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* A blistering dissent from that usual suspects: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. [The Atlantic]

* Same-sex marriage opponents in Nevada suggest liberal bias in the selection of the Ninth Circuit panels hearing gay rights cases. They demand en banc review after noting that “two of the Ninth Circuit’s more liberal judges wind up most often on panels deciding cases involving gay rights.” Let me peruse that roster of Ninth Circuit judges… yeah, good luck with that en banc review, guys. [SCOTUS Blog]

* A Toledo Law student was arrested on a child sex charge. [NBC24]

* Kesha is suing producer Dr. Luke for sexual assault and battery. [TMZ]

* Can you guess which states lead the way on transgender rights? The answer will… actually not surprise you much at all. [Vocativ]

* The travails of Albany Law School continue. President and Dean Penny Andrews announces that she is stepping down. [Albany Law School]

* As if police departments weren’t militarized enough, they’re using cash seizures to fuel even more ridiculous spending. [Washington Post]

* Staci profiled some legal cosplayers, and when I saw the Judge Dredd costumes, all I could think about is one of the greatest Onion videos about SCOTUS ever. “I am the law!” [The Onion]

* Katie Couric sits down with Susan Mellen, who was wrongfully imprisoned for 17 years. [Yahoo! News]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 10.14.14″

As you can probably imagine, I’ve been watching white people freak out about Ebola with a mixture of amusement and sadness. This thing has been for decades, menacing discrete pockets of black people on a continent nobody cares about without garnering the heath and safety attention Americans spend worrying about second hand smoke or sugary pop sodas. But now a few white doctors get it and we’re all living through a Steven Soderbergh movie. That’s funny to me, also tragic.

Don’t worry, we’re probably only a few dead white people away from curing this thing, and then going to Canada to afford the medicine.

In the meantime, expect some civil liberties to get crushed. Earlier this month, Tamara Tabo used her space to say that people who want abortions are treated no worse than people who are carrying a deadly infectious disease. Or something. I tend to think that people who want to control their own bodies should be treated much better than Ebola patients. But, then again, the treatment of people suspected of having Ebola is already pretty low. Hell, people who just say they have Ebola are being charged with crimes…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ebola Is So Scary It’s A Crime To Have It”

Last week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture:

(Photo credit: Reddit user bdj426)

On Thursday, you voted on the finalists, and now it’s time to announce the winner of our contest…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Winner: Wherein Law Students Fight Over Politically Incorrect Margin Notes”


This is a lawmaker? Like, a person who makes laws? This person has no business anywhere near laws that affect women or other human beings.

Jess McIntosh, a spokeswoman for EMILY’s List, a women’s political action committee, commenting on remarks made by New Hampshire Rep. Steve Vaillancourt about Rep. Ann McLane Kuster’s bid for re-election.

(This weekend, Vaillancourt compared Kuster to an unattractive drag queen in a blog post, further wondering, “Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as ugly as sin? And I hope I haven’t offended sin.” Ouch.)

This stock photo of a leather-clad woman motorcyclist is topical rather than gratuitous, we’re sorry to say.

Isn’t it nice when appellate courts hear oral argument at law schools? It’s great for bench-bar relations for the judges to leave their marble palace and spend some time with the legal community. It’s great for law students to see what real-world litigation looks like without having to leave campus. It’s generally a win-win situation for all involved.

But a recent calendar at a New York law school didn’t go so smoothly. The legal profession has a sexism problem, but there’s no need for judges to demonstrate it by directing sleazy quips at women lawyers arguing before them….

(Please note the UPDATE, featuring the identity of the judge in question.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Law School Dean Turns A Judge’s Sexist Snafu Into A Teachable Moment”

The Platonic ideal of a non-compete agreement envisions an engineer who worked on a team perfecting the latest iPhone quitting in the middle of the night to take a job heading up the Samsung product development team. That’s the sort of industry where companies have a legitimate interest in protecting their intellectual property. And hell, even there the agreement is probably not valid since Apple is based in California and they frown upon non-compete agreements. In any event, non-compete agreements are intended to cover something pretty close to rocket science.

In other words, non-compete are not intended to keep 18-year-old delivery drivers from seeking employment. Yet that’s exactly how bread and meat purveyor Jimmy John’s uses them. A class action lawsuit filed against the company reveals that they force the lowliest of their lowly employees to sign away their rights to work almost anywhere in the food industry as a condition of employment. And we have a copy….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Jimmy John’s Serves Up Sandwiches And Oppressive Non-Compete Agreements”

Last Friday, I was in my office when I noticed that my Dropbox tray icon said that I had 2,000 files left to sync. I thought that was weird because I didn’t remember adding thousands of files.

But, since I’ve never had any problems in the past with Dropbox, I didn’t think much of it… until later that evening, when I received the following email from Dropbox:

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When The Cloud Deletes Your Files: On-Site Storage Solutions”

Chief Justice Bart Simpson in 2033, photographed with his father.

Watching old Simpsons episodes can be a little like reading Nostradamus. The early episodes are filled with gags that seem creepily prescient in the light of hindsight. Like how Stop The Planet of the Apes I Want To Get Off predated the “let’s make an old movie into a musical” craze. Or how Fox is gradually transitioning into a hardcore sex channel.

But a tipster noted that a controversial Supreme Court case from this Term gets a predictive wink from an episode that aired in 1992….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Did The Simpsons Predict A Hot-Button SCOTUS Case 22 Years Ago?”

In case you weren’t aware, New York’s annual Comic Con — an event for nerds of all ages to salivate over all matters of fictional media — took place this weekend. This year was the largest NYCC ever, with about 151,000 people in attendance, with many of them dressed to the nines in full cosplay gear as their favorite characters.

“What the hell is cosplay?” you might ask. For the uninformed, cosplay (short for “costume play,” according to Wikipedia) is a time for adults to dress up and pretend to play roles from comic books, cartoons, video games, television shows, and even movies. It’s like a Halloween party on crack.

You’d never know it from looking at these wacky people, but some of them are members of the legal profession. From legal assistants to paralegals to lawyers, all sorts of legal professionals are into cosplay, and BuzzFeed was kind enough to unmask some of them for us.

Do you recognize any of these legal professionals?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Professionals Strut Their Stuff For Comic Con’s Cosplay”

In last week’s column, I discussed the importance of effective deposition defense, with a focus on the client-facing aspects of the process. Now it is time to focus on the true star of the show, the witness.

Yes, some witnesses will be important, perhaps even a senior executive at a client. Or a technical expert, on whose testimony your case rides. And other witnesses will be more tangential, like the IT guy you need to defend with respect to e-discovery issues.

Yes, I understand that every witness is critical, especially when it comes to e-discovery. Human nature, however, is to treat “important people,” like executives and experts, with an extra level of care. As a lawyer, the key is to treat every witness you are preparing for deposition with respecr — while remembering your role as an advocate, tasked with winning your client’s case. Effective defense of depositions goes a long way towards achieving favorable litigation results.

Here are some tips:

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Beyond Biglaw: Effective Deposition Defense (Part 2)”

Amanda Bynes

* Law schools are in trouble, but Cooley Law is “going strong” — after all, only “28 percent of last year’s graduates at its Michigan campuses failed to land jobs as lawyers within nine months.” You’re really doing it wrong. [Tampa Bay Times]

* This guy broke into the University of Oregon School of Law three times, and all he got were these computers for hipsters and a crappy 11-year sentence. (He should’ve broken into the football facility for better loot.) [Register-Guard]

* Should you go to law school if you know for a fact that you don’t want to be a lawyer? This is the type of question that would render your ATL editors unable to even. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

* Amanda Bynes has been placed on a 5150 psychiatric hold, and people suddenly care about mental health law. It’s sad that it takes a celebrity to make people care about these issues. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Marijuana is making its way to the ballot in some states this November, but before you vote, here’s a primer on where it’s legal to smoke weed, where it might be, and where it’s not. [Washington Post]

Ed. note: This is the latest post by Above the Law’s guest conversationalist, Zach Abramowitz, of blogcasting platform ReplyAll. You can see some of his other conversations and musings here.

In August, Personal Audio Inc. — a “patent troll” or a “patent holding company,” depending on your point of view — dropped its case against Adam Carolla for alleged violations of its purported patent on podcasting, or more specifically, creating sequenced playlists for download. Personal Audio apparently thought it could get a settlement out of Carolla, the same way it has against CBS and other big companies, by threatening expensive litigation.

But in his typical %^&# you fashion, Carolla proceeded to join forces with other podcasters, like Jay Mohr and Marc Maron, to crowdfund a legal defense fund against Personal Audio. The resulting litigation ultimately caused Personal Audio to drop its lawsuit. Mike August is a former William & Morris agent, an attorney, and the business manager of Carolla Digital. He has been nice enough to answer some of my questions and tell us about the future of podcasting and crowdfunded lawsuits.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Behind Adam Carolla’s Fight Against A ‘Patent Troll': A Conversation With Carolla Digital’s Mike August”

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