At the end of August, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in Elane Photography v. Willock that a Christian wedding photographer violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA) when it refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony. (New Mexico does not currently permit same-sex marriage, though all the parties and the court frequently refer to the ceremony as a wedding.) This week, one of the parties in a similar controversy in Oregon, Sweet Cakes Bakery, announced that it would be closing shop, citing its opposition to baking wedding cakes for same-sex couples.
Elane Photography argued that it did not violate the NMHRA but, if it did, this application of the law violated the photography business’s Free Speech and Free Exercise rights under the First Amendment. The court disagreed, writing that “when Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”
Personally, I’d vote for same-sex marriage if I lived in a state considering such laws. Polygamy too, for that matter. If you are listening for a full-throated defense of traditional, heterosexual marriage to the exclusion of state recognition of any other arrangement, you won’t hear it here. I’m inclined to support religious understandings of traditional marriage, but I’m libertarian enough to let everyone — straight, gay, or otherwise — suffer through the headaches of having the government divide your assets when you get divorced.
Still, using anti-discrimination laws to mandate that all businesses operating as public accommodations provide services to same-sex couples’ weddings sounds like an unnecessary imposition on the sincere religious beliefs of others — and a great way to end up with lousy wedding photos….
A few years ago, we wrote a story about a law firm with a drive-thru window, lamenting the inevitable future of the legal profession. Instead of passing burgers to customers through the window, lawyers exchanged documents and quick legal advice with their clients. The only thing missing was the familiar Golden Arches — although we suspect a law firm would prefer green dollar signs instead.
Another law firm took it one step further, and appointed Ronald McDonald himself to hail passersby in the hopes of using his fast food charm to lure would-be clients into the office. Would you like fries with that?
Who is this woman? Over at our sister site Dealbreaker, they’ve been talking about her for months and months on end.
She emerged on the banking protest scene back in April, when she dressed as a dominatrix (and later as a police officer) and promised to offer Citi execs a spanking as the “Bank Reform Bitch.” In early May, she reemerged as the “Ethical Fiscal Fairy” to fight the good fight against Bank of America. At the end of the month, “Bank Reform Bitch” came back to stick her stiletto straight up Jamie Dimon’s ass. On the last day of May, she became “Darla, the Desperate for Justice Housewife,” hoping to bring attention to the laundering of HSBC’s money. In July, she emerged from her cocoon and transformed into the “Better Banking Butterfly” to weigh in on derivative reform. Tomorrow, she’ll be at a press conference with the HSBC whistleblower to bitch about the bank’s blood money, all while waving a money fan.
Again, we’ve got to ask: who is this woman? Well, for starters, she’s a lawyer….
One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to go camping. We always used to stock up on supplies in some small town, head out into the woods, and go fishing and hunting. It was an idyllic way to spend a summer weekend.
Just kidding. I stole that story from a friend. I hated camping. People only lived in Sherwood Forest because they were too poor and stupid to hack it in the city. Plus the bugs — bugs that walk, bugs that jump, bugs that can’t be killed with a thump. And for what? Black people respect nature from afar, like in a Jeep with a rifle and binoculars afar. It’s the white people who want to get all up in nature’s face and mess with it. “Ooh, look at the bear Elie, isn’t it beautiful??” You tell me how beautiful it is when it has your head in a toothy vise-grip.
I did like the small towns though. That’s when I felt all David Attenborough: “Bill’s bait and tackle probably hasn’t had an African-American customer since the 54th Massachusetts came through these parts. Let’s see what happens when I go in to purchase one of their dried beef snacks.”
I say all this because I think I would have enjoyed a summer trip to Washington Island, Wisconsin this summer. It seems like a kind of small town tourist trap, and that’s exactly my speed. Also, it’s the kind of place where they eat all the lawyers, so I think I’d be blessedly free of all the commenters for a little while…
One could argue that justices of the United States Supreme Court are underpaid. After all, their former law clerks get wooed with $300,000 signing bonuses upon leaving One First Street, which is more than what the justices earn in a year (as just noted by The Economist).
Even though she’s supposedly “retired,” the super-energetic Justice O’Connor remains exceedingly busy, occupied by iCivics work, sitting by designation in circuit courts, and promoting her new book (affiliate link). But she still has some free time — including time to go to the grocery.
Law school tuition has skyrocketed in recent years, and most people wind up financing their legal education by taking out up to six figures in loans to cover the cost of attendance. But because cuddling up at night next to mountains of debt isn’t a pleasant way to live, some people have found more creative ways to pay their way.
Whether it’s by having very rich and generous parents, keeping a day job and going to law school at night, becoming a sugar baby, or working a part-time job between classes, there are many ways to survive without having to fully rely upon student loans.
If those solutions don’t float your boat, you can just take off your clothes and become a Playboy pin-up….
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.