Attorney Misconduct

When you are representing someone you have love and affection for, you’re going to work twice as hard and there’s no question about it. It is not a detriment to the relationship. My advice to a woman going through a divorce is, find a competent trial lawyer and make him your boyfriend.

Zenas Zelotes, a bankruptcy attorney, giving reported testimony to the Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee about his “intimate” client relationships. Needless to say, the Committee recommended disciplinary action. Zelotes is appealing the decision.

'She was just asking me for directions, officer.'

* Three days after arguing that an alleged Sandusky victim’s lawsuit lacked any factual basis, Second Mile decided to settle. Better strike while the iron is hot (and the wallet is open), lawyers. [Bloomberg]

* So much for that “real shot,” huh? After a failed bid for bail, Galleon Group’s Raj Rajaratnam will begin serving the longest insider trading sentence ever come Monday. [DealBook / New York Times]

* A memo to all Biglaw bachelors: if your game is anything like that of Kenneth Kratz’s, then it’s not just ethics boards who will think you have an “offensive personality.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

* In Tampa, purchasers of prostitutes’ services will now have their cars impounded. Good thing Miami isn’t adopting this law, eh, Professor Jones? (Allegedly, of course.) [St. Petersburg Times]

* Law school is really tough, so the GMU Law administration has some advice for you: the best way to avoid becoming an alcoholic basket case is to play with cuddly puppies. [Washington Post]

Chief Judge Amanda Williams

Because of your disdain for the young man’s use of the term ‘baby momma,’ you ordered that the defendant be summarily jailed.

– An excerpt from a Judicial Qualifications Commission complaint filed in Georgia against Chief Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams, who oversees the operation of state’s largest drug court. Williams faces an ethics complaint for “using tyrannical partiality” on the bench.


When a tipster sent us an e-mail with the subject, “Court awards $700,000+ in sanctions for destruction of FB page,” I thought it sounded like it might be interesting. Because hey, that’s a lot of money.

I didn’t realize it would also be one of the most depressing legal news stories I’ve read since this tragic murder-suicide.

The three-quarters-of-a-million-dollar sanction award was levied against the widower of a woman killed in a car accident and the widower’s lawyer. The ruling was an abrupt table-turn for Isaiah Lester, who had previously won a $10 million wrongful death suit against the driver whose truck overturned and killed his wife.

Keep reading for the depressing details….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Facebook Spoliation Costs Widower and His Attorney $700K in Sanctions”

Taylor Swift

* Snowtober was a treat for some, but a trick for many more. Let us know how your firm is handling this Halloween horror. Email us or send a text to (646) 820-TIPS. [Reuters]

* Will the legal profession continue to be a slave to ethical rules of the past? Only if lawyers can’t profit from it. And if they can, then say hello to an ABA resolution in 2012. [New York Times]

* Pot trafficker: add this one to the list of career alternatives for attorneys that aren’t working out so well. But if you don’t mind giving up your Benz and getting disbarred, then go for it. [Times Union]

* Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best topless trademark lawsuits of all time. One of the best topless trademark lawsuits of all time! [Daily Mail]

* Urine trouble, lady. Here’s some proof that next time things aren’t going your way in court, you should try peeing all over yourself. [New York Post]

* Like many of the victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, he and his wife contemplated suicide, too. But come on, why bother? Was career suicide just not good enough? [New York Times]

* For Sale: One Illinois law license at discount price! Hasn’t been used in 15 years — almost like new. Slightly tarnished. If interested, please contact Rod Blagojevich ASAP. [Chicago Sun-Times]

* Howrey gonna get paid? With a $3M bill and a new Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee in place, that’s what all of these professional service firms are wondering. [Am Law Daily]

* 1Ls may be dumber this year, but prospective law students have gotten 13% smarter. That isn’t saying much, though, because 68% of them still want to go to law school. [National Law Journal]

* The TSA agent who advised this lawyer to “get her freak on” after spying a sexy personal item in her luggage has been professionally spanked. [New York Post]

* LSAC might start auditing the LSAT scores and GPAs that law schools report to the ABA. Now, which agency is going to handle their too good to be true employment stats? [National Law Journal]

* Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s lawyer asked a judge to ban the word “bomb” from his trial. The judge denied it, because, well, he’s called the Underwear Bomber. Duh. [New York Daily News]

* “Don’t sanction me, bro!” Paul Ceglia’s lawyers are begging the court to pass on Gibson Dunn’s request for discovery sanctions after multiple delays. Like. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* In a continuing battle over the market for slutty children’s dolls, Quinn Emanuel may have scored a big one for Barbie with this tentative ruling to toss MGA’s antitrust suit. [Washington Post]

* Apparently it’s unprofessional to put your colleagues on blast for allegedly having “sexual torture chambers” in their basements. Who knew? [Chicago Tribune]

* It’s also unprofessional to slap a man in the face during a deposition. And to think, this came after a confrontation about the impropriety of finger-pointing. [The State]

Angelina Pivarnick

* The Westboro Baptist Church has announced — on an iPhone — that it will be picketing Steve Jobs’s funeral. And now I have an Alanis Morissette song stuck in my head. [Los Angeles Times]

* Price check on aisle seven. Price check on aisle seven for a divorce train wreck. People over in England need to be prepared for this now that supermarkets can sell legal services. [BBC News]

* Crowell & Moring has been slapped with an ethics complaint for suggesting that Appalachians suffer birth defects because they have family circles instead of family trees. [Am Law Daily]

* Se habla Español? Necesita un trabajo? Greenberg Traurig is expanding its ginormas practice with its 33rd office located in Mexico City. [Sacramento Bee]

* Doctors in Kentucky delivered a decapitated baby, but apparently did “nothing wrong.” [Insert completely inappropriate dead baby joke here.] [Courier-Journal]

* A former Jersey Shore star is suing over an alleged attack at a Hot Topic last year. This is only acceptable if the “dirty little hamster” was there to look for a Halloween costume. [New York Post]

Judge Sam Sparks: Probably not smiling now.

The benchslapper has become the benchslapped. Judge Sam Sparks, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, just got smacked around by a higher authority: Chief Judge Edith Jones, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Last month, Judge Sparks issued a sharply worded order in which he compared the counsel appearing before him to squabbling schoolchildren — and invited them to a “kindergarten party,” where they would learn such lessons as “how to telephone and communicate with a lawyer” and “how to enter into reasonable agreements about deposition dates.” In the end, Judge Sparks ended up canceling the party, after the publicly shamed lawyers worked out their issues — but not before his infamous order received national attention within the legal community.

Many observers were amused by Judge Sparks’s order — which was not the first time His Honor has gotten saucy with lawyers in recent weeks (or in his judicial career, for that matter). But a minority felt that the order was over the top and gratuitously nasty.

Among the unamused: Edith Jones, who oversees the federal courts of Texas in her capacity as Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit. What did she have to say to Sam Sparks?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslap of the Day: Judge Sparks Gets a Taste of His Own Medicine”

Obviously some people in my office … all of them … don’t like me.

– County Attorney Bill Sutter, of York, Nebraska, drawing a conclusion about his relationship with his co-workers. His co-workers have alleged that Sutter was disrespectful to women, made crude comments about his scrotum and about rape, and goofed around in the office. Sutter has refused to resign, and county officials are now attempting to initiate his recall.

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