* Demand for attorneys well-versed in animal law is on the rise as pet owners push for recognition of their pets as family members rather than ordinary property. Which reminds me of my dog Rascal. He ate his own crap, licked furniture, and once peed on a baby. And when he died, my parents looked at me and said, “It should have been you.” [Baltimore Sun]
* Joe Miller may allow Lisa Murkowski to be certified as the winner of Alaska’s contested U.S. Senate seat, but Miller isn’t done scrapping and a’clawing. Shine on you crazy diamond. Shine on. [Washington Post]
* Still pissed about your bonus? Don’t blame partners. Sure they’re making more money this year while forcing you to work harder for the same pay, but… umm… look, just don’t blame them for anything, ever. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If you commuted into work today, you don’t know how to accept a gift. [Village Voice]
* Reading your wife’s email is a crime now? Fine, so long as it is now also a crime for your wife to rifle through your pockets or even look at your BlackBerry. [Fox]
As I alluded to last week, today I was supposed to be getting some action down in sunny Florida. Alas, thanks to the massive blizzard that hit the East Coast last night, I’m stuck in my Manhattan apartment — after three consecutive flights got canceled on me.
I’m grumpy, but understanding (and enjoying a Glee marathon — finishing up season one). The snowstorm was epic, after all. It’s over now, but the effects linger.
Correction: The preceding sentence is not just false, but unintelligible.
Several folks have told me that a good way to juice readership of this column would be to publish a salacious post about bonuses paid to in-house corporate counsel, so readers could complain about how one corporation is stingy and another generous, or how corporations pay bigger or smaller bonuses than law firms. But I can’t write that post.
Justice Sotomayor is loud and proud when dissenting from denials of certiorari.
* Instead of writing a blurb about this story featuring new lawyers down in Florida embroiled in the mortgage mess, allow me to hand it over to one of the article’s online commenters: “Imagine that crooked lawyers !!! Who ever said kill all the lawyers ? Great quote . We all do realize the government is made up of these kind of people that look honest enough but looks are only skin deep . Just imagine again having a license to steal ,conive mislead, downright lie to gain there way . Yet they are behind almost everything that is , WOW . As far as I’m concerned there all thieves till proven innocent , goes for our government as well . Continued” Well said. [Palm Beach Post]
* This guy quit a job in marketing to go to law school all because he doesn’t care about the size of his wiener. [ABC News via Gawker]
* I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again (because I’m lazy): The practice of checking the credit history of job applicants discriminates against blacks, Latinos, and me. [Los Angeles Times]
* A lawsuit claims the United States Marshals Service undervalued millions in seized property, thus denying victims their rightful compensation. You know who wouldn’t have undervalued this crap? Yep, Pawn Stars. [New York Times]
* In family law news, Hugh Hefner proposed to some Playmate lady named Crystal Harris. The pacemaker wants what the pacemaker wants. Get it? You get it. [Reuters]
Or, if you’ll forgive the expression, a merry Christmas (to those of you who celebrate it). The entire team here at Above the Law sends you the warmest wishes of the season (subject to Manatt’s lawyerly disclaimers).
If you need some extra inspiration to get into the holiday spirit, check out the lovely Christmas poem that the lovely Kashmir Hill composed last year. Or view some clever law firm holiday cards. Or read about the holiday plans of various people within the legal profession — including NYU law professor Arthur Miller, prominent trial lawyer Mark Lanier, Elliott Portnoy of SNR Denton, Robert Morse of U.S. News, Dean William Treanor of Georgetown Law, and yours truly (karaoke, anyone?) — in this fun article, by Leigh Jones of the National Law Journal.
If you need some last-minute gift ideas, check out our list of the 12 Books of Christmas — some bookstores are still open (the Barnes & Noble at Union Square closes at 6 p.m. today; I just called). Or if you’re too lazy to leave your home or office, just go to Amazon and order a slew of print-at-home gift cards (one of my strategies this year).
Although Christmas Day isn’t until tomorrow, it’s generally being observed today. So here at ATL we’re following the lead of the federal government — thanks, 5 U.S.C. § 6103! — and taking off until Monday, December 27 (subject to the caveat that if some truly huge news breaks — e.g., God forbid, a Supreme Court justice fatally overdoses on egg nog — we will be on it).
So we’ll see you next week — when we will be around and publishing posts, although at a somewhat reduced level. Until then, be merry!
* For my fellow hotel groupies: “Hilton Settles with Starwood Over Dumb Denizen Idea.” [Hotel Chatter]
* Being a judge is pretty awesome. It means you can force jurors to start deliberating at 3 a.m. and work through the night — Twelve Sleepy Men? — so your vacation plans won’t be disturbed. [8NewsNOW.com]
* Speaking of judges, congratulations to that Wise Latina, Judge Mary Murguia, who was just confirmed to the Ninth Circuit. [How Appealing]
* And speaking of nominees, we continue to accept suggestions for 2010′s Lawyer of the Year. [Above the Law]
* And speaking of honors, we’d be honored by your vote in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 contest. Thanks for your consideration! [ABA Journal]
In today’s New York Times, there’s an interesting profile of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Senatrix Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. To be honest, despite my weakness for high-powered women with gold-plated credentials — Gillibrand’s résumé features Dartmouth, UCLA Law, a Second Circuit clerkship, Davis Polk, and Boies Schiller (where she was a partner) — I’m not a huge Gillibrand fan.
If you’ve ever heard Gillibrand speak, you can understand why her congressional peers nicknamed her Tracy Flick. She sounds like a super-perky high school president, not a United States Senator. She has no gravitas. She occupies the Senate seat once held by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but Kirsten Gillibrand is not fit to kneel down and remove Hillary’s kitten heels.
Anyway, enough ranting. The NYT profile of Gillibrand, despite its occasionally fawning tone, is worth reading, due to some fun tidbits about Gilliband’s stint as an associate at Davis Polk….
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The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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