The latest item for Eyes of the Law, our legal celebrity sightings column, is a doozy. From the AP:
Rock band Bon Jovi, Harrisburg restaurants and school bands from all over the state were part of yesterday’s daylong celebration of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s inauguration for a second term….
Even more talented than Rendell was his wife, Midge Rendell [aka Third Circuit Judge Marjorie O. Rendell], who capped the concert by singing a duet with rock star Jon Bon Jovi of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?”
The performance brought the night’s first standing ovation. Rendell ambled up on stage afterward and marveled that no other first lady could sing with Bon Jovi.
“Take that Maria Shriver,” he bellowed, referring to the wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Please correct us if we’re wrong. But this is, as far as we know, the first time a federal circuit judge has sung a duet with Jon Bon Jovi.*
In addition to her musical prowess, the Honorable Marjorie Rendell also deserves props for being the Stylish Marjorie Rendell.
The attractive Judge Rendell, a federal judicial hottie, wore a gown by noted designer Paula Hian to the inauguration festivities.
For hard-core fashionistas, a lengthy description of the frock appears after the jump.
* Is CBS attempting to redress any previous restraints on free speech? You know more than a few submissions will feature wardrobe malfunctions. [CBS]
* Because the long-standing Dewey Cheatem & Howe joke is not fair to Dewey Ballantine, which is already feeling like the pathetic, STD-ridden dumpee that it is. [Concurring Opinions]
* The next logical step is for the publishers of Gray’s Anatomy to sue ABC — and for the next edition of said text to feature the United Colors of Benetton cast on its cover. [FN1] [The Agitator]
[FN1] It has come to my attention that a lot of lawyers and those who love them don’t have time for even must-see TV. So please note that the ubiquitous Postal Service single is featured on the Grey’s
Anatomy soundtrack. See how that works?
* What the world really needs more than another lawyer is another talk-show host. Also, is it just me, or do you think Eva Longoria should play Jeanine Pirro in a Lifetime movie once she’s all washed up? [New York Post]
* Ethics CLE credit is notoriously hard to come by, but the lucky attorneys of Virginia get a go at four whole hours of it, by sitting through what will no doubt amount to a slightly more polished version of your law school’s annual talent show. [American Constitution Society For Law and Policy Blog]
* Film Producer Carlo Ponti, who started out as a lawyer, has died. Perhaps in your future also lie multiple affairs with hot Italian actresses and a long, albeit briefly bigamous, marriage to none other than the luscious Sophia Loren. [AP via New York Times]
* No word on any pending legislation regarding public urination though. [Sun Herald]
* Despite the well-timed Donald/Rosie debacle, there doesn’t seem to be that much interest in Season 6 of The Apprentice, even though this season features 6 attorneys. And Ivanka. Go figure. [Althouse]
* A setback for people trying to download in the land down under. [ZDNet]
* MP3 mom is off the hook, but the kids are still very much on it. [MSNBC]
* “[F]ederal investigators probing steroids in sports can now use the names and urine samples of about 100 Major League Baseball players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, following a ruling Wednesday from a federal appeals court.” [MSNBC]
* “For activists who seek to change the law, nothing works better sometimes than losing a big case in the Supreme Court. This year saw two small, public-interest law firms convert losses in the high court into wins in the court of public opinion.” [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* Would it be a violation of civil liberties if a tracking device were inserted in these videos? [MSNBC]
* The most atrocious example of uncivil campus behavior to me? Loud coitus. We can hear you, even when it doesn’t take place in the library. [Balkinization]
* In her defense, this fraudster probably spared another inmate from a night or two of uninvited Oz love. [AP via Yahoo!]
* With the holidays upon us, and the office holiday parties behind us, here’s a cautionary tale that thankfully does not end with our young DA screaming, “Don’t you know who I am? You wouldn’t dare arrest Sam Waterston!” [New York Post]
* Caroling would only make sense if your neighbors are Clive Davis, Timbaland, Phil Spector or maybe Simon Cowell. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
* And one last example of how the holidays are tarnished by some dubious judgment. But with the prospect of a succulent-tasting bird, can you blame management? [Washington Post]
We’ve solicited funny holiday party stories from you. We haven’t received much thus far.
But from the legendary Southern District of New York, probably the nation’s most distinguished district court bench, we did get this account of its celebrated “Courthouse Follies” (which took place on the evening of Friday, December 15):
Item: The Southern District of New York’s “Courthouse Follies,” tonight.
Showstopping performance: A boisterous musical number by Judge Jed Rakoff (at right), Judge Laura Taylor Swain, Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis, and Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith. Sung to the tune of “There Once Was a Man” from Doris Day’s “The Pajama Game,” with additional lyrics and dialogue by Judge Rakoff, the act featured Judge Rakoff in a blond fright wig, Judge Swain in a Groucho mask with cigar, Judge Ellis in an oversized red polka-dot bow tie, and Judge Smith in what I can characterize only as a goofy black hat.
Was that a woman’s blond fright wig? If so, Judge Rakoff can kiss any elevation hopes good-bye. Senator Brownback opposes all judicial nominees who have appeared in drag.
Highlight: A musical shoutout to Underneath Their Robes! The patter leading up to the song was about changes in the courthouse under the new chief judge. One of them was (I’m paraphrasing slightly), “I get all my case info from www.underneaththeirrobes.com.”
Less a joke than a name check, but it suggests that Judge Rakoff is a fan.
* Solitary confinement, cruel and unusual? Cruel, perhaps, but not that unusual. [St. Petersburg Times via How Appealing]
* Florida and California decide to take a little break on the whole lethal injection thing. [CNN]
* New Jersey Legislature does what New Jersey’s Supreme Court told them to. [FindLaw]
* Mariah Carey is concerned that people might be confused and think that she is someone who uses sex to make money….oh, wait a minute… [FOX News]
* Global warming is such a nuisance. [Jurist]
* It helps the People’s case when an alleged polygamist doesn’t look like Brad Pitt or, you know, anyone non-creepy. [AP via Yahoo! News]
* “Low blood sugar” is to an opera singer what “exhaustion” is to an anorexic poppet du jour. [International Herald Tribune]
* What would the holidays be without a child left in a car while his mother picks something up at Neimans? Don’t even think of invoking the “Last-Minute Shopping Hysteria” defense — she brought along the dog. [East Valley Tribune]
* Necessity may be the mother of invention, but obviousness is its eccentric aunt. I don’t know if that makes sense, but check out the proof of what you knew all along — that you’re completely expendable. [Temporary Attorney]
* Sad, senseless deaths. One would think that such risks would exist only in the world of criminal defense, prosecution, and maybe divorce law. [WSJ Law Blog]
We’ve been so obsessed with law firm bonus developments that we missed the happy news earlier this week about Courtney Love, one of our most favorite celebrities.
At long last, Love’s legal troubles are behind her. From the music news website liveDaily:
A judge terminated Courtney Love’s probation and dismissed three misdemeanor charges against the singer Monday (12/11), ruling that Love had successfully battled her substance-abuse problems.
Love, 42, sobbed as Los Angeles Superior Court judge Rand Rubin pronounced the ruling that effectively wiped her legal slate clean, according to an Associated Press report.
“Thank you for not taking me into custody,” Love reportedly said in court. “Thank you for giving me an opportunity. You’ve been a good, fair judge. Sorry for crying.”
After the hearing, her lawyer, Howard Weitzman, made this statement:
“Courtney stepped up to the plate, turned her life around and is on the road to releasing her new record and hopefully getting hired to act in films. I’m happy I could help.”
Right now we’re feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Wonderful news, just in time for the holidays. Congratulations to both Courtney Love, for getting her life and career back on track, and Howard Weitzman, for obtaining such an excellent result for his client.
(Will Weitzman be able to do the same for Nicole Richie? We shall see…)
P.S. We’re not being saracastic in describing Love as one of our favorite celebrities. Her tabloid exploits have led people to overlook the fact that she’s a phenomenally talented singer and actress. Just listen to Celebrity Skin, one of our favorite albums, and Live Through This, which Rolling Stone and Time have both declared to be one of the greatest albums ever (and correctly so).
And don’t forget Love’s remarkable star turn as Althea Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe). It would be great to see her return to acting. Judge ends Courtney Love’s probation, charges dropped [liveDaily] Courtney Gets a “Hole” Lotta Love in Court [TMZ.com]
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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@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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