Joe Patrice

Posts by Joe Patrice

If you haven’t been following the saga of the Charleston School of Law, here’s the short version:

There once was a subpar legal institution
It could barely teach the constitution
The students had no hope
But the law school couldn’t cope
So it sold itself to InfiLaw.

Yeah I suck at writing limericks. And “couldn’t cope” is a bit inaccurate — it’s only a financial wreck because the founders skimmed $25 million in profits off the school over the last three years. The point is, after years of struggling to be acknowledged as a real law school — ABA accreditation doesn’t count because I’m pretty sure they’d accredit the JoePa Academy of Law if I asked nicely — Charleston couldn’t hack it on its own and entered an agreement to sell the school to InfiLaw: lock, stock, and clinic. At the time, Elie described Charleston students as strippers waking up to find out the club was sold to a whorehouse, which resonates.

Legislators decried the move. The Licensing Committee rejected the sale. And yet the deal soldiers ahead.

Now Charleston has a new suitor willing to save it from for-profit InfiLaw. But would it run the school any better?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Charleston Law Finds A New Suitor”

Judge Mark Fuller

* Judge Mark Fuller is back in the news, with Senator Richard Shelby leading a chorus of legislators calling for the judge to resign in light of his domestic violence arrest. [All In with Chris Hayes / MSNBC]

* Further fallout from Hobby Lobby: suborning child labor is free exercise. Hurray! [Time]

* It’s not just that female partners aren’t getting ahead of their male counterparts, they’re falling further behind. Probably not leaning in enough or whatever the latest insulting sound byte is. [The Careerist]

* After learning that Yale is going to start teaching basic financial literacy, more advice on managing student debt is cropping up. [Boston.com]

* A Nevada state judge checks out the other side of the bench, pleading guilty to a federal conspiracy rap. [Las Vegas Sun]

* Well there’s something I hadn’t thought of: classifying spankers as pedophiles for the purpose of custody hearings. [Law and More]

* This is an important life lesson kids: when you’re in a car, don’t light the driver on fire. [KTVB]

* Walking down the (very short) memory lane of Justice Scalia’s liberal moments. [Slate]

* More on Lateral.ly and its effort to replace headhunters. Basically it’s the Tinder of job hunting. [Washington Post]

* Suffolk seems to have given up on advertising to appeal to a false sense of local pride. So now a new law school has taken up that same banner…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 09.18.14″

Trial by jury is the palladium of our liberties. I do not know what a palladium is, having never seen a palladium, but it is a good thing no doubt at any rate.

– Mark Twain, offering a stirring tribute to the American legal system. This quote, among many others, appears in a new compilation of Twain’s commentary on lawyers and the law entitled Mark Twain v. Lawyers, Lawmakers, and Lawbreakers. Palladium is a rare metallic element with atomic number 46, but we’re guessing Twain was going for another definition.


Pack it in everybody! Mere days into the new year, there’s a 1L out there who has the “law” all figured out. He can isolate the relevant aspects of a case at first glance and his agile mind can dismiss a flawed reading with ease. He’s so prepared that he’s already talking smack about law school graduates. And he did it all on Facebook so we can see how smart he is. We are truly living in blessed times. He will restore balance to the law!

Now, some naysayers would suggest that a 1L a few days into their law school career has no place calling out the work of those who’ve come before as irrelevant and untrue. That perhaps singling out by name a law school graduate and questioning his legal acumen was excessive for a mere pup. Ignore those voices. You can’t silence genius like this.

Or arrogance like this….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Shut Up Everybody, New 1L Is Going To Explain How Smart He Is”

* In light of today’s vote on Scottish independence, here’s an article on the opportunities for the legal industry if Scotland breaks free. [Business For Scotland]

* What are the biggest pet peeves of corporate counsel. Surprise, surprise, billing “surprises” makes the list. [ALM]

* Attorney General Holder is offering bigger payouts to Wall Street whistleblowers. Start saving your emails now you low-level finance folks! [Legal Times]

* Later today, Baker Hostetler’s John Moscow will try to convince Judge Griesa that he shouldn’t be disqualified for breaching the confidentiality of a prior client. [Law Blog / Wall Street Journal]

* As if Bingham didn’t have enough trouble, Akin Gump swept in and poached a gaggle of lawyers in Europe (as some previously predicted). [Law360]

* Skadden is really good at inversions. Elie would like to thank them for their work undermining American society. [The Am Law Daily]

* Yale Law is teaching students basic financial literacy. While some are hailing this program, my question is: how are kids getting to 20-something without learning this stuff already? [Yale Daily News]

* Law student sends naked selfie to her father. Hilarity ensues. [Inside Edition]

* “Is insider trading bad?” Asking for a friend. [The Atlantic]

* Judge catches law firm cheating on the page limit. Apparently, Judge Carl Barbier was well-versed in the “slightly less than double-spaced” trick. [NPR]

* What’s the matter with (statutory interpretation in) Kansas? [KSN]

* You may have heard that technology is going to gut the market for low-level lawyering. If not, here’s a wakeup call. [Forbes]

* This year’s MacArthur genius grant recipients. Is your name on the list? SPOILER: No. But a William Mitchell Law professor is. [New York Times]

* Steve Klepper’s fair-minded and favorable review of Lat’s forthcoming book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link). [Maryland Appellate Blog]

It’s Constitution Day, or technically Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, because it’s a holiday so nice Congress named it twice. And Congress doesn’t mess around with this event: by law, all publicly funded educational institutions and all federal agencies must provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution today. So if you see someone dressed up as a Founder today, they’re probably a teacher. Or an incompetent lawyer.

In the spirit of teaching constitutional law, and generally making learning fun, I wanted to focus on the professorial stylings of Professor Josh Blackman. A couple weeks ago, I noticed Professor Josh Blackman tweeting out memes he’d created to describe Youngstown v. Sawyer. If you can inspire a chuckle (or frankly anything) over seizing steel mills, then you’ve accomplished something. He told me that he often employs memes to hammer home his lessons. And when you think about it, memes are the perfect medium for teaching constitutional jurisprudence: you take something established and scribble new stuff all over it.

Let’s look at some of his work. Maybe readers can come up with some other clever entries….

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I am incompetent! Anybody who thinks they are representing an innocent person and can’t convince a jury is incompetent or ineffective.

– Ira Dennis Hawver, a lawyer who showed up to his disciplinary hearing dressed as Thomas Jefferson. Hawver was… wait, what? Dressed as Thomas Jefferson? Yeah. I guess that’s the sort of thing Tea Partiers do. Anyway, Hawver was defending himself against possible disbarment after he royally botched a death penalty case with his “my client couldn’t have done it because he wouldn’t have left a witness alive” defense — making his turn at cosplay the second dumbest argument he’s made in the courtroom.

* Lawyer grabbing drinks in hotel bar accused of being a prostitute by security guards. In fairness, she probably said, “I bill out at $600/hour!” a little too loudly. [The Root]

* In finance, interns are only there for sex. Probably not how the law will see it. [Dealbreaker]

* Judge Kozinski found his way into another Atlas Shrugged movie. The true accomplishment of the mega-industrialists is funding two sequels of the first putridly reviewed movie. [Josh Blackman's Blog]

* Are you sick and tired of reading about the 10 books that your Facebook friends think will most impress you most influenced them? Here’s a much better question: the 10 Rock Songs that most influenced you… [What About Clients?]

* New Jersey has a new alimony law. So before you leave your wife for your goomah, check it out capische. [Larry the New Jersey Lawyer's Cogitations]

* Meant to write this up as a full post yesterday, but time got away from us. In any event, Geuaxjudge is Geauxone. Judge Michael Maggio, best known for launching racist and sexist comments about Charlize Theron’s adoption, has been fired by order of the Arkansas Supreme Court. [CNN]

* Following up on this afternoon’s piece about lawyering from home, maybe one overlooked factor is meeting your clients, at least once, in an office. [Law and More]

* This Friday, the CBLA and the Fordham IP Institute are hosting a visiting high-level legal delegation from China, including multiple judges from the Supreme Court of the PRC, multiple members of the Ministry of Commerce. If you’re interested, RSVP. [Chinese Business Lawyers Association]

At some point, while stuck in an unending traffic jam or pressed up against the throngs of humanity in an unair-conditioned train, every lawyer contemplates working from home. And any lawyer with kids thinks about working from home about twice as often. Imagine the convenience of strolling down the hall to begin the workday, dressed in your finest “whatever was laying around,” and taking a break to read Above the Law without anyone being the wiser. Living the dream.

Unfortunately, this dream is beyond the grasp of most lawyers today. The staid legal industry expects lawyers in their offices near their colleagues, even though few tasks aren’t handled electronically — even when lawyers sit mere steps away.

Fair or not, lawyering from home raises eyebrows. “If you’re working from home, people tend to assume you’re either doing it because you’re good at what you do, so you can, or because you can’t make it anywhere else, so you have to. You want to brand yourself as the former.”

One would certainly hope so. How does a lawyer go about doing that?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What Does Lawyering From Home Say About You? Either You’re A Genius Or Unemployable”

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