Music

Michael Jackson king of pop dead died obituary.jpgLegendary entertainer Michael Jackson, aka the King of Pop, wasn’t a lawyer. But he certainly generated lots of work for them, thanks to his child molestation charges and financial woes. Not every pop culture icon has their own ATL category tag.
(Sure, MJ didn’t always pay his legal bills on time. But it’s the thought that counts.)
Michael Jackson was 50 at the time of his death. May he rest in peace.
Update: Read Marin’s thoughts on the Gloved One over at True/Slant (here and here).
Michael Jackson Has Beat It [True/Slant]
Michael Jackson Dies [TMZ.com]
Pop icon Michael Jackson is dead [Los Angeles Times]

Dangerous Communication Device 1 - Williams Connolly.JPGThe members of Dangerous Communication Device (Williams & Connolly), celebrating their victory.
Last night we reported on the Battle of the Law Firm Bands, held last week in Washington, DC. The evening raised over $80,000 for Gifts for the Homeless, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization supported by the city’s legal community to help the homeless.
Eleven bands competed, and one was victorious: Dangerous Communication Device, from Williams & Connolly. They won by raising more money than any other band: over $15,000. (The vote was conducted “Chicago-style,” with each vote requiring a dollar contribution to GFTH.)
Read our interview with the band, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Field Trip: The Battle of the Law Firm Bands (Part 2)”

Black Cat DC music club bar lounge.jpg
Lining up outside The Black Cat for the Battle of the Law Firm Bands. The evening was sold out — 1,000 tickets in all.
We just got back from Washington, DC, where we spent a few days attending the 2009 convention of the American Constitution Society (ACS). We may have a post or two about the conference later.
While in the nation’s capital, we also attended this fun event: the sixth annual Battle of the Law Firm Bands. A description:

Lawyers from prominent area law firms will compete in a hotly contested sixth annual Battle of the Law Firm Bands to benefit Gifts for the Homeless, Inc. (GFTH), a non-profit, all-volunteer organization supported by the city’s legal community to help the homeless. The Black Cat, a premier hot-spot in DC’s historic U Street district, has partnered with GFTH to host “Banding Together 2009″ on Thursday, June 18, from 7:00 pm to midnight.

At the stroke of midnight, one band will be crowned champion for having raised the most money from the crowd through “Chicago-style” voting (each dollar equals one vote – vote early and often!). GFTH will use 100% of the money donated to purchase thermal underwear, sweatshirts, sweatpants, hats, gloves, underwear, socks, blankets and other essential new clothing items for homeless men, women, and children; the clothing is distributed to more than 30 shelters throughout the metro area. GFTH has already raised over $100,000 in connection with Banding Together 2008.

It doesn’t surprise us that Biglaw denizens would be willing to help the homeless. There but for the grace of God….
Our belated account of the evening — The BLT wrote it up in more timely fashion — after the jump.

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Exquisite rap duo.jpgYesterday, the Exquisite Rap Duo dropped a new album. What’s especially exquisite about the album is that it’s the work of Anthony McNamer, an IP attorney in Portland, Oregon.
McNamer is a ’95 Stanford Law grad who has worked for Bingham McCutchen and for Davis Wright Tremaine, clerked in American Samoa, and founded his own small three-person firm, McNamer and Company, five years ago. The firm does IP work and media, entertainment, and sports law.
“I’m probably the biggest music lawyer in Portland… but that’s not saying much,” McNamer told us. He is also on the short list for most extreme athletes looking for a lawyer, he said, representing them when sponsorship deals go awry or in “right of publicity” cases.
McNamer sent us an e-mail last week to let us know about his “rap group” and debut album:

You don’t hear about many big firm lawyer to rap group transitions. Word.

Apparently, McNamer is unaware of his East Coast rival, Mekka Don, who went from being a Weil first year to being a self-proclaimed savior of hip hop. Word.
We surfed over to his website and listened to some of the songs. As for our favorite, we’re torn between the one about not being able to look tough on a BMX bike and “Best Friends with a Gay Dude” about his college best friend coming out after graduation, which McNamer informed us is 100% autobiographical. The latter includes samples from Cher’s “Believe.” If you haven’t guessed yet, McNamer’s rap has a funny side. But he doesn’t consider his work to be pure novelty. “I don’t want to be Weird Al,” said McNamer.
We also watched the music video for Calculator Watch; the humorous approach reminded us strongly of Law Revue videos. We followed that hunch and discovered during our interview that McNamer was once a lead writer for Stanford’s version of Law Revue. None of the songs on Nine Mile (We Go The Extra Mile) employ legal humor, though. “I know from doing [Stanford's Law School Musical] that law stuff isn’t very funny,” said McNamer.
We spoke to McNamer yesterday about his music, founding his own law firm, and how his legal career will help boost his musical stylings. Check out his video and the beauty of having your own firm in Portland — HINT: his target for weekly billables is 15 hours — after the jump.

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piratebus.jpg
Ed. note: This is a guest post by Keith Chapman, a lawyer with more knowledge of BitTorrent and all things tech than the regular crew on the ATL ship.

Avast ye hearties! Especially if you’re one of those hearties using a BitTorrent client to purloin copyrighted materials. Today marks the fourth day in the highly publicized trial against The Pirate Bay, a Swedish company that organizes and facilitates online file swapping. At the heart of the matter, Swedish prosecutors have charged The Pirate Bay’s three chief administrators, Hans Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde, as well as media savvy Swedish businessman Carl Lundström, with 33 instances of assisting in and preparing to commit copyright infringement. With potential jail time looming on the horizon, not to mention hefty fines and damages estimated north of $14 million, the Times of London has dubbed the case the “Internet piracy trial of the decade.

If you are just tuning in, find out what you’ve missed — after the jump.

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Mos Def sued by Blank Rome.jpgWe’ve previously reported on law firms having difficulty getting clients to pay their bills. It’s not just happening to firms working on deals that go bust; it has also happened to a firm representing a celeb after his marriage went bust. From Am Law Daily:

Blank Rome is suing rapper/actor/activist Mos Def for over $60,000 in unpaid legal bills stemming from his 2006 divorce from Maria Yepes.

The couple ended their 10-year marriage that year in a Brooklyn court, with Judge Sarah Krauss pleading with them to settle their differences outside her courtroom.

Reports say that the Brooklyn-born Mos Def (real name: Dante Smith) owes the money to Blank Rome in the form of unpaid fees and retainers. The Emmy, Golden Globe, and Grammy award-nominated entertainer retained lawyers from the firm’s well-regarded matrimonial practice, which advises high-end clients on divorce, mediation, property distribution, paternity, visitation rights, and trusts and estates.

This is Mos Def’s second month in a row of legal troubles. In November, Las Vegas police issued an arrest warrant after Mos got in a scuffle with a photographer. In more bad news, his portrayal of Chuck Berry in the recently released music biopic extravaganza Cadillac Records was panned by the Los Angeles Times.

We wonder if this will make him rethink the title of his upcoming album, rumored to be titled Ecstatic.

Some good news for Mos Def, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Mos Def is Johnny B. Bad when it comes to his Blank Rome legal bills”

Notorious B.O.A.L.T. is a UC-Berkeley law school student who enjoys setting law school lessons to music. He appeared on our pages before, rapping his way through CivPro.

Now he’s back. Notorious has gone acoustic, but this song embraces the rebellious roots of rock & roll. Notorious writes, “As a protest against the lunacy of the Socratic Method and the staggering lack of imagination on the part of the Boalt Hall administration in clinging to a cobwebbed curriculum, I will not be taking any final examinations this semester.”

“Do the Torts Shuffle” is his submission to Professor Patrick Hanlon in lieu of a written final exam. He asks that Hanlon consider giving him a “sub-standard pass in the course.” Here it is:

We think rapping lends itself more easily to talkin’ ’bout the law, but this is a worthy effort. The question is: is it a sub-standard pass level effort?

A lyrical excerpt, and speculation about the future of Notorious B.O.A.L.T., after the jump.

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Justice Antonin Scalia headshot.jpgLaw students and lawyers get starstruck when they meet U.S. Supreme Court justices. And Supreme Court justices get starstruck when they meet… opera singers! From the New York Times:

Justice Antonin Scalia has a reputation as an intimidating jurist who poses withering questions during arguments before the Supreme Court. But on Friday afternoon, when the soprano Leontyne Price entered the West Conference Room at the Court to attend an honorary luncheon hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts, Justice Scalia, an avid opera fan, visibly melted.

Was Nino as excited as when he met Sarah Jessica Parker? (Oh wait — AS wasn’t that excited to meet SJP.)

“It’s a great honor to meet you,” [Justice Scalia] told Ms. Price, his face crinkling with warmth and delight. When Ms. Price complimented him on the elegance of the luncheon’s setting — a paneled salon, its walls lined with portraits of past chief justices — he replied, “Yes, these are pretty nice rooms,” adding, “And they’re yours today.”

And might you perhaps like a clerkship, Leontyne? Reviewing cert petitions is much easier than singing the title role in Aida. Just deny, deny, deny.

Speaking of SCOTUS clerkships, does anyone have news to report on that front? If so, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).

More about Leontyne Price’s visit to One First Street, after the jump.

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If you are looking for a good reason for Stanford and Harvard to stay away from a modified pass/fail grading system like they have at Berkeley and Yale, here you go:

Yes, you are seeing that video correctly. That there was a self-styled Boalt student rapping the Rules of Civil Procedure, replete with dance interludes.

I don’t know if this will help you pass Civ Pro, but it might help you become the Court Clerk for the Miami-Dade County.

Earlier: A Rapping Clerk of Court? Meet Harvey Ruvin

* Oral argument in New Jersey v. Delaware. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF) via How Appealing]
* I’ll have a Joey Bag of Lawsuits. [AP via Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* TB Andy didn’t hurt anybody. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Grandpa got screwed over by a lawsuit … [AP via Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Pakistan lets (almost) everyone go, but will the rule of law return? [Jurist]

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