Airplanes / Aviation

avatar Exley ATL Idol.jpg[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):
Lady Justice ad in airport.JPG
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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Mascot of the Day: Lady J.”

Star Simpson MIT student fashion Above the Law blog.jpgIn 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.”

Writes Blogonaut:

[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.

The marketplace of ideas. Ain’t it grand?
P.S. Is the Tom Dwyer involved in this case the well-regarded Thomas E. Dwyer, Jr., of Dwyer & Collora (formerly Dwyer, Collora & Gernter, before Nancy Gertner was appointed to the federal bench)? If so, we’d expect a former state and federal prosecutor to offer a more compelling defense.
P.P.S. In fairness to Dwyer, another argument he’s making — that state law does not clearly define a “hoax device” — seems stronger.
Woman charged with wearing fake bomb says device was free speech [Worcester Telegram via Blogonaut]
Earlier: From the Department of Dubious Defenses

Kyla Ebbert Hooters Playboy breasts nude Above the Law blog.jpgRemember 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.”

Ebbert is absolutely right — there’s a long and distinguished tradition of law students posing in various states of undress. See here.
So, when’s the application deadline for Miami Law?
Flyer told to change outfit poses nude [AP via Yahoo! News]

Paul Cassell Judge Paul G Cassell Above the Law blog.jpg* 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.”

Here’s the latest Job of the Week from Lateral Link, ATL’s career partner:

Company: Eclipse Aviation

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.

More details, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Job of the Week”

Raed Jarrar ACLU T-shirt Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSome 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.’”

Oy. Gotta love those enlightened TSA officials. Should Jarrar have worn a burqa instead?
Okay, seriously — if Raed Jarrar were a terrorist intent on wreaking havoc, would he really have worn such a t-shirt on to an airplane? Isn’t that just a recipe for extra-special scrutiny from the federal air marshal?
(On the other hand, perhaps one could argue, under a “reverse psychology” rubric, that a terrorist might don such a t-shirt because everyone would think: “Only the most dumb-ass terrorist would call attention to himself with his outfit!”)
ACLU Sues TSA Official, JetBlue for Discriminating Against Passenger Wearing Arabic T-Shirt [American Civil Liberties Union]
“We Will Not Be Silent” [ACLU (lawsuit homepage)]
The Airline Screening Playset: Hours of Fun! [Concurring Opinions]
After 5 Years In U.S., Terrorist Cell Too Complacent To Carry Out Attack [The Onion]

Andrew Speaker Andrew H Speaker Andrew Harley Speaker Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday’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 a great deal about this story already. Time for a pair of (unscientific and imprecise) reader polls:


* Will Yalies respond with an NYU-esque gimmick? [Balkinization]
* And some people say raising kids and taking care of the house is a full-time job. Looks like the monetized value of a stay-at-home mom is not always so inflated after all. [Christian Science Monitor via CrimProf Blog]
* You just know that after a few minutes of official union matters, they’re going to be laughing it up about the stuff they see in our bags, and body parts that accidentally (or not) get felt up during pat-downs. [Yahoo! News]
* Another argument in favor of stronger Second Amendment rights? [MSN]
* I know these are the kinds of stories you want, so occasionally, you’ll get them. [WTHR Indianapolis]

Federal Judges on a Plane.jpgSome time ago, we posted an anecdote about the family travel mishaps of Judge Marsha Berzon, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Many ATL readers enjoyed the story. But Judge Berzon’s colleague, Judge Alex Kozinski — one of the federal judiciary’s most brilliant thinkers and talented writers — was less pleased. He sent us an open letter criticizing the story and our decision to publish it.
We posted Judge Kozinski’s letter here, and we promised a more detailed response.
We intended to publish a response much earlier. But having to respond to a benchslapping at the hands of a brilliant federal judge tends to induce “writer’s block.” Who’d have thunk it?
Anyway, we finally got over our writer’s block. Our response appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Response to Judge Alex Kozinski”

Northwest Airlines NWA Above the Law blog.jpgWhat is it about being 30,000 feet in the air that makes people so horny? First this. Then this. And now, this disturbing news story:

An off-duty Northwest Airlines employee was arrested after a woman on a flight from Seattle complained that the man had ejaculated on her.

The FBI identified the man as Samuel Oscar Gonzalez, 20, of Lakewood, Wash. He was charged in federal court with simple assault, a misdemeanor.

It happened on the redeye Monday morning from Seattle to Minneapolis. The woman was headed back to college.

Near the end of the flight, the FBI said Gonzalez sat next to the woman as she was trying to sleep. He touched her, which she described as spooning, lifted her shirt and then got up and left. Court documents said she felt a warm fluid on her back, clothes and seat after he walked away.

Nasty. Well, at least he wasn’t a state court judge.

The woman told the flight attendants about the incident. They moved her to another seat and called police from the air. The crew also moved the man to a seat near the front of the plane until the end of the flight.

He just wanted to sit in first class. Is that so wrong?
Or maybe he was just having trouble falling asleep on the red-eye flight. We’re sure that he slept quite soundly after this encounter.
Off-Duty NWA Worker Charged With Assault On Flight [CBS via Drudge Report]
United States v. Gonzalez: Criminal Complaint [PDF]

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