An inmate charged with beating an elderly man was mistakenly released from the Kentucky Correctional & Psychiatric Center in La Grange after a fake order was faxed to officials at the facility. The mistake went undetected for nearly two weeks.
In hindsight, it might not have required bloodhound-like detective skills to smell something fishy about that “order”:
It contained grammatical errors, was not typed on letterhead and was faxed from a local grocery store. The fax falsely claimed that the Kentucky Supreme Court “demanded” Rouse be released.
In the facility’s defense, its director noted that “misspellings on orders are common.” Hmmm.
Speaking of Kentucky, does the Kentucky Bar still require applicants to sit for the bar exam in court attire? We know from hard experience that Virginia does; we’re still having nightmares about sitting there in that freezing Roanoke Civic Center in our chic suit and rubber-soled shoes. When will this tradition die?
The dominant company in the bar exam test prep market, Bar/Bri, has been sued for alleged violations of federal antitrust laws. That class action lawsuit may be settling — and you might be a class member entitled to settlement proceeds. Click here for more info.
Are Bar/Bri’s legal woes over? Not necessarily. Given how painful it can be to sit through some of their classes, it’s only a matter of time before BarBri gets sued again. We’re sure some enterprising plaintiffs’ lawyer can come up with a tort theory for suing Bar/Bri, on behalf of all students who have had to suffer through their courses.
If you think such a lawsuit would be frivolous, then watch this video from the 2005 Virginia Law Libel Show (the same folks who brought you that Beastie Boys parody). The idiocy has been exaggerated for comic effect — but not by much. Enjoy.
* May we recommend that the IRS get a myspace page? [TaxProf Blog]
* Quirkiness belies dysfunction: Woody Harrelson’s father, convicted of murdering a federal judge, dies in prison. [AP via MSN]
* You may think people who buy hardbacks on an Oprah endorsement deserve their fate as victims of the great James Frey Swindle, but I have a heart. Losers, get your money back! [Gawker]
* I’m the kind of person who hates being hugged by non-friends without my permission, but this does seem a little inappropriate. [New York Daily News]
* News flash! No one remembers anything from the bar anyway. [PrawfsBlawg; Conglomerate]
* Bad faith in a Chapter 7 filing forfeits the right to convert to Chapter 13. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* Statute of limitations for a Section 1983 action based on false arrest begins to run when claimant is detained pursuant to legal process. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* South Dakota abortion ban bill fails in state Senate committee. [Jurist]
* 300,000 lawyers can’t agree on anything. [WSJ Law Blog]
This news isn’t as exciting as a holiday bonus or a pay raise. But it does mean that if you took the Bar/Bri bar review course between 1997 and 2006 — hey, that includes us! — you can buy a round of $12 martinis for you and a few friends.
According to a tipster:
According to the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the Bar/Bri antitrust class action settled for $49 million, to be paid out to 290,000 clients. Each client will get $125.
Bar/Bri also agreed to terminate a “co-marketing” venture with Kaplan as part of the deal. Neither defendant (Bar/Bri or Kaplan) admitted wrongdoing.
Today’s New York Times has an interesting article on Brian Valery, the bestest paralegal ever. The article may actually say less about Valery and more about the general uselessness of junior associates. Consider this:
Steven Maass, who hired Mr. Valery’s former law firm, Anderson Kill & Olick, after Mr. Maass’s electronic trading business was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, thought Mr. Valery unimpressive but chalked it up to inexperience.
“All first- and second-year attorneys are pretty terrible,” Mr. Maass wrote in a recent exchange of e-mail messages.
True enough — even though you’re paying several hundred dollars an hour for that awfulness. In Valery’s case, he was billed out at $300 per hour. Anderson Kill is in the process of negotiating financial settlements with about 50 former “clients” of Valery.
What should be frightening to defenders of the monopoly that bar-admitted lawyers have upon the provision of legal services is that Valery, despite never having attended law school or taken the bar, didn’t do that badly for himself. Maass found him to be no more useless than the typical junior associate. And Anderson Kill has not yet had any clients come forward to claim that Valery screwed up their cases. (Of course, given how little responsibility junior associates are given, perhaps that’s not surprising.)
Some food for thought:
Connecticut authorities debated what Mr. Dubois called the “metaphysical question” of whether they could even disbar someone who was never a lawyer and had only temporary privileges to practice in the state. They decided they could, and should, to keep other states from issuing privileges based on the faulty Connecticut credentials.
Back in November, we named Brian Valery an ATL Lawyer Paralegal of the Day. The enterprising and ingenious Mr. Valery, who had neither attended law school nor taken the bar exam, successfully posed as a lawyer for two years. He “practiced” at Anderson Kill in New York.
Here’s the latest news about Brian Valery:
A man who prosecutors said had been representing clients of a prominent New York law firm for two years was arrested here on Wednesday and charged with impersonating a lawyer, state prosecutors said.
The man, Brian T. Valery, 32, of Massapequa Park, N.Y., surrendered to the authorities and was charged with perjury, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and practicing law without being a lawyer, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of two months, according to David I. Cohen, the state’s attorney for the judicial district.
* Maryland becomes the latest state to temporarily halt lethal injection executions, this time because of procedural issues with the way the lethal injection protocol was adopted. [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* Church burners expected to plead in Alabama [CNN]
* No good deed goes unpunished in Libya. [Jurist]
* First the minimum was too much, and now 10 years is not enough. Why doesn’t the appellate court just go ahead and sentence the child-renter?. [CNN]
* And in more bad parenting news…. [CNN ]
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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