October 2014

It’s a heart-warming story turned cold.

Earlier this year, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law 3L Ted Vogt was appointed to the State House of Representatives, after the previous seatholder was promoted to the Senate. Vogt, who went to Yale for undergrad, wasn’t necessarily a typical law student — age 37, he was the district chairman for the Republican party. Still, it was an exciting final semester of law school. He told the Arizona Capital Times in March:

“We’re actually on spring break now,” Vogt said. “It’s not the traditional spring break, but talk about an exciting spring break!”

Vogt said he is determined to find a way to balance his newfound legislative responsibilities with the last few weeks of his law school studies, and has the blessing of the school’s administration to spend time at the Capitol in Phoenix and away from the school.

He’s been busy at the Capitol. Since he took office, the Arizona House has passed two controversial laws that have made national news: the “birther” bill and the “racial profiling/legal papers” bill. Vogt voted yes on both bills.

Vogt had been a popular guy on campus. Prior to his appointment to the House, Vogt was voted by the class to be one of its graduation speakers. But now some of his classmates (and friends) — who see the bills as “racist measures” — have chilled towards him and changed their minds about wanting him as a speaker next month. Vogt plans to speak despite opposition from fellow students, according to the Arizona Sun. A debate has broken out on the list-serv about Vogt and the bills, and a number of students are planning to protest during his speech. What do they have in mind?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Immigration Debate Causes University of Arizona Law Students to Turn on Fellow 3L Ted Vogt”

Over the weekend, Casey Greenfield — Yale Law School graduate, Gibson Dunn litigatrix, and daughter of political pundit Jeff Greenfield — made a foray into film criticism. Greenfield published a review of the new Jennifer Lopez movie, The Back-Up Plan, in the Daily Beast.

Adrian Chen of Gawker breaks it down:

The mother of CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin’s purported love child has written an essay about being a single mom….

It has long been thought that married Jeffrey Toobin—CNN analyst and New Yorker contributor—impregnated Casey Greenfield…. Neither Toobin nor Greenfield has ever confirmed this, which probably means it’s true. This weekend, The Daily Beast published an essay Greenfield about raising the-baby-which-probably-belongs-to-Jeffrey-Toobin. (His name is Rory.)

If litigating for Gibson Dunn (and against Jeffrey Toobin) doesn’t work out for Casey Greenfield, perhaps her “back-up plan” is a journalism career. As noted in her firm bio, “[p]rior to obtaining her law degree, Ms. Greenfield worked for magazines and newspapers in New York and Los Angeles.”

(Maybe she could even land a book deal for a memoir about her affair and subsequent experience as a single mom? That’s one book we’d definitely buy.)

So, what’s her Daily Beast essay like?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Alleged Jeffrey Toobin Baby Mama Has a ‘Back-Up Plan’”

I talk a lot about what legal education doesn’t prepare you for. You know what it does prepare you for? Any future interaction with police officers. By the time I finished 1L year, I knew the golden rule for dealing with officers of the law: keep your mouth shut. Knowing the law and knowing your rights helps. But whenever you deal with a cop, you should say as little as possible.

Look, as a black man that lesson probably increases my life expectancy. But every person with legal training can benefit from simplicity of silence when cops are around. If I was the victim of a home break-in and called the cops myself, I wouldn’t say anything to them when they showed up. I’d just kind of point at things and shake my head.

You don’t even have to be a practicing lawyer to reap the benefit of these skills. On his blog, Concurrent Sentences (gavel bang: Volokh Conspiracy), a Michigan area law student explains how he masterfully handled a recent traffic stop. It’s a skill all lawyers should have…

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Around this time last year, we ran a story about a person at Wake Forest going ballistic at the school’s Career Services Office.

There must be something about springtime weather that brings out the crazies at Wake. A tipster reports that this year a student once again has lost his mind because of the challenging job market:

[J]ust wanted to let you guys know that another lame student at Wake Forest Law has had a meltdown because he/she could not find a job. Earlier today, this student sent out a school-wide email that threatens career services and slams the dean, the library, those in charge of LLM program, etc. Unlike last year, this year’s message was sent under an anonymous gmail account instead of an actual student account…

This latest email is both funny and pathetic — the author threatens to release information about career services’ coffee breaks unless the career services department resigns. Apparently these breaks have been observed by a group of secret agent students over the course of the year. Why does this always happen at this school? This kid should seriously concentrate on studying for finals.

Honestly, how many times do we need to tell law students that threatening people will get you nowhere? Every lawyer knows that you can threaten laypeople with impunity. But lawyers and legal professionals don’t take well to bullying because they know the law.

In any event, let’s take a look at the student’s ravings and the fairly measured response from the Wake Forest Dean…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Wake Forest Law Students: Time for the Annual Meltdown”

That’s the question posed by Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, in an extremely interesting post on the Opinionator blog. In attempting to address “why other countries [don't] suffer from the same toxic confirmation battles that we do,” she first notes that other nations don’t give their judges life tenure:

High-court judges [in other countries] typically serve for a single nonrenewable term of 9 to 12 years — a period during which Supreme Court justices in the United States are just getting warmed up. These shorter terms ensure frequent turnover and allay fears about a party in power being able to lock up the court for decades through the fortuity of a large number of vacancies; each vacancy naturally carries less weight.

But we’re guessing that Greenhouse, whose politics tend to fall on the left side of the aisle, actually likes having life-tenured judges who are completely unaccountable insulated from the political process. So she tosses out another idea….

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Last June, we reported that Howrey decided to make a big change to the law firm business model. The firm cut first year starting salaries to $100,000. In exchange, the first year program would involve a heavy emphasis on training. Associate billables would be capped at 700 hours and Howrey reduced the rates charged to clients for first year work. The low-salary/training emphasis carried on into the second year.

As we mentioned this morning, the Washington Post took a closer look at Howrey’s new program.

How is it going? Well, it seems great, unless you like money…

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* Law enforcement is getting involved in Apple v. Gizmodo and the leak of the supersecret iPhone. The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office will determine whether there’s enough evidence to pursue criminal charges. [CNet]

* Minnesota lawyer Jeff Anderson has found an interesting niche: lawsuits against the Catholic Church on behalf of abuse victims. [CNN]

* Former SEC lawyer gets eight years in prison for pushing penny stocks. [Reuters]

* Arizona state law criminalizing the act of being an immigrant roils the state and the nation. [New York Times]

* Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm jumps on the don’t-nominate-a-judge-for-SCOTUS bandwagon. [Washington Post]

* Does Obama still care about “empathy”? [New York Times]

* Taking another look at Howrey’s apprenticeship program. [Washington Post]

If I say I’m a clean lawyer, I’ll be a hypocrite, that’s all I can say. And if other lawyers say they are clean, they will go to jail, they’ll go to hell.

– Indonesian lawyer Hotman Paris Hutapea

Greetings from the great (albeit foggy) city of Chicago. We’ve arrived a little early, so we can enjoy the city in advance of our event on Monday with the fabulous Judge Diane Sykes (7th Cir.).

Our talk, taking place at the University of Chicago Law School, is free and open to the public. For more details, click here.

While walking through Midway Airport last night, we came across an unusual advertisement — for a law school, as it turns out….

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On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger became the first NFL player never charged or convicted of any crime to be suspended  under the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.  According to Commissioner Roger Goodell, the decision to suspend Roethlisberger was the result of  “some bad decisions” that Roethlisberger made in recent weeks, which emerged during the Georgia police’s investigation of him for sexual assault.

Allegations of sexual assault are not to be taken lightly.  However, not all such allegations are true.  See, e.g., the Duke Lacrosse scandal.  And whether Roger Goodell even has the power to suspend a player where no criminal wrongdoing is found is questionable. The issue depends entirely upon how one interprets a few important clauses in the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sports and the Law: Will Ben Roethlisberger’s NFL Suspension Stand?”

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