Here’s an interesting analysis of the underlying merits of the litigation over J. Howard Marshall’s estate. It contains some bome bad news for Anna Nicole Smith’s infant daughter, Dannielynn.
From a Legal Times piece by Professor Horace Cooper (who narrowly missed being a colleague of Kiwi Camara, and probably isn’t unhappy about that):
[T]here is little chance that this child will inherit millions. Why? Because Anna Nicole Smith’s legal claims on J. Howard Marshall’s estate were always tenuous.
And once the courts act, they will likely extinguish the claim altogether. That means Dannielynn is more likely to be saddled with legal bills and other debt from litigation associated with her mother’s estate than she’s likely to inherit any portion of Marshall’s estate.
We’ll spare you Professor Cooper’s detailed examination of the case, which deploys such fancy-pants legal terms as “de novo” and “res judicata.” We’ll just give you his bottom line:
A separate trial in the Bahamas is going forward to determine who Dannielynn’s biological father is. Once that is answered, will the biological father continue his efforts to secure custody after all the legal claims on the Marshall estate are extinguished?
I predict that once those claims are finally exhausted, even King Solomon himself might not have the wisdom to find a father for this baby.
It seems that LLM students are an endless source of stories — and not just those continually squabbling Harvard LLMs. In advance of our upcoming visit to Columbia Law School, here’s an amusing little anecdote about LLMs at CLS:
I was amused to learn last semester that Columbia Law Professor John Coffee is a rock-star to LLMs. Last fall Coffee held a review session before his Securities Law final. The review session was your basic, bland review of the material covered. The session ended and the class did the customary applause. I stood up to leave, when I saw a few “LLM gunners” approach Professor Coffee. I assumed they were just going to ask him questions, but then I saw him pull out a pen and began signing their casebooks.
I practically fell to the floor laughing. I know Coffee is a Corporate God, but come on. Do you really get your Con Law book signed by Larry Tribe or your Admin book signed by Tom Merrill? Besides, how could you worship someone that turned to teaching only after he failed in becoming a partner at Cravath?
[Ed. note: That last sentence is merely the speculative opinion of our tipster. Another CLS source tells us, "There are some who claim that, but I don't believe there is any real basis for it."]
Coffee is an extremely colorful professor. You really should do a small piece on him and you’ll get some interesting stories.
If you have anything funny or interesting to share about Professor Coffee, please feel free to email us (subject line: “John Coffee”). Thanks.
Are you an in-house counsel concerned about skyrocketing legal fees? Hire TMZ.com to audit the bills you get from outside counsel.
Yes, TMZ — the celebrity gossip website. As they show in their recent dissection of the legal bills submitted by Debra Opri to Larry Birkhead — one of Anna Nicole Smith’s former lovers, who claims to be the father of her daughter Dannielynn — they’re pretty good at finding dubious charges.
Then again, you don’t need to be a forensic accountant to locate the questionable items in Opri’s gargantuan bill:
Larry Birkhead got a Fed Ex on Saturday, and it was not good news. It was a bill for legal services from Debri Opri, the lawyer he fired two weeks ago. The total: $620,492.84.
Opri billed her services out at $475 an hour. Here are some of the charges…
- On February 24, 2007, while Opri and Birkhead stayed at a private residence in Ft. Lauderdale during the Florida hearing, Opri billed $600 for Seafood World. We’re told she brought four trays of lobster to the house. The bill says, “Dinner gift/Ft. Lauderdale house stay.” But it was no gift to Larry. That same day, she billed $211 for items at Publix grocery store.
- Opri billed Birkhead $4,265 for Cingular roaming service while she was in the Bahamas.
- March 8, 2007, Opri billed $161.65 for an Outback Steakhouse dinner. And get this — the bill was for $111.65. Opri left a $50 tip and billed Birkhead, who wasn’t even there!
* Screenwriter mistaken for a terrorist saves his ass by pretending to have written an episode of Scrubs. I totally saw that on 24. [LA Weekly]
* [Heart] anything without legal consequence. [WRAL]
* I declare a moratorium on the word “songstress.” [New York Post]
* If you’re a fan of the “long-lost classic” Killer of Sheep, or if, indeed, you have ever heard of such a film, you are in luck. [Info/Law]
* A hilarious read if you’ve been there, even if I tell you that the punchline is that this 70-year-old rich lawyer dude with 40-year-old sheets now has a 22-year-old Russian girlfriend. [New York Times]
* I think I heard a colleague at one of my first jobs say he wanted to f*&k me like an animal. It was a good thing I didn’t find any cause of action, because it turns out it was just that Nine Inch Nails song playing in his cubicle. [Workplace Prof Blog]
* You are actually a day older than you think, a fact hopefully irrelevant to ATL readers. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Groupies are much less trouble. [MSN Music]
* Since charges have been dropped, we can only hope nothing more severe than spray painting occurred. Those poor goats and sheep, always such pervert-magnets. [LoHud.com (The Journal News)]
* I think the Vietnamese president lost a bet to our president. [Jurist]
* This, hopefully, will not offend anyone. [New York Times]
* The upside is that such drama is indispensable to country song-writing, so better her than me. [AP via Yahoo! News]
Unless required to do so as part of court-ordered community service. But even when scrubbing toilets, she still looks like a million bucks. From the NYT:
First there was a cry, then a murmur, and finally a swoon. Naomi Campbell, the millionaire fashion model, emerged yesterday from a grimy Department of Sanitation garage in a floor-length evening gown, marking the end of her court-ordered community service.
She waved with her right hand, pulled up the shimmering silver gown with her left, smiled for the cameras and then ducked into her Rolls-Royce limousine, a silver Phantom costing at least $340,000. She did not say a word.
This runway girl was definitely “working it” — with a broom:
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., she swept, mopped and wiped at the garage, which has garbage and recycling facilities. She received no preferential treatment, [Sanitation Department officiall Albert] Durrell said. Ms. Campbell ate pizza from Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, like the others in her work crew.
Yes, Mr. Durrell acknowledged, Ms. Campbell did clean toilets. No, he said, she did not have to be taught how to use a mop or broom. Ms. Campbell “was on her hands and knees at some point cleaning the walls and floors on the second floor,” he said.
People in certain lines of work — e.g., litigation, rapping, blogging — develop pretty thick skins. If you get attacked, insulted, and criticized on a daily basis, you stop noticing it pretty quickly.
So why is Eminem so sensitive?
(He claims he’s going to court to protect his 11-year-old daughter, Hailie, from being exposed to negative comments about her father. But we suspect she has plenty of other issues.) Eminem goes to court to shut Kim up [Detroit News via Drudge Report]
* May we recommend that the IRS get a myspace page? [TaxProf Blog]
* Quirkiness belies dysfunction: Woody Harrelson’s father, convicted of murdering a federal judge, dies in prison. [AP via MSN]
* You may think people who buy hardbacks on an Oprah endorsement deserve their fate as victims of the great James Frey Swindle, but I have a heart. Losers, get your money back! [Gawker]
* I’m the kind of person who hates being hugged by non-friends without my permission, but this does seem a little inappropriate. [New York Daily News]
* News flash! No one remembers anything from the bar anyway. [PrawfsBlawg; Conglomerate]
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: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.