DealBreaker

The thing is that when you run a brokerage company and it goes and loses $1bn of customer money, the CFTC really ought to charge you with “fail[ing] to supervise diligently the activities of [your] officers, employees, and agents,” no? At least? There are various views of Jon Corzine’s role in MF Global’s efforts to misplace a billion dollars – did he intentionally misuse customer funds? was he aggressive but above-board? just confused? – but no one is going around saying “oh, yeah, Corzine was really on the ball there protecting customer money.” You’re just irreducibly not supposed to lose a billion dollars in customer money, and if you do, “failure to supervise diligently” is pretty much the kindest possible description…

Continue reading over at DealBreaker….

* Yesterday, we shared Paul Caron’s plan to end the sequester by forcing government officials to experience delays due to air traffic control furloughs. Well, Congress voted to end the furloughs. We should have known that once the sequester inconvenienced a member of Congress this would end. [Reuters via Yahoo!]

* Ken Langone does not agree with Richard Farley of Paul Hastings. And tells him so. Loudly. [DealBreaker]

* If you’re looking for CLE credits in Houston, check out this event where you can win a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun for your trouble. And it counts for Ethics! [NRA Blog]

* “Izadi suggested she could pay her law school tuition by turning tricks.” Is a pimp really that much worse than Sallie Mae? [Las Vegas Review Journal]

* Overlawyered is now part of the CATO Institute. Enjoy working for the Koch brothers! I hear they’re really easy to work with over there. [Overlawyered]

* Getting tossed from a case for “bad behavior”? That’s the Chicago way! [Chicago Tribune]

* An interview with American Lawyer Editor-in-Chief Robin Sparkman about the newly released Am Law 100 law firm rankings, after the jump….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 04.26.13″

To get a sense of how old and long-drawn-out the SEC’s insider trading lawsuit against Mark Cuban is, consider this: the company in which he allegedly insider traded was Mamma.com. The .com was right there in the name. Future generations — hell, present generations — will indiscriminately add “.com” to the end of words to create an old-timey feel, the way we doeth with “-eth.”1

Actually it happened in 2004, and I don’t even need the “allegedly”: there’s no dispute that Cuban insider traded. Everyone agrees that:

  • Mamma.com was planning to sell some stock in a PIPE offering which would, inevitably, drive down its stock price;
  • Mamma.com’s CEO called Cuban and told him about the planned PIPE offering in advance, hoping to get Cuban to buy more stock;
  • Cuban instead sold the stock he already had, prior to the public announcement of the PIPE deal; and
  • Then the PIPE was announced and the stock dropped.

So he had material nonpublic information, and he traded on it, and he avoided losses by doing so. INSIDER TRADING. The only debate is whether he insider traded illegally, which, as I often find myself reminding people, is a separate question. The SEC’s lawsuit2 turns not on the facts above, but on whether Cuban agreed not to trade before learning the inside information. Here the evidence is less clear, but there’s enough evidence that he did for the SEC to survive summary judgment yesterday and take the case to trial. Here is that evidence:3

Continue reading at Dealbreaker….

Judge Lynn Hughes

* Above the Law promotes real-world change! Complaint filed against a Texas judge after we call him out for being RACEIST! [ABA Journal]

* If you were thinking of calling your friend from the Philippines a “skank” on Facebook, you may want to reconsider. [Philippine Inquirer]

* If you’re a powerful financial executive, lay off the bath salts. [DealBreaker]

* Judicial throwdown at the Second Circuit! Short version: Judge Raagi thinks Judge Jacobs should care way more about punishing guys sexting underage girls. Judge Jacobs thinks Judge Raagi watches too much Dexter. [Second Circuit / FindLaw]

* Federal District Judge John Lungstrum calls out a couple trial teams for terrible trial work. Biglaw litigators may not be the best trial attorneys? You don’t say. [New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog]

* Kenneth Anderson describes the U.S. government’s longstanding love affair with “imminence” in the context of the Obama drone strike white paper. To borrow from Rev. Lovejoy’s sermon: “Imminence…sweet imminence.” [Lawfare]

* Judges: If you’re going to base a decision on a particular fact… don’t include pictures in the opinion that directly contradict that finding. Check out page six, line two and Appendix 2 [Court of Appeals, State of Oregon]

* SCOTUSBlog and Bloomberg Law have a competition for law students. Beat your peers AND the SCOTUSBlog team and win $5000. [SCOTUSBlog]

* Obama has made more women federal judges than any other president in history. But he still has a long way to go to match Bill Clinton’s record for being judged by women. [Wall Street Journal]

* Let’s agree that neither of the people running for president should be a tax lawyer. [Going Concern]

* This story about law firms involved in a class action suit allows me to quote one of the great Abraham Lincoln lines, as retold by the late Shelby Foote: “There’s too many pigs for the tits.” [Forbes]

* Proof that bankers have a better life. [Dealbreaker]

* Did you know that there is a typo on the Liberty Bell? [Josh Blackman's Blog]

* Louisiana has a problem with deadbeat corporations that owe money to the state. Apparently, businesses run from their debts just as well as students. [Lexis Tax Community]

Ed. note: This post was written by Matt Levine, the new editor on our sister site, Dealbreaker, and Elie Mystal.

Matt here. You might think that Dealbreaker HQ exists only metaphorically in virtual space, or maybe in the fan fiction you’re hiding in your desk, but in fact Bess and I share a real physical garrett both with our sibling sites Fashionista and Above the Law. Occasionally we even talk to each other. “Talk,” in this context, normally means that Above the Law editor Elie Mystal shouts at us about some outrageous political position. In order to quiet him down a bit, we’ve decided to take it to the internet, thus spawning the first – and maybe last! – Above the Law / Dealbreaker Debate Society.

I have been set the task of defending a proposition like “white-collar criminals should not get anything near the jail time they get.” (We are pretty casual with our resolutions here at the Breaking Media Debate Society.)

Fortunately I believe that, so here goes…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Above the Law / Dealbreaker Debate: Insider-Trading Sentencing”

A lot of my closest friends are male. It’s probably because we share the same sense of humor about most things. But sometimes broish pranks cross the line from being funny to freakin’ disgusting at warp speed. Guys, here’s a little tip: anything outside of the bedroom that has to do with giving a girl a protein slurpee usually crosses that line.

Earlier this week, we brought you a story about a sushi roll with “special sauce” that was allegedly served up in New York. Now we learn that a California man who laced a lady’s drink with his load has been ordered to pay for it.

Why did this mediocre mixologist decide to shake up his co-worker’s drink with a shot of his DNA? And how much did the court award to his victim?

Read more at Dealbreaker….

If you are lawyer who is looking for a career change, you really might want to give blogging a try. You won’t make as much money as you would in a Biglaw job. You probably won’t make as much as you would working for a well-respected small law firm.

But money isn’t everything. Take it from me. Or Lat. Or Staci. For instance, right now I’m sitting in my backyard, my dog is curled up by my feet, and I have a fresh pot of coffee. Once I turn the ringer off on my phone (so I can’t hear my creditors calling), it’s a pretty good life. Beat that with a stick.

And it is with that in mind that we welcome another former lawyer to the Breaking Media fold. Check below to meet the new writer for our sister site, Dealbreaker

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Alternatives for Attorneys: Seriously Guys, This Blogging Thing Might Have Legs”

You know the only thing worse than getting run over by some rich joker in a Mercedes-Benz? Getting run over by a rich joker in a Mercedes-Benz who gets a slap on the wrist because his Mercedes-Benz is a brand-new Mercedes-Benz.

Dr. Steven Milo knows that pain all too well. Our sister site, Dealbreaker, explains the situation:

Back in November, it was reported that last summer, Morgan Stanley financial adviser Martin Joel Erzinger… had driven over a doctor who was on his bike and then kept going, “until he reached a Pizza Hut parking lot, where he stopped and called Mercedes auto assistance to report the damage to his vehicle.”…

The part of the story that was somewhat more shocking was that rather than be slapped with serious to quite serious charges, a court decided that for his crime, MJE would be hit with two misdemeanor traffic violations and restitution to the victim. People were somewhat outraged, to say the least. But! That was prior to hearing all of Marty’s side of the story.

According to Erzinger’s defense lawyers, Erzinger suffers from sleep apnea, and that condition was exacerbated by the new car smell of his month-old Mercedes. And that all caused him to lose consciousness during the hit-and-run fiasco.

I knew having a new Mercedes was a status symbol; I didn’t know it was a designer drug…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Defense of the Day: New Car Smell Diminishes Your Capacity to Have A Soul”

PC Guy has a lot to gloat about right now.

* An interesting way of thinking about your law firm experience, from Yolanda Young (of Young v. Covington & Burling fame). [On Being A Black Lawyer]

* Some advice for lawyers: be sure to give your secretary a really nice holiday gift. [Young Lawyers Blog]

* Do you prefer a Jewish lawyer? You’re in good company. [Tablet]

* Apple could end up paying $625.5 million in a patent case. Proposes a WSJ commenter: “They need to settle. Apple should offer an I-Phone and spotty coverage for life.” [WSJ Law Blog]

* If you talk trash about for-profit schools by suggesting that they dispense worthless degrees (which many of them do), could you get sued? [Full Disclosure / Forbes]

* We have no comment on the possible sale of our sister site Dealbreaker to the New York Observer — but our ex-colleague, former Dealbreaker editor John Carney, does. [CNBC]

* If FindLaw has helped you out with a legal issue, tell your story — and possibly win a cash prize ($1,000 or $5,000). [FindLaw]

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