DUI / DWI

* Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, has left Akin Gump’s dugout. He hopes to hit it out of the park and slide into his new home at Jackson Lewis. Please, no more baseball references. :( [Am Law Daily]

* Thanks to Virginia, the electric chair may be making a comeback when drugs for lethal injection aren’t available. OMG, that’s so freakin’ lame. Bring back the breaking wheel or death by disembowelment. [Gawker]

* A lawyer won’t have to pay an ex-law student $1M after making a hyperbolic challenge in a TV interview. Better luck reading the Leonard v. Pepsico case next time, pal. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

* Protip: when you’ve been recommended for suspension for your “contemptuous attitude,” bragging that one of the judges who disciplined you thinks you’re “probably the best DUI lawyer” isn’t smart. [Santa Barbara Independent]

* If you watch The Walking Dead, you’ve probably wondered if all of the killing was legal — because you’re a lawyer, and you can’t enjoy anything anymore. Here’s your answer, from a UC Hastings Law prof. [GQ]

* If you’d like your chickens to live a life of luxury before you eat them and their eggs, then you’re going to love this law in California. If not, you can move to Missouri. See Elie squawk about it here. [ATL Redline]

* Ian Whittle, a recent George Mason Law grad, took a break from watching the saddest Super Bowl ever to save a little girl from drowning in a pond. Check out the news coverage, after the jump. [CBS 6 WTVR]

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* Once again, a group is about to learn that “not being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want” is not really a Constitutional violation. This time it’s snowboarders. [St. Louis Tribune]

* Justice Scalia’s snarky lesson in public speaking 101 continues to divide commentators. [The Blog of the Legal Times]

* Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent’s manslaughter trial kicked off with his attorney explaining that Brent was “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,” but not driving drunk. The toxicology expert disagreed, estimating that Brent needed about 17 drinks to reach the blood alcohol level of his blood samples. [The Expert Institute]

* Young lawyers should figure out what they want to specialize in before they find themselves looking to “open a vein.” [At Counsel Table]

* Judge Tracie Hunter may be facing a possible 14 year sentence, but she maintains her innocence. I could try to recap this story, but just read this instead. [Cincinnati.com]

(A stock photo of a teen driver — not actually Ethan Couch.)

I’m sure that by now you’ve all heard the story about the wealthy white teenager who killed four people while drunk driving. As we mentioned in yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs, 16-year-old Ethan Couch got off — sentenced to therapy — because the judge agreed that the kid was a victim of “affluenza”: his parents gave him everything he wanted, and he believed that being rich meant that he wouldn’t have to face consequences for his actions.

The kid’s not wrong; the fact that he’s not facing incarceration for killing four people kind of proves the point. A poor white kid would be in jail right now. A rich black kid would be in jail right now. A poor black kid would be picking out items for his last supper right now. Anybody who thinks that this kind of lenience would be given to anybody other than a wealthy white dauphin is wrong and stupid (and probably racist). The rich kid isn’t in jail because rich people don’t suffer the full force of consequences for their actions.

That said… the judge isn’t wrong either. When you have a jerk-off prick of a 16-year-old, as this kid appears to be, it’s probably not his fault. Not really. My outrage isn’t that Couch is getting off, it’s that so many other teens and young people are being incarcerated without this kind of compassion.

Not that there aren’t people who deserve jail time behind this. It’s just that those people are Couch’s parents….

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Amanda Bynes

All childhood stars who grow up to become sought-after celebrities are entitled to have a breakdown or twelve involving legal drama. It happened most recently to the once-luminary leading lady Lindsay Lohan, and it happened to Britney Spears, the preeminent princess of pop, before her. These women were entitled to their meltdowns, and they both earned them the hard way: by bolting breast implants, the gateway drug of choice for young celebutantes, to their chests. Things all went down hill from there.

When lesser stars get into trouble with the law, the world watches, if only to point and share a laugh at their expense. Exhibit A: Amanda Bynes. In the past year or so, the fading star’s legal infractions have been outnumbered only by the number of times a plastic surgeon has put her on the table. Most recently, Bynes was hospitalized under a 5150 mental health evaluation hold, and her assets were placed under a conservatorship by a California court in her mother’s name.

Today, we’ve got the latest news on Amanda Bynes and her never-ending courthouse kookiness. Let’s check out the latest Hollywood legal gossip…

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* A lawyer fresh out of law school botched a domestic violence case by gushing all over Tom Hanks… who was serving as a juror. Which, in fairness, was awfully Big of him. [TMZ]

* Federal prosecutors are seeking at least 27 years in prison for a Massachusetts man who authorities say plotted to kill and eat his children based on a search of his home and car, which is presumably a Saturn. As one law professor observed, “Perhaps the lawyer will make a free exercise argument and claim that eating children is a requirement of his religion.” [CNN]

* If you’re going to drink and drive, be sure to toss a few back with the judge first. [KVUE]

* A criminal defense lawyer who begins every cross by making the cop look more humane and respectable. I thought the public defender from My Cousin Vinny was the lowest criminal defense could go in the comical incompetence department. [Katz Justice]

* Putin crony claims 100 percent of profits in a “public” oil company by flat ignoring minority shareholders. Shhhh! Stop giving Exxon ideas. [Breaking Energy]

* Elizabeth Wurtzel knows music (a subject she covered for the New Yorker for New York Magazine). In this article, she writes about The Replacements (something Wurtzel has made her past employers, including Boies Schiller, become familiar with). [The Daily Beast]

* On Monday, the American Constitution Society will host a preview of the upcoming Supreme Court session. Panelists include Pamela Harris, Randy Barnett, Joshua Civin, Andrew Pincus, and David Strauss. [American Constitution Society]

* Then next Tuesday, The Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies will host a symposium titled “The Supreme Court: Past and Prologue: A Look at the October 2012 and 2013 Terms.” Panelists include Tom Goldstein, Marcia Coyle, and Howard Bashman. [How Appealing]

Matthew Cordle

When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent [Canzani] and his family.

Matthew Cordle, in a viral YouTube video where he confessed to killing a man after a drunk driving incident he was involved in earlier this summer.

Yesterday, Cordle attempted to enter a not guilty plea, but Judge Julie Lynch did not allow him to do so because she was “incensed.” Cordle returned to court today and again entered a not guilty plea, a move his attorneys say is merely a procedural step.

(Keep reading to watch Cordle’s shocking video confession.)

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* How low can the legal market go? Manhattan firm lists full-time associate opening for $10/hr. “NY to 10.” (Screenshot here if the ad is removed). [Craigslist]

* Iowa is giving out gun permits to the blind. Sadly this is not a new phenomenon as David Sedaris explained years ago. [FindLaw]

* Business Insider has fired its CTO because… he’s a jerk. An important lesson in what free speech does and doesn’t mean. [Popehat]

* A UNC professor pulled over for a DWI has sparked a Fourth Amendment battle because she was arrested by a fire truck. [Fox News]

* Banks facing SEC enforcement actions are basically just spinning a roulette wheel and praying it doesn’t land on “Rakoff.” [Ramblings on Appeal]

* On a related note, Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke at the AFL-CIO conference and discussed the corporate capture of the federal courts (at 1:23:45 after the jump)…

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* A DWI attorney shows up to court drunk. Kicker? He was in the wrong courtroom. Still, the best way to defend a client is to stumble a mile in their shoes. [KRQE]

* A sitting appellate judge shares his poetic stylings. [Law Poetry]

* Here’s a brutally honest letter from a hypothetical senior Biglaw partner to a new associate. Since this week established that we need to point this out, this is a satirical letter. [Associate's Mind]

* Well, this is a pretty comprehensive tirade against a judge. It makes calling a judge a “cock” seem tame. [Legal Juice]

* Harvard Professor Noah Feldman talks about democracy. He thinks monarchies have funny traditions. I guess he’s talking about the royal family of Canada. [Zach Talks]

* EA can’t use the First Amendment to get out of the right of publicity problem it faces with its college football video game. And the death watch on the NCAA continues. [IT-Lex]

This world is absolutely crawling with DUI attorneys. You wouldn’t know it to look at this website, but it’s fairly clear out here in Amurrica that DUI attorneys outnumber other attorneys by at least a seventeen or eighteen-to-one margin. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll believe Google? A search for “DUI attorney” returns over 27 million hits. Whereas a search for “clown gingivitis” only returns 638,000. So yeah, there are a ton of DUI attorneys in this world.

If you’re wondering why I’m wasting your time and mine on hilarious Google searches, it’s because this is the week that sports figures decided to get all sorts of liquored-up and go on joyrides. Well, this is the week I decided to write about sports figures getting all sorts of liquored-up and going on joyrides. Because, truthfully, athletes and those who employ them have a long history of drunk driving. I refer you to my first paragraph. Those lawyers didn’t multiply like wet Gremlins because work was hard to come by. Indeed, drunk driving is a crime that is enjoyed by a wide swath of Americans, from a young me to a slightly older me to those who aren’t even me. Now, this is not to downplay the seriousness of the crime. It’s a terribly reckless thing to do and it should be punished harshly.

Let’s talk boozin’ and cruisin’…

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Erin Brockovich and her not-so glamorous mug shot.

After a day in the sun and with nothing to eat it appears that a couple of drinks had a greater impact than I realized.

It is very important to note that I was not operating the boat in open waters, I was moving it within its own slip. At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk. That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake. I know better and I am very sorry.

– Famed legal advocate Erin Brockovich, issuing a public apology after her arrest for alleged drunken boating.

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