Well, I don’t mean you should go make fun of the managing partner’s hair line. But you should ask searching questions.
Back in March 2008, we named Daniel Hynes our Lawyer of the Day. Hynes was convicted of theft by extortion after trying to shake down at least 19 New Hampshire hair salons by accusing them of gender and age discrimination (in the form of pricing haircuts differently for men, women, and children).
Now, a quick update, from the ABA Journal:
The New Hampshire Supreme Court has upheld the extortion conviction of a lawyer who threatened to sue a Concord hair salon for charging women more money for haircuts than men or children.
Daniel Hynes is identified as a Manchester lawyer and a 2006 graduate of the Western New England College School of Law in a story published by the Concord Monitor in March last year. A jury convicted him of theft by extortion after deliberating for only 1 ½ hours.
One and a half hours? Ouch. And Hynes didn’t fare better on appeal.
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]
* Professor Eugene Volokh wonders: Does engaging in a three-way with a current client and the client’s girlfriend count as having sex “with a current client” — a practice forbidden by state bar rules? [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Professor Ann Bartow wonders: Why call it “law porn”? [Feminist Law Professors via Blawg Review]
* Paralegal of the Day? [TPM Muckraker]
* A way for that Cleary Gottlieb Glamour editor to earn some extra cash on the side? [City Room]
* “Law school grads: burnt by the job search process? A journalist wants to hear about it.” [JD Underground]
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 defamation lawsuit 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.
Professor Ann Althouse is dubious:
It’s hard not to be distracted by Imus’s large pile of money. Would it kill him to share? But I’d hate to think one could win defamation suits on a theory like this.
David Nieporent concurs:
Imus’s comments might have been nasty and uncalled for, but calling someone a ‘nappy headed ho’ is not defamatory unless it is interpreted as an actual accusation that the person is a prostitute.
Fine, the claim based on “ho” may be a no-go. But what about the allegation of nappy-headedness? As one commenter notes: “[A]ll of the women on the Rutgers team had straightened hair.”
Good point. And to some people — e.g., Glamour editors — alleging that someone has nappy hair is defamatory per se.
Don Imus Sued by Rutgers Basketball Player [ABC News]
Rutgers basketball player sues Imus [AP via MSNBC]
“Don Imus referred to my client as an unchaste woman. That was and is a lie.” [Althouse]
Imus in the Courtroom, Update [Overlawyered]
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.
So whose bright idea was it to bring in the Glamour editor anyway?
If you’re at Cleary Gottlieb and have more details on this episode, please email us. Thanks.
‘Glamour’ Editor To Lady Lawyers: Being Black Is Kinda A Corporate “Don’t” [Jezebel]
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.
In a post from last week, we solicited your tips about two major players in the Charney v. S&C saga:
(1) litigation partner Gandolfo “Vince” DiBlasi, who allegedly intimidated Aaron Charney at a settlement meeting; and
(2) M&A partner Stephen Kotran, cited by Aaron Charney as an ally of his at the firm.
The post generated lots of comments, plus a few reader emails. We collect the highlights after the jump.
Our reader poll on Janet Reno’s hair is now closed. Here’s how you voted:
We were impressed by the strength of the sentiments you expressed on the subject of Janet Reno’s hair. Here’s the view of “Team Janet With a Part”:
Are you people blind??? Why is “Janet With a Part” not winning this in a landslide? It’s simple, elegant, and unfussy. The perm is messy-looking. The bangs are “trying too hard.” Go Janet With a Part!
Here’s a rebuttal from a partisan of the bangs:
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).
Finally, some wise advice from a third:
None of the above…she should go with a nice medium length, long bangs (cheekbone level) and tapered to her neck…It would soften her forehead and that prominent jaw.
Our take: Thank you for not voting for “Janet With a Perm.”
Earlier: Evolving Standards of Decency… in Janet Reno’s Hairstyles?