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Laura Hall: banned for two years from all pubs and clubs in England

I’ve certainly been kicked out of a few bars in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever been officially “banned” from one, but there are certainly places that I’d probably not be welcomed back to. Getting banned from a couple of bars isn’t really a big deal. You’re probably not having enough fun if you’ve never run the risk of being banned from a particular watering hole.

But getting banned from every bar in an entire country? That is something special. The Daily Mail reports that a woman — a wee babe of 20 — has pulled off this amazing feat:

A woman has become the first person to be banned from buying or drinking alcohol anywhere in England and Wales.

Laura Hall, 20, was issued with a Drinking Banning Order – nicknamed Booze Asbos – which bars her from entering any pub, club, off-licence or bar.

The two-year order also bans Hall from buying alcohol at any other establishment or shop, carrying it in an unsealed container or drinking it in a public place.

A “Drinking Banning Order”? What the hell kind of totalitarian remedy is that?

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Today brings an update in the case of Gerald Ung. The Temple Law fourth-year got in trouble earlier this year for being the wrong kind of gunner.

While other Temple students have recently appeared in these pages, sporting legal tees and trying to get undergrads out of their tees, it’s been a while since we’ve heard news of Ung. Our last post on his alleged shooting appeared in February. But now the case is moving forward. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Gerald Ung, the Temple University law school student arrested in January for shooting another man five times in front of the Old City Fox TV studio, this morning was ordered to stand trial on attempted murder and aggravated assault charges.

Philadelphia Municipal Judge David Shuter dismissed two gun charges because Ung had a legal permit to carry a gun from his native state of Virginia.

The article contains some additional (and apparently new) details about the underlying incident….

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Plus another Temple Law tragedy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Goldman Sachs this morning. According to the SEC, Goldman is guilty of taking a “do what I say, not what I do” approach to mortgaged-backed securities.

Well, d’uh. That’s why Goldman isn’t suckling on the federal teat right now.

The SEC claims Goldman sold a financial instrument that they knew was going to fail, while at the same time taking short positions against that instrument.

Goldman denies the charges:

The SEC’s charges are completely unfounded in law and fact and we will vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation.

Am Law Daily reports that Sullivan & Cromwell partner Richard Klapper will be representing Goldman in this matter.

Let’s unpack the SEC’s complaint (pdf). Whether or not the SEC prevails in this civil litigation, their complaint certainly succeeds in making Goldman look very shady — the company’s stock tanked this morning.

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In yesterday’s post about the departure of D.C. power broker Lanny Davis from McDermott Will & Emery, a firm he joined a little over six months ago, we put out a request for more information. That request was promptly answered — by none other than Lanny Davis himself.

The drama lover in us was hoping for an epic tale of office intrigue and power struggle at McDermott Will (and commenters were happy to speculate). As it turns out, however, the parting of Davis and MWE is quite amicable — and far from total. As Davis explained to us, he’s setting up his own shop, but he will continue to work closely with McDermott lawyers, serving McDermott clients. In fact, Davis isn’t even leaving the building (so no office exorcism necessary).

What’s going on here? Information from our chat with Lanny Davis, plus the complete press release mentioned previously by the Washington Post, after the jump.

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I have been a lifelong cannabis user, on an almost daily basis since I was in high school. I am now the managing partner of a very successful law firm in the Washington, D.C. area.

I have been in a professional law practice for almost 27 years. I work 60+ hours a week, and all of that hard work has translated into high levels of annual income.

I still get high after work, almost every day….

– A marijuana-using managing partner (and parent of pot-smoking daughters), in an email to Andrew Sullivan.

Back in December, DLA Piper decided to move to a merit based compensation system. Attendant to that move, the firms instituted a 10% pay cut, dropping starting salaries to $145,000. Despite widespread outrage among DLA associates, the firm repeatedly defended the move.

Other Biglaw firms that moved away from lockstep would not follow DLA down the salary rabbit hole.

Now, DLA Piper has given it up its quest to drive down associate salaries. The National Law Journal reports:

DLA Piper is raising associate pay by 10 percent, in a move that will return compensation to their levels before the economic downturn.

A memo released to attorneys on Thursday by firm leaders announced midyear pay increases in offices outside New York. DLA Piper raised salaries in New York in January to pre-recession levels of $160,000 for first-year associates.

Welcome back to the pack, DLA? Tipsters report that the firm is not quite there yet…

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Last month, Midwestern firm Polsinelli Shughart raided Bryan Cave. Approximately 22 attorneys from Bryan Cave’s Phoenix, D.C., and Chicago offices spread their wings and flew over to Polsinelli. The Phoenix flock was the largest, consisting of 12 partners and associates.

When a big group of attorneys leave, it sometimes spooks those left behind. We hear that one partner at Bryan Cave was really spooked.

The attorneys that left had all been on the 22nd floor, the main floor of the Phoenix office on which clients are greeted. Their departure left the floor eerily vacant, so the firm asked some partners and attorneys to move into the empty offices. One of those asked to move was longtime partner Bob Shely. He felt his new office was tainted, though; according to reports circulating widely at the two firms, he said it had an “evil feeling.”

I see defected people?

According to the rumor mill, he wanted the carpets torn out and the office renovated. But a recruiting coordinator at the firm offered a cheaper solution: a do-it-yourself spiritual cleansing kit….

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* MSM, it’s a volcano, not the apocalypse. [New York Times]

* Liberal law students are unimpressed with the frontrunners to replace Stevens. [Slate]

* Patients can now chose who can visit them in the hospital and make crucial medical decisions. That’s another step in the road towards fundamental fairness for gays and lesbians. [Associated Press]

* Do not touch the naked art at the MoMa. [New York Times]

* Warning to judges, never get excited about anything, ever. [ABA Journal]

* Jay-Z v. Big Papi over the 40/40 Club. [Daily News]

This is my last report about the Harvard Law School/New York Law School Future of Education Conference. If you read the previous installments, you’ll note that assembled law school deans, professors, and other educators spent a lot of time talking about the past. Towards the end of the day however, the conference turned forward looking with a panel about “Possible Alternative Models” to legal education.

The future, it seems, is in a holding pattern until law school professors can figure out how to get tenure under alternative models of legal education.

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* Is the iPad a good gadget for a young associate? [Young Lawyer's Blog]

* The blogosphere is still trying to come to grips with Chester Paul Beach’s statement. [Simple Justice]

* I think I know why we are all so obsessed with the U.S. News rankings. [True/Slant]

* New York City to close “rubber rooms.” [Examiner]

* Let’s say you love guns and hate criminals. After the criminal has paid his debt to society, should he be able to purchase a gun? Should he be able to arrange for the sale of a gun? [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* Tune in to My First Place on HGTV, tonight at 8, and watch D.C. lawyer Chris Chan hunt for a new home. [HGTV]

Back in October, we wrote about D.C. powerhouse lawyer Lanny Davis moving from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to McDermott Will & Emery. He was joined in his Orrick-to-McDermott move by Eileen O’Connor, the journalist-turned-lawyer who worked with him in his crisis management practice.

Now, just a few months later, it appears that Davis is striking out on his own. From the Washington Post:

Lanny J. Davis, the former White House counsel and longtime Clinton booster, is launching his own eponymous law-and-lobbying shop, according to a draft announcement obtained by The Post. Lanny J. Davis & Associates LLP will provide “a unique combination of traditional legal and litigation services plus media/crisis management, and legislative/public policy strategies to solve U.S. and international client problems,” the announcement says. Davis, a cable television staple who has often run afoul of more liberal Democrats, highlights his avowed centrism as a prime benefit for potential clients….

The new venture means Davis will step down as partner at the global law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, but he says he will continue to write a column for “The Hill” newspaper and contribute to a legal strategies blog that he began last year.

We reached out to McDermott, and a firm spokesperson confirmed that Davis is leaving the firm.

So who else is going with him, and what prompted the move?

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Today Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee, regarding the Court’s budget. It started out jovially, with Justice Thomas poking fun at Justice Breyer for agreeing with him for the very first time (at the 15 minute mark, regarding taking questions from the committee).

But an hour in, things got testy between the congressmen and the justices. Josh Blackman brought to our attention that the issue of Supreme Court clerk diversity came up. Congressman Ander Crenshaw asked the Justices why the members of the Elect are overwhelmingly graduates from Yale and Harvard. He delicately asked if they’re more qualified or if there are a disproportionate number of them applying for clerkships.

This led to a fifteen-minute discussion about clerkship diversity that started with alma maters, then moved to ethnic diversity. In response, Thomas threw the other SCOTUS justices under the bus (e.g., “MY clerks are diverse”), then threw feeder judges under the bus, and then threw law schools under the bus (e.g., “that pool comes from the law schools”).

But then Congresswoman Barbara Lee hit him with the bus…

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