Like many of today’s celebrities, Britney Spears has had her fair share of legal troubles — except hers are a little crazier than your average Lohan-esque criminal case. From child custody hearings to conservatorships, our favorite pop tart has seen it all. Given that she’s been in and out of court so many times, you knew that she’d eventually become romantically entangled with a lawyer.
As luck would have it, Brit-Brit was caught by the paparazzi last week while out on a romantic Valentine’s Day date with a mysterious suitor. This time, as opposed to being a back-up dancer or an agent, Ms. Spears’s new love interest is reportedly (gasp!) an average joe, who just so happens to work for a law firm.
So what does he do? Well, that’s actually up for debate….
* The billable hour may be far from dead, but last year, 61% of general counsel worked out alternative fee arrangements with outside counsel, including counsel from elite (read: Biglaw) firms. [Wall Street Journal]
* Dewey need to take lessons on revenge from this firm? John Altorelli, the D&L defector who spilled all the beans to the Am Law Daily, was blasted on Page Six this weekend. More on this to come later today. [New York Post]
* CHECK YOU LATERALS: recent Quinn Emanuel hires William Burck, Paul Brinkman, and Andrew Schapiro, as well as name partner John Quinn, have entered appearances on behalf of Megaupload. [Am Law Daily]
* Copyright infringement suits over porn downloading involving some 3,500 defendants were dismissed because the plaintiffs’ attorney, Terik Hasmi, couldn’t get it in legally in Florida. [National Law Journal]
* In England, there’s no such thing as a no-fault divorce, but instead, you can get one for “unreasonable behavior” — behavior like malicious service of tuna casserole, and speaking only in Klingon. [New York Times]
* This gives “I’m a Slave 4 U” some new meaning. Britney Spears’s fiancé, Jason Trawick, is trying to start their impending rocky marriage off on the right foot. He’ll soon be her co-conservator. [New York Daily News]
Britney Spears’ lawyers in her custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline are quitting. The law firm Trope and Trope asked a court Wednesday to be relieved as Spears’ attorneys. The firm says there’s been a “breakdown” in communication with the pop princess that makes representing her “impossible,” according to the filing, obtained by CelebTV.com.
Structured finance lawyers, it’s time to put down those securitization agreements and pick up Us Weekly. Representing the embattled pop star is a growing practice area:
On a separate legal front, an attorney for Spears wants the city attorney’s office to prove that the pop star is a permanent California resident and is subject to state laws that require her to have a valid California driver’s license.
Spears faces up to a year of probation if convicted in a misdemeanor case of driving without a valid license, a charge to which she has pleaded not guilty. The case stems from a videotaped fender-bender in a parking lot in August. A hit-and-run charge has been dismissed.
Spears attorney J. Michael Flanagan earlier Wednesday requested that prosecutors be required to demonstrate that Spears, who owns homes in Louisiana and Florida, intends to make Los Angeles her permanent legal home.
Of course she does — Britney Spears is the quintessential Californian.
Now if only the judicial system would just leave… Britney… alone!!!
* U.C. Berkeley has settled on a new name for its law school. Check it out, it’s quite brilliant. [Blogonaut]
(But we’ll probably still conduct the reader poll mentioned here, just for the heck of it.)
* Strained attorney-client relations between Britney Spears and Anne Kiley? Apparently Brit has “trust issues” (in addition to that whole missing-panties problem). [OK! Magazine]
* Wow, this guy is quite a tool. Thankfully he’s not a lawyer — which you could infer from the facts that (1) he lives in Atlanta and (2) he brags about his compensation. [Gawker; follow-up here and here from DealBreaker]
* Judge of the Day. [St. Petersburg Times via Blogonaut]
* Exciting happenings this weekend: (1) the CSPAN rebroadcast of the Clarence Thomas book party, and (2) the nuptials of the Wall Street Journal’s Peter Lattman. Congratulations and best wishes, PL! [WSJ Law Blog]
Here’s an update on the Britney Spears-Kevin Federline legal drama. The emergency court hearing that was supposed to take today, requested by K-Fed to discuss custody of their two children, was canceled.
The reason, according to various media and tabloid reports, is that Spears is back in rehab. She has reportedly checked back into Promises rehabilitation center (which she had fled earlier in the day).
Earlier this week, Spears was photographed sporting a shaved head. Here’s some food for thought from a tipster:
So Britney Spears shaved her head. People think it’s because she’s crazy. But some have speculated it is because her ex-husband threatened to subpoena hair samples from her. And hair samples can show drug use going back years. Like backdated blood samples.
Is this comparable to obstruction of justice? Is it like shredding documents when you’re afraid you might be under investigation, or those documents might be subpoened? Is it a form of spoliation of evidence?
One of our favorite cultural critics, the super-opinionated and hilarious Camille Paglia, recently weighed in on the trend of female celebrities “flashing their goodies for the camera,” in the words of US Weekly. Despite her general “pro-sex” bent, Paglia disapproves of the practice:
These girls are lowering themselves to the level of backstreet floozies. It angers me because I fought a bitter fight to get feminism back on track and be pro-sex at the same time. This is degrading the entire pro-sex wing of feminism.
I am completely appalled by what these young women are doing because I think that they are cheapening their own image and obliterating all sexual mystery and glamour, which are the heart of the star system.
Social conservatives are constantly carping about the threat that gay marriage allegedly poses to the institution of marriage. In response, proponents of gay marriage reflexively bring up the (rather tired) example of Britney Spears, and her joke of a marriage to Jason Alexander.* The debate gets pretty old, pretty fast.
Here’s what we want to know:
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;
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In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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