I am a lawyer by creation, but not by practice. I’m a lawyer technically, but I wouldn’t hire me to write your will.
There is nothing I hate more than people who try to use the law to change the facts of history or science. I hate when Creationists try to take their Sunday School teachings into science class. I hate when Confederates try to retell the “War of Northern Aggression” in a way that ignores the abject racism that started the entire conflict. And I hate when parents sue because history textbooks aren’t sanitized to include enough bunny rabbits and rainbows when they are educating children about slavery.
That last thing is new. I only realized parents like this existed when I read a story in the Macomb Daily (gavel bang: ABA Journal). Apparently an African-American parent got angry over “outrageous statements” in a textbook used in his daughter’s class. The outrage: the textbook used the n-word… in the context of teaching children about the history of slavery in this country.
He claims his daughter was traumatized by the book, and he’s seeking more than $25,000 damages from the school.
Please God, let’s hope he doesn’t get it. Everybody should be “traumatized” by slavery when they first hear about it in grade school. It was a goddamn traumatic thing to put people through. And we can’t live in a world where that trauma is banished from our history books….
UPDATE: Shirvell just got fired, according to the Detroit Free Press, “for conduct unbecoming a state employee” (including misuse of state resources).
* Our colleague Bess Levin wants to know: Does Wall Street have a problem with felony charges? [Dealbreaker]
* What do military leaders think of a possible “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal? [Metro Weekly]
After Her Larry King Interview, We See Why Lillian McEwen Can’t Sell Her Memoirs About Clarence ThomasBy Elie Mystal
I wasn’t able to catch Larry King’s interview with Clarence Thomas’s ex-girlfriend, Lillian McEwen. I had prior commitments (how ’bout them Cowboys). But after reading reports all morning, I can see why her memoirs are stuck in the “manuscript” stage. There doesn’t seem to be any “there” there.
Perhaps the most interesting thing we learned is that Lillian McEwen would rather date a raving, porn-obsessed alcoholic than an angry, black conservative. Don’t get me wrong, I feel precisely the same way. But if this is all the “dirt” she’s got on Thomas, then it’s difficult to see how this materially impacts our understanding of the man.
And that’s assuming that everything she said is true….
- Alan Dershowitz, Book Deals, Books, Career Alternatives, Crime, Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys Offices, Violence
This Law of Attraction is a novel by Allison Leotta, a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. It’s a fun, fast-paced read; I could hardly put it down, finishing it in two sittings. I concur with the blurb by Harvard law professor and criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz: “I loved this novel. Law of Attraction is realistic, gritty, and filled with twists and turns. Allison Leotta’s female lawyer character is compelling and engaging. This is a great read for anyone who loves legal thrillers, cares about domestic violence, or wonders how lawyers can live with themselves.”
(Disclosure: I also enjoyed Law of Attraction because it contains an Above the Law cameo. After the protagonist, assistant U.S. attorney Anna Curtis, gets in trouble, her misadventures wind up on ATL (pp. 217-18). The novel even contains fictionalized comments from the peanut gallery of Above the Law commenters — which are hilarious.)
I spoke with Leotta recently, while she was in New York to meet with her agent and do a book reading. We discussed such subjects as why, and how, she wrote her novel; the Department of Justice review process for the book; how she juggles her day job as a prosecutor, her writing career, and being the mother to two kids; and her advice to lawyers who want to become writers.
Today is the official release date of Law & Reorder, a new book by Deborah Epstein Henry, a leading consultant to the legal profession. Henry, whom we’ve interviewed and written about before, is an expert on such topics as workplace restructuring, talent management, work/life balance, and the retention and promotion of lawyers — all topics that are covered in her book.
We chatted with Henry on Friday over the phone, about the changes taking place in the legal profession, whether they’re good news or bad news, and how law students and lawyers can navigate in this new environment….
* Burberry sues Body Glove over an iPhone cover that makes your phone look like the inside of a Burberry trench coat. If Body Glove ever makes a condom packet that looks like the inside of a Burberry trench coat, married men will be interested in the proceedings. [Fashionista]
* UCI Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky has a new book out too. Progressives should have some nice reading material when they take their long international vacations after the November elections. [Los Angeles Times]
* If you’re at the point where you need a career counselor to remind you to shower, you probably need us to remind you to put your clothes back on, after your shower, before you go to your interview. [The Careerist]
* Unemployment can ruin a bunny’s birthday. [Tortbunnies]
* If you think about it, Jesus was actually a crap motivator. Seriously, he rallied what, a dozen out-of-work fishermen and a prostitute? Bill Belichick motivates more people to risk their lives for him every Sunday. Federal employees should think about that next time they organize a speaker series. [Out of the Storm News]
* This slideshow of terrible self-promoters includes a couple of lawyers. [Huffington Post]
* Congratulations to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who will be honored by the ABA next week for her work promoting the rule of law. [American Bar Association]
* Are you a current law student interested in juvenile justice policy and legal research? Help a sister out. [Dissertation Study Post]