Fat People

There are a couple of interesting employment discrimination suits floating around the blogosphere today. One is continuing on behalf of a dead, obese woman. The other involves leaky breasts. Sound like fun?

The claim that is being pursued by the estate of a dead woman is slightly more newsworthy because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is taking the position that a worker for a non-profit was fired because she had a disability. According to the EEOC — in my head, the EEOC sounds like Jame Gumb (a.k.a. Buffalo Bill) — Lisa Harrison was fired for being a great big fat girl.

Harrison died after filing the suit, but it is being carried on by her estate.

We’ve talked before about how fat people are on the fast track to protected class status. Protected class status is one thing, but are we sure we want to call fat people disabled?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “It’s Hard Out Here for New Mothers and Large Women: Employment Discrimination Potpourri”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

ATL –

Can you do a post on how to avoid the first year “fifteen” or “thirty,” besides the usual diet and exercise? Or, better yet, explain why it is that every male associate here is huge and has gained a ton of weight and looks terrible, while the women are all incredibly emaciated and end up losing 30 pounds after they start BigLaw? Is it because the men just don’t care and the women do, or do men and women at the firm just process stress differently (i.e. eat everything in sight vs. not eat at all)? Maybe there’s another explanation for it (Smoking? Coke?), but the extremely fat/extremely thin phenomenon seems to be extremely gender-related at the firm.

Thanks,
‘Fraid of Being a Fatass

Dear ‘Fraid of Being a Fatass,

What this weight gain/emaciation gender divide really comes down to is exacting revenge. When I stayed late as an associate, I would bide my time, toiling away and occasionally pressing my face against a legal pad to examine the oil stains. Then at 7 p.m., I’d mosey down to the cafeteria for some free-ass dinner, and there would be countless dudes piling their trays high with soggy pizza, salads dripping in Thousand Island dressing, chocolate-dipped biscotti and bizarro flavor Nutra-Grain bars, acting like they were carbo-loading for an Ironman and not a credit facility spell check session. One time I saw a guy buy $27.60 worth of food and then add on gummy bears until he was at $29.75. At that point, it became clear to me what was happening….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Great Taste, Less Filling”

basketball hoop on trash can.JPGHave you ever wondered what would happen if some of our Above the Law commenters had one of their classic diatribes in open court? I do.
I don’t know if Raphael Scotto posts anonymous comments on ATL. But it wouldn’t shock me if he does. The New York Post reports:

A defense lawyer was fined $2,500 and barred from city administrative court after throwing tantrums and cracking fat jokes about an overweight prosecutor during a sexual-harassment hearing. …
He even made wisecracks about portly prosecutor Victor Muallem.
When Muallem squeezed between two desks, Scotto joked, “Tough fit, there, huh?”

Actually, I’m not being fair. ATL commenters are much more funny:

Elie – When you first read the phrase “friable issue of fact” did you get hungry?

But maybe Scotto doesn’t have a lot of experience making fat jokes. Apparently that is not his go-to move.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day, Or ATL Commenter?”


hungry thinking lawyer.jpgWe know you legal folk struggle with your weight. Nearly 70 percent of respondents to Justin’s weighty April survey admitted to putting on the pounds since embarking on the legal track. Maybe it’s because you’re such deep thinkers!

Thinking makes you hungry, says Science Daily. A Canadian research team has found that intellectual work, that stuff lawyers do so much of, causes a substantial increase in caloric intake:

The research team, supervised by Dr. Angelo Tremblay, measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after each of three tasks: relaxing in a sitting position, reading and summarizing a text, and completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer. After 45 minutes at each activity, participants were invited to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet.

The researchers had already shown that each session of intellectual work requires only three calories more than the rest period. However, despite the low energy cost of mental work, the students spontaneously consumed 203 more calories after summarizing a text and 253 more calories after the computer tests. This represents a 23.6% and 29.4 % increase, respectively, compared with the rest period.

Perhaps you can fight the bulge by thinking less hard. Another option is to get an in-work work-out with a treadmill desk — Quinn Emanuel’s Aaron Craig logs five to six miles a day at the office.

If resolved to keep the paunch, the intellectual fatties can at least take comfort in knowing that the thin lawyers are the dumb ones. [Ed. note: There was no substantial increase in caloric intake as a result of coming up with that bit of logic.]

Thinking People Eat Too Much: Intellectual Work Found To Induce Excessive Calorie Intake [Science Daily]

Mayra Lizbeth Rosales Mayra Rosales.jpgFrom a tipster: “Wow. Losing her seat really made Judge Halverson go over the edge… Oh, wait, it’s not her. Sorry, honest mistake.”
At almost 1,000 pounds, Mayra Lizbeth Rosales, 27, weighs about twice as much as Judge Halverson.
Half-ton woman indicted in slaying of nephew [CNN]

Elizabeth Halverson small Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.JPGA tipster dubbed yesterday “the day legal comedy died.” From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

While the Judicial Discipline Commission weighs the fate of embattled District Judge Elizabeth Halverson, voters delivered their own verdict Tuesday, deciding Halverson must go.

Halverson, who faces complaints of falling asleep on the bench and harassing her staff, received less than 10 percent of the vote, trailing opponents Stefany Miley and Jason Landess, who will move to the general election in November.

Alas, it appears that the ATL endorsement was not enough to save her candidacy.

A woman who declined to give her name as she walked out of Ruth Fyfe Elementary School said she and her husband specifically showed up at the polls to voice their displeasure with Halverson. The couple called her “goofy.”

“I voted against her because of the recent happenings, her health issues … everything,” the woman said.

Voter Barbara Lloyd said she too wanted to be sure Halverson wasn’t re-elected.

“I want her out of office,” Lloyd said. “I haven’t been impressed with her at all.”

Really? Despite her Harvard Law Review-quality work?

Halverson’s run for office appeared to be bleak before she faced the discipline commission. According to her campaign contribution reports, she had $5,200 in her election coffers thanks to a loan from herself.

La Halverson, taking a page from the Hillary playbook. But five grand is nothing compared to $25 million.
Halverson ousted; Miley top vote-getter [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Elizabeth Halverson small Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.JPGThis just in, from a West Coast tipster who has been following L’Affaire Halverson obsessively:

Halverson passes out at hearing; adjourned due to medical reasons. Based on live observations…

Update: More details from the AP:

A disciplinary hearing for a suspended Nevada state judge has been postponed, after she reported she felt ill.

The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended the hearing in its fifth day after Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Halverson’s lawyer said the diabetic judge experienced a hypoglycemic, or low blood sugar, episode.

The hearing is due to resume next Thursday and Friday in Las Vegas.

Further Update: More from our Halverson-obsessed tipster, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Judge Halverson Passes Out; Hearing Postponed”

Elizabeth Halverson small Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.JPGAmerica’s favorite plus-size jurist, Judge Elizabeth Halverson, is back in the news. The disciplinary hearing to remove her from the bench — figuratively, not literally — got underway today.
Earlier this afternoon, from a Halverson-following reader:

CNN.com has live video stream of the Judge Halverson trial/hearing. I just started listening to it, so there hasn’t been anything real juicy yet. The first issue was Judge Halverson’s ability to use the restroom and the adequacy of the facilities at the hearing location.

And an update:

[So far] nothing that is new news. Her bailiff has been testifying about all the things he had to do for her. They are on a lunch breach until 4 PM Eastern time.

Ah, Judge Halverson’s lunch break. Expect the proceedings to resume around…. 8 PM?
In defense of Judge Halverson, is she getting a fair shake from the State Commission on Judicial Discipline? From the AP:

Nevada’s state judicial disciplinary panel is being asked to ban a suspended judge from calling witnesses or introducing evidence during hearings next week that could strip her of her elected position.

Insert Guantanamo joke here.
Panel Asked to Limit Judge Halverson’s Defense in Hearings [Las Vegas Now]
Panel asked to limit judge’s defense in hearings [AP]

Elizabeth Halverson small Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.JPGTwelve Angry Men, move over; now there’s someone meatier. A juicy judicial celebrity sighting, from the Las Vegas Sun:

Suspended District Judge Elizabeth Halverson returned to the Regional Justice Center on Friday — for jury duty.

While waiting for an assignment, Halverson, who can’t roll through the courthouse on her motorized scooter without attracting attention, turned quite a few heads, including those of several prosecutors at the district attorney’s office, which is on the same floor as the jury service room.

Las Vegas lawyers: If you’re hoping to have Halverson on your jury, sorry. Her Honor wound up being assigned to a civil trial that was subsequently postponed, “bringing an abrupt halt to her brief public service on the other side of the bench.”
Suspended judge can’t even get out of jury duty [Las Vegas Sun]

judge_halverson.jpgJudge Elizabeth Halverson has graced stomped through these pages many times before. But this is her first appearance of 2008. The LA Times recounts some Halverson highlights:

Her former bailiff said he was forced to heat and serve her lunch, check the temperature of her ice water, brush lint from her robe, help her put on her shoes, massage her neck and cover her with a blanket before her nap.
An assistant said Halverson, of the 8th Judicial District Court, made her answer questions — under oath — about courthouse gossip.

She’s been stripped of her criminal cases. She has been suspended with pay. She has a hearing this month that may result in her being removed from the bench. But she’s STILL running for reelection. We apologize to Halverson fans out there, but we will not be running a “Re-Elect Halverson” campaign, even if she does provide great blog fodder…

Halverson also referred to her husband as “Evil Ed,” her former bailiff testified, and told Jordan to “pull out your gun and shoot him.”
“I’ll dispose of the body,” Jordan quoted the judge as saying.
Halverson’s newer staffers told commissioners she acted respectfully and professionally. But commissioners said that didn’t excuse her treating Jordan and others in a “truly bizarre and inappropriate manner.”
Two people are challenging the suspended judge in the August election. Halverson said she entered the race because community members encouraged her to hold onto her judgeship.
“Do I think the public will see the truth about me?” she said. “Yes, I do.”

The truth is out there. I mean, seriously, how could she dispose of her husband’s body? She is a LARGE woman, with an oxygen tank, who can’t even get her own nap-time blanket. She was making a joke. Obviously.
Update: A commenter sent us to this bizarre kid-sploitation reelection video.
Judge Elizabeth Halverson courts trouble in Las Vegas [Los Angeles Times]

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