October 2014

If you’ve ever tried to write a lead paragraph for a story, you’ll know that the New York Daily News staff writers deserve drinks on the house for this impressive opening:

A cleavage-crazed criminal court judge — who fathered a son with a young Legal Aid lawyer — quit after officials found a massive porn stash on his work computer, sources said Thursday.

Bang. Erato herself couldn’t have been more titillating. So I’m assuming you’re going to want some details about Judge Jerks-A-Lot…

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Poor Dalmatians....

It looks like Wyclef Jean can’t run for president of Haiti. But elsewhere in the Caribbean, visitors from the mainland are being welcomed with open arms. A reader at Harvard Law School reports: “A member of the Class of 2010 was just crowned Miss Jamaica World 2010. Not sure if she had an offer or is deferred or what.”

(Although she’s a freakin’ beauty queen, note how the tipster immediately turned to discussion of her law firm employment status. Welcome to HLS!)

The news is true: Chantal Raymond, who graduated from Harvard Law a few months ago, is the new Miss Jamaica World. As noted in the Jamaica Observer, Raymond will represent the island nation at the Miss World competition later this year, in Sanya, China.

Yes, we know: pics or it didn’t happen.

We have the pictures. And yes, of course the pageant included a swimsuit competition….

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Elie's a Mets fan so he never has to worry about WS tickets, free or otherwise

* New York Governor David Paterson may face criminal charges for accepting a free ticket to the World Series last year. Even if he’s convicted, I still think he got a good deal on that ticket. [WSJ Law Blog]

* The “hold-out” juror in the Blagojevich trial explains her vote. I’d like to mock her, but she appears reasonable, honest, and conscientious. It’s a shame Blagojevich didn’t sell her that Senate seat because Washington could sure use someone like that. [Chicago Tribune]

* Is the FAA’s proposed $24.2 million penalty against American Airlines excessive? Yes . . . unless you think that giant metal flying machines carrying thousands of people across the world daily should actually meet the minimum safety guidelines set by the government. [CNN]

* The Elusive and Exotic Double Benchslap: A Florida appellate court has found a plaintiff’s lawyer’s language during trial to be so prejudicial and inflammatory that the trial judge abused his discretion by finding otherwise. [Law.com]

* A Two-Step Guide to Losing a Seat on the Iowa Supreme Court: (1) Rule in favor of same-sex marriage; (2) Wait for the next retention election. [Washington Post]


You know how violent felons treat pedophiles particularly bad in the prison system? I wonder if fraudsters reserve special scorn for people who use their disabled children as part of the scam? A former partner at Morrison & Foerster may soon find out. He’s been arrested for defrauding the state of California out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by way of scam utilizing his autistic kid. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

A former partner at a well-known law firm and his marketing consultant wife were arrested Wednesday on felony charges of bilking the San Francisco school district and private insurers out of about $400,000 via fraudulent bills for treatment of their autistic son, officials say.

The San Francisco couple, Jonathan S. Dickstein and Barclay J. Lynn, both 43, surrendered Wednesday and are expected to appear in court this morning for arraignment on 30 counts of fraud, theft and conspiracy, authorities say.

We can and will blame the alleged perpetrators of this fraud. But where was the government oversight?

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* Feminists law bloggers who don’t like anonymous comments lead “academic witch hunt,” anonymously, of course. [The Legal Satyricon]

* Drug Czars are so uptight about marijuana legalization efforts in California. They need to chill out. If they just, say, had a joint, I bet they wouldn’t feel like going around and hassling people. [Sentencing Law and Policy]

* Shining a light on in-house counsel salaries. Let’s make it happen. [Law Shucks]

* How to tell the difference between a good degrading job and a dead-end degrading job. [Law and More]

* There should be a law: if a man saves your theater from burning down, twice, you can’t evict him for any reason. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

* A Florida pastor intends to commemorate 9/11 by being a total asshole. [New York Times]

* I would have written about the hamburger lawsuits today, but frankly I didn’t feel like hearing 100 fat jokes on the same day I was shopping for a new belt. Now that it’s almost time for my drunkening, go (do)nuts. [WSJ Law Blog]

Law school deans come, law school deans go, but this departure hurts. As Dean of Northwestern Law School, David Van Zandt has been a strong voice for a more practice-oriented approach to legal education, and he’s been doing it from the unusual perch of top 14 law school.

But at the end of the year he will leave to become the President of the New School. And boy are they happy. From the New School’s press release:

“We are proud to welcome David Van Zandt to The New School,” said Michael J. Johnston, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Since 1919, New School leadership has stood at the vanguard of American higher education. The New School today has emerged as a major degree-granting university with academic strengths in the humanities and social sciences, design, public administration, and the performing arts. I am confident that David Van Zandt will make lasting and meaningful contributions here, building on our legacy of preparing socially responsible citizens for the challenges of the future. I along with the rest of the Board and the university community look forward to working with David.”

Dr. Van Zandt will assume his new position as president of The New School on January 1, 2011. He succeeds the university’s current president, Bob Kerrey, who will remain as New School president until the end of 2010 to ensure a seamless transition. Kerrey, who was appointed in 2001, led The New School during a period of unprecedented growth.

Dean Van Zandt deserves the praise. But the sadness coming out of Northwestern is palpable. The kids at Northwestern Law were very attached to their dean…

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Ed. note: Welcome to ATL’s new column, Fame Brief. Since Kash has left the building, Marin, ATL’s other lady-in-waiting, will be picking up her celebrity beat and filling you in on the latest celebrity legal shenanigans. Before you fall over yourself to post an annoying comment about how this blog be sinking or how nobody cares about celebrities, consider that our celebrity posts are some of the most popular ones on here. So SOMEBODY out there cares about celebrities….

When I got my first credit card, my dad was afraid I’d go hog wild and buy a suit of armor, sconces, breast implants, decorative fireplace accessories, a foosball table, IVF treatments, a boat and a monstrous “Tuscan villa” McMansion in Towaco, NJ. But at least I’m making payments on these purchases, unlike Joe and Teresa Giudice of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, who filed for Chapter 7 back in October 2009….

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Associates are under a lot of pressure these days. But we applaud those junior lawyers who respond to the current demands with initiative and creativity. We found just such an associate in Toronto.

The man’s problems seem trivial to the outside world. His office is crappy. He needs an upgrade, but not because he wants to feel like he’s some hotshot. He just knows that he has to look like a hotshot in order to generate business. This is how he explains it on a Craigslist post:

I work in a large Bay Street law firm. Many of my partners and clients have extensive collections of original artwork. As a struggling associate with a mortgage, no job security and a wife with a penchant for running into things with our car, I cannot afford to buy original artwork myself, so I appear low-rent to the higher-ups. Given the high standards of my clients and partners, I also cannot go out and buy prints or copies of original art – I will be laughed into the unemployment line.

A lot of associates would have noted the problem and left it at that. Maybe they would have gone home crying to their mothers about life’s unfairness. But not this kid…

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You write frequently about a higher education bubble. Our law schools are great evidence of that as they continue to churn out untalented, over-educated, over-credentialed snobs who really can’t do anything.

– Anonymous Biglaw partner reacting on Instapundit to the unwillingness of UCLA Law students (and ATL commenters) to chauffeur around their betters.


Looking to spruce up your wardrobe for fall recruiting season? Whether you’re a law student interviewing for jobs, a partner in pursuit of a top recruit, or unemployed and waiting for the Rapture, it’s important to look your best.

Working together with Gilt Groupe, which hosts invitation-only sales of luxury brands at prices up to 70% off retail, we’ve put together a special sale just for Above the Law readers. Here’s your chance to snap up sharp and sophisticated clothing, footwear and accessories, from some of the most trusted names in menswear. See, e.g., Thomas Pink; Cole Haan; A. Testoni; Calvin Klein.

Your Above the Law editors are excited about the deals. Lat’s been on a juice fast and needs skinny slacks. Elie… does not, but his wife likes it when Elie rocks the Elie (Tahari — whose shirts will be on sale).

Check out the wares here. The sale starts today at noon and is for a limited time only — so act now, or your purchase may be time-barred. Happy shopping!

Above the Law Custom Store [Gilt Man]

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