Canada

Paul Bergrin

* Paul Bergrin wants to represent himself in his racketeering case. They say that a man who represents himself has a fool for a client, but that’s not the case when you’re considered the Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Hordes of Biglaw lawyers couldn’t stop the DOJ from trying to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. New antitrust issues abound, like “higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products.” They already have a monopoly on crappy coverage. [Am Law Daily]

* The truth? You can’t handle the truth! That, or you don’t really care about it when it comes to Barry Bonds. The big-headed baseball MVP will not face a retrial on his perjury charges. [CNN]

* Sasan Ansari, a convicted killer in Canada, will return to the University of British Columbia to complete law school. Good luck with your character and fitness evaluation, eh? [Vancouver Sun]

Jessica Beagley

* Jessica Beagley managed to avoid jail time at sentencing. Come on, judge, you could’ve at least given her a taste of her own medicine: hot sauce and a cold shower. [WSJ Law Blog]

* BitTorrent porn? On my grandma’s computer? It’s more likely than you think. After this California granny scolded Steele Hansmeier, the lawsuit against her was dropped. She mailed the firm a Werther’s Original in thanks. [Huffington Post]

* Nudity first, names later. I like this sheriff deputy’s alleged style. A girl in Utah is suing over a roadside traffic rendezvous that she says turned into an illegal strip search. [Standard-Examiner]

No protection = lonely erection.

People see our sign. They read it. They walk away. They turn around. They come back and they grab a handful.

Shelley Hayes, chair of the ABA AIDS Coordinating Committee, commenting on the fact that even lawyers can’t pass up a free condom. The Committee offered free condoms and HIV testing at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an attorney who faced some humiliating — and completely false — allegations. Doesn’t get much worse, I thought.

Wrong. This week we have another intersection of technology and false accusation. But this time, the attorneys appear to be the bad guys.

A recent Canadian court ruling sheds a pretty messed up light on a major technology company and its attorneys, who reportedly conspired to have a former employee — who happened to be suing the company — arrested in the middle of a deposition, on what a judge later found to be bogus charges. Then the company let the man, a British citizen, languish in extradition limbo for nine months, until a judge finally benchslapped the devious corporate lawyers.

Let’s find out more about this super-friendly corporation’s unorthodox litigation strategy….

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Here’s a cautionary tale for every woman. Never, never, never allow your husband (or anybody else) to take dirty pictures of you. The pictures could wind up on the Internet. You could be publicly humiliated. You could lose your privacy, your dignity and your career….

Lori Douglas’s only crime was to choose an unstable spouse, and have sex with him. If that’s enough to lose your job, then a large proportion of our judiciary should be removed.

Margaret Wente, a columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail, commenting on the controversy over Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge whose nude photos made their way to the internet.

Madam Justice Lori Douglas will be publicly probed.

This week brings good news for law firms in Canada. Apparently they weathered the recession better than their U.S. counterparts.

The news for Canadian judges, or at least one high-profile jurist, is less good. Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas — the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures showing her engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys and administering oral sex — will be subjected to a public inquiry.

Let’s take a look at the nudie pics procedural posture and possible consequences, shall we?

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I was a very good student in Catholic school (except for the Catholic bits). But a quick Google search reveals that God explained rainbows to Noah as follows: “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

Now, I’m not one of those guys who actually believes that one dude put two of everything on a boat. I’m not even one of those guys who knows so little about biology that I think you can repopulate anything with just two. But if you do believe in such stories, surely God’s bow is, like, a good thing. Surely there is nothing that man can do to defile that which was given by God as a sign of peace.

According to some Catholic schools in Canada, however, rainbows have caught “the gay,” and are now evil…

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* If you divorce a male banker, you’ll probably get to keep the kids — but be ready to fight over the dog. [Dealbreaker]

* Former escort now a lawyer in Canada. I can see the Lifetime movie now: Prosti-Suit. [Toronto Star]

* Speaking of prostitutes, if they were legal it’d be much harder for serial killers to hunt them. [Law and More]

* One could argue that putting teenagers to work is at least as useful as giving them any more education. [Huffington Post]

* Clothing advice for male attorneys. It seems that you need $250 outfits to get in the ballpark. [Tips for Young Lawyers]

* Just to be clear, I’m sure there are all kinds of racist things happening in the fashion industry. It’s just that none of it is being done to Naomi Campbell by Cadbury. [Fashionista]

* Seeing the Westboro Baptist Church versus the Klu Klux Klan is like getting a special sneak peek of what’s playing on ESPN Hell. [Washington Post]

* I’m going to be honest. I don’t have any “Congressman Weiner’s wiener” jokes, mainly because I think wiener is a stupid word and will use the word penis or dick instead. But, come to think of it, I don’t have any jokes about Congressman Penis’s dick either. [MSNBC]

The high-powered law firm of Paul Weiss has a legendary litigation practice. But their corporate department is strong too — they’re working on, for example, the big Warner Music deal — and it’s only getting stronger.

Yesterday corporate lawyers at Paul Weiss received an unusual email: “We would like to ask all counsel and associates to attend a meeting tomorrow morning at 11 to discuss some exciting developments affecting the Corporate Department. The meeting will be held in the concourse. Please make every effort to attend.”

The meeting took place earlier today. What was announced?

UPDATE: Please note that several updates have been added to this post, after the jump.

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We started taking submissions for our third annual Law Revue Video Contest way back in March. It’s taken us so long to review the videos because we’ve had scheduling challenges with our special, returning, awesome guest judge. As you’d already know if you follow Above the Law on Twitter, editor emerita Kashmir Hill has returned to her ATL roots, to pass judgment on the funny videos submitted by our wonderful readers.

This year, 25 law schools submitted nearly 30 videos for the contest. Some of them were entertaining, others excruciating less so.

We’ll start with the latter. If we may paraphrase The Simpsons: other legal blogs reward knowledge, Above the Law punishes ignorance.

Aww… just kidding. We really just want to give shout-outs to as many law schools as we can. And we figure the students who submitted these clips are grown adults who won’t mind some gentle ribbing.

Of course, if you submitted a video we’ve singled out for dishonorable mention, you might want to whip out the Astroglide before you read the comments, just to make sure the ribbing feels gentle enough. Your three ATL editors aren’t that harsh, but we can’t speak for the commenters….

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Toronto partner David Cowling, exonerated booty dancer.

Toronto partner David Cowling, exonerated booty dancer

Back in January 2009, a moot court after-party hosted by Mathews, Dinsdale & Clarke got wild enough to spark allegations of sexual harassment. Canadians do know how to party, eh? The “night of debauchery” has haunted David Cowling ever since; he was one of the partners accused of getting overly friendly with female associates and law students, while gettin’ jiggy.

He says that an internal law firm investigation cleared him of charges of inappropriate dance floor behavior, but that the firm refused to make that public, leading to rumors continuing to swirl in his work and social communities in Toronto. Oh, and have we mentioned that David Cowling specializes in labor and employment law? “If I were a personal injury lawyer, sexual harassment rumors would not be such a bad mark on my professional reputation,” says Cowling.

So he filed a libel suit against Adrian Jakibchuk and Sarah Diebel, the two associates who accused him of doing the really funky chicken on the dance floor. Apparently, they don’t study the Barbara Streisand effect in Canadian law schools. That got the allegations splashed across Canadian newspapers and here at ATL.

But now he’s got his name cleared, with a public statement from his prior firm, along with a seven-figurish settlement. He started a new firm and dropped his lawsuit against his accusers, and has a few things to say about his side of the story.

So say you’re the law student who supposedly got felt up by a partner on the dance floor, and his lawyer calls you up in the middle of exam week to talk about it. Yeah, that’s awkward. And Cowling sent along the transcript…

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