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* I’ll bite: I think a tanning tax is racist. It’s textbook disparate impact. African-Americans have been through enough; we shouldn’t be forced to look at pasty-faced white people all winter. [Concurring Opinions]

* DWI fines are so expensive drunk drivers can’t pay them, so a Texas state senator suggests repealing the law. The things that pass for logic down there are amazing. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Arizona Governor Jan Brewer finds a way to blame Mexico for everything. [Color Lines]

* Meanwhile, in Sacramento, the solution to police budget cuts is to make sure it’s easier for people to carry around concealed handguns. D’uh. When they’re not enough cops you absolutely need people walking around armed to the teeth. Don’t you know that safety smells like hot lead and fresh blood? [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Court orders joint custody … of a Lhasa Apso. I have a Lhasa Apso, and I’m pretty sure my wife only puts up with me so she can see the dog. [ABA Journal]

* This is a pretty interesting way of looking at the LeBron coverage. [Breaking Media]

Justice Clarence Thomas got bad news yesterday from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. His nephew, Derek Thomas, had an epileptic seizure after hospital staff used a taser on him. From ABC 26 News:

According to a statement from the family, Derek Thomas, who is epileptic, refused to put on a hospital gown and tried to leave his examination after a possible suicide attempt. They say security “punched him in his lip, pulled out more than a fistful of his dredlocks and tasered him to restrain him.”

Doctors knew about Thomas’ epilepsy, but ordered security officers to use the taser anyway, instead of sedating him, the family says.

Ouch.

Clarence Thomas is allegedly outraged and plans to fly down to New Orleans to check on his nephew, according to ABC 26 News. And because this facility sounds a wee bit unpleasant, the family is trying to have Derek Thomas transferred somewhere else.

At least this is happening after the term has ended. He can deal with this crisis more easily with the Court in recess, just as Justice Ginsburg has the summer to grieve for her husband.

Video report from Jefferson Parish, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Don’t Tase Him, Bro — His Uncle’s a Supreme Court Justice”

Lindsay Lohan claims her fingernails were not sending a message to the court.

When actress Lindsay Lohan was sentenced earlier this week to 90 days in jail for probation violations, she showed up in court with fabulous fingernails. If you’d like to learn about how to get the same look for your own nails, check out our sister site, Fashionista.

The tie-dye effect on LiLo’s nails was très cute — the profanity, not so much. After a photographic close-up showed “F**K U” stenciled on her nails, observers wondered if the message was directed at the judge — and whether it might constitute contempt of court. Lohan clarified, via Twitter, that the “F.U.” was not directed at Judge Marsha Revel. (For the record, though, Lohan does think Judge Revel is a “f**king bitch.”)

Still, it probably wasn’t advisable for Lohan to show up in court with profanity printed on her fingernails. Didn’t her attorney — or her former attorney, veteran litigatrix Shawn Chapman Holley, who recently quit the case — advise the actress about courtroom appearance and demeanor?

UPDATE: For the time being, Holley is still Lohan’s lawyer. Page Six reports that Judge Revel won’t allow Holley to leave the case until a substitution of counsel has been filed with the court.

In fairness to Lohan, she probably didn’t expect that the words on her fingernails would be seen. After all, they were only shown to the world thanks to extreme close-up shots by high-definition cameras — cameras that also captured her handwritten courthouse notes. (John Steele of Legal Ethics Forum wonders if this raises privilege issues.)

And perhaps Lindsay Lohan views herself as above the law — and the lawyers. As analysis of the starlet’s Twitter feed reveals, Lohan considers herself to be quite the legal eagle….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Should Lindsay Lohan Go To Law School?”


Brandeis University has made a major free-agent signing in the legal world. The George Washington Law School dean, Frederick M. Lawrence, is leaving GW to become president at Brandeis. And the good people at Brandeis couldn’t be happier. As one Brandeis tipster put it:

Finally, a president that will make Jewish grandmothers (read: Brandeis undergrads) proud: “He’s a lawyer!”

No, but really, the trustees at Brandeis are thrilled….

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Does LeBron James have lawyerly genes?

LeBron James, who’s your daddy? (Unfortunately, it’s not the Knicks, to Elie’s great dismay.) Could it be a Washington lawyer by the name of Leicester Bryce Stovell?

Stovell came forward this week, claiming to have knocked up Gloria James when she was 15 and to have genetic proof that he’s the King’s father. Like all good dads should, Stovell is suing his new-found son and baby mama for $4 million for denying paternity. TMZ reported on the lawsuit on Wednesday along with photos of Stovell, saying the resemblance is uncanny. At the very least, it’s true that they’re both tall.

TMZ was blown away by Stovell’s credentials:

[T]he man making the claim isn’t some schmuck — dude is a Princeton graduate … who earned a law degree from the University of Chicago … and then became a Senior Legal Advisor for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Au contraire. You can get a law degree from the U of Chicago and still be a schmuck. One of Stovell’s former colleagues attests to that…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Leicester Bryce Stovell (aka LeBron’s Daddy)”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

ATL,

I have a pet peeve.  When scheduling conference calls, certain people, particularly associates at firms representing codefendants, frequently identify the time zone as “EST” or “PST” when we’re on daylight savings time.  Of course the writer means “EDT” or “PDT,” and everyone acts as if they wrote that.  But it bugs me.  And I have reason to think that some people see it as a sign of sloppy work.  Is it appropriate to point out this mistake (privately, of course)?

— Timed Out

Dear Timed Out,

You are absolutely right: typos such as confusing EST with EDT are indicative of sloppy work and its first cousin, sloppy thought. Frankly, they’re inexcusable when clients pay lawyers like yourself thousands of dollars to fight their battles – not “they’re batles.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Ticking Time Bomb”

Cornell Law School recently circulated to its students in the class of 2012 — i.e., rising 2Ls –a list of class of 2010 and 2011 members who landed jobs through the fall recruiting process. Most of these positions, not surprisingly, are at large law firms (aka “Biglaw”). The class of 2010 graduates will presumably be working for their firms in a few months (or in a year or so, if they’ve been deferred); the class of 2011 students are presumably summer associates at their firms right now.

Many law schools circulate such lists to their students. This gives rising 2Ls an opportunity to connect with graduates or fellow students and maybe learn a little bit more about law firms before fall recruiting really heats up.

The Cornell Law employment lists offer an interesting snapshot of the employment prospects for students and graduates of a top law school. The lists provide the name of the graduate or student, their law firm employer, the city they’ll be working in, and the graduate or student’s email address. We have reprinted the lists, but with names and email addresses redacted, after the jump.

Should Cornell Law students be pleased or pissed off by their school’s track record at Biglaw placement? We hear from one CLS student and then debate the question, also after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Employment Prospects for Graduates of Top Law Schools: A Cornell Case Study (and a Debate)”

There are a lot of angry job hunters in the legal marketplace right now, thanks to lots of debt and little in the way of prospects. They’re desperate, frustrated, and may be dangerous. The Great Recession has turned some of these poor legal puppies into Cujos.

In May, we wrote about a heated exchange between a Massachusetts law student and a potential lawyerly employer. The lawyer, Rose Clayton, had hesitations about hiring the law student as a paralegal and offered to hire him on a trial basis. When he objected, demanding a full-time offer instead, she laid out exactly what he had done wrong. That set him off and the conversation deteriorated into an exchange of unconstructive criticism. The law student, Jesse Clark, ended with this:

It’s amazing that the Ma Bar lets women practice law. Shouldn’t you be home cleaning and raising children? As for your practice, its just Bankruptcy. It’s not difficult, and many Petitioners file pro bono and get discharges.

Clayton posted the exchange online, redacting the student’s name, and Massachusetts Law Weekly picked up on it. And then we picked up on it. Jesse Clark responded on his blog and thus shed the cloak of anonymity.

Noah Schaffer at the Massachusetts Law Weekly’s Docket identified Clark in a second story, which led Clark to create a nude modeling profile for Schaffer.

After corresponding with Clark, my photo and phone number found their way into a Craigslist casual encounters ad. I deflated quite a few, um, hearts when I let the many callers know that it was a prank.

Then all was quiet on the digital terrorism front for over a month. Until this week. Rose Clayton became the victim of a nasty new prank…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Unemployed Law Students Attack”

* Appeals Court shuts down Obama, kind of like how LeBron just shut down Cleveland. [New York Times]

* The great spy swap is happening. Too bad we can’t send LeBron to Soviet Russia. [CNN]

* LiLo’s new lawyer is very inexperienced. But at least she passed the bar. “King” James has never won a freaking thing. [THR, Esq.]

* Pro se litigant beats Toyota at the Ninth Circuit. It’s kind of like what’s going to happen when Cleveland beats Miami in the playoffs. [Law.com]

* Shooting unarmed men in the back is still cool. Just ask LeBron. [Daily News]

* New Florida bar rules manage to anger the ACLU and the FTC. Kind of like how the new Florida basketball team will unite the country in anger. [ABA Journal]

* Also, screw you LeBron James. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

This summer is not as thrilling for law students as summers past. Firms have tightened their belts, and the law students lucky enough to snag one of the few summer associate positions out there are not getting the royal treatment. Or they are, but now the royal treatment is defined as allowing summers to order anything they want off the McDonald’s Dollar Menu (“All the McChickens and baked apple pies you can eat, 3Ls! But get it to go. There’s work to be done.”).

The Philadelphia Inquirer laments the decline of the summer associate experience:

The programs themselves, with trips abroad and lavish entertaining, could seem more like summer enrichment for precocious college students than real employment. But as a general rule, that sort of treatment is a thing of the past.

More typical is the summer program at the Wilmington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom L.L.P., where Temple second-year Nick Mozal is spending his summer in corporate law. Mozal said there has been some entertaining, but the big event so far has been a night at a Phillies game.

Well, it is Wilmington. Are there better options than that?

But even in much more glamorous Philadelphia, the summer experience is lackluster:

James Lawlor, a Reed Smith partner who recruits and hires summer associates, said the firm has been doing less entertaining of summer associates, and when it does, it is more likely to schedule events at the firm’s Center City offices rather than at costly restaurants.

“We took away some of the bells and whistles,” Lawlor said.

Not all firms have silenced their bells and thrown out their whistles, though. After the jump, check out this year’s contenders for best summer associate event. And vote for the firm that should take home the shorter and smaller prize…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Summer Associate Event Contest: The Finalists”

A federal judge in Boston — Judge Joseph L. Tauro (D. Mass.), appointed to the bench by President Nixon back in 1972 — just struck down down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As you may recall, DOMA is the 1996 law that effectively bans recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes of federal law.

The last substantive paragraph of Judge Tauro’s opinion summarizes the reasoning nicely….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Held Unconstitutional”

* There’s nothing quite as sad as a failed presidential candidate. John McCain, John Kerry, Al Gore, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale — you all need to get a room; a room that doesn’t have a microphone in it. [WSJ Law Blog]

* When I saw the headline for this story I was really hoping, nay praying, that assailant involved wasn’t black. Alas, I was disappointed. Whatever, I guess we’ll have to fight against historical stereotypes about the endowments of black men another day. [Nothing To Do With Arbroath]

* Constitutional Law might not be required for Harvard Law students, but maybe it should be required for county sheriffs. [Bad Lawyer]

* Civil unions get vetoed in Hawaii. Maybe this is a ploy to convince Tea Partiers that Hawaii really is a part of the Union and Obama is a citizen? [Huffington Post]

* The Dos and Don’ts of sending an email at Citibank. Apparently, sarcasm and exaggeration are no longer acceptable. [Dealbreaker]

* Legal scholar to become next Governor General of Canada. Yes, I know what you are wondering: what the hell is a “Canada” and why should we care who is governing it, generally? [Vancouver Sun]

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