This week, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) announced that it accepted a hefty donation from Koch Industries. According to NACDL, the grant will fund an initiative to better train indigent defenders and study best practices of current state level indigent defense delivery systems. The organization points out that over 80 percent of criminal defendants must rely on indigent defense systems for representation, though the systems are “chronically underfunded and overburdened and, as result, in many instances are unable to effectively deliver adequate representation.” NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer also said, “[W]e are honored that while Koch is providing this significant funding to support NACDL’s efforts, Koch is deferring to NACDL’s expertise in this arena for the grant’s effective deployment.”
Koch Industries is, of course, the Kansas-based, privately-held corporation of Charles and David Koch, often known to their many liberal critics as “the Koch Brothers.” (Sort of like the Wachowski Brothers but with more money and without the transitioning.) Critics such as Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid and increasingly agitated AlterNet writers decry the Kochs, who are reportedly each worth $36 billion, for their donations to the GOP and conservative causes.
So, should we be skeptical of the Kochs’ recent gift to help poor folks get adequate legal representation? After all, how could a Google search for “Koch Brothers Evil” turn up so many seemingly pertinent results, if they were up to any good? So, how can an organization like NACDL accept money from the ne’er-do-well billionaires who funneled money into such ultra-conservative, oligarchy-preserving causes as . . . the United Negro College Fund?
Why would anyone care about a young man hiring a prostitute in a jurisdiction — Cartagena, Colombia — where prostitution is legal? This allegedly all went down during the visit by President Obama to Colombia in which a bunch of Secret Service agents got in trouble for patronizing prostitutes, so the claim is that the White House protected one of its own — Dach, a White House volunteer at the time, is the son of a big-time Democratic donor — while hanging the Secret Service agents out to dry. And Dach now works at the State Department on a portfolio of women’s issues, which adds to the awkwardness.
But are the allegations even true? Various folks, both within the Yale community and beyond it, are rallying to Dach’s defense — and forcefully denying the claims against him. What do they have to say?
(This weekend, Vaillancourt compared Kuster to an unattractive drag queen in a blog post, further wondering, “Does anyone not believe that Congressman Annie Kuster is as ugly as sin? And I hope I haven’t offended sin.” Ouch.)
The latest batch of presidential papers from the Clinton Administration, recently released to the public, contain some fun nuggets for law nerds. We’ve mentioned a few of them already — e.g., the time that a pre-robescent Elena Kagan, then a White House staffer, dropped the f-bomb in a memo to White House counsel Jack Quinn. Another just came to light today: as reported by Tony Mauro, a pre-robescent John Roberts, then in private practice at Hogan & Hartson, came close to representing President Clinton in the U.S. Supreme Court in Clinton v. Jones.
The papers contain other interesting tidbits too — and some are sad rather than salacious. For example, there’s the story of how a brilliant and distinguished circuit judge came thisclose to landing a seat on the Supreme Court, until health problems derailed his nomination….
* Zombies responsible for tort. It’s like Walking Dead but with more motion practice. [PrawfsBlawg]
* As much as you hate pocket dialing someone, you don’t hate it as much as these people who pocket dialed 911 while making a drug deal. [Legal Juice]
* Ever wonder why AIG seemed to fare much worse under the bailout than the banks? Perhaps that’s because the government used the AIG bailout to play favorites and help out all their banking buddies. [Medium]
* Here’s one out of left field: Oregon’s first lady had a secret marriage to an 18-year-old immigrant 11 years her junior. Was this a “green card marriage” (i.e., a felony)? My home state doesn’t have great luck with political figures and legaltrouble. [Willamette Week]
* Is law one of the most profitable industries for private companies? Of course it is. [Inc.]
* Guess what? Spending decades decrying “for’ners” for stealing hard-earned American cash, people consistently believe we spend tons more on foreign aid than we really do. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* Legendary plaintiffs’ attorney Fred Levin talks about the ongoing effort to demonize plaintiffs lawyers. Video after the jump…. [Mimesis Law]
Or at least the Washington Post alleges that one Yale Law student loved a hooker. Why is the Washington Post so interested in how a Yale Law student spends his time and money? Well, because that Yale Law student, Jonathan Dach, was working for the White House and hotel logs indicate he brought a woman back to the Colombia hotel where the president was set to stay. The Post claims that Homeland Security later fingered this woman as a prostitute. Hey, he was injecting his business into the local economy!
Anyway, the Post claims the White House covered this all up. Oh, and later promoted him to a job in the State Department. Which job? Policy advisor in the Office of Global Women’s Issues. [Dramatic Chipmunk]
If the idea of bringing prostitutes to hotels while traveling ahead of the president sounds familiar, it’s because the Secret Service did the same thing ON THE SAME TRIP, and the agents involved were pilloried and fired. So guess who’s really pissed off that the White House stuck its neck out for its own while throwing them under the bus?
Sex, corruption, hypocrisy, oh my! And yet, should anyone even care about this? The answer is “yes,” but not for any of the reasons you’ll hear from the nattering nabobs….
It has been an intense week in the Lone Star State. A rough week to be Texas Department of Health Commissioner David Lakey, to be sure. When either of the words “abortion” or “Ebola” enter local headlines, it’s not a slow news week. Texas headlines have had both.
On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the State of Texas can begin implementing controversial parts of HB 2, the law placing new restrictions on the facilities authorized to perform abortions. Though a district court ruled earlier that HB 2 violated some Texas women’s rights by placing an undue burden on their access to abortion, the Fifth Circuit disagreed.
Meanwhile, Texas officials confirmed this week that a man in Dallas is infected with the Ebola virus. Thomas Eric Duncan contracted the deadly disease while in Liberia earlier this month, although his symptoms did not manifest until last week. In Liberia, Duncan reportedly helped care for a neighbor’s daughter who later died of Ebola. A few days later, Duncan boarded flights to Brussels, then Dulles, then Dallas. Nine days after his contact with the infected woman, while visiting Texas, Duncan became ill. And now every person in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex who ate bad sushi this week, or caught a stomach bug, is looking at their symptoms with a whole lot more suspicion and dread than usual. Because this is pretty damned terrifying.
What do abortion and ebola have in common (aside from making David Lakey’s life miserable this week)?
What’s all the fuss with Trinity Western law school? For those who don’t know, Trinity Western is a private university in British Columbia. Its stated mission is to change lives “through its whole-person, Christ-centred approach to education.”
We don’t have very many religious four-year colleges and universities. Trinity Western is one of the few I can name. The U.S., of course, has a long history of religion-affiliated colleges. The Catholics have Loyola-here and Loyola-there, the Jews have Brandeis and Yeshiva, Muslims have Zaytuna, the Protestants have Bob Jones, etc.
Trinity Western is our country’s Bob Jones. Every student has to sign a long covenant (we’ll call it “The Covenant”) that includes the following promise:
Now that Eric Holder has announced his departure as attorney general, talk has turned to who his successor will be — and should be. Early buzz has centered around Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, but there are other compelling candidates as well, including lots of legal luminaries that Above the Law readers will recognize.
Who will be our nation’s next AG? And who should be the next AG? Let’s discuss….
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
The JOBS Act created new tools for companies to publicly advertise securities deals online. As a result, thousands of new deals have hit the market and hundreds of millions in capital has been raised, spurring a wealth of new business development opportunities for attorneys.
Fund deals, startup capital raises, PIPE deals and loan syndicates are just a handful of the transactions benefiting from the JOBS Act. InvestorID FirmTM is a platform designed to help attorneys equip their clients with the workflow, marketing and compliance tools to publicly solicit a securities offering online. By providing clients with the tools to painlessly navigate the regulatory landscape of general solicitation, InvestorID FirmTM helps attorneys add value above just legal services.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) went into effect in 2013 and permits Regulation D offerings of securities to be advertised publicly. This means that funds and companies can now use social media, emails and web sites to market transactions to new “accredited” investors.
However, with these new powers come new pain points. InvestorID FirmTM provides a secure, fully hosted, cloud-based platform with a breadth of tools for your clients, including: