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In addition to her intellect, academic and professional qualifications, Kagan did just enough to win my vote by her answers that television would be good for the country and the court, and by identifying Justice Marshall as her role model.

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), explaining in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece why he will vote in favor of Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Back in February 2009, we named the Honorable Joseph Wall a Judge of the Day. Joe Wall, at the time a Wisconsin trial court judge, used the term “baby mama” at the sentencing of an African-American defendant. He also made additional amusing quips — e.g., suggesting that “baby mamas” congregate at “a club” to find their unemployed, wastrel boyfriends.

An appeals court, finding Judge Wall’s comments to be inappropriate, held that the defendant was entitled to a new trial. But now the Wisconsin Supreme Court has reversed the appeals court, in a unanimous decision — a rarity on that utterly dysfunctional famously fractured court.

So, what did the Wisconsin court conclude?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Update: ‘Baby Mama’ Drama on Wisconsin Bench Reaches Resolution”

The University of Texas Board of Regents has agreed to rename Simkins Hall. Simkins Hall was named for a former UT Law professor and Ku Klux Klan leader.

The Board of Regents voted unanimously to change the name. The Houston Chronicle reports:

“There has never been any doubt in my mind about what direction they were going to go,” said regent Printice L. Gary of Dallas, the only African-American to serve on the board.

The new names will be Creekside Residence Hall and Creekside Park.

The hero of this story is former UT law professor Thomas Russell. It was his paper that forced UT to confront its past….

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In the aftermath of last week’s “LeBromination,” where we witnessed the Miami Heat become the basketball power equivalent of the SuperFriends, this was the response from a colleague of mine to a related story gaining steam in the media:

“Yeah, and I’m Shaq’s uncle.”

The last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind for Leicester Bryce Stovell. As first reported by TMZ, and followed by a slew of other media outlets (including this video from Headline News), Stovell claims that he is the biological father of basketball star LeBron James. In making his claim, he did what any of us would have done: he sued his son and baby’s mama (Gloria James) for $4 million dollars.

Sounds a bit sketchy, right? After he was named our Lawyer of the Day last Friday, I decided to reach out to Stovell for an interview with Above The Law. It turns out that the former SEC lawyer currently works as a contract attorney here in DC, which means we are practically brothers, in a non-DNA-test sort of way.

Stovell gave me some frank, interesting answers — along with a startling revelation….

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(aka Gloria James’s ‘Baby Daddy’)”

Now that we have kicked off the 2010 Summer Associate Satisfaction Survey, we wanted to share with you some of the highlights from the reports on the 2009 firm summer programs. If you are a current summer associateclick here to take our short survey about your experiences this summer at your firm.

  • The summer associate program at this Silicon Valley firm begins with a kickoff weekend at the Seascape Resort in Aptos, California, where, in addition to social events, the firm holds trainings and various practice group workshops.
  • This Washington, D.C.-based firm offers summer associates the chance to participate in its Public Interest Fellowship program, and split their time between the firm and local public service organizations for five weeks at full salary.
  • Summer associates at this Philadelphia-based firm, which recently opened a Moscow office, are paired not only with a partner and associate guide, but also a writing mentor.
  • All 14 of this "global" firm’s domestic offices have summer associate programs, and summer associate positions are also available in locations outside the U.S.

Additional summer program highlights, which might give you some good ideas to use at your firm, after the jump.

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A group calling itself “Concerned Citizens of the United States” has compiled and published a list of 1,300 allegedly illegal immigrants living in Utah. In addition to names and addresses, the list goes into shocking personal detail about the people the Concerned Citizens group is concerned about, The New York Times reports:

Each page of the list is headed with the words “Illegal Immigrants” and each entry contains details about the individuals listed — from their address and telephone number to their date of birth and, in the case of pregnant women, their due dates. The letter was received by law enforcement and media outlets on Monday and Tuesday.

Hey, nothing says “America” quite like menacing pregnant women, right?

But the medical data released by this organization could make somebody liable for a felony….

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While in journalism school, one of my “assignments” was to hang out at New York’s night court (open until 1 a.m. every night), observe the proceedings, and then write about them. It was less exciting than Judge Harry had led me to believe, but was an interesting night replete with drug addicts, prostitutes, and a cheap-date-loving couple who had stopped in to observe as free post-Chinatown-dinner entertainment.

It also introduced me to a 2006 New York law that requires felons to submit a genetic sample to the state DNA database. When informed of the law, one defendant arraigned on burglary charges resisted giving up his double helixes. “Are you willing to issue a court order to make me do it, sir?” he asked the judge.

“Is my saying it to you not enough?” the judge replied. The defendant said: “If you sign a court order, I’ll do it.” The judge asked for a piece of paper, and the defendant objected, “No, I want an official court order.”

The assistant district attorney then explained, in an annoyed tone, that any paper written and signed by the judge qualifies as a “court order.” The judge issued the order, but the man returned 15 minutes later, still refusing to give the DNA sample. The judge set bail and again reminded the dude that the DNA sample was required by law.

Many states have criminal genetic databases these days. As noted by the Genomics Law Report, the LAPD’s using theirs to catch the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer has resulted in a lot of media attention for these databases, despite the fact that they’ve been around for awhile. That’s because, according to GLR, “the case marks the first time in the United States that a DNA search technique known as familial searching has led to an arrest in a homicide case.” The LAPD nabbed the Grim Sleeper after DNA samples from the murders were found to be genetically similar to those of the Sleeper’s son, who had given up his DNA after a felony weapons charge. (Apparently, criminal genes run in that family.)

The attention being paid to the databases is not all positive, though. The ACLU, which has a problem with the way that California compiles its database, filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Jerry Brown last year. It’s now before the Ninth Circuit. What’s the ACLU’s problem with California’s compiling genetic information for felons and suspected felons?

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Over the past few days we’ve seen an outpouring of support for the proposition that people should go to law school. It’s clear that there are many students in law school or heading to law school who believe that they’ve made the right decision (and it is the right decision, for some people). Moreover, we’ve learned that a lot of people seem to think that ATL — or, more specifically, me — have some kind of vested interest in crushing dreams and making law students feel bad.

Duly noted. I probably should stick my vuvuzela up my butt and let you guys enjoy the excitement of starting out on a new career.

But as Gandalf once said: “I’m not trying to rob you, I’m trying to help you.”

So fine, don’t take my word for it. Maybe you’ll listen to your friend, your God, the U.S. News & World Report

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Why are University of Bridgeport students / graduates so prone to violence? First there was Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber (Bridgeport ’00). Now there’s Michael Williams:

Police said a University of Bridgeport student angrily confronted Probate Judge Paul Ganim (pictured) during the Puerto Rican parade, throwing candy into the judge’s face.

Michael Williams, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged with breach of peace and threatening. He was released after posting $2,500 bond.

The story gets even more bizarre. What kind of candy?

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* JPMorgan Chase kicks off earning season with strong numbers. You wonder if this will give Jamie Dimon even more clout has he lobbies on the financial reform bill. [CNN Money]

* Argentina legalizes gay marriage. [New York Times]

* Hogan Lovells partner Scott McInnis admits he committed plagiarism in 1984. He’d still like to be Governor of Colorado, though. [ABA Journal]

* Some states are banding together to support Arizona. [Courthouse News Service]

* I bet looking under the hood at the Playboy financials isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds. [Law.com]

The Senate confirmation vote on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been pushed back one week, to July 20. This gives the Republicans more time to try and persuade a few Democrats to vote against Lady Kaga.

As they try to win over Democrats, the Senate Republicans have some new fodder: a Kagan-related scandal! A hit-and-run car accident, involving thousands of dollars in damage! To a minivan — owned by the mother of a disabled child!

Alas, the Divine Miss K wasn’t at the wheel. Who was?

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Last month, the employee cafe in the D.C. office of Skadden was briefly closed for health code violations. Meanwhile, across town, the Supreme Court cafeteria continues to operate — even though some apparently think it should be struck down like an errant statute.

On what grounds? For serving fare that violates evolving standards of decency. That seems to be the view of a reporter from the Washington Post (via Josh Blackman):

This food should be unconstitutional, we agreed, as my two companions and I sat in the court’s sparsely populated dining area, examining the wan offerings we’d just received.

The restaurant review is part of the WaPo’s ongoing review of federal government cafeterias. Based on the harsh write-up for Cafe Scotus, it sounds like the judiciary is — with apologies to Alexander Bickel — the most dangerous branch.

So, what are some of the specific dishes panned by the Post?

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