Fast Food

Ave Maria School of Law Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe thought the whole point of Ave Maria Law School, founded by Domino’s pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, was that with enough money, you can do whatever you want. E.g., establish a very conservative, Catholic law school, and not care if the liberal legal academy raises its eyebrows — ’cause you could buy and sell them, several times over.
So doesn’t it defeat the whole point if Ave Maria requires funding from sources beyond Monaghan’s pile of pizza dough? From Julie Kay’s article in the National Law Journal:

Got $20 million? If so, you could have a law school building named after you.

Ave Maria School of Law is selling naming rights to the new law school facility it’s building in southwest Florida.

“We’d like to find someone who would want the opportunity to have their name associated with the school, to help us with the construction costs,” said Dean Bernard Dobranski. He said the school is rapidly moving forward with its controversial plan to relocate from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Ave Maria, Fla., and has even obtained architectural renderings of the new school.

Ave Maria is already in turmoil: controversy over its move from Michigan to Florida, lawsuits filed by three professors who claim they were wrongfully terminated, an ongoing investigation by the American Bar Association. A suggestion that Tom Monaghan’s coffers are not infinite could not come at a worse time.
Meanwhile, in other Domino’s news, they’re trying to return to the glory days of their 30-minute delivery guarantee — without getting sued. Delivering delicious pizza in under half an hour is a noble mission. We wish them the best of luck.
P.S. Tom Monaghan no longer owns the pizza chain. He sold his controlling interest to Bain Capital in 1998 for about a billion dollars, which he plowed into launching Ave Maria University.
Ave Maria still looks to move, puts name on block [National Law Journal]
Domino’s Pizza and the Law [WSJ Law Blog]
Will a Twist on an Old Vow Deliver for Domino’s Pizza? [Wall Street Journal]

* Oral argument in New Jersey v. Delaware. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF) via How Appealing]
* I’ll have a Joey Bag of Lawsuits. [AP via Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* TB Andy didn’t hurt anybody. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Grandpa got screwed over by a lawsuit … [AP via Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Pakistan lets (almost) everyone go, but will the rule of law return? [Jurist]

Big Mac McDonald's Above the Law blog.jpgWords to the wise: be extra careful when preparing food for law enforcement officers. From the Associated Press:

A McDonald’s employee spent a night in jail and is facing criminal charges because a police officer’s burger was too salty, so salty that he says it made him sick.

Kendra Bull was arrested Friday, charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and freed on $1,000 bail.

Bull, 20, said she accidentally spilled salt on hamburger meat and told her supervisor and a co-worker, who “tried to thump the salt off.”

Police Officer Wendell Adams got a burger made with the oversalted meat, and he returned a short time later and told the manager it made him sick.

Clearly it was Kendra Bull’s fault — ’cause people never get sick after eating McDonald’s.
Also, did Officer Adams eat the whole darn burger? If so, why, if it truly was insanely salty? If not, could he really have gotten sick from a bite or two of super-salty hamburger? Regular customers of McDonald’s presumably have a high tolerance for sodium.
Bull ended up getting charged with a misdemeanor. But what about when employees, to retaliate against customers who piss them off, add “extra-special sauce” to Big Macs? Would that be a felony?
(Gavel bang: commenter.)
Oversalted Burger Leads to Charges [Associated Press via Drudge Report]


Richard Posner Richard A Posner Above the Law Legal Blog.jpgThe rail-thin Judge Richard Posner (7th Cir.), who favors grapefruit for dessert, has this to say about fat people over at his blog:

It makes sense, as the recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine finds, that friends’ fatness would have an influence distinct from that of the culture as a whole….

In my own ingroup of 16 judges (11 active members of my court, 4 senior members, and 1 nominee, who will replace an active member who will be taking senior status), only 2 are overweight (12.5 percent), compared to a nationwide average of 66 percent. Among my other friends, judicial and otherwise, the percentage who are overweight is probably no greater than 12.5 percent.

When we read this, we guessed that one of the two overweight judges was Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook. After all, a fondness for Arby’s Melts is not a recipe for thinness. But one ex-Seventh Circuit clerk we contacted disagreed:

Actually, Easterbrook has lost a lot of weight. I am not sure who [Posner] meant. Also query whether he used the rigorous BMI > 25 test.

Good point. Did Judge Posner run around the Dirksen Courthouse with a pair of body-fat calipers? Or did he just eyeball his colleagues in the robing room, to see who was sporting muffin tops?
To Seventh Circuit groupies: Which judges are packing a few extra pounds underneath their robes? Please enlighten us, in the comments. Thanks.
Social Obesity — Posner’s Comment [The Becker-Posner Blog]

Ivy Briefs True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student Martha Kimes Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* This may come as a surprise to some of you, but Chambermaid isn’t the only law-related book that has been published in the past six months. Check out Nicole Black’s enthusiastic review of Ivy Briefs, by Columbia Law School grad Martha Kimes. [Legal Antics]
* Harvard Law School snags Bill Rubenstein, a prominent gay law prof. So why are they keeping it on the down low? [Leonard Link]
* Justice Alito thinks some of his colleagues need to shut their pieholes. We think their first names rhyme with “Beano” and “Even.” [Legal Times via NYM Daily Intelligencer]
* Sarbanes-Oxley: Hot or Not? [DealBreaker]
* More advice for Loyola 2L: If your non-Biglaw job doesn’t pay you enough, try dumpster diving! [ABA Journal]
* Willkie gets sued — and we’re reminded of this lawsuit. State and local governments don’t seem to like Biglaw much these days. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
* Hold the cheese. Or get sued for lots of cheddar. [Charleston Daily Mail]

pizza Dominos pizza Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLast night, a tipster preparing for the New York bar exam sent us this message:

I ordered a pizza and Diet Coke earlier….

Dominos called to say they’re out of Diet Coke. I immediately started running through the UCC Article 2 analysis of imperfect tender w/ notice…

I decided then and there I deserve to die.

We welcome more “you know you’ve been studying too much” stories, in the comments.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bar exam-related issues (scroll down)

Fry Guy Fry Kid William Smith William P Smith Bill Smith McDermott Will Emery Above the Law blog.JPGWe have a ruling in the HappyMealGate case (prior coverage here, here, and here of Wiliam P. Smith, the McDermott Will & Emery partner who told Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff that she was “a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal”). And it’s surprisingly lenient.
Judge Isicoff basically gave Smith a stern talking to:

“There is no jurisdiction in the U.S. — including the district where Mr. Smith regularly practices — where the expression and tone Mr. Smith used on May 7 would fall in the bounds of acceptable behavior,” a solemn Isicoff said from the bench in front of a packed courtroom.

and ordered him to take an online professionalism course administered by the Florida Bar.
Smith brought McDermott chairman Harvey Freishtat with him to beg and plead for mercy from Isicoff. Apparently it worked.

Isicoff said she accepted the apologies of both Smith and McDermott Will & Emery chairman Harvey Freishtat, the head of the Chicago-based, 1,000-lawyer firm, who also appeared in front of her to beg her pardon.

Looks like the fry guy got off relatively easy, and we’ve all learned something: don’t stoop to middle-school insults while arguing in front of a federal judge, especially if you’re appearing pro hac vice.

Fry Guy Fry Kid William Smith William P Smith Bill Smith McDermott Will Emery Above the Law blog.JPGSurely you all recall William P. Smith — a partner at McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago), and head of its bankruptcy department — who recently told a Miami bankruptcy judge, in open court, that she was “a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal.” We broke the story here (with follow-up here).
The “Happy Meal” comment royally pissed off Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff (and not ’cause she’s a Burger King partisan). She benchslapped Bill Smith via an Order to Show Cause, directing the Fry Guy to explain why he shouldn’t be suspended from practice in her court.
The firm has now filed a motion in response to the OSC. From the Daily Business Review:

Chicago attorney William P. Smith says he’s very, very, very sorry for telling U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff she was “a few French fries short of a Happy Meal” during a May 7 court hearing in Miami.

The chairman of McDermott Will & Emery, the Chicago-based firm whose bankruptcy practice Smith heads, is ready to prostrate himself before the judge as well.

According to a recent motion filed by the law firm, Harvey Freishtat, who heads the 1,000-lawyer firm, plans to fly to Miami for a hearing on Smith’s comment. The motion states Freishtat will personally express “on behalf of the entire firm, to this court, to the other lawyers in this case, and to the other honorable judges of this District Court, [his firm’s] sincere and deepest apology for the words used by Mr. Smith.”

And would Her Honor like a side of fries with that?
More discussion after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “HappyMealGate: Let’s Just Have a Public Flogging, and Get This Over With”

Fry Guy Fry Kid William Smith William P Smith Bill Smith McDermott Will Emery Above the Law blog.JPGEarlier this month, we wrote about how William P. Smith — a partner at McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago), and head of its bankruptcy department — landed himself in the deep-fat fryer. Smith unwisely told a bankruptcy judge, in open court, that she was “a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal.”
Well, Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff didn’t respond so well to that colorful statement. She issued a sua sponte Order to Show Cause, directing William Smith (hereinafter “the Fry Guy”) to explain why he shouldn’t be suspended from practicing in her court.
Several tipsters have directed our attention to this delightful article, from the Daily Business Review, about the Fry Guy’s “super-sized gaffe.” It describes the fallout, for both Smith and McDermott Will & Emery, from L’Affaire Happy Meal — and includes a shout-out to Above the Law.
Excerpts and discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “HappyMealGate: An Update on the Fry Guy”

pizza slice Above the Law blog.jpg* Inmate’s last request: pizza for homeless. [CNN]
* Iraqi death row inmate claims innocence, confession by torture.[CNN]
* Brit convicted for leaking secret Bush-Blair memo. [AP]
* AG Gonzales feels he has weathered the Attorneygate storm… [New York Times]
* … Meanwhile, another US Attorney firing is revealed. [Washington Post]

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