Bankruptcy

Yesterday, my colleague Staci Zaretsky decided to make the case for why all the people who are dutifully paying off their law school debts should feel superior to those who default on their law school debts, or seek to discharge them through bankruptcy. As she wrote in her post, “Have I ever thought about filing for bankruptcy? Hell no. It might be hard, but I’m accepting responsibility for my actions. I’m paying back what I owe — slowly but surely, with not a single missed payment.”

Well, la, de, f***ing, da. It’s all well and good that Staci has never ever thought about availing herself of a financial protection that is readily used by rich people (and companies) should they make a ruinous financial investment. I’m also really happy that Staci apparently knew everything about what she was getting into before she decided to go into a whole lot of debt to the Western New England University School of Law.

But I’m sticking to the point that most people in their early 20s have no clue about what getting into six figures of educational debt will do to the rest of their lives. I still think that absent parental support of any kind, people in over their heads in debt should be able to file for normal bankruptcy without needing to show undue hardship.

The story shouldn’t be about students looking for an “easy” way out of their obligations. The story should be about helping 22-year-olds fully understand what they are getting into, and looking at all the options available for people to get out of horrible financial mistakes of the past….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “There’s No Easy Way Out Of Student Debt, But That Doesn’t Stop Some People From Feeling Superior”

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, more and more law school graduates are trying to seek bankruptcy protection from their mountains of student loan debt. Bankruptcy? Really?

Now, we know that reading comprehension is tested on the LSAT, but apparently, once students complete the law school entrance exam, that skill goes right out the window. How do we know? Because law school graduates, who freely signed up for student loans as law students, are now trying to shirk their repayment responsibilities. They are the 99% (of people who sign on the dotted line and think nothing of it until it’s time to face the consequences).

All the documents these law school graduates signed and claimed to have read and understood prior to accepting their student loans — well, they had some words to say about bankruptcy. Important words. Here are some of them, pulled from my very own master promissory note:

We will discharge (forgive) your loan if: [y]our loan is discharged in bankruptcy. However, federal student loans are not automatically discharged if you file for bankruptcy. In order to have your loan discharged in bankruptcy, you must prove to the bankruptcy court that repaying the loan would cause undue hardship.

Aww, you think you’ve got an undue hardship, precious little snowflake? Well, think again….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Not Even Bankruptcy Will Make Your Student Loans Go Away”

* More law school graduates are trying to get their day in court for bankruptcy protection. Looks like these people didn’t read their student loan MPNs carefully (or at all). They state pretty clearly that you’re screwed for life. [Reuters]

* Part-time programs are closing their doors. Even Cooley Law took a hit, trimming its incoming class by one-third. Now, only 57 bajillion students get to attend the nation’s second-best law school. [National Law Journal]

* James R. Silkenat was selected as the president-elect at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting, meaning his ascension to the presidency is “virtually assured.” We can only hope that his leadership is as awesome as his combover. [ABA Journal]

* PETA’s Thirteenth Amendment whale slavery lawsuit is heading to court today in California. Maybe we’ll see if what SeaWorld calls a “baseless” and “offensive” lawsuit has got legs. Or flippers. [CNN]

* Polygamy for all! Kody Brown’s bigamy lawsuit will proceed in Utah thanks to Jonathan Turley’s lawyering. Are we going to see the drama play out on season three of Sister Wives this spring? [Associated Press]

* It turns out that Dr. Susan Friery, one of the Boston Globe’s beautiful Massachusetts lawyers of 2009, is just a doctor of laws. She was suspended for claiming otherwise late last week. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Joshua Monson, the suspected serial lawyer stabber, must regret this missed opportunity. While signing documents with his weapon of choice, he allegedly punched a corrections officer in the face. [Daily Herald]

* Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, otherwise known as “The Law Firm,” was supposed to go to law school. And even even with that loss, it looks like he still picked the right career path. [New York Times]

That's sexual harassment, but you probably want to take it.

* Listen up, internet pirates: if your license plate says “GUILTY,” it’s almost like you’re doing the DOJ’s job for them. More on this later. [Blog of Legal Times]

* Say cheese, because you’ll want to catch this first on camera. Sullivan & Cromwell is serving as lead counsel on Kodak’s bankruptcy case. [Am Law Daily]

* Protesting fail: looks like New York’s Occupy the Courts group won’t even be able to occupy the courthouse steps today. [Bloomberg]

* Stephen Colbert’s lawyer, Trevor Potter of Caplin & Drysdale, is now an internet celebrity. He’s a UVA Law grad, so pop your collars. [Chicago Tribune]

* Sexting extraordinaire Ken Kratz is fighting the suspension of his law license, because if he can’t practice as an “atty,” how can he be the prize? [Wisconsin State Journal]

* Apparently lots of DAs like to sexually harass their coworkers. Myrl Serra has been sentenced to one year for exposing himself at the office. [Denver Post]

This is a most hellish contraption.

Obviously, the heartbreaking news this morning is that Twinkies is filing for bankruptcy. Don’t act like I’m the only one saddened by this news. The Wall Street Journal reports that Hostess, the maker of the All-American snack, is carrying $860 million in debt and facing higher costs for sugar, flour, and whatever kind of rendered artery fat they inject directly into the center of those things.

Well, as long as SeamlessWeb is operating smoothly, lawyers will still be able to find adequate ways to become soft in the middle.

But not every lawyer. There are still a few legal types out there who take care of their bodies, and I’m not just talking about Reema Bajaj. I’m talking about lawyers who are actual athletes.

It’s a rare breed, but today we’re going to take a look at two of them. One is an Olympian, while the other is just a record-breaking weekend warrior…

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* Obama took a break from his vacation to sign the NDAA. But don’t worry, as long as he’s president, he’ll never indefinitely detain American citizens. Oh boy, we get a one-year guarantee. [New York Times]

* “By your powers combined, I am Captain Primary!” Four Republican presidential candidates are joining forces to assist Rick Perry in his quest to conquer Virginia’s evil election laws. [Bloomberg]

* 31% percent of lawyers are planing to make new hires in the first quarter of 2012. The other 69% are busy doing Scrooge McDuck-esque swan dives into vaults full of money. [Washington Post]

* What will happen as a result of non-lawyer firm ownership? More money may be good for lawyers, but not clients. But if it leads to bigger bonuses, most lawyers won’t care. [Corporate Counsel]

* Howrey going to get out of these class action cases? Howrey going to pay the rent? Screw all of that, here’s the most important question: Howrey going to get paid? [Am Law Daily]

* Here’s something for all of the Roe v. Wade opponents to celebrate: two doctors have been charged with murder for performing late-term abortions in Maryland. [Star-Ledger]

* And in other abortion news, according to a lawsuit, babies are no longer kosher at this Long Island deli. A woman claims her boss forced her to lose her kid or lose her job. [New York Post]

* In case you missed our coverage on these cases, the Institute for Legal Reform is rehashing last year’s craziest lawsuits in its survey of the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011. [Yahoo!]

Honestly, 'convert or be eaten' wouldn't have been a hard choice for me.

There are some debtors who go to such lengths to escape their obligations that you have to wonder what kind of person lent them money in the first place.

Today we’ve got an expedited motion to vacate. It’s filed by an attorney, representing the debtor, who seems mad — both mad as in “angry,” and “mad” as in “bats**t crazy pants.” She’s mad at the lender, and she’s mad at the judge.

But mostly, she’s mad at Catholics. Dirty, dirty Catholics….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Deadbeat Debtor Warns of Great Catholic Conspiracy”

* Yet another appeals court has has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional. Aww, can’t we wait for the other side to catch up a little before it goes to the Supreme Court? [Wall Street Journal]

* How did it go for this controversial ballot initiative? As it turns out, the personhood amendment was so stupid that it couldn’t even pass in Mississippi. Color me surprised. [New York Times]

* Raj Rajaratnam has to pay $92.8M in penalties in his SEC case, but come on, he’s a billionaire. Much like the honey badger, Raj don’t care, and he certainly don’t give a sh*t. [Bloomberg]

* We thought this might be a swing and a miss, but the Dodgers won approval to pay Dewey & LeBoeuf and Young Conaway after hitting the Trustee’s curveball out of the park. [Businessweek]

* Best use of footnotes ever? Pitbull’s lawyers are trying to get LiLo’s case against him removed to federal court, and gossip rags are cited in the footnotes more than law. [Hollywood Reporter]

Like many of my other uber-productive legal brethren, I spend an obscene amount of time on Facebook. In between looking at pictures of friends in slutty Halloween costumes and friend’s babies in slightly less risqué garb, I decided to look for small firms on Facebook. Much to my delight, I found a great Facebook page belonging to the Lee Law Firm. With 5,717 other fans (or are we called something else now on the new Facebook?), I was not the only person to appreciate the firm’s highly effective use of Facebook.

So why do the 5,718 of us dig the Lee Law Firm’s Facebook page? Let me count the ways….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Size Matters: Should I Friend a Small Firm?”

I was looking for a picture of a hooker, but hopefully this ass will do.

* A tipster says: “The worst thing about the Blackberry outage was having to admit to your clients that you still use a Blackberry.” [Venture Beat]

* Two words: donkey hooker. [The Legal Satyricon]

* Glenn Reynolds has, like, the answer to how we should handle student debts in bankruptcy. [Instapundit via The Volokh Conspiracy]

* Coming after Walmart, round 2. [ABC News]

* The rule of twos for legal staffing. [What About Clients?]

* Is criminal justice equal justice? [Underdog]

* Look, which foreign official do we have to bribe to get our jobs back? [This Week in FCPA]

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