Legal Ethics

  • 'Who's bad? OMM!'

    1st Circuit, Anthony Kennedy, Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, Federal Circuit, Federal Judges, Gay, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Michael Jackson, Morning Docket, Office of Legal Counsel, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Sex, Small Law Firms, Supreme Court, Trials, U.S. Attorneys Offices

    Morning Docket: 09.25.13

    * U. Penn. Law doesn’t need to toot its own horn about kicking off its visiting jurist program with a Supreme Court justice — we’ll do it on the school’s behalf: toot f-ing toot for Justice Kennedy. [National Law Journal]

    * President Obama nominated former OLC attorney and current HLS professor David Barron for a First Circuit vacancy, and a Western New England alum for a district court judgeship. Congrats! [Boston Globe]

    * The Senate confirmed Todd Hughes for a seat on the Federal Circuit without any opposition. This is what progress looks like: Hughes will be the first openly gay federal appellate judge in U.S. history. [BuzzFeed]

    * Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is pretty pissed that federal budget issues are allowing his office to get outgunned by wealthy financial firms. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * “It seems a very coordinated effort of smugness.” As we reported previously, lawyers from the small firm representing Michael Jackson’s family think O’Melveny & Myers is full of d-bags. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Sorry, but you can’t bang your clients. Well, that’s not completely true. You can bang your clients, but you have to bang them before there’s a legal relationship to keep banging them ethically. [Daily Report]

    5 Comments / / Sep 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM
  • metal Whistle

    Continuing Legal Education / CLE, Events, Legal Ethics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Thomas Goldstein

    Whistleblowers And Treasonous Heroes

    Some historical perspective on whistleblowers, traitors, and the rule of law.

    / Sep 24, 2013 at 4:32 PM
  • 404 error

    Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, Blackberry-Crackberry, Cars, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Paul Bergrin, Prisons, SCOTUS, Securities Law, Supreme Court, Technology

    Morning Docket: 09.24.13

    * A study revealed that almost half of all links in online Supreme Court opinions are dead, but at least internet pranksters like this guy have been given a chance in the spotlight. [New York Times]

    * CHECK YOU [BLACKBERRIES] OFTEN, because firms like Shearman & Sterling, McCarthy Tétrault, Skadden Arps, and Torys will advise on the ancient technology’s private sale. [Am Law Daily]

    * We hope this IPO isn’t imported from Detroit. Chrysler filed a prospectus with the SEC yesterday with the help of attorneys from Sullivan & Cromwell and Cravath. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Paul Bergrin, more commonly known as the “Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey,” was handed a life sentence yesterday. At least he’ll have street cred with his gen pop friends. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * If you’re still thinking of applying to law school now, you must be the kind of person who needs advice on how to go to college and fill out applications, all at the same time. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    0 Comments / / Sep 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM
  • Facebook_like_thumb

    Free Speech, Guns / Firearms, iPhone, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Media and Journalism, New Jersey, Non-Sequiturs, Technology

    Non-Sequiturs: 09.19.13

    Ed. note: Above the Law will be signing off early to begin the ATL/Kaplan Bar Crawl Review. Follow along on social media (Twitter and Facebook) or on the liveblog post after NS, or better yet, come out and join us!

    * A Facebook “Like” is protected by the First Amendment. ATL Likes this. [Atlantic]

    * You can’t get a Frappuccino to go with your Kalashnikov any more. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * The stand-up comic judge has been shut down by the New Jersey Supreme Court in a 7-0 decision. Everyone’s a critic. [ABA Journal]

    * An interview with Alan Page of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and formerly a Defensive Tackle for the Minnesota Vikings. Page’s hometown has a bust of him on display. Not so impressive until you realize he’s from Canton, Ohio.[Coverage Opinions]

    * If you’re looking for some more legal content related to International Talk Like a Pirate Day, check out Buried Treasure: Finders, Keepers, and the Law. [ABA]

    * A list of everything you should be doing with your time instead of getting a law degree. [Yahoo!]

    * Welcome Chris Geidner as the new legal editor of BuzzFeed. In addition to some great content, like his amazing profile of Edie Windsor (first link), stay tuned for “25 Ways Justice Alito Is Like This Cat.” [New York Observer]

    * If you’ve upgraded your iPhone to iOS 7, you’re probably annoyed right now. Here are some tips to help preserve your battery life. We can do nothing about fixing how ungodly ugly it is. [Tuaw]

    0 Comments / / Sep 19, 2013 at 4:26 PM
  • crazy-clock-copy-RF

    Attorney Misconduct, Billable Hours, Legal Ethics

    Lawyer Billed 29-Hour Day To The Same Client And Didn’t Expect to Get Caught

    A private lawyer working as a court-appointed attorney racked up massive fees by billing impossible hours.

    46 Comments / / Sep 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM
  • Johnny_Manziel_in_Kyle_Field

    Canada, Football, Legal Ethics, Non-Sequiturs, Rape, Tax Law

    Non-Sequiturs: 09.16.13

    * Johnny Football failed to defeat Alabama on Saturday (though he was gentlemanly enough to keep Bama from covering the spread), but now he has a tougher foe in the IRS. [TaxProf Blog]

    * Don’t be that guy who takes naked pictures of your girlfriend. And definitely don’t be that guy who takes naked pictures of his 16-year-old girlfriend while married to the girl’s older sister. In other words, don’t be this lawyer. [Legal Profession Blog]

    * Are you an attorney on LinkedIn? Have people been endorsing your legal skills? Congratulations, you’re probably violating an ethical obligation! [IT-Lex]

    * Another round-up of people with law degrees who decided to be famous for something other than lawyering. When the list kicks off with Geraldo Rivera and Jerry Springer, you know you’re in for a classy list. [Millington Star]

    * One year later, a look at how the Steubenville rape case has affected the town. [Jezebel]

    * The world of litigation finance suffers some setbacks as it turns out lawsuits might be the only investment less stable than the Twitter IPO. [Wall Street Journal]

    * Time for some more legally themed poetry! This time, let’s get all Edgar Allan Poe up in here. [Poetic Justice]

    * Following up on our event in Toronto last week, Bruce MacEwen recapped the evening’s discussion here. [Adam Smith, Esq.]

    4 Comments / / Sep 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM
  • This 'real' housewife needs a real lawyer.

    Attorney Misconduct, D.C. Circuit, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, New Jersey, Old People, Perverts, Reality TV, SCOTUS, Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 09.12.13

    * The debt “vultures” are still circling Argentina’s carcass, but later this month, the justices of the Supreme Court will convene to decide whether or not they’ll take up the country’s bond case. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Judge Robert Wilkins managed to sail through his D.C. Circuit confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee with great ease, but let’s see what happens when he gets to the full Senate. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * An in-house attorney in Pennsylvania was suspended from the practice of law for six months because he attached a camera to his shoe to secretly film up women’s skirts. What a classy dude. [Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.)]

    * Massive open online courses are trending in the world of higher education, and some law schools — e.g., Harvard and Northwestern — decided to get on the bandwagon while the getting’s good. [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * “I’m prepared to drop everything and go to law school,” says the man appealing his age discrimination suit against Baylor Law School because his GPA predates grade inflation. [Texas Lawyer (sub. req.)]

    * The man who represented cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey was arrested for the unauthorized practice of law. We bet these “reality” TV stars wish they had a real lawyer. [Bergen Record]

    3 Comments / / Sep 12, 2013 at 9:17 AM
  • wade-mccree-RF

  • polina-polonsky RF

  • mini graduation cap on money

    2nd Circuit, Attorney Misconduct, Crime, Deaths, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Money, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Student Loans, Supreme Court, William and Mary School of Law

    Morning Docket: 09.05.13

    * “The situation is an absolute mess.” Last summer’s SCOTUS decision on mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders has created a “legal limbo” for inmates. We hope they find suitable dance partners. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * Even after you retire, you apparently still have to deal with the Cebullsh*t from your life on the bench. Former Chief District Judge Richard Cebull’s misconduct review is likely heading to Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. [Great Falls Tribune]

    * Woe unto them that call unpaid work fair: the Second Circuit quickly granted Fox Searchlight an appeal in the Black Swan unpaid intern case in the hope of offering some “much-needed guidance.” [Deadline]

    * Which private law schools offer students the best value? Some unlikely contenders are named on this list, and some T14 schools even make appearances. We’ll have more on this later today. [National Jurist]

    * GW wasn’t the only school that grew the size of its entering class (although it was the largest increase). William & Mary and Missouri saw big gains, too. Yay, more lawyers! [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * If you’re considering applying to law school, think about schools that have lowered their standards and are offering scholarship money like candy. Otherwise, here are some helpful hints. [Huffington Post]

    * Henry Putzel Jr., former reporter of decisions at the Supreme Court, RIP. [Washington Post]

    6 Comments / / Sep 5, 2013 at 9:02 AM
  • revenge is sweet

    Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, Lawyer of the Day, Legal Ethics, Litigators, Small Law Firms

    DLA Piper’s Revenge

    A thorn in the side of DLA Piper now finds himself in a prickly situation.

    5 Comments / / Aug 28, 2013 at 4:02 PM
  • cookie housewife RF

    Attorney Misconduct, Legal Ethics, Quote of the Day, Sex, Sex Scandals

    Desperate Housewife Not Desperate Enough To Sleep With Attorney

    That’s one alternative fee arrangement she just wasn’t going to accept.

    10 Comments / / Aug 28, 2013 at 2:40 PM
  • The eyes of the law in Idaho.

    Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, California, Celebrities, Chadbourne & Parke, General Counsel, Holland & Knight, International Law, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Murder, Partner Issues, State Judges, Trials, Women's Issues

    Morning Docket: 08.27.13

    * If Biglaw firms wants to get back into a financial sweet spot like in their days of yore, they had better get in on these billion-dollar international arbitrations while the getting is good. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Women lawyers, please take note: your future depends on it. Apparently the key to making partner in Biglaw is to the get the backing of general counsel at big money corporate clients as a gender. [Corporate Counsel]

    * ¡Ay dios mío! ¡Escándalo! Holland & Knight yoinked 10 attorneys, including three partners, right out from under Chadbourne & Parke’s nose to open up its new Mexico City office. [South Florida Business Journal]

    * “If we actually got another million dollars going forward to spend on something, is the highest and best use to produce attorneys?” Even in a flyover state like Idaho, the answer to that question is a resounding yes when it comes to law school expansion. [Spokesman-Review]

    * “A jurisprudence of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ does not properly safeguard [a defendant’s rights].” California Justice Goodwin Liu is raging against policies on race-based peremptory jury challenges. [The Recorder]

    * “I’ve been doing Paula Deen in a strongly metaphorical sense.” The magnate of marmalade’s case may be settled, but that doesn’t mean sanctions have been taken off the table. [Courthouse News Service]

    * The hefty price of killing? Following his acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is now asking Florida to pay for his legal expenses, to the tune of $200,000 – $300,000. [Orlando Sentinel]

    9 Comments / / Aug 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM
  • 220px-Eliot_Spitzer

    Abortion, Eliot Spitzer, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Non-Sequiturs, Prostitution, Technology, Trials

    Non-Sequiturs: 08.21.13

    * Should Eliot Spitzer have faced harsher sanctions for pounding hookers? It’s a pretty interesting question that we can all ponder for the next four years after Spitzer demolishes Scott Stringer in the Comptroller race. [Wise Law]

    * Homeowners were forced to pay hundreds in legal charges for lawsuits that don’t really exist. Stay classy foreclosure practices. [Overlawyered]

    * Blackacre: The Poem. [Poetic Justice]

    * The New York State Bar says lawyers have a reasonable expectation of privacy if they use Gmail. Google disagrees. [3 Geeks and a Law Blog]

    * A round-up of law school officials facing discipline for deceitful advertising. Take note deans. [TaxProf Blog]

    * A woman is indicted for taking her 13-year-old daughter to get an abortion. And it’s not even Alabama. [Wild About Trial]

    * Lawyer and witness repeatedly flip each other off during cross. Video after the jump…

    5 Comments / / Aug 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM
  • sexual harassment

    Attorney Misconduct, Bad Ideas, Breasts, Lawyer of the Day, Legal Ethics, Sex, Sex Scandals, Sexual Harassment

    Lawyer Allegedly Fondles His Clients, But ‘Only The Special Ones’

    This lawyer’s alleged actions should be entered into the attorney misconduct hall of shame.

    10 Comments / / Aug 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM
  • Chris Brown

    8th Circuit, Cars, Clerkships, Education / Schools, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Music, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns

    Non-Sequiturs: 08.16.13

    * Chris Brown might buy his lawyer Mark Geragos a Lamborghini. Brown is quite an automotive expert. The upswinging doors make it sooo much easier to throw a girlfriend out of. [TMZ]

    * Politics is all about figurative whoring, but a county board has dumped its lawyer for soliciting a crack whore. Actually, maybe politics is literal whoring. [Badger Pundit]

    * Gourmand’s Grater, the kitchen product created by a former lawyer we mentioned a couple weeks ago, has opened its crowdfunding campaign. [Indie GoGo]

    * Finnegan is ditching its Belgium office and moving to London. How can a firm turn its back on a city classy enough to have a urinating child as a symbol? [The Lawyer]

    *Access online today’s nude dancing decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. And you’re interested because this is the audience that went crazy for a post about a Playmate from 1994. [How Appealing]

    * Did you fall for the new U.S. News rankings? Silly readers. Paul Campos breaks down exactly how Rutgers-Newark gamed the system. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * In a New York state case, “[a] calendar call in the courthouse would require the clerk to shout out ‘JesusIsLord ChristIsKing’ or ‘Rejoice ChristIsKing.’” See, now THAT is a name that’s sacrilegious — not having a baby named Messiah. [NY Times]

    * Yet another reason students should steer clear of law school: most of them have no critical thinking or argumentation skills. [Huffington Post]

    * We’ve mentioned NYU Law grad and former S.D.N.Y. clerk Eli Northrup and his band Pants Velour before. Now they have a new jingle for Dial 7 car service. Check it out after the jump….

    4 Comments / / Aug 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM
  • Grumpy old judge ruling during a trial in his courtroom

    Legal Ethics, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns

    Judge Who Threatened Lawyers Reprimanded By Judicial Conduct Commission

    Threats, insults, and undermining the defenses of those in his courtroom were all in a days work for this judge.

    14 Comments / / Aug 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM
  • Martin Lipton?

    Attorney Misconduct, Clerkships, Deaths, Drugs, Education / Schools, Gay, Gay Marriage, Legal Ethics, Martin Lipton, Money, Morning Docket, Murder, Police, Privacy, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Shira Scheindlin, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks

    Morning Docket: 08.16.13

    * Former SCOTUS clerks earn more money for having clerked at the high court than SCOTUS justices earn for their yearly salaries. Consider how ridiculous that is. [The Economist]

    * As it turns out, the National Security Agency oversteps its legal authority thousands of times each year, but that’s only because it’s a “human-run agency.” [Washington Post]

    * Federal judges have come together to bemoan sequestration. “We do not have projects or programs to cut; we only have people.” Eep! Don’t give them any ideas. [National Law Journal]

    * Ready, set, lawgasm! The comment period for proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure opened up yesterday, and yet again, e-discovery rules are on the table for debate. [Forbes]

    * NYU professors want Martin Lipton to step down from the school’s board of trustees, but the Wachtell Lipton founding partner has had a honey badger-esque response — he don’t give a s**t. [Am Law Daily]

    * As was widely expected, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s army of New York City lawyers will soon take the first step to appeal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s stop-and-frisk ruling. [New York Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * A West Virginia judge was federally indicted for attempting to frame his secretary’s husband with drug charges. Did we mention that the secretary is the judge’s ex-lover? Quite dramatic. [Charleston Gazette]

    * Consortium: Not just for straight couples. A same-sex couple in Pennsylvania is trying to appeal the dismissal of a loss of consortium claim in light of the Supreme Court’s Windsor ruling. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * Christian Gerhartsreiter, aka poseur heir Clark Rockefeller, was just sentenced to 27 years to life in prison in a California cold-case murder. Maybe Lifetime will make a sequel to that god-awful movie. [Toronto Star]

    * Jacques Vergès, defender of notorious villains and perpetual devil’s advocate, RIP. [New York Times]

    16 Comments / / Aug 16, 2013 at 9:11 AM