* Former congressman indicted in connection with group that allegedly funded terrorism. [Washington Post; CNN]
* Randy Moss denies battery allegations. [SI.com]
* SCOTUS upholds NY judicial selection. [New York Times]
* OJ released on doubled bail. [AP; Reuters]
* Delicious, buttery lawsuit pops up in Colorado. [MSNBC]
* Big award round-up: Apollo Group must pay shareholders $280 million; Libya must pay $6 billion for airplane bombing. [WSJ Law Blog; WSJ Law Blog]
- Morning Docket, O.J. Simpson, Politics, SCOTUS, Sports, Supreme Court, Trials, Violence, War on Terror
* Former congressman indicted in connection with group that allegedly funded terrorism. [Washington Post; CNN]
Obesity isn’t just a problem for Biglaw lawyers who don’t get to the gym enough. From the New York Post:
He weighs more than 500 pounds, but that wasn’t enough to tip the scales of justice for ex-cop Paul Soto.
The rotund retiree lost his legal argument that it was a line-of-duty fall outside a doctor’s office that cost him his NYPD career. A judge says it was actually his “morbid obesity.”
“There’s no dispute that [Soto] is physically incapable of performing his duties as a police officer. He is morbidly obese, suffers from narcolepsy and is hypertensive,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Judith Gische wrote in her decision made public yesterday.
Apparently the physical vigor of being a cop doesn’t always keep off the pounds:
When Soto joined the force in 1993, Gische found, he weighed approximately 250 pounds. He is now 40, 5-foot-7 and over 500 pounds.
A former colleague at the 6th Precinct said Soto’s gun belt was an incredible 6 feet long, and his bosses would order him to take walks around the stationhouse for his own good. They would also have other officers shadow him to make sure he didn’t pick up food along the way, he said.
- Canada, Douglas Berman, Drinking, Federal Judges, Hillary Clinton, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, Sex Scandals, Yul Kwon
* Calling all cougars — and the young studs who love them. If you’re a single female who earns more than $500,000 a year (e.g., a Biglaw partner), you should check out this event. [DealBreaker]
* Canadian lawyers are horndogs, too. [Legal Blog Watch]
* “Though I did not think Judge Kopf owed me anything, I was not about to refuse a beer from a federal judge.” [Sentencing Law & Policy]
* Hillary Clinton as Tracy Flick? [Slate TV via Althouse]
* Survivor winner Yul Kwon, with whom we went to law school, contemplates a congressional run. Go Yul! [Washington Examiner]
A case going to trial next month raises some, er, probing questions. From the NYT’s City Room:
Under what circumstances can a patient in an emergency room be forced to submit to a procedure that doctors deem to be medically necessary? That question — and the notion of informed consent — is at the heart of a civil case that is about to go to trial next month in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Brian Persaud, a 38-year-old construction worker who lives in Brooklyn, asserts that he was forced to undergo a rectal examination after sustaining a head injury in an on-the-job accident at a Midtown construction site on May 20, 2003. Mr. Persaud was taken to the emergency room at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he received eight stitches to his head.
According to a lawsuit he later filed, Mr. Persaud was then told that he needed an immediate rectal examination to determine whether he had a spinal-cord injury. He adamantly objected to the procedure, he said, but was held down as he begged, “Please don’t do that.”
C’mon, Brian. Why not have a more open mind (among other things)? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
As Mr. Persaud resisted, he freed one of his hands and struck a doctor, according to the suit. Then he was sedated, the suit says, with a breathing tube inserted through his mouth.
After Mr. Persaud regained consciousness, he was arrested, then taken — still in his hospital gown — to be booked on a misdemeanor assault charge. Gerrard M. Marrone, who was Mr. Persaud’s lawyer, got the criminal charges dropped, then helped Mr. Persaud file a civil lawsuit against the hospital.
For more discussion — including additional facts about the case, legal discussion, and comment from the hospital — check out the full post, by the indefatigable Sewell Chan.
Update: More about involuntary rectal exams from Slate (via WSJ Law Blog).
Forced Rectal Exam Stirs Ethics Questions [City Room / New York Times]
But I Don’t Want a Rectal Exam! [Slate]
We’re still collecting nominations for the first annual ATL Lawyer of the Year, and we’ve decided to combine last month’s open thread with today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey.
Let us know who you think should be our Lawyer of the Year, and why. To add a little fun, we’re also going to let you tell us who your favorite and least favorite partners are.
To be honest, we have no idea whether we’re going to post that last bit of information, because we’d rather not get sued. But consider it a great big tip jar. We’ll try to follow up on the juicy stuff and, when appropriate, sprinkle tidbits into our regular posts from time to time. And who knows? Maybe your favorite partner will wind up Lawyer of the Year. (But again, we reserve the right to be absolute wusses.)
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.
Earlier: ATL Lawyer of the Year: Nominations, Please
Some of you might think we have a strange obsession with Quinn Emanuel around here. That’s really not the case; it’s just that, for whatever reason, we have a lot of tipsters over there. It seems that QE associates love to talk about their firm, for good or ill.
Today, for good. From a source at the firm who is quite content:
John Quinn gave his annual State of the Firm address today and I think he really did a great job addressing the bonus fiasco. In a section of the address where he mentioned things the firm has to work on (which included an honest list of wide ranging topics), he mentioned that the partners have to do a better job of communicating the bonus system. After first noting that, historically, bonuses are awarded differently every year, he stated that the partners will provide a detailed list sometime in the middle of the year of what hours will be required, and what types of hours will apply in what amounts. He said that the amount of the bonus will stay open (of course), but the partners do believe this will help prevent future dissatisfaction. He also mentioned that the firm’s leadership did something “stupid” with the lateral hires by using the wrong denominator in calculating their special bonus. (You might not remember, but there were complaints that laterals were cheated out of an extra month of hours due to the discrepancy between QE’s fiscal year and the calendar year.) Quinn stated that they will recalculate hours and distribute special bonuses based on that recalculation.
More after the jump.
Here’s an update to last week’s post about how various law firms fared in recruiting summer associates for this year. That post, including the comments, featured oodles of info about the expected summer class sizes at different Biglaw shops.
Now we bring you a few more data points. First, just a few short hours after our post went up, this email went around the New York office of Latham & Watkins:
As we move forward into 2008, the Recruiting Committee and the Recruiting Department would like to thank each of you for your support and participation in last year’s recruiting efforts. Your involvement in the summer program and our fall recruiting efforts was “priceless”. Thanks to your efforts, our summer program and fall hiring results were incredibly successful. The recruiting efforts resulted in 61 first years (not including judicial clerks, which we are currently in the midst of recruiting) starting next fall and a summer class of 80 summer associates (our largest to date!). Thank you all again and a very happy and healthy 2008 to each of you.
It’s nice when firms are so responsive to our inquiries.
In addition, a few tipsters emailed us unofficial information about how their firms did in the recruiting process. Check it out, after the jump.
From the Smoking Gun:
Disgraced and disbarred, Mike Nifong is now bankrupt. The former North Carolina prosecutor, whose career imploded with his botched handling of the Duke University rape case, today filed for bankruptcy, listing liabilities in excess of $180 million. A summary schedule from Nifong’s Chapter 7 petition can be found below. Almost all of that sum represents legal claims filed against the former Durham County district attorney by members of Duke’s 2006 lacrosse team, including the three players who were accused of raping a stripper at a team party.
Included among Nifong’s assets are a 2003 Honda Accord, about $9000 in personal property, and his $235,000 home. He lists nearly $5000 monthly in pension or retirement income and describes himself, charitably, as retired.
A sampling of reader comments from the WSJ Law Blog:
“I would have liked to have been his ‘credit counselor’… Now Mr. Nifong – I see you have $180 million in debt. Let’s go over ‘how to balance your checkbook’ chapter in your pamphlet…ahahah”
“Mr. Nifong can now talk to Simon & Schuster without any apprehension.”
“I know that this question is immaterial, but what nationality is the name “Nifong”? I have asked several individuals and none of them had a clue.”
“The name Nifong is of Scottish Ancestry and this member is a disgrace to that proud family.”
Mike Nifong Bankrupt: Disgraced Duke prosecutor lists $180M in liabilities [The Smoking Gun]
Michael Nifong Files for Personal Bankruptcy [WSJ Law Blog]
- Animal Law, CIA, Crime, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Morning Docket, Politics, SCOTUS, Securities Law, Sports, Supreme Court, Television
* Gov. Romney wins Michigan. [CNN]
* Sen. Clinton faces challenge from “uncommitted.” [CNN]
* NV Supreme Court overturns decision allowing Rep. Kucinich to debate. [MSNBC]
* Criminal prosecutions of Blackwater security guards would not be easy. [New York Times]
* Did CIA lawyers and officials implicitly sign off on the destruction of interrogation tapes? [Washington Post]
* Austrian court rules animal rights group can’t have custody of chimp; appeal will be to the European Court of Human Rights. [AP]
* DOJ to investigate Tejada? [New York Times]
* Collected news coverage about yesterday’s Stoneridge decision. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
Ah, to be a federal judge. Life tenure means never having to say you’re sorry (unlike those state judges, like the hat-hating Holly Hollenbeck).
Judge Samuel Kent (S.D. Tex.), who has lawyered up in response to being charged with sexual misconduct by a court employee, is speaking out — sort of. In an interview published earlier this week in the Houston Chronicle, he tried to win some sympathy from the public.
Judge Kent discussed his struggles with alcohol (like Justice Thomas in his recent memoir), his diabetes, and the death of his first wife from brain cancer. But he did not address the substance of the allegations made against him:
“As with every human controversy, there are absolutely two sides to this one, and I will vigorously present mine at the appropriate time,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “It has been extremely frustrating for me, my family and my staff not to be able to speak in my defense.”…
He declined to address specifics of the misconduct allegations against him, citing federal laws that make judicial investigations secret.
So according to Judge Kent, there is another side of the story. As for what exactly it is, stay tuned.
After the jump, selected comments on the story from Houston Chronicle readers.
Kent talks of personal struggles [Houston Chronicle]
U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent Hires Dick DeGuerin, Meets With FBI [Texas Lawyer]
Last month we asked you which holidays you worked on, or expected to work on, during 2007. About 10% of you reported that you expected to work on Christmas, and roughly 22% expected to work on New Year’s.
You were wrong.
We received about 1,300 responses to last Tuesday’s ATL / Lateral Link survey about whether you did, indeed, work over the holidays. Overall, a little over 36% of you worked at least one of those days. About a quarter of you worked on Christmas, and almost a third of you worked over New Year’s. Broken down by day, 22% of you worked on Christmas Eve, 10% on Christmas Day, 28% on New Year’s Eve, and 15% of you nursed your hangovers in the office on New Year’s Day.
Find out how it broke down by city, after the jump.