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* Yes, we have seen the excellent GW Law Revue video based on the Cee Lo Green song (embedded above). No need to send it to us again. In fact, please do not send us links to any Law Revue videos until we announce the start of our third annual Law Revue Video Contest (perhaps next month, but stay tuned). [YouTube]

* The SEC’s general counsel, David Becker, gets involved in the Madoff litigation — as a defendant, in an action brought by trustee Irving Picard. [Am Law Daily]

* An update on the Stroock “typo” saga. [The Real Deal]

Stan Chesley and his wife, Judge Susan Dlott

* Lawyer of the Day: Stan Chesley. Being married to a federal judge, with whom you live in a 27,000-square-foot mansion, doesn’t protect you against possible disbarment. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]

* Well this is embarrassing, isn’t it? Several answers to questions on the U.S. citizenship test are just plain wrong. [Slate]

* Ted Frank isn’t a fan of DOMA as a policy matter, but he disagrees with President Obama’s decision to stop defending it. [New York Daily News]

* If you thought that my obituary for Skadden name partner Joe Flom was too kind, even sycophantic, then read this one from the WaPo. [Washington Post]

I think that in this day and age that tweet was not a good idea, and in terms of that language, I’m not going to use it anymore.

Jeffrey Cox, former deputy attorney general in Indiana, commenting on the controversial tweets that got him fired from his government job.

P.S. If you’re on Twitter, please feel free to follow Above the Law, @ATLblog.

Judith Regan (left) and Roger Ailes

The lawsuit captioned Dreier LLP v. Judith Regan was filed back in March 2008, months before Ponzi schemer Marc Dreier’s eponymous law firm went bust. But it’s back in the headlines as of today, thanks to some juicy documents unearthed by the New York Times.

The documents in question — affidavits that were supposed to be kept under seal, but inadvertently kept in the public case file (until their recent removal) — implicate a number of famous figures. The boldface names include controversial publisher Judith Regan, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, former New York City mayor (and presidential candidate) Rudy Giuliani, former New York City police commissioner (and current prison inmate) Bernard Kerik, and, of course, the now-defunct Dreier law firm….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: A Gallery of Rogues”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Small Firms, Big Lawyers, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

Many Above the Law readers are currently facing dismal job prospects as the law-firm economy continues to trail the national economy. Some are law students contemplating graduation without an offer in hand. Others are junior associates who fear the return of mass layoffs. Still others are recent graduates bouncing between contracting jobs and other stopgaps. And the solution that many of these readers are arriving at is to start their own firms. As someone who did that 13 years ago, I applaud the sentiment. But before you go shopping for shingles to hang, I have one — and only one — question for you:

Do you want to run a business, or do you want to practice law?

I’m not being facetious here; it’s a completely serious question. But I’m afraid it’s not a question that most budding shingle-hangers ask themselves. And the answer is crucial: your future happiness depends on it. Because unfortunately, many lawyers start their own shops for exactly the wrong reason, and they find themselves in the worst possible job they could imagine: working as an underpaid wage slave for a complete idiot of a boss. (Themselves.)

I give a lot of informational interviews to newer attorneys or to law students who (think they) are interested in starting their own practices. And I always ask them this question, and most of the time, they answer: “Both.”

And I think: Danger, Will Robinson. Because “Both” is the wrong answer.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small Firms, Big Lawyers: The Key Question for Shingle-Hangers”

You can’t call it a trend just yet, but the University of New Hampshire School of Law has joined Maryland Law and Miami Law in the fight to keep law school tuition down during a still-recovering economy. The school reports it will not be raising tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year.

It’s a sad state of affairs when a law school holding the line on tuition is breaking news. But with nearly every other law school rushing to bilk students who will pay anything for a legal education (law schools at Stanford, Arizona State, and Minnesota spring to mind), it’s nice to see at least a couple of schools that regard their students as something more than profit centers.

Maryland announced its tuition freeze in December. The National Law Journal reports that Miami recently announced it would be maintaining a tuition freeze already in place. Now UNH Law is joining their ranks. There’s still plenty of room on this bandwagon if your law school would like to take a brief break from molesting your financial future.

Not that UNH Law is cheap, especially for a third-tier law school. But this tuition freeze is another indication that UNH is at least trying to think about legal education in a somewhat realistic way…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Schools Join the Ranks of Institutions Averse To Profiteering During a Rough Economy”

Thank you for all your responses (or attempted responses) to this week’s Career Center survey on whether or not you worked on Presidents Day.  We received 715 responses before the flood of respondents managed to take the survey offline.

Based on the responses we did receive, the majority of respondents – 73% – reported working on Presidents Day, up from 66% who reported working on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Almost half of these respondents indicated that their firm does not recognize Presidents Day as an official firm holiday, and 38% said that although no one asked them to do work, they had stuff that needed to get done.

What were some of the other reasons given for working on Presidents Day?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey Results: Another Working Holiday”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Inside Straight, Above the Law’s column for in-house counsel, written by Mark Herrmann.

Quick! What short form will you use in your brief to identify your client, Porsche Cars of North America, Inc.?

If your guts are screaming “PCNA,” then your guts need reworking.

But I chose this example for my column today because I’ve seen this very thing happen. I’ve seen a lawyer (at a perfectly good firm) assign the short form “PCNA” to this entity.

What was he thinking?

If I’m at the steering wheel of the case, then we’re not representing PCNA.

Who do we represent?

We represent Porsche, for heaven’s sake. Porsche.

It’s a word. I understand it. It creates an image in my mind. It communicates with me quickly and compellingly. That’s (generally) good….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Inside Straight: On Alphabet Soup (Hereinafter ‘OAS’)”

I don’t like talking about incest, ever. But apparently some people out there need to be reminded that they shouldn’t have sex with their children.

There are a couple of absolutely disgusting stories floating around about some horribly depraved people. I hope you haven’t had breakfast yet…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Incest Is Bad, Mmmkay. It’s Just Bad.”

Julian Assange

* A British court ruled that Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden. [Reuters]

* Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions. Men, barbecue, I like you, I like you too dawg, let’s get… civil unioned? [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

* Seems like Betty Boop was passed around like a two-bit whore. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Lindsay! Lindsay Lohan! Who are you wearing? [Entertainment Weekly]

Lindsay Lohan

* More than 100 law professors are lobbying Congress to apply an ethics code to the Supreme Court. In related news, Clarence Thomas continues to troll the f**k out of a bunch of law professors. [ABA Journal]

* Arizona might have a host of new anti-immigration laws. The state hasn’t been this welcoming since The Brothers Brothers were working for their tourism commission. [New York Times]

* “Teachers accused of steamy lesbian romp fire back at city with $2M suit.” [New York Post]

I hope you were properly dressed for the February bar exam.

Sorry, I wasn’t trying to make a hanging joke in the middle of the February bar exam. I know it’s tough stuff taking the bar in February. Many people who are sitting for the exam right now have already had one bad experience with the test. It’s cold in most of the country. A lot of people feel they need to pass this test in order to hang onto their jobs.

And really, the pain started well before the actual test. How many February bar takers spent the holidays and New Year’s stressing about the exam?

But if you did sit for the bar today, you already know all of this. You’ve dealt with it and hopefully you are in the process of coming through clean on the other side…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bar Exam Open Thread: How’s It Hanging, February Test Takers?”

* There’s poor taste, there’s bad taste, and then there’s whatever the hell was going through the heads of the sick bastards who came up with this advertisement for legal services. [Ross's Law Marketing Blog]

* Dear state attorneys general, please be careful about whom you hire as deputies. If you didn’t learn from Andrew Shirvell, take this guy, Jeffrey Cox of Indiana, as a “teachable moment.” [MSNBC]

* Duke managed to rope AIG into the Duke lacrosse/stripper-thing/race war. [Dealbreaker]

* Could a law professor make it as a reality TV star? [Legal Skills Prof Blog]

* Boston woman who lost her snake on the subway now says she can’t afford the MBTA’s cleaning bill. But she would like the MBTA people to take a bite out of a delicious apple she found. [CBS Boston via @bobambrogi]

* Even if “Watson” could be a more proficient legal blogger than I am, he’ll never have my flair. [Infamy or Praise]

If you’re not booting up your laptop or iPad during voir dire, you’re not a very good lawyer. That’s my takeaway from recent WSJ and Reuters articles on jury selection in the social media age.

This week, the Wall Street Journal took a look at the evolution of jury selection in the age of social media, while Reuters took a look at this last week, quipping that “voir dire” is becoming “voir Google.”

Facebook-stalking jurors is presented as a questionable and still evolving practice. But the only thing that seems questionable to me (besides a DA considering forced-friending in exchange for Internet access) is why any trial lawyer wouldn’t have jumped on this already. Along with not Googling prospective jurors, I imagine these guys also avoid Lexis-Nexis in favor of the law library, type their memos up on an old-school typewriter, and review deposition recordings on an eight-track.

Both articles point out that potential jurors may be more candid online than they are in a courtroom, and round up some tips from trial consultants on reasons to strike potential jurors based on their Facebook likes and Google footprint. BigLaw types might be well-advised to strike anyone, for example, who lists “Erin Brokovich” as one of their favorite movies…

Read on at The Not-So Private Parts.

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