Gay

gay football Above the Law blog.jpgOne of the perks of being a judge is that everyone has to laugh at your jokes. Except when they’re in poor taste and arguably offensive.
If you’re going to make an attempt at humor in the courtroom, proceed with caution — even if you’re the one wearing the robe. From Rumpole (via S.D. Fla. Blog):

Well, those fine folks North Of the Border have done it again.

This time it is Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Levenson, who put his robed foot in his mouth by making an inappropriate joke about the Defendant in a sexual battery case during the charge conference….

To summarize, apparently the Defendant is a high school football player, and the case involved the allegation of illegal sexual contact with another male. Judge Levenson asked what position the defendant played. He was told “linebacker” and another person in the courtroom said “Tight End” at which point Judge Levenson said “Wide Receiver?”

A little bit more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: Jeffrey Levenson”

poker online gambling gaming Above the Law blog.jpg* Remember the Mystery Pimp from our recent column about Cadwalader? Peter Lattman, who works in the same building as CWT, has solved the mystery. Fantastic! [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Despondent Microsoft Has Nervous Breakdown; Jumps Into Elliott Bay To Live With Alien Sea Creatures.” [What About Clients?]
* New digs for The American Lawyer. Their landlord is now Larry Silverstein, who was recently featured on the magazine’s cover. Did they get a break on the rent for that kind of publicity? [The Real Estate]
* Brilliant Harvard Law professors rush to the defense of… online poker! Charlie Nesson and Alan Dershowitz? Now that’s what we call a full house. [Conglomerate]
* “Is Dumbledore gay simply because Rowling says he is?” Discuss. [PrawfsBlawg]

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgThat’s the debate currently raging in the Los Angeles office of Skadden. It was triggered by some exuberant, multicolored emails from a Gay Colleague, promoting the Skadden LA AIDS Walk team.
From the delicious (but sporadically updated) Skadden Insider:

[T]he e-mails weren’t well received by everyone because “they are pretty aggressive and unprofessional. Just the tone of voice, the five thousand colors, the naming of names of who contributed and who didn’t.”

Our source continued: “And of course, some ignorant fools are going around saying, “I don’t go around calling myself the ‘straight associate’! Anyway, it was pretty funny. It was a gay gay gay Friday.”

Check out the full post, which reprints the (literally) colorful email, over here.
And read about another instance of public shaming at Skadden, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Skadden Gays: Out and Proud, or Tacky and Loud?”

Andrew Bruck Building a Better Legal Profession Above the Law blog.jpg
Andrew Bruck takes a question at Wednesday’s press conference.

Every now and then, we leave our apartment. We did so on Wednesday, to attend the press conference of Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession, where the organization unveiled its law firm diversity rankings (accessible here; Los Angles Times article here).
It was quite informative. For those of you who might be interested — and we’re guessing there are a number of you, judging from the robust commentary on our earlier post — read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Field Trip: The Building a Better Legal Profession Press Conference”

sadomasochism s&m s and m sadist masochist dungeon Above the Law blog.jpgSince we started off today on a somewhat sordid note, we might as well keep going down the same path. From the AP:

Adrian Exley was wrapped tightly in heavy plastic, then bound with duct tape. A leather hood was put over his head with a thin plastic straw inserted so that he could breathe, and he was shut up in a closet.

That, apparently, was the way Exley liked it. But the way it ended — with Exley suffocating — was not what he had in mind when he traveled from Britain for a bondage session with a man he had met through a sadomasochism Web site.

Exley’s body was discovered in the woods last year, two months after he was bound up in the bondage “playroom” Gary LeBlanc had built in the basement of his suburban Boston home.

LeBlanc, a 48-year-old Gulf Oil sales executive, detailed his responsibility in the fatal bondage session in a five-page suicide note, just before he put a gun to his head and killed himself.

Now the question is: Since Exley consented to the sex play, can LeBlanc be held responsible for his death?

LeBlanc committed suicide, but the issue still matters:

Exley’s family is suing LeBlanc’s estate for unspecified damages, claiming wrongful death. Many bondage enthusiasts are watching the case closely, seeing it as a lesson in where to draw the line of responsibility on consensual but dangerous sex.

Additional sensational and salacious details appear in the full article.
Moral of the story: If you’re into this sort of thing, before doing anything, make sure your partner signs a waiver, assumption of risk, and release of liability form. Then transmit an executed copy to a third party prior to the liaison, so there’s contemporaneous documentation. Good luck.
Deadly consent: Bondage death raises legal issues [AP via CNN]
S&M for Beginners [Tango]

Mass Bar logo Massachusetts Bar Exam Above the Law blog.jpgFirst the case of the $54 million pants was dismissed. And now another ridiculous but amusing lawsuit, previously covered here and here, bites the dust.
From a piece by Sheri Qualters for the National Law Journal:

The federal court battle over a Massachusetts bar examination question about homosexual marriage has ended with the court accepting the plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of the case.

On Oct. 9, a Massachusetts federal judge granted Stephen Dunne’s request to dismiss his case against the bar examination testing agency, the state Supreme Judicial Court and four individual justices over a question on the state’s bar exam concerning homosexual marriage.

In a lawsuit filed in June, Dunne claimed he failed the Massachusetts bar examination because he didn’t answer a question about homosexual marriage.

The website Stephen Dunne launched to help fund the case, www.christianlawsuit.com, has been taken down. Will refunds be issued to the people who donated money to the cause — all three of them?
P.S. You can view the court’s fascinating dismissal order here (PDF, via Keeping Up With Jonas).
Plaintiff withdraws complaint over bar exam’s gay-marriage question [National Law Journal]
Stephen Dunne’s Long Legal Nightmare Is Finally Over [Keeping Up With Jonas]
Dunne Wishes He Could Quit His Lawsuit [Keeping Up With Jonas]
Earlier: Fail the Bar, Blame the Gays, Sue for Millions!
Update: Fail the Bar, Blame the Gays, Solicit Donations for Lawsuit!

Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession Above the Law blog.jpgAre you concerned about diversity (or the lack thereof) at America’s top law firms? Have you been wishing for a handy resource that would rank the Biglaw shops by their performance on diversity metrics, as well as other measures, such as billable hours and pro bono work?
Well, you’re in luck. Later today, Building a Better Legal Profession will be issuing just such a report. Here’s a blurb for their upcoming press conference:

Over one-third of all large law firms in Manhattan don’t have a single African-American partner. Nearly half of all large law firms in Washington, D.C. don’t have a single Hispanic partner. One firm doesn’t have a single LGBT partner or associate in either office. On October 10, find out who.

Building a Better Legal Profession, a national grassroots coalition of law students, will release its first report on the status of the legal profession. The groundbreaking study compares the largest law firms in each of the top six legal markets (New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Northern California, and Southern California) by various metrics. The report ranks firms by billable hours, pro bono participation, and demographic diversity (percentages of partners and associates who are female, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, and LGBT).

On hand at the press conference will be statements of support from Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, and Prof. Deborah Rhode, former chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. Media: Please contact Andrew Bruck or Prof. Michele Landis Dauber for more information and sample rankings.

To get a sense of the rankings, click here (PDF), for a report card showing how D.C.’s top law firms stack up on diversity, or here (PDF), for the New York law firm diversity rankings.
The leading firm for diversity in Washington (with an overall grade of B+; almost all the firms earn C’s or worse): Nixon Peabody! Remember, they hired lots of minorities to sing their theme song (mp3).
For those of you here in D.C., consider attending today’s press conference (we’ll be there):

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 — 12:30 p.m.
National Press Club
13th floor, Zenger Room
529 14th St. NW
Washington, DC

Very exciting. Congratulations and thanks to Building a Better Legal Profession!
Law Students Building A Better Legal Profession [official website]
Diversity Report Card: D.C. [PDF]
Report on Big Law Firms [National Press Club]

* He likes ‘em young. [WNBC]
* WSJ Law Blog follows SCOTUS comedy. [WSJ Law Blog]
* More Jack Thompson chicanery. [GamePolitics]
* In keeping with the non-top-tier theme, here’s a Tier 4 that’s moving. [WRAL]
* Sorry, Howard Bashman. [Yahoo!]

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ll be seeing here in D.C. later this week, summer is over. But that doesn’t mean our inbox is closed to stories of summer associate scandal.

Check out this great pair of controversies, from the summer program of Washington powerhouse Patton Boggs:

There have been rumors flying around Patton Boggs about major drama in this year’s summer associate class that I thought I’d pass along. Some of the summers got upset because:

(1) At the summer associate golf outing, one of the associates wore a Confederate flag hat while playing 18 holes with the summers. The hat apparently went unnoticed by everyone except the summer associates, who (rightfully) felt uncomfortable telling a lawyer at the firm that his hat may be in poor taste. Best part: apparently he shared a golf cart with one of the black summers!

(2) Apparently a very high-level partner at Patton Boggs was disappointed to learn that a beauty queen winner/current law student was not offered a position as a summer associate. When he learned that the firm had instead hired a (gasp!) gay summer associate, he allegedly said, in front of others at the firm, “You know the recruiting department is screwed up when they’re rejecting beauty queens but hiring homosexuals.”

We contacted Patton Boggs for comment. A firm spokesperson provided this statement:

“The firm takes these types of matters seriously. When we hear of things of this nature, we investigate and take appropriate action as necessary.”

If you’re at Patton Boggs and can enlighten us further about these events — or if you’re at another firm, and have summer associate stories you’re now at liberty to share with us, given the passage of time — please email us. Thanks.

Herman Thomas Judge Herman Thomas spanking judge Above the Law blog.jpgJudge Herman Thomas — the Alabama state court judge who allegedly enjoyed spanking male prisoners, traded favorable treatment for sexual favors, and improperly interfered on behalf of a cousin in legal trouble — has resigned from the bench.
We sure will miss having him to smack around.
Judge Thomas resigns [Mobile Press-Register]
Alabama Judge Resigns Amid Investigation [AP]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Judge Herman Thomas (scroll down)

Page 50 of 681...464748495051525354...68