* Coke sues film makers for showing Jesus drinking a Coke and saying, “My God, what a testimonial.” [BLT]
* Dean Ken Starr visits HLS for a reenactment of Dred Scott arguments. [CNN]
* Howard K. Stern hires Lin Wood in Anna Nicole Smith case. [CNN]
* AG Gonzales avoids e-mail altogether… Should you? [ABA Journal]
* Or just get a secret e-mail server. [Wonkette]
- Advertising, Alberto Gonzales, Anna Nicole Smith, Department of Justice, Drinking, Email Scandals, Kenneth Starr, Morning Docket, Technology
* Coke sues film makers for showing Jesus drinking a Coke and saying, “My God, what a testimonial.” [BLT]
A quick shout-out to a juicy story that we haven’t written much about so far (and no, it’s not ’cause we have anything to hide). It’s the tawdry tale of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, aka the “D.C. Madam.”
Alleged “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey has given an exclusive interview to ABC News [for an upcoming investigative report on "20/20"]….
Last October, federal prosecutors charged Palfrey with racketeering offenses in connection with the business, which she contends was a legal operation. From 1993 to August 2006, Palfrey ran a high-end escort service in the nation’s capital, charging a flat fee for 90-minute “dates” with women between the ages of 23 and 55 whom she termed independent contractors.
There has been some speculation that her clients may include high-profile figures — politicians, pundits, and other inside-the-Beltway types. Palfrey has done nothing to discourage such buzz:
Palfrey has claimed that her service’s clients were “upscale” and “came from the more refined walks of life.” In March, she made headlines by briefly offering to sell the phone records of her company, Pamela Martin and Associates, to the highest bidder. She withdrew the offer after a federal judge ruled the government could confiscate any proceeds.
We can’t wait until the phone records become public (as they inevitably will). To paraphrase what they say about politics, the ensuing scandal will be “just like Heidi Fleiss — for ugly people.”
“D.C. Madam” Speaks with ABC News [ABC News via DCist]
* Worst Craigslist prank we’ve seen in a while. [News Tribune]
* Leaves homemade videos of karaoke sessions and musical burping in the dust. [MSN]
* Whenever you fall into a funk and feel that you have nothing to show for your life thus far, think of this sad lawyer, who has only placed a $2000 reserve value on her entire life. [Star Tribune]
* Looks like a heavy courseload. [QuizLaw via Jesus' General]
Yes, we have seen Georgetown Law Professor David Cole’s recent Washington Post op-ed, complaining about students using their laptops to surf the web during class. This led him to ban laptops from his classroom.
It’s provoked lively discussion in the blogosphere. See, e.g., PrawfsBlawg; Obscure Store; WSJ Law Blog. So we’re creating this post to facilitate some comments discussion here at ATL.
(But we weren’t terribly excited to see the piece. It’s actually very similar to a New York Times op-ed that our contracts professor, Ian Ayres, wrote back in 2002.)
Laptops vs. Learning [Washington Post]
Lectures vs. Laptops [New York Times]
Laptops and law-school learning [PrawfsBlawg]
Georgetown Law Prof David Cole: “No Laptops for You!” [WSJ Law Blog]
Law professor: Why I don’t allow laptops in class [Obscure Store]
Okay, we changed our mind. As some of you suggested, having disqualified NYU and the University of Michigan, we will stage a semifinal between the two schools they previously defeated: UT Austin and Columbia.
So here are the new “final four” match-ups (the new Texas-Columbia contest, and the existing UVA-Georgetown one):
We’re all in favor of school spirit. We encourage you to email the poll to others and encourage them to vote.
But please do not employ scripts, clickbots, or other non-human voting tools. Thank you.
Sigh. We’re sorry it had to turn out this way. But perhaps it’s oddly appropriate for a ridiculous poll to have a ridiculous ending
According to the folks at Vizu, and as noted by many commenters, both NYU and the University of Michigan were guilty of improprieties in their recent March Madness match-up. As a result, we are disqualifying NYU and Michigan from competition.
The two schools duking it out in the other semifinal, UVA and Georgetown, will BOTH advance to the finals. Here’s the tournament history:
Update: The commenters have convinced us. We’ve decided to let the schools that NYU and Michigan previously defeated, Columbia and Texas, face off in a semifinal. You can vote in that match over here.
Earlier: ATL March Madness: The NYU-Michigan Poll
We recently blogged about Kiwi Camara — the young, brilliant, controversial legal scholar — and his mysteriously disappeared job offer from George Mason University School of Law. Camara is a legal Doogie Howser who was 16 when he entered Harvard Law School. At HLS, he caused an uproar after dropping the N-bomb in a group outline. He has apologized repeatedly and profusely for that mistake; but it continues to dog him, years later.
The Washington Post originally broke the story about Camara’s GMU appointment falling through. But their story may have been erroneous, at least in one respect. The Post reported:
At George Mason’s law school, the faculty had authorized [Dean Daniel] Polsby to hire Camara as an assistant professor, but the dean wanted to first see what students, alumni and others thought. He scheduled a town hall meeting for last night, but the meeting was nixed after Camara’s application was withdrawn.
We contacted Camara for comment. He explained:
I was never instructed to withdraw my application, and I never did so. My candidacy was ended by George Mason…
Also, there was a week’s lapse between my job talk and when the faculty voted me an offer (to be precise, voted to authorize the dean to extend an offer). Surely they would have investigated before, rather than after, voting me an offer — and especially before going public and thereby triggering the recent media coverage.
Indeed. This is all very strange.
More discussion, including an interesting mini-scoop from Camara, after the jump.
The New York Law Journal recently published its “Book of Lists,” as an insert to a hard copy issue. We haven’t seen it ourselves, but a tipster highlighted some findings for us:
The ones that impressed me – considering the Aaron Charney litigation – were the surveys on most satisfied midlevel associates and most satisfied summer associates at large NY firms. As you can imagine, Sullivan & Cromwell did very poorly on these rankings.
For midlevel associates, they ranked No. 60, and had the largest number of respondents to the survey (88) of any firm on the list. For summer associates, they ranked No. 71, although several firms that ranked higher had a greater number of summer associates responding to the survey. On the pro bono services list, they ranked No. 45.
But they were No. 11 on size of NY office, and No. 14 on highest grossing.
You really should get a copy of this if you haven’t seen it – it would be grist for quite a bit of info on your blog.
We realize that rankings — e.g., the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings — can be pretty silly. But many people, ourselves included, still fixate on them. This isn’t exactly surprising. As Professor Miranda Fleischer recently observed, “we are all obsessed with measuring ourselves in some way, shape or form.”
(We haven’t located a copy of these rankings online — although, truth be told, we didn’t look very hard. If you locate them online, please let us know.)
It seems that LLM students are an endless source of stories — and not just those continually squabbling Harvard LLMs. In advance of our upcoming visit to Columbia Law School, here’s an amusing little anecdote about LLMs at CLS:
I was amused to learn last semester that Columbia Law Professor John Coffee is a rock-star to LLMs. Last fall Coffee held a review session before his Securities Law final. The review session was your basic, bland review of the material covered. The session ended and the class did the customary applause. I stood up to leave, when I saw a few “LLM gunners” approach Professor Coffee. I assumed they were just going to ask him questions, but then I saw him pull out a pen and began signing their casebooks.
I practically fell to the floor laughing. I know Coffee is a Corporate God, but come on. Do you really get your Con Law book signed by Larry Tribe or your Admin book signed by Tom Merrill? Besides, how could you worship someone that turned to teaching only after he failed in becoming a partner at Cravath?
[Ed. note: That last sentence is merely the speculative opinion of our tipster. Another CLS source tells us, "There are some who claim that, but I don't believe there is any real basis for it."]
Coffee is an extremely colorful professor. You really should do a small piece on him and you’ll get some interesting stories.
If you have anything funny or interesting to share about Professor Coffee, please feel free to email us (subject line: “John Coffee”). Thanks.
For those of you who are wondering what happened to the NYU-University of Michigan match-up, which appears to have vanished (“undefined”), here’s the explanation:
From: Nick Rau
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2007 1:29 AM
To: David Lat
Cc: Dan Beltramo; Andrew Touchstone
Subject: Law School Poll: NYU vs U of Michigan
Hello there, my name is Nick Rau and I’m the CTO of Vizu Corporation. We’re contacting you because one of your law school contest polls was the subject of a number of gaming attempts today. At least 4 different automated scripts were being run to try to influence vote totals beginning earlier today.
The scripts were starting to cause severe performance problems for the Vizu.com site. We attempted to block by IP the attempts but whoever was behind one or more of the scripts kept moving to new machines. We finally were forced to delete the poll to end the problem completely.
You can read about some of this activity and the involvement of some of the voters on the following blog post:
We apologize that this measure was necessary but we had no alternative. Your Vizu Answers Poll Zone was never affected by any of this and continues to function normally, generating revenue. We are currently working on stronger authentication protections for our Web Poll widget and should have those in place shortly to prevent this kind of problem from happening in the future.
If you have any questions, please let us know.
Jeez, people. We’re very disappointed in you. This is a sad commentary on ethics within the legal profession — as well as the coolness of law students and/or lawyers. Don’t you people have anything better to do than cheat in a silly online poll?
We’ve asked for more details about the cheating from the Vizu folks (and we may disqualify one or both schools depending upon what we learn). We will keep you posted.
Earlier: ATL March Madness: The Final Four
* Supreme Court news roundup from the Law Blog. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Is this the end of $2 DVDs? U.S. to press enforcement of IP rights in China before WTO. [CNN]
* NFL throws the red flag, files motion to dismiss retired players’ claim. [Sportsline]
* Pity: Wisconsin may make in-state grads take the bar exam. [ABA Journal]
* Risky Business: Teen charged with running Craigslist “escort service.” [MSNBC]