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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Field Trip: The Battle of the Law Firm Bands (Part 1)”

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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “West Coast IP Lawyer Puts Out ‘Exquisite’ Rap Album”

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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Will The Pirate Bay Walk the Plank?”

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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Notorious B.O.A.L.T. is ‘Born Again,’ but will he pass?”

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]

Crocodile Dundee Paul Hogan Above the Law blog.jpg* Paul Tvetenstrand, managing partner of Thacher Proffitt & Wood, talks to the Wall Street Journal’s Jamie Heller about the imminent associate layoffs (previously discussed here). [WSJ Law Blog]
* Our law school classmate, Professor Lior Strahilevitz, has a fascinating new article coming out in the Northwestern University Law Review: “Reputation Nation: Law in an Era of Ubiquitous Personal Information.” [SSRN via Concurring Opinions]
* Outgoing American Red Cross president Mark W. Everson would have been our Lawyer of the Day (except the former IRS commissioner is not a lawyer). [Washington Post]
* “The High Price of Meat Loaf.” [New York Times (second item)]
* Attention Loyola 2L: rising stars of legal academia are about to descend upon your law school. [PrawfsBlawg]
* For those of you old enough to remember Crocodile Dundee: “That’s not a Blawg Review — that’s a Blawg Review.” Here’s Blawg Review #136, courtesy of Aussie Peter Black. [Freedom to Differ via Blawg Review; see also Blawg Review (video plug)]

Playboy 2 Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, not in the centerfold — we wish. But as we recently mentioned, this fine website is featured in the December 2007 issue of Playboy magazine (p. 61). It’s far more thrilling than a shout-out in the New York Times or the Washington Post.
A reader kindly sent the mention our way; it appears to the right. In case you’re curious about what surrounded the item, check out more of the page, after the jump.
Speaking of playboys, check out this article — an oldie, but a goodie — about Germany’s answer to Hugh Hefner. From Spiegel Online:

Aging German playboy Rolf Eden has rarely taken no for an answer. And he’s not about to start. He has filed charges against a 19-year-old for refusing to sleep with him. The complaint? Ageism….

the 77-year-old Eden has filed suit against a 19-year-old Berlin woman for the following reason: Despite a night on the town with Eden, which ended back at his place, she refused to have sex with him, saying the he was too old for her.

“That was shattering. No woman has ever said that to me before,” Eden told the tabloid. “I was crushed.” He has filed charges with the prosecutors’ office, he said. “After all, there are laws against discrimination.”

Partners whose advances have been rejected by summer associates surely agree.
German Playboy, 77, Sues for Sex [Spiegel Online]
Earlier: Not Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “My blood runs cold / My memory has just been sold
ATL in the centerfold! ATL in the centerfold!”

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