Football

Some post-Soviet states kept Lenin statues up longer than Penn State kept JoePa’s.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is about to do what the Southeastern Conference (the “SEC” that actually takes down its targets) does every week on the recruiting trail: tell the NCAA to get bent.

Yesterday, Governor Tom Corbett filed a federal antitrust suit in Harrisburg alleging that the NCAA overstepped its authority in dropping the hammer on Penn State’s football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

Apparently the NCAA may not have quasi-governmental authority to take millions in direct fines from public institutions in an effort to protect its brand name.

Pennsylvanian officials are understandably miffed because Penn State is directly paying millions in fines and missing out on millions more in bowl revenue. Taxpayer dollars intended for the public education of students that had nothing to do with the scandal are being siphoned away from the state to finance programs at the sole discretion of the NCAA leadership and the majority is spent outside Pennsylvania.

The NCAA counters that the criminal activity at Penn State was enabled by a culture of winning-at-all-costs and only the NCAA can appropriately discipline the school for that mindset.

But really this lawsuit comes down to two parties, the NCAA and Corbett, making desperate PR moves to cover their own asses. Is that in poor taste? Sure. Is it in even worse taste that the NCAA and Corbett are using this tragedy for their own purposes? Well let’s look at what they’ve been up to….

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Celebrity opinions are the worst. On this, I think we can all agree. Unlike our pundit class, celebrities have very few advanced degrees and are never held to account for their prognostications. When a talking head on TV or the internet or even books gets something wrong, he’s fired immediately. The marketplace of ideas demands nothing less. Someone more inclined to bad puns would say that as a marketplace, being fired for being wrong is more than laissez… fair.

And so we hate celebrities mouthing off like they are wont to do because they don’t get fired from their jobs when they’re wrong. This is especially true of the sports world, where the famous people not being fired for voicing opinions also represent our favorite teams, like the Chicago Bears. Or even our least favorite teams, like the Syracuse Orangemen.

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim spoke out about gun control this week because a bunch of children were murdered recently and a bunch of microphones were stuck in his face. The men holding the microphones said, “Hey Jim, let’s talk sports.”

Jim didn’t want to talk sports. Let’s talk sports….

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* Seven out of nine sitting Supreme Court justices were silent when it came to the passing of Robert Bork. Justice Antonin Scalia, of course, issued a public statement, as did liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (surprise!). [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* No one ever really doubted that it would take an army of Biglaw lawyers from the likes of Sullivan & Cromwell, Shearman & Sterling, and Wachtel Lipton to handle a monumental deal like the proposed $8.2 billion NYSE/ICE merger. [Am Law Daily]

* Can you coach with Nick Saban and be a Miller Canfield partner at the same time? No. But you can sue (and win!) when the firm allegedly forces you out due to its “culture of fear and intimidation.” [Detroit Free Press]

* Justice Rolando Acosta, who wrote the opinion upholding the dismissal of the class action case against NYLS, rates well among his peers as a nominee for the New York Court of Appeals. [New York Law Journal]

* Peter Madoff was sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, but the judge will probably let him go to his granddaughter’s bat mitzvah before shipping him to the pokey. [Bloomberg]

* Merry Christmas, now go f**k yourself. A federal judge has given a woman in Louisiana free rein to display holiday lights on her roof in the form of an extended middle finger. God bless America. [CBS 3 Springfield]


Mirroring the profession it covers, this website has whiplashed from ecstasy to agony since its inception, from bottles and models to pink slips and loan debt. Like a rap career in reverse, the site has gone from frivolity to gritty realism in the time it took the legal market to absolutely crater. And that’s okay, really. Train wrecks can be beautiful. Like a pictorial essay of Detroit. The idea behind this column was to talk about a world immune from such harrowing turns of event. To talk about a world filled with Peter Pan syndromes who won the genetic lottery and behave as if what is owed to them is much more than just the world. You know, like young Biglaw attorneys circa 2006.

But this hasn’t been the case, sadly. This space has been the province of pedophiles and et cetera and so forth, and I’ve gotten to cover none of the Entourage-like excess that I had hoped. Today? Today we have another unemployed lawyer. Another statistic. Another godforsaken down-in-the-mouth sad sack who can’t keep a job and makes me want to cry because if he can’t keep his job, what does that foretell for my own “career” if you can even call it that — because I really can’t, I mean, why did I even go to law school in the first place? Good God and baby Jesus, was that a mistake…

This guy’s a football coach with a J.D. from Harvard. Let’s talk sports….

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The Alabama Crimson Tide are back in the BCS title game. Any moment, we expect SEC lawyers with poor time management skills to start asking judges for continuances so they can go to Miami to support their team. It’s happened before, Roll Tide.

I’m not expecting Notre Dame trained lawyers to totally freak out in the next month. I trust them to figure out how to manage their professional and fanatical responsibilities without needing continuances and extensions. Aren’t most Golden Domers in your life competent even while they’re insufferable?

In any event, one judge in Florida isn’t waiting to see if lawyers are going to need extra time this holiday season; instead he’s giving it out sua sponte. And really, I basically had this idea last year for all judges in SEC country….

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There’s no gay bar at the Supreme Court right now.

* I’m not sure that it’s legal to tag the cars of people who park poorly, but it’s certainly satisfying. Honestly, every time I see one of those commercials where the dude needs freaking birds to park his “I’ve given up on life” minivan-SUV, I want to scream, “You could act like a man!” [Legal Blog Watch]

* SCOTUS is acting like an old college roommate who just came out is inviting them to a gay bar, and they’re trying to politely decline without looking like raging homophobes. [SCOTUSblog]

* To all the people who didn’t pass the California bar exam, here’s a guy who did it while only studying for 100 hours. Yeah. So… umm, I didn’t really think this blurb through. [Blake Masters]

* Do lawyers need to “love” their clients? Come on, isn’t loving the money they give you enough? [Underdog]

* Jason Whitlock took the Jovan Belcher and put the focus exactly where it should be, on our gun laws. Then Bob Costas blew a big megaphone on Sunday Night Football. [Fox Sports]

* It’s funny, I’m against sex offender registries because even though sex crimes are heinous, registries are bad things that create second-class citizens and tend to unfairly lump people who didn’t commit the worst stuff in with disgusting humans. That means I should probably be against animal abuse registries too, but man I don’t think animal abusers suffer nearly enough. So, whatever, I’m a hypocrite. I’m a hypocrite who cares more about dogs than children. [Simple Justice]

* Wait, did other people know this Casey Anthony movie was happening and not tell me? With Rob Lowe? How much would you pay to get drunk and watch it with Nancy Grace? [Lifetime]

* In America, poorly parked cars get tickets. In Soviet Russia, poorly parked cars get douches. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Sometimes you can evade consequences associated with evading taxes, and sometimes you can’t. [Going Concern]

* The George Zimmerman defense fund seems to be alive and well… unlike Trayvon Martin. [NPR]

* I feel like it would be great if the NFL took marijuana off of its banned substance list. It’s not like the drug is performance enhancing. [The Nation]

* A leading organization for in-house lawyers weighs in against the sanctions imposed on TD Bank. [Association of Corporate Counsel]

* Don’t forget to add your résumé to the flood for our open positions on Above the Law. At this point, you might want to send a picture to get our attention. Not of yourself, but you know, Twinkies, peep-toed shoes, something that we actually care about. [Above the Law]

Randall Gay

I didn’t have to really study for football. It’s just something you know. Now, I’m starting from scratch writing briefs. I don’t know what a brief is. I’m taking a tort class. I don’t know what a tort is. In football, we have seven days to prepare. Now I have to do assignments and have them done by the next day. But I’ve learned to adapt quickly.

Randall Gay, a retired football player formerly of the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints, commenting on what it’s like to make the difficult transition from playbooks to law books in his new career as a law student.

(So where is the ex-cornerback going to law school? Let’s find out!)

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Sports and Presidential politics have a long and storied history of entanglement. Everyone knows that President Obama is a White Sox fan who has dutifully filled out March Madness brackets and agitated for a college football playoff. Likewise, Mitt Romney is said by some melodramatic fans of figure skating to have saved the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Lesser known amongst political nerds is that William Howard Taft, along with being our 27th President and also serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was the original starting center for the Harlem Globetrotters. The original Round Mound of Rebound, Taft was said to have installed a basketball court in the White House commissary. Late at night, when the Mrs. was fast asleep, Taft could be heard working on his lethal hook shot and pounding large boxes of chocolate donuts downstairs on the newly installed court.

Among his more famous quips, Taft is said to have uttered, during an oral argument at the Supreme Court, “I’m the Michael Jordan of law! Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

Let’s talk sports…

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The ‘very, very pretty’ Cristina Fierro.

* Covington, Skadden, and Proskauer really like representing professional sports leagues: from 2010 to 2011, the NHL paid a combined total of $8.8M to all three, and Covington received $16.3M from the NFL over the last three years. [Am Law Daily]

* The Department of Justice sued Bank of America yesterday for doing the “hustle.” No, not the popular disco disco dance, but rather, a supposed elaborate scheme to defraud the government out of billions of dollars. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Rajat Gupta was sentenced to a whole two years behind bars for insider trading, but my colleague Elie Mystal thinks that the more appropriate punishment would’ve been to force him to reenact the seminal 80s film, Trading Places. [HuffPost Live]

* Unfortunately, Siri wasn’t able to be helpful with this one. A federal judge had to recuse himself in a patent case involving the Siri voice assistant app because of his “interest” in Apple (likely stock ownership). [CNET]

* Was Wednesday the day of departing deans? NYU’s Richard Revesz said farewell, and so did Sydney Beckman of Duncan Law, but the latter flat out quit amid accreditation uncertainty. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

* “We’ll fight another day. This is not over.” While a jury found that Teresa Wagner’s First Amendment rights weren’t violated by the University of Iowa College of Law, the judge declared a mistrial on her equal protection claim against the school. [Huffington Post]

* Somebody really should’ve told Lawrence Taylor that when testifying in an underage sex trafficking case, it’s probably not a good idea to mention that your accuser was “very, very pretty” and “very sexy.” [Associated Press]

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