Lunacy

Judge Susan McDunn

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore famously alluded to “powerful forces and powerful interests” that were out to get ordinary Americans. He received derision from some quarters for his vague invocation of mysterious forces that were conspiring to keep the people down — but maybe he had a point? As Henry Kissinger famously observed, “Even a paranoid has some real enemies.”

This brings us to the first of our two Judges of the Day, both out of the Chicago area. The first claims that she is “being persecuted extensively by many people in many ways.”

Let’s learn about the mysterious forces who are supposedly causing trouble for this jurist. Does she have actual enemies, or is she simply cuckoo in Cook County?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judges of the Day: Cook County Kookiness”

* While “Dewey remains a great firm with terrific lawyers” for the time being, check back in after five percent of the firm’s attorneys have been laid off. Then tell us how great and terrific things are, we dare you. [DealBook / New York Times]

* The University of St. Thomas School of Law really “take[s] data accuracy very seriously.” That’s why the employed at graduation rate the school reported to U.S. News was off by 47.7 percentage points, right? [National Law Journal]

* John Edwards has a judge’s permission to use Rielle Hunter’s lawyers at his campaign finance trial. Mmm, there’s nothing like getting some legal sloppy seconds from your former mistress. [Bloomberg]

* After two days of deliberations, jurors in the Dharun Ravi privacy trial still haven’t reached a verdict. Just think, if he had taken the plea, he wouldn’t be worrying as much about deportation right now. [New York Post]

* If Hemy Neuman’s delusions about Olivia Newton-John were about getting physical, instead of getting murderous, maybe he wouldn’t have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. [CNN]

* It’s the most wonderful time of the year: March Madness! Are NCAA bracket pools legal in your office? It depends. Either way, all I know is that I’ll be betting on Lehigh. Go Mountain Hawks! [Businessweek]

Hemy Neuman is standing trial for murder. His defense is unusual.

Right now in Atlanta, a former operations manager at General Electric is standing trial for allegedly murdering the husband of his female coworker and alleged lover.

It’s a twisty tale of romance, deception, and violence, something you might find in an airport bookstore.

The strangest part of what has been dubbed the Dunwoody Day Care Killing, though, is the bizarre defense put forth by accused murderer Hemy Neuman. He says an angel and a demon, in the form of two celebrities, made him shoot his alleged lover’s husband.

Yes, you heard that right.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Introducing the ‘Celebrity Angels and Demons Made Me Do It’ Murder Defense”

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.” In contrast, Thomas Jefferson School of Law does not tremble before the toothless authority of the ABA. In fact, the school feels free to respond to utter institutional FAIL with peevish blame-shifting. Either TJSL has a serious problem with its admissions standards or it fails students once they arrive. Or some combo platter thereof. Does it matter? Let’s all stipulate that this is a “bad thing.” But what, if anything, should be done?

There are obviously a range of legal/societal stances toward the treatment of “bad things.” Bad things like cigarettes are legal but have mandatory warning labels. Bad things like the New York Lottery are just a Darwinian tax on the ignorant. Predatory subprime mortgage lenders are subject to a patchwork of federal and state laws. Ponzi schemers face criminal fraud charges. Where a law school charging $120,000 for a dubious product fits into the scheme of bad things is open to debate. So we reader-sourced the question. Last week, we conducted a research poll asking:

• Should the ABA impose national minimum LSAT and/or GPA standards for entry into accredited law schools?
• In what range should the LSAT & GPA cutoffs be?
• Should law schools lose their accreditation if their graduates’ bar passage rates fall below a certain threshold?
• Below what level should a school’s accreditation be in jeopardy?

After the jump, you tell us whether and where the lines should be drawn….

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Earlier this morning, former IRS tax attorney and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann held a press conference to announce that she’d be dropping out of the race. Although she won the Iowa straw poll in August, with a percentage of votes in the single digits, she placed sixth during last night’s caucuses. In her concession speech, Bachmann stated that “[l]ast night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice.” They sure did: they told her to STFU. Not even her high-powered lawyers from Patton Boggs could save her.

Let’s face it, she did the honorable thing. Unlike Rick Perry, who announced that he’d be going back to Texas to cry “reassess his campaign,” Bachmann grew a pair and decided end her embarrassment — but she has “no regrets, none whatsoever.”

It really is a shame that she decided to call it quits, because people love Michele Bachmann. Although she looks like a semi-retarded deer caught in headlights in her Newsweek cover, she’s usually one of the more attractive women in American politics.

She’s like Sarah Palin, but dumber, and with an inept stylist. With that said, we present you with a recap of Bachmann’s finest moments on the campaign trail….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Michele Bachmann: Out of the Race, But Still in Our Hearts”

UPDATE (5 PM): Sigh. According to the Smoking Gun, the “poop tattoo” story — reported by The Sun and picked up by Drudge, among many other outlets — is full of crap. But it was fun while it lasted, no?

Some people love tattoos, other people hate them. I’m one of those “other people.” I have no idea why people would want to turn their bodies into coloring books. But if people want to permanently decorate themselves, then by all means, go right ahead.

Besides, if people weren’t so obsessed with inking their bodies, we wouldn’t have awesome lawsuits like this one to talk about. Here’s some background information before we get into the heart of this case:

Boy, a tattoo artist, meets Girl. Girl is a nerd who has a thing for Narnia. Boy and Girl fall in love. Girl decides that in addition to Narnia, she has a thing for Boy’s best friend. Girl cheats on Boy, thinking Boy is none the wiser. Girl asks Boy for a Narnia tattoo. Boy finds out Girl’s dirty secret, and begins to plot his revenge….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Love Hurts, Especially When Your Boyfriend Gives You a ‘Tatt-poo’”

Justin Bieber (image via Getty)

As someone who is nearing the age of 30, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I listen to Justin Bieber’s music. Fine, I don’t just “listen” to Justin Bieber’s music. I know all of the words to several Justin Bieber songs. They are just so damn catchy.

Anyway, teenagers today are obsessing over the Biebs like how I went nuts for New Kids on the Block, then the Backstreet Boys, and finally *NSYNC. I wasn’t truly obsessed, though (I only saw one *NSYNC concert). But these Bieber fan girls are die-hard, and even have a name for themselves: Beliebers. That’s a little over the top, even for crazed teenyboppers.

And in Mexico, one Belieber chica is truly going loca in an attempt to score a ticket to Justin Bieber’s Mexico City concert. She’s so loca, in fact, that she’s willing to trade her virginidad for him….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “And I Was Like Baby, Baby, Baby I’ll Trade You My Virginity for Bieber Tickets”

Stephen Mark McDaniel

In prior coverage of Stephen Mark McDaniel, the Mercer Law School graduate accused of murdering his former neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings, we alluded to several emails that Stephen McDaniel sent to some of his classmates. Some students found the emails, which reflected McDaniel’s conservative political views, to be strange or disturbing.

Thanks to the kindness of several tipsters, we now have copies of some of the emails sent around Mercer Law by Stephen M. McDaniel. We will now share them with you, so you can judge for yourself whether there is anything in this correspondence that is troubling or problematic….

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I never had the inclination, or the physical strength, to attack Mr. Bloch.

Henry Shields Jr., the Drinker Biddle partner accused in a lawsuit of assaulting opposing counsel at a deposition. Shields, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy, maintains that he was the victim of the assault rather than the perpetrator.

(To read more about how a deposition devolved into a fracas, see our prior post.)

Have you ever been to a deposition that got physical? Maybe some fisticuffs, or a little shoving? No? Well, obviously you’ve been hanging out in the the wrong conference rooms.

A complaint filed in Santa Monica Superior Court and reported on by Courthouse News Service accuses a Drinker Biddle partner of “robust, unlawful force” that resulted in opposing counsel breaking his wrist. The alleged assault happened at the Beverly Hills office of the Excelus Law Group, a small law firm based in southern California. Attorney William W. Bloch claims that Drinker Biddle’s Henry Shields refused to leave his conference room after a deposition, and then assaulted him — with “some kind of martial art move.”

Shields and other Drinker Biddle attorneys who were there deny all of these allegations. And affidavits submitted by Drinker Biddle attorneys, as well as the actual deposition transcript, seem to paint a different — and much more hilarious — version of events…

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