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Investigators looking at surveillance footage from the Tucson attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords say that Chief Judge John Roll died a hero. According to the New York Times, the video shows that Judge Roll apparently died while helping to save the life of Ronald Barber, a Giffords staffer. Barber, who was shot twice while standing near Congresswoman Giffords, survived the attack and has since left the hospital.

The descriptions of Judge Roll’s actions during the shooting are amazing…

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* Twenty six states hate health care Obama. This law might be more screwed than someone with a pre-existing condition. [Los Angeles Times]

* Handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten, and begging to be deported. I think the Justice Department forgot the safe word. [Mother Jones]

* Thomas Jefferson School of Law has a great connection to paleontology. Dinosaurs are extinct, and so are jobs for fourth-tier law grads! [National Law Journal]

* J. Crew has to find someone to buy all of its overpriced clothing for more than $3 billion. Haven’t these shareholders heard of the clearance rack? [DealBook / New York Times]

* Hey 1Ls, Baker Botts is hiring, but only diverse candidates need apply. I’m guessing that diversity is based on bra size and skin color. [The Careerist]

* Lawyers who go to rehab are “terminally unique” — they’re self-centered a-holes. So what? Lawyers who don’t go to rehab are a-holes, too. [Huffington Post]

* When the Supreme Court refused to overturn gay marriage in D.C., gay couples and wedding planners alike were thrilled. Redundant? [Belief Blog / CNN]

Judge Wesley Brown will be 104 in June.

When I clerked on the Ninth Circuit years ago, one of the judges on the court at the time was extremely old — and didn’t seem very “with it.” His law clerks seemed to take on a large amount of responsibility. One of his clerks that year, a law school classmate of mine I’ll call “Mary,” would negotiate over the phone with Ninth Circuit judges over how particular cases should come out — a responsibility well beyond the legal research and opinion drafting done by most clerks.

On one occasion, a vote on whether to rehear a case en banc emanated not from the judge’s chambers account, but from Mary’s personal email account. Even more embarrassingly, it was written not on behalf of the judge or the chambers, but in the first person: “I vote YES to rehearing en banc.” A law school classmate of mine who was also clerking for the Ninth that year remarked, “I thought only judges did that. When did Mary get her presidential commission?”

Some of us jokingly referred to that chambers as Weekend at Judgie’s. What appeared to be going on over there reminded us of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s famous quip to his clerks: “If I die, prop me up and keep voting!”

We joked about this delegation of Article III authority to a newly minted law school graduate. But as Joseph Goldstein suggests, in a very interesting article just published by Slate and ProPublica, the issue of superannuated jurists is no laughing matter….

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* UVA Law grad Corwin Levi used his law school notes as his artistic canvas. I bet he has a really snazzy collar. [Ex-Lawyers Club]

* Not all professors are lazy. Professor Ilya Somin hops on the “make new exam questions” bandwagon. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Professor Stephen Bainbridge has another theory on how “Tiger Mother” Amy Chua got hired by Yale; there’s always more than one way to skin a cat. [Professor Bainbridge]

* FCC approves the merger between Kabletown (sorry, Comcast) and NBC. [Huffington Post]

* Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan — who wants to be a Supreme Court justice, then president — opines on WikiLeaks. [Jezebel]

* What, do you want Apple’s quarterly filings to include reports on Steve Jobs’s colon? [WSJ Law Blog]

* You can’t make a law that favors one religion over another. But, in Alabama at least, it’s perfectly okay for the governor of the state to talk about how everybody should prefer his religion over all others. [Gawker]

* It’d be great if everybody remembered Martin Luther King’s essential message of non-violence. [A Public Defender via Blawg Review]

Thomas Walkley

There’s a history of lawyers pulling down their pants to make a point. Some of you may recall former Covington & Burling partner David Remes, who dropped trou in Yemen a few years back. Remes, who was representing several detainees at Guantanamo Bay, explained that he stripped down to emphasize the humiliation inflicted upon detainees by inappropriate body searches.

Now another attorney is claiming that he exposed himself for educational reasons. Ohio lawyer Thomas Walkley, 52, was charged with exposing himself to two troubled teens on Friday. (They were troubled before they saw Walkley’s junk.)

Walkley, who founded and runs a coffeeshop for at-risk youth, claims that pants-dropping is part of his “mentorship” program. We wonder if they’ll try this in Oregon.

Unlike Remes, Walkley didn’t keep his underwear on. He removed his pants and his boxer shorts, letting it all hang out before two teenage boys….

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Julia Neyman paid for this drink.jpgLast time we checked in with Columbia law student Julia Neyman, she was sweating her way through a year-long exercise regimen. Her new year’s resolutions were similar to many: she resolved to exercise more and spend less money. Her unique inspiration, though, was to combine these two resolutions into one: she spent 2010 working out at gyms around Manhattan — gyms that usually charge a pretty penny — for free, taking advantage of promotions and trial memberships. She then blogged about her adventures on Buns of Steal.

We thought it was a brilliant idea. (If nothing else, it seemed like a clever campaign to shame Columbia into upgrading its “dark and dank” student gym.) Others were more critical, calling her a “mooching” “gym grifter.” Neyman says, though, that gyms were “actually really on board with the project.”

Other potential grifters, we advise you start blogs. Neyman says: “I’ve consistently gotten emails and offers from gyms offering for me to come in and work out for free. It was a win-win because for the gyms, my blog was like free advertising.”

Well, now the year is up. Neyman had planned to buy a membership to her favorite gym — revealed after the jump — but instead she has fled to Paris for the semester, where she is helping to turn Frenchmen against lawyers…

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Don’t watch nothing say him white. Him blacker than me and you.

Buju Banton, the celebrated reggae musician, speaking about his lawyer, David Oscar Markus — whom he called up to the stage and hugged at a recent concert.

(Markus, who is also a legal blogger as well as a prominent criminal defense lawyer, is representing the Grammy-nominated Banton in an upcoming retrial on federal drug and firearms charges. Markus doesn’t look very black.)

Are you ready for some stop-gap measures?

Given that law schools keep pumping out more graduates than the market can handle, the state of Oregon is trying an interesting approach to deal with the mass of lawyers being unleashed into the system. Following in the footsteps of Georgia and Utah, Oregon will now require new lawyers to enroll in a year-long mentoring program.

People sitting for the February bar were informed that they will be subject to this new requirement. The goal of the program is to provide some guidance for all the unemployed law graduates, especially those who are thinking of going out there and hanging a shingle.

Because, you know, it’s not like three years in law school actually prepare you to start a career…

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You know, one of the biggest problems with law school is that it’s too much like high school. In college, you have a sense that people were sick to death of high school (I didn’t go to a state school) and are invested in actually growing up. College kids don’t handle things like adults, but at least there’s a sense that they’re trying.

By the time you get to law school, it’s like people have devolved or something. Law schools seem to be crawling with snide, backbiting saboteurs. Playground bullying is replaced by intellectual bullying, and all sense of collegiality falls prey to petty competition (I didn’t go to a state school).

You want to know how to cut through all of the pushing and shoving? Push back, hard. That’s what a Georgetown 1L did. He found himself the subject of a whispering campaign and decided to shout down the allegations against him — in an email to his entire section….

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Cover of "Robocop"

Aaron Titus, are you in there?

When Washington, D.C., was buried in snow last week, one suburban Maryland school alerted parents via robocall that they would be opening two hours late. The call, hypothetically letting parents know that they could sleep in that day, went out at 4:30 a.m.

That angered privacy lawyer Aaron Titus. His well-told tale of revenge reverberated around the media last week, thanks to a story in the Washington Post. Titus went Robocop on the school, using an online robocalling company to place a 4:30 a.m. call to the home phones of nine school board members, the school superintendent, and the school’s chief lawyer the next day, letting them know he hadn’t appreciated the early morning wake-up call. (The school said it made a mistake in setting the time for the calls and that it should have gone out at the immensely more reasonable hours of 5 or 6 a.m.)

Titus tweeted that he was following the Golden Rule. Meanwhile, other laws were possibly ignored…

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This is why we shouldn’t let people under the age of 18 speak in public. Ever.

The new Miss America, Teresa Scanlan, is just 17 years old. Why we live in a society that regularly parades minors out in public to be ogled (whether for their beauty or dunking prowess or whatever) is a subject for another blog post.

As you know, beauty pageant winners are often asked about their life ambitions — as if staying “off the pole” wouldn’t be a major accomplishment in itself. Scanlan’s ambitions are particularly funny, more like the stuff you’d expect to hear from a 7-year-old girl instead of a young woman of 17.

Under normal circumstances, the public wouldn’t be a party to these particular ramblings. But since her parents decided to allow Scanlan to be thrust into the public spotlight, everybody gets to chuckle…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Miss America 2011 Wants a Law Degree, and Then an Appointment to SCOTUS, and Then Election to POTUS”

* Jared Lee Loughner’s trial may be moved to Whale’s Vagina. [CNN]

* This article about the work of Ahmed Ghailani’s attorneys shows how the halal sausage is made. [New York Times]

* Goldman’s sale of Facebook shares is not going smoothly. [BusinessWeek]

* Civility will get its first test when Congress takes up the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” today. [Los Angeles Times]

* Boston College Law grads may now get loan forgiveness for broke do-gooding. No open letters required. [Boston Herald]

* Our boy Ken Kratz, sexting superstar and all-around prize, has filed an answer in the lawsuit against him. In it, Kratz asks for the case to be dismissed or, in the alternative, sex. [TPMMuckraker]

* Women can be garbage TV lawyers just like men can. You go…you go. [Kansas City Star]

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