Fast Food

pizza pizza pizza Above the Law legal tabloid blog blawg.jpgThat’s the provocative question Professor Stephen Bainbridge poses in his TCS Daily Column. We say: Don’t give the clients any ideas.
(Of course, if the dying lawyer writhes on the floor in agony for six minutes before expiring, expect to get billed for that tenth of an hour.)
Professor Bainbridge asks this rhetorical question: “[W]hy does anybody hire transactional lawyers?” After all, frequently they “giv[e] advice that could be given by other professionals.” Plus, they’re annoying. And expensive.
He outlines two competing hypotheses for explaining the work of corporate lawyers: the “Pie Division Role” and the “Pie Expansion Role.” Under the former, which takes a zero-sum view of the world, lawyers try to maximize the gains of their own client. Under the latter, which does not take a zero-sum view, “the lawyer makes everybody better off by increasing the size of the pie.”
Bainbridge argues that training of transactional lawyers should focus more on the “Pie Expansion” model. To demonstrate the limitations of the “Pie Division” role, he gives this example:

You and a friend go out to eat. You decide to share a pizza, so you need to agree on its division. Would you hire somebody to negotiate a division of the pizza? Especially if they were going to take one of your slices as their fee?

But isn’t this exactly what corporate lawyers do — and how they earn their seven-figure paydays?
We offer our own, somewhat cynical take on Professor Bainbridge’s pizza example, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading ““First, Kill All the Transactional Lawyers?””

chicken mcnuggets Above the Law McDonalds.jpg* Chickens help us cope with “chronic anxiety” too. After they’re ground up and turned into McNuggets. [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
* “DO NOT put any person in this washing machine.” Unless they’re really smelly — and small. [Overlawyered; Associated Press]
* Eliot Spitzer has a man-date. In more ways than one. [New York Daily News]
* Joan Biskupic gets a book deal. For a bio that writes itself. [How Appealing]
* Judges should too. ‘Cause most of them couldn’t do their own Westlaw research if their lives depended on it. [TaxProf Blog]

As previously mentioned, we’re on a reduced publication schedule this week. We’ll be doing a daily news round-up (and maybe a few other random posts here and there). We’ll return to our normal diarrhea of the keyboard publishing schedule on January 2.
* Civil libertarians, just raise the white flag. The Justice Department knows what you’re doing RIGHT NOW. [Washington Post]
* His father always knew there was “something special” about Judge Frank Easterbrook. And litigants who have appeared before FHE feel the same way. [Buffalo News via How Appealing (of course -- no offense, but we aren't regular readers of the Buffalo News)]
* In other Seventh Circuit news, Judge Richard Posner delivers remarks about maritime law to an audience of supermodels. We swear we’re not making this up. [Washington Post]
* Following up on our prior report, here’s a clear sign that Chadbourne & Parke partners don’t have enough business. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If McDonald’s french fries never taste the same, blame it on the anti-trans-fat legislation. [UPI]
* Complications of diabetes: not just medical, but law-related, too. [New York Times]
* If you’re a judge with unfulfilled literary aspirations, try writing something safe and non-controversial. Ideally it should be something nobody would want to read. We suggest a pop-up book about the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via How Appealing]
* Even more fun than charades: take Peter Lattman to a party, start reading out random newspaper headlines, and challenge him to find a legal angle to the stories. [WSJ Law Blog]

* How crazy are bedbugs, exactly? [CNN]
* Which of your personalities is the arsonist?. [CNN]
* Yo quiero to sue Taco Bell. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Chinese Gitmo detainees say the same evidence being used to detain them was used to clear five others. [Jurist]
* Maryland Court of Appeals considers same-sex marriage. [Jurist]

Taco Bell restaurant franchise Above the Law.jpgDon’t say we didn’t warn you.
Investigations are underway — and lawsuits can’t be far behind. And when the plaintiffs are ready to file suit, they can turn to law firms that actually specialize in E. coli litigation.
Take, for example, Marler Clark, which touts itself as “the nation’s foremost law firm with a practice dedicated to representing victims of food poisoning.” They run the E. coli Blog, which charts outbreaks of the bacteria and litigation related thereto. Who knew?
E. coli in N.J. is linked to Taco Bell [Associated Press]
E. Coli Outbreak Hits L.I.; 8 Taco Bells Closed [CBS/AP]
Taco Bell E. coli Update [E. coli Blog]
Marler Clark [law firm website]
Marler Clark Makes Hay Out of Tainted Spinach [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: It’s Not Just Burger King

Frank Easterbrook Judge Frank H Easterbrook Above the Law.JPGBack in September, we reported that Judge Frank Easterbrook — “a veritable judicial hottie, a possible SCOTUS nominee, and brother of well-known author and commentator Gregg Easterbrook” — would be taking over in November as the chief judge of the Seventh Circuit.
The passing of the torch has now come to pass. From a tipster:

Judge Frank H. Easterbrook (your favorite judicial bear hottie) assumed the mantle of Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit on Monday, November 27.

Judge Joel Flaum turned 70 over the weekend. Under 28 U.S.C. 45(a)(3)(C), he was forced to step down as chief judge.

There was a nice little party in the main courtroom for employees of the court. Cake even!

How lovely! But we think that Chief Judge Easterbrook might have preferred an Arby’s Melt.
28 U.S.C. § 45: Chief Judges [Cornell Law School / Legal Information Institute]
Earlier: All Hail the Chief: Judge Frank Easterbrook

* Thesauruses can still do the trick. Who knows if I would have passed AP English without one? On the other hand, one of the perks of public high schools is having your Cliffs Notes-cribbed essay graded by a teacher qualified only to teach woodshop and coach girls’ softball. [New York Times]
* What would the Supreme Court say about McDonald’s plans to patent its sandwich-making process? [CNN Legal Pad]
* Ah, law school flirting is just so cute. [Overheard in New York]
* While the poodles seem to be safe, babies, sadly, are not. [WCSH Portland]
* Blood money, in a way. Because someone killed my will to love. [Newsweek via Overlawyered]

* For you law review nerds out there, some direction as to the citation of new species of sources. But *sigh* you probably already know all of this. []
* Law students bring logic and order to child-bearing… It’s a shame that we have to forego all that spontaneity and excitement of unplanned pregnancies. (Like what 2L Tamina must have felt when she had her first of two kids in her late teens.) []
* An Ohio woman litters by tossing bags of McDonald’s out her window, then invokes the Fast Food Nation defense — to no avail. [Tribune Chronicle]
* An Indian thief seizes the day — what’s money if you can’t spend it? [Reuters]

Emily Pataki Emily Pataki Emily Pataki Above the Law Legal Blog.JPG* Emily Pataki, the attractive and accomplished daughter of New York governor George Pataki, failed the New York bar exam — and sent around an office-wide email about it. The story was broken by the mainstream media.
* We heard from some of Emily’s law school classmates about the incident. In a reader poll, you opined that emailing her White & Case colleagues was unwise.
* The Democratic takeover of the Senate could make things tough(er) for the White House’s judicial nominees.
* Despite the sea change in Washington, President Bush resubmitted six controversial judicial picks to the lame duck Senate. Getting all of them confirmed is probably impossible, but getting two of them through might happen.
* The White House has not yet submitted nominees for the two vacant Fifth Circuit seats. (Texas’s Solicitor General, conservative legal superstar R. Ted Cruz, is said to be uninterested.)
* Borat-related litigation shows no signs of abating.
* O.J. Simpson: He’s back — and he’s still looking for his wife’s killer. Except this time, he’s looking in the mirror.
* Some bad ideas from the past week: getting frisky on an airplane; setting your ex-girlfriend’s kittens on fire; having sex with a deer (even if it’s dead); eating at Burger King or Taco Bell; and getting married without a prenup (if you’re a filthy rich Hollywood celebrity).
* Over the past few days, we’ve been spending some quality time with the Federalist Society. More reports on the proceedings — including lavish photography — will appear in the coming week.

Inspired by litigation taking place in Massachusetts, we recently polled you on this question:

Is a burrito a sandwich?

The poll result was clear, and in accordance with the ruling by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke: No, a burrito is not a sandwich.
burrito sandwich poll results Above the Law.JPG
It’s gratifying when the law coincides with the commonsense conclusions of ordinary people — since it doesn’t happen as often as one might like.
(We do not wish to get into a debate on whether or not the common law is (was?) efficient. It’s just a throwaway line to end this post. Okay?)
Earlier: ATL Reader Poll: Is a Burrito a Sandwich?

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