Paul Ceglia’s lawsuit claiming a major ownership stake in Facebook is heating up again. There has been a flurry of court activity over the last couple of weeks, and it looks like things are getting close (we can only hope) to a thrilling conclusion.
In a new, strongly worded ruling, a federal magistrate judge threatened to impose more sanctions on Ceglia and ordered him to produce a letter written by Kasowitz, one of his (many) former law firms, which Facebook’s attorneys say will blow the doors off whatever remains of his case.
* Killing me softly with taxes, killing me softly, with taxes, taking my whole life, with levies, killing me softly, with these taxes. [Going Concern]
* Texas GOP Platform says that they oppose teaching critical thinking skills to children. The party says it was a typo, but given how many people can’t think themselves above 150 on the LSAT, I don’t think they have anything to worry about. [Talking Points Memo]
* So, does this mean that Republicans don’t think the government can mandate ultrasounds, or what? [Huffington Post]
A surreal scene took place in an Arizona courtroom yesterday. A defendant was convicted of arson and collapsed with convulsions in the courtroom. Witnesses and investigators say they believe they saw the man poison himself before collapsing.
Add in the facts that this man was a graduate of Yale Law School, a former Wall Street banker, and a local celebrity who once climbed Mount Everest, and you’ve just got a very strange and ultimately tragic story….
It’s hard out here for a judge. Deciding people’s fates is fraught with serious ethical and moral questions, as well as occasional risks to personal safety. Some convicted criminals don’t take kindly to prison, and judges can face the wrath of a prisoner’s family.
So what can a judge do to protect his privacy and safety? Use technology of course! The whiz kids at Abine, the company that came up with Do Not Track Plus, have a new product that fills that need, or more generally, the need of anyone who wants to get their private data off the internet. The company recently announced a partnership with the California Judges Association….
If I’ve learned one thing from Above the Law’s experiment in matchmaking, it’s that throwing two pretty people together is about as effective in generating something that sticks as a DOJ prosecution of [fill in the blank].
I recently matched an “open-minded” female law student with a lawyer on sabbatical in San Francisco, figuring that they would both have unstructured time for hanging out. She was looking for someone “ambitious, confident, and outgoing.” He self-described as “Impossible is Nothing.” So that seems like a perfect match.
I had them meet at Candybar. Superman made a good first impression: “I was hoping for a tall, dashing, Biglaw attorney. But really, as long as he was easy on the eyes and not shorter than me, I’d be happy,” writes our female law student, who given the chance to bed any lawyer, fictional or real, chose Harvey Specter of Suits. “And happy I was.”
Unfortunately, she was no Lois Lane. He says: “I think I’ll start with the tl;dr to hopefully save some of the otherwise wasted billables on my lame story: She is a cute, fun girl who I just unfortunately didn’t feel much of a connection with, probably because of the damage law school is doing to her.”
Hey, you knew you were signing up for a legal matchmaking service. Damaged goods expected….
We’ve written about appropriate courtroom attire quite frequently in the past few months. By now, you’d think that everyone, including journalists covering the courts, would have a firm grasp of what ought to be worn to show respect for the judicial process. But, as always, someone just had to go and prove us wrong.
Apparently a reporter’s fashion sense (or lack thereof) caused a major kerfuffle this week at the High Court in Wellington, New Zealand. Laura McQuillan, writing for NZ Newswire, was dressed so inappropriately that she was ejected from the courthouse before the proceedings she was observing broke for lunch.
Because nothing says you take your job seriously like dressing like a low-rent disco queen to report on a high-profile murder trial….
I assumed that the comment of the week this week would come from the news that Justice Roberts turned into Severus Snape and saved Obamacare.
There have been some hilarious things said about the Obamacare decision, and Buzzfeed captured the 25 funniest tweets. I even got off a couple of nice one liners. Popehat is running a whole competition for the most outrageous rage reaction from the Obamacare decision.
But the comments on Above the Law were kind of… tame. I mean, there was a lot of making fun of CNN and the usual number of people who are still butthurt that Obama is the president, but there wasn’t a lot of insight, and very little was funny. The comment with the most likes was BL1Y’s:
Why is Obama waging a war on poor people with this incredibly regressive tax?
That’s pretty good. But the general dearth of good comments in the thread made me look elsewhere for the Comment of the Week this week….
Companies don’t typically hire law students. The greatest concern that companies have about hiring law school graduates is training. In-house legal departments don’t want to have train new lawyers, and prefer that law firms take the effort to pass on the needed skills before we go ahead and pinch some of their best associates.
That said, there are certainly several examples of companies that have successfully decided that it’s a good thing to hire counsel who know virtually nothing about practicing law. In this post, I’ll examine some of the pros and cons of hiring newbie lawyers versus law firm trained, not-so-newbies for entry-level in-house positions.
For the first issue at hand, what is this magical “training” that law firms are so good at providing…?
In tough times like these, sometimes you have to be resourceful to get what you want, and it seems that some people still really want to go to law school. And rather than taking out additional student loans, in the spirit of Ruth Carter — a 3L at ASU Law who started the “Sponsor a Law Kid” program — an incoming UVA Law student has decided to solicit online donations to help “lessen the debt load.” It’s a sad, sad day when a future UVA student can’t afford to pop her collar.
In fact, this young woman wants your help no matter what you think of her, because in the end, so long as she gets her tuition dollars, she doesn’t really care. Hell, even if you’re “sadistic and would enjoy watching” her fail, she’ll still be glad to take your money. She’ll even send you little prizes in the mail as thanks.
If you’d like something to balk at, let’s find out more about this entrepreneurial Cavalier….
* You don’t necessarily have to agree with what Chief Justice John Roberts did with respect to his health care opinion, but you’ve got to admit that it was an act of statesmanship that will forever define his legacy on the Court. [New York Times]
* CNN, one of the world’s most reliable news networks, reports that no many legal scholars were surprised unsurprised by yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to strike down uphold the Individual Broccoli Mandate Affordable Care Act. [CNN]
* Word to the wise: don’t get cocky over in the Eighth Circuit, because apparently boosting the length of a prison term based on whether or not a defendant is smiling at sentencing is not considered an abuse of discretion. [National Law Journal]
* Dewey know why the number of law firm mergers and acquisitions in the United States dropped during the second quarter? Truth be told, they’re all scared, because “[n]obody wants to wind up with a lemon.” [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* George Zimmerman, the man charged in Trayvon Martin’s death, is returning to court today to try to get himself released on bond… again. Let’s give him some credit, because he sure is tenacious. [ABC News]
* Listen, it’s not an easy thing to perform an exorcism these days. Sometimes a priest really just needs to kiss and caress the demon out of your body — a sexorcism, if you will. Nothing to sue over, nothing at all. [MSNBC]
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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