California, Cellphones, Crime, Lawyer of the Day, Small Law Firms

Lawyer of the Day: They Literally Fought the Law, and the Law(yer) Won

These muggers messed with the wrong attorney.

On Friday, a San Francisco lawyer single-handedly defeated a group of teenagers who tried to steal his cellphone, using only his Rockport shoes, some Jedi mind tricks… and the phone they tried to steal.

You do not want to mess with this badass Lawyer of the Day….

LegalPad has the scoop on small firm attorney (and former O’Melveny & Myers associate) David Newdorf’s foray into crime fighting:

Newdorf was headed to the Ferry Building from Montgomery Street just after 5 p.m. when he felt an arm around his neck. A second man snatched his phone from his hand.

The thieves — whose first mistake was taking his “crappy two-year old Motorola Droid” instead of the $500 iPad 2 in his other hand — had targeted a former marathon runner.

“I was wearing a suit and, fortunately, Rockport shoes,” Newdorf said, so he sprinted after them.

When he caught up with them outside a coffeehouse at Market Street, “we were circling around benches — sort of like a stand off.” He was hollering for police and finally, Newdorf says, he made eye contact with the teen holding his phone who eventually “gave up and handed it over.”

“It was not Chuck Norris,” says Newdorf, a 50-year-old of average size. “It was more like Alan Dershowitz. It was all Jedi mind control and scaring.”

With cell phone back in his possession, Newdorf snapped pictures of the teens (see above!). And when they took off, he again gave chase.

That’s pretty embarrassing for the teenage thieves. They got chased down by a man probably older than their parents — in business attire. But that’s not even the end of the story:

At some point, a third teen — the largest of the bunch — appeared and told the lawyer, “stop following my homies or I’ll f**k you up.”

Ooh, scary, bro. (Actually, considering the crack-addicted riffraff that hang out in downtown S.F., you never know.)

But no petty threats could stop Marathon Man Newdorf. He kept up the chase until police arrived. He ID’d the kids, and promptly tweeted news of his awesomeness. He later reported, again via Twitter, that the teenagers spent the weekend in Juvenile Hall, and would be formally charged today.

Despite everything, Newdorf remains a superhero second, and a lawyer first:

“I would recommend, given the strength of the case, they either get John Keker or Cris Arguedas,” Newdorf deadpanned. For the third suspect, he added, “I recommend the lesser known but very good Jai Gohel.”

Game, set, match. How much you want to bet Newdorf spent the whole weekend happily whistling, “I Fought the Law”? I totally would have.

Gavel bang: Legal Blog Watch

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