Alex Kozinski

ash wednesday.jpg* Would ash sway a jury? A judge in Iowa thought so. [Beliefnet via ABA Journal]
* Spanking judge Herman Thomas was acquitted on charges of sexually abusing inmates, but yesterday he was disbarred. [Associated Press]
* CHECK YOU EMAIL SCAMS. [ABA Journal]
* Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski laments the death of the Fourth Amendment. [Pogo Was Right]
* Snarky justice is better than no justice. More on Judge Rakoff’s ruling on the Bank of America-SEC settlement. [New York Times]
* Another lawyer show, this time with Jim Belushi. [Reuters]

Elena Kagan 3 Harvard Law School Above the Law Elana Kagan Elena Kagen.jpgWhat should a female Solicitor General wear to the U.S. Supreme Court? It’s a hot-button issue. For some excellent analysis, see Dahlia Lithwick.
The topic of SCOTUS-appropriate attire for a Solicitrix General keeps coming up. It popped up yesterday in Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s interview with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Monterey.
From an attendee (who stayed at the conference longer than we did; we left the day after our panel):

In case you are not here, David: the solicitor general was just asked what she will wear at the Court, and she declined to say. But Judge Kozinski followed up to ask — expressly on your behalf [David Lat fka Article III Groupie] — whether she would be wearing Jimmy Choos. She said “no,” because the heels are too high to stand in while she argues.

Thought you’d want to know this breaking fashion news!

Shoe groupies: a little bit more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “At the Ninth Circuit Conference: Elena Kagan Likes Sensible Shoes”

Kozinski.jpgSomeone’s July 4th weekend is off to a good start. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, has been cleared of misconduct by the panel of Third Circuit judges that was tasked with investigating him. As you may recall, Chief Judge Kozinski called for an investigation of himself, after it was revealed that he had a “website” — which wasn’t really a website, for reasons previously explained by the judge’s wife, Marcy Tiffany — containing some sexually explicit material.

The Third Circuit Judicial Council’s unanimous opinion, authored by Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, is available here (PDF). It was actually filed on June 5, but only made public today. It’s thorough and lengthy, weighing in at 38 pages, and describes in detail the extensive investigation conducted by the council (with the assistance of outside lawyers, from Dechert and Morgan Lewis, and a technology consultant).

To those with a deeper familiarity with the facts of the case, as opposed to just the headlines, Chief Judge Kozinski’s vindication is not surprising. The judge violated no law; rather, the “website” — actually just a private family file server, although imperfectly secured for a period of time, as explained in the opinion — was a personal matter unrelated to his judicial duties. To the extent that the (overblown) public controversy created a problem in an obscenity trial that Judge Kozinski was presiding over at the time, any problem was obviated when the judge recused himself. And let’s not forget that the whole controversy was originally kicked up by a disgruntled litigant, Cyrus Sanai, who tried peddling the story for months before someone finally bit — and who “has been targeting Kozinski for years,” as noted by Ted Frank.

So congratulations, Judge Kozinski, on putting this matter behind you. We look forward to catching up with you at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference later this month.

A few updates and links, after the jump.

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newspaper headline.jpgWe always appreciate mentions of Above the Law in other publications (and we get annoyed when ATL isn’t given proper credit for breaking stories.). Here are a few recent shout-outs:

1. Chill of Salary Freezes Reaches Top Law Firms [New York Times]

We previously linked to Eilene Zimmerman’s article in Morning Docket, but in case you missed it, check it out here. An excerpt:

Although many associates are angry about the freezes, others are relieved, said David Lat, founding editor of AboveTheLaw.com, a blog about law firms and the profession.

“There is this sense that firms didn’t act prudently during the boom and now they are getting religion, and that it’s better late than never,” Mr. Lat said. “Many associates we have spoken to think the freeze probably saved jobs.”

2. Gauging the net worth [Legal Week]

This article, by Alex Aldridge, focuses primarily on the social networking and blogging scene over in the U.K., but there is some discussion of what’s going on here in the States:

[T]he US legal blogging community is a fascinating case study in itself, having grown up in the wake of the controversial lawyer message boards Greedy Associates. So influential did the irreverent site come as a means for junior lawyers to pass around information that they were regarded as playing a key role in the pay wars of 1999 and 2000, as news of tit-for-tat pay rises among US law firms raced around the web.

3. Obama re-takes oath of office at the White House [CNN]

The always-playful legal Web site Above the Law asked readers to answer an online poll. About 48 percent blamed Roberts, just 17 percent blame Obama, and 35 percent said yes to the statement, “They both sucked.”

4. Back to School with Professor (and Federal Appeals Judge) Alex Kozinski [American Lawyer]

A short write-up, by Ben Hallman, of our recent event at Columbia Law School, an interview with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.).

Chill of Salary Freezes Reaches Top Law Firms [New York Times]

Gauging the net worth [Legal Week]

Obama re-takes oath of office at the White House [CNN]

Back to School with Professor (and Federal Appeals Judge) Alex Kozinski [American Lawyer]

Alex Kozinski David Lat Los Angeles.jpgIf you missed our recent event with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.) in Los Angeles, and if you’re here in New York, feel free to swing by Columbia Law School at around noon tomorrow:

A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence

When: Thursday, January 22, at 12:10 PM
Speakers: The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Ninth Circuit; David Lat, Founder, Above the Law
Where: JG 106, Columbia Law School, 435 West 116th St. (at Amsterdam Ave.)
Cost: Free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

Thanks to the Columbia Law School Federalist Society for hosting the event. We hope to see you tomorrow.

Update: If you missed the talk, here’s a write-up, from Ben Hallman of the American Lawyer.

A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence [Columbia Law School Federalist Society]

Earlier: Kozinski & Lat: The Podcast

california dreaming.jpgWhile David Lat’s west coast rampage continues — he just finished speaking at UCLA — the good people from the Federalist Society furnished us with a podcast of Lat’s lunch talk yesterday with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.).

If you weren’t able to make it yesterday, or you live in the part of the country that the Sun God Ra has marked for eternal suffering, check out the podcast below.

Update: A write-up of the talk is available here.

A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence [Federalist Society]

Ninth Circuit Judges Remain Collegial, Kozinski Says [Metropolitan News]

Alex Kozinski David Lat.jpgSometimes readers complain that Above the Law focuses too much on the East Coast. Since our headquarters is here in New York, and since we lived in Washington from 2006 to 2008, we may have an East Coast bias.

But we do try to run a national legal news site. Even if we’re physically located in New York, wherever two or more lawyers are gathered in our name, there we are.

In recent months, we’ve been making a conscious effort to do more for the West Coast. For example, we’ve started posting — later in the day, to account for the time difference — material aimed at a West Coast / California audience.

And next week we’ll be in L.A., to participate in three events (all kindly sponsored by the Federalist Society). One is with a leading light of the federal judiciary, and another is with a top law professor/blogger. Here are the details:

1. A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence

When: Tuesday, January 13, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Speakers: The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Ninth Circuit; David Lat, Founder, Above the Law

Where: Omni Hotel, 251 South Olive Street, Los Angeles

MCLE Credit: One Hour

Cost: $38 if paid in advance; $40 if paid at the door. Public employees, students and law clerks may pay the discounted rate of $15.

2. Cocktail Reception with David Lat

When: Tuesday, January 13th, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: Bel Air Bar and Grill, 662 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

MCLE Credit: No. This will not be educational in the least — just gossip and booze.

Cost: Cash bar. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. YUM.

3. How Bloggers Changed the Legal World

When: Wednesday, January 14, 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Speakers: Professor Stephen Bainbridge, Warren Professor of Law, UCLA; David Lat, Founder, Above the Law

Where: UCLA Law School, Room 1357

Cost: Free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Please come to any or all of these events. We look forward to seeing you!

A Judge in Full: Personality and Jurisprudence [Federalist Society - Los Angeles Lawyers Chapter]

How Bloggers Have Changed the Legal World [Facebook]

Two Events / One Day with Chief Judge Kozinski and David Lat [Facebook]

dolphin sex video.jpgA tipster asked us: “Did you catch this week’s Law & Order – SVU? The judge had to recuse himself because they found porn on his computer during the course of a porn-addiction case.”

Sound familiar? It may remind you of this recent case (although the L&O episode involved dolphins rather than donkeys).

More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Truly Ripped from the Headlines”

new hampshire.gif* No trial for you! New Hampshire’s Superior Court is shaving a month of jury trials off of next year’s calendar because of its budget crisis. [New York Times]

* 9/11 masterminds recant their guilty plea because they want the death penalty. [Washington Post]

* Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is taking the leaders of L.A.’s largest gang to court. The twist? It’s a civil suit, seeking monetary damages on behalf of L.A. neighborhoods for “property damage, loss in property value, emotional distress, personal injury, medical expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses” [Los Angeles Times]

* Ten percent of UVA 2Ls have not found “summer internships” yet. Alumni suggest they head to Nashville or Denver. [Daily Progress]

* Embattled Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski is getting media attention again, for raunchy, politically-incorrect joke round-ups e-mailed out to friends, colleagues, journalists, lawyers and judges. Sadly, we were not on the Easy Rider Gag List distribution list. The jokes are kinda hilarious. [San Jose Mercury News]

* Five Blackwater guards charged with murder in killings of Iraqis. [Boston Globe]

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGOur last round-up of Supreme Court clerk hiring was published back in August, before the start of October Term 2008. Now that the justices are back in the country and back on the bench, they’re back to interviewing clerkship applicants.

Over at the Clerkship Notification Blog, there was buzz about Justice Stephen Breyer interviewing and hiring clerks for October Term 2009. That intelligence was correct. Here are his hires:

1. Christopher Fonzone (Harvard 2007 / Wilkinson)

2. Jennifer Nou (Yale 2008 / Posner)

Fonzone appears to be the “2007 Harvard grad” referenced in the comments. With Chris Fonzone and Jen Nou on board, Justice Breyer is all done for OT 2009. (We also hear that he’s started to hire for October Term 2010, but we have no details.)

Update (3:40 PM): We now know one of SGB’s hires for OT 2010:

Erika Myers (Stanford 2008 / Kozinski)

Interesting — although Chief Judge Kozinski is a big-time feeder, he tends to feed more to the right side of the Court. So he may be expanding his range as a feeder judge.

The updated list of Supreme Court clerks, with Fonzone and Nou and Myers added, appears after the jump.

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