August 2014

Judge Vaughn Walker is coming out -- of the federal judiciary, that is.

* Michigan AG candidate David Leyton demands that assistant AG Andrew Shirvell be faaaaaaaabuloussss fired. [Ann Arbor News]

* If at first you don’t succeed, ignore the judge’s ruling and try again. Lawyers for the Department of the Interior beg for a pass on the second deep-water drilling moratorium. [Bloomberg]

* “I’m black, I’m transsexual, and my name is Lord Jesus Christ.” Three strikes and you’re out at this Massachusetts library. [The Republican]

* New Jersey ethics laws have loopholes? Impossible –- New Jersey is a bastion of honesty and integrity! [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Being the director of FernGully Avatar now qualifies you as an expert in federal Indian law. [Vancouver Sun]

* The Iranian Blogfather has been sentenced to 19 ½ years in prison for blogging. Yes, blogging. Good thing we ATL staffers don’t live in Iran… [CNN International]

* HTTP 404 – Net neutrality not found. Congress now looks to the FCC to reboot the internet. [Wall Street Journal]

* San Francisco judge Vaughn Walker (N.D. Cal.), of Prop 8 fame, is stepping down from the federal bench at the end of the year. Will this have an impact on the case going forward? [Los Angeles Times]

Apparently, Angelina Jolie doesn't have a lot of friends. Aww. Would you be her friend?

* The 9/11 health care bill finally passed the House. Too bad. Not about the bill, the bill looks good. I was just kind of hoping for another epic meltdown from Anthony Weiner. [Salon]

* Could an MBA be even more worthless than a J.D.? [Out of the Storm]

* Real Wall Street types opine on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. I’m using their input for the screenplay I’m working on, Wall Street: Money Flees America. [Hellerman Baretz]

* Let’s be clear: we need more lawyers. We just need them to work for poor or lower-middle-class clients. Wouldn’t it be awesome if law school tuition came down so that more people could do this work? Otherwise, we might just have to find a way to obviate the need for lawyers altogether. [Truth on the Market]

* Are successful women lonely? [Psychology Today]

* The laws surrounding suicide notes. The subject matter is so depressing that few people, even lawyers and journalists, actually know how to treat these documents. [Legal Satyricon]

I like the work, I like the people, I like the clients, I set my own hours, I set my own price structure, I call the shots with what I will and will not do.

Valerie Scott, one of the three sex workers who successfully challenged restrictions on prostitution in Canada’s Criminal Code (via Morning Docket).

This is the most bizarre story we’ve seen in quite some time. And we always appreciate the opportunity to use our State Judges Are Clowns tag. (Federal all the way, baby.)

So, Isaac H. Stoltzfus is a judge from Intercourse — yes, Intercourse — Pennsylvania. As for the rest of the story….

Eh, res ipsa loquitur. Just click on the link below.

Judge from Intercourse, Pa., gives women condom-stuffed acorns
[Associated Press via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

You have to hand it to the people at Latham & Watkins. Former employees can bitch and moan all they want about being laid-off, but the firm has a certain kind of “star quality.”

Take this story from this month’s American Lawyer. It turns out that when Oliver Stone needed to figure out what was really going on during the height of the recession, he turned to Latham attorneys Alexander Cohen and Brian Cartwright. The lawyers are at Latham now, but their previous government experience gave Stone the inside knowledge he was looking for.

And because of their efforts, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps will be a much better movie…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What’s the Latham Billing Code for ‘Chilin’ With Oliver Stone’?”

Yesterday we discussed the merger talks that are currently taking place between Akin Gump and Orrick. We solicited your views on a possible combination, and we received some interesting feedback (in the comments and by other means).

Let’s start with the happy stuff. Here are some positive takes on an Orrick / Akin merger, from the comments (yes, positivity in the comments — it happens):

  • “I have been at both firms and I believe it would be a good fit both geographically and practice-wise. Orrick is almost all about finance, and finance is one key area that Akin lacks real depth.” [FN1]

  • “#1 Vacuum company in America + #1 brand of cocktail shrimp = unstoppable legal force.”

But it’s not all vacuums and cocktail shrimp, sunshine and puppies. Insiders with knowledge of both firms also identified downsides to a possible Orrick / Akin merger….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Merger Mania: Opinions on Orrick + Akin”

Andrew Shirvell

Andrew Shirvell, the Michigan assistant attorney general who has decided to launch a smear campaign against a Michigan undergraduate student council president, appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 last night. Shirvell made headlines two weeks ago, when his hate blog against University of Michigan student council president Chris Armstrong attracted media attention. Shirvell claims Chris Armstrong advances a “radical homosexual agenda.” Shirvell’s blog depicts Armstrong with photoshopped swastikas on his face and features all sorts of hateful rhetoric directed against Armstrong. We previously wrote about Shirvell here.

I don’t know if Shirvell thought he was going to get fellated by Larry King when he walked into the CNN studio. But Anderson Cooper was not about to let this unrepentant homophobe have an unchallenged opportunity to spout his hate to a national audience. The best Cooper line: “You seem to be obsessed with this young, gay man.”

Why don’t you check out the video clip, and then we’ll discuss…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Andrew Shirvell Gets Boned by Anderson Cooper”

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Guess we won’t have Kenneth Kratz to kick around anymore. Kratz, aka the Sexting District Attorney, will soon step down as DA of Calumet County, Wisconsin. According to his attorney, Kratz’s resignation will take place before October 8, the date set for his removal hearing. The news was reported on Tuesday by the Associated Press.

Losing his post as chief prosecutor will definitely cramp Kratz’s dating style. He’ll forfeit his high-profile job and its $105,000 salary. He’ll no longer be able to hit on women victims seeking help from his office by sending them text messages that read “Are you the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA?” and “I’m the atty. I have the $350,000 house. I have the 6-figure career. You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize!”

And no more romantic dates at the medical examiner’s, either.

On a more serious note, one aspect of Kratz’s conduct in particular merits special condemnation….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Sexting District Attorney: Ken Kratz to Resign as DA, But He’ll Always Be ‘The Prize’”

Ed. note: The following piece was authored by The Legal Tease, of Sweet Hot Justice fame. Check out her other musings from Sweet Hot Justice here.

You may have noticed that people working in Big Law are more pissed off than usual lately. And I can’t say that I blame them. The threat of associate layoffs still looms large. A six-figure salary barely keeps you off food stamps. White shoe firms are crawling with bed bugs. And herpes. But it looks like there’s a new kid on the block — a pair of kids, actually — gaining traction as the latest target for Big Law acrimony, at least if the state of affairs in and around my firm is any indication: Boobs. Or more to the point, how front and center they should be when it comes to dressing for work.

Now, arguments over appropriate sartorial choices for the workplace, breast-related or otherwise, are nothing new. Panels have been convened over them. Entire websites have been launched about them. Lawsuits have been waged because of them. But when the argument focuses on the degree of exposure — or lack thereof — of female breasts in the workplace, especially in a legal workplace, that’s when tempers really start to get out of control.

I can tell you’re already starting to get a little hot under the collar, aren’t you? OK, look, let’s all just calm down, take a deep breath, and take a tour of some photographic evidence….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Keep Those Breasts Firm… Appropriate”

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