Elie Mystal

Elie Mystal joined ATL in 2008 by winning the ATL Idol Contest. Prior to joining ATL, Elie wrote about politics and popular culture at City Hall News and the New York Press. Elie received a degree in Government from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was formerly a litigator at Debevoise & Plimpton but quit the legal profession to pursue a career as an online provocateur. He's written editorials for the New York Daily News and the New York Times, and he has appeared on both MSNBC and Fox News without having to lie about his politics to either news organization.

Posts by Elie Mystal

A mother and daughter are giving interviews to anybody who will listen about behavior that actually should be very embarrassing to them if they had any sense of shame. Here are the facts that the family really wants you to know.

* 15-year-old Miranda Larkin was the new girl in school who didn’t know the dress code, which specified that skirts be no more than three inches above the knee.
* Mother Dianna Larkin allowed her daughter to go to school in a skirt “closer to four inches” above the knee.
* Busted for a dress code violation, Miranda Larkin was made to wear a “shame suit” of sweat pants and a large T-Shirt that read “Dress Code Violation.”
* Crying ensued.
* The Larkins are now threatening to sue the school, alleging FERPA violations, and saying ridiculous things like “[T]his is not about punishing kids. This is about humiliation.”

Dude, your daughter is in high school. The only punishment she understands is humiliation…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Shame Suit’ Leads To Stupid Lawsuit”

DMV photos are as close to most people are going to come to taking a mug shot. The lighting is bad, the angles are wrong, and people are uglier than they think they are.

But that doesn’t stop some people from trying to look their best for their state-issued ID. A 16-year-old in South Carolina passed the road test and showed up to the DMV in full make-up. The problem is that he’s a boy. And in South Carolina, boys are evidently not supposed to wear make-up — though methinks Lindsey Graham never got that memo.

The South Carolina motor vehicles department determined that the boy was wearing a “disguise,” and made him take off his face before taking the photo and issuing his driver’s license.

Now, his mother is suing on his behalf…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Can’t A Dude Put On Lipstick For The DMV?”

The results are in. It turns out that a snazzy, mass-transit ad campaign mocking elites is not enough to turn around an entire law school. Law school applications are down because law school isn’t a good value, not because law school hasn’t been correctly marketed to prospective students.

It looks like Suffolk Law is going to have to face the music. The university has already replaced its president. Now the law school is offering buyouts to tenured faculty and professors with renewable contracts…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Suffolk Law Offers More Buyouts Than Harvard, Yale, And Columbia Combined”

* The rare interesting case about standing. Court says hotel has no standing to sue over hackable locks that haven’t been hacked yet. [Forbes]

* Speaking of hacks, Apple says it’s not at fault for hacked celebrity nudes. As a side note, I’m already beyond annoyed at people telling me what I should or should not Google. If Googling “Kate Upton nude” was okay last week, then it’s okay this week. [Business Insider]

* Credit Suisse porn. [Dealbreaker]

* Bieber behaving badly news. At what point do we need child labor laws to regulate precocious stardom? [CNN]

* Incredibly, Cliven Bundy remains un-prosecuted. [ABA Journal]

* Scaring law students doesn’t help them learn. It does help them feel terrified though, which can be its own reward. [WSJ Law Blog]

* I think that Eric Cantor guy is going to be just fine. [Washington Post]

* The internet is being allowed to be in Iran. [New York Times]

The Supreme Court of the United States (photo by Drew Havens).

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an article by Adam Liptak on the increasingly suspect “facts” that the Supreme Court cites in some of its opinions. Whether penned by the justices themselves or the little twits who actually do the heavy lifting on the opinion-writing, opinions from the Court have become a veritable wasteland of dubious figures, outlandish claims, and hardcore pornography. Or, rather, just the first two.

Sex-crazed Stephen Breyer, for instance, is said to have relied on a discontinued blog for a statistic related to public libraries. The blog, wackyliberryfacts.blogspot.com, has two posts since 2008 and both have to do with Michael Hutchence’s death. A good read, if maybe a bit too reliant on incorrect lyrics from Suicide Blonde.

On the right side of the Court (and history…?), coozehound Samuel Alito is said to have cited an unreliable fact about background checks done by employers in a 2011 opinion. The fact? That 47 percent of Americans can’t come up with Joe Biden’s name when asked who our Vice President is. Which, as far as I can tell, is a totally true fact! But its connection to background checks is tenuous, if not downright nonexistent.

Given the fact that our nation’s entire legal edifice threatens to crumble under the weight of a thousand erroneous internet “facts,” we’ve decided to help the Court out. Here are five ways the court can get around the shoddy fact-checking in judicial opinions.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Indifference To Truth: 5 Ways SCOTUS Can Avoid Relying On Dubious ‘Facts’”

Whenever you go to an unaccredited law school, you are assuming the risk that the school doesn’t get accredited. The law school isn’t going to give you your money back if the ABA doesn’t accept it into the club.

Then again, even if you go to an accredited school, things are not set in stone. The gamble of going to a law school of middling rank is taking its toll on some students in the Pacific Northwest. On the bright side, at least some students can now leave, guilt-free, and start whatever else they’re going to do with their lives…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week In Law Schools In Trouble”

As clear as I can tell, Becker & Poliakoff lawyer and out-homophobe Walter Kubitz, author of the now-infamous “gay plague of AIDS” email, still has a job. I’m not at all sure why. Becker & Poliakoff keeps saying that such divisive views about gays and lesbians do not reflect the firm’s “core values” and will not be tolerated… AND YET the firm clearly values Kubitz enough that he is still being tolerated by the firm.

Is Kubitz just a fantastic attorney that Becker can’t afford to lose? The man has been working for 30 years and still hasn’t made “shareholder” at the firm, so I don’t think he can be SO good that the firm just can’t do without him. What kind of power does this guy have? Jesus, does Kubitz have photos of Becker shareholders getting gay with Santa Claus? Maybe firm management doesn’t understand that pictures of them getting busy with each other at a firm retreat would be CONSIDERABLY LESS DAMAGING to the firm’s reputation than continuing to employ such a proud homophobe.

Becker just put up a statement on their website about the Kubitz situation. The statement doesn’t actually say what Kubitz did, doesn’t contain an apology from Kubitz, and hides behind religious toleration rhetoric when that’s not even the point of what happened here. Let’s give it a close read….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is Walter Kubitz The Greatest Lawyer Of All Time?”

He was in a wheelchair. Why would he shoot? He could have just hit the man, beat him up.

Anita Johnson, a Miami-area woman, commenting on the killing of an unarmed panhandler in a wheelchair. Miami police have arrested Rodney Louis for allegedly shooting the panhandler before leading the cops on a 20-minute, high-speed chase. I suppose the days when handicapped beggars were merely dragged from their wheeled chariots and assaulted are but a fleeting memory of what America used to be.

Have you heard of “immigrant-investment visas.” I hadn’t, but doesn’t it seem like exactly the kind of thing we would have? You pay us a lot of money, we give you a green card.

I know, putting it that way makes it seem a little too much like people can buy citizenship. Which they can. But the government dresses it up so it doesn’t sound quite as shady. From the Wall Street Journal:

Started 24 years ago, the EB-5 program allots 10,000 visas annually to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in U.S. development projects, from dairy farms and ski resorts to hotels and bridges. In return, the investor and family members become eligible for green cards, or permanent residency, typically within two years.

Yeah, that still sounds pretty shady. People with $500,000 to sink into a freaking ski resort are probably doing just fine in their home country. At the very least, they’re probably not fleeing political or economic desperation and in need of fast-tracked immigration decisions.

According to the Journal, wealthy investors do this for their children. Yes, the children of wealthy investors benefit from this program. Meanwhile — excuse me, let me set my rage meter to nova — there are thousands of kids with their faces pushed up against the glass of America right now, FLEEING DEATH.

Continue Reading On Above the Law Redline…

* Are Apple and Samsung really still fighting? Even people who live on the West Bank are tired of this pointless conflict. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Tim Wu + New York Times = Oh, like you could pick Robert Duffy out of a lineup. [New York Times]

* Wow, a cop actually got disciplined for choking a… oh, wait, he choked a white kid. Well OBVIOUSLY you’re not supposed to do that. [Washington Post]

* Yes, but what if you beat your wife while on marijuana? What will you do then, NFL? [ESPN]

* And now for the part where Miley Cyrus ruined that homeless man’s life. [ABA Journal]

* Jeff Kessler has some experience watching the free market destroy things. [New York Times]

* Let me explain how “The Man” works. First, he takes away your leg room on the airplane. Then, he just waits for somebody to try to recline his seat, and waits for the plebeians to kill themselves. The recliner is not your enemy. The airlines are… also the jackass recliners. [The Upshot / New York Times]

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