa Cooper Alex The OC girl girls lesbian kiss.jpgWe’re obsessed with federal judges. And we’re fascinated by lesbians (in a strange, quasi-sociological way). So of course we must weigh in on the whole Senator Sam Brownback/Judge Janet Neff controversy.
The uber-conservative Senator Brownback (R-KS), a likely standard-bearer for social conservatives in 2008, had been blocking Judge Neff’s nomination to the federal bench — currently she’s a Michigan state-court judge — because she once attended a same-sex commitment ceremony. For lesbians.
But earlier this week, Sen. Brownback announced that he would permit a vote on Janet Neff’s nomination. We see this as good news.
Call us libertine (or libertarian), but Senator Brownback’s original position was a bit much. We agree with Dan Markel’s characterization of it as “asinine” and “obtuse.” Regardless of your views on gay marriage, it seems unwarranted to hold up a judicial nomination because the nominee once went to a party. Back in 2002. For lesbians.
(And we’d add that Judge Neff is merely a District Court nominee. How much damage can she do there? If she issues an opinion holding that the U.S. Constitution guarantees lesbians the right to marry, she’ll be reversed faster than you can say “power tools.” And if Brownback is worried that she’d use her judicial authority to go around marrying Sapphists left and right, it’s too late — she’s already a state court judge.)
Here’s a little more background (and commentary):

Janet T. Neff — the judicial nominee whose nomination to the federal bench is being delayed while Sen. Sam Brownback investigates what, exactly, she did at a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony — says that she attended the event merely as a friend and did not act out of line. In a letter to Brownback that was quoted today by the AP, Neff wrote:

“The ceremony, which was entirely private, took place in Massachusetts, where I had no authority to act in any official capacity and where, in any event, the ceremony had no legal effect…”

“When Mary and her partner, Karen Adelman, asked me to participate in their commitment ceremony by delivering a homily, it was not different from being asked by my own daughters to be part of an important event in their lives.”

And we think we speak for everyone when we say: BURN HER!!!!!! SHE’S A….COMMITMENT CEREMONY ATTENDEE?!?!?!?!

It’s unclear what Brownback will do next to try and stop Neff’s nomination. However, rumor has it he is currently in his lab testing hairs that he plucked from Neff’s head to see if any of “the gay” happened to seep in through her scalp and penetrate her soul.

Even more dubious than Senator Brownback’s original position was this idea:

Mr. Brownback… said he would also no longer press a proposed solution he offered on Dec. 8 that garnered even more criticism: that he would remove his block if Judge Neff agreed to recuse herself from all cases involving same-sex unions.

In an interview with the Times, Professor Charles Fried, the prominent conservative legal scholar, explained why this proposal would be problematic. For lesbians. And the judiciary, too.
But wait — it’s not over yet. Senator Brownback will allow a vote on Janet Neff, but he wants more hearings, so he can question her further about her participation in the lesbianic rituals. (Read: grandstand for Republican primary voters.)
We’ve rambled on long enough; now it’s your turn. After all, YOU are Time’s Person of the Year.
Please help out Senator Brownback. In the comments, please suggest questions for Brownback to propose to Judge Neff if supplemental hearings take place. Thanks.
Update: Some well-expressed views on this from Captain Ed (via Instapundit).
Brownback Wants to Re-Question Nominee [Associated Press via How Appealing]
Senator Removes His Block on Federal Court Nominee [New York Times]
This time of year, however, it’s usually the free booze, Ecstasy, and mistletoe [PrawfsBlawg]
Yes, Ms. Neff, but when the women kissed — did you look at them for a period extending three seconds? [Good As You]

We recently asked for your views on Ward v. Arm & Hammer, the civil action brought by a pro se prisoner against a leading baking soda manufacturer. If you don’t remember what the case was about, here’s the caption:
pro se Ward 0.JPG
The District Court didn’t think highly of the case. And neither did you:
atl poll results ward arm hammer.JPG
One additional interesting point, made by David Giacalone of Shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress:

“Thanks to Ted Frank’s coverage, I learned that 28 U.S.C. 1915, the federal law covering prisoners seeking to file a case as a poor person, does not prevent a legally frivolous suit from being appealed in forma pauperis, unless the district court judge certifies that the appeal is not being taken in good faith, or the prisoner has had three prior suits that failed to state a valid claim, or were found to be frivolous or malicious.”

So even if you thought Ward was “the most frivolous lawsuit ever,” it’s hard to fault Judge Chesler for permitting an in forma pauperis appeal to the Third Circuit, given the applicable law.
Pro Se Recycling Goes Over and Above [Shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress]
Because we all love wacky pro se suits: Ward v. Arm & Hammer [Overlawyered]
Earlier: Ward v. Arm & Hammer: What Do You Think?
The Fine Line Separating Pro Se Litigants, Plaintiffs’ Lawyers, and Law Professors

Harvard Law School Harvard Law School world's premier center for legal education research and douchebags.JPGHow do you solve a problem like length limits on law school final exams? It’s a vexing issue. If you think we’re exaggerating, read this PrawfsBlawg post (which generated an avalanche of comments, including many from frustrated law professors).
Well, fear not. The geniuses at “the world’s premier center for legal education and research” take due process seriously when it comes to exam grading — as well they should, since that Torts grade will determine the trajectory of YOUR ENTIRE LEGAL CAREER* — and they have solved this difficulty.

From: Catherine Claypoole
Date: Nov 29, 2006 5:16 PM
Subject: [STUDENTS]: Length Limits on Exams: Memo from Vice Dean Andy Kaufman
To: [Harvard Law School students]

To all students:

During the investigation of several discipline cases last spring, the faculty became aware of substantial student concern that length limits on examinations were being enforced unevenly. Moreover, the faculty became aware that this concern was justified. Accordingly, the faculty has agreed that, starting this exam period, length limits ordinarily will be stated in a uniform way that is easy to enforce ­ that is, by setting a page limit followed by a prescribed format as follows:

– font:12 point Times New Roman (including all footnotes)

– characters: normal spacing

– lines: double-spaced

– margin: 1″ margin on left and right, top and bottom

There is of course no need for you to remember this format. The cover pages of exams with length limits will provide this information….

Good luck with the rest of the term.

Best regards,
Andy Kaufman
Vice Dean for Academic Programming

Our favorite detail is “characters: normal spacing.” The administration knows that within the HLS student body, there are lots of ex-college newspaper editors who know a thing or two about kerning.
Our second-favorite detail: there’s a Harvard Law School dean named Andy Kaufman.
These rules make sense, at a certain level; but the annoying thing is that someone must police them. While some violations might be apparent to the naked eye — especially naked eyes that can tell the difference between an italicized and non-italicized comma — other transgressions might be less conspicuous. Will teaching assistants have to whip out rulers to confirm that the margins are truly one inch all around, and not, say, 0.97 inches?
This is way too cumbersome. HLS profs, just adopt Dan Solove’s brilliant system for law school exam grading. Nothing could be easier or more efficient.
* No, 1Ls, we’re serious. That Torts grade will determine whether you grade on to Law Review. Which will determine whether you get a clerkship with a “feeder judge.” Which will determine whether you get a Supreme Court clerkship. Which will determine whether you end up arguing before the Supreme Court yourself, as a million-dollar partner or member of the SG’s office, or chasing ambulances in Salina, Kansas.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with Salina, for those of you who are from there. We’re sure it’s a lovely town.)
Enforcing Word Limits [PrawfsBlawg]
A Guide to Grading Exams [Concurring Opinions]

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