* “T.Owes.” [ESPN]
* Rebates to $500? [CNN]
* AG Mukasey won’t label waterboarding. [MSNBC]
* Sen. McCain wins Florida, Rudy to bow out. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* Federal inquiry into stolen artifacts expands. [New York Times]
* Margaret Truman, only child of President Truman and author of mysteries set at the Supreme Court and the FBI, RIP. [AP]
- Art, Deaths, John Edwards, Michael Mukasey, Morning Docket, Old People, Politics, Rudy Giuliani, Sports, Tax Law, Torture, War on Terror
* “T.Owes.” [ESPN]
The late Pope John Paul II was an expert skier. Even after he became Pope, and into his 60′s, the Holy Father would slip away from the Vatican for secret ski trips.
So, although we’d like them removed from all interstate highways, we have no problem with oldies on the slopes. This, however, is more troubling:
A 60-year-old man is taking an 8-year-old boy and his dad to court, claiming the boy caused a ski-slope collision that left the older man with a shoulder injury. David J. Pfahler of Allentown, Pa., sued in federal court in Denver, claiming Scott Swimm, then 7, was skiing fast and recklessly when they collided in January, the Vail Daily reported Thursday.
Looks like Pfahler is making a federal case of it (literally). He claims — quite conveniently, for diversity jurisdiction purposes — losses in excess of $75,000.
Scott’s father, Robb Swimm, said that he saw the crash and that Scott was skiing slowly and in control. “It wasn’t a violent collision or anything; Scott just kind of tapped his ski boots,” he said this week.
Scott’s mother, Susan Swimm, said her son weighs 48 pounds and couldn’t have been going more than 10 mph. “Who in the world sues a child?” she said.
Scott: How much do you have in your piggy bank? Pfahler is nearing retirement age — and Social Security doesn’t cover many ski trips.
Man, 60, sues boy, 8, over ski collision [Associated Press]
Compared to their colleagues in the trial court, appellate judges have a reputation for being delicate, academic creatures, with less in the way of “street smarts.” But don’t lump New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson in that group.
From the Albuquerque Journal (subscription):
New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson expected the worst Tuesday night when he fell to the ground as he tried to fight off a man lunging at him with a knife.
“I really thought the son of a gun was gonna stab me when I was down,” he said.
So how did it all unfold?
Robinson, 65, said in an interview Wednesday that the ski-mask-wearing assailant demanded valuables from him and two cousins visiting from San Diego as they walked to their car parked near La Fonda about 10 p.m.
But Robinson refused the robber’s demands:
“He said ‘Give me your money, (expletive)!’ I said, ‘I’m not gonna give you a damn thing!”’
Nice. But we do wish the judge had invoked his judicial office. Maybe he could have held his assailant in contempt?
A little more, after the jump.
Bizarre Love Triangle Ailing Husband
(And an ATL Special Report on Her Columbia Law School Visit)
Back in July 2005, shortly after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the Supreme Court, Professor Orin Kerr wrote an L.A. Times op-ed about how the Court might be affected by her departure. Its provocative title: O’Connor’s Successor Will Likely Be a Swinger.
We were reminded of Professor Kerr’s op-ed when we read this piece, by SOC biographer Joan Biskupic, in USA Today:
Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s husband, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has found a new romance, and his happiness is a relief to his wife, an Arizona TV report reveals.
The report, which quoted the couple’s oldest son, Scott O’Connor, focused on Alzheimer’s patients who forget their spouses and fall in love with someone else. Experts say the scenario is somewhat common.
[T]he report spotlighted John O’Connor, 77. He and the woman, referred to only as “Kay,” live at a Phoenix facility for people with Alzheimer’s.
A lesser woman might be troubled by the December-December romance. But Justice O’Connor, who understands the nature of her husband’s devastating illness, is fine with it — in fact, more than fine:
“Mom was thrilled that Dad was relaxed and happy and comfortable living here and wasn’t complaining,” Scott, 50, told KPNX-Channel 12 in Phoenix in a story that aired Thursday. The station is owned by Gannett, as is USA TODAY….
Scott compared his father to “a teenager in love” and said, “For Mom to visit when he’s happy … visiting with his girlfriend, sitting on the porch swing holding hands,” was a relief after a painful period.
In any event, Justice O’Connor is too busy with her own work to be consumed by petty jealousies. Her busy schedule of meetings and speaking engagements has kept her on the road, both nationally and internationally. Recently she was in Paris — c’est magnifique!
Earlier today, SOC spoke at Columbia Law School. A report on her visit appears after the jump.
Okay, 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.”
- Bad Ideas, Biglaw, David Otunga, Law Schools, Old People, Reality TV, Romance and Dating, Television
Law firms love free publicity. Especially law firms that have been in the news for having to pay $27.5 million to settle age discrimination claims by former partners.
Or maybe not:
In case you’re not familiar with the show, here’s a synopsis:
“Tiffany “New York” Pollard is jumping back into the dating pool to find the man of her dreams. A fresh crop of twenty men are brought together to compete for her heart and this time the selection process has a twist….some of the chosen contestants vying for New York’s heart have been hand-picked by online users and some have been chosen by Tiffany’s outspoken mother, Sister Patterson.”
Back to our tipster:
[Otunga] was brought in as one of three or four “Mama’s Boys” (potential suitors selected by New York’s mother) and nicknamed “Punk.” He told New York that he was perfect for her, since he was an HLS grad and a lawyer at “one of the top law firms in the world.”
Unfortunately, that law firm — Sidley Austin — didn’t appreciate his appearance on the show, and the firm recently “suggested” to him that it may be in his best interest to pursue his “acting career” instead of his legal career. He’s no longer on the firm’s webpage.
More after the jump.
* Mandatory retirement for law firm partners: pro or con? Depends on what you dislike more: rigid and economically irrational rules, or funny-smelling old people walking the halls. [Adam Smith, Esq.]
* We’re still investigating those Latham layoff rumors. In the meantime, you can follow Wall Street layoffs over at our big sibling site. [DealBreaker]
* Hillary Clinton: She who laughs loudest, laughs worst? [TalkLeft]
* Blawg Review #128 — coming all the way from Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university. [Lex Ferenda via Blawg Review]
Update (5:15 PM): With respect to Latham, a firm spokesperson stated that any layoff rumors are untrue. We’ve checked with a few of our own sources at the firm, and they also expressed no knowledge of any layoffs. If you’ve heard anything to the contrary, please drop us a line.
Usually when we highlight individual lawyers or judges in these pages, it’s to poke (good-natured) fun at them. But it’s Friday afternoon, so let’s send you into the weekend on a warm and fuzzy note.
From a reader who was on the train today:
A man in his mid- to late-twenties, wearing a yellow shirt and carrying a Jones Day bag, helped carry an elderly gentleman onto the train and into his seat. Around an hour into the train ride, the old man’s wife tried to wake him up, but could not.
The Jones Day man lifted the gentleman out of his seat, placed him in the aisle, and began CPR. The train conductor’s took over, the train was put onto a side track, and EMS was called.
Unfortunately, all efforts to resuscitate the man were unsuccessful. We were later transferred to another train. On this second train, which was now overcrowded, the same man later gave up his seat when an older passenger got on.
Not all that humorous, but I thought this chivalry by a “Big Bad Biglaw Lawyer” might merit your attention.
Indeed it does. We thank our reader for this interesting story — and commend the Jones Day fellow (associate? paralegal?) for his kindness and human decency.
(And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming. Whom should we make fun of next?)
Chief Justice John G. Roberts was hospitalized Monday after falling while on vacation in Maine, the Supreme Court told NBC News. Roberts, 52, fell at his summer home off Port Clyde [previously profiled in Lawyerly Lairs]. The court said he was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The nation’s top judge was fully awake and coherent both at his home and later at the hospital, the court said.
Lyle Denniston has a few more details over at SCOTUSblog.
The upshot: JGR is doing just fine. But it’s a reminder that anything can happen — that life is full of unpredictability.
Because if any member of the Supreme Court were to star in a Lifealert commercial — and utter those famous words, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” — wouldn’t it to be Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
Or maybe John Paul Stevens, who bears a reasonably strong resemblance to the man who cries out, “I’m having chest pain!” If you disagree, refresh your recollection here:
Chief Justice Roberts hospitalized [MSNBC]
Chief Justice falls [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]
Lifecall/Lifealert – Commercial [YouTube]
Earlier: Lawyerly Lairs: Chief Justice Roberts’s Island Hideaway
Not allowing the defendant to allocute before pronouncing sentence is a rookie mistake for a judge to make. So if a judge makes it, despite having been on the bench for over 25 years, he can expect to get benchslapped. From a Wisconsin reader:
Not sure if this is quite up your alley, but Federal District Judge John Shabaz got bench-slapped pretty hard by the Seventh Circuit in an opinion that came down today.
He’s like a million years old and is best known around here for falling asleep during trials and objecting himself and sustaining his own objections. We’ve decided not to get really worried until he starts overruling himself.
Well, as long as a former clerk doesn’t write a tell-all memoir, Judge Shabaz should be just fine.
Wherrrreeee’s Johnny [Seriatim]
United States v. Luepke (PDF) [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit]
John C. Shabaz bio [FJC]