Well, now he is. This morning Steve Slater pled guilty to second-degree attempted criminal mischief, a felony, and a lesser charge of fourth-degree attempted criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Although flight attendants are used to spending long periods of time in confined spaces, Slater isn’t getting any prison time.
Pursuant to the plea agreement, Slater must go through at least one year of mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. If he completes the program in satisfactory fashion, the felony charge will be dismissed, and he’ll be sentenced to a year of probation on the remaining misdemeanor count.
Did anything exciting happen at the hearing? Did Slater take a page from his JetBlue playbook, call Judge Marcia Hirsch a “f**king asshole,” and tell her to “f**k off”?
We touched upon this issue in Morning Docket, both today and yesterday: Is Steven Slater — the JetBlue flight attendant who reportedly unleashed a profanity-laced tirade over the airplane’s public-address system, before fleeing the plane via the emergency-evacuation chute, beer in hand — a criminal?
Slater was hit with felony charges of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, on the reasoning that the deployed evacuation chute could have hit someone below. But his lawyer argues that there was no endangerment, since Slater — a flight attendant with about 20 years of experience, since he entered the business at age 19 — checked to make sure nobody was below before deploying the slide.
Let’s explore the legal issues a bit more — with the help of one of our favorite commentators, memoirist turned litigatrix Elizabeth Wurtzel….
Part of the frustration is this incredibly long build-up to nothing. Like, ‘Why did I spend 22 years getting A’s and studying for the chance to eat canned chili?’
… I was in the airport watching people move bags from the curb to the curbside check-in, thinking, ‘At least they do something all day long, and I have $450,000 in education and fancy everything, and I’m sitting around all day and watching 2.5 movies a day?’
– Brad, a 28-year-old New York lawyer who was unemployed for six months. (Gavel bang: The Careerist.)
[Ed. note: This post is by EXLEY, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Exley's avatar (at right).]
We apologize for the delay in bringing it to you; we received it later than the other submissions. Alas, the demands of Biglaw are not very conducive to covert participation in a legal blogging deathmatch.]
I saw this rather striking ad at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank this morning (pre-quake):
The text on the right says: “Justice may be blind but she still sees it our way 92.3% of the time.”
Call me a sick nut but at first I thought it was an ad for the United States of America, to make me feel good about all the rigmarole a person has to go through at airport security these days.
But it turns out that Lady Justice was posing for another almost-all-knowing entity.
Find out who it is after the jump.
In the wake of our recent post about a dubious defense, here’s another one:
A lawyer for an MIT student held at gunpoint after she walked into Logan International Airport wearing what authorities believed was a bomb asked a judge to throw out the charges Friday, saying the device was a legitimate form of free speech….
Thomas Dwyer Jr., a lawyer for Simpson, said his client didn’t think her shirt would scare anyone. He said she’d been wearing the shirt for several days on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, and it had not alarmed anyone….
“People make these objects part of their identity. It’s a part of their personal expression,” he said. “They are legitimate forms of First Amendment expression.”
[A] 9mm round from an airport police handgun might be a legitimate “free speech” reply to a person with a battery-powered rectangular device on their chest with flashing lights and apparent plastic explosive in their hands.
Remember Kyla Ebbert, the comely young woman whose sexy outfit was deemed too revealing for flight by Southwest Airlines? We mentioned her story in passing back in this post (fourth link).
Well, it seems that Ms. Ebbert is back in the news — er, nude. From the AP:
A 23-year-old college student who was told by a Southwest Airlines employee that her outfit was too revealing to fly is wearing even less on Playboy’s Web site….
Kyla Ebbert appears in a series of pictures — some in lingerie, some nude — under the heading, “Legs in the Air.”
“They’re very tastefully done,” Ebbert told The Associated Press on Thursday. “I don’t see anything wrong with the female body.”
Indeed. And we’re big fans of Playboy, which we read strictly for the articles (and the ATL shout-outs).
So what does Kyla Ebbert want to do with her life?
Ebbert worked at a Hooters in San Diego but said she wants to become an attorney, and doesn’t think posing nude should get in the way of her professional aspirations.
“This was beautiful and classy. I don’t see why it would affect a professional position,” she said. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
* As a judge, Michael Mukasey cited Shakespeare in snarking on — and striking down — the federal sentencing guidelines. [AP]
* Speaking of district judges, the well-regarded Judge Paul Cassell (D. Utah — at right) is resigning from the bench — partly due to low judicial pay. [Sentencing Law & Policy via WSJ Law Blog]
* What not to wear when you go to the airport. [Boston Globe]
* Unlike, say, the Ninth Circuit, the Second Circuit follows on-point Supreme Court precedent. [TaxProf Blog]
* Your submissions for Blawg Review #127 are respectfully requested. [Deliberations] Update: The citation for the Mukasey opinion is United States v. Mendez, 691 F. Supp. 656, 663-64 (S.D.N.Y. 1988).
Back in this post, in which we incorrectly predicted that Mukasey wouldn’t get the AG nomination, we wrote: “We’d also add that Judge Mukasey probably isn’t solidly conservative enough for the White House. See, e.g., his views on the federal sentencing guidelines.”
Title: Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Description: This Albuquerque, NM-based company, which makes personal passenger planes, seeks a General Counsel to head overall management of the legal and regulatory functions within the Company and to oversee all legal aspects of its anticipated public offering, including legal compliance with SEC and NASDAQ/NYSE registration and all subsequent reporting requirements. Company is willing to relocate qualified candidate from anywhere in USA to Albuquerque, NM.
Some fashion advice for Arab-Americans traveling by plane: leave the Arabic-slogan t-shirts at home.
Unless you want to become the plaintiff in an ACLU lawsuit. Consider this recently filed case:
The American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit charging that a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official and JetBlue Airways illegally discriminated against an American resident based solely on the Arabic message on his t-shirt and his ethnicity.
JetBlue and the TSA official, identified as “Inspector Harris,” would not let Raed Jarrar board his flight at John F. Kennedy Airport until he agreed to cover his t-shirt, which read “We Will Not Be Silent” in English and Arabic script.
According to the complaint, Harris told Jarrar that it is impermissible to wear an Arabic shirt to an airport and equated it to a “person wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, ‘I am a robber.’”
Yesterday’s Lawyer of the Day here at ATL, Andrew Speaker, is a 31-year-old personal injury lawyer from Atlanta. He is currently infected with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. He got married and honeymooned in Europe, then returned home — initially flying into Canada, from which he drove back to the United States — to have his TB treated.
His critics argue that Andy Speaker, in traveling despite being urged not to by the CDC, endangered his fellow passengers, exposing them to a potentially fatal illness. His defenders point out that he is not symptomatic — and that many of us might have done the same thing in his shoes.
Anyway, enough commentary. You’ve all read agreatdeal about this story already. Time for a pair of (unscientific and imprecise) reader polls:
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.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
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