October 2009

scott black child marathon runner.jpgThe New York City marathon happens this Sunday. We know many lawyers who will be running it, and we wish them luck.

The marathon did not impose a minimum age until 1981 (16, raised to 18 in 1988). Pegged to the upcoming marathon, the New York Times had a fascinating article earlier this week about child marathoners, focusing on Wesley Paul, Scott Black (pictured), and Howie Breinan:

The adventures of Paul, Black and Breinan offer a glimpse into a forgotten aspect of the running boom of the late 1970s. Preternaturally self-disciplined, they were among about 75 children (ages 8 to 13) who tackled the early years of the New York City Marathon in a time of novelty and naïveté….

With no conclusive study, physicians still debate risks to children who compete in marathons, like muscular-skeletal injuries, stunted growth, burnout, parental pressures and the ability to handle heat stress.

Another risk: going on to become a securities lawyer. Two out of the three child marathoners profiled by the Times now practice in that field.

Scott Black is a senior trial lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission in New York (after several years at Wachtell Lipton, where he worked with Lat on a number of cases). Wesley Paul is a partner at Michelman & Robinson, where he practices corporate and securities law.

We touched base with Black and Paul to ask about possible connections between their running and legal careers. Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Run, Forrest, Run!’ (And then go get a J.D.)”

Elie Atlanta time.jpgThe devil is going down to Georgia. Our very own Elie Mystal will be on the midnight train, and the party won’t stop until eight in the morning.
If you’ll be in Atlanta this coming Monday, November 2, please check out the following event:
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR LAWYERS
Monday, November 2, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
State Bar of Georgia
104 Marietta Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Please join GAWL and its distinguished panel presenters for a lively and informative session on Social Media for Lawyers. We will explore how legal blogs and web resources have become a vital source of law firm information for attorneys, and how firms and attorneys can use these resources to shape their image in the legal community – both from a career development standpoint and to enhance business development efforts. Our presenters and moderator are: Mike Allen, President of Lateral Link; Elie Mystal, Editor of Above the Law; Jenny DeVaughn, Social Media Specialist and Founder of Social Precision; and Jackie Hutter, Intellectual Property Strategist and Founder and Principal of The Hutter Group. A special thanks goes out to Jordan Abshire of Lateral Link for his help in coordinating this program.

You can register online at www.gawl.org. Hope you can make it!
Social Media for Lawyers [Georgia Association for Women Lawyers]

Stripper Pole injury.JPGChris Rock said that the primary job of a father was to keep his daughter off of the stripper pole. The father of ReAnna M. Hedrick must be very sad today. Not only did his daughter stray onto the pole, she managed to injure herself while dancing. The Arizona Republic reports:

An ill-fated stint as an amateur pole dancer left a woman bleeding at an East Mesa sports bar and the owners of a Famous Sam’s facing a lawsuit.
While attending a “Ladies Night” on Sept. 3, 2008, ReAnna M. Hedrick of Mesa watched other women take a spin around a dance pole that had been installed for the event and decided to give it a whirl.
The last thing Hedrick, 28, expected was that the pole would collapse, causing her to crash to the floor, according to a lawsuit filed on Oct. 16 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

One would think that Hedrick would be so ashamed that she wouldn’t want to memorialize her erotic failure in a lawsuit. But she hurt her finger, and now she needs money from the club. Boy, I hope she didn’t break a nail.
Details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Another Reason to Keep Your Daughter Off the Pole”

Sarah Palin Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hottie.jpg* Reed Smith becomes the latest law firm to announce a move away from lockstep in favor of a “core competencies” model. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The Ninth Circuit grants the Obama Administration’s request for rehearing en banc of a case about the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program. [How Appealing]
* A former Dorsey & Whitney partner, accused of illegally providing inside information about deals he was working on to a law school classmate, takes his own life. [Bloomberg via ABA Journal]
* Both sides gear up for the upcoming vote on Maine’s same-sex marriage law. [New York Times]
* Another $31 million in fees will be headed in the direction of Chrysler bankruptcy lawyers (primarily Jones Day). [Am Law Daily]
* This is why you hire Bob Barnett: Sarah Palin received $1.25 million for her eagerly anticipated new memoir, Going Rogue, even before leaving office. [AP]
* Legalize it! [New York Times]

tajudeen-oladiran.jpgLast week, we posted a highly unusual motion from Arizona. Attorney Tajudeen “Taj” Oladiran filed a “Motion for a [sic] Honest and Honorable Court System” in his racketeering case against Suntrust Bank before the “dishonorable” Susan Bolton.
Taj was extremely disappointed in a ruling by Judge Bolton, calling her “a brainless coward.” He ended the motion with the following:

[M]any good lawyers in town told me the bank’s executives would never be deposed, and that the case would go nowhere. I stupidly stuck to the notion that everyone is equal under the law etc. Boy was I wrong…
My thanks go out to Larry Folks and Kathleen Weber [Ed. Note: opposing counsel] who both warned me that I would lose (I should have listened to them).
I apologize to all my clients. I know, I’m sorry does not repair the mess I made but, that’s all I’ve got.
To my family, words can’t express my apologies; please remember me kindly.
Finally, to Susan Bolton, we shall meet again you know where. :-)

Some readers of last week’s post worried that was a suicidal sign-off.
We got worried too when Taj failed to respond to our emails and phone calls of the past few days. Today, we sent him a Facebook message. When our phone rang with a strange number this afternoon, and the voice on the other end had a Nigerian accent, we were relieved.
Taj lives! He sent us a lengthy missive. Here’s an excerpt:

I hope my explanation will stop the jealous haters that sent me nasty comments from holding their breaths in anticipation of news that I’ve committed suicide. Sorry, no such plans. The Whistleblower Pleading is not about a suicidal lawyer, it is about how an out-of-state bank that made bad mortgage loans in Arizona was able to obtain a horribly biased ruling in its favor. An occurrence that I thought was impossible in the federal district court. .

Full statement, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Taj Lives! (And He’s Pissed)”

Colorado law logo.jpgLast week, we mentioned the disturbing employment statistics for the University of Colorado Law School. Colorado Law Week had reported that only 35% of the school’s students were employed upon graduation.

Apparently the publication got it wrong. After doing some digging, a Colorado Law professor explained how the mistake was made:

The news story got the stat backwards: as of May 2009 graduation, we had 35% unemployed, not 35% employed. Of course, even 35% unemployed is unfortunate, and much worse than CU law’s ordinarily strong employment figures: in the prior two years (i.e., pre-recession), we had just 11-17% unemployed upon graduation, and that figure dropped to only 3-6% unemployed 9 months after graduation, a stat that had made us proud. I don’t know other schools’ figures, but it’s very unfortunate the newspaper decided to single out CU based on an incorrect stat.

Well, that’s a big difference. Colorado’s accurate “employed upon graduation” statistic probably brings it in line with quite a number of state law schools.

The numbers are still far from ideal, and prospective law students should take note (and consider learning a marketable skill like plumbing). But at least students heading for the Rockies don’t have to be disproportionately concerned about their career prospects.

Earlier: A ‘Rocky Mountain High’ Jobless Rate

quinn redskins.jpg* Is it legal to kick out Redskins fans at the Redskins game for voicing their considerable displeasure with the Redskins? I guess it depends on if the fans have hired Quinn Emanuel. [D.C. Sports Blog]
* Even though the GAO tied the high cost of law school to competition in the U.S. News rankings, there is still more than enough blame to go around. [Ideoblog]
* Scientologists should have expected the Spanish Inquisition. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Look who’s flinging the poo now. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]
* Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage. [Technolawyer]
* Short stories from John Grisham [Daily Beast]
* An obituary for one person who actually sought justice. [Simple Justice]
* Jeff Sesssions, ranking member fn the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other legal luminaries will be speaking in D.C. tomorrow about how to reform our profession. [Legal Reform Summit]
* If you are a fan of ESPN’s Bill Simmons (a.k.a. The Sports Guy), you’ll note that I steal from him he inspires me. I’ll be at Professor Thom’s tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. for the Bill Simmons book signing. If you’d like to meet him (or me! or the Fashionista editors!) please stop by. [Bill Simmons Book Tour]

Paris Hilton legal trial lawyer law school nude hottie.jpgHere’s a quick update on the “celebrity justice” beat. There has been a rash of break-ins in Los Angeles, targeting the homes of various stars. Is there a vigilante group of Robin Hoods lashing out at ostentatious displays of wealth during the recession? Not quite. Our sister site Fashionista reports:

While this is not surprising in itself, given that there would likely be some very nice goods found in any of the above, what is surprising is the news of who allegedly committed the crimes and why–a band of teenage girls obsessed with clothing and jewelry.

The older I get, the more I wish we could send all teenagers through some kind of Spartan-style education in discipline and respect before they are released back into the wild.
Click on the links below to read and comment, over at Fashionista and True/Slant.
Crimes of Fashion [Fashionista]
Paparazzi to blame for Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Orlando Bloom being burglarized? [True/Slant]

Tremayne Durham ice cream killer.JPGThe dispute between Tremayne Durham and Rob Chambers started so innocently. Durham wanted to sell ice cream. Chambers makes ice cream trucks. Durham asked Chambers to make him an ice cream truck. Yay. Who wants a Bomb Pop?
But Durham changed his mind. He asked Chambers to refund him the $18,000 he paid to Chambers for the truck. Chambers demurred. Now Durham is suing Chambers for the money.
But suing Chambers wasn’t Durham’s first effort to recover his losses.
No, Durham’s first plan to get the $18,000 back involved kidnapping Chambers and his friend Adam Calbreath, holding Chambers hostage, and shooting Calbreath to death.
The lawsuit represents “Plan B.” KATU in Portland reports:

Durham still wants his money back, all $18,000 – even after he confessed to murdering Adam Calbreath. Calbreath was someone Chambers considered as a loyal friend. …
Durham is serving 30 years for murdering Calbreath and taking Chambers hostage while shoving a gun in his stomach.
“He had said, ‘Look at what you made me do,’” Chambers recounts. “He said, ‘I’ve been robbing and killing people to get to you.’”

Can you imagine if this guy had actually gone through with his plan to sell frozen treats to children? How would he handle a kid who stiffed him a quarter? “Look what you made me do, I had to bury your mother alive while I was looking for her purse.”
It’d be as if Mr. Softee were suddenly replaced by Pennywise.
This isn’t the first time Durham’s made news. Details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream”

Sexy Halloween costume.JPG* You never know when your Halloween costume will come back to haunt you. [Siouxsie Law]
* Anti-blasphemy laws make Jesus cry. [Overlawyered]
* Hey, we’re in the middle of a recession. If you really want to avoid legal pitfalls, hire a lawyer. Please. [Double XX]
* Note to traffic cops: driving while not being able to speak English is not a crime. Not even in Texas. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Oh criminal conspiracy laws that mock common sense with reckless joy. Long may they reign. [Legally Unbound]
* I think I’m at the point where if I called the cops myself I wouldn’t say anything to them once they arrived. I would just hope that they figured out for themselves the nature of the crime I called them to prevent/investigate. [Underdog]
* A tangled web links the SDNY U.S. Attorney’s office with the bottom of a pool in Florida. [Main Justice]
* If Gawker was written by Percy Fitzwallace I believe they would have responded to Joanne Lipman with this line: “I’ve got some real, honest-to-God battles to fight, Leo. I don’t have time for the cosmetic ones.” [Gawker via Law and More]

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