Native Americans

Three cheers for “cultural capital.”

* Despite his hatred of 3L classes like “Law and Unicorns,” Justice Scalia believes that the third year of law school is necessary — perhaps a necessary evil, but still necessary. [Memphis Daily News]

* “[T]his excuse — sometimes labeled the ‘too big to jail’ excuse — is disturbing, frankly….” The eminently quotable Judge Rakoff is at it again, this time with harsh words for the DOJ. [New York Times]

* According to the latest survey from Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, managing partners think that 2014 will be better than 2013. This means bonuses will be the same next year. [Am Law Daily]

* Attorneys from Wiley Rein are fighting for $2 million in fees in the wake of their SCOTUS win in the Shelby County Voting Rights Act case. The firm’s quest has been called “absurd.” [National Law Journal]

* “The record is utterly devoid of any evidence of criminal intent or intentional misconduct.” It turns out the attorneys accused of malpractice by the Miccosukee Indians weren’t bad after all. [Daily Business Review]

* Rather than pegging its value at $1 million, a professor from a fourth-tier law school is promoting the “non-economic value” of a law degree. Can “cultural capital” repay your loans? [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* “[N]o law school in Canada should be allowed to weed out gay students.” Too bad. Trinity Western University, the law school that bans gay “sexual intimacy,” received preliminary approval. [Globe and Mail]

* Law school specialization and you: follow these three simple steps to help you decide which niche you’ll be unable to find a job in after you graduate. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

‘Watch me pull a constitutional crisis out of my hat!’

Upon hearing “moose hunt,” most people assume they’ve stumbled upon a rerun of Sarah Palin’s Alaska and reach for their remote and/or loaded handgun to end the pain.

But in this case, the moose hunt factors into a six-count indictment against three former government officials and marks the latest twist in an ongoing leadership crisis on U.S. soil that would make some post-Soviet Republics blush.

Moose hunts, country music, kangaroo courts, and the tale of a large-scale Native American constitutional crisis after the jump….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Killing a Moose Can Really Ruin Your Government”

This girl is 1/64 Cherokee, tops.

UPDATE (12/17/2013, 3 p.m.): Please note that the claims made by the tribe in its lawsuit have been dismissed.

Ever since white people arrived on this continent, we have been no end of trouble for Native Americans. You would think that after a certain point, Caucasians would give them a break. You know, after basically destroying their entire race and civilization.

But no, whitey still can’t even leave Native Americans alone to their casinos and endemic alcoholism. Which brings us to today’s Lawyers of the Day.

Which attorneys are being accused by a Florida tribe of a “secret and sophisticated scheme” to get rich off exorbitant and extraneous legal fees?

Let’s see….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyers of the Day: Native American Tribe Says Their Attorneys Swindled Them for Cars and Nice Furniture”

A traditional American... Halloween costume mocking the native inhabitants of this land.

Growing up, we had something called the “coffee filter” in my house. It was my mom’s cutesy way of telling us that we always needed to think before speaking, but it worked (most of the time).

The world would probably be a much better place if everyone bothered to use their coffee filters, but the sad fact is that most people don’t even have one. That’s probably the reason why there are so many racial epithets and ethnic slurs floating around that I’m still learning about new ones.

And it’s probably also the reason why judges are just blurting them out in court….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judges Beware, Because Some Defendants Just ‘Go Native’”

Justice Kennedy

* How did Howrey start to unravel? The trouble might have started in Europe. [Washington Post]

* Congratulations to Arvo Mikkanen, a Native American nominee to the federal bench in Oklahoma (and “an all-around great dude,” according to a tipster). [The Atlantic]

* Washington & Lee Law School, which we recently praised for its honesty to prospective law students, gets even more transparent — in an interview with Vault. [Vault's Law Blog]

* In a recent visit to USC, Justice Kennedy presided over a Shakespeare-inspired trial — something he has done before — and denied that the justices think about the news media when making their decisions. Methinks His Honor doth protest too much. [USC News]

'Please don't ship me in a box with no air holes.'

* A New York trial court smacks down a claim of cyberbullying. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Taxing alcohol to reduce crime? Sounds like that will lead to more muggings for alcohol money. [Going Concern]

* If you try to mail a puppy from Minnesota to Georgia in a box with no airholes, you don’t get your dog back. Also, you get shipped directly to hell. [Runnin' Scared / Village Voice]

* Blawg Review #297: The Hair Shirt Edition. [Big Legal Brain via Blawg Review]

redskins logo.jpgFor most of us, today is Thanksgiving! For a small segment of the population, today is the 2009 National Day of Mourning. The United American Indians of New England describe the day as:

An annual tradition since 1970, Day of Mourning is a solemn, spiritual and highly political day. Many of us fast from sundown the day before through the afternoon of that day (and have a social after Day of Mourning so that participants in DOM can break their fasts). We are mourning our ancestors and the genocide of our peoples and the theft of our lands. NDOM is a day when we mourn, but we also feel our strength in political action. Over the years, participants in Day of Mourning have buried Plymouth Rock a number of times, boarded the Mayflower replica, and placed ku klux klan sheets on the statue of William Bradford, etc.

The arrival of white folks from across the sea led to a Native American holocaust, theft of native lands, and the trivialization of Native American culture for the sake of national and college team mascots.
We’ve written a few times about the Native American battle to get the Washington Redskins football team to change its name. After a 17-year battle, the Native Americans lost a trademark suit against the team. The Supreme Court denied cert for the case earlier this month, meaning that the Redskins and their attorneys at Quinn Emanuel kept their laches victory. (As you certainly remember, not everyone at Quinn was pleased about that.)
In our post about the Supreme Court ruling, we asked:

Are we really going to make it through this entire case without any judge having to rule on whether or not it is appropriate to put “redskins” on a football helmet? Maybe not.

Drinker Biddle & Reath partner Philip Mause, who is representing the Native American plaintiffs, has another petition regarding the Redskins name pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The Board previously ruled in 1992 that “redskins” is defamatory and cannot be trademarked. But that decision was overturned in federal court due to the laches issue. The new case, though, is led by Amanda Blackhorse of the Navajo Nation; Blackhorse and her co-petitioners were in their late teens and twenties when they filed their petition, so the courts won’t be able to dismiss the case based on the time elapsed/age issue.
This petition means there might be a Drinker Biddle v. Quinn Emanuel, round two. We’ve got an interview with lead petitioner Amanda Blackhorse after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Washington Redskins Controversy: An Interview with Amanda Blackhorse”

quinn redskins.jpgWho can forget Quinn Emanuel’s victory in the 17-year-long dispute over the name “Redskins”? Above the Law readers will remember Robert Raskopf’s happy victory email … and the first-year associate who had a problem with the firm’s representation of the Washington Football club. The first year was (eek!) fired for reasons unrelated to his disagreement with the firm’s position.
But is the firm’s position as strong as Raskopf thought? The Blog of the Legal Times reports that the Redskins case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court:

The long-running dispute over the appropriateness of the “Redskins” name for the Washington D.C. NFL football franchise reached the Supreme Court today. Philip Mause, partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath in D.C., representing a group of Native Americans offended by the name, filed a petition for certiorari in the case titled Susan Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc.

Was Raskopf’s victory email premature? More details, plus an UPDATE about the Native Americans’ game plan if SCOTUS doesn’t want to play, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quinn’s Redskins Case Goes to SCOTUS — On Petition for Certiorari”

john belanger u conn law dea drug money.jpgJohn Belanger, who appears to be a rising 3L at the University of Connecticut, will likely be deferring his third year of law school. He has some bigger legal issues to deal with.
Belanger, 27, was arrested last week for his role in running an international drug ring. From the Watertown Daily Times:

Federal authorities have charged more than 45 people nationwide over their alleged roles in an international drug-smuggling operation that moved $1 billion worth of marijuana.
The two-year investigation exposed a pipeline moving thousands of pounds of marijuana each month from the north country to numerous U.S. cities, including Boston, New York and Miami, prosecutors said. The crime syndicate is alleged to have moved the marijuana, which came from Canada through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in Franklin County and near Churubusco in Clinton County, over the past four years….
Zachary Gouchie, 24, of Montreal, Edward Kener, 31, of Weston, Fla., and John Belanger, 27, of Hartford, Conn., were accused of recruiting people and directing the movement of the marijuana along the East Coast.

Given that this allegedly started four years ago, perhaps Belanger decided to go to law school to give legal advice to the drug cartel. Those with knowledge of Belanger tell us about his exploits at U. Conn. and his special interest in American Indian law, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Student of the Day: John Belanger”

quinn redskins.jpgHere’s a post devoted to the perils of “Reply All” and idealism among first-year associates. Brought to you by the attorneys of Quinn Emanuel.
The firm just celebrated a victory in its Washington Redskins case, reports the Washington Post:

A federal appeals court yesterday handed the Washington Redskins another victory in their long-running legal dispute with Native American activists over the team’s name.
The appeals court did not address whether the name was offensive but upheld a federal judge’s ruling last year that a Native American man had waited too long to challenge six Redskins trademarks.

AmLaw Daily reports that Quinn attorney Robert Raskopf, who has been working on the case for as long it has been since the Redskins have seen a Superbowl stadium, was pretty psyched about the victory:

Raskopf was in a good mood when we spoke with him about the appellate win. He’s been on the case since it started 17 years ago. “It’s a great win for the team,” said Raskopf, who had help from Quinn partner Sanford Weisburst on the brief. “I’m so happy for the Redskins and their fans.”

Raskopf was so happy on Friday that he sent out a firm-wide victory e-mail. But not everybody was thrilled. After bouncing around the firm and racking up some responses, the victory chain made its way to our inbox via a tipster:

This is too good not to share. This was sent to all Quinn attorneys.

The First Year Associate Who Shat All Over Raskopf’s Victory Email OR The First Year Associate Who Repurposed the Redskins

After the jump, see the chain that culminates in a (soon-to-be-fired?) first-year associate’s plea for idealistic litigation at Quinn.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quinn Emanuel Associate Has Reservations About ‘Redskin’ Victory”

white glove.jpg

* Michael Jackson “beat it” without paying his legal bill. [The Daily Breeze]

* Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain testified for 2.5 hours yesterday in New York in Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office, but wouldn’t say which employees got some of the $3.6 billion bonus pie before the merger with B of A. How are we supposed to know which men to date when we get laid off? Kidding….[Bloomberg]

* More than 100 clients of a man who pretended to be an immigration lawyer got free advice from Lawyers at the New York City Bar Association. [The New York Times]

* SCOTUS had a big day yesterday, ruling on a Utah union case and a case involvingIndian reservations, and hearing arguments on environmental cleanups. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first to ask questions. [ABA Journal]

* In Houston, a Republican on the congressional judiciary has called for the impeachment of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, aka the groper we’ve been writing about, who is still hoping to get retirement funds from the state. [The Houston Chronicle]

* Show me the money. Lawyers, bankers, and accountants stand to make $1.2 billion in fees from GM’s bankruptcy. [Bloomberg.com]

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