After driving her SUV the wrong way down a freeway, famine victim reality TV star Nicole Richie was arrested yesterday for driving under the influence (Vicodin and pot, allegedly). Perhaps she’s gearing up for “The Simple Life: Behind Bars”?
Seriously, though, we doubt Richie will do any prison time. She’s in the capable hands of Howard L. Weitzman, a prominent criminal defense lawyer who has represented oodles of celebrities over the years (e.g., John De Lorean, Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, and even O.J. Simpson (briefly)).
And this cloud has a silver lining. Now that she has a DUI arrest on her record, Nicole Richie is eligible for a state court judgeship.
Speaking of state judges and DUI arrests, our reader poll is now over. We asked you:
Who acted more stupidly? Judge Patrick Young, for driving under the influence, with a senior colleague as a passenger? Or Chief Judge Jan Fiss, for getting into the car with an inebriated colleague, and then trying to empty his tinnie by the side of the road?
Judges don’t have enough fun. Overly concerned with “judicial decorum,” they don’t let down their hair very often. They try to hide the reality that, beneath their robes, they’re ordinary people just like the rest of us. Perhaps they fear that this truth might undermine their legitimacy.
But a pair of Illinois state court judges may have taken things too far in the “fun” department:
A judge driving with his boss was charged with drunken driving after a wreck that sent another motorist to the hospital, and the other judge was seen by an officer pouring out a can of beer, police said.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Patrick Young, 58, was handcuffed and arrested and charged with drunken driving after the Sunday crash, about 20 miles from St. Louis. He refused a sobriety test, authorities said.
Another officer, Jeffrey Sheary, reported seeing Young’s passenger, Chief Judge Jan Fiss, 64, pour out an open beer can on the road and try to hide it in his coat.
If the allegations are true, who acted more stupidly? Judge Young, for driving under the influence, with a senior colleague as a passenger? Or Chief Judge Fiss, for getting into the car with an inebriated colleague, and then trying to empty his tinnie by the side of the road?
Yet another sign that reality television has gone too, too far:
City leaders have apologized after a program on Tempe’s cable channel showed a white police officer telling two black men they could get out of a littering ticket by performing a rap….
[After pulling the car over,] the officer then tells the men that they can avoid getting a littering ticket “if the two of you just do a little rap about — what do you want to do a rap about? Littering? About the dangers of littering.”
The two men agree, and each performs a short rap, laughing afterward. One says, “The dangers of littering, you will get a ticket. If you ain’t wit’ it, you better be experienced.”
The second man raps, “Yo, I just got pulled over ’cause I threw my trash out the window when they rolled over. They got behind me and pulled me over.”
They got out of the ticket. But query whether they should have been fined for their mediocre rapping.
The cop also pulled over an Asian woman for making an illegal turn. He told her she could get out of a ticket by being a bad driver. Arizona cop had black men rap away ticket [Associated Press via Drudge Report]
* The DOJ’s IG, its equivalent of the GAO, will investigate the NSA’s warrantless issuance of acronyms. [Law.com]
* Disecting the Chief Justice’s humor… lawyer style. [WSJ Law Blog]
* No name-calling: Court strikes down President’s power to designate terror groups. [MSNBC]
* Back in the Dogg pound: this time charges include “having a false compartment in a vehicle.” [CNN]
Law firm recruiting season is winding down, but we remain interested in your job interview horror stories. To read prior stories, click here, then scroll down.
(Note: The “horror” in “interview horror stories” is loosely defined. Stories that are somewhat embarrassing or mildly amusing will suffice.)
Most of our interview horror stories involve interviewees saying or doing stupid things, during their Biglaw interview or at lunch. But sometimes it’s the interviewers who are boneheaded.
This story has been making the rounds at East Coast law schools:
A young woman goes in for an on-campus interview with a large law firm. Her interviewer is an elderly partner at a very conservative, white-shoe kind of place.
The interview is going smoothly. But then the interviewer starts complaining about promising female associates who get married, have kids, and leave the firm.
Such comments are highly improper and/or illegal. There are a number of ways to deal with them, in appropriate yet subtle fashion. But our interviewee decides to tackle this problem head-on:
“You don’t need to worry about that happening with me. I’m a lesbian.”
The stuffy old partner is at a complete loss for words. He’s probably never met a lesbian in his life.
There’s a long, awkward pause. Finally, the partner breaks the silence:
Over the weekend, after spending several days in critical condition, New Haven police officer Dan Picagli passed away. Officer Picagli was the officer who was struck last Tuesday in a traffic accident by Judge John M. Walker, Jr.
Judge Walker sits on the Second Circuit and maintains his chambers in New Haven (where he also teaches at Yale Law School). He was driving home in his sport utility vehicle at the time of the accident.
Officer Picagli, 38, was a 17-year-veteran of the police force and a father of four. He was praised for his service by several public officials, including New Haven’s mayor and chief of police. In the words of Mayor John DeStefano, “Officer Picagli was more than a cop. He was someone who brought people together, who created a sense of community… His basic decency will keep his memory vibrant in our city.”
A copy of the obituary for Officer Picagli, which we obtained by fax from the New Haven Police Department, can be viewed after the jump. It contains information about funeral arrangements and memorial gifts in lieu of flowers.
ATL sends its sympathies and condolences to the Picagli family. Injured Police Officer Dies In Hospital [Hartford Courant via How Appealing] Youth Officer Loses Struggle After Being Struck by SUV [New Haven Register] Police Officer Dan Picagli [The Officer Down Memorial Page] Earlier: An Update on Officer Picagli and Judge Walker Judge John M. Walker Hits Police Officer in Traffic Accident
Today’s papers offer the latest news about Officer Dan Picagli, the New Haven police officer who was accidentally hit by a motorist earlier this week, and Second Circuit Judge John M. Walker, the motorist in question. Officer Picagli remains hospitalized and in critical condition.
The New York Times finally has a brief story on the incident. But the Hartford Courant offers a more detailed account (including some information not contained in prior news stories):
A few blocks from the intensive-care unit where Picagli is being treated for a severe head injury, John M. Walker Jr., a 65-year-old judge, met with investigators at police headquarters to go through a second round of questioning — this time with his lawyer.
The judge was on his way home to Madison in a black Ford Escape when his vehicle struck Picagli while the off-duty cop was directing traffic around a construction site on Wooster Square Park. Chapel Street had been closed to one lane of traffic and as Walker passed through, headed east, at least one driver waiting to go the other way witnessed the crash, police said.
The street was dark but the officer was wearing a fluorescent yellow vest over a long rain coat… “He was clearly seen by other motorists at the time of the accident,” [New Haven] Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said Thursday.
Police have ruled out drugs and alcohol as a cause of the crash, but said they will look at other factors, including speed, in their investigation. The posted speed limit in the area is 25 mph.
More details have emerged concerning the accident in which Judge John Walker (2d Cir.) hit a police officer with his SUV. Here’s the latest news:
A federal judge in a sport utility ran into a police officer directing traffic in the rain, critically injuring the officer, authorities said Thursday. New Haven police Chief Francisco Ortiz said Senior Judge John M. Walker was “very much distraught”over the Tuesday night crash.
Officer Dan Picagli, 38, was in critical condition Thursday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He had been wearing a black raincoat and a reflective vest when he was hit, Ortiz said.
Ortiz said Walker is cooperating, and police did not feel it was necessary to test him for drugs or alcohol.
Coincidentally, just last month the New York Law Journal published a rather long article reviewing John Walker’s successful tenure as Chief Judge of the Second Circuit. Some excerpts and commentary, after the jump.
Federal judges are brilliant people. But they aren’t always the best, or the safest, of drivers. We’ve had the privilege of riding in cars with federal judges, so we know this firsthand. Let’s just say that the reasoning in their opinions is often tighter than their left-hand turns.
Rumor has it that Justice Antonin Scalia can be rather aggressive when behind the wheel of his BMW 525. Some pedestrians fear Justice Sandra Day O’Connor “like a Floridian driver.” And it has been alleged that Judge Robert W. Gettleman (N.D. Ill.), the highly regarded Chicago judge, drives his vintage Porsche “like a cabbie.”
On a more serious note, sometimes placing a federal judge behind the wheel gives rise to tragic consequences. From the New Haven Register:
The motorist who struck and critically injured a city police officer working a traffic detail Tuesday is a senior federal judge in New Haven. John M. Walker Jr., who is in his mid-60s, had been chief judge for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for six years until Sept. 30, when he assumed senior status.
Police sources said Walker was the driver of the sport utility vehicle that struck Officer Dan Picagli, a 17-year veteran, on Chapel Street in the Wooster Square neighborhood. Picagli, 38, remains in critical condition at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Police are investigating the accident, which happened during a steady rain at 6:30 p.m. No charges have been filed.
Officer Picagli, who works in a youth-oriented policing unit and runs the Police Athletic League, a program for city youths, is well-loved by both his colleagues and the kids he works with.
More about this accident, after the jump.
* Here we go again… If the music industry can turn any old 13-year-old into a pop star, then it can also turn any old 13-year-old into a criminal. [Reuters]
* The Danish have taken the transfat out of their pastries (and everything else). [Associated Press via Drudge Report]
* Indeed, politics aside, who is more retarded in this case — the cops or the ACLU? [May It Please the Court]
* Yet again, Walmart proves that cheap has its price. [The Conglomerate]
* The United States population topped 300 million today at 7.46am EST, but just 39 years ago, the official 200 millionth baby was born, and he ended up a lawyer. (And may we objectively comment that this particular person of Asian heritage really does look young.) [Inside Opinions: Legal Blogs]
* I don’t know much about fair trade, but I know this isn’t it. And yes, I know, much more than chocolate is at stake. [Associated Press]
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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