Joe Patrice

Posts by Joe Patrice

Not to get all originalist, but isn’t “government collecting evidence at random based on vague suspicion” exactly the scenario that the Framers of the Bill of Rights feared? Liberals — or at least liberals outside the White House — generally agree on this. Even conservatives are on board with this one. However, there is an alternative view. It may be too clever by half, but maybe the collection of phone data wasn’t really a search or seizure? Maybe it’s a “reasonable” search?

Some very smart people try to make the case that gobbling up phone data on all of us isn’t really a constitutional case. Let’s see if they convince you…

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* Zombies responsible for tort. It’s like Walking Dead but with more motion practice. [PrawfsBlawg]

* As much as you hate pocket dialing someone, you don’t hate it as much as these people who pocket dialed 911 while making a drug deal. [Legal Juice]

* Ever wonder why AIG seemed to fare much worse under the bailout than the banks? Perhaps that’s because the government used the AIG bailout to play favorites and help out all their banking buddies. [Medium]

* Here’s one out of left field: Oregon’s first lady had a secret marriage to an 18-year-old immigrant 11 years her junior. Was this a “green card marriage” (i.e., a felony)? My home state doesn’t have great luck with political figures and legal trouble. [Willamette Week]

* Is law one of the most profitable industries for private companies? Of course it is. [Inc.]

* Guess what? Spending decades decrying “for’ners” for stealing hard-earned American cash, people consistently believe we spend tons more on foreign aid than we really do. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

* Legendary plaintiffs’ attorney Fred Levin talks about the ongoing effort to demonize plaintiffs lawyers. Video after the jump…. [Mimesis Law]

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Or at least the Washington Post alleges that one Yale Law student loved a hooker. Why is the Washington Post so interested in how a Yale Law student spends his time and money? Well, because that Yale Law student, Jonathan Dach, was working for the White House and hotel logs indicate he brought a woman back to the Colombia hotel where the president was set to stay. The Post claims that Homeland Security later fingered this woman as a prostitute. Hey, he was injecting his business into the local economy!

Anyway, the Post claims the White House covered this all up. Oh, and later promoted him to a job in the State Department. Which job? Policy advisor in the Office of Global Women’s Issues. [Dramatic Chipmunk]

If the idea of bringing prostitutes to hotels while traveling ahead of the president sounds familiar, it’s because the Secret Service did the same thing ON THE SAME TRIP, and the agents involved were pilloried and fired. So guess who’s really pissed off that the White House stuck its neck out for its own while throwing them under the bus?

Sex, corruption, hypocrisy, oh my! And yet, should anyone even care about this? The answer is “yes,” but not for any of the reasons you’ll hear from the nattering nabobs….

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Sometimes, firm publicists need to understand that it’s more about shoulda than coulda. Sure, you could put your entirely capable but not necessarily media-trained new chairperson in front of a camera to film an awkward welcome video, but that doesn’t mean you should. The buzzword-driven types probably shouted “New Media!” and “Video is the Future!” or some such and cajoled this lawyer in front of the camera.

What we ended up with are some of the worst line readings since Attack of the Clones….

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* Some marriage equality enthusiasts applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to stay out of the way and let the circuits do their thing. But the history of miscegenation in America suggests the Supreme Court had a moral obligation to interject. [USA Today]

* On this subject, Professor Dorf presents a fascinating hypothetical: is it in the strategic interest of an anti-gay marriage conservative lower court judge to strike down same-sex marriage bans in light of the Supreme Court’s cert denials? [Dorf on Law]

* One more story while we’re at it, after the Ninth Circuit struck down bans on same-sex marriages, District Judge Robert C. Jones of Nevada, who upheld the ban in the first place, recused himself rather that be forced to issue an opinion in accordance with Ninth Circuit precedent. [BuzzFeed]

* If you’ve ever wondered how Islamic State manages to recruit Western youth to the cause, the answer is a “Disney-like” social media campaign. It’s like a Biglaw summer program, but for murder. [Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy]

* “Better Hold Off Sexting With High School Students” in Indiana. The Indiana Supreme Court finally weighed in last week after the lower court had okayed a teacher texting a 16-year-old to sneak out of the house for sex. Wait, this required the Supreme Court to weigh in? What is wrong with you Indiana? [Valpo Law Blog]

* Looking professional with a pixie cut. [Corporette]

* Enter for a chance to win a Chief Judge Randall Rader bobblehead! Yes, these exist. [Santa Clara Law]

* The Zephyr Teachout book tour for Corruption in America (affiliate link) begins. Is your town on the list? [Teachout-Wu]

* New Orleans taxpayers spent around $75K traveling judges to conferences and resorts last year. Quoth the tipster: “I could make a joke about New Orleans judges going to the third world to learn how to run their courtrooms, but I think I already did.” [The Times-Picayune]

Some lawyers have this crazy idea that the hoi polloi are in such awe of attorneys that they bend to your will upon the very mention of a Juris Doctor. It’s one thing to throw around your credentials arguing with a landlord or something like that — that’s an actual legal dispute. It’s quite another to be the person who injects their admission to the bar into every unreasonable demand. “I demand an aisle seat! I’m a lawyer!” There are probably a significant number of students who chose law school in hopes of being able to tell off someone with the threat of “I’m a lawyer!” And that’s incredibly sad.

To rain on the parade of these douchetards, regular people understand that there are a whole lot of lawyers out there and that most of them are middle managers at best and paper-pushers at worst. They aren’t really trembling over lawyer threats.

Which this attorney learned when he tried to bully a non-takeout restaurant into sending him takeout because, of course, he’s a lawyer. The restaurant disagreed and posted an epic takedown to the Internets…

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In the mists of the ancient past, the American legal profession agreed to cede responsibility for developing a consistent citation method to the most anal-retentive of law school gunners determined to lord their mastery of unnecessary commas over people. Ultimately, the whole thing is an exercise in hazing law students. Torturing students over questions of underlining or italics is kind of a lame hazing ritual, but long gone are the days when a young Louis Brandeis was dared by ne’er-do-well Harvard 3Ls to head down to the local theater and yell “Fire!”

But the Bluebook is also a cash cow because every lawyer needs to own a copy that they’ll promptly ignore because in the real world, everyone blindly trusts their online research database to get it right and barring that, no one much cares about the minutiae of the Bluebook as long as everyone can easily find the source. Besides, you can get close enough for government work with the outdated ratty copy you were issued in law school. Very few judges are going to flip out if you signal “See” where you could just insert the cite.

Now that cash cow is in jeopardy, because one law professor thinks he can get everyone a free copy of the Stickler’s Bible. How, you ask?

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* Congratulations to Tony West on his new gig as general counsel of PepsiCo. It sounds like an exciting and challenging opportunity. Plus, you know, free Mountain Dew. [Politico]

* What the hell? The feds stole a woman’s identity and made it into a Facebook page. Well, now she’s found out and she’s suing. Identity theft was one thing, but the way the DEA Agent kept spamming the woman’s friends to play Candy Crush Saga was just unacceptable. [Buzzfeed]

* Time for some court news: Ninth Circuit joined the chorus in striking down gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit]

* It’s Nobel Prize time, and one of the winners for Physics has a personal story about how important it is to hire a good lawyer. In fact, it was about $180 million important. [Slate]

* We constantly beat the drum of how law schools need to adjust to reality and stop duping students into terrible financial decisions. But here’s the PR secret that’s kept law schools from, by and large, collapsing: they sell the experience. [Law and More]

* An open letter begging Amal Alamuddin not to quit her day job now that she’s married to some acting guy. [The Careerist]

* New York City paid $50K to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of a child who killed herself after school officials allegedly did nothing despite several warnings that the girl was being brutally bullied. There’s a lot of “in my day…” types who read this site who may not care about bullying, but this is more a question of irresponsibility. If your job is to provide a safe learning environment and you fail, you pay. [DNA Info]

* At oral argument, the Court seemed generally supportive of the Muslim inmate hoping to grow a beard. If this intuition is right, soon individual people may have the same religious rights as corporations! [Supreme Court Brief]

* Finally, thanks to the Rutgers-Newark Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society for hosting a great event today where Elie and I previewed the upcoming SCOTUS Term. My personal highlight was watching Elie’s head explode while talking about Young v. UPS.

* New Supreme Court term kicks off with some bizarre argumentation. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

* Professor Tribe doesn’t think Obama’s getting another justice confirmed. Vegas is setting the over/under off his remarks. [Coverage Opinions]

* More on The Law Hawk (insert screeching eagle sound effect). [Legal Cheek]

* Picking the right legal recruiter is important. It’s like having an agent, which is awesome because it makes you feel like Peyton Manning for a bit. [Major, Lindsay & Africa]

* What. The. Hell? You can survive being sucked into a jet engine? Without wearing Iron Man Mark V armor. [Lowering the Bar]

* You know what’s lame? Civil forfeiture. John Oliver rants after the jump… [Last Week Tonight]

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Law firms routinely abuse paralegals. You remember the paralegals, right? They’re the fresh-faced youngsters who inexplicably think it might help their future legal career to spend a couple of years compiling binders full of documents that lawyers will look at once and discard. Or most likely forget about and make the paralegal do again four months hence. At least they make overtime when caught in the thresher maw. But other than a slight bump in pay, paralegals don’t get much appreciation for doing all the tasks lawyers would never be caught dead doing at 2:00 a.m.

Here’s a refresher on how much it sucks to be a paralegal….

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