August 2014

Following a freak earthquake earlier in the week, the East Coast is now bracing for the impact of Hurricane Irene. From the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the boroughs of New York City, people are getting ready for another natural disaster that could prove to be devastating.

And speaking of natural disasters, we hear that some folks in North Carolina received their bar exam results today. Congratulations — you’re first to get your bar exam results this year, and you’re first to get ravaged by Irene.

Hopefully this will all blow over. But in case it doesn’t, it’s important to be prepared.

Let’s see how law firms and law schools are getting ready for Hurricane Irene….

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Elie wishes he had taken the nuggets.

* What can law firms learn from Folgers crystals? Maybe how to provide legal services rich enough to be served to America’s finest corporations. [What About Clients?]

* A look at what $100,000 in law school loans could have purchased instead — e.g., 505,050 chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. [Constitutional Daily]

* What kind of “reasonable accommodations” are alcoholics entitled to in the workplace? A three-martini mojito lunch sounds good to me. [Overlawyered]

* Some thoughts from Henry Blodget on Groupon and the SEC-mandated “quiet period.” Any thoughts, readers, on Blodget’s take on attorney/client privilege? [Business Insider]

* Professor Ann Althouse on the exoneration of Justice David Prosser (noted in Morning Docket): “A justice is despised because his decisions do not please liberals, and so, without thought, they forgot about things liberals like to love themselves for caring about, such as fairness and due process.” [Althouse]

Is it wrong to find Justin Bieber totally hot? Just askin'....

* E-discovery is moving to the cloud. What are the opportunities and the risks? Ben Kerschberg and Bret Laughlin discuss. [Forbes]

* Speaking of e-discovery, the DISH Network and Redgrave LLP are sponsoring an e-discovery research and writing competition, open to law students. [dishdiscovery]

* Law librarian Joe Hodnicki weighs in on the controversy over ScamProf aka Paul Campos and his controversial blog. [Law Librarian Blog]

* If you share Staci’s opinion that Justin Bieber “kind of looks like a girl,” here’s some support for your viewpoint. [Fashionista]

* The American Constitution Society is holding an online symposium in honor of the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. [ACSblog]

Lenny Dykstra

Lenny Dykstra was once a famous for being a scrappy center fielder for the Mets and the Phillies. Now he’s more famous for taking the same scrappy approach with the law. In January, Dykstra was accused of sexual assault by his housekeeper. In May, Dykstra was indicted for bankruptcy fraud. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

No charges were brought against the former ball player for sexual assault earlier in the year. In fact, Dykstra cracked jokes about the accusation, quipping: “If she was assaulted on Saturdays, I’m a ballerina dancer on Sundays.” But now it’s time for this twinkle toes to batter up, because apparently Dykstra really likes his housekeepers.

I’m starting to notice a trend here with men and their illicit love for housekeepers. So, what has Nails been nailed with now?

Read more at Dealbreaker….

Glenda McDaniel and Mark McDaniel, parents of Stephen McDaniel, arriving at court this morning.

Bad news keeps on coming for Stephen Mark McDaniel, 25, the recent Mercer Law School graduate accused of killing Lauren Giddings, his former neighbor and classmate. This morning a judge found probable cause in the murder case against McDaniel, which will now be bound over to Bibb County Superior Court. The judge also denied bail to Stephen McDaniel, who has been in Bibb County jail since July 1 (on unrelated burglary charges; he also faces kiddie porn charges).

We were fortunate enough to have a reader at this morning’s hearing. Let’s hear what this roving reporter has to say….

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We think a $5 fee presents no greater burden on nude dancing. . . . The fee is not a tax on unpopular speech but a restriction on combining nude dancing, which unquestionably has secondary effects, with the aggravating influence of alcohol consumption.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht, writing for the majority and upholding the state’s “pole tax” in Combs v. Texas Entertainment Association. The ruling overturns a prior decision that found the fee unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds because it singled out protected expression in nude dancing.

Lawyers like to complain about the billable hours requirements at their firms. A common question seems to be what will count and what won’t. In this line of work, time is money, and many associates want to know if they’re wasting their time.

If the firm makes you go to a professional development event, are you losing out on hours? If you get wrangled into doing pro bono work, are your weekly billables for paid clients going to plummet? And will that ultimately get reflected in your bonus check?

Yesterday, we lamented the fact that we often report on depressing news about the state of the legal profession in this country. Today, we actually have some good news. Jenner & Block realized that their lawyers shouldn’t be toiling away in their dungeons offices and forgoing pro bono opportunities in order to meet their billable hours requirements.

The firm remembered that this profession is supposed to be about helping the less fortunate, and it has adjusted its policies accordingly….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “And the Associates Rejoiced: Now Almost Everything Is Billable at Jenner & Block”

First an earthquake, and now a hurricane. If the world is coming to an end, let’s go out doing what we love: talking about Supreme Court clerks.

Since our last round-up, which was over a month ago, there have been a few new hires. And some of them are for the distant future — namely, October Term 2013. Hopefully the world will still be around by then.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

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Good morning, and welcome to Above the Law’s latest Friday series: Grammer Pole of the Weak.

Last week, we discovered that 62.3% of readers think that it’s all right to use alright. As a grammar nazi, I can’t even describe how much it pained me to write the phrase “Grammer Pole of the Weak.”

Which reminds me: readers, the title of this weekly poll is supposed to be ironic. Are you serial with all of these emails correcting our spelling?

Speaking of being serial, let’s turn to the topic of this week’s discussion: the serial comma….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Grammer Pole of the Weak: Are You Serial with That Comma?”

Every time we do a post about a crazy attorney website, our readers send in even more tips about the seemingly endless supply of wacky websites that are out there (which we appreciate, so keep ‘em comin’). Rarely, however, do we get a tipster begging us to place a fellow attorney in Above the Law’s crosshairs. Until now: “Can you please, please profile this guy, Mark Davis from Toledo, Ohio?” Well, since you asked so nicely….

As far as we can tell from his many, many websites, Mark A. Davis, a solo practitioner in Ohio and Michigan, is a sort of jack-of-all trades who aims to corner the market in all ways possible. In his own words: “Attorney Mark Davis, founder of The Davis Law Office has always lived his life to accomplish nothing less than excellence.”

Here, excellence means, among other things, being able to break bricks with his bare hands (sadly, the video links to these feats are “private” and can’t be viewed). In his opinion, your attorney should not only excel in the courtroom, but “should be mentally tough and a gentleman warrior.”

This gentleman warrior has taken to fighting the good fight on almost all possible legal fronts. Really, it seems that there is nothing that his guy hasn’t tried to do, both in the courtroom and out. From martial arts to starving horses, keep reading to uncover the many talents of Mark Davis….

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Don't 'defamate' me because I'm beautiful.

* With four states sounding their emergency alarms, will this weekend’s hurricane be the next natural disaster to rain on the legal world’s parade? [Los Angeles Times]

* Should we deregulate the practice of law? Do you want someone like me to be an actual lawyer? Easiest debate ever. I should’ve been on moot court. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Even if Justice David Prosser needed to choke a bitch, he’s not going to face criminal charges over it. That’s one way to address workplace safety. [Bloomberg]

* Want a Biglaw job? There’s an app for that! Don’t say Skadden never gave you anything for free (sorry, but the pizza doesn’t count). [DealBook / New York Times]

* Man, it must be nice to have so much money that you can talk bribe kids into skipping out on college. Are all Stanford Law grads so generous? [Reuters]

* Rapper Pitbull was shocked when he found out that Lindsay Lohan was suing him. See that suit and tie? He’s an upstanding gentleman. He’d never “defamate” a soul. [Houston Chronicle]

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