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ice cube nwa police juries.JPGO.J. Simpson is set to stand trial, but this time the jury is all white (“So it’s all right,” says Chris Rock).
But let’s dig beyond identity politics for a moment.
Over at Deliberations they’ve posted a study that looks at jury issues based on jurisdiction, instead of ethnic origin. The study compares juries from urban districts to suburban ones. One can argue that splitting jury pools in this way is “code” for making a black-white distinction, but once the jurisdiction is picked it becomes harder to voir dire yourself into a conviction/acquittal.
The study finds urban juries to be “softer” on crime than suburban juries. D’uh. What is interesting is why there is this split.
Apparently, urban juries don’t trust the police, while suburban juries do.
Isn’t this a point that makes a lot of sense? Regardless of your race, if you live in a big city most of your interaction with the police involves them hassling you, your friends, and your rights. A tourist breathes a sigh of relief when they are walking down a dark alley and a patrol car rolls by. A city dweller avoids the stupid alley altogether, unless they are doing something that requires the privacy of dark, dank urban escapes.
Tempting fate after the break.

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Sarah Palin Alaska Governor Sarah Palin hottie.jpg* New York criminal defense lawyer Robert Simels has been spending too much time with the bad guys. He was arrested yesterday for trying to “eliminate and neutralize witnesses” in a drug-trafficking case. [Bloomberg]
* Judge sides with the Federal Election Commission, putting the muzzle on The Real Truth About Obama. [Associated Press]
* The jury is seated in O.J. Simpson’s kidnapping and robbery trial. Opening arguments start Monday. We wonder if his attorneys are feeling pressure to come up with something as snappy as the “if the glove don’t fit…” line. [CNN]
* A Florida attorney’s tale of lawyerly ethics, attorney-client privilege, and a hidden body. [St. Petersburg Times]
* Sarah Palin’s first big interview. [New York Times]

Yammer twitter law firms new bully toy.pngJust to be clear, I substantially agree with Futurelawyer on the abject horror of twittering. If God wanted people to have Twitter pages he wouldn’t have made sphincters; there are some things that should be kept inside until the appropriate time.
Given that, it is disturbing that Yammer took home the top prize at TechCrunch50. Yammer brings Twitter to internal corporate communications. TechCrunch claims that 10,000 people and 2,000 organizations signed up for the service Monday, the day it launched.
Firms already have associates on the short electronic leash known as the BlackBerry. Many firms internally IM. What possible good could come from bringing this Yammer thing into the workplace?
From Yammer’s website:

Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”

As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced.

Excuse me while I go to the bathroom, get a coke from the fridge, take a drag, stare longingly out of the window, and go back to blogging after the jump.

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Kanye west smashes stomps.JPG* Trial lawyers think the discovery process is broken. Don’t worry first year associates, nobody listens to silly trial lawyers. [BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* Some people like to use plagiarism detection software to figure out which briefs SCOTUS justices find persuasive. We’d like to use it to make fun of lazy SCOTUS clerks. [The Conglomerate via SCOTUSblog]
* This story includes four words that should never be in the same sentence. I’ll jumble them up because I don’t want to flippantly scar people for life: home, tape, sex, nursing. [How Appealing]
* Not everybody can go to a top 50 law school. Find out which schools outside of the top 50 have the most “productive” faculty. [Brian Leiter's Law School Reports]
* Anger Management. Look into it, Kayne West. [Gawker]

DLA Piper logo Above the Law blog.jpgWe received some chatter this week about DLA Piper shortening their summer program. Interviewees on the east-coast have been told that the program would be only 10 weeks long, as opposed to the 11 or 12 weeks they were expecting.
DLA Piper spokesperson Jason Costa assured us that scaling back was not a reaction to the downturn in the economy:

2/3rds of our summer programs were already ten weeks long. Some were a little bit longer and some were a little bit shorter. About a year ago we decided we were going to standardize most of our summer programs to a ten week term, which impacted a couple of offices on the east coast. The result is that all of the summer programs are going to be over by early August.

Costa went on to say that the change was made to so they could be finished with their summer program by the time OCI starts in late August.
More about the 2009 summer class after the jump.

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sept11 013.jpgWarning: This post strays from the snarky and strictly legal. The seventh anniversary of September 11 begs for a bit of solemnity after all. We were on the scene of the tribute today in Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, next to the World Trade Center site.
Among those gathered in the park was Cheryl Shames of Long Island. Her brother, Andrew Zucker, then 27, was one of the five lawyers from Harris Beach who died in the collapse of the second tower on September 11, 2001.
Zucker worked as a volunteer fireman before going to Cardozo Law School. After a job as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx, he joined Harris Beach. He had started there August 2001.
According to his sister, Harris Beach hired a private investigator to evaluate the office’s response to the emergency. The investigator determined that Zucker’s “fireman instincts” helped save the lives of the seven Harris Beachers who managed to escape.
Just a little remembrance. We’ll return to the snark shortly.

champagne glasses small.jpgAfter two weeks of political chatter over John McCain’s vice-presidential pick, one burning question remains: Will Bristol Palin’s wedding announcement run in the New York Times? If it does, dear readers, it may mark the first time a self-described “f–kin’ redneck” appears in that space. Be assured that LEWW, after stretching to find a legal angle, will cover it with the breathless snark you demand.
As is usually the case, all three of our weddings this week were officiated by Rabbis. So you may safely assume that there are no rednecks, and no pregnant brides. Just silky smooth prestige. Here are the finalists:

Sara Aronchick and Scott Solow

2. Betty Luther and Benjamin Siracusa
3. Annie Kaufman and Tad Fallows

More about these couples, after the jump.

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bc lsa cruise drinking.jpgTomorrow, the law students association at Boston College Law School will host its annual Boston Harbor boat cruise. Most law schools in the greater Boston area do some version of this. I’ve been on many, though I remember none.
But I guess it’s exactly that kind of drunk boat behavior that the BC cruise team are sick of. A tipster sent along sternly worded email in advance of tomorrow night’s festivities:

Unfortunately, over the past several years, we have had some troubling incidents on the boat cruise that have marred this event. These incidents were all caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Is there any point to being on a boat in the middle of Boston Harbor unless you intend to consume alcohol excessively? It’s not like you can fish, swim, or gamble. What else are you supposed to do?
The email goes on to list specific incidents that have “marred” the boat cruise in the past:

One year, a law student was detained and arrested by the State Police while trying to board the boat while intoxicated. A few years ago, the boat was forced to return to port shortly after leaving dock because of a seriously intoxicated student on the cruise. Last year, there was a fight between two law students and one sustained a serious, and possibly permanent, injury.

As our tipster aptly put it, “I’m still trying to figure out if this was meant as a warning or an advertisement.”
Tickets are still available!
The full email is reprinted after the jump.

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Andrew Giuliani Duke University Duke golf team lawsuit.jpgOn Wednesday, Duke responded to Andrew Giuliani’s lawsuit. Duke claims that they were well within their rights to kick Giuliani off the school’s golf team.
Duke alleges that Giuliani threw an apple in another teammate’s face, injured a teammate, and was verbally abusive to one of the coaches.
Sounds about right.
You can’t believe everything you read in our comment threads, but one commenter on our initial post seems to have known exactly what Giuliani-time meant for Duke golfers:

Apparently, Giuliani threw an apple at another kid’s face who was also on the Duke golf team. The apple caused some damage to the kid’s face. O.D. [Vincent III, the coach of the golf team] is a class guy and has always been fair to everyone on the team. As evidenced by the fact that Giuliani is not back on the team, his ex-teammates don’t really like him at all. Not to mention the fact that he’s not good enough to be on the starting five. From an inside source, Giuliani was a “virus” on the team.

So maybe the kid has a bit of a temper and is a bad golfer? So what? We shouldn’t make fun of him. It’s not like he’s a community organizer or anything. Those are the people we should ridicule.
Duke defends dismissing Giuliani’s son [Charlotte Observer]
Earlier: Andrew Giuliani’s Golf Team Lawsuit: Open Thread

corporate blog mind control.jpegDoes your firm run a corporate blog? If so, would you post comments to it? Employers are struggling with the question of what to do about employee blogs, and their responses prove just how old and out of touch corporate leaders can be.
In the National Law Journal, one attorney tries to define blogging in a way that Angela Lansbury would understand:

“It’s the modern-day version of the suggestion box,” management-side attorney Zachary Hummel, a partner in the New York office of Bryan Cave, said of employee blogging. “It’s growing exponentially and so more and more employers are facing the issue of how far do we let employees go before we take action.”

A suggestion box? Kind of like how instant messaging is the modern day “carrier pigeon.”
And what does “take action” mean? If an employer wanted to stop employees from blogging about their employers on the firm dime, they could just stop hosting blogs. That’s taking action. What Hummel is suggesting is called “scapegoating” one employee that crosses some intangible and ill-defined line and making an example out of them.
The problem with employer sponsored blogs is that they are not done for the benefit of the employees or for “company morale.” They exist because employers like to pop their collars and this sounds like a great way to do it, so long as they can strip the blog of anything useful, confidential, offensive, or true.
More layers of corporate control after the jump.

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Judge Penny Brown Reynolds Penny Reynolds.jpgWhen it comes to the television bench, the great state of Florida seems to be the feeder court. See the list of Floridian judges turned TV judges at the end of this post.
But Florida doesn’t have a monopoly on television jurists. From the Fulton County Daily Report:

Writing that “God has called me to a higher place,” Fulton County State Court Judge Penny Brown Reynolds on Monday notified Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue that she would resign, effective Oct. 22, to embark on her new career as a television judge on “Family Court with Judge Penny.”

Because the television bench is certainly a “higher place” than the real thing. Higher-paying, at least — and God wants us all to be rich.

In her letter to Perdue, Reynolds said she leaves with a legacy that “includes a current case docket, never having been reversed by an appellate court on any criminal matter and only reversed in a few civil matters.”

That’s an impressive record for a judge who was appointed to the bench back in 2000. Georgia’s loss is the boob tube’s gain. We wish Judge Reynolds the best in her new role.
Judge to Resign Next Month for TV Gig [Fulton County Daily Report via]

alice fisher alice s fisher.jpgThe problem with being a government lawyer is that you don’t have a lot of control over which “government” you are working for. Even if you have a non-partisan, non-patronage position, anytime a new administration takes power there is the possibility of turmoil.
Like the swallows of Capistrano, now is the season we expect public sector birds to leave their mission and return to their Biglaw vacation grounds.
Yesterday Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher announced that she would be rejoining Latham & Watkins. You might remember Ms. Fisher from our former editor’s open crush on the “brassy, blonde, tough-talking Fisher.” I’m staring right now at the 3 golden locks of Fisher’s hair ATL has “acquired” under questionable circumstances.
Fisher’s new position at Latham will be “global co-chair of the white-collar and government investigations practice group.” It’s good work if you can get it.
More new hires after the jump.

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