October 2014

David J. Stern

* We covered David J. Stern’s layoffs earlier, but now there have been more. As our Count von Count would say: “Three hundred! Three hundred layoffs! Ah! Ah! Ah!” [South Florida Business Journal]

* All things considered, a first degree felony murder charge is just a little hiccup for Jennifer Mee. [CNN]

* A shortage of judges in Riverside County is helping with California’s overcrowded prison problem. [Los Angeles Times]

* Robbing your clients blind is one thing. Straight up robbing the blind is another. [ABA Journal]

* L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt is ready to take on her daughter in court, because she’s worth it. Literally. [Bloomberg]

* Timothy Mellon donated $1.5M to keep immigrants out of Arizona. I bet he made sure his grass was cut before signing that check. [Wall Street Journal]

* Last week’s Ninth Circuit ruling proved that it gets better, except if you’re an openly gay servicemember. [Washington Post]

Nice torso -- no wonder he gets lucky.

Almost a month has passed since our last open thread devoted to bar exam results. So we have some catching up to do.

It’s not yet November, so California and New York test takers still have some time left to wait. But if you took the Massachusetts bar exam, release of the results is imminent, according to Stuff To Do During BarBri.

(Random aside: BAR/BRI isn’t the only provider of bar exam preparation services. For a comparison of BAR/BRI, Kaplan PMBR, and BarMax, see here — including the comments.)

Stuff To Do During BarBri attributes the Massachusetts mailing, said to be taking place tomorrow, to “the grape vine allegedly originating in the Massachusetts Superior Court.” So at this point it’s still rumor.

But we do have confirmed news of bar exam outcomes from other states….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Recent Bar Exam Results: Open Thread
AZ, CT, MI, PA, VA, WA — any others?

Kirsten Gillibrand, junior Senator from NY and purported MILF

* This “Kirsten Gillibrand as MILF” thing makes me vaguely uncomfortable. She’s blond. Okay. And…? I’m not sure she is/was attractive enough to work at the hottie haven of Davis Polk, much less be in Vogue. [Law Shucks]

* As I tried to explain on Twitter, going shooting with Antonin Scalia sounds like a bad idea if you are a new, liberal justice. [Gawker]

* The Ninth Circuit panel reviewing Arizona’s immigration law doesn’t look very friendly to those who hate Mexicans. [Politico]

* Avoiding the “of counsel” no man’s land. [Technolawyer]

* Woman contemplates paying off $45K dental bill with a positive blog post, but then changes her mind and gets sued. If you ever see me writing a post glorifying Harvard Law School, now you know why. [ABA Journal]

* The So You Want to Go to Law School video, which we posted about ages ago (so no need to send it to us), continues to make the rounds. Now it’s the highlight of this week’s excellent Blawg Review. [An Associate's Mind via Blawg Review]

* Professor Eric Goldman has an update on the Lara Jade Coton case. Congrats to Lara Jade and her lawyer, Richard Harrison. [Technology & Marketing Law Blog]


Look — I want all of you to apply to law school (and to Yale), but I also want you to think about what you’re getting into. These are tough times out there, and while law school might be a great place to hide out for three years, those three years will end.

Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean for Admissions at Yale Law School (and a winner of our law school dean hotties contest), on the (203) Admissions blog.

As we mentioned last week, Above the Law, in cooperation with our friends at ALI-ABA, will be assisting you with your Continuing Legal Education needs. We regularly review the comprehensive CLE offerings of ALI-ABA and pick out selected courses that look particularly interesting to us. Here are the two for this week:

  • Estate Planning 101: Practical Strategies for Estate and Gift Planning: Due to the demise of the estate tax in 2010 and the resulting complications, this area of law has gotten very tricky. Not every client has the impeccable estate planning sense of George Steinbrenner. If you’re new to estate planning, if you’re a seasoned attorney looking for a refresher, or if you just want a basic working knowledge of estate planning and related tax issues — perhaps you expect to come into an inheritance in the next few years? — you should check out this course.
  • Public Speaking and Oral Advocacy: How To Do It Well: Effective public speaking is a skill that every lawyer, regardless of practice area, needs to possess. This reasonably priced course will teach you what you need to know. And really, knocking off some CLE hours while also learning how to speak nicely — in a bar or at the bar — is a no-brainer.

Both of these courses are taking place this week, so don’t delay on registering. You can take them live, in New York City (Estate Planning) or Philadelphia (Public Speaking), or you can access them as live video webcasts. To learn more, click on the links below.

Estate Planning 101: Practical Strategies for Estate and Gift Planning [ALI-ABA]
Public Speaking and Oral Advocacy: How To Do It Well! [ALI-ABA]

Earlier: The Financial Services Regulatory Revolution: Are You Ready?

I’d love for Mark Cuban to own my basketball team. He’s a self-made billionaire who focuses on the fans and (for all the bluster) leaves the basketball decisions to basketball people. Compare that to current Knicks Owner James Dolan — a man living off of his daddy’s success, who thinks he’s smarter than he really is, who has run the once-proud Knicks franchise into the ground, and who may be in romantic love with Isiah Thomas. You’d take Cuban any day of the week over little Jimmy.

You’d probably take Cuban as a client as well. Stephen Best, the Dewey & LeBoeuf attorney currently representing Cuban in his SEC insider trading case, seems to be happy with his client. And we haven’t even seen his legal fees.

But if you are one of Cuban’s adversaries, it must be brutal. To paraphrase Rory Breaker, if the milk’s sour, Mark Cuban ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it. NBA referees know that. And SEC attorneys are about to learn the same lesson…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Mark Cuban Wants to Pay Government Attorneys to Get Off Their Butts”

A recent study by economists at UC Berkeley gives employers a nice argument for keeping salaries a secret. Well, luckily for you, I’m not your employer. Therefore I have no qualms about sharing with you Part 2 of the results from our small-firm salary survey.

In your emails following Part 1, many of you asked that I take the practice experience element of the survey and show how it correlates to salary. Good point. I actually had that in mind from the start, but ended up pushing it into my Part 2 draft when I decided to split up the post.

But you don’t care; you just want the numbers. So, with the final caveat that I’m sure I’ll never be able to fully satiate your salary hunger, here’s the latest snack…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Small Firm Salary Survey: The Results (Part 2)”

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless it involves defamatory Facebook postings and a retaliatory lawsuit.

The new CBS show The Defenders has Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell dramatizing and glamorizing the life and work of Las Vegas attorneys. But for the real attorneys working in the tumbleweeds of Nevada, it can be a tough gig. Ask Jonathan Goldsmith, a “60% Bankruptcy / 10% Family Law / 10% Criminal Defense / 5% Personal Injury” of counsel at Rosenfeld & Rinato. (They don’t bother with associates there — you’re either of counsel or a founding partner, even if you’re just two years out of law school; Goldsmith is a 2009 University of Las Vegas law grad.)

Goldsmith was plaintiff’s counsel in a divorce case, and the husband being divorced, Jordan Cooper, took a disliking to him. Which he naturally expressed on Facebook…

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Truck driver Vasant Reddy is not living the high life. Reddy, a Muslim, refused to transport a shipment of Miller Lite as part of his duties. He claims he was forced to resign because of adherence to his religious beliefs.

Normally refusing to deliver something would seem to be a pretty big problem if your job is to deliver things. But that’s why we have Title VII. As a religious objector, Reddy should still be able to work at his job, provided that he sincerely holds this religious objection and that making an exception doesn’t impose an undue hardship on Reddy’s employers.

Is delivering beer an essential function of being a truck driver? Let’s get into it (dear Muslim friends, you’ll probably want to skip the comments on this post)…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Race/Religion Baiting Question of the Day: Muslim Truck Driver Objects to Trucking Beer”

From partner to pedophile. From Super Lawyer to Super Creep. It’s time for an update on the story of Aaron Biber, the high-profile Minneapolis lawyer who was going to be the next president of the Minnesota State Bar Association but is now going to be a prison inmate. For a very long time.

Aaron Biber first appeared on our radar screen in December 2009, when we named him a Lawyer of the Day. At the time, Biber — a partner at the prominent Minnesota firm of Gray Plant Mooty, and co-chair of its antitrust practice — was charged with molesting a 15-year-old boy.

The charges were true, and Biber pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct back in July. Last week, Biber was sentenced.

What kind of sentence did he get? And what additional disturbing details have emerged about his heinous crime?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Closing the Loop on Aaron Biber, Prominent Partner Turned Pedophile”

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