* Don’t touch the balls of a federal judge, you monkey. [Southern District of Florida Blog]
* “Papitto” was a crapitto name for a law school, anyway. [TaxProf Blog]
* Hillary is da shizz. But we knew that already. [The Caucus / New York Times]
* It’s official, ’cause it appeared in the MSM (or, to be more precise, an MSM blog). ATL is “extremely addictive”! [Legal Pad]
* Don’t touch the balls of a federal judge, you monkey. [Southern District of Florida Blog]
- Animal Law, Fashion, Federal Judges, Free Speech, Holland & Knight, Kids, Non-Sequiturs, Sports, Violence
* According to a lawsuit filed by fellow blogger David Oscar Markus, you have a First Amendment right to cocks on the internets. [Althouse; Volokh Conspiracy]
* In other odd legal news from Florida, Holland & Knight has discovered a new practice area: “suing Little League back to the Stone Age.” [St. Petersburg Times via Deadspin]
* Still more Florida weirdness. Avoid wearing black in this judge’s courtroom. [Daily Business Review]
* Speaking of fashion, should federal judges be provided with clip-on ties? Sadly, it might mark a style improvement for many. [Underbelly]
- David Boies, Education / Schools, Erwin Chemerinsky, Fabulosity, Federal Judges, Laurence Tribe, Law Professors, Merrick Garland, Peter Barta, Samuel Alito, Supreme Court Clerks, Thomas Goldstein
In a recent post about Peter Barta, the Legal Aid lawyer who allegedly videotaped his female colleagues as they were getting undressed, we ranked on policy debaters.
Maybe we should take it back. From a highly informative reader email:
Not all former policy debaters are creeps. Here’s a list of former policy debaters who are current or future legal rock stars:
Justice Samuel Alito, Judge Merrick Garland, Larry Tribe, Louis Kaplow, Erwin Chemerinsky, NYU President John Sexton, Jonathan Massey, David Boies, Tom Goldstein, Rebecca Tushnet, Annie Kastanek (OT 2007/Kennedy), and John Hughes (OT 2005/Thomas; pictured at right, captured in mid-debate).
Former policy debaters, please accept our apologies. We did extemp and L-D debate in high school, and we generally viewed C-X debaters with suspicion. They struck us as kids who talked reallyreallyfast, warning constantly of nuclear war. But maybe we were wrong.
To paraphrase the “ignorant tipster” from the Oona O’Connell story: “We feel kind of bad that we prejudged them. Sorry to sound like an afterschool special. But you know what? Perhaps we learned a lesson today. Good on you. ‘The more you know.’”
Earlier: Reading the Bartameter (Part 3): What Is Up With Those Policy Debaters?
Late last week, Bill Mears of CNN wrote a helpful round-up of the best benchslaps from the Supreme Court’s most recent Term. It starts off:
One Supreme Court justice says his fellow conservatives are “too dismissive” of government efforts to ensure racial diversity in schools. Another more liberal member says those on the right did “serious violence” to a high school student’s free speech rights. And one conservative slams another for “faux judicial restraint.”
That last bench-slap was one of several delivered by Justice Scalia to Chief Justice Roberts. For more, see this Linda Greenhouse piece.
But after all the verbal roughhousing, the justices go back to being friends. Then they scamper off to a bevy of European countries, where they spend the summer
soaking up adulation and cash teaching summer courses in constitutional law.
The members of the SCOTUS regularly complain about the inadequacy of federal judicial pay. But let’s not forget that they — as well as certain other federal judges, like the members of the D.C. Circuit — basically get summers off.
Being a Supreme Court justice: Nice work if you can get it!
Justices take potshots in opinions [CNN via How Appealing]
Even in Agreement, Scalia Puts Roberts to Lash [New York Times]
Supreme Court Justices Hit the Road for the Summer [Legal Times via WSJ Law Blog]
The Honorable Robert E. Keeton, of the District of Massachusetts, passed away earlier this week. Judge Keeton was a Harvard Law School professor, a World War II hero, and an editor of the classic Prosser & Keeton on Torts.
Update: As noted in the comments, Judge Keeton’s brother, Werdner Page Keeton, was the lead Keeton on the book.
Judge Keeton liked to tell funny stories during his weekly chambers meetings. From the Boston Globe:
He particularly enjoyed telling about the time his mother-in-law came to his house and made biscuits.
“She went into the cabinet and she took out what she thought was flour,” [judicial assistant Lily] Diblasi said. “She made biscuits and put them on the table with all the other fixings. The judge took a bite and said, ‘Mother, these biscuits are quite good but where did you find the flour to make them?’ It turned out to be wall paper paste. . . But he graciously ate it.”
(Moral of the story: Keep your mother-in-law away from the kitchen.)
Our sympathies go out to Judge Keeton’s family, and to his extended family of judicial colleagues and former law clerks.
Robert E. Keeton, 88, judge, professor, author, war hero [Boston Globe]
Robert E. Keeton, pioneer of insurance law and District Court judge: 1919-2007 [Harvard Law School]
One legal employer is pondering a hike in base pay from just over $165,000 to nearly $250,000: the United States courts!
A bill, co-sponsored by Senators Feinstein, Graham, Hatch, McConnell, and Reid, would set judicial pay at the following levels:
District Court Judges: $247,800
Court of Appeals Judges: $262,700
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court: $304,500
Chief Justice of the United States: $318,200
The Washington Post is lukewarm on the plan:
This relatively lower pay doesn’t appear to be hurting the quality of the federal judgeship applicant pool. Federal judges also are not engaging in a mass exodus to the private sector; bench departures have indeed increased over the last few decades, as supporters of the pay raise say, but so have total judgeships by a nearly proportional rate. Higher pay would be unlikely to greatly increase the number of qualified applicants from the private sector. A lawyer who doesn’t want to exchange his earnings of $1 million per year in a corporate partnership for a prestigious and influential federal judgeship that pays $165,200 probably also won’t leave for one that pays $246,800.
Someone should ask J. Michael Luttig what salary would have kept him in the public sector. (We suspect the answer is “whatever an Associate Justice makes.”)
No? Okay. Then they shouldn’t expect him to clean up after them.
Remember that majorly screwed-up tax case? It’s still screwed up.
District Court Refuses to Correct Government’s Botched Plea Agreement in Biggest Tax Fraud Case in History [TaxProf Blog]
Earlier: This Is Why Cite-Checking Matters
- 3rd Circuit, Books, Federal Judges, Noel Hillman, Politics, Saira Rao, Samuel Alito, Senate Judiciary Committee
Judicial junkies, here are two quick items about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit:
1. New Novel. The eagerly anticipated Chambermaid — a
roman a clef novel set in the Third Circuit by Saira Rao, a former law clerk to the totally terrifying Judge Dolores Sloviter (3d Cir.) — is now in bookstores. It has arrived a few weeks ahead of its original publication date of July 10. Our earlier discussion appears here.
A very interesting interview with Saira Rao, followed by
a comments clusterf**k lively reader discussion, appears at the WSJ Law Blog.
We recently read Chambermaid, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We’ll probably review it in the near future, either here at ATL or for a print publication.
(Shameless plug: If you’re an editor in need of a book review, please email us.)
Law Blog Q&A: Saira Rao [WSJ Law Blog]
Chambermaid by Saira Rao [official website]
Earlier: A ‘Devil Wears Prada’ for the Law Clerk Set
2. New Nominee. After Judge Noel Hillman (D.N.J.) was mysteriously pulled as the presumptive nominee for Justice Samuel Alito’s former Third Circuit seat, we wondered: What’s up with that Third Circuit seat?
Now we know (or think we do). According to media reports, the likely new nominee is Shalom Stone (at right). Here’s a brief bio:
Stone, a former chairman of a state bar committee on federal practice and procedure who handles a wide swath of issues, including insurance, RICO, real estate and ethics, has been practicing for 20 years. He’s now a partner at the Roseland firm of Walder Hayden and Brogan.
More discussion, after the jump.
Who says that conservative judicial icon Robert Bork, of the famously ill-fated Supreme Court nomination, is anti-plaintiff?
Judge Bork is all in favor of punitive damages — when, for example, he’s demanding them in his Complaint (PDF). The distinguished law professor and former judge has filed a slip-and-fall lawsuit against the Yale Club of New York City.
Bork’s fellow traveler in conservative circles, Ted Frank — who’s currently a fellow at AEI, where Bork used to be a fellow — “sympathize[s] with Judge Bork’s serious injuries.” But even Frank deems Bork’s claim for punitives a bit dubious.
Note to Fed Soc folks: Do not place Judge Bork’s dais at an “unreasonable” height, and be sure to have handrails on the stairs leading up to it. You’re welcome.
Bork Sues the Yale Club [Overlawyered]
Robert Bork Files Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit Against Yale Club [WSJ Law Blog]
Bork v. Yale Club of New York City [Wall Street Journal (PDF)]
A Conference Discussing the Contributions of Judge Robert H. Bork [Federalist Society]
After a year away from the bench, U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous Jr. will regain both his criminal and civil dockets next month, signaling an end to the long criminal investigation into his personal bankruptcy and possible misdeeds while a federal and Jefferson Parish jurist.
Chief Judge Ginger Berrigan said Thursday that Porteous will return to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District [of Louisiana], in mid-June after spending the past year secluded from friends and under the weight of grand jury hearings into his actions….
Porteous’ attorney, Kyle Schonekas, said federal prosecutors told him a few weeks ago that they didn’t intend to indict Porteous. He said the court then asked Porteous to resume duties at the court.
Isn’t it great to have indictment-free judges? We live in one helluva country.
(But if you’re a Louisiana citizen hoping for your legislators to be indictment-free too, you may be asking for too much.)
Judge Porteous returns to the bench [NOLA.com]
Federal judge returning to bench [New Orleans Times-Picayune]
Nation Shocked at Jefferson Indictment [Wonkette]
Earlier: Send That Robe Out for Dry Cleaning
Judge of the Day: G. Thomas Porteous Jr.