Celebrities, Hotties, Lindsay Lohan, Litigatrix, Prisons, Sentencing Law

Should Lindsay Lohan Go To Law School?

Lindsay Lohan claims her fingernails were not sending a message to the court.

When actress Lindsay Lohan was sentenced earlier this week to 90 days in jail for probation violations, she showed up in court with fabulous fingernails. If you’d like to learn about how to get the same look for your own nails, check out our sister site, Fashionista.

The tie-dye effect on LiLo’s nails was très cute — the profanity, not so much. After a photographic close-up showed “F**K U” stenciled on her nails, observers wondered if the message was directed at the judge — and whether it might constitute contempt of court. Lohan clarified, via Twitter, that the “F.U.” was not directed at Judge Marsha Revel. (For the record, though, Lohan does think Judge Revel is a “f**king bitch.”)

Still, it probably wasn’t advisable for Lohan to show up in court with profanity printed on her fingernails. Didn’t her attorney — or her former attorney, veteran litigatrix Shawn Chapman Holley, who recently quit the case — advise the actress about courtroom appearance and demeanor?

UPDATE: For the time being, Holley is still Lohan’s lawyer. Page Six reports that Judge Revel won’t allow Holley to leave the case until a substitution of counsel has been filed with the court.

In fairness to Lohan, she probably didn’t expect that the words on her fingernails would be seen. After all, they were only shown to the world thanks to extreme close-up shots by high-definition cameras — cameras that also captured her handwritten courthouse notes. (John Steele of Legal Ethics Forum wonders if this raises privilege issues.)

And perhaps Lindsay Lohan views herself as above the law — and the lawyers. As analysis of the starlet’s Twitter feed reveals, Lohan considers herself to be quite the legal eagle….

By the way, this isn’t the first time Lohan has confronted legal issues. She has a long track record of brushes with the law. For example, back in 2006, she was served with a subpoena while walking the red carpet. She chased after the process server, in the apparent belief that she could return the papers. Alas, service of process doesn’t quite work that way.

So let’s look at Lohan’s legally-themed tweets — which, taken as a whole, make Elle Woods look like Elena Kagan. On the day after she was sentenced, Lohan tweeted (multiple tweets consolidated into a single quote):

It is clearly stated in Article 5 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights that….

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Uh-oh…. Is Lindsay Lohan citing international law??? If she’s ever nominated to the Supreme Court, expect her to get grilled by some senators over this.

Why didn’t Lohan cite some good ol’ American law: the Eighth Amendment, which also prohibits cruel and unusual punishment? It might have worked — but not because 90 days for multiple probation violations is “cruel and unusual.”

To paraphrase a popular tweet on the day of her sentencing (which I can’t find right now), “Breaking: Jail sentenced to 90 days of Lindsay Lohan.” If having to share quarters with Lohan would violate the Eighth Amendment rights of her fellow prisoners, would Lohan be entitled to a non-custodial sentence?

A few minutes later, Lohan moved on to U.S. law. She tweeted (again, multiple tweets consolidated):

[T]his was taken from an article by Erik Luna: “November 1 marked the 15th anniversary of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. But there were no celebrations, parades, or other festivities in honor of this punishment scheme created by Congress and the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Instead, the day passed like most others during the last 15 years: Scores of federal defendants sentenced under a constitutionally perverted system that saps moral judgment through its mechanical rules.”

Oh, Lindsay. You were awesome in Mean Girls, but maybe you should stick to acting. As Professor Doug Berman noted over at Sentencing Law and Policy, Lohan’s citing “criticisms of federal sentencing law to complain about the state sentence she has received from a local judge” was misplaced.

(Furthermore, not to pile on or anything, but Luna’s piece was published in November 2002 — back when the Guidelines were binding on sentencing courts. Today, after United States v. Booker (2005), the Guidelines are just that — mere guidelines, advisory and not binding. (Of course, statutory mandatory minimums may still apply in certain cases.))

Here’s Lohan’s last law-related tweet:

http://tinyurl.com/29kxdyf — please RT

The tweeted article is a Newsweek piece about a woman in Iran who could be stoned to death for the offense of adultery. Again, the relevance of this (admittedly horrific) situation to Lohan’s case is unclear. If Lindsay Lohan went to Iran, they would stone her just for being Lindsay Lohan. Or for romping around sans panties.

In sum, based on the gaps in her legal knowledge, it seems that LiLo might want to look into law school. If Jerry O’Connell can do it, why can’t Lindsay Lohan?

(Okay, the jury is still out on J.O.’s pursuit of a J.D.; the actor has put his legal studies on hold, to play a lawyer on TV. But he assures us that, like the Terminator, he’ll be back.)

As it turns out, La Lohan may not be the only one in need of additional legal training. As noted today in Morning Docket, Lohan has a new lawyer — a really new lawyer, as a matter of fact.

Lindsay’s latest lawyer is a recent arrival to the legal profession. Meet Tiffany Esther Feder-Cohen, a graduate of the University of West Los Angeles School of Law (San Fernando Valley Campus), who just joined the California bar in November. Given Lohan’s recent money troubles, lovingly chronicled by the tabloids, she’ll be glad to know that Feder-Cohen offers fixed-fee arrangements and free consultations.

But hey, why does LiLo need a lawyer anyway? She already has a famous ex-convict advising her about what to expect from prison life. And when it comes to understanding “life on the inside,” it’s much better to rely upon the advice of someone who has spent the night, not a day-tripping criminal defense lawyer.

In all seriousness, we wish Lindsay Lohan the best of luck, both in jail and in rebuilding her life and career after she gets out. Like millions of Americans, we love a comeback — and the bigger the fall, the bigger the comeback. LiLo is a beautiful and talented young woman, and she just needs a little guidance to put herself back on the straight and narrow path.

So good luck, Ms. Lohan. And if you find yourself thinking about law school down the road and need some advice, drop us a line.

Twitter – Lindsay Lohan [verified account]
Get Inspired: Lindsay Lohan’s Nail Art (Sans the F-U) [Fashionista]
Kudos to Professor Erik Luna for being cited by Lindsay Lohan in her Twitter rant about her jail sentence [Sentencing Law and Policy]
Lindsay Lohan’s court-room notes & hi-def cameras in the court [Legal Ethics Forum]
Read Lindsay Lohan’s Impressive Courthouse Notes [Jezebel]
Lindsay Lohan’s new lawyer is a really new lawyer [THR, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]
Lindsay Lohan’s Lawyer: I Quit! [TMZ.com]
Famous Ex-Con Mentors Lindsay Lohan [TMZ.com]
Lindsay Lohan Calls Judge ‘F**king Bitch’ [TMZ.com]

Earlier: Lindsay Lohan Gets Red Carpet Service
Prior ATL coverage of Lindsay Lohan

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