7. DAVID LAT
The case for disgrace: It all started out innocently enough. I graduated from law school; clerked for a judge on the Ninth Circuit, and not one of the crazy liberal ones (Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain); worked as a litigation associate, at Wachtell Lipton in New York; and then joined the U.S. Attorney’s office in my home state of New Jersey. But then I got bit by the blogging bug. The next thing I knew, I was pretending to be a judiciary- and fashion-obsessed woman, Article III Groupie (“A3G”) of Underneath Their Robes (“UTR”).
Writing a sassy and saucy blog about federal judges probably wasn’t the best thing for a federal prosecutor to be doing in his spare time. After I revealed my identity as A3G, in an interview with Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker, controversy ensued. I was on the Drudge Report. I almost got fired.
Thankfully I did not. My boss at the time, then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (now New Jersey’s governor), allowed me to remain in the office (with the blog shut down). I went back to being a prosecutor.
But I missed blogging. I eventually left my job as a prosecutor for a full-time writing job at the politics blog Wonkette. A few months later, in August 2006, I launched Above the Law. Four years later, as the managing editor of this notorious legal tabloid, I continue to drag a learned and once dignified profession through the mud.
The case against: Jeez — that’s a bit melodramatic, isn’t it? ATL can be snarky and edgy at times, but it has evolved into a useful and widely read source of news and entertainment about the legal profession.
(Also, I’m a mere blogger, not important enough for this honor. I put myself in here as a joke — and to preempt ATL commenters from answering the question presented in the title of this post by saying, “YOU ARE, LAT!!!”)