Defamation

* Sorry Wisconsin, but Judge Sumi’s going on vacation, so you can take your bargaining rights and stick ‘em where the sun don’t shine. Man, I hope she’s going to a place where the sun does shine. [Wisconsin State Journal]

* An NBA referee is suing a sportswriter over a tweet made during a Timberwolves/Rockets game. Seriously? You can’t call a foul just because someone hurt your feelings. [St. Paul Pioneer Press]

* Quinnipiac Law: where being convicted of fraud is a pre-req for employment as the registrar. I guess they must have a work from home option, since Mary Ellen Durso is under house arrest. [Hartford Courant]

* Should all buildings that were damaged in the September 11th attacks be declared landmarks? Probably not — after all, Century 21 was damaged, and that’s just a landmark for crappy couture. [Reuters]

Capturing Somali pirates.

* Arr, me matey. Five Somali pirates were forced to walk the plank. Okay, not really, but it was the first time in 190 years that a U.S. jury convicted a defendant of the peg-legged kind of piracy. [CNN Justice]

* Because common sense is hard for some lawyers, you probably shouldn’t advise your clients to break into their foreclosed homes. You probably shouldn’t break in on their behalf, either. [ABA Journal]

* William J. Stuntz, Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, R.I.P. [Harvard Law School]

Ashley Alexandra Dupré

This is not Amber Arpaio.

Three years after the Client Number Nine scandal, those involved have moved on to bigger and better things. Well, depending on how you define “bigger and better”: Eliot Spitzer landed a gig at CNN, while his former call girl, Ashley Alexandra Dupré, now pens a sex column for the New York Post and was featured on the cover of Playboy. But some people who weren’t directly involved have had a harder time moving on, namely a woman named Amber Arpaio.

You may remember her name and perhaps even her driver’s license photo from this YouTube video released by “Girls Gone Wild.” At the height of the Client Number Nine media frenzy, Joe Francis offered Dupré one million dollars to do a “Girls Gone Wild” magazine shoot and promotional tour. He withdrew that offer when he serendipitously realized he already had footage of Dupré from earlier times in his archive. Dupré then sued him, saying she was only 17 at the time that footage was shot.

Francis responded by releasing a video of Dupré mugging for the camera in a towel, claiming to be 18, and saying her name was Amber Arpaio. The camera then lingers on Arpaio’s New Jersey license for about 30 seconds. The video was widely circulated on the Web, and led Dupré to drop her lawsuit — Francis and ‘Girls Gone Wild’ were triumphant!

Well, until Amber Arpaio filed her own lawsuit against Dupré and “Girls Gone Wild,” for defamation and invasion of privacy…

Read on at Forbes….

How long do we have to live under the world view of this prude?

Well now this would be interesting. Can you imagine living in a world where the United Kingdom wasn’t the worldwide meeting place for pissed off celebrities with no grounds for defamation/libel lawsuits?

It could happen. According to reports, Deputy British Prime Minister Nick Clegg is sick of England being a “laughing stock” when it comes to its plaintiff-friendly libel laws.

That would be awesome. I’m sick of living in fear that Harvard will sue me in the U.K. for defaming their existence by possessing their degrees…

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Tonight America comes together to celebrate its most important holiday. Whether you’re Christian or other, tonight you will plop down on the couch, crack a beer, wait with bated breath for the first commercial break, likely have a heart attack, and definitely beat all holy hell out of your wife.

Some say football is America’s national religion. And if that’s so, A.J. Daulerio is its… sorry, I didn’t really think this metaphor through. Perhaps you already know who A.J. Daulerio is. Perhaps you read the profile of him in GQ or read the article last fall in the Times. Or, if you’re anything like me, you have Deadspin bookmarked. If it’s that last one, you probably already know what this is about.

This is about what happens when lawyers stop being polite… and start getting real. Oh, and it’s about The Sanchize, Mark Sanchez, or El Sucio Sanchez if you’re not into the whole brevity thing…

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This is rich. The owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder, has sued the Washington City Paper for a column he claims defamed him and used anti-Semitic imagery. That’s right, the man who has famously defended his right to name an entire football team after an ethnic slur is playing the ethnic card because a columnist made fun of him.

The kicker is that on top of this amazing execution of rank hypocrisy, Snyder manages to insult all Jews who have actually dealt with anti-Semitism by coming up with an ethnic offense where none existed. The columnist wasn’t making Jewish jokes or playing off of Jewish stereotypes. He was calling Dan Snyder a terrible owner and a shady dude. Saying he was a victim of anti-Semitism degrades the term and make this entire lawsuit look like the petulant reaction of a narcissistic millionaire.

As Dennis Green might say: Daniel Snyder is who we thought he was….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dan Snyder, Owner of a Team Named After an Ethnic Slur, Sues Over Perceived Anti-Semitism”

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless it involves defamatory Facebook postings and a retaliatory lawsuit.

The new CBS show The Defenders has Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell dramatizing and glamorizing the life and work of Las Vegas attorneys. But for the real attorneys working in the tumbleweeds of Nevada, it can be a tough gig. Ask Jonathan Goldsmith, a “60% Bankruptcy / 10% Family Law / 10% Criminal Defense / 5% Personal Injury” of counsel at Rosenfeld & Rinato. (They don’t bother with associates there — you’re either of counsel or a founding partner, even if you’re just two years out of law school; Goldsmith is a 2009 University of Las Vegas law grad.)

Goldsmith was plaintiff’s counsel in a divorce case, and the husband being divorced, Jordan Cooper, took a disliking to him. Which he naturally expressed on Facebook…

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Bengals cheerleader has a short-lived victory

This story may provide some good fodder for “dumb cheerleader” jokes. Sarah Jones, a high school English teacher and cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals, was understandably upset when a gossip website called TheDirty.com published an article entitled “The Dirty Bengals Cheerleader,” asking, “Why are high school teachers freaks in the sack?”

According to Jones’s December 23, 2009 complaint, the article, published on December 7, 2009, quoted a commenter who alleged that Jones had slept with all the members of the Bengals team and had STDs. The complaint for defamation, libel, and invasion of privacy states that Jones’s school had seen the post and that her students had commented on it. Hopefully, not with insight into how freaky she is in the sack…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Weekend: Rah Rah… Whoops.”

David Cowling, Mathews, Dinsdale & Clarke partner and alleged booty dancer

Sometimes law firm after-hours parties get pretty wild. The Great Recession didn’t put a damper on one Toronto firm’s celebrations last year. In January 2009, Mathews, Dinsdale & Clarke threw a rager in honor of its annual labour law “moot” competition for Canadian law students. (We mentioned this story briefly in yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs.)

After awards were given out at a dinner, the lawyerly crew headed to Toronto night club Cheval, for bottle service and dancing. Things got a little crazy. One senior associate got so hammered that “he left the club without his coat or keys and vomited in the taxi cab as it left the club.” And one partner, David Cowling, allegedly got too friendly with some of the female associates while grinding on the dance floor.

Two associates complained about his behavior to other partners, and now Cowling is suing the two associates (who have since left the firm) for defamation and intentional interference with economic relations.

So what did they allege?

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Elizabeth%20Halverson%20small%20Judge%20Elizabeth%20Halverson%20Liz%20Halverson%20Above%20the%20Law%20blog.jpgOn her motorized Rascal scooter. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

A one-time legal assistant to ousted District Judge Elizabeth Halverson won a $50,000 judgment Tuesday in the defamation case she filed against Halverson in 2007. District Judge David Wall on Tuesday ordered Halverson to pay the money and to return files to the assistant, Ileen Spoor….

Wall denied Spoor’s claim for $100,000 in punitive damages. Halverson did not attend the proceedings.

Had Her Honor attended, would the outcome have been different? As an oral advocate, she’s not half-bad.
So, what were the allegations against Elizabeth Halverson?

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native american mascots.jpgLegal battles over Native American mascots are being waged in both the professional and college sports arenas. The New York Times reports that the controversy over the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota has gotten more complicated.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association advised the school, along with 17 other universities, to change its mascot three and half years ago, says Ashby Jones at the WSJ Law Blog. While other universities acquiesced, the Fighting Sioux fought back, filing a lawsuit against the NCAA.
The suit was starting to wind down, and the name was to change soon says the NYT, until members of the Sioux tribe decided to file a lawsuit of their own. To keep the name. They’re proud of it:

The members from Spirit Lake behind the lawsuit assert that many of the American Indians opposed to the Fighting Sioux nickname are simply from tribes other than the Sioux, and are jealous of all the recognition. (Opponents call this absurd.)

Eunice Davidson, 57, who says she is “full blood” and “grew up on this reservation” tells the New York Times: “I have to tell you, I am very, very honored that they would use the name.”
When we interviewed Amanda Blackhorse, a member of the Navajo Nation who has a petition pending before the Trademark Board about the Washington Redskins name, she expressed skepticism about Native Americans who defend tribal mascot names. She said they are in the minority.
This week, Fordham Law professor Sonia Katyal penned a column for Findlaw about the IP and First Amendment issues when it comes to racialized symbols. Why do we object to “Wong Brothers” but embrace the “Skins”?

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