* Who needs lawyers? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Take the deal, Vick. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Buyer’s remorse on the surveillance law? [New York Times]
* I want a new drug website. [BBC]
* Being the creepiest guy on earth is apparently not a crime. [CNN]
- Crime, Drugs, Eavesdropping / Wiretapping, Football, Jonathan Lee Riches, Michael Vick, Morning Docket, Perverts, Pro Se Litigants, Sports, War on Terror
* Who needs lawyers? [WSJ Law Blog]
Some of you have been asking for updates on Shanetta Cutlar, the high-powered Department of Justice lawyer who has generated some colorful stories in the past. If you’re not familiar with her, click here, and browse through the archives.
We don’t have anything terribly new to report on her. We hear that she has been on her “best behavior” ever since we started writing about her.
But since this is ATL Wayback Weekend, we’re happy to pass along something from back in June, which we never got around to writing up back then. A reader drew our attention to this Washington Post Career Track live web chat:
Washington, D.C.: I am a young attorney for the federal government. I loathe my current position because of a very moody and difficult supervisor (the situation is so horrible that half of my office is currently looking for new employment). I am desperate to leave this position, I am extremely stressed because of the work environment created by this supervisor. I have applied for 11 other federal positions.
While I wait to (hopefully) hear about one of those positions, can you recommend any other possible job search options? I really want to leave this position as soon as possible and I’ve only worked for the federal government (two years since law school).
Hmm… We wonder who this person’s boss might be. Any suggestions?
Discussion continues after the jump.
We briefly mentioned that Carol Lam, one of the controversial U.S. Attorney firing victims, is now the interim general counsel of Qualcomm. If you’d like to know about the scandal that caused her predecessor, Lou Lupin, to resign, check out the WSJ Law Blog:
It’s something no lawyer wants to get — a ruling from a federal magistrate saying, essentially: “come on down to court and explain to us why you don’t think you should be sanctioned for your behavior.” But that’s what lawyers at Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder, based in Cupertino, Calif., received earlier this week from San Diego federal magistrate Barbara Major.
The ruling was essentially a follow-up to a separate ruling made last week by San Diego federal judge Rudi Brewster. Judge Brewster held that wireless giant Qualcomm and its trial counsel, which included lawyers from Day Casebeer, committed “gross litigation misconduct” by withholding crucial evidence in a patent dispute brought by Broadcom. He ordered Qualcomm to pay legal fees to Broadcom, which could amount to $10 million.
Maybe the judge was biased against a firm whose name is a little too close for comfort to “case of beer.”
L’Affaire Qualcomm: Day Casebeer Asked to Defend Itself [WSJ Law Blog]
Removing all that duct tape must have hurt like hell. Why not just wear a ski mask?
‘Duct tape bandit’ charged in robbery [Associated Press]
Attention Loyola 2L: Someday you might serve on the federal bench. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
U.S. District Judge Adrian Duplantier, who as a lawyer, lawmaker and jurist was a force in New Orleans life for more than a half-century, died Wednesday of cancer at Ochsner Medical Center. He was 78….
A lifelong New Orleanian who graduated from Jesuit High School and Loyola University’s law school, Judge Duplantier was a Civil District Court clerk, the first assistant to District Attorney Leon Hubert, a state senator and a Civil District Court judge. In 1978, President Carter appointed him to the federal district bench.
Okay, different Loyola — Loyola in New Orleans. But the point remains that you don’t need to attend a top ten law school to have a successful legal career.
Judge Duplantier had a robust sense of humor:
In 1981, he conducted a trial involving ownership of “Mr. Bill,” the clay figure who yelled, “Oh, nooooo!” on “Saturday Night Live” as one calamity after another, usually involving loss of limbs at the hands of the evil Mr. Sluggo, befell him.
A settlement was reached. When Judge Duplantier appeared in court, he wore a “Judge Sluggo” name tag, and he sliced up a version of Mr. Bill, tossing bits to people who had claimed authorship. The courtroom was filled with cries of “Oh, nooooo!”
Judge Duplantier never stopped smiling, even when he was battling cancer, Berrigan said. “He considered himself blessed. He had a wonderful life.”
Update: Ernie Svenson, who clerked for Judge Duplantier, has some personal reflections on the judge over here.
Adrian Duplantier, lawyer, federal judge [New Orleans Times-Picayune]
Adrian Guy Duplantier bio [FJC]
Remembering Judge Adrian Duplantier [Ernie the Attorney]
After we wrote about Aaron Charney flipping his condo for a tidy profit, a reader emailed us:
Do some research on Noble Black, Charney’s agent at Corcoran. I remember reading an article several years ago where he left a New York Biglaw firm to go into residential real estate because the money just wasn’t good enough.
I wonder what the connection was to Charney that Charney hired him. Maybe Noble and Aaron dated?
Reader, please keep your fantasies in check. Noble Black may be ridiculously good-looking, and he and Aaron would make a cute couple — but we have no idea about Noble’s sexual orientation. Just because he enjoys “gallery openings,” as noted in his Corcoran bio, doesn’t make him gay.
But this reader was correct about the article. We unearthed the February 2005 New York Times piece, entitled Six Figures? Not Enough! Those of you feeling poor on $160,000 a year may be able to identify with the plight of Noble Black, as well as the others quoted in the article.
More after the jump.
We tend not to write much over the weekend — usually just a post here or there. But this weekend we’ll try something new.
Some radio stations have what they call “wayback weekends,” during which they play music from past decades. We’re going to borrow this idea and declare today and tomorrow to be ATL’s own Way Back Weekend.
What does this entail? We’re going to write about items that are no longer timely — things that we meant to write about at an earlier time, but somehow never got around to. As it turns out, there are many such items. Lately we haven’t been able to keep up with all the news that’s been breaking and all the tips that you’ve been sending in (for which we thank you).
Some of these posts are going to be short, even cryptic — in the manner of Instapundit. The main purpose of this is to clear the backlog in our email account a little, and to clear our conscience. We hate the feeling of falling behind (even though we always are playing catch-up).
So here goes. If you don’t like reading about things that happened a while ago, just skip these posts. It’s the weekend, and the weather is glorious (at least on the East Coast). Go out and enjoy it!
(But if you’re stuck in the office for some reason, then we’ll be here to keep you company, at least for a few hours. Check back soon for more procrastination fodder.)
The person maintaining this Atlanta List of Shame needs to update it. The starting salary in the Atlanta office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is now $145,000 (effective January 1, 2008). The firm has also raised first-year salaries to $160,000 in Houston and Washington, DC (effective September 1, 2007).
For more senior associates, things are a little trickier. The firm will be using a “deferred salary” model, a la Vinson & Elkins.
For details, consult the memo, which appears after the jump.
- Ann Althouse, Jose Padilla, Non-Sequiturs, Orin Kerr, Real Estate, Religion, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns
* Ann Althouse is a visiting professor at Brooklyn Law School this year — and they’ve put her up in an apartment with some pretty sweet views. (Perhaps she can see 125 Broad Street, home of Sullivan & Cromwell, where she once worked as an associate.) [Althouse]
* Pope Benedict: Tax evasion is sinful (in case you didn’t know that already). [TaxProf Blog]
* Judge to public defender: What, you’re not ready to go to trial on a case you’ve had for less than a day? I’m holding you in contempt! [Record-Courier]
* Courtesy of Orin Kerr, pointers for how to talk about the Jose Padilla verdict at the next cocktail party you attend. [Volokh Conspiracy]
Things aren’t look so hot for football star Michael Vick right now. See here and here.
Despite the incriminating statements of his co-defendants, Vick still hasn’t reached a plea agreement with the government. Rumor has it that there’s a split among Vick’s lawyers about whether to take a plea deal.
After the jump, we post an analysis from a reader suggesting that, under the applicable Sentencing Guidelines (which are of course advisory post-Booker), Vick shouldn’t necessarily serve prison time.
But we suspect that the feds wouldn’t allow Vick to get off without some prison time (at least a year). And if Vick doesn’t plead guilty to the current indictment, they’ll nail him with a superseding indictment that includes RICO charges (which will vastly ramp up his exposure if convicted).
Check out this reader’s analysis, after the jump.
Even if you have a possible justification for doing so — ’cause it might be illegal. From the ABA Journal:
Proceedings have been delayed in a California misdemeanor case in which the defense is claiming that police brutalized their client with a stun gun during his arrest at a shopping mall last year.
That’s because the defense team is now being criminally investigated for allegedly violating human experimentation laws by repeatedly using a stun gun on their client themselves during an evidence-gathering effort in a law office.
Additional details here. Our tipster, a criminal defense lawyer, observes:
“I can’t decide which I like better:
(1) imagining those nervous, sweaty-palmed, study-group types from law school, wringing their hands and saying, ‘C’mon, guys, we have to be PREPARED! How are we gonna know what he looked like when he was writhing in agony unless we shock him AGAIN?’ or
(2) the idea of defense lawyers seizing the opportunity to taser a client — which we have ALL dreamed of doing.”
Shocking Case: Legal Team Tasers Client [ABA Journal]
We’re bummed that we can’t write this week about the groom who arranges music for Yo-Yo Ma and Jay-Z. Or the one who’s associate counsel for the NBA.
But lawyer-lawyer couples abound, and we know those are the pairings ATL readers crave. Here are our finalists:
More about these legal lovebirds, after the jump.