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.
* Maybe you read this over Sunday brunch. I was going to make a crack about barely educated sorority girls in schools I’ve never heard of in states I’ve barely heard of, but then I thought of this, or this, or this. You know who should shed some light on this? Tyra. [New York Times]
* As culturally valuable as Britney’s hair? [Yahoo News]
* Man was “more than” friends with Man’s Best Friend. (You also don’t need to explicitly define “cheating” to know he was also cheating on his girlfriend… although that’s the least of her concerns.) [Bay City Times]
* Because we’re not all Wiki fans. [Conservapedia via Discourse.net]
Here’s an update on the Britney Spears-Kevin Federline legal drama. The emergency court hearing that was supposed to take today, requested by K-Fed to discuss custody of their two children, was canceled.
The reason, according to various media and tabloid reports, is that Spears is back in rehab. She has reportedly checked back into Promises rehabilitation center (which she had fled earlier in the day).
Earlier this week, Spears was photographed sporting a shaved head. Here’s some food for thought from a tipster:
So Britney Spears shaved her head. People think it’s because she’s crazy. But some have speculated it is because her ex-husband threatened to subpoena hair samples from her. And hair samples can show drug use going back years. Like backdated blood samples.
Is this comparable to obstruction of justice? Is it like shredding documents when you’re afraid you might be under investigation, or those documents might be subpoened? Is it a form of spoliation of evidence?
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
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