As some of you already know, Above the Law offers a daily newsletter, via email. We encourage you to subscribe.
You can sign up by entering your email address in the “Daily Newsletter” box, which appears in the grey box on the lefthand column of ATL, and clicking “Subscribe.” In case you’re wondering, we won’t sell your email address to a third party, spam you, etc.; it’s just the newsletter.
As a special thanks, if you subscribe in the next 24 hours, you’ll receive a promotional code that’s good for a free month of Sunday Silver. In case you’re not familiar with it, Sunday provides you with the services of a personal assistant — which we think the overworked Biglaw lawyers among you will appreciate.
More details about the service, including the fine print for this offer, after the jump.
As some of you already know, Above the Law offers a daily newsletter, via email. We encourage you to subscribe.
Jose Padilla: committed al-Qaida terrorist, or harmless (and not very good) student of Arabic?
After a three month trial, the jury deliberated for a day and a half. Now they’ve reached a verdict.
We’ll bring you the details as soon as we have them. A day and a half isn’t very long given the length of the trial. Is that a bad sign for the prosecution or the defense?
Update: A bad sign for the defense: Jose Padilla has been convicted of federal terrorism support charges. Next time around, Jose, don’t fill out a written application to join the terrorists.
Verdict Reached in Padilla Terror Case [Associated Press]
Jury reaches verdict in Padilla terror trial [CNN]
But hopefully it won’t get as ugly as Nancy Tauck v. Peter Tauck. That litigation, which has dragged on for some two years, has earned these dubious distinctions:
– a new national record for the longest divorce trial ever (some 86 days and counting);
– $12 million in legal fees and expenses;
– allegations that the husband molested the kids and downloaded child pornography on his computer; and
– allegations that the wife made up said allegations about her husband, and planted the kiddie porn on his laptop to incriminate him.
Twelve million in legal bills, for a divorce? Maybe our late grandmother was on to something when she urged us to go into matrimonial law.
Tauck Divorce – Day 86 [Hartford Courant]
The U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book. Crayons included!
Here’s the product description, from the ABA website:
Have fun and learn about the Supreme Court! It’s a coloring book with a surprising educational twist. This 32-page coloring book features expertly rendered illustrations depicting significant Supreme Court Justices of the United States to color in–including all current sitting Justices.
The U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book is perfect for the children of lawyers and judges, or for teachers looking for a new resource for Law Day or Constitution Day. Law Firms will want to purchase to book in bulk for their employees–especially for “Take Your Child to Work Day”!
The book also includes Supreme Court related activities and puzzles such as, matching, word-search, and connect-the-dots games for slightly older children. Suitable for all ages, this book is perfect for teachers and young children, law firms and lawyers looking for client or visitor give-aways, and makes a great gift, too!
There are also a number of celebrity testimonials, from stars of the SCOTUS bar. Raves former Solicitor General Ted Olson: “A colorful introduction to a cherished American Institution.”
(Note to the ABA’s book publicist: Please send us a copy. We’d love to review it for these pages.)
Update: We’ve been told that our copy is on its way. Thanks, ABA folks!
We think this book sounds cool, and we look forward to reading (and coloring) it. But some of you disagree:
“I don’t care how surprisingly educational this is, my kids want to color horses, princesses, and trucks, not pictures of pruney old people. If your child wants this coloring book, you may as well just give the money directly to the playground bully.”
“I was hoping that in being ‘educational’ it would have scenes depicting famous moments in SCOTUS history… a back alley abortion for roe, a segregated set of RR cars for Plessy, and then, of course, a picture of a piece of paper sitting in a drawer for Marbury! Alas, I guess we are just left with pictures that will tell us in fact what Justice Stevens would look like with bubblegum pink hair (don’t tell me you haven’t always wondered).”
The U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book [American Bar Association]
Here’s an idea that we liked, from a thoughtful and helpful reader:
I was a big fan of your recruiting threads by city. Same goes for the firm benefits/perks threads. One problem, however, is that people often say what it’s like at their firm but fail to mention which firm those perks apply to. I understand the need for confidentiality, but it defeats the purpose of finding out what certain firms are like.
One possible way to remedy this is to do similar posts, but to list just a handful of firms to discuss for that day. Probably the best way would be to go down the Vault 100, since most people consider this gospel. For instance, the first day you could start a thread about the top 5 firms on Vault, to discuss perks, hours, recruiting, firm life, etc.
This way, if someone who posts does not want to discuss which firm they are at, people can still have a general idea [of what firms in that tier are like]. There aren’t too many differences between the top 1-5 firms, and same goes for the next five and the next five.
We like this idea, and we like Vault. They publish a great guide to law firms, they advertise on ATL, and they have a shout-out to us in their write-up of Wachtell Lipton (which you can see after the jump).
So we’ll give this a try. If the discussion is anemic and/or insipid, then we’ll just write it off as a failed experiment. But if the discussion is robust and informative, then we’ll keep on going. Here is today’s quintet of law firms (with Vault prestige scores indicated parenthetically):
1. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (8.780)
2. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP (8.732)
3. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (8.224)
4. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (8.197)
5. Davis Polk & Wardwell (8.126)
Please discuss and compare these firms in the comments. Thanks.
The Vault Top 100 Law Firms [Vault]
Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms (2008 Edition) [Vault]
We just learned a new word today: “tomcatting.” From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Chehalis, Washington — The tomcatting of the elected prosecutor in this conservative rural town has jeopardized as many as four cases brought by his office and prompted a complaint to the state bar association.
Liam Michael Golden, a Republican who ran unopposed for Lewis County prosecutor last November, is facing allegations that he did not properly disclose past sexual relationships with the mother of a victim in one case and the mother of a defendant in another. His office also charged someone with cyberstalking a woman Golden had slept with, though Golden recently turned that case over to a prosecutor from neighboring Thurston County.
Maybe Golden should start looking for dates in “neighboring Thurston county.” It’s tough being a lothario if you’re the top prosecutor in a small town.
“Mike’s got a lot of explaining to do,” said Mark Anders, chairman of the county Republican Party. “I have some heartburn about him having affairs here, there and yonder, just from a personal moral standpoint. But in this post-Clintonian era, your personal life is your personal life, and you have to ask, ‘Well, was it legal? Was it ethical?’”
And was it as good for them as it was for him?
Wash. prosecutor’s sexual relations raise ethical questions [AP via Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
Sidley is now going to have chair massages every Friday. They come by on Fridays for 5 hours; you have to make an appointment.
While it’s not free, $1/minute isn’t a bad price at all. I can see myself having a regular 20 minute massage to end my week.
We agree. A dollar a minute, or $60 an hour — not that you’d have a 60-minute chair massage, it’s just for purposes of comparison — is much cheaper than what you’d pay at a halfway decent day spa.
A dollar a minute is also less expensive than calling a 900 number (which Cravath lawyers are known to do). But then again, the Sidley chair massages probably don’t include happy endings.
Does your firm offer massages or other forms of stress relief? Please discuss, in the comments.
Earlier: Best Conference Call Screw-Up — EVER
* Fourth Circuit’s toughness on racketeering defendants considered by Michael Vick attorneys. [WSBTV]
* Details of new universal health care law in Massachusetts. [MSNBC]
* Domestic spying to expand, raising legal and constitutional concerns. [MSNBC]
* Free advice for Mattel, courtesy of the WSJ Law Blog and Victor Schwartz. [WSJ Law Blog]
- Defamation, Don Imus, Free Speech, Hair, Lawsuit of the Day, Media and Journalism, Racism, Rudeness, Sports
There has been some discussion already, but here’s a dedicated thread for a topic that there’s no shortage of opinions on: Rutgers basketball player Kia Vaughn’s defamation lawsuit against radio host Don Imus.
Thus far, reactions seem to be similar. From our tipster:
It seems like a likely loser, because I don’t see a false statement of fact. I don’t think anyone really believes Imus was trying to impute unchastity to the Rutgers basketball team (i.e., calling them prostitutes); rather, he was making a really inappropriate and racist joke, and everyone understood it as such.
Nevertheless, although it’s a legal loser, I predict Imus will settle as a gesture of goodwill. Perhaps a scholarship will be set up.
Professor Ann Althouse is dubious:
It’s hard not to be distracted by Imus’s large pile of money. Would it kill him to share? But I’d hate to think one could win defamation suits on a theory like this.
David Nieporent concurs:
Imus’s comments might have been nasty and uncalled for, but calling someone a ‘nappy headed ho’ is not defamatory unless it is interpreted as an actual accusation that the person is a prostitute.
Fine, the claim based on “ho” may be a no-go. But what about the allegation of nappy-headedness? As one commenter notes: “[A]ll of the women on the Rutgers team had straightened hair.”
Good point. And to some people — e.g., Glamour editors — alleging that someone has nappy hair is defamatory per se.
Don Imus Sued by Rutgers Basketball Player [ABC News]
Rutgers basketball player sues Imus [AP via MSNBC]
“Don Imus referred to my client as an unchaste woman. That was and is a lie.” [Althouse]
Imus in the Courtroom, Update [Overlawyered]
The lit support guy got his walking papers almost immediately. The litigation associate to whom he directed the email was baffled by the entire event.
Apparently, he just told the guy that there was a mistake and that it needed to be fixed ASAP. Knowing this associate pretty well, I say it’s pretty inconceivable that he would treat someone like a “dog,” or even unprofessionally.
So maybe the associate didn’t do anything wrong, and the litigation support guy was just a bit unhinged — a beleaguered support staff member, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Cf. The Patton Boggs librarian.
Since the litigation support guy got fired over his email, we hope he derived a lot of satisfaction from sending it.
Earlier: ATL Practice Pointers: Be Nice to the Support Staff
* Might Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert be deposed in the Viacom-YouTube litigation? [Connected via Instapundit]
* The next target in Wall Street reform: rating agencies? [Conglomerate]
* Does parenting make you a better lawyer? [Bag and Baggage]
* Are law schools pursuing leading law professor bloggers? [TaxProf Blog]
* How old is Justice Breyer? The answer changed today. Happy Birthday, Your Honor! [How Appealing]
LEWW offers a seven-gun salute to newlyweds Zina Gelman and John Bash III, who scored a convincing victory in our July Couple of the Month vote.
Zina and John — currently public servants in the chambers of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Antonin Scalia, respectively — finished 16.7 percentage points ahead of the surprising second-place winners, the non-SCOTUS team of Jennifer DeLeonardo and Adam Frey.
Congratulations to Zina, John, and their poor little dog!
(For those of you who are curious, the full results appear after the jump.)