Barack Obama's purported birth certificate - click to enlarge.
Orly Taitz and the Birthers aren’t the only people obsessed with Hawaiian birth certificates. A young lawyer by the name of Adam Gustafson — a 2009 graduate of the Yale Law School and former vice president of the Yale Federalist Society, who’s currently clerking in Hawaii for Judge Richard Clifton (9th Cir.) — is making a federal case over them.
And Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway, the district court judge who wound up with the case, is not impressed. She recently dismissed Gustafson’s complaint — in forceful fashion:
This case is an example of why people who overreact to situations are accused of “making a federal case out of nothing.”
Plaintiff Adam Gustafson and his wife… proceed pro se against various state officials. The Gustafsons complain about having been asked to state their race and any Spanish origin on a birth certificate registration form submitted in October 2009 for their Hawaii-born daughter. The Gustafsons articulated to the State their objection to a birth certificate identifying their races.
The court has no quarrel with the Gustafsons’ wish for a birth certificate devoid of such information. What follows, though, shows questionable judgment.
Ouch — quite the benchslap. Gustafson’s boss, Judge Clifton, should keep Gustafson far away from any appeals of decisions by Judge Mollway.
Filing a federal lawsuit in Hawaii, while clerking in Hawaii for a federal judge? It’s gutsy of Gustafson. At least he won’t have to travel far for any appearances.
So what about Gustafson’s case reflects “questionable judgment”?
* Would you vote for a candidate if all you knew about her was that she was “not the whiteman’s bitch”? I think I would not. But if she said “makes the whiteman my bitch,” we might be onto something. [Gawker]
* ACLU goes after the immigration policy of one Nebraska town. [WSJ Law Blog]
* While she won’t shift the ideological balance of power on the Court, Elena Kagan does shift the gender politics of the high court. [Washington Post]
* Remember the judge that allegedly slashed somebody’s tires? He received his punishment: a whopping five-day suspension. [Underdog]
* National transportation reform couldn’t possibly be more complicated than health care reform. Right? [Alt Transport]
* The fake Lindsay Lohan jailhouse twitter feed has been pretty hilarious so far. [Twitter]
In my day (circa 2003), to be discouraged from going to law school, you had to make the effort to apply to a Biglaw firm for a paralegal job. After a year or two of working with disgruntled corporate lawyers, there was a good chance that your desire to become one of them would wither like a houseplant watered regularly with bleach.
These days, getting dissuading from going to law school is much faster and easier. Everywhere you look, people are saying that law school is a lost cause. Even Gawker — and if that’s not an expert source on the worth of a law degree, what is?
But, hey, we are law groupies here at ATL. We love and respect The Esquire. We also love debates. We will keep offering arguments for and against law school. (A big argument in the “for” category: If people don’t go to law school, who will read us?)
We are, however, frequently amused by those naysayers who lampoon the law school experience. One such law school regretter recently sent us an “unofficial law school orientation” memo that she had prepared for entering 1Ls. What caustic pearls of wisdom does this rising 2L have for law school newbies?
Earlier this week, Locke Lord’s Larry Gray — managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office, and a lawyer at the firm for more than 35 years — passed away. He suffered a heart attack on Monday at the office. The firm was informed via an email from firm-wide managing partner Jerry Clements, on Monday night:
Dear LLBL Friends:
I am terribly sorry to report that our good friend and Managing Partner of our Chicago office, Larry Gray, passed away this morning after suffering a heart attack at the office.
More information regarding arrangements will follow when we have them. Please keep Larry’s wife, Sheri, and their children in your thoughts and prayers.
Condolences to the Gray family and to the entire Locke Lord community. A statement from the firm about Larry Gray appears after the jump.
In today’s post, we are highlighting how the summers at this week’s five most popular firms feel about their summer programs. We are also still collecting responses for our 2010 Summer Associate Survey and encourage current summer associates to please take our short survey.
You won’t have to explain the impact that this well-known law firm has had on the legal employment market to your classmates. Don’t expect 5-star lunches everyday as a summer associate, but don’t be surprised if it happens a couple of times throughout the summer.
All summer associates at this international law firm received full-time offers last year. Even more impressive, none of them were deferred. But be sure to have your passport handy, though; it is not uncommon for summer associates to work part of the summer in an overseas office or two.
Summer associates attend litigation or transactional training institutes and experience a free-market work environment at this Chicago-based law firm. Anticipate a lot of flexibility in your assignments, but don’t except any hand-holding.
Associates at this Texas-based law firm can afford to buy more than a 3500 sq ft house and a Lexus with its top-of-the-market salary levels. Summer associates will also have plenty of time to get a nice tan as folks here leave the office before 6 p.m., and weekend work is as rare as the steaks you’ll be eating at a firm-sponsored BBQ.
Southern hospitality and decent work hours will greet you at this Georgia big law firm. But there will be more to your summer experience here than buckets of sweet tea and peaches. Summer associates select a department rotation and will experience a very structured and substantive summer program.
Want to know more about the summer program at other Big Law firms, or see the feedback left by former summer associates at the firm you are currently summering at or hoping to interview with in fall recruiting? Please visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, for the inside track on each leading law firm.
After CNN editor Octavia Nasr got the boot for an indiscreet tweet, Fast Company was inspired to do a series of stories on companies’ social media policies: “guidelines about how its employees (and freelancers and interns) should represent themselves on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media destinations.”
In the most recent piece in the series, Fast Company looked at Harvard Law’s guidelines for its bloggers. It approved of Harvard’s straightforward approach:
“As a general matter, you may post content freely to your blog and to those of others, so long as the content is not illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy or otherwise injurious or objectionable.
Well, that takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it?
You may not use the Harvard name to endorse or promote any product, opinion, cause or political candidate. Representation of your personal opinions as institutionally endorsed by Harvard University or any of its Schools or organizations is strictly prohibited.”
So no endorsement of Elena Kagan allowed over there?
There’s a burgeoning awareness of social media in the law firm world. When we were in Chicago for an in-house counsel conference, we met a lawyer who had chucked the practice of law to advise law firms on how to use social media. We asked him about guidelines for law firms and lawyers when it comes to Facebooking, blogging, and celebrity endorsements via Twitter…
If you are superstitious, then the house shown at right (click to enlarge) — 1509 Swann Street NW, Washington, DC — is not the house for you. It is the house in which promising young lawyer Robert Wone — a former associate at Covington & Burling, and general counsel for Radio Free Asia at the time of his death — was murdered.
The murder took place almost four years ago, on August 2, 2006. Three former residents of 1509 Swann — former Arent Fox partner Joseph Price, his domestic partner Victor Zaborsky, and their lover, Dylan Ward — were recently found not guilty, after a bench on trial on obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges (but not murder).
Their former house is currently on the market. Says our source:
Get a peek inside the house. For $1.6 million, I would expect my home to not have been the scene of a murder — but then again, nothing surprises me in DC real estate.
The house’s history may be troubled, but there’s a lot to like about it….
I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. A student is demanding that his law school admit to scamming him out of money in open court.
And why? The student isn’t trying to recover tuition dollars directly from the school. Instead, the student is involved in the arduous process of trying to get his debts discharged through bankruptcy. As we’ve mentioned repeatedly, you can’t discharge student loans through the bankruptcy process absent a showing of undue hardship.
The student is named Kenneth Desormes. The school is Charlotte School of Law. And he wants Charlotte to admit what they did to him…
HELP WANTED: We are looking for a writer to take over Morning Docket duties from the three of us. To learn more and apply, please see this post (a prior solicitation for MD writer applications). The only difference is that now the post comes with a modest monthly stipend.
* Constance McMillen, the lesbian who wasn’t allowed to bring her girlfriend to her high school prom, has settled her suit with the school. [ABA Journal]
* A New York State appellate court will let a model’s malpractice claims against Boies Schiller walk the runway. [Am Law Daily]
* Former media mogul Conrad Black is released on bail, courtesy of a SCOTUS ruling. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A closer look at Rod Blagojevich’s decision not to testify at his trial. [New York Times]
* Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, author of the majority opinion in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (aka the MA gay marriage case), is retiring from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. [How Appealing]
* BP is generating work for transactional attorneys as well as litigators. [Am Law Daily]
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
The JOBS Act created new tools for companies to publicly advertise securities deals online. As a result, thousands of new deals have hit the market and hundreds of millions in capital has been raised, spurring a wealth of new business development opportunities for attorneys.
Fund deals, startup capital raises, PIPE deals and loan syndicates are just a handful of the transactions benefiting from the JOBS Act. InvestorID FirmTM is a platform designed to help attorneys equip their clients with the workflow, marketing and compliance tools to publicly solicit a securities offering online. By providing clients with the tools to painlessly navigate the regulatory landscape of general solicitation, InvestorID FirmTM helps attorneys add value above just legal services.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) went into effect in 2013 and permits Regulation D offerings of securities to be advertised publicly. This means that funds and companies can now use social media, emails and web sites to market transactions to new “accredited” investors.
However, with these new powers come new pain points. InvestorID FirmTM provides a secure, fully hosted, cloud-based platform with a breadth of tools for your clients, including: