Cars

luxury car logos Above the Law blog.jpgSome lawyers are really into cars. One prominent practitioner here in Washington collects Ferraris — but Tefft Smith is a fairly senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis, and you probably aren’t.
So what you should do in the car department? From the ATL mailbag:

I’m a 3L with an offer to BigLaw in California. I’m planning on purchasing a car, but I’m wondering what is appropriate for a junior associate. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but a friend of mine said that he saw some partners treat associates differently if their cars were nicer then theirs. He also said, clients aren’t too happy seeing young associates driving around in Mercedes and BMW’s. Is there any truth to this?

I don’t want to buy a Honda Civic or something; I want people to take me seriously. But I also don’t want to be too flashy. I was thinking either an Acura TSX or a Lexus IS 300.

FYI — I’ll be working in Northern California, so I don’t need to have a super flashy car to pick up the L.A. girls.

We can understand partners not liking it when associates have absurdly nice autos. But on the flip side, we once heard about an associate at a white-collar criminal defense boutique whose boss ordered him to upgrade his vehicle — a Civic, coincidentally enough — because it would be bad for clients to see him in a Honda. The partner helpfully provided the associate with a list of acceptable luxury car makes (and the associate ended up getting a Volvo, one of the more reasonably priced options).
So, ATL readers, whaddya think? We look forward to your feedback, in the comments.
Born to Run: Tefft Smith and His Ferrari Fever [Legal Times]

Audi A8 car Tomas Delgado Spain Above the Law blog.jpgThe rain in Spain falls mainly on… a**holes? Well, only if most Spaniards are like Tomas Delgado — and we’re guessing (and hoping) they’re not.
After all, since chutzpah like this doesn’t come along often. Our latest Lawsuit of the Day hails from Spain, via CNN:

A Spanish businessman withdrew a controversial lawsuit Wednesday against the family of a teenage boy he struck and killed while driving a luxury car.

Tomas Delgado had filed a suit asking the dead boy’s parents to pay him €20,000 ($29,400) on the grounds that the collision that killed their teenage son also damaged his Audi A-8.

After public outrage ensued, Delgado dropped the suit — but was none too happy about it:

The businessman had insisted in a recent television interview that he was a victim, too. He was not present for a court hearing Wednesday. His lawyer told the court that Delgado felt that the extensive publicity amounted to a public lynching.

A high-tech lynch mob for an uppity Audi driver. Who was reportedly driving 107 miles per hour in an area where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. Who hit the boy from behind, according to the boy’s father, and “dragged [him] 106 meters (347 feet) along a rural highway.”
Read more in the full article (which includes an interesting digression about how quickly you need to file your notice of appeal in Spanish courts; their appeal periods make ours look like an eternity).
Driver drops bid to sue family of boy he killed [CNN]

marijuana pot cannabis doobie Above the Law blog.jpgWith the police, who pulled you over for a traffic infraction. But the good news is that you’re getting it back. From CBS:

Eight grams of medical marijuana seized from a Garden Grove man during a traffic stop must be returned to him, according to an appeals court ruling directing local law enforcement to uphold state, not federal law.

A three-justice panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal [in California] weighed in on the issue in a published decision that sets precedent for future cases on similar issues.

The marijuana, which belonged to Felix Kha, 22, was confiscated during a traffic stop on June 10, 2005.

The city of Garden Grove tried to argue “that to the extent state law authorizers or mandates the return of Kha’s marijuana, it is preempted by federal law.” The appeals court didn’t see it that way:

Kha’s attorneys argued that the 10th Amendment to the Constitution effectively prohibits federal interference with California’s medical marijuana laws, and the three-justice panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal agreed.

The justices found that because, under state law, Kha was lawfully entitled to possess the marijuana, “due process and fundamental fairness dictate that it be returned to him.”

Indeed. Pass the bong, Your Honors!
P.S. The headline that CBS gave to the story is wrong. It was a state court, not a federal court, that issued the ruling.
Federal Court Rules Pot To Be Returned To Driver [CBS]

* Seventh Circuit to lawyer: What is this, amateur hour? [TaxProf Blog]
* Some more full length attorney bio pics. [Groom Law Group]
* Speaking of the whole Mac-PC thing… [Choate Hall & Stewart LLP]
* Former Congressman blows by the cops while getting blown, then refuses to blow. [Times Union]
* Ah jeez, the nuns too? [New York Times]

* Lockdown of Pakistani legal system intensifies. [CNN]
* Reggie Bush investigated for receiving gifts while at USC. [Los Angeles Times]
* Keanu sued for Porschal assault. [MSNBC]
* Peter Lattman on the charms of the dormant Commerce Clause. [WSJ Law Blog]

Volkswagen Fahrvergnügen Porsche Above the Law blog.jpg* Some Fahrvergnügen for Porsche, courtesy of the European Court of Justice. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Surprise surprise: a Yale law professor has issues with Michael Mukasey. Professor (and novelist) Jed Rubenfeld questions the nominee’s views of executive power. [New York Times via WSJ Law Blog]
* If confirmed, Mukasey has his work cut out for him. “Clearly the Justice Department has lost its mojo,” said WilmerHale partner Reginald Brown. [Legal Times]
* Obama criticizes Hillary in Iowa mailing. [Politico via Drudge Report]
* A (very close) vote is expected this week on Leslie Southwick’s Fifth Circuit nomination.
[Fox News via How Appealing]
Additional links, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Morning Docket: 10.23.07″

As we first reported yesterday, Professor D. Marvin Jones, who teaches constitutional law and criminal procedure (!) at the University of Miami law school, has been arrested for solicitation of a prostitute. Here’s an interesting tidbit, from Blogonaut:

Professor Jones is the author of Race, Sex, and Suspicion: The Myth of the Black Male. Dare we predict a racially based defense? Or perhaps the good professor was merely researching a new book?

Some of you asked for more details about the alleged conduct. We’ve gotten on our hands on the incident report, which appears below. Note the tension between (1) Professor Jones’s pimpin’ ride, a Mercedes SL500, and (2) his alleged offer of a mere $20 to the “undercover officer possing [sic] as a prostitute.”

Law professors don’t make as much as Biglaw partners. But surely the driver of a Mercedes could be a little more generous!

Donald Marvin Jones 2 incident report Professor D Marvin Jones Above the Law blog.JPG

University of Miami Law Professor Arrested for Soliciting Prostitution [Blogonaut]
Race, Sex, and Suspicion: The Myth of the Black Male [Amazon]
D. Marvin Jones bio [University of Miami School of Law]

Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: D. Marvin Jones

toilet bowl pink toilet Above the Law blog.jpg* It’s hard to believe this car was parked in Brooklyn, of all places. [Althouse]
* The law school hiring process privileges glibness — and is that a bad thing? Law professors are hired (1) to train lawyers, of all people, and (2) to write articles that sound like they’re saying a lot, even when they’re not. Glibness would seem to be a BFOQ. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Once our Surgeon General starts getting on our case about drinking, it’s time to leave the country. But don’t move to the U.K. [Charon QC: The Blawg]
* Speaking of emigration, Tonga says: “Give us your tired, your poor, your disgraced and disbarred lawyers, yearning to breathe free.” [Blogonaut]
* Good news, Pennsylvanians. According to Professor Orin Kerr, “you can scream at your overflowing john all you want without violating the state’s disorderly conduct offense.” [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Martindale-Hubbell ratings: Pay to play? We find them less useful than they might otherwise be because so many lawyers aren’t rated. Will charging a fee for inclusion exacerbate the problem? [Real Lawyers Have Blogs; HireTrade Blog]
* Thoughts on the Eighth Circuit fantasy baseball ruling (mentioned in Morning Docket), from Professor Neil Richards. [Concurring Opinions]
* Dionne Warwick is a tax deadbeat? Say it ain’t so! [TaxProf Blog]
* Have a favorite New York blawg / blawger? Vote for them here. [Sui Generis]

* GM workers take break from, um, not working. [New York Times]
* Jena 6 charges thrown out because not filed in juvenile court. [CNN]
* O.J. gets squeezed for alleged Vegas robbery. [AP via Athens Banner-Herald]
* Mukasey it is. [New York Times]

Michael Joyce Judge Michael Thomas Joyce Michael T Joyce Above the Law blog.jpgWe fondly remember this episode of 90210: “Brenda gets into a car accident. The woman involved in the accident claims she has whiplash and threatens to sue the Walsh family.”
But then, when Brenda visits the woman at home to apologize, she looks through the living room window — and sees the woman jazzercising in front of her TV!
We were reminded of it by this AP story:

An appeals court judge was indicted on charges of scamming $440,000 from insurers by claiming he suffered debilitating injuries in a car crash, even while he golfed, skated and went scuba diving, federal prosecutors said….

“The bodily injury he says he sustained we believe was fraudulent,” U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said.

According to the indictment, Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Michael Thomas Joyce “received $390,000 from his insurer, Erie Insurance Group, and $50,000 from State Farm Insurance, which insured the other driver.” But maybe the insurers should have been a little suspicious:

Prosecutors said Joyce’s car was rear-ended at about 5 mph in August 2001, and no police or medical personnel were called…. [Yet] Joyce complained of debilitating injuries, anxiety and difficulty sleeping and claimed they prevented him from pursuing higher judicial office, prosecutors said.

Being indicted on federal fraud charges might “prevent[] him from pursuing higher judicial office,” too.
Pa. Judge Accused of Bilking Insurers [Associated Press]

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