Crime

michigan law school strikes back.jpgI know a lot of readers think we have an ax to grind with the University of Michigan Law School (even though we take pot shots at Head Coach Sweater Vest at every opportunity). We like Michigan. Maybe if more U-M Law students trusted that, a certain student would have come to ATL instead of the police. At least then she wouldn’t have been (immediately) charged with a crime for her involvement in a prostitution scandal that also implicated a U-M Near Eastern Studies professor:

The case came to light in April when the student went to an Ann Arbor police station to report she was assaulted by [Professor Yaron] Eliav after they met at a hotel on the city’s north side.

The student told police she was advertising sex acts online via Craigslist to help pay tuition costs. For an in-state student, U-M Law School tuition is $41,500 a year; out-of-state students pay $44,500.

The student told police she reluctantly agreed to allow Eliav to strike her buttocks with a belt, but got upset when he slapped her in the face twice, reports said. She said she suffered vision problems afterward, but did not have any lasting injuries.

Even the Ann Arbor police couldn’t keep from cracking wise about the law student’s “term-time job”:

The rarity of how the case began – with a law student showing up at the police department’s front desk to report she was assaulted while committing a crime herself – was not lost on investigators.

“Perhaps she should have cracked a legal textbook before coming in to the police station to talk about this,” Ann Arbor Detective Sgt. Richard Kinsey said.

More fun details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “University of Michigan Law Student Should Have Come to ATL First”

Rod Blagojevich illinois law above the law.JPGSome have wondered: Where was star litigator Dan Webb at Governor Rod Blagojevich’s bond hearing?

High-powered Winston & Strawn litigators Dan Webb and Bradley Lerman were not at Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s side when he appeared at a bond hearing on Tuesday. Blagojevich instead tapped Sheldon Sorosky, a lawyer from two-partner Chicago litigation shop Kaplan & Sorosky. Whither Winston & Strawn?

Here’s a possible answer, from the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich owes more than $500,000 in unpaid bills to the law firm Winston & Strawn, his primary counsel since federal investigators began looking into various allegations of corruption five years ago. It is unclear whether the legal bills are for personal or campaign work, or for both. Campaign filings show Winston & Strawn had charged the governor’s campaign fund, Friends of Blagojevich, nearly $2 million in legal fees through the end of 2007.

“Friends of Blagojevich”: probably in short supply right now.

Update: As noted in the comments, if Winston & Strawn isn’t eager to rep Rod, it’s understandable. Recall how the firm blew $20 million defending Illinois’s last corrupt governor, George Ryan. It lost the trial, lost the appeal, and couldn’t even get pro bono credit for the thousands of hours spent on the case.

Blagojevich Has $500,000 in Unpaid Legal Bills [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

Webb-less in Chicago: Where Was the Star Litigator At Blago’s Bond Hearing? [Am Law Daily]

Dreier LLP Marc Dreier Marc S Dreier Mark Dreier Drier Dryer.jpgApologies, readers. Although we broke the story of high-profile lawyer Marc Dreier’s arrest in Canada, we’ve fallen behind in covering the latest developments in the Dreier saga (of which there have been many). Fortunately, our friends over at Am Law Daily and the WSJ Law Blog have been following the story quite closely.

We’ve collected some links at the end of this post. The highlights:

  • A summary of recent developments, from the WSJ Law Blog: “Dreier appeared to get hit from all sides: a criminal charge in New York stemming from an alleged $100 million fraud against various hedge funds; an SEC suit alleging Dreier had been marketing and selling fake promissory notes to investors; and a suit by Wachovia Bank against Dreier, Dreier LLP (and a handful of others), alleging that a credit revolver and term loan extended to the firm are in default, as of November 1, upon which the bank is owed some $12.7 million.”

    Marc Dreier Marc S Dreier LLP.jpg

  • The latest news, from Am Law Daily: “[I]t appears very likely that client funds are indeed missing, according to a sworn statement (PDF) that Dreier partner Joel Chernov gave the SEC…. In the statement, Chernov said Dreier spoke to him and fellow Dreier partner Steven Gursky from a Toronto jail after his arrest there for impersonating a lawyer in an attempt to scam an investment group into wiring him more than $30 million. In those conversations, Chernov told the SEC, Dreier admitted improperly using client funds. Dreier also said that he could have refilled the escrow accounts if only he could return to New York. How? Apparently by selling part of an art collection valued at between $30 and $40 million, according to a separate statement (PDF) from John Provenzano, the firm’s Controller.”

    “In his statement, Provenzano claimed Dreier called him twice from the Toronto jail asking him in separate requests to wire $8 million and $10 million from the firm’s escrow accounts into Dreier’s personal accounts. Provenzano (wisely) refused. He also told Dreier the firm owed clients $38 million in connection with its representation of 360Networks. That’s when Dreier mentioned the money he could make selling his art.”

    Maxim men's magazine.jpgFine art — no surprises there. As noted, Marc Dreier has a taste for the finer things in life (like luxury real estate).

    And that’s not all. A source tells us that Dreier is something of a playboy, with a pattern and practice of dating Maxim models (yes, plural). And “not ‘Maxim-quality’ models,” emphasized our source, “but actual Maxim models.”

    If Marc Dreier ends up in prison, at least he’ll have nice memories to keep him warm at night.

    Filings Describe “Devastating Effect” on Dreier LLP [WSJ Law Blog]

    Client Funds Missing, Details on Dreier’s Art Collection, Attorneys Fleeing [Am Law Daily]

    Dreier Faces More Allegations [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

    The Death of the Dreier Model [Am Law Daily]

Rod Blagojevich illinois law above the law.JPGYesterday, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich made news with “dangerous” threats about halting all state business with Bank of America until the Republic Windows & Doors fiasco is sorted out.

Today, Blagojevich learned the old rule: “Let he who is not under investigation for ‘staggering’ corruption cast the first stone.” The Chicago Tribune (which is still allowed access to ink and paper) reports:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested by FBI agents on federal corruption charges Tuesday morning….

“The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement.

“They allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”

Apparently, the government has a lot of the evidence against Blagojevich on tape.

An investigation years in the making, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Taken Into Custody By BOA Feds”

Nude farm labor.jpgThe 10th Circuit had an ugly case on its hands last week. While all psychotherapy seems mildly sadistic, this case is especially bad.

Per Wikipedia, psychotherapy is supposed to “increase an individual’s sense of well-being and reduce subjective discomforting experience.” A Kansas couple running a home for the mentally ill had a slightly different approach. It involved a stun gun and mutual shaving of private parts.

From Suits and Sentences:

[T]he Kaufmans forced residents to “perform sexually explicit acts and farm labor in the nude while maintaining that these acts constituted legitimate psychotherapy for the residents’ mental illnesses. Moreover, the Kaufmans billed Medicare and the residents’ families for the therapy.”

Investigators seized videotapes showing the schizophrenic residents masturbating and posing nude at Kaufman’s direction. “Eventually,” the 10th Circuit noted,”the Kaufman House developed rules that required some of the residents to be nude when engaging in certain activities–for example participating in group therapy sessions, eating dinner, and watching television.”

It’s like a twisted version of Green Acres. Psychotherapists Arlan and Linda Kaufman were convicted in November 2006 for “forced labor and holding clients in involuntary servitude.”

They appealed because the judge in the trial ordered them to avoid eye contact with the former clients who testified against them. The Kaufmans claimed this violated their constitutional right to confront their accusers.

The 10th Circuit “acknowledged the Kaufmans had ‘considerable support’ for their argument, but ultimately concluded their substantial rights were not violated.” They’ll be heading to prison for 30 years. On the upside, maybe they’ll discover some new psychotherapy techniques to add to their repertoire.

Don’t look now: Judge orders accused to avert gaze [Suits and Sentences/McClatchy]

Abuse convictions upheld;resentencing ordered [Examiner]

ASU law brawler.JPGAlex Botsios is a 1L at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Last week, he left a window open overnight, and someone snuck into his Tempe apartment to steal his stuff.

From KPHO:

ASU student Alex Botsios said he had no problem giving a nighttime intruder his wallet and guitars.

When the man asked for Botsios’ laptop, however, the first-year law student drew the line.

“I was like, ‘Dude, no — please, no!” Botsios said. “I have all my case notes… that’s four months of work!”

That’s when Botsios showed him exactly how important case notes are to a law school student. He wrestled away the intruder’s baseball bat, punched the guy repeatedly, and called the police.

Botsios just had a bruised knuckle and a few scratches, while the intruder looked like this. He had to be taken for stitches before being booked for armed robbery and kidnapping.

Alex Botsios, congratulations. You are now an official ATL Law Student of the Day.

Student Pummels Would-Be Robber [KPHO]

Tulane steals Mr. Rogers shoe.JPGWe reported yesterday that students at Tulane Law School allegedly absconded with Mr. Rogers’s shoe from the Louisiana Children’s Museum.

Well, an intrepid trolley has returned the treasured keepsake. Let’s get the details….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Update: It Is a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!”

Tulane steals Mr. Rogers shoe.JPGI know a couple of Tulane Law School graduates, and those people can party. And gamble. And eat what they kill.

Now, the Louisiana Children’s Museum knows how Tulane rolls too. The Tulane law school student body just received this email:

Students, we need your help with a theft that occurred at Barrister’s Ball. As you know, the event was held in the Children’s Museum. There was a display devoted to “Mr. Rogers” (Fred Rogers of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”) at the top of a staircase. The display contained shoes actually worn by Mr. Rogers, on loan from a private collection. These shoes are therefore unique and irreplaceable.

During the ball one of the shoes was stolen, most likely by a student. The theft was noticed Sunday morning by the museum staff but not reported to us until today. I’m afraid I cannot overemphasize the gravity of this incident. It appears that one of the students of this Law School committed theft, a serious crime. It is also a violation of the Tulane University Code of Student Conduct. Moreover, what was stolen was of very high value. The stolen item must be returned immediately. Otherwise, the Law School may be forced to pay for the item and future SBA events held in venues off campus will be in serious jeopardy.

Until close of business tomorrow (Wednesday) we are taking a “no questions asked” approach to this situation. Our primary goal is simply the return of the shoe. If you know anything about this incident, please report it to Dean Netherton or myself. You can also communicate with SBA President [redacted]. You can report anonymously if you wish. If the shoe is returned to Dean Netherton’s office by close of business tomorrow, the Museum will not turn over the matter to the NOPD. If it is not, the Museum will turn over the matter to the NOPD. I hope it is obvious that being under suspicion or arrested in connection with this incident would have the most serious negative implications for your future career as a lawyer.

Thank you for your help,

Stephen M. Griffin

Vice Dean of Academic Affairs

Reactions after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tulane Law School: Showing Mr. Rogers How They Roll In Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood”

oj simpson mug shot Above the Law no pun intended.jpgThis news came in overnight. Via the AP (story filed at 2:33 AM Eastern time):

O.J. Simpson, who went from American sports idol to celebrity-in-exile after he was acquitted of murder in 1995, was found guilty Friday of robbing two sports-memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Simpson, 61, could spend the rest of his life in prison. Sentenc[ing] was set for Dec. 5….

The Hall of Fame football star was convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery and 10 other charges for gathering up five men a year ago and storming into a room at a hotel-casino, where the group seized several game balls, plaques and photos. Prosecutors said two of the men with him were armed; one of them said Simpson asked him to bring a gun.

Talk about timing:

The verdict came 13 years to the day after Simpson was cleared of murdering his ex-wife and a friend of hers in Los Angeles in one of the most sensational trials of the 20th century.

Karma is a bitch. We previously expressed pessimism about the prospects of a conviction, but we can’t say we’re unhappy to be proven wrong.

Update: (Mystal, J., concurring): I do think that the verdict was bull$#TTT because a white man who tried to get his own stuff back would never have been found guilty of a “crime” in a western state like Nevada. But I’m not going to lie (go to the 6:15 mark); the man killed two people back in the day.

I was happy that he got off back then, Fuhman was a racist cop, and I was happy that “society” learned that there is no justice when racist cops are involved. But I don’t suborn support killing people.

Acquittal via the race card, conviction via the race card … seems fair to me.

Simpson guilty on all charges in robbery trial [AP]

O. J. Simpson Found Guilty in Robbery Trial [New York Times]

Earlier: Do I Smell A Fuhrman?

Sweet ride.

Attorney Kevin Napper got busted in a Tampa prostitution sting. It wasn’t a Spitzer-esque high-end call girl thing. Instead Napper tried to solicit a $40 blow job (from an undercover police officer) in a local red-light district. Classy.

Surely Napper could have afforded higher-end services. He rolled up to the undercover officer rocking a gold Mercedes E500.

Still, Napper did manage to buy himself a motherload of hypocrisy for his forty bucks. Napper is married to Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Katherine Gail Essrig. She must be so proud.

Maybe Napper’s wife could have seen this coming. Napper received his J.D. from the University of North Dakota. But in a deliciously cheap twist of fate, he received his B.A. from Moorhead State.

Napper’s excuse after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Tampa Attorney Fails To Get Ahead”

Page 82 of 1081...787980818283848586...108