Lunacy

Shanetta Cutlar Above the Law Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Special Litigation Section Above the Law.jpgAmidst all of the hoopla over associate pay raises and Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, some of you have requested updates about Shanetta Y. Cutlar. We’re happy to report that we have some new material for you.
(For those of you who are new to ATL, Shanetta Cutlar is the deliciously imperious, ruler-wielding diva who heads the Special Litigation Section, in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. To get a sense of Shanetta Cutlar, in case you haven’t read our prior coverage of her, see here, here, or here.)
We hope that Shanetta Cutlar has been pleased by our coverage of her — ’cause if she’s not, she might put a curse on us. Here’s the latest tip about her:

Those who worship together, work together. Principal Deputy Tammie Gregg, who was promoted by Shanetta, as well as the Supervisor of the Investigators, whom Shanetta refers to as her “spiritual advisor,” all attend the same Church. Both were promoted over others more experienced than they, and obviously for their personal connection to Shanetta.

Shanetta is very superstitious. She had her office “excised” of evil spirits and ill will toward her, as evidenced by the cross etched faintly, in some sort of oil, on the upper right hand corner of her door. Most recently, an escapee [from the Section] said she told them that she was “gathering her protections.”

“Gathering her protections”? Boy are we f***ed.
(But not as much as Ty Clevenger, the whistleblower who first brought Shanetta Cutlar to the public eye. We hear that Shanetta has a voodoo doll of him in her desk drawer, which she abuses regularly with a staple gun.)
Earlier: Prior coverage of the Special Litigation Section under Shanetta Cutlar (scroll down)

Naomi Campbell 2 Above the Law Legal Tabloid nude naked pics photos.GIFWe loooove successful, strong, African-American females. Like the Justice Department’s Shanetta Cutlar, who demands respect from everyone who works for her. Or supermodel Naomi Campbell, who similarly doesn’t take s*** from underlings — even if it requires hurling the occasional cellphone in their direction.
Here’s a report on the latest Naomi Campbell assault case. From the AP:

Naomi Campbell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Tuesday for hitting her maid with a cell phone over a pair of missing jeans.

“I threw a cell phone in the apartment. The cell phone hit Ana,” Campbell told Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert Mandelbaum. “This was an accident because I did not intend to hit her.”

Perjury, anyone? Eh, whatever.

Campbell, 36, hit Ana Scolavino in the back of the head with the phone in the supermodel’s Manhattan apartment last March. Scolavino was treated for a head injury.

In exchange for her guilty plea, Campbell must pay Scolavino’s medical expenses of $363, do five days of community service and attend a two-day anger management program.

Community service? Here’s our suggestion. Place Naomi Campbell inside a dunking booth. For a fee, a player gets to throw a cell phone at a target. If the cell phone hits the target, SPLASH! Into the water she goes.
Proceeds from the Naomi Campbell Dunk Tank will go to an appropriate charity (e.g., an organization for battered women). Great idea, eh?
Naomi Campbell Pleads Guilty to Assault [Associated Press]
Earlier: Naomi Campbell: Supermodel or “Superbigot”?

William Rehnquist William H Rehnquist William Hubbs Rehnquist Chief Justice Above the Law.jpgWe’re reading Tony Mauro’s super-juicy article as fast as we can. Highlights and discussion will follow shortly.
Okay, we’re done. Here are some excerpts:

The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s Senate confirmation battles in 1971 and 1986 were more intense and political than previously known, according to a newly released FBI file that also offers dramatic new details about Rehnquist’s 1981 hospitalization and dependence on a painkiller….

In July 1986, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Rehnquist to be chief justice, the Justice Department asked the FBI to interview witnesses who were preparing to testify that Rehnquist had intimidated minority voters as a Republican Party official in Arizona in the early 1960s. According to a memo in the Rehnquist file, an unnamed FBI official cautioned that the department “should be sensitive to the possibility that Democrats could charge the Republicans of misusing the FBI and intimidating the Democrats’ witnesses.” But then-Assistant Attorney General John Bolton — who more recently served as ambassador to the United Nations — signed off on the request and said he would “accept responsibility should concerns be raised about the role of the FBI.” It is unclear whether the FBI ever interviewed the witnesses.

John Bolton? That guy is everywhere! Did he have the walrus moustache back then?
More discussion — including tales of Rehnquist’s “bizarre ideas and outrageous thoughts,” his paranoia that the CIA was out to get him, and his attempt to escape from a hospital while in pajamas — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Was Chief Justice Rehnquist Addicted to Painkillers?”

Elmo Tickle Me Elmo.jpgIf you enjoyed the Best Notice of Appeal Ever, as well as the complaint in Ward v. Arm & Hammer, you’ll enjoy our latest pro se filing, too.
It’s an interesting challenge to jurisdiction, filed by a fellow who legally changed his name to Elmo Fred; Griffiths. (Yes, the semicolon is legally part of his name.) The case is a guardianship proceeding for Griffiths’s mother, Ruth Griffiths, brought by one of Elmo’s siblings.
Here’s the first page:
Elmo Fred Griffiths 1.jpeg
And there’s more. The rest of the document appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tickle Me, Elmo Fred; Griffiths”

Jesus freak Above the Law.jpgWe have a weakness for the ridiculous and bizarre. So we’re finding ourselves quite taken with all these tales of law school library strangeness.
Here’s an update on yesterday’s item about the “attorney general of the United States,” at the Emory Law School library:

The “attorney general” was a homeless guy that wandered around the whole law school. I was studying in the main common area when he asked me if there were any professors who would be interested in the “largest federal lawsuit ever filed.” He also asked me to vouch for him if security came looking for him.

Apparently he had already done his shtick in the library and was chased out by the librarians. The library was locked, and students needed to swipe their ID card to get in, so a fellow student must have let him in.

I dispatched him to the floor that contained the faculty offices (and was nicely contained). Security was informed. He was discovered changing his clothes, then was escorted off the premises. Nice guy, just a little… err, very creepy.

We’re glad Emory security can tell the difference between homeless people and law professors. Given the similarities — disheveled, smelly, given to wearing ratty sports coats, talking to themselves — it’s only a matter of time before a mistake gets made.
(Oh, and speaking of homeless people…)
Earlier: What Is Up With Law School Libraries These Days?
Breaking: Mystery Smell Hits NYU Law Library!!!

Jesus freak Above the Law.jpgBreaking news: The Second Coming is almost here!
Don’t believe us? Check out the official press release:

[T]he disasters and plagues that are described in the Bible are about to happen. The immediate future will be difficult for everyone, but the result will be that people acknowledge the true Christian God and follow his commandments. The cities will be like Heaven on Earth and God Himself will come and live with us.

The first plague to happen in the immediate future will be a tsunami affecting the East Coast of America. Unfortunately, even Christians who are expecting these events seem unwilling to accept that they are about to happen. If this belief persists, the death toll for the East Coast will be extremely high.

A tsunami? We respectfully dissent.
When the first plague arrives, it will hit a law school library. Maybe locusts in the Am Jur volumes, or LLM students breaking out in boils.
Why? Strange things have been happening at law school libraries lately. Like the “mystery smell” at the NYU library. And now the “Jesus” freak at Emory Law School:

From: “Katherine Brokaw” [email address redacted]
Date: December 15, 2006 2:37:38 PM EST
To: [Emory Law School classes of 2007 - 2009]
Subject: [ELS 2008-announce] stranger in library last night
Last night a white male, approximately 40, was disruptive in the library. He was wearing a Jesus t-shirt, a black leather jacket, black cowboy hat with the word “perfect” in silver. We are told he claimed to be the attorney general of the United States.
If you see him in the library or in Gambrell, please notify Operations or Security, or the staff at the Circulaton Desk in the library who will call the appropriate people. Thank you — Dean Brokaw

So that’s what John Ashcroft has been up to lately.
(Besides appearing on The Daily Show — on which, by the way, he was surprisingly charming and funny.)
The Second Coming [press release, via Yahoo! Finance]
The Daily Show: John Ashcroft [TV.com]
Earlier: Breaking: Mystery Smell Hits NYU Law Library!!!

potpourri Above the Law.jpgHere’s a delightful potpourri of fun and interesting links. We planned to write about these items in more depth, but just never got around to it. So now we’re just going to air them in these pages.
We’ve been saving them up for a while, so some are a bit dated (although some are new). They’re all well worth your time and interest. There are a lot of links here, so we’ve organized them by category.
Legal Practice and Profession:
* This doesn’t seem right to us, at least not with respect to the biggest of the Biglaw firms. It’s not how Sullivan & Cromwell is going to lose Goldman Sachs as a client. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If you’re good at it, you can make tons of money as a plaintiffs’ lawyer — all while standing up for “the little guy.” So why doesn’t plaintiffs’ work attract more graduates of top law schools? We’re not the only folks asking this question. [Empirical Legal Studies]
* Also, we didn’t know that the plaintiffs’ bar had an elite club for the 100 top practitioners. Aren’t they supposed to be anti-elitist? [Inner Circle of Advocates via ELS Blog]
* The latest success story at JD Bliss: Canadian condo lawyer turned television star. And she’s a hottie, too. [JD Bliss Blog]
* More proof of the legal profession’s incestuous character. [WSJ Law Blog]
* We keep you updated on legal hottie developments. Now, check out some hot doctors. [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
Legal Academia:
* We can’t say we’re surprised to hear about politics getting dragged into the law school accreditation process (which really ought to be too boring to be controversial). [Volokh Conspiracy via Instapundit]
* Are “young” law school professors too old? Or do we actually pay too much attention to youthful legal geniuses, a la Noah Feldman, Tim Wu, and Neal Katyal? [MoneyLaw; Concurring Opinions]
* We bet very few law professors live in this town. [Southern Appeal]
Mainstream Media (MSM):
* Heh. We guessed that Jan Crawford Greenburg posed just two of the audience questions at last week’s Nino-Breyer Smackdown. But even that number may have been too generous. [Prettier Than Napoleon]
* Best name for a newspaper EVER. Finally, people who have a more awkward time at cocktail parties than we do. [Flower Mound Messenger via How Appealing]
Blogs, Bloggers, Blogging:
* Don’t get us wrong: we love you, blog commenters. That said, some of you are nasty, crazy, or both. [Althouse]
* We’re warning you: DO NOT CLICK THROUGH THIS LINK. [QuizLaw]
* Thank you, Professor Althouse, for making us feel better for our rather idiosyncratic approach to selecting subjects to write about. [Althouse]
* Blog readers, make your voices heard. Who should take second place behind the Volokh Conspiracy? [How Appealing]
* Althouse: a juggernaut of the blawgosphere. Seven million visitors can’t be wrong! [Althouse]

* How crazy are bedbugs, exactly? [CNN]
* Which of your personalities is the arsonist?. [CNN]
* Yo quiero to sue Taco Bell. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Chinese Gitmo detainees say the same evidence being used to detain them was used to clear five others. [Jurist]
* Maryland Court of Appeals considers same-sex marriage. [Jurist]

* Jurors go wild… kind of. [AP via Yahoo! News]
* This could be your fate if you have sexual relations with any animal, dead or alive, regardless of law: you could be the posthumous star of a Sundance documentary. [Editor and Publisher]
* Do not think you can know go about suing the various characters in your dysfunctional family. [Seattle Times]

foot in mouth.gifToday we have TWO judges of the day. Both win the prize for their honesty and fearlessness. These jurists aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and for that we salute them.
First, there’s Judge James Brooks, of “the O.C.” — Orange County, California.

An Orange County judge with a sharp tongue and a history of making insensitive comments about ethnic minorities was publicly admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance.

The commission cited [a] contempt hearing where litigant Arnold McMahon told Brooks that he didn’t attend a scheduled Oct. 15 deposition because he had gone to the hospital with chest pains.

“Gee,” Brooks responded. “I wonder what’s going to happen when we put you in jail, Mr. McMahon. Your little ticker might stop, you think?”

Come now — that’s a bit tepid. We’ve heard harsher words from federal appellate judges at oral argument. This was more compelling:

[T]he commission noted that Brooks had been privately chastised three times since 1996 for similar conduct. The commission-cited punishments include: a 1996 advisory letter for referring to Hispanic defendants as “Pedro,” and issuing a bench warrant for an Asian defendant for “ten thousand dollars or twenty thousand yen”…

Second, there’s Judge Wilbur Mathesius, a Superior Court judge in Mercer County, New Jersey.

New Jersey’s Supreme Court on Thursday handed Judge Wilbur Mathesius a one-month suspension without pay for making shoot-from-the hip comments that undermined the judicial system….

[Judge Mathesius allegedly] berated a jury for acquitting a defendant of illegal handgun possession. According to the complaint, Mathesius went to the jury room and said, “What the hell were you thinking?” He then told the jurors the defendant had a prior criminal record and chose to not testify because of that record; that another witness would have testified for the prosecution had he not been threatened; and that the prosecution’s principal witness was the most credible he had ever seen.

This was only one of several incidents for which Judge Mathesius was disciplined. He also made some over-the-top comments about the death penalty. When criticized for these comments before the New Jersey Supreme Court, he responded as follows:

Mathesius observ[ed] that Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner “has written on many of the same subjects,” [and Mathesius] suggested that members of the New Jersey judiciary do the same.

Judge Mathesius, we know Judge Richard Posner. We have corresponded with Richard Posner. And you, sir, are no Richard Posner.
You are a state court judge. In the trial court. In New Jersey. In a word: ICKY.
(We mean no disrespect to the Garden State, from which we hail. But the “state court” and “trial court” aspects are proper subjects of disdain.)
Vociferous Judge Is Suspended a Month Without Pay [New Jersey Law Journal]
Judge Scolded for Insensitive Remarks [NYLawyer.com]

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