Young New Hampshire lawyer Daniel Hynes, who is just 27, has earned a place among our Lawyers of the Day for extorting hair salons.
Feel free to use the Power of the Law Degree to ensure that your landlord heats your apartment adequately. But using it to threaten beauty parlors… that’s just wrong. From the Concord Monitor:
A Manchester lawyer who threatened to sue a Concord salon for pricing haircuts differently for men and women and then took money to settle the matter was found guilty of theft by extortion.
A jury took about 1½ hours to convict Daniel Hynes, 27, on Wednesday. Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Baker said Hynes sent letters to at least 19 salons in the state.
One arrived Dec. 20, 2006, at Claudia’s, the North Main Street hair salon owned by Claudia Lambert. In the letter, Hynes said prices should be based on the time a cut takes or on the length of hair, instead of on gender. He wrote: “I demand payment in the amount of $1,000 in order to avoid litigation,” according to court documents.
Since he was not representing a client, Mr. Hynes defended his right to extort by citing the First Amendment and the right to petition the courts. We are surprised it took the jury an hour and a half to deliberate on this.
Hynes would have been wise to enlist a female friend to play his client in this fiendish plot. His reasoning comes across as a bit weak:
In one court document, he argued that the price structure that he saw as discriminatory had caused him stress and mental anguish, despite the fact that prices for men were less than those for women. He said he was being denied an “inherent benefit in being treated equally.” He pointed to a woman’s right to vote and said he benefits from her right, even though he is a man.
If Mr. Hynes is not disbarred, we’d like to talk with him about how we can get a haircut for under $100. Update: Find out how Daniel Hynes fared on appeal. Lawyer guilty of salon extortion [Concord Monitor]
There has been some discussion already, but here’s a dedicated thread for a topic that there’s no shortage of opinions on: Rutgers basketball player Kia Vaughn’s defamationlawsuit against radio host Don Imus.
Thus far, reactions seem to be similar. From our tipster:
It seems like a likely loser, because I don’t see a false statement of fact. I don’t think anyone really believes Imus was trying to impute unchastity to the Rutgers basketball team (i.e., calling them prostitutes); rather, he was making a really inappropriate and racist joke, and everyone understood it as such.
Nevertheless, although it’s a legal loser, I predict Imus will settle as a gesture of goodwill. Perhaps a scholarship will be set up.
Lawyers aren’t known for being the most stylish of professionals. So Cleary Gottlieb brought a fashion magazine editor in for a luncheon talk, to give some fashion and style pointers. From Jezebel:
[A] recent slide show by an unidentified Glamour editor on the “Dos and Don’ts of Corporate Fashion” at a New York law firm shed some light on the topic, according to this month’s American Lawyer magazine.
“First slide up: an African American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the ‘Glamour’ editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was ‘shocking’ that some people still think it ‘appropriate’ to wear those hairstyles at the office. ‘No offense,’ she sniffed, but those ‘political’ hairstyles really have to go.”
Not surprisingly, such un-PC sentiments didn’t go over too well at Cleary:
The story ends happily, with the law firm Cleary Gottlieb’s managing partner Mark Walker, who wasn’t at the lady luncheon, sending everyone an email pointing out the stupidty of the Glamour editor and of fashion magazines and yeah pretty much all the things we here at Jezebel hold so near and reviled.
Fashion news from across the pond: English judges and barristers are leaping willy-nilly into the nineteenth century, shedding the curly horse-hair wigs that have symbolized the British legal system for centuries.
(Memo to Lat: Explore possibility of haircut for ATL logo-thing.)
The wigs are being removed despite their popularity with the public, who like to be represented by “a proper lawyer with a wig.”
But many others despise wigs as hot, smelly, and more to the point, elitist – they make all too obvious the caste system in British law, dividing the more numerous solicitors, who do most of the day-to-day work of representing clients, from the more prestigious barristers, who for centuries had a monopoly on the right to speak (and to wear a wig) in court. These days the functional distinction between the two kinds of lawyer is eroding, and the solicitors, at least, want the sartorial distinction to vanish as well.
We’re torn. Elitism is of course fabulous, but “smelly” is not.
Judges in criminal cases will keep their wigs, because . . . well, we have no idea why, really.
Next time you hear a cell phone go off in a movie or at the theater, and think to yourself, “What an a**hole!”, remind yourself: Someday YOU might be that a**hole.
Watch this video, from the start of the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court finals, which we attended at Columbia Law School earlier this week. Pay special attention to what happens around the 18-second mark:
Yes, that’s right. The judges entered the room, their robes billowing out behind them. The court crier made the very formal and grandiose announcement: “Oyez, oyez…” The room fell into a solemn silence. And then, at that precise moment, our computer — which was in the process of turning on — made that annoying Windows start-up noise. Loudly.
One could feel a wave of horrified embarrassment sweep through the audience. Justice Alito chuckled, so hopefully he wasn’t too offended. But we were mortified (and rightfully so).
In our defense, this was a complete accident. We were in the process of setting up and turning on our computer, and we didn’t know when exactly the judges would be arriving. We turned our computer on, and it began the start-up process (which can take a little while). Unfortunately, just seconds after we turned it on, the judges made their entrance. And even more unfortunately, as the silence settled over the room, our computer made that colossally loud cyber-fart.
In any event, our apologies, Your Honors! Please do not blame the CLS audience for this rudeness. It was completely our fault.
We took some rough notes on the proceedings. They will probably interest you only if you attended the Moot Court finals yourselves. Or if you care about the hairstyles of Article III judges.
If you want to see our commentary, it’s available after the jump.
12:12–unbelievable. I can’t believe anyone voted for Janet with a Part. The AG was never the femme de la femme, but with a part, she’s all man. It really draws out that jaw line in a way that makes me uncomfortable (though that’s probably really just a function of which WSJ artist was on call that day).
* Strippers always have day jobs, so this is no small victory. [Des Moines Register]
* Why the premium you pay for Fiji water (“untouched by man until you unscrew the cap”) is worth it. [Trentonian]
* (Commercially successful) hipster writer gives it away for free, but will anyone want it? [Sivacracy.net]
* But you still have to read everything. Did you ever get to the five commercial outlines and study guides you bought for evidence? [Discourse.net]
* How mooning can bite you in the ass. [St. Petersburg Times via How Appealing]
A friendly warning to Peter Lattman and the WSJ Law Blog: “Hey guys, step off our turf!”
In a post this morning comparing President Bush’s purge of U.S. Attorneys with President Clinton’s, the WSJ Law Blog includes the graphic at right, showing three different WSJ “hedcuts” of former Attorney General Janet Reno. They pose the following “Law Blog Bonus Question”: “Which of Reno’s three dot-drawings do you prefer?”
Despite the attempt to mask the inquiry as focused on “dot-drawings,” we see this post for what it really is. It’s a clear incursion into our blogging territory: evolving hairstyles of legal celebrities (e.g., Judge Janice Rogers Brown).
So back off, guys! We leave the options backdating and Vioxx litigation to you. Why can’t you leave the hair and make-up of former AGs to us?
WSJ Law Blog readers agree with us. Right now there are a ton of comments to the post, but only two address the “Bonus Question” — which one of them criticizes as “rather inappropriate.”
Inappropriate for an MSM blog about “law and business, and the business of law”? Sure. But certainly not inappropriate for an online legal tabloid.
Time for a poll. We know that ATL readers are very knowledgeable about hair. But just to be perfectly clear, in the graphic at right, the hairstyles are (left to right) Janet With a Perm, Janet With a Part, and Janet With Bangs.
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.