Drinking

When you think about it, naming the band "Massa-Bossmans" would have been more ambiguous.

On Friday we wrote about the settlement agreed to by Cure Lounge, a club in Boston that was accused of discriminating against African-American patrons. In the comments, it seemed like some of our Southern readers where all too happy to point out that this example of racist behavior took place in the North.

Lord knows I’ve never said that racism is an exclusively Southern phenomenon. But I’ve met enough Southerners to know that they sometimes feel unfairly maligned just because of their Confederate past. Sure, I could argue that only Southerners would come up with the name like “Lady Antebellum” for a band — and only Southerners would defend that name as “merely” referring to a time before the Civil War, as if I’m supposed to be the idiot who forgets what was happening in the South before the Civil War. But whatever, the point is taken, modern racism exists North and South, East and West, probably in relatively equal “amounts,” if such a thing could be quantified.

But still, you have to give the South credit. When they go for it, they always seems to have more flair. They have a — what’s the word? — one might say “cavalier” way, at least at UVA Law, of going about racial intolerance.

It would be charming, if it wasn’t so damn disgusting…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Do You Really Need Confederate-Flag Decor at Your Law School Party?”

High school prom: lost innocence.

The volume of applications to law schools nationwide is down by about 13 percent for the fall 2011 class, as noted recently by the Daily Journal (subscription). This is positive news. Maybe it means that people who are thinking prudently about their futures are finally getting the message that law school is no longer a golden ticket (assuming it ever was).

Of course, if all the wise people start avoiding law school, we’ll be left with the Idiocracy paradigm: only the slow and reckless will submit themselves to three years of legal education.

That might be bad for the legal profession, but it will certainly give us more to write about here at Above the Law. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a bunch of law students doing dumb, drunken things at a law school event. (Tulane, I don’t even know who you guys are anymore. The bad economy must be killing your mojo.)

With Tulane sidelined by a case of “let’s try to be respectable,” I’m happy to report that another law school seems ready to step up and fill the embarrassingly drunken void….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Drunk and Disorderly Conduct at a Law School Prom?”

The jury verdict in the attempted-murder trial of Temple Law student Gerald Ung came out on Tuesday, but people are still talking about the case.

Some readers have complained about our repeated use of Gerald Ung’s mugshot to illustrate our stories. In yesterday’s linkwrap, we mixed it up a bit, using a more formal photo of Ung.

The other day, a reader sent us a more colorful image of this new celebrity of the legal profession….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Portrait of the Temple Law Shooter as a Young(er) Man”

Mmm... lunch.

When I first got this job, I thought that it might be a good idea for me to hook up a Breathalyzer to my laptop to prevent me from posting drunk. Then I realized people enjoy this site more when at least one of us is drunk, and so I sacrifice my liver for you fine readers.

Of course, making internet pronouncements about which law schools should be avoided is one thing; it’s not like I’m sitting on a bench wearing a black robe and banging a gavel. I’m not a judge (or a driver), only my shrink needs to know how many Bloody Marys it takes before I feel like dealing with commenters.

In short, I’m not Judge W. Kennedy Boone III, a Washington County Circuit Court judge in Maryland. In November 2009, Judge Boone got into a car accident where his BAC was .18 — twice the legal limit in the state of Maryland. In March he pleaded guilty to a DUI. And now the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities is making him submit to a Breathalyzer twice a day when he goes to work.

So yeah, Maryland can’t trust the guy to remain sober for an entire work day, but as long as he can prove that he’s sober he is allowed to be a judge, with power over people’s lives…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: Maryland Judge Must Submit to a Breathalyzer Twice a Day, But Still Keeps His Job”

Legal Blog Watch has a perfect Friday story up on its pages. Two men were arrested for riding animals while drunk. One guy was on a mule, the other was on a horse.

But when they got to the police station, the county attorney determined that the animals did not fall within the definition of “a device in, on or by which a person or property is, or may be, transported or drawn on a highway,” to trigger a DWI arrest. And so the men were released.

OF COURSE this happened in Texas…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Drinking While Riding Your Burro Is Still Legal!”

(Admittedly, that advice would have been more helpful on Friday than it is now, but then I wouldn’t have had anything to write up today.)

Every year there are people who use New Year’s as an excuse to go out and act like fools. I know, the bubbles in the bubbly are hard to handle. But usually people get their act together by New Year’s Day. Maybe not Big Ten football people, but regular people usually manage to avoid embarrassment at the start of a new year.

But there are exceptions to every rule, and this year’s lawyerly exception comes from Charlotte, North Carolina. An associate at Alston & Bird went out for New Year’s Day dinner, and hilarity ensued.

Happily for the rest of us, an Above the Law reader was there to bear witness — and the associate left behind a little bit of evidence…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associates: Try Not to Leave Behind Evidence of New Year’s Debauchery”

Say Cheese!

This year Sidley Austin gave out very good, but not ridiculously good, associate bonuses. Alas, Brian Schroeder was not there to enjoy them.

As you may recall, Schroeder is the 27-year-old Harvard Law School graduate who set fire to a memorial housing the remains of unidentified 9/11 victims, on Halloween 2009. Schroeder then did the right thing and turned himself in to the authorities. Shortly thereafter, Sidley — where Schroeder was headed, after a deferral to do public interest work — rescinded his job offer.

Yesterday afternoon, Schroeder pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with the fire he set (more specifically, charges of burglary, criminal mischief and cemetery desecration). He accepted full responsibility for his actions and apologized for them.

What led the handsome Harvard grad — described by ATL sources as “a good guy” and “really smart,” albeit “a little strange” — to set the blaze? One word: alcohol. Schroeder testified that he couldn’t even remember setting the fire, but admitted to a hard-partying Halloween: “I drank many alcoholic beverages.”

So what kind of sentence is Brian Schroeder getting? One that isn’t pleasing prosecutors….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harvard Law Grad Turned 9/11 Chapel Arsonist Pleads Guilty”

Here’s some nice news to counteract all the unhappiness over associate bonuses (not Cahill’s, which were great, but Cravath’s and all the Cravath followers).

There’s no word yet, at least as far as we know, on bonuses at Winston & Strawn. But for incoming associates who just passed the bar, Winston is congratulating them with bottles of champagne.

You’re lawyers; you suffer from status anxiety. So right now you’re all wondering: What brand of champagne?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Winston & Strawn Breaks Out the Bubbly for Bar Passers”

In case you’re having a hard time reading the update in the screenshot, we transcribe it below.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Facebook Status Update of the Day: Well, they can’t send bartending jobs to India.”

This has been a bad week for: the makers of Four Loko, personal responsibility, intelligent regulation, and natural selection. The FDA put the hammer to Four Loko, announcing that caffeine was a dangerous additive to alcohol. In response, the makers of Four Loko agreed to remove caffeine from their products.

Of course, this will stop nothing. I wrote an editorial in the New York Daily News trying to help parents understand that one drink isn’t the cause of their kids’ alcohol issues:

I’ve seen people between the ages of 18 and 25 put alcohol in: coffee, soft drinks, diet soft drinks, Jell-O laced with pixie sticks (for the sugar – but it’s the same principle), and, of course, Red Bull. I’ve seen fat people pop diet pills in the middle of a bender to stave off the coming dawn. I’ve seen a person crush up Ritalin pills, place them in champagne, and call it a celebration. I’m just describing, not endorsing, these habits.

This regulation is utterly futile. There is already a YouTube clip which instructs people how to make their own Four Loko.

You can read me taking a flamethrower to the Nanny State at the Daily News. It’s a preview of what I’ll be saying once FDA makes caffeine a schedule 4 controlled substance or something.

Four Loko ban a crazy idea: Do what you will, young people will still mix caffeine and alcohol [New York Daily News]

Earlier: Nannies Win: Four Loko Stops Shipments to New York State

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