We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we really do not like to write about murders, suicides, or murder-suicides here on Above the Law. The loss of human life is tragic, and it is even more so when there are children involved.
But that being said, we have news today that Sam Friedlander, an alumnus of my alma mater, was involved in a dispute with his estranged wife late Monday night — one that led to her bludgeoning and the shooting of his two young children — before he decided to turn the gun on himself.
If you think the story can’t get any sadder, wait till you see how the law school handled it….
Our candidates for the coveted Lawyer of the Month title have been a bit tame for the past few months. This time around, we’ve chosen some lawyers and law students who represent our more prurient interests and our unabashed love for scandal.
I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all.
* If the Americans with Disabilities Act must protect the obese, could we at least have different levels of protection depending on whether or not your “disability” is self-inflicted? Like, if you get your legs shot off in war, that’s one thing, but if your legs crumble underneath your girth on your way to eat more food, that’s a different thing. Hooha. [Ohio Employer's Law Blog]
* Here’s a great question, from Professor Kenneth Anderson: Was a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster ever legal? Like constitutionally? I’m not sure, but I’m probably going to go home and play Red Dead Redemption tonight, for old times’ sake. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* Winston Moseley, the killer of Kitty Genovese, is up for parole. I wasn’t going to say anything and let, you know, other people handle bringing you the news — but something about this story made me think I should speak up. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Getting an attorney job is as hard as it has ever been for law students. Here are some thoughts on how to focus your job-hunting energies. [Tips for Young Lawyers]
* In today’s edition of “Elie Derides Occupy Wall Street,” Elie meets a refrigerator that is quietly having more of an impact on one corporation than any of the protesters. Never underestimate the power of having a demand. [Twitter / @SHGrefrigerator]
* Musical Chairs: Elite boutique Zuckerman Spaeder expands in New York, by bringing in Paul Shechtman, counsel to celebs like Lil’ Kim. [Dealbook / New York Times]
* This is fun. I made the Root 100 again, which means I’m on a list with Jay-Z and John Legend, and I ranked higher than Will Smith. This is kind of like the Cooley Law rankings of black people. [The Root]
Amanda Knox testified in her own defense in the appeal (which is allowed in Italy; the appellate court can revisit the facts). She told the eight-member jury, in Italian, “I’m not a promiscuous vamp. I’m not violent … I have not killed, I have not raped, I was not there, I was not present.”
After 11 hours of deliberation, the jury issued its verdict, overturning the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the murder of Meredith Kircher, Knox’s former roommate. Congratulations to Knox and Sollecito, who now get to say ciao to prison.
We live in a country where some states have the death penalty. Capital punishment. The “ultimate justice,” people like Rick Perry say with a smirk, as if justice that ends in death is somehow preferable to justice that respects the dignity of human life.
Do you not know what those sanitized words mean? Do you not know what the death penalty is?
We live in a country that sanctions murder of supposed criminals. That’s what we’re talking about: murder. It’s not “self-defense.” Death row inmates are locked down, strapped down, and would be in jail for the rest of their natural lives but for our societal decision to kill them first.
And the people we kill, we suppose they are criminals. We have a system that spits out a verdict that a person is guilty. It’s a flawed, imperfect system. In any given case, witnesses, counsel, judges, or the jury could be wrong, stupid, or both. We, as a society, take their word for it because it’s the best way for dispensing justice that we’ve come up with so far.
But since we have this flawed system, and we do kill people, then it is inevitable that occasionally we’re going to murder the “wrong” person. To support the death penalty is to support the occasional murder of innocent people. That’s been true since the first barbarian hunter-gatherer thought it’d be a good idea to gather the whole tribe together to watch the death of another defenseless person who claimed innocence.
So my question is, why the hell are people so worked up over Troy Davis?
Last week, when we first wrote about Bruce Reilly — the Tulane 1L who committed a murder nearly 20 years ago — we noted that when he outed himself on his website, he posted a t-shirt that read, “F**k Google, ask me.”
Last month, federal law enforcement officials accused an Illinois attorney, Jason W. Smiekel, of trying to put a hit out on a former client — who also happened to be the ex-husband of Smiekel’s fiancée. That’s quite an allegation, isn’t it?
And that’s not the end of the story. Some sources blamed this fiancée — a very beautiful woman, described to us by a tipster as a “hot hot hot blonde” (“HHHB”) — for the downfall of Jason Smiekel, ruining his marriage and taking him from a successful career in law to a life outside it. But others came to her defense, describing HHHB and Smiekel as “very much in love, and good people.”
Alas, if they are in love, their love may have to wait, thanks to the latest bad news for Jason Smiekel….
From what we hear, it’s been a wild couple of days at Tulane Law School, ever since we outed the convicted murderer in their midst. Well, we didn’t out him; Bruce Reilly outed himself, on his blog (in a post that he has since taken down). But being profiled on Above the Law can sometimes stir up the pot.
Or not. As one tipster put it:
Your article on Bruce Reilly has stirred quite the tempest down here at Tulane: A small, mossy cluster of students typically found speed-typing, whispering and tittering in a darkened corner of the library began typing, whispering and tittering even faster! Meanwhile, everyone else went to class.
Yes, we’ve been getting all kinds of reactions from the Tulane community since our original post went up. The story has even gone mainstream. Reilly was profiled in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and his story was picked up by USA Today and ABC News.
But the mainstream media won’t tell you the details of the actual crime at hand. Our Tulane readers have been asking to know more about the actual murder Reilly served time for. We’ve dug up some of the old reports….
* “If you love me you’ll pass this bill.” Sorry, Obama, but even the Democrats are busy washing their hair on this one. How about we pass a resolution like this instead? I’d totally love Obama for that. [New York Times]
* Gary Giordano, the man accused of killing his swinging gal pal in Aruba, has hired a new attorney. Apparently Jose Baez is now the go-to guy for defendants with shady pasts and even shadier alibis. [Daily Mail]
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…