Crime

Aaron Biber Gray Plant Mooty.jpgAaron Biber was a principal specializing in business law at the Minnesota law firm of Gray Plant Mooty — until yesterday. As mentioned in yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs, he’s been charged with molesting a 15-year-old boy.

His photo appears at right. We’ll let you be the judge.

Biber was a prominent member of the local bar. From the Minneapolis Business Journal:

Biber is treasurer of the Minnesota State Bar Association, and a former president of the Hennepin County Bar Association. He’s being held at the Hennepin County jail. Freeman’s office expects to ask for $1 million bail at his arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday.

South Lake Minnetonka police arrested Biber on Friday at the Eden Prairie Mall, where he had allegedly arranged to meet the boy. Authorities say Biber had previously had sex with the boy in October at Biber’s Shorewood home.

Gray Plant Mooty has put Biber “on leave” and taken down his bio. This Minnesota firm can teach Biglaw a thing or two — they’ve even eliminated the cached version.

UPDATE: Actually, you can find a cached version of his 2007 bio here (gavel bang: commenter). We’ve pasted a portion of it after the jump.

More yucky allegations, and the reaction from his colleagues, after the jump.

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My Job Is Murder.jpgEd. note: Welcome to ATL’s first foray into serial fiction: “My Job Is Murder,” a mystery set in a D.C. appellate boutique. This is the final installment; you can read prior installments here.
Susanna Dokupil can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Facebook.

The loud whack-whack-whack of a helicopter blade caused John, the detective, and Katarina all to look up. It was the police. Someone downstairs had called, Katarina thought excitedly.
“You’re going in for questioning. One way or the other, you assaulted this guy with a poison frog.”
The helicopter landed on the roof.
John panicked and looked over the edge. No sign of Dick. He grabbed his rolled tent and quickly looped its ropes around his body. As John jumped, the detective marveled at how he had made it into a parachute — but it wasn’t effective enough for such a sharp drop.
John landed, but did not move. Clever, but not realistic, thought the detective as he called 9-1-1.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “My Job Is Murder: Of Departures and Denouements”

Kumari Fulbright small Arizona law student beauty queen Above the Law blog.jpgUPDATE (07/01/10): Fulbright has a new lawyer. Her sentencing date has not yet been set (because she’s scheduled to testify at the October trial of a co-defendant, after which she’ll be sentenced).

UPDATE (11/11/10): Here’s a report on how testimony went.

Remember Kumari Fulbright? Of course — how could you forget her? The former beauty queen had her legal studies at the University of Arizona derailed after being accused of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault.

It appears that Fulbright’s criminal case is reaching a resolution. The Arizona Daily Star reports:

A former beauty queen and UA law school student accused of orchestrating the kidnapping of her former boyfriend will spend the next two years in prison.

Kumari Fulbright, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault Tuesday in Pima County Superior Court.

Fulbright agreed to serve two years in prison for the assault charge and she will have to serve a term of probation on the kidnapping charge once she’s released.

Despite having studied law, as well as having interned for a federal judge, Kumari Fulbright didn’t seem to know how a plea hearing is supposed to work.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Beauty Queen in an Orange Jumpsuit? Former Law Student Kumari Fulbright Could Be Prison-Bound”

British aristocrat lawyer.JPGAn ATL reader sent along this motion, asking us:

Can you get to the bottom of whether this is a hoax? I assume it is, given how ridiculous the motion and response are. On the other hand, it’s Texas.

It’s a challenge to be an out-of-state attorney in some courts. It may be even more difficult to be an out-of-country attorney.

Here’s the motion from the District Court of Travis County, Texas:

The prosecutor is British (and a Duke Law ’02 grad). His bloody funny response explains that he has already acceded to one of the Defendant’s concerns by wearing cowboy boots, but will not be dropping his accent.

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Right before the holidays, we wrote a heartwarming story about child porn and stumbled across the website of Lindeman, Alvarado & Frye, a Texas criminal defense firm with a variety of sexual crimes practice groups.
We wrote an Adventures in Law Firm Advertising post about the firm because of its disturbing taste in stock photos. For example, we thought this image for a kiddie porn defense practice group was highly questionable:
lindeman alvarado frye kiddie porn defense.jpg
Apparently, the photos did not stay up long after our post. The Texas Lawyer wrote on Friday about the firm’s learning a lesson from ATL:

Above the Law noted that a photo of a pigtailed girl accompanying Lindeman, Alvarado’s description of its Child Sexual Assault & Internet Solicitation of a Minor Defense Practice was a “little off.” The blog also pointed out a photo of a troubled-looking woman wrapped in a robe illustrating the firm’s Rape and Sexual Assault Defense Practice; one of a hand over the mouth of a young girl to illustrate the firm’s Family Violence Defense Practice; and a photo of a suitcase filled with white packages illustrating the firm’s Interstate and International Drug Charges Defense Practice.
The stock photos in question were added to the firm’s Web site in April by FindLaw, which Lindeman, Alvarado had hired to revamp and expand the firm’s site, Lindeman says. Lindeman, Alvarado partner Charles B. “Brad” Frye says the project cost the firm about $30,000.

We think Lindeman may be entitled to a refund. An ATL reader sent the firm a link to our post, and the firm e-mailed Findlaw to get the photos taken down. Since it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they didn’t remove them from the site until Monday, Nov. 30.
Not that it matters. We still have the screen shots. Plus, we discovered one more photo — thanks, Google cache! — that may be the worst of them all….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Texas Criminal Defense Firm Can’t Defend Its Photos”

My Job Is Murder.jpgEd. note: Welcome to ATL’s first foray into serial fiction. “My Job Is Murder,” a mystery set in a D.C. appellate boutique, will appear one chapter at a time, M-W-F, over the next few weeks. Prior installments appear here; please read them first.
Susanna Dokupil can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Facebook.

Tyler hit the “send” button on his e-mail draft to Carol. He knew his career at the firm was just as dead as Ken Thrax. He wondered how long he had. Days? Weeks? He had no idea what to do next. But he had a sudden empathy for John Tiburon. He decided to go up and thank him for the help on the memo. Fortunately no one was in the men’s room when he climbed up to open the ceiling tile.
As he reached the trap door to the roof, he heard voices yelling. One was Tiburon.
“You idiot! All you had to do was get back into Thrax’s office once his body was discovered and clean that one lousy key before the police started sweeping the office. Your office is just down the hall, and it would have been so natural for you to be first on the scene. It was the perfect crime! Totally untraceable! You plant the frog, and it’s a bizarre freak accident. How could you ruin everything?”
“I’m sorry, I guess I got distracted.”
“Distracted with a bottle of Scotch, more like. Did you muck something up with a client? Is that why Thrax wanted you out?”
“Of course not. I’d never let my, er, hobbies interfere with work.”
“Well, it wasn’t the sexual harassment scandal. We all know you can beat that. You’ve never been interested in a woman in your life.”
Schlosh! Tyler thought with alarm. Gay and an alcoholic? The things he missed by preferring Asimov to office gossip . . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “My Job Is Murder: Of Legends and Legerdemain”

Kick a ginger day.JPGJust before Thanksgiving, I lightly mentioned Kick-A-Ginger day. In case you missed it, some kids at a California middle school used Facebook to organize a day of beating on redheaded children like they were redheaded step-children.
Parents of children at a Calabasas middle school were understandably horrified when they learned that 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds were running around hitting gingers.
Apparently, the attackers have been identified. The L.A. Times reports:

In Calabasas, an affluent community northwest of Los Angeles, school officials have identified nine children believed to be responsible for the assaults but their investigation is continuing. Eleven victims have come forward.

But will their punishment be tough enough? The school has already taken one (weak) response, but some parents want more.
Details after the jump.

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Tiger Woods Rachel Uchitel Elin Nordegren.jpgUPDATE (3:07): The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) just held a press conference. FHP announced that Tiger Woods was found “at fault” in his traffic accident, guilty of careless driving. The fine is $164 and four points on his driving record. This ends the Florida Highway Patrol’s investigation.
FHP determined “that there was insufficient evidence to issue a subpoena for any further evidence. There are no claims of domestic violence by any individual.”
Hmm… No evidence, you say? It looks like not talking was in fact the smart thing to do.
* * * * * * * * *
Lawyers, members of the bar, law students, and others with a smattering of legal training: we all have a duty to stand up and defend Tiger Woods’s decision to keep his mouth shut. The mainstream media has this story completely wrong, and it is up to us — those blessed with a basic understanding of criminal jurisprudence — to educate the public about why Tiger is staying silent. We must explain to our mothers and fathers and doormen and bodega owners that Tiger probably has to keep his mouth shut, in order to keep his wife out of jail.
I’ve explained elsewhere that we are looking at a potential domestic violence situation. If some of the reports are true, Elin Nordegren attacked her husband, allegedly threatening him with a golf club.
Now this is the part that laypeople seem to be having difficulty grasping. Just because Tiger is a man doesn’t mean he gets to decide whether or not his wife gets prosecuted for domestic violence. Criminal law doesn’t work that way. If the police find that Elin Nordegren assaulted Tiger, then this process gets taken out of Tiger’s hands. Right now, shutting up is the only thing Tiger can do if he wants to retain a modicum of control over the situation.
Especially in Florida.
More details, after the jump.

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Roman Polanski Adrien Brody.jpgWomen of Switzerland, lock up your daughters. Roman Polanski has been granted bail, after a court approved his bail offer of $4.5 million. (For now, he’s still in jail; his release date has not been set.)
Once released, Polanski will be under house arrest. So, good parents of Switzerland, maybe there’s no need to lock up your daughters. Just don’t let them anywhere near Polanski’s ski chalet in Gstaad.
Getting released on bail is a nice result for Polanski, since it was widely expected that he’d remain stuck in the pokey. Perhaps he was represented by the Zurich office of Lindeman, Alvarado, & Frye? (Gavel bang: commenter #16.)
We suspect that ATL readers are displeased by this development. In a reader poll from September, almost three quarters of you expressed support for continuing to pursue and prosecute Polanski.
How does writer-turned-kinda-lawyer Elizabeth Wurtzel feel about all of this?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Watch Out, Swiss Misses: Roman Polanski Wins Bail”

lindeman frye logo.gifWhile writing a post for True/Slant about child porn enthusiasts who used a private social network to trade their kiddie pics, we stumbled across the website of Lindeman, Alvarado, & Frye. The Texas criminal defense firm has a kiddie porn practice group.
We think the photo accompanying the description of the group is a little off….
UPDATE: Other practice groups include disturbing images, as pointed out by commenters.

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