Joe Biden

Arent Fox logo.JPGArent Foxrecently infamous for telling previously deferred associates to go away, permanently — will be under new management. Here’s the opening of the Arent Fox press release:

Arent Fox LLP today announced that the firm’s Executive Committee has unanimously approved the appointment of Mark M. Katz as chairman of the firm. He succeeds Marc L. Fleischaker, who stepped down after 14 years in that post. Mr. Katz’s appointment was effective March 1.

Let’s hope that Mr. Katz leads Arent Fox to better results in 2010 than the firm enjoyed in 2009.
In the Washington Post, Katz immediately sets about the hard, managing partner work of massaging the past.

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Last Thursday, we posted a photo of VP Joe Biden enjoying some good ol’ blueberry pie at his alma mater, Syracuse University College of Law. It was up to you to come up with a caption for the picture, and now it’s time to choose the best one. Here’s the photo once again:
Joe Biden Joseph Biden blueberry pie.jpg
After the jump, check out the finalists.

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biden smiles like he's up to something.JPGTime for an Eyes of the Law celebrity sighting. On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden visited Syracuse University. From the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Vice President Joe Biden talked with Syracuse students, teachers and parents Wednesday about his mission to strengthen the middle class.

Then, he rode in a limousine to a ballroom where people had paid $250 to have lunch and $1,000 to pose for a picture with him. After that, he rode the limousine a few more blocks to mingle with more people who had paid thousands of dollars to spend private time with him.

But staff members at Syracuse Law, the VP’s alma mater, got to meet with him for free. All it took was some homemade blueberry pie.
A picture of Vice President Biden getting his pie on, plus a caption contest, after the jump.

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funny money.jpg

* The Madoff case will garner lawyers lots of money in fees. “This is a financial 9/11 for our clients” said a Proskauer Rose litigation partner, licking his lips. [Bloomberg.com]

* Meanwhile, the U.S. is challenging the New York Judge’s decision to keep Madoff free on bail. [Bloomberg.com]

* Legislators in Maine are introducing a bill that would recognize same-sex marriage. [The Boston Globe]

* Obama and Biden will visit the Supreme Court this afternoon to meet with the Justices and get a tour. The elephant in the chambers: Obama and Biden voted against Roberts’ confirmation. [The Washington Post]

* Al Franken asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to let him get to the Senate without waiting for the resolution of opponent Norm Coleman’s legal challenge. His lawyers argue that Senator’s will need Franken for comic relief in the midst of our trying times (just kidding). [The Associated Press]

* Dozens of suspected terrorists released from Guantanamo have returned to terrorism says the Pentagon (gulp). [CNN]

The Vice Presidential debate just ended, and there was a lot more “law” than one might have expected.

The best legal sparks flew over the Constitutional powers of the office of Vice President. Palin came out of the gate first when asked about her role as Vice President:

I’m thankful the Constitution would give a bit more authority to the Vice President if that Vice President chose to exert it in working with the Senate.

Biden said that he would be the “point person” for Obama’s legislative agenda with Congress.

But then both candidates were asked if they agreed with Dick Cheney’s contention that the Vice President was not solely governed under Article I. Palin said:

The Founding Fathers were very wise there in allowing to the Constitution much flexibility to the office of the Vice President … so I do agree with him.

Biden said:

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American History … Article I defines the role of Vice President.

That sounds like a fairly large legal distinction.

Later, Biden returned to the Supreme Court in the context of things he has changed his mind on over the course of his career. When speaking about his criteria for confirming justices, Biden said:

It took me five years to realize that the ideology makes a huge difference … It matter what your judicial philosophy is and the American people deserve to know it.

He then went on to trumpet his objections to Robert Bork.

So, we know at least one VP candidate favors litmus tests. Palin acknowledged no moral issues which she has ever had to compromise on.

But one issue that will be really fun to some of the lawyers who have enough to work to do to still be on the job at this late hour, was Biden’s views on the bankruptcy courts. Biden wants to allow bankruptcy judges to not only re-adjust interest rates, “but also the principal that you owe.”

Palin said that she supported that as well. But she then went back to an unasked question about energy.

What did you guys think? We think that this VP power thing will be the dominant legal story coming out of tonight.

Earlier this week we reported on Sarah Palin’s apparent inability to name more than one important SCOTUS case.

Some commenters felt that we should reserve judgment on Palin’s judicial knowledge until we had “confirmation” about those opinions. Some people also questioned what her VP opponent, Joe Biden, might say under similar circumstances.

Well, now we have video:

Some key excerpts for those who cannot play the video after the jump.

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biden smiles like he's up to something.JPGJoe Biden released his tax returns, putting an end to the rumor that he simply talks the IRS through his financial dealings during a 22 hour phone call.
Paul Caron at TaxProf Blog points out a curious oversight during the senator’s 35-year career of changing to become more like a Washington insider (isn’t that the line?):

I wonder, though, if the move might backfire because the returns show that the Bidens have been amazingly tight-fisted when it comes to their charitable giving. Despite income ranging from $210,432 – $321,379 over the ten-year period, the Bidens have given only $120 – $995 per year to charity, which amounts to 0.06% – 0.31% of their income:

Caron, like most tax professors, is quite a bit better than I am at analyzing tax returns for logical inconsistencies. But what jumps off the page to me is that over a ten year period Joe Biden has barely been able to bank what senior Biglaw associates pull down.
Isn’t the state of Delaware essentially one giant bank? How is that Biden couldn’t cross the $300K barrier until 2005? And what in God’s name happened to him in 2006, when his AGI went down by almost $73,000?
We all know who I’m in the tank for. But seriously, if anything is going to backfire, doesn’t it have to be that this guy says he can help lead the economy out of a recession yet can’t seem to manage his own house much better than a law school professor?
Maybe I’m reading this the wrong way. Maybe Biden is massively wealthy but also savvy enough to hide most of his earnings from the federal government. But that reading seems like it would also be problematic for a guy who will, you know, raise taxes.
Either way, something is not entirely right with those numbers.
Biden Releases 10 Years of Tax Returns [TaxProf Blog]

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