Remember when state attorneys general used to band together and take down tobacco companies? The diversified power of state actors accomplished what the centralized federal government — so easily influenced by corporate lobbyists — never could. Ascendant state power short-circuited Washington’s carefully cultivated lobbying relationship. Whether working in conjunction or individually (like in New York, where Eliot Spitzer routinely embarrassed the Feds by taking the time to actually do their jobs), state AG offices became the most important public watchdogs in the country, capable of dealing significant blows to corporate bad actors much faster than any legislature.
But the powers-that-be don’t stay on the mat for long. Biglaw lobbyists have since taken the lead in targeting AGs and zealously advocating for their clients by hobnobbing with top cops at lavish functions and political fundraising events….
You are obliged to see the pictures to come to a conclusion. You cannot simply ignore what it is that these images depict.
– Suzanne Cote, independent counsel to the Canadian Judicial Council commission investigating Justice Lori Douglas, urging the commission members to view the nude photos of Justice Douglas [link is safe for work; just detailed descriptions of the images, not actual pictures]. Douglas’s lawyer, Sheila Block, objects to further viewing of the photographs and wants them destroyed.
We can argue the finer points of what is and is not sexual harassment around here, but there’s some behavior that we can all agree on. Like begging an employee for sex 78 times in an hour, or on average once every 46 seconds. Frankly, you’ve got to credit his ability to make the most of a billable hour.
We wrote about this earlier this year, when he was first slapped with a $100,000 fine and eight-month suspension for not only badgering the woman for sex, but also secretly filming her around the office. On those facts alone, it seemed like he might have deserved a longer timeout.
Now an appeals panel has reduced his suspension to a mere two months and it turns out his surreptitious recordings actually helped him….
The 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.
Eugene 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….
* Before They Were Famous: Newly released documents reveal a pre-SCOTUS Justice Kagan writing memos admitting that she “really f**ked up” and “God, do I feel like an idiot.” At least she understood how she made her 1L class feel when she was a professor. [Josh Blackman's Blog]
* How do we know that driverless cars are going to be wonderful for human society? Because they will be absolutely horrible for lawyers and insurers. [Legal Funding Central]
* This guy explains what everyone should understand before going to law school by walking through his decision to not to go to law school despite gaining admission to some T14 heavies. He gives ATL a shout. We hear you buddy, congratulations on your decision. [Chronicle Vitae]
* A Delaware attorney sued for allegedly aiding and abetting a fraudulent emerald salvage operation. Kind of “X marks the disbarment.” [Delaware Online]
One thing I remember best from law school. Professor Ron Delisle said, “Justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done.” It’s a bit of an unwieldy sentence, but it encompasses some of the most important concepts in a free society.
Like rule of law. No one is above the law.
Like transparency and independence within our justice system. Our trials are, for the most part, held in open court. We have appellate courts to review the work of judges below them. The Prime Minister can’t tell even the lowest judge how to rule on a case.
Like freedom of the press, which provides oversight and an independent voice to challenge those in power who abuse the system.
The system isn’t perfect, but it works pretty darn well most of the time.
Let me ask, how does a country built around those lofty concepts allow lawyers to regulate lawyers?
As part of a nationwide tour, Above the Law is coming to the great city of Chicago.
Join preeminent law firm management consultant Bruce MacEwen, Katten Muchin Chicago managing partner Gil Sofer, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. assistant general counsel Jason Shaffer for a panel discussion (sponsored by Pangea3) on the evolutionary and market forces bearing down on the law firm business model. Come on by Thursday, November 20, at 6 p.m., for thought-provoking discussion, food, drink, and networking.
Space is limited and there will be no on-site registration, so please RSVP
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.