Deaths

Yesterday we covered the internet brouhaha over Progressive Insurance. The insurance company caught a lot of internet flak after comedian Matt Fisher wrote this provocative blog post: My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court. Outrage against Progressive’s apparent provision of a defense to the driver who killed Katie Fisher — even though Katie Fisher was Progressive’s insured, not that driver — went viral over social media (especially after actor Wil Wheaton got involved).

Now Progressive is paying up. The company has reached a settlement with the Fisher family.

We recently heard from Progressive’s PR firm, which sent us a statement on the Fisher case. What does Flo have to say for herself?

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If you were on the internet at all yesterday, you likely heard about this. Your mom probably posted it on her Facebook wall and a thousand of your tweeps probably hit you up on the Twitter to register their outrage. On Monday, a comedian by the name of Matt Fisher wrote a post on his tumblr account titled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court.” What resulted was an outpouring of rage and hive-minded moralizing that has become the internet’s stock in trade. A great injustice had been done and, dammit, the internet was going to save the day. Or at least tweet about the day. Even Wil Wheaton made an impassioned cameo in the great shoutathon, presumably because a cameo is the best Wil Wheaton can hope for these days.

And this great unwashed mass of outrage went to sleep last night and slept like babies, secure in the smug knowledge that they had done good. Of course, the picture that was so broadly painted yesterday didn’t do justice to anyone. Progressive Insurance is not evil and the Internet remains a cesspool of pornography and legal blog posts. Matt Fisher did a pretty solid number on Progressive Insurance; this is true. They’ve taken a great PR hit, and most coverage of the whole affair has quickly moved on from any sort of analysis of the actual claim itself to a much easier consideration of how, and in which ways, Progressive Insurance is royally f**ked.

This is a shame….

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I watched your last few seconds of life, and I prayed for you! I saw you saved lives by your effort.

– a hand-written card left at the scene of the West Los Angeles plane crash that killed Greenberg Traurig attorney and volunteer medical pilot Sean McMillan. McMillan’s Cessna went down in a residential neighborhood, but he avoided hitting any homes or other people.

Last week, we told you that not much seemed to happen during the administration of the New York bar exam. In truth, in New York (and New Jersey), shenanigans usually don’t start until after the state boards of law examiners get their hands on the exams.

Still, things did seem quiet in the tri-state area this bar season. They were more dead than the proverbial curious cat.

But if we move upstate to Albany, there was an actual dead cat. Or perhaps we should say “horrifically murdered” cat? Try not to eat lunch (or take a bar exam) directly after reading this story…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dead Cat Mars Usually Lovely Albany Bar Exam Experience”

Are you ready for two weeks of sports people only pretend to care about every four years?

* And now for some reflection on the just completed bar exam. [Fink or Swim]

* In most of the country, we slam to door on door-to-door salesmen. In Florida, they shoot them dead. [The Raw Story]

* Here’s another take on how long your hair should be at the office. Apparently it helps to not be stupid. [Sweet Hot Justice]

* Yesterday’s New York thunderstorm had tragic consequences for an area lawyer. [Herald Sun]

* I was on Red Eye on Fox last night/this morning. It’s the first plank in the platform I’m using to run for King of the Homeless. [Red Eye]

* We also covered this ridiculous story about a high school student suing because he got a C+ in Chemistry. [ABC News]

* Uh oh, Mitt Romney has angered Carl Lewis. Now I’m waiting for other relevant 80s athletes to weigh in. Can somebody tell me what Greg Louganis thinks about Romney’s comments? [Politico]

* The easiest way to stop James Holmes from becoming a celebrity and inspiring copycats is to stop trying to monetize the Aurora killings to turn a profit with ad revenue, but Professor David Kopel says it in more elegant terms. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Of course there’s a law school death watch list. Now, it would be nice to think that these law schools would shut down, but there are still people willing to fill the seats. You should’ve known better than to assume a silly thing like employment statistics would stop people from applying. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Divorce for men: it’s “not for women.” These family law practitioners may want to get together with Dr. Pepper for some kind of a licensing deal. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A pube sandwich is a very creative culinary treat — unfortunately, the recipe isn’t taught in sandwich artist school. FYI, the price to serve it to a police officer is $13,750. [Gothamist]

* The next time your husband complains about your sex life or lack thereof, just tell him that it’s against the law for married women to fornicate. Or that you’ve had a headache for the past few years. [Legal Juice]

* Presidential campaigns for Election 2012 are focusing in on the Supreme Court and future appointments to the high court, and Vice President Joe Biden is really not a fan of Justice Scalia. [POLITICO]

* Dewey know what the ramifications of D&L’s $50M insurance policy will mean for the resolution of the failed firm’s bankruptcy proceedings? Well, Steve Davis is probably happy. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Howrey going to pay off all of our creditors? Probably by dipping into the coffers of the 70 other law firms that took on our defectors. Have fun with all of those subpoenas. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

* The percentage of women in Biglaw partnership positions is up 2.8% since 2003, but the equity gender gap remains. At least some progress is being made. [National Law Journal]

* “I thought your papers were terrific, I just disagreed with them.” Kleiner Perkins isn’t a fan of backhanded compliments, so the firm is appealing a judge’s decision to keep Ellen Pao’s case out of arbitration. [Reuters]

* James Holmes, the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie-theater massacre, is scheduled to make his first court appearance today for an initial advisement. Thus far, he’s facing at least 71 charges. [Denver Post]

* The class action suit filed against Cooley Law over its allegedly deceptive employment statistics has been dismissed, much like the NYLS lawsuit before it. More on the dismissal to come later today. [WSJ Law Blog]

* “Sex isn’t going to buy me dinner.” Michael Winner, the attorney accused of offering “pro boner” assistance to female inmates, claims in an interview that the allegations against him are “just plain false.” [WSB-TV Atlanta]

She didn’t apologize. She started laughing. I was on my hands and knees picking up bone fragments. I couldn’t pick up all, everything that was lost. I mean, there was a long line behind me.

– Indianapolis resident John Gross, who says an Orlando TSA agent opened the jar containing his grandfather’s ashes — in violation of the TSA’s official policies — and spilled it on the airport floor.

Joseph Amendola

* Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, has a very lawyerly license plate — and expired tags, too? [Deadspin]

* In other sports law news, Darren Heitner says at least one football helmet manufacturer should be afraid, be very afraid, of concussion litigation. [Forbes]

* A pop culture blogger, Jenni Maier, is rudely awakened to the boring, sexless, receding-hairline-filled real world of jury duty. [Crushable]

* A pair of former Lawyers of the Day, Michael Tein and Guy Lewis, are in trouble again — this time for allegedly acting “recklessly and unprofessionally” twowards the judge in a wrongful death case they were handling. [Miami Herald]

* The Minnesota Supreme Court rules that a Mortuary Science student was legally flunked for making fun (on Facebook) of the cadaver she had to dissect. Chalk up another point to the Facebook Fun Police. [City Pages]

* Senior U.S. District Judge Robert J. Kelleher, the oldest serving federal judge, died at 99 in California. [Associated Press]

Stephen McDaniel

Yesterday brought bad news for Stephen M. McDaniel, the 25-year-old Mercer Law School alumnus accused of killing his neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings. His lawyers’ request for a reconsideration of his bond, originally set at $850,000 by Chief Judge S. Phillip Brown, got denied.

One of McDaniel’s lawyers, Franklin J. Hogue, argued that the bond was “excessive,” claiming that the McDaniel family couldn’t afford more than $150,000. The prosecution countered that the family’s financial picture might have changed since the passing of McDaniel’s grandfather, Hollis Browning, back in April. According to Floyd Buford, another lawyer working for McDaniel, Browning’s will remains to be executed. In the end, the judge left bail as is — meaning McDaniel will remain in jail for the foreseeable future.

Now let’s hear the good news for the defendant. It relates to that disturbing internet posting that the prosecution attributed to Hacksaw McDaniel back in April….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Good News and Bad News for Stephen McDaniel, Recent Law School Grad Accused of Murder”

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