Chehalis, Washington — The tomcatting of the elected prosecutor in this conservative rural town has jeopardized as many as four cases brought by his office and prompted a complaint to the state bar association.
Liam Michael Golden, a Republican who ran unopposed for Lewis County prosecutor last November, is facing allegations that he did not properly disclose past sexual relationships with the mother of a victim in one case and the mother of a defendant in another. His office also charged someone with cyberstalking a woman Golden had slept with, though Golden recently turned that case over to a prosecutor from neighboring Thurston County.
Maybe Golden should start looking for dates in “neighboring Thurston county.” It’s tough being a lothario if you’re the top prosecutor in a small town.
“Mike’s got a lot of explaining to do,” said Mark Anders, chairman of the county Republican Party. “I have some heartburn about him having affairs here, there and yonder, just from a personal moral standpoint. But in this post-Clintonian era, your personal life is your personal life, and you have to ask, ‘Well, was it legal? Was it ethical?’”
In a pathetic end to the Mike Nifong saga, the disgraced North Carolina prosecutor who handled the Duke rape investigation has turned in his law license, noting that he never framed or displayed the document because it had been damaged “by a puppy in her chewing stage.”
Additionally, in an August 7 letter to the North Carolina State Bar, Nifong noted that the law license also contained a misspelling of his middle name (which is Byron).
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attorney Loring Spolter is accusing U.S. District Judge William Zloch of bias in two employment discrimination cases, citing his deep religious beliefs, and wants the judge removed from the cases.
In a 110-page motion for recusal filed last month, Spolter cited Zloch’s hiring of several law clerks from Ave Maria Law School, a donation to the Roman Catholic school and his attendance at several junkets for judges sponsored by conservative organizations.
A 110-page recusal motion? Maybe Judge Zloch will recuse to avoid having to read it.
One local lawyer came to the judge’s defense:
Arthur Schofield, a West Palm Beach, Fla., attorney, said Zloch exhibited no bias when he ruled for his client — a stripper — last year. She was suing her employer, Platinum Showgirls, for listing her as an independent contractor and refusing to pay her an hourly wage. Zloch ruled she was entitled to hourly pay.
Actually, this is a two-for-one. We can also get a Benchslap of the Day out of this item. From the Miami Herald:
Prominent attorney Hank Adorno — already under Florida Bar investigation for his role in Miami’s fire-fee scandal — on Wednesday was blasted by the Third District Court of Appeal for what the judges called his ”reprehensible conduct” in the now infamous case.
In a unanimous opinion that upheld a lower-court decision invalidating Miami’s $7 million fire-fee settlement with just seven people, the appeals court ripped into Adorno, who had represented the so-called ”lucky seven.” The Adorno & Yoss firm stood to earn a $2 million share of the $7 million payout, while some 80,000 taxpayers got nothing.
Huh? How did that almost come to pass?
More discussion, plus the benchslap-worthy language from the court’s opinion, after the jump.
To follow-up on the Fried Frank post about prompt submission of one’s time, a reader sent in this suggestion:
You should start a thread re: billing practices. For example:
1. Do you bill when you go to the bathroom?
2. Do you bill when a co-worker stops and talks to you for five minutes?
3. Have you seen partners bill for time not spent on actual client matters? (I know I have.)
4. Perhaps more commonly, have you noticed specific ways in which partners manage to lengthen conversations, hold extra internal meetings, or get people involved who really aren’t necessary to get the job done?
I guess we’re talking about a very subtle form of “padding” here. It would be interesting to know what associates have noticed — far more interesting than law firm policies about turning your timesheets in…..
Good idea. So here’s an open thread for discussion of billing practices. The billable hour has been widely criticized, even by Biglaw partners like Scott Turow (who, to be sure, probably earns more from his writing than his legal practice). But as long as the billable hour is still with us, questions like the ones raised above must be confronted.
The bathroom break question is an interesting one. When we worked at a firm, we would stop the clock when we went to the bathroom (which was often, due to heavy consumption of coffee and bottled water). But recently we were chatting with a friend in Biglaw who doesn’t, and she regarded the idea of stopping the clock when you go to the bathroom as laughable. The Billable Hour Must Die [ABA Journal] Bye Bye to the Billable Hour? [Concurring Opinions] Earlier: Fried Frank: Doing Hard Time
We apologize if we seem a little fixated on Atlanta these days. They seem to have a lot going on down there (even though it’s not all good).
From the Fulton County Daily Report (which we’ve been reading a lot lately, despite that obscure-sounding name):
Horace “Hod” Nalle has been general counsel for Merial, a Duluth-based worldwide animal health pharmaceutical producer and marketer, since the company’s inception in 1997. But Nalle hasn’t had an active legal license since 2000, when he asked the State Bar of Pennsylvania to move him to inactive status. This year, he drew attention to his situation when he applied to return to active status — a request that is pending in Pennsylvania.
Speaking to the Fulton County Daily Report, Nalle said he has done nothing wrong and that the problem — one agreed upon by legal ethics professors and the general counsel of Georgia’s bar — is how to distinguish between legal and business advice.
Excuse us for thinking that a general counsel provides legal advice — i.e., counsel.
[Nalle] said the only legal advice he may have given would have been for his own company. “There is no injury. There is no injured party,” Nalle said.
Well, okay, assuming Nalle hasn’t given bad legal advice. But under that reasoning, does that mean that practicing lawyers don’t have to be admitted in the jurisdiction(s) in which they practice, as long as they don’t commit malpractice?
We have a solution. If he’s maintaining that he’s not giving legal advice (except beyond some de minimis level), why doesn’t Nalle just change his title to “General Counselor”? Like Dan Bartlett, former Counselor to the President, who is not a lawyer (unlike Fred Fielding, White House Counsel).
Or maybe the best comparison is to being a high school guidance counselor. They don’t give legal advice, right? GC Without a Bar License Defends His Status [Fulton County Daily Report]
It’s not easy to be a two-time winner of our Lawyer of the Day award. But after reading this post, we think that you’ll find Colorado lawyer Alison Maynard more than worthy of this honor.
Longtime readers of ATL will surely recall Alison “Sunny” Maynard from our priorcoverage. But in case you don’t, here’s a refresher. Once upon a time, she filed this with a court:
And now she’s come up with another winner of a filing. Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?
Check out Alison Maynard’s latest handiwork, after the jump.
* Who says Loyola 2Ls can’t land good jobs? [SCOTUSblog]
* Lobster rolls. And Chipwich. Yum. [Gawker; Althouse]
* It’s nice to know that you can neglect your caseload, fabricate documents, and still get reinstated to the bar. [Boston Globe]
* Law firm ranking schemes are kind of like blogs. If everyone has one, who’s supposed to read them all? [WSJ Law Blog; Wall Street Journal (subscription)]
* Don’t forget: Paris Hilton will be on Larry King tonight (9 PM Eastern time). [CNN]
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
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The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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