Philosophy

He may not look like much, but this little guy’s name is ‘John Holmes’ for a reason.

* A woman and her husband are charged with making dog porn, which is… well, it’s filming dogs having their way with the woman. So if you’re in North Carolina and get called for jury duty, that might be in your future. [Huffington Post Weird]

* Instead of a gun fight over getting cut off in traffic or someone dissing a sports team, this Russian guy opened fire with rubber bullets over an argument about Immanuel Kant. Much more cultured over there. [Critical-Theory]

* Gypsy family tries to pay bail with gold and the state judge cried foul, probably because he feared he was being… ugh. What followed was a thorough investigation of Romany culture. [New York Times]

* Judges in Chicago have to comply with a small sampling of the demeaning security procedures everyone else has had to deal with for the last 12 years and they deal with it graciously throw an absolute bitchfit. I mean, their complaints are sound, but still… [Chicago Sun-Times]

* Man held by authorities for peacefully protesting a photo enforced traffic light. Some things, like a guaranteed stream of city income, are too important to let free speech get in the way. [Autoblog]

* A judge has ordered a new trial for the cops convicted of the Danziger Bridge slayings in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Among the reasons, the prosecutors were writing disparaging comments about the defendants on online comments sections. As if anyone takes internet commenters seriously. [The Times-Picayune]

* Only a few more hours to register for this event featuring Kathy Ruemmler, counsel to President Obama, talking about women in law, leadership, and government. [Ms. JD]

ludwig wittgenstein.jpgA lot of our humor is kinda juvenile. So now we’ll throw some erudition into the mix. Recently we learned of this fun fact:

A partner at a big New York law firm, a litigator, has the following quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein on his wall. “The world is all that is the case.”

Those of you who majored in philosophy should already be laughing.
For those of you who didn’t, here’s an explanation (which we provide at the risk of sounding pedantic):

In that context, it completely warps the meaning of the quote. Witty meant it as: “The world is composed of all facts.” To the litigator it meant: “The case is the entire world.”

The story actually came to us sans the identity of the litigator; we didn’t redact anything. If you know who it might be, feel free to drop us a line.

rachel kovner.jpgBased on the feedback we’ve received, it seems that you share our obsession with the brilliant Rachel Kovner.
In case you don’t know, Ms. Kovner is (1) the best student in the history of Stanford Law School (“the Empress of Palo Alto”); (2) a future law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia (“Nino’s Girl”); and (3) the daughter of the $2.5 billion man, Bruce Kovner.
(The rather odd picture at right is from her Facebook profile. Don’t ask us, we’re as confused as you are.)
One thing we’ve heard is that Rachel, despite her brilliance and her wealth, is a quiet and unassuming young woman. She doesn’t call attention to herself; to the contrary, she eschews the limelight. She doesn’t like people knowing that her dad is the 93rd richest man in America (a fact that’s in the public domain, readily ascertainable by anyone with Google).
Now all this is quite understandable. After all, Rachel doesn’t want certiorari petitions sent to the Supreme Court with footnotes like this: “If the Court declines to hear this case, petitioner respectfully requests that this petition be construed as an application for a $5,000 loan from Ms. Rachel Kovner, so petitioner can get momma a facelift.”
But it’s just not a realistic approach to the world for someone in the Jimmy Choo shoes of Rachel Kovner — as we will now explain, in this open letter.

Dear Ms. Kovner:

Greetings from your friends at Above the Law. As you surely know, we have written about you extensively in the past week. See, e.g., here and here.

We understand from some of your friends that you are a modest and low-key person, uncomfortable with being the center of attention. But given who you are, your aversion to the spotlight is simply untenable.

With your blinding intellect, and your father’s mountains of hedge-fund cash, it was only a matter of time before the world discovered you. Greatness knows no hiding place. The proverbial cream rises to the proverbial top.

So Rachel, dear, listen up. You got a Supreme Court clerkship, and we didn’t; so maybe we’re in no position to give you advice. But we ARE a little older than you, and we’ve been around the block, so please permit us a few words.

Here is today’s lesson (which we hope you’ll learn with the same diligence that earned you the top grades in Stanford Law history): There is nothing more important than fame.*

Yes, fame. Celebrity. Your name on everyone’s lips. People knowing who you are, even though you have no clue as to who they are. An off-the-chart Q score. People constantly talking about you — for good or ill. Take to heart the words of Samuel Johnson: “I would rather be attacked than unnoticed.” Or this old adage: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Remember the saying “Whoever dies with the most toys wins?” It should be updated for today’s world: “Whoever dies with the most Google hits wins.”

As we’ve said again and again, Rachel, you are fabulous. A superstar. And you need to stop denying or hiding from that reality. You are one of the greatest legal minds of your generation. And your father is one of the world’s richest men.

So start playing the part. Find your inner diva, and let her shine. Show up tomorrow in Judge Wilkinson’s chambers and shout, at the top of your lungs: “I am Rachel Kovner. Hear me roar!!!”

Sincerely,
Your Friends at Above the Law

* Incredibly enough, the phrase “there is nothing more important than fame,” placed within quotation marks, generates no Google hits. The same thing goes for the more concise “Nothing is more important than fame.”
Well, that’s about to change…
Earlier: More on the Fabulous Rachel Kovner
Definitive Proof that Life Isn’t Fair