August 2014

bed bugs bobrowsky.JPGA law student at Case Western Reserve is suing an upscale Cleveland apartment building because bedbugs drove him from 2 units in the building.

Gnats drove him from a 3rd unit before he learned the definition of “insanity” and moved into another building:

In his lawsuit, Joshua Bobrowsky said the blood-sucking vermin in three Reserve Square apartments left him with painful welts and months of psychological and emotional distress. He seeks $142,000 in damages.

Apparently, Cleveland’s bug population is stepping it up a notch:

Robert Friedman, a lawyer for the apartment owners, the K&D Group, said the allegations are being investigated. …

“I represent a number of apartment owners around the Greater Cleveland area, and I can tell you that bedbugs seem to be a recurring issue,” Friedman said. “Certain tenants bring them in and they seem to get around. Unless the management is informed immediately, they can become a problem.”

Yeah, LeBron is totally staying in Cleveland when his contract is up.

More information about law student Bobrowsky after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Law Student v. Monstrous Gnats and Bugs”

[Ed Note: Do you have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com]

pls hndle copy 2.jpgDear ATL,

As a 3L, coasting through his last year of school, I find the occasional moment to partake in a bit of “relaxation” by way of an unmentioned illegal plant.

I’m wondering though, other than a question about this on the Bar application, would I be subject to any type of drug testing for the bar or at my post-bar big law firm? Do firms ever drug test their employees?

– Panama Red.

Dear Panama Red,

If you show up to work with bags of White Castle or pester secretaries with questions about where your car’s at, firms may demand a drug test (based on boilerplate paperwork you fill out at the outset of your job permitting them to do so), and they can fire you without cause anyway. But as far as I know, no law firms routinely test associates for drugs, and neither does any bar-related process.

However, firms do prohibit associates from moonlighting or engaging in activities that would be detrimental to the business or reputation of the firm. Practically speaking this means you’ll have to get off Phish tour (editor’s note: they’re not reuniting, give up the ship) and turn in that ridiculous shell necklace from Hollister. The hemp one, too. God, this is embarrassing.

Since it would have only taken a Google search for you to have answered your own question, I’ll take your email as a cry for help and give you some actual advice. You need to lay off the weed and focus on passing the bar and keeping your job. Also, I see you didn’t get the memo about how everybody switched over to coke. Um, yeah. AWKWARD.

Your friend,

Marin

After the jump, Marin passes the blunt to Elie, who’s wearing a “Take Me Drunk I’m Home” t-shirt.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: The Chronic”

wrestler.jpg

* Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who lost his bid for re-election on Tuesday, says he will not seek pardon from President Bush. [CNN.com]

* MJ says he is too sick to fly to testify at High Court in London in a breach of contract case. His opponent in the case, the son of the King of Bahrain, doesn’t buy it and says Jackson can be “bandaged up.” [BBC News]

* A Chicago federal court introduced a preliminary injunction that will put pressure on unionized pilots not to engage in the “sick outs” that led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights last summer. [Chicago Tribune]

* Clients choose boutique firms to sue big banks like UBS because the “Magic Circle” law firms won’t accept cases that could hurt the banks they represent. [Bloomberg.com]

* Wrestling gives you STD’s! Three wrestlers are suing York College of Pennsylvania coaches for letting players wrestle with active lesions. “Herpes simplex 1 is sometimes called herpes gladitorium because it is spread in athletics contests.” [Courthouse News Service]

gay marriage skadden.jpgThanks to the voters of California, we now live in a time where previously granted rights can be snatched away from law abiding citizens on the strength of majoritarian domination.

If you didn’t think that was going to spark a whole bunch of legal arguments (on both sides of the issue), you’ve never been oppressed by an otherwise “free” society.

So, let’s take a look at all the crazy things dribbling out of California right now. For my money, here’s the most ludicrous argument:

If opposition to same-sex marriage is to be understood as pure bigotry, then no accommodation for religious believers will be made. This is what people have got to understand is at stake in this conflict. It is not a scare tactic, or a made-up charge: there really will be a substantial effect on traditional churches, synagogues, mosques and religious institutions if gay marriage is constitutionalized.

As usual, the argument ends there. People like to talk about the “substantial effect” on religious institutions, without naming one concrete effect. See, in this country, we have civil marriages and religious marriages. I’ve yet to talk to a supporter of gay marriage who wants to the state to force a priest or a reverend or a rabbi to perform a gay marriage in a house of worship. Heck, in the Catholic church at least, you can’t get straight-married by a priest in a church unless you submit yourself to hours of religious indoctrination and lie about your relationship with contraceptives.

(Christ, did I just say that out loud? Now I have to go to confessional again before Christmas. Damnit.)

Nobody is going to mess with the right of religious people to “not condone the gay lifestyle.” America reads you loud and clear. You’re not gay, you have a huge penis, and that one time in college you were just really drunk. The private feelings of religious people towards gay people are strictly between religious people and their Jesus (who preached a lot about love and tolerance, but whatever).

The impact of gay marriage on the 1st Amendment is nil. As many (many, many) people have pointed out: if you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get gay married. Thank God we have an entire constitutional amendment that allows churches to marry whomever the hell they want to without interference from the state. It’s a good thing that all gay rights advocates want is for gays and lesbians to have a legal bond commensurate with what straight people can achieve on a pirate ship.

Okay, but the 1st Amendment argument against gay marriage is a total red herring. After the jump, California drags us into some more complicated legal issues.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Prop 8:
When The Law Stops Acting as a Shield and Starts Acting as a Sword”

carnivorous nightmare.jpg* Are you a lawyer and a vegan? If you’re not too weak, click on the link. [Professional Vegan]

* It turns out that the guy who started this company used to be a lawyer in Dallas. [World Beer Company]

* I can’t wait until Wendy Savage gets to play Wendy Savage in the Wendy Savage Story that is sure to be coming to a theater near you. [f/k/a]

* International tax rates on individuals are falling, in case Republicans are looking for some exit options before Obama takes office. [TaxProf Blog]

* There are many sides to the SEC v. Mark Cuban case. It’s not our place to judge, we just bring the popcorn. [The Cuban Revolution]

wurtzel book cover.gifGenerally, it is not cool to make fun of people who don’t pass the New York Bar Exam.

Generally.

However, Elizabeth Wurtzel puts us in a difficult position. A) She’s a public figure, B) She really doesn’t seem to care. When the New York Observer approached her with the news that Gawker alerted the world that she failed the bar, Wurtzel responded:

“Wow, really? I had no idea. I didn’t even see that. That’s interesting,” Ms. Wurtzel said of the report, with an awkward half-smile.

Well, what was she supposed to say?

I’m so ashamed and embarrassed, and Gawker has compounded my misery. I wish I could cry but I have no more tears left. I wish the public would just leave me alone so I can hang myself in the privacy of my own bathroom.

Why give the haters any opening? Going quietly into the night is a fine option.

So, why isn’t ATL just leaving her alone? After the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Elizabeth Wurtzel: ‘Wow Really?’”

Eric Holder new DOJ boss.JPGNewsweek is reporting that Covington & Burling partner Eric Holder will be picked as the new U.S. Attorney General:

Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, still has to undergo a formal “vetting” review by the Obama transition team before the selection is final and is publicly announced, said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified talking about the transition process. But in the discussions over the past few days, Obama offered Holder the job and he accepted, the source said. The announcement is not likely until after Obama announces his choices to lead the Treasury and State departments.

Holder would become the first African-American to head the Department of Justice.

Holder received his B.A. and J.D. from Columbia. Obama’s transition team is still debating Holder’s deputy:

One top candidate, favored by Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and other former Clinton White House officials, is Elena Kagan, dean of the Harvard Law School and a former lawyer in the White House counsel’s office under Clinton. Another top candidate, favored by other Obama advisors, is David Ogden, a former chief of staff to Attorney General Janet Reno, who is currently heading Obama’s Justice Department transition team. Kagan brings legal policy credentials; Ogden has more experience in the Justice Department trenches.

Will Holder depoliticize the DOJ? We hope that is near the top of his agenda.

Obama’s Attorney General [Newsweek]

Newsweek: Holder is Next Attorney General [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]

Earlier: Legal Stars of the New Administration

Lawyers Poised To Rule The World

It’s time for an ATL caption contest! Since there are so many new readers since the last time we ran one of these, here are the rules: post your caption entries in the comments. We’ll take our favorites, incorporate them into a poll, and allow you to vote for your favorite.

We present the picture below without comment or back story, so as not to limit your creativity. If you know the back story, please refrain from posting it.

We’ll tell everybody the real story behind the picture when the contest is over.

Enjoy. And for the love of God, with so many people out there who are sure they can do this job better than me, y’all better bring the funny.

Caption Contest 111808.JPG

Earlier: ATL Caption Contest: Tighty-Whities

‘Tighty-Whities’ Caption Contest Winner

Avvo logo.JPGAvvo is a legal website that rates practicing attorneys. They have now released a set of law school rankings based on which schools generate the highest average rating of alumni. The top five are pretty standard. The highest average rating belonged to Yale:

1. Yale Law School: 7.6

2. Stanford Law School: 7.5

3. Harvard Law School: 7.4

4. University of Chicago Law School: 7.4

5. Columbia Law School: 7.4

Sorry NYU Law alumni. Your average rating was only 7.34.

It’s somewhat surprising that Yale rated so highly. So many people complain that Yale students aren’t very good at legal practice, despite their theoretical strengths.

Still, it’s Yale, so we’re talking “mild surprise” as opposed to “galloping shock.”

Anyway, unlike so many rankings, Avvo also released the figures of the five worst law schools in terms of the ratings of their alumni.

See the worst, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Top Law Schools Based On Top Lawyers”

Women lawyers pay.JPGWhenever we do a post on gender inequality in the legal profession, some readers insist on finding arguments to make the income gap “acceptable.”

Another survey was released yesterday, this time from the National Association of Women Lawyers, that shows pay and promotion inequality is still the norm.

The WSJ Law Blog puts the facts plainly:

There is also a considerable pay gap. At 99% of the firms, the top-paid partner is a man; on average, male equity partners earn more than $87,000 annually than female equity partners. (Fifty-nine firms in the AmLaw 200 reported compensation data.)

Can you imagine what those numbers would look like if the other 141 AmLaw 200 firms had bothered to report their compensation data?

The survey itself deals straight-away with one of more common justifications for continued inequality:

In spite of more than two decades in which women have graduated from law schools and started careers in private practice at about the same rate as men, women continue to be markedly underrepresented in the leadership ranks of firms. Women lawyers account for fewer than 16% of equity partners, those lawyers who hold an ownership interest in their firms and occupy the most prestigious, powerful and best‐paid positions. The average firm’s highest governing committee counts women as only 15% of its members – and 15% of the nation’s largest firms have no women at all on their governing committees. Only about 6% of law firm managing partners are women.

Let me access my inner Joe Biden and repeat that: two decades, starting careers in at the same rate as men, 16% of equity partners.

More survey results after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More Evidence of Sexism in the Legal Community”

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