Lawyer of the Day

Midwesterners may represent the most wholesome portion of our population, but their lawyerly brethren have allowed their libidos to get the better of them.

Take Kenneth Kratz, the sexting district attorney from Wisconsin who once notably told one of his victims, “You may be the tall, young, hot nymph, but I am the prize!” Another fine example is Reema Bajaj, a young solo practitioner in Illinois who pleaded guilty to engaging in prostitution (and was also accused of trading sex for office supplies).

Now we’re hearing about a public defender who was allegedly unable to keep it in his pants. Coles County Public Defender Lonnie Lutz held his position for 33 years before retiring in June. In the final years of his service as PD, he allegedly took advantage of the attorney-client relationship by repeatedly sexually harassing and fondling his female clients, but not all of them — “only the special ones.” The sweet nothings Lutz allegedly whispered to his “special” clients are quite… graphic in nature.

Is Lonnie Lutz just a horny old man? Let’s find out…

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Victoria Zdrok

Law school tuition has skyrocketed in recent years, and most people wind up financing their legal education by taking out up to six figures in loans to cover the cost of attendance. But because cuddling up at night next to mountains of debt isn’t a pleasant way to live, some people have found more creative ways to pay their way.

Whether it’s by having very rich and generous parents, keeping a day job and going to law school at night, becoming a sugar baby, or working a part-time job between classes, there are many ways to survive without having to fully rely upon student loans.

If those solutions don’t float your boat, you can just take off your clothes and become a Playboy pin-up….

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The pages of Above the Law are littered with lawyers who have tried to use their status as legal eagles to get out of brushes with law enforcement. Not their legal knowledge — smart lawyers who have run-ins with the law keep their mouths shut, don’t blow, and save their arguments for judges instead of arresting officers. But smart attorneys make for boring stories.

It’s the people who think that just being a lawyer will keep them out of jail who bring the real fun. Once a cop gets a look at your Cravath prestige points (or the local equivalent), he’ll just look the other way and allow you to stumble to your car.

Think of folks like the young associate who allegedly told a police officer, “You are going to… die. I’m a lawyer. You can Google me.” Or the future prosecutor who allegedly said, “I start with the Linn County Prosecutor’s Office next Tuesday. I want you to arrest me for not signing this.” Or the prominent lawyer who allegedly said, “You can’t arrest me. I represent Seattle and King County. You are making a mistake.”

Well, today we have another classy Seattle legal lady. But this one allegedly did her talking not just with her mouth, but with her anus…

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There are lawyers who are eager to advocate for their clients, and then there are lawyers who are so overzealously eager to advocate for their clients that they’re willing to do just about anything to win a case. Some of those that fall into the latter group are a**holes, but others are just plain awesome.

The guy we’re writing about today is a rock star of epic proportions. Who the hell leaves a Ferrari to be destroyed in quickly rising floodwaters to get a hearing?

A guy who shrugs it off and says he’ll get another one…

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Stanley M. Chesley

People have strong opinions about Stan Chesley, the high-profile, hugely successful plaintiffs’ lawyer — or former plaintiffs’ lawyer, since he recently got disbarred in Kentucky and gave up his law license in Ohio (in a retirement application that was notarized by his wife, federal judge Susan Dlott). Here are some choice comments about Chesley, nicknamed the “Prince of Torts” and “Master of Disaster”:

  • “[A]n opportunist and just a nasty son of a bitch.”
  • “[W]hat [Chesley] does is evil.”
  • “The ultimate grotesque, exaggerated perversion of what it means to be a lawyer.”
  • “He has balls as big as brass bells.”

And those bells are still ringing. Stan Chesley might not be back in the courtroom, but he’s back in the headlines in Ohio….

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Here at Above the Law, we write about career alternatives for attorneys from time to time, but it’s been a while since we last brought our readers an exciting story about extracurricular activities for attorneys. That being the case, here’s a little fun fact for you: many of the female members of this fine profession have, at one point or another in their lives, been on cheerleading squads.

Whether you’re a law student or a Supreme Court justice (yes, RBG once shook her pom-poms on the field), moonlighting as a cheerleader has its perks. What better way to learn how to BE AGGRESSIVE! B-E AGGRESSIVE! B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E! in the courtroom?

Today’s legal cheerleader has an impressive rack résumé: she used to work in Biglaw, she’s now working as an ADA, and most importantly, she moonlights as a cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons. Wouldn’t you like to have a lovely litigatrix like her on your side?

Let’s take a look at her cheerleading bio and, because this post would be WWOP, some photos of this gorgeous glamazon….

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Stanley M. Chesley

Has the “master of disaster” been mastered by disaster? Has a class-action king been stripped of his crown?

It would seem so. One of the nation’s most famous and successful plaintiffs’ lawyers, Stanley M. Chesley, just got disbarred.

Cue the schadenfreude. We heard about the news from numerous tipsters. “Time to downgrade your Maybach and jet,” gloated one.

What makes it even better, of course, is that Stan Chesley is married to a federal judge, the Honorable Susan J. Dlott (S.D. Ohio). What’s that old saying about Caesar’s wife?

So what got this high-flying class-action lawyer grounded? Hint: it’s all about the benjamins….

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There is a woman out there who can literally say, “I got screwed by my attorney, and he charged me for it.”

That’s right, in an amazing cacophony of bad behavior, today we have a story about a lawyer who didn’t just have an inappropriate relationship with his client, he also billed her for the time they spent having illicit relations.

Bet you none of these would-be bros have pulled that off….

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So it’s December 21, 2012, otherwise know as the day that the world is supposed to end, at least according to the Mayan calendar. Bars were playing that R.E.M. song on repeat last night, and people (myself included, since it’s my birthday, bitches!) were drinking like there was going to be no tomorrow. But, as it turns out, it’s today, so we all got that “end of the world” hangover for nothing. It sure was fun, though, so it was definitely worth it.

Anyway, I’m more than willing to bet that all of those doomsday preppers are pretty pissed off right about now. But in reality, they probably don’t even know that everything’s still the same because they’re down in their underground bunkers snacking on Spam and sardines, drinking powdered milk, and gently stroking their precious AK-47s while murmuring Bible passages to themselves like crazy people.

And as luck would have it, one of those end of days loons might be a lawyer….

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Compassion can be found in the halls of Biglaw.

Despite our occasional curmudgeonly moments, we are generally happy people here at Above the Law, and we love happy stories. Our pages are full of feel-good tales (even if negativity bias causes readers to remember the sad or angry stories more than the happy ones).

Just in the past few months, for example, we’ve written about a law student who rescued an elderly woman from an oncoming train, a prosecutor who came to the aid of hate-crime victims, a law clerk who won a beauty contest, lawyers who have left the law to find success in other fields…. we could go on.

One of my favorite happy stories from our archives involved a partner at Haynes and Boone, Matthew Deffebach, who donated a kidney to the son of a HayBoo staffer. That’s even more noble than giving someone the shirt off your back.

Today’s story might not measure up to that high standard, but it’s another great example of a partner with compassion….

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