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

Good news, another law school has cut its tuition. For all of the… creative ways some schools are trying to cope with decreasing law school applications, tuition cuts still seem like the only thing that is likely to help.

But even as some schools start to cut, you wonder if tuition can ever be rolled back to the point where law school is cost-effective for the current generation of prospective law students. Law schools have been raising tuition, every year, for decades. Is cutting tuition now just like putting on perfume instead of taking a shower?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Cuts Tuition, But We Still Have A Long Way To Go”

The Daily Business Review has a nice article up on the declining number of applications to law schools in Florida. You are familiar with the gist, if not the details. Applications are down at all but one Florida law school. The money quote is from George Dawson, dean of the University of Florida Levin College of Law: “If any law school dean told you he or she wasn’t concerned, you shouldn’t believe it…We had a significant problem this past year … with applications down 20 percent.”

Well, that’s the money quote from a news perspective. From a comedy perspective, we’ve got to check in on a different law school…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Candy Crush Law School”

Louie C.K. has the definitive statement on the legal standing of corporal punishment (it’s Louie C.K., so I shouldn’t have to tell you NSFW):

” ‘Stop hitting me, you’re huge. You’re a giant and I can’t defend myself.’…

Kids are the only people in the world that you are allowed to hit… They’re the most vulnerable and they’re the most destroyed by being hit but it’s totally okay to hit them. And they’re the only ones. If you hit a dog, they’ll f***ing put you in jail for that s**t. You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you. But a little tiny person with a head this big who trusts you implicitly, f**k ‘em, who gives a s**t, let’s all hit them…

Let me say this, if you have kids and you do hit your kids, I totally get it. I’m not judging. I get it. My mom hit me. I don’t hit my kids… I’m not better than my mom, it’s because she was poor and I have money… I work two hours a week sometimes.”

That’s pretty much the law right there folks. Of course people shouldn’t hit their kids. It’s freaking barbaric. It’s proven to be an ineffective and damaging form of discipline.

But the law accepts the premise that some people are going to hit their children from time to time. Once you’re there, once you abandon a “zero tolerance” policy on corporal punishment for children, it’s exceedingly difficult to parse “reasonable” from “abusive” punishments…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Child Abuse Isn’t Really Against The Law”


I get it, Uber can be sketchy. There would seem to be a market opportunity for the new car service called “SheRides” (in New York City) or “SheTaxis” (in Westchester). The company will offer all female drivers for only female clients…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘SheTaxis': Nice Thought, Totally Discriminatory”

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video TMZ posted of Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back, repeatedly striking his then-girlfriend and now wife, Janay Palmer:

There will be a lot of talk this week about whether the NFL saw this video when they suspended Rice for only two games. And there will be a lot of talk about whether Rice can be subjected to NFL “double jeopardy” and face additional consequences for his actions.

Before that discussion, can we talk about the part where the judicial system most certainly did see this video before sentencing Ray Rice to… nothing? Screw NFL suspensions. How is Ray Rice not in JAIL?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “And The Assault Charge Against Ray Rice Will Be Dropped”

* It’s fun to keep suing the Redskins over their racist nickname. It’s also fun to watch the Washington Football Club get the snot beat out of them. [ABA Journal]

* Legal aid… for inventor seeking venture capital. Everybody needs lawyers, folks. Nobody wants to pay for them. [San Jose Mercury News]

* Goldman picks and chooses which employees have their legal fees picked up by the firm. [New York Times]

* Judge Posner’s past pontifications on gay marriage, sans benchslaps. [Washington Blade]

* Harvard received the largest donation in its history. It wasn’t from me. [Business Insider]

* A nice review of David Lat’s book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), by Judge Kopf. [Hercules and the Umpire]

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]

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