Above the Law

Recent Headlines from Above the Law

 

Righteous-IndignationThe public learned this week that the Judicial Council of the D.C. Circuit dismissed a complaint of judicial misconduct against Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.   The order followed a year-long investigation by Special Counsel Jeffrey Bellin.  The roughly 70-page Report of the Special Committee appears nonpartisan, thorough, and fair.

The complaint stemmed from a lecture Judge Jones gave to the University of Pennsylvania Federalist Society chapter in February 2013.  Among the complainants’ claims was that, during her lecture, Judge Jones suggested she believed that members of certain races were predisposed to commit violent crimes.  With no recording of the event, witnesses disagreed about exactly what she said.  Was she talking about genetic determinism?  Or was she only referring to the objective fact that, for whatever reason, our nation’s prisoners are disproportionately black and Latino?  The subsequent independent investigation concluded that “whatever she said initially, it is clear that Judge Jones used the question-and-answer period to clarify that she did not adhere to such views,” rejecting the complaint’s version of her speech. The D.C. Circuit cleared her of all of the charges of misconduct, including this one.

When the complaint was first filed, I defended Judge Jones. Defending her was relatively easy….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Edith Jones Helped Prove Eric Holder Right: Lessons I Learned About Race After Defending A Judge Accused Of Racism”

Ebola* Congratulations (and good luck) to our nation’s new ebola czar — who happens to be a high-profile lawyer. [ATL Redline]

* An update on the Charleston Law/InfiLaw drama. [Post and Courier]

* If they had only taken the pink underwear off the patient before he woke up, he wouldn’t have his panties in a bunch. [Huffington Post]

* Getting people to read law review articles is hard enough; why put them behind a wall? [TaxProf Blog]

* It’s funny that Floridian lawyers are having such a bad reaction to Bad Judge, since the show could actually be reality TV down there. [Daily Business Review (sub. req.)]

* Career advice: if you aspire to the federal judiciary, try to avoid writing blog posts about biting girls in the butt. [Missouri Lawyers Weekly (sub. req.)]

* Congrats to lawyer Lisa Smith on winning the Pitch Week book competition at the When Words Count Retreat! [Street Insider]

stat image

How much for a “disease domain”?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Stat Of The Week: This Is Exactly Why We Have Intellectual Property Rights”

4 Times Square

4 Times Square

Today’s Lawyerly Lairs column is about a Skadden associate’s search for a home (other than 4 Times Square, where he surely spends most of his waking hours). The firm requires sacrifices of its lawyers, but it also offers rich rewards, including generous pay and ample prestige. There’s a reason that Skadden is a top 10 firm in our new law firm rankings.

Working at Skadden gives you the ability to buy a Manhattan apartment while you’re still in your early 30s. The home we’re about to view is not a lavish lawyerly lair, but it’s a perfectly respectable starter apartment.

Let’s have a peek, shall we?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: A Skadden Associate’s Housing Hunt”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts from the ATL Career Center’s team of expert contributors. Today, Ariel Salzer offers advice to overwhelmed law students.

When I tell students that I took almost every Saturday off during my first semester of law school and still did well, their incredulity is palpable. It’s not because this is some huge, amazing accomplishment on my part, because it’s not. It’s one day off! I think it’s because, as law students, we are indoctrinated to believe that we need to study all the time. A minute off is a minute wasted. It’s one more opportunity for our classmates to lunge ahead in the great race.

In other grad school programs, doing something like taking a day off each week (gasp!) would not be considered teetering on the brink of insanity. For some reason, though, the minute we get those crisp acceptance letters, buy those books that cost half our rent money, and buckle down to get As at all costs, our common sense tends to go out the window.

Continue reading at the ATL Career Center…

Helen Hulick (photo credit: Andrew H. Arnott)

Helen Hulick (photo credit: Andrew H. Arnott)

You tell the judge I will stand on my rights. If he orders me to change into a dress I won’t do it. I like slacks. They’re comfortable…. I’ll come back in slacks and if he puts me in jail I hope it will help to free women forever of anti-slackism.

– Helen Hulick, a teacher who was set to testify at a trial in 1938, in response to being ordered by Judge Arthur Guerin to wear a dress, rather than pants, so as not to “hinder the administration of justice.”

Hulick returned to court for her next appearance wearing pants, and Judge Guerin held her in contempt, sentencing her to five days in jail. Hulick’s favorite pair of slacks were taken from her while she was in jail, but her contempt charge was later overturned by an appellate court.

'Why is your keyboard so sticky, Your Honor?'

‘Why is your keyboard so sticky, Your Honor?’

Earlier this month, news of the Pennsylvania “porngate” scandal spread like wildfire. Hundreds of pornographic and racy emails were exchanged between government employees and officials from 2008 to 2012, and when the public found out that a state supreme court justice was involved, the situation grew even stickier.

When Seamus McCaffery, the judge in question, was initially fingered in the investigation, he wasn’t interested in speaking to the media. “Not only do I not have any comment,” he said, “but since when does the news media pry into personal emails?” When a judge’s personal emails to prosecutors and judges include graphic pictures and videos of salacious sex acts, everyone wants a peek.

Needless to say, Chief Justice Ron Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is pissed, and he’s taken to the presses to condemn his colleague — not only because he didn’t get to play in McCaffery’s sexy reindeer games, but because McCaffery’s actions have cast a “cloud over all of the courts.”

In response to Castille’s comments on the situation, McCaffery has issued a response. He may be sorry about the porn, but he’s definitely not sorry that he’s calling out Castille on his judicial douchebaggery…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judges Are At Each Other’s Throats Over ‘Porngate’ Scandal”

how to get away with murder RFYou guys, I think I have a problem. I think I am starting to like “How To Get Away With Murder.” Yeah, I know what I’ve said about the show in the past. And it’s still all true. Truth time: a basic girl who once dated a law student for all of a week probably has a better grasp of what law school is actually like than the writers of this show. It is kind of like eating a fluffernutter sandwich, it’s sticky and too sweet and is only barely classified as a food stuff but, man is it tasty. Who cares that your teeth will ache from the sweetness and your stomach will protest for hours after it’s finished? It is good going down. So is HTGAWM. It’s outrageous and unrealistic but I have fun screaming at the TV and scornfully glaring at anyone who dares to interrupt.

So what crazy hijinks are the gang getting into this week, what moment had me saying, “that is exactly what law school is like,” and what are the final nine words of the episode ABC kept teasing all week?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Dose Of Reality In Week Four Of ‘How To Get Away With Murder’”

Blogging TypewriterEugene Volokh points our attention to yet another bizarre copyright case, Denison v. Larkin, in which lawyer Joanne Denison argued that the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) infringed on her copyrights by using portions of her own blog as evidence against her during a disciplinary proceeding.

Not surprisingly, the court soundly rejected this particular interpretation of copyright law….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer Says It’s Copyright Infringement To Use Her Own Blog Posts Against Her In Disciplinary Proceedings”

Africa LF* “There’s too much at stake—too much money and interest.” Biglaw firms in West Africa are surviving, nay, thriving, despite the fact that the area is afflicted by the terrors of Ebola. [Am Law Daily]

* “[T]ake a step back, to pause to consider, I hope, a change of course.” The head of the FBI is pissed about cell encryption, and he wants tech companies to cut it out with this privacy stuff. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has a new chief financial officer. At Pittsburgh’s third-largest firm, the former litigation practice director could really make a name for himself. [Pittsburgh Business Times]

* Former employees — even lawyers — of the recently failed Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie are filing suit, seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance pay. Good luck with that, eh? [Globe and Mail]

* According to NY AG Eric Schneiderman, 72% of Airbnb rental sites in New York City are operating illegally. This is going to be problematic for those who enjoy the services of faux hotels. [New York Times]

  • Fall 2013 OCI Schedule

    from the firm

    8/5: University of California, Berkeley
    8/14: Washington University
    8/16: Harvard Law School
    8/16: University of Michigan
    8/19: John Marshall
    8/20: University of Colorado, Boulder
    8/22: Northwestern University
    8/23: Loyola University
    8/29: University of Chicago
    9/3: University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
    9/3: IIT Chicago-Kent
    9/10: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

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