Books

* Everyone’s favorite anti-gay crusader, Andrew Shirvell (pictured), has been suspended. [TPM Muckraker]

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]

* Professor Ann Althouse wonders why people are talking about marrying tables and clocks. Personally we prefer shoe marriage. [Althouse]

* Professor Tim Wu, something of a cult figure at Columbia Law, is writing a week-long series of posts over at Slate based on his new book, The Master Switch. [Slate]

* Is NYU Law gearing up for Above the Law’s next Law Revue Video Contest? Here’s a musical tribute to the Erie Doctrine. [bl1y]

* What do military leaders think of a possible “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal? [Metro Weekly]

* Congrats to Seattle attorney Anne Bremner, who appears on this list of 10 famous defense lawyers (despite her own recent brush with the law). [Criminal Justice Degrees]

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “After Her Larry King Interview, We See Why Lillian McEwen Can’t Sell Her Memoirs About Clarence Thomas”

It was probably T.M.I. But that’s the way it is.

Lillian McEwen, a lawyer and ex-girlfriend of Justice Clarence Thomas, talking about how she showed her memoir (in which Thomas features prominently) to her daughter.

I don’t want to step on Oprah’s toes, but I have a book recommendation for you: Law of Attraction. No, it has nothing to do with this law of attraction. Yes, you will enjoy it.

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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law of Attraction: Meet Allison Leotta, Novelist and Federal Prosecutor”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law & Reorder: An Interview with Deborah Epstein Henry”

Molly Wei

* Professor Larry Lessig’s review of The Social Network. [New Republic]

* Dahlia Lithwick’s review of the big new Brennan biography, by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel. [New York Times]

* Molly Wei, one of the two Rutgers students involved in the Tyler Clementi case, feels “attack[ed]” — but she’s hanging in there. [Celebitchy]

* Reports of a hunter’s death may have been greatly exaggerated, but they don’t entitle him to a defamation award. [Courthouse News]

* “Thinking of a Career in Law? Hahaha!” (Or: the U.K. legal market sounds a whole lot like ours.) [Charon QC]

* Can a lawyer use publicly available information on Facebook in a pending case without friending the person? [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Vanderbilt law professor and leading class-action scholar Richard Nagareda, R.I.P. [TortsProf Blog]

Is that a Burberry check or are you just happy to see me?

* 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]

* The new biography of Justice Brennan, by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel, sounds like it was worth the decade-long wait. [New York Times]

* 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]

As for doing what I like, I never do what I like! Ask my wife Joanna….

Justice Stephen Breyer, rejecting the notion that unelected judges can do whatever they want, at an event at the New York Public Library to promote his new book, Making Democracy Work: A Judge’s View.

Federal judges are people too — and I have proof. Earlier this week, one federal appellate judge accepted my friend request on Facebook. Another circuit judge emailed me — from a Gmail account (although we didn’t Gchat; that would have been too cool for words).

Judges are real people — with opinions, not just of the judicial kind, and with personalities. They have interesting lives — off the bench, and before they’re appointed to the bench. Judges are not grown in petri dishes, and donning the robes cannot and does not erase their personal or professional histories.

So I’m not quite sure why everyone is getting their proverbial undergarments [FN1] in a wad over a forthcoming memoir by Judge Nancy Gertner (D. Mass.). The pot was first stirred by the Boston Globe, which began its article as follows: “US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner has a memoir coming out in April, and it bears a very unjudicial title: In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate.”

“[A] very unjudicial title.” Really? Is this the Boston Globe, or the Boston Herald?

Let’s delve into the controversy….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In Defense of A Woman: Some Thoughts on the Judge Gertner Book Controversy”

If you’re the type who is convinced that the people you work with in Biglaw are evil, conniving, and ready to stab you in the back with a really sharp highlighter, you will love Getting It, a novel by Daniel Shaviro. In a post titled “james joyce meets the paper chase,” an Amazon reviewer says: “If Joyce or Kafka had worked at Arnold and Porter, this would be their book.”

I’ve read a lot of lawyer fiction, but never something quite like this. The satirical novel is populated with sadistic partners and scheming associates competing for partnership, including the caddish Bill Doberman, dopey Arnold Portner, and self-involved Lowell Stellworth. It’s an “American Psycho” take on Biglaw — funny and fast-paced, a great summer quick read. I devoured it on a plane to Chicago.

Shaviro’s books are usually more taxing — he’s the Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation at NYU Law. Though he’s had many books published before — e.g., Decoding the U.S. Corporate Tax and Taxes, Spending, and the U.S. Government’s March Toward Bankruptcy — this is his first novel. Even if you didn’t study with him at NYU, you may recognize him as the man with Elena Kagan in this photo, when they were both professors at the University of Chicago.

Before becoming an academic, Shaviro worked for Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., and then went on to the Joint Committee on Taxation. He started working on the book during Congressional breaks in 1985 — his characters actually use the legal research library to Shephardize their memos — but only finished it last year. Coming back to the novel two decades later, he says that it felt at times like he was working on a collaboration with a different person — a younger version of himself.

“I’m in a different place; I could never come up with this now. It was a 20-something version of me that came up with it,” Shaviro told me. He had the inspiration of youth to start it, but had the discipline and wisdom now to finish it and cut the bad parts. “I mined the cut parts and discovered some really nice turns of phrase. I wish I could reach out to that [younger] guy and get some more material from him.”

Why is the book so fun? How did Shaviro finally finish it? And why was he in that photo with Elena Kagan?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Getting It’: A Novel About a Diabolical Pursuit of Partnership
And an interview with the author, NYU Professor Daniel Shaviro.

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