August 2014

Feast your eyes on 'The Prize.'

Thanks to the internet, your memory is probably getting worse. But surely you remember our recent Lawyer of the Day honoree, District Attorney Kenneth Kratz of Calumet County, Wisconsin.

A domestic violence victim who turned to Kratz’s office for help claims that the DA sexually harassed her via numerous text messages, trying to convince her to have an affair with him. One of his texts read, in pertinent part, “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!”

(Someone should put that on a t-shirt: “You may be hot, but I am the prize!”)

Alas, the recipient of Kratz’s “I am the prize” text may not be the only woman he harassed. Two other women have come forward with allegations against the district attorney — and one of them claims Kratz has some weird ideas about what constitutes a fun date….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Sexting District Attorney, Ken ‘I Am the Prize’ Kratz:
Does He See Dead People — On a Date?”

* Apparently more senators need to listen to Lady Gaga — and we’re not talking about her music. The attempt to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell” just failed in the Senate. [Metro Weekly]

* Chanel apparently does not think that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. [Fashionista]

* Supermodel Stephanie Seymour and billionaire Peter Brant go to court… to reaffirm their marriage, ending some very ugly divorce proceedings. Good luck to the happy couple. [New York Observer]

* Is masturbation against God’s law? Or — more practically speaking, since we know you’re going to do it anyway — how can you tell if you’ve been masturbating too much? [Bloggenheimer]

* “[I]f this were China in Mao Zedong’s reign, Professor Henderson would now be in a re-education camp.” [Law and More]

* It would be really lovely if one of you were to nominate Above the Law for the Blawg 100…. [ABA Journal]

Would you want your lawyer to do everything in his power to zealously represent you during your trial? What if doing all he can involves snorting a line during your trial?

Hey, don’t be too quick to judge. Coke heads tend to be alert and aggressive — and those are good qualities for a trial lawyer to have. And I don’t know about you, but one of the things I always tell my lawyer upon the first meeting is: “Look buddy, you handle your detox issues on your own time. When you’re billing me, I want you on whatever drug cocktail you need to be at your best.”

Of course, not all clients are as self-interested as I am. And most court officers also have ridiculous “standards” about “drug use in the courthouse.” Sheesh.

So, unfortunately, a Minnesota lawyer is going to have to spend two days in the pokey for his illicit trial prep skills…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Taking a Performance Enhancement During Trial Lands a Lawyer in Jail”

Last week, University of Chicago law professor Todd Henderson published a controversial post on Truth on the Market. Henderson revealed that he and his wife have a combined income of over $250,000, but argued that this doesn’t make them rich — certainly not rich enough to afford the new taxes Obama seeks to impose on married couples making $250K or more.

You can read the full post over at Brad DeLong’s blog, Grasping Reality with Both Hands. You cannot read the full post on Truth on the Market, because the post has been taken down. Henderson explains why:

The reason I took the very unusual step of deleting [the post and comments] is because my wife, who did not approve of my original post and disagrees vehemently with my opinion, did not consent to the publication of personal details about our family. In retrospect, it was a highly effective but incredibly stupid thing to do. The electronic lynch mob that has attacked and harassed me — you should see the emails sent to me personally! — has made my family feel threatened and insecure.

Well, Professor Henderson, I’ve got your back. We might fight to the death about the proper use of the government’s fiscal authority, but it should be beyond obvious that earning $250,000 a year in this country does not make you rich. That figure doesn’t even approach “wealth,” especially if you live in a major city.

I might have a little more experience with electronic lynch mobs then Professor Henderson, so bring it on if you must. But for all the moral outrage one can level at a person bitching about making “only” $250K, know that $250K per annum is much closer to the minimum starting point you need to bank in order to have a shot at “making it” in the expensive cities of America. Living the dream requires a whole hell of a lot more….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Earning $250,000 Does Not Make You Rich, Not in My Town”

Last month, on their blog, Bruin Briefs, staffers in the career services office of UCLA School of Law offered some advice to 3Ls who didn’t receive offers from their summer employers. If you’re in this ship that be sinking boat, you might find the counsel helpful; check it out here.

One UCLA law student identified this language as the best excerpt:

To many, [being no-offered is] a huge, unforeseen blow. If it’s happened to you, you may be cycling through feelings of anger, betrayal and/ or self-doubt. You’ve worked hard only to have the rug pulled out from under you. Give yourself a bit of time to recover. Remember to use your support systems and seek out help if needed. Take care of yourself and remember you’re the same person you were at the beginning of the summer. This experience doesn’t define you.

The tipster’s take: “It sounds like it was lifted from a suicide prevention handbook.”

We found a part of the post that we liked better….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “UCLA Law: The Jobs Will Come Out… Tomorrow!”

If you’re looking for brutally honest opinions about the summer programs at the top law firms, head on over to the Career Center.  Here are some examples of what you’ll find there:

  • Although this firm had one of the largest summer associate classes in 2010, a high offer rate in 2009, and no start date deferrals, summer associates still couldn’t slack off, since “the standard for most assignments is perfection” and “the pressure is on” to get an offer.

  • Summer associates get the real associate treatment at this firm’s summer program, but only those fortunate enough to land an offer — and not have it rescinded — will actually get to join the first-year associate ranks.
  • Despite making 100% offers to this year’s summer class, summer associates at this firm may not be so quick to accept them, warning that they were not given “real” work assignments and that associate morale was “through the floor.”

For information on summer programs and associate life at all the top firms, visit the Career Center.

Yesterday President Obama held a town hall meeting with those affected by the terrible economy. But the New York Times reports that the televised meeting “turned into a therapy session for disillusioned Obama supporters.”

A lawyer was among the disillusioned. Thanks to his question, Obama is now on notice that student debt is crushing the hope and change out of many people in this country. Here’s the Washington Post’s summary:

Then a 30-year-old law school graduate said he’s no longer able to make the interest payments on his educational loans, much less able to have a mortgage or a family. He said he had been inspired by Obama’s campaign. But now, “that inspiration is dying away,” he said. “I really want to know: Is the American dream dead?

If Bill Clinton had been asked that question, he would have said “I feel your pain,” molested the questioner, and said “I will not, let, student debt continue to bang you in the ass.”

So what did President Obama say to the debt-laden lawyer?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Disgruntled Law Grad Brings Student Loan Woes to Obama’s Attention”

A Supreme Court clerkship is, in the words of Adam Liptak of the New York Times, “the most coveted credential in American law.” When SCOTUS clerks leave their posts at the Court to join private law firms, they get signing bonuses of as much as $250,000 (on top of normal associate salaries and bonuses).

But typically they join their firms as associates (or maybe counsel, if they have a few extra years of practice in addition to clerking). How many clerks come in to Biglaw as partners?

As reported yesterday — by Tony Mauro in The BLT and by Marisa Kashino in Washingtonian magazine, among others — at least one Supreme Court clerk from the Term just ended, October Term 2009, is going to straight into a partnership at a major law firm.

Meet Elizabeth Papez. She clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas in OT 2009. Now she’s joining the D.C. office of Winston & Strawn, where she will practice in commercial and appellate litigation, with a focus on intellectual property and energy law, as well as government relations.

We interview Papez about her interesting career path, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: From Supreme Court Clerk to Winston & Strawn Partner”

Did Bethany Storro do this to herself?

* Beat Hess, legal director at Royal Dutch Shell, argues that the “party is over” for law firms. Beat, I’d like to introduce you to our commenter, Captain Obvious. I think you guys will really hit it off. [American Lawyer]

* A judge told accused cop-killer Richard Poplawski that he can no longer play “lawyer roulette” — which, if it’s anything like Chatroulette, involves a lot of naked dudes. Also, check out the phone call Poplawski allegedly took during his skirmish with cops. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

* Hewlett-Packard remembers that it dumped Mark Hurd and drops the jilted lover act. [New York Times]

* Rural jurors used to get off of jury duty by paying a fee and doing community service. Not anymore. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Sportingbet, a British gambling site, backed up the Brinks lorry and paid 21 million quid to settle a dispute with U.S. prosecutors. I have no idea what any of that means. [The Guardian]

* Acid-faced hoaxer now faces theft charges. As it turns out, throwing acid in your own face doesn’t pay off. [ABC News]

* Lindsay Lohan’s legal woes are a thing of the past after withdrawing her lawsuit against E-Trade. [Associated Press]

As for doing what I like, I never do what I like! Ask my wife Joanna….

Justice Stephen Breyer, rejecting the notion that unelected judges can do whatever they want, at an event at the New York Public Library to promote his new book, Making Democracy Work: A Judge’s View.

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