October 2014

Yesterday, a bunch of Republican delegates, fresh off a night at Tattletale’s helping to repay the student loans of nubile gals one lap dance at a time, approved the 2012 Republican Party Platform.

While liberals and the “lamestream media” are fixated on the planks dealing with “abortion” and “gay marriage,” the platform includes some lower-profile planks worth checking out. Here are five that stuck out to me as a lawyer….

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* New Zealand’s Parliament has passed the first stage of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. Lawmakers were apparently inspired by President Obama’s public support of the issue. [Huffington Post]

* The trial of a Florida teen accused of impersonating a physician assistant is underway. Among other things, he allegedly dressed in scrubs, used a stethoscope, and performed CPR on a patient. Apparently, just because you’ve seen it on Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t mean you’re allowed to do it in real life. [ABC News]

* “And to my son, I bequeath my playlist of one-hit wonders and my season pass to Breaking Bad.” Marketwatch tackles the tricky question of who owns your digital music (and e-book) collections after you die. [Marketwatch / WSJ]

* A New Mexico criminal defense attorney, David “Chip” Venie, was charged yesterday with allegedly shooting a man in the leg at his law office. Oh, and Venie’s wife filmed the whole thing on her cell phone, including the unarmed victim holding out his empty hands. [ABA Journal]

* Lawyers for the Amish men and women charged with forcibly cutting the beards and hair of their “perceived enemies” say they were motivated by compassion, not hatred. Sometimes you’ve just got to let someone know her haircut’s not doing her any favors. [NY Times]

* In First Amendment news, the D.C. Circuit court has invalidated an FDA regulation requiring cigarette companies to place warning labels on packages. Is this a victory for free speech, or for big tobacco? [The Atlantic]

After months of living under house arrest and frozen assets, Megaupload leader Kim Dotcom has finally won a multimillion dollar victory in New Zealand court — one that will unfreeze some of his money and allow him to sell off some of his luxury cars so he can pay his attorneys.

Not a glamorous win, by any means, but it is what it is.

The Justice Department’s prosecution has been riddled with problems almost from the case’s beginning, back in January. This is another setback in their attempts to curb file-sharing.

So how much of his money will Dotcom now be able to fork right over to his lawyers? And which cars can he sell?

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Your best lawyers are ALWAYS… at Fry’s!

I’m working in a Fry’s :)

UT Career Services will find some way to call this full-time legal employment.

– an only semi-sarcastic Facebook message from an anonymous, recent University of Texas Law grad.

I watched the sunset with my son last night. I told him that today would never come again, and that I was so happy to have watched the day end next to him. It then occurred to me that I had missed so many events since becoming a practicing lawyer; and for what? The easy answer is that I was such a hungry young turk, that I would always choose work over play because that is what lawyers do. Especially Biglaw attorneys. It was simply a rite of passage to regularly catch the 8:03 p.m. with a couple of oilcans of Foster’s Lager, arrive home after 9 p.m., and be up again at 6 a.m. to rinse and repeat.

Even more hardcore was pulling an all-nighter in an effort to prepare a brief for filing. Associates would lament, with an undercurrent of braggadocio, about how they had to cancel a vacation in order to complete a filing. And the funny thing is, I don’t recall any partners cancelling anything — ever. So, the hard (and candid) answer is that I was a fool….

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As a member of a Greek life organization, you’ll be able to learn some very important lessons with the help of your brothers and sisters. For example, you’ll learn how to mix various types of liquor to create drinks that only the bravest of human beings can stomach; how to stop funneling like you’re drinking from a teacup; how to send passive-aggressive emails; how to evade police questioning; and, most importantly, how to fight for your right to party.

That last skill is coming in handy for a fraternity at Miami University in Ohio. After being suspended for their drunken antics, the frat sued the school in a $10 million lawsuit, claiming that university officials “acted recklessly and maliciously” in imposing punishment on the frat brothers. Not only did the school interfere with their right to party, but it apparently did so in an unconstitutional manner.

This sounds like Animal House, but without the double-secret probation….

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Kids will be kids, right? And sometimes the exuberance of youth (and copious amounts of booze) leads lovestruck young folks to make unwise decisions — like having sex in the street.

In the old days, a beat cop would throw you in the drunk tank and let you cool off… but, oh, how things have changed in the 21st century.

After watching a soccer match at a pub this summer, one of England’s 17 zillion security cameras caught a British couple doin’ the nasty in the street. An officer was sent to break up the party of two.

But that wasn’t the end of it. A randy police employee allegedly downloaded the file, and now he’s in trouble…

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Bagpipes are the red-headed stepchildren of musical instruments. They’re interesting for a second, then you wish they’d go away.

Welcome, law students. Welcome to the old ones meandering back to campus after a summer of making money and connections. Welcome to the new ones who do not yet realize that the previous sentence was a complete joke. Welcome to all.

Let’s have some music. I’m thinking something upbeat. Maybe some trumpets, or a guitar, or… wait… bagpipes? Somebody welcomes students to law school with bagpipes?

Isn’t that what you play at a funeral?

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Chief Judge Alex Kozinski

Supreme Court precedent supports the appearance of federal judges in works of filmed or staged entertainment. For example, back in 1997, Justice Harry Blackmun played Justice Joseph Story in Amistad (as you can see in Justice Blackmun’s IMDb profile). More recently, in 2009, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had cameos in a performance at the Washington National Opera.

We all know how much the Ninth Circuit loves to follow the Supreme Court. So should it be surprising that the Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, will be appearing in a feature film this fall?

And no, it’s not a documentary about the legal system. It’s a fiction-based, feature film….

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Today, we’ve got a tale for our readers about a lawyer from upstate New York who seems to be the epitome of a DUI defense lawyer’s worst nightmare. As the old saying goes, “the third time’s the charm,” but apparently when it comes to this guy and allegations of drinking and driving, the third time’s when you get caught with an alleged prostitute in your car.

Did we mention that the accused prostitute once starred in a reality television show, Wife Swap? That’s certainly not going to help this fellow keep the allegations under wraps….

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