August 2014

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Judicial Reports thinks they might. From the article:

As the State Legislature slouched toward adjournment late Thursday with no breakthrough on the issue of pay raises for judges, an infuriated judiciary began to contemplate an escalation in the salary wars.
For many that might mean new or expanded litigation. Some are even whispering “strike.”

New York judges haven’t had a raise in 9 years, and they’re getting pretty pissed about it:

“Judges don’t need to hire lobbyists or public relations people, we need to hire an FBI hostage negotiator,” said Montgomery County Family Court Judge Philip V. Cortese in an interview — distilling the judges’ collective belief that the Legislature essentially held salary negotiations captive to other legislative priorities.

Of course, there are some slight problems with a judicial strike, such as the fact that they can’t legally do it:

Just like the transit workers, judges are explicitly prohibited from striking under New York’s labyrinthine Taylor Law — a statute governing labor organizing of state public servants.
According to Jerome Lefkowitz, chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board, the law treats judges as “management” whose members are not allowed to unionize. At the same time, it prohibits them from striking.
In other words, judges have even fewer options than transit workers or other public employees. “The law says that managerial employees are excluded from the Taylor Law, except Part 210 which says: ‘Thou shalt not strike,’ ” Lefkowitz explained.
In the stern language of that section, no judge can “cause, instigate, or condone a strike.”

So one judge suggested they all just get really lazy instead:

“Another idea is to review all papers submitted very carefully for any errors — typos, misspellings, matters left out — particularly orders and decrees. No handwritten corrections or having your own secretary retype to fix them up. Return them to attorney for correction, and return them again until they are totally correct. Particularly for any firms with legislators in them.”

That sounds very mature, and bound to work.

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James Gimmelman at PrawfsBlawg is none too impressed with Saira Rao’s roman a clef Chambermaid. From his review:

The book is an abomination, one of the worst novels I have ever read, both artistically and morally. The affected style, which runs the gamut from “cutesy” to “bench memo,” would be forgivable if the substance weren’t so dreadful.

Don’t hold back, James. Tell us what you really think.
He accuses Rao of making much ado about nothing:

But as the novel progresses, something odd happens. The character assassination against Judge Friedman becomes just too much. Raj’s life is pretty good, all things considered. Her hours aren’t particularly bad as clerkship hours go, the work itself is interesting enough, and while she may or may not get that dream job with the ACLU, even she acknowledges that it would be a rare accomplishment to land it. Her family loves and supports her; she always has at least one good friend nearby; she’s never threatened with any serious corruption of her values. Nor, beyond living in a slightly skeevy neighborhood, does she ever risk forfeiting her educational, economic, and social privilege. The indignities of life in Friedman’s chambers come to seem like just so much white noise, nothing one couldn’t endure for a year with a half-grin and a lot of shrugs. Which, actually, is more or less what Raj does.

We haven’t read it yet (maybe Lat will give us one of the three copies he’s gonna get for finishing in second place in the Funniest Law Blog contest; more on that later today), but we understand Lat is looking to do a review of his own (see earlier discussion of that here), so it will be interesting to get his take. Lat, of course, has unique experience in exposing the inner workings of a judge’s office.

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGGood news for clerks with offers from Debevoise & Plimpton: the bonus is no longer flat. Debevoise is joining the $70K Club for two-year clerks.
The announcement email appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Clerkship Bonus Watch: Debevoise Joins the $70K Club”

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To wrap up the week, we stay in the West and move up the coast to Portland, Oregon. Portland is the nation’s 23rd largest city, and probably the greenest one. We hear the quality of life is pretty good, but what about the money?
This comes from a February New York Times article:

Holland & Knight’s new associates are paid between $93,000, the rate in Portland, Ore., and $160,000 , the rate in New York.

Is this representative of where Portland’s at generally? Discuss Portland associate salaries and other issues of interest in the comments.

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* Tax evaders enclosed in hilltop compound…seriously. [CNN]
* McNulty tweaks, defends prior testimony. [NYT]
* Congress to scrutinize Cheney’s treatment of classified docs? [MSNBC]
* When Skadden gives you lemonade, drink Skadden’s lemonade. [WSJ Law Blog]

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* Extra slanty. [The Onion]
* Have you seen this lake? [CNN]
* Crazy murder trial in Nevada. [Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Shuttle landing postponed; will be made up as part of doubleheader later in the year. [New York Times]

Perkins Coie LLP Above the Law blog.jpgPerkins Coie is raising to market in California, with a catch. To get the raise, associates must 1) be “on pace” of 1900 hours; and 2) have “no outstanding timesheet penalties.”
The memo’s after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “National Pay Raise Watch: Perkins Coie to $160k in California”

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In his dissent today from a order denying rehearing en banc in the case of United States v. Ziegler, Kozinski basically calls the rest of the panel morons, or at least hack magicians. The best part is this paragraph:

By plucking consent out of its judicial top hat, when neither
party has argued it and the district court made no findings to
support it, the panel gives the unfortunate impression that it
is seeking to vindicate a result it has reached on other (nowrepudiated) grounds.
It is not our business to reach particular
results, nor may we jiggle the rules of procedure to achieve
an outcome we prefer. Our responsibility is to apply the law
in an objective and impartial manner, and let the chips fall
where they may. Here, the government lost the one issue on
which it chose to make its stand—Ziegler’s expectation of
privacy in his own office. At that point it was our responsibility
to reverse the district court and vacate the defendant’s sentence.
Appellate review is not a magic wand and we
undermine public confidence in the judicial process when we
make it look like it is.

But he basically rips the panel a new one throughout the dissent.
Access the entire opinion here.

This one’s a vicarious “Eyes of the Law” through a source in New York. According to the source:

“Since we’re getting close to the end of the Supreme Court’s Term, people might be wondering: Are we going to see any retirements this year? Will Justice John Paul Stevens finally pack it in? Or what about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was described as looking somewhat frail earlier this year?”
“Well, I wouldn’t count on RBG stepping down anytime soon. At the Second Circuit conference a few weeks ago, I saw Justice Ginsburg dancing a jig — with Judge Pierre Leval of the Second Circuit, another prominent judicial liberal.”
“I tried to take some video with my camera phone, but it came out unusual. That may be for the best.”

We wonder if it was “for the best” because of the dancing being anything like this:

At any rate, it sounds like Ginsburg is definitely still kicking.

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Dean Barkley, fomer U.S. Senator from Minnesota (Nov. 2002-Jan. 2003) as a member of the then Minnesota Reform Party (he was appointed by Gov. Jesse Ventura after the death of Paul Wellstone in a plane crash), is apparently looking for love online. Here is his profile from Match.com.
Girls, don’t worry about getting hurt, because as Barkley puts it:

I am honest and do not play games.

He’s kinda in between jobs, but he plans to rev up his law practice again soon:

I just returned from Texas where I ran the Governor’s race for Kinky Friedman. He did not win so I have to re-invent myself once again. I am going to start my old law practice up because driving a metro mobility bus is not my dream job.

I’m not sure he really understood the question here, but is ethnicity important anyway?

my ethnicity:
My 23 year marriage ended about a year ago. I did not want the divorce but have finally gotten over it and I am ready to rejoin the human race. I would like to meet someone that is smart, funny, likes to be spontaneous and passionate.

And don’t think he’s an asshole just because he’s a lawyer. In fact, he hates lawyers and the law:

I have a law degree but dislike most lawyers myself. I have spent most of my life trying to find a way not to practice law. I have run a car wash, drove a school bus, started a political party and recruited Jesse to run for Governor to escape law.

He’s just doing what he’s gotta do. Give ‘em a shot, ladies.

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