Just a reminder from the Judicial Code of Conduct: “a judge should refrain from political activity.” And clerks too. Duh, right?
Well, Utah’s chief federal judge seems to have “forgotten” about canon 7 in her excitement about Obama. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Judge Tena Campbell, a President Clinton appointee, donated $100 to the Democratic candidate on Aug. 28, 2007, according to campaign disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The disclosure lists Campbell’s profession as “lawyer” and her employer the “govtt.” The address listed on the contribution is Campbell’s court chambers.
Sneaky. But not sneaky enough.
It wasn’t her only donation. Campbell contributed multiple times for a total of $300, but only her last donation was made public. Campaigns are not required to release the names of contributors until they donate more than $200.
Obama’s campaign returned the 300 bucks. Nominated to the federal bench by Clinton in 1995, Campbell is Utah’s first female district judge.
Being a Democrat in Utah must be a lonely endeavor. At least she has husband, fellow lawyer and “Missing Witness” author, Gordon Campbell, to keep her company.
The ABA Journal has sounded the starting gun on speculation about the lawyers ready to take prominent roles in the new administration. Depending on the presidential victor, names you know will become names that everybody knows.
Let’s jump into the ABA speculation on an Obama Administration. For U.S.A.G:
Eric Holder: Partner, Covington & Burling.
Holder and Obama have been friends since they hit it off at a dinner party in 2004. He is the consummate Washington insider–a familiar fixture in the Clinton administration, but well-known to Republican administrations as well. Best known as a prosecutor, Holder was fresh out of law school when he was assigned to the newly formed public integrity section of the Justice Department.
ATL’s dark horse pick: Andrew Cuomo. It’s the only way to save the Democratic party in New York, otherwise 2010 will be a bloodbath.
White House Counsel:
Robert Bauer: Partner, Perkins Coie.
He helped represent Minority Leader Tom Daschle during the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton and was general counsel to Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign. He’s considered one of the nation’s top experts on the intricacies of campaign finance and writes about it regularly on More Soft Money Hard Law, a law blog devoted to campaign finance.
ATL says: No brainer. Remember, most of Obama’s Senate staff came from Daschle’s staff after Daschle lost his seat.
And the next SCOTUS justice:
Elena Kagan: Dean, Harvard Law School.
In 1999, President Clinton tapped Kagan for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, only to have the nomination blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee, then controlled by Republicans. But many think an Obama administration wouldn’t hesitate to tap her for a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sonia Sotomayor: Judge, 2nd Circuit.
She was first appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush, then to the appeals court by President Clinton. In 1995, she won the gratitude of baseball fans by issuing an injunction against team owners, setting the stage for the end of the eight-month strike that led to the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.
ATL’s pick: Dean Kagan. Sotomayor would be an easier confirmation to be sure. But we once suffered a Socratic demolition at the hands of then Professor Kagan in a 1L CivPro class, earning her enduring respect. More substantively Sotomayor has an excellent chance to pull a Justice Souter once she’s on the Court. She’s maybe the appropriate choice if Kennedy moves on, but if Obama is replacing Stevens he’d better tap Kagan.
* The media talk about Obama and the expected clean sweep of the government has pumped up Democratic tires so much that they think they can do the impossible: appoint two Democrats to the Texas Supreme Court. [Dallas Morning News]
* The McCain-Palin efforts to recreate Florida 2000 in every state failed in Wisconsin. It’s a shame because the election has gone by way too fast, don’t you think? A mere 20 months? It is not enough. The media needs more. [New York Times]
* Regulators in Hong Kong will investigate failed investment devices that Lehman Brothers arranged. [Bloomberg.com]
* Crystal Mangum, the stripper who claimed to be attacked by three Duke Lacrosse players, has written a memoir asserting that she was telling the truth. [Associated Press]
* Anne Hathaway’s ex-boyfriend Rafaello Follieri was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison. Everything about Follieri and his case is irrelevant, except for the fact that he dated Hathaway. [abcnews]
* New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is requiring an energy company to be honest to its investors about the financial risks of climate change. The Environmental Defense Fund is giddy with this regulatory victory. [Market Watch]
The new law school at the University of California, Irvine has dropped its original name, the Donald Bren School of Law, and plans to offer full tuition scholarships to students who enroll in the school’s first semester in fall 2009.
This is excellent, because what we need right now more than anything are additional law schools.
UC-Irvine intends to focus on public interest law. It makes sense that students won’t have any debt, since they are going to have a hard time earning money.
According to an assistant dean at the new law school, the full-ride offer should give Irvine a competitive advantage:
Originally, the school … had planned to offer full tuition scholarships to about half that class; but, in an effort to lure high-quality students and compete with other top 20 law schools, UC Irvine School of Law has expanded that program, he said. While the law school has not yet determined the cost of its tuition, each scholarship is anticipated to be about $100,000, given an estimated rate of about $33,000 per year,
Let’s play a little game: what is the highest ranked school you would turn down to go to UC-Irvine for free? Stanford? Boalt? Bangladesh?
Statistically insignificant evidence is sure to follow.
Last week, we attended and reported on a talk at UVA Law School by Dahlia Lithwick, who discussed covering the Supreme Court. Now we bring you coverage of another interesting event, featuring more navel-gazing by legal journalists:
Reporting the Law: A Year-End Review New York Law School
Moderator: Brian Lehrer, The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC
Panelists: Emily Bazelon, senior editor, Slate; Dirk Olin, editor, Judicial Reports.com; Dan Slater, lead writer, WSJ Law Blog; Candace Trunzo, editor in chief, Star magazine.
The two lawyers on the panel, Bazelon and Slater, are pretty young things — and were smartly dressed for the occasion. Bazelon, whose features are reminiscent of Christy Turlington’s, wore a white v-neck blouse and well-tailored brown sweater. Slater, baby-faced yet lantern-jawed, wore a gray suit with a blue windowpane pattern, a blue patterned shirt, and a dark navy tie with pink stars (très preppy).
Oh, sorry — we got distracted by the superficial. We have more substantive comments as well.
If you’re interested in the legal media, you can read about the panel discussion after the jump.
Perhaps one Pittsburgh School of Law student agrees with Obama and believes that wealth should be redistributed from the rich to the middle-class. Perhaps the student believes in McCain’s policy of redistributing wealth from the rich to the super-rich. Whatever is going on at Pittsburgh, we have another case of a dirty lunch stealer.
From the Pitt Law listserv:
Please allow me to set the scene: Yesterday afternoon, at approximately 4:25pm, I placed a white plastic bag in the farthest refrigerator from the entrance of the student kitchen in the law school basement. Within this bag were two items: 1) at the bottom was a $2.99 microwave dinner (ravioli with marinara sauce); and 2) on top was a $6.99 container of spicy tuna sushi. I then went to class.
When I returned to retrieve my bag at 6:30pm, a mere two hours later, I discovered that someone had opened the refrigerator, opened my bag, lifted up my sushi, and then borrowed my microwave dinner. I say “borrowed” because I assume that no one who managed to get accepted to law school would consider stealing a $2.99 frozen dinner from a classmate who just spent almost 10 hours in the Barco Law Building. I further assume that whoever decided they really needed to borrow my meal of ravioli and cheese goodness will be returning it to me post-haste. Although I would prefer that my dinner is replaced exactly, I will also accept the
Chicken Chow-Mein Dinner by Lean Cuisine.
I appreciate everyone’s full cooperation in this matter.
I thought this sort of thing only happened at Michigan. Now I’m thinking that it is a “battleground state” problem.
This close to the election, I expect Obama and McCain to weigh in shortly.
I had no idea that the Mr. Rogers’s shoe fiasco would turn into a three day story. I imagine that Stephen Griffin, Vice Dean of Tulane Law School, is a very nice man. He probably even helps his landlady take out her garbage.
But his handling of this issue has been nothing short of mystifying.
You might remember that when Vice Dean Griffin was begging for the shoe, he said:
Until close of business tomorrow (Wednesday) we are taking a “no questions asked” approach to this situation. Our primary goal is simply the return of the shoe. If you know anything about this incident, please report it to Dean Netherton or myself. You can also communicate with SBA President [redacted]. You can report anonymously if you wish. If the shoe is returned to Dean Netherton’s office by close of business tomorrow, the Museum will not turn over the matter to the NOPD. If it is not, the Museum will turn over the matter to the NOPD.
Well, today he sent around another email to Tulane Law students:
Because the item was returned, the museum will not file a criminal complaint with NOPD. At the request of the Law School administration, TUPD is investigating the incident under the University Code of Student Conduct.
Vice Dean Griffin
Not surprisingly, Tulane students are a little pissed:
According to another Vice Dean, the thief will likely be kicked out of school. Seems a little unfair given the “no questions asked” terminology of the last email.
Honestly, what are you doing Dean Griffin? I get that you only “promised” not to turn the thief over to the police, but “no questions asked” doesn’t really comport with “you’re getting expelled.” Don’t try to pull clever legal jujitsu on a community full of soon-to-be lawyers.
And don’t try to pass the buck to the “law school administration.” You are part of the law school administration. If you spoke out of turn initially, you’ve got to own up to that and probably apologize.
Why would anybody trust you after this? Sure, you got the shoe back and maybe it’s good to expel a “bad-apple,” but you’re hurting the community that you are supposed to represent.
More bad news, this time from the Los Angeles market.
We’ve received word that O’Melveny & Myers has cut ties with five associates from their L.A. office. A tipster reports:
There were at least 5 associates let go today in the OMM Los Angeles office. Ranging from first years to mid-level associates. I’m not sure if they are being called performance related or if they are admitting they are layoffs.
OMM is calling them performance related. A firm spokesperson told us:
There have been no economic layoffs of associates at O’Melveny & Myers and there are no plans to conduct such layoffs. We are in the midst of our annual associate evaluation process, which began as scheduled in September, and some associates, as is always the case, are receiving less than satisfactory performance reviews.
We warned you that you should accept your offers. We then demanded that you should accept your offers. But based on the comments, there are still some of you out there sitting on multiple offers.
Career services people have taken note, and are literally begging their students to make a decision. The latest evidence comes from Michigan:
We write because we have heard from several of you that you are worried that your offers may be rescinded if an employer’s summer class is full, whether or not you have reached the 45 day period in which to respond to an offer. We have also heard that many firms are taking longer than usual to give a decision to students after callbacks.
First, there have been very few actual reports of rescinded offers at this Law School or our peer institutions. We have heard from many employers that while they are treading carefully in this economic climate, they have no intention of rescinding offers. Nonetheless, we think it prudent for you to accept an offer as soon as possible. To put it more bluntly, this is not the time to shop your offers or wait to see if a better one comes along. In addition to being in your own best interest to accept quickly, it may also assist other students who may then receive an offer that you turn down.
Obviously, some of you will not accept your offers simply to help out other students. Maybe you need actual proof that firms are rescinding offers.
Wonder why IP lawyers still have work? In the midst of a 177-page indictment against the “Mongols” biker gang, the government put in a charge invalidating the gang’s trademarked name.
If prosecutors succeed, the feds will own the Mongols trademark and can charge patch-wearing gang members with trademark infringement; or, at the least, have one more reason to stop them for a little sidewalk chat. Which is bound to irritate the gang members. Which may be the point.
As a person with some Chinese ancestry (that would be Elie “Ying” Mystal for those playing along at home) I am happy that the American government is finally standing up to those raiding Mongolians who come on their dread (steel) horses. Every time I try to build a wall, some goddamn Mongolian always comes to tear it down.
Of course, the government’s actions are disingenuous — soon NYPD will be able to stop anybody wearing a do-rag because it’s a yarmulke knock-off — but the Mongols leave us little choice.
Said one Mongol leader “To the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”
But we will break this gang. I don’t believe in the no-win situation.
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