“It’s a bit grim, but since it’s a slow news day, perhaps you can use this story about a man who apparently murdered his wife, after he failed the Texas bar 4 times. As noted in the article, the alleged perpetrator had lobbied the Texas Supreme Court to lift the rule that limited law graduates to five attempts to pass the bar exam.”
U.S. District Judge Adrian Duplantier, who as a lawyer, lawmaker and jurist was a force in New Orleans life for more than a half-century, died Wednesday of cancer at Ochsner Medical Center. He was 78….
A lifelong New Orleanian who graduated from Jesuit High School and Loyola University’s law school, Judge Duplantier was a Civil District Court clerk, the first assistant to District Attorney Leon Hubert, a state senator and a Civil District Court judge. In 1978, President Carter appointed him to the federal district bench.
Okay, different Loyola — Loyola in New Orleans. But the point remains that you don’t need to attend a top ten law school to have a successful legal career.
Judge Duplantier had a robust sense of humor:
In 1981, he conducted a trial involving ownership of “Mr. Bill,” the clay figure who yelled, “Oh, nooooo!” on “Saturday Night Live” as one calamity after another, usually involving loss of limbs at the hands of the evil Mr. Sluggo, befell him.
A settlement was reached. When Judge Duplantier appeared in court, he wore a “Judge Sluggo” name tag, and he sliced up a version of Mr. Bill, tossing bits to people who had claimed authorship. The courtroom was filled with cries of “Oh, nooooo!”
Judge Duplantier never stopped smiling, even when he was battling cancer, Berrigan said. “He considered himself blessed. He had a wonderful life.”
Usually when we highlight individual lawyers or judges in these pages, it’s to poke (good-natured) fun at them. But it’s Friday afternoon, so let’s send you into the weekend on a warm and fuzzy note.
From a reader who was on the train today:
A man in his mid- to late-twenties, wearing a yellow shirt and carrying a Jones Day bag, helped carry an elderly gentleman onto the train and into his seat. Around an hour into the train ride, the old man’s wife tried to wake him up, but could not.
The Jones Day man lifted the gentleman out of his seat, placed him in the aisle, and began CPR. The train conductor’s took over, the train was put onto a side track, and EMS was called.
Unfortunately, all efforts to resuscitate the man were unsuccessful. We were later transferred to another train. On this second train, which was now overcrowded, the same man later gave up his seat when an older passenger got on.
Not all that humorous, but I thought this chivalry by a “Big Bad Biglaw Lawyer” might merit your attention.
Indeed it does. We thank our reader for this interesting story — and commend the Jones Day fellow (associate? paralegal?) for his kindness and human decency.
(And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming. Whom should we make fun of next?)
* Charges coming in “collar bomb” case. [CNN]
* Size matters. And bigger isn’t always better, as the Ninth Circuit demonstrates. [Los Angeles Times]
* That’s some hardcore pwnography. [Click 2 Houston (KPRC, Houston NBC affiliate)]
* Deal reached in Libya foreign medics AIDS trial, with details to come tomorrow; Libyan Supreme Court had been expected to uphold death sentences. [Jurist]
* Facing child sex charges, but don’t want that fact to slow down your legal career? Check out the Solomon Islands. [CNN]
* American Lawyer Media: Going, going, gone. Sold, for $630 million, to Incisive Media of the U.K. [Fishbowl NY; WSJ Law Blog]
* When animals crazy bearded men attack. [Breitbart TV (video) via Drudge Report]
* A Biglaw partner is not like a store clerk at the local convenience store. Or is he? [National Law Journal (subscription)]
* More about the late Tom Heftler, former managing partner of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. [New York Observer]
The Honorable Robert E. Keeton, of the District of Massachusetts, passed away earlier this week. Judge Keeton was a Harvard Law School professor, a World War II hero, and an editor of the classic Prosser & Keeton on Torts. Update: As noted in the comments, Judge Keeton’s brother, Werdner Page Keeton, was the lead Keeton on the book.
Judge Keeton liked to tell funny stories during his weekly chambers meetings. From the Boston Globe:
He particularly enjoyed telling about the time his mother-in-law came to his house and made biscuits.
“She went into the cabinet and she took out what she thought was flour,” [judicial assistant Lily] Diblasi said. “She made biscuits and put them on the table with all the other fixings. The judge took a bite and said, ‘Mother, these biscuits are quite good but where did you find the flour to make them?’ It turned out to be wall paper paste. . . But he graciously ate it.”
* So what’s the solution here? Let another state’s appellate court hear the appeals? [AP via Kane County Chronicle via How Appealing]
* Come on, you can get the man a bond hearing earlier than three weeks from now. They’re killing me with this; let him go, damnit! [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Mississippi sues State Farm for bad faith. [Jurist]
* Texas is uncharacteristically deliberate about executing somebody. [CNN]
* What is it with lawyers and sports tickets? [WSJ Law Blog]
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
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, 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.