Politics

Ave Maria School of Law Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Holy Lawsuit, Batman! Professors sue Ave Maria. [AveWatch.org]
* TMI indeed; spare us talk of that burning sensation. Just say you have a doctor’s appointment, and leave it at that. [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
Patrick J Fitzgerald 2 Patrick Fitzgerald Pat Fitzgerald Above the Law blog.JPG* Just because you’re a 46-year-old man who has never been married doesn’t mean you’re gay. Plamegate prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald — whom we met earlier this month, btw — is engaged. Congrats, Pat! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Milberg Weiss and the Democrats: politics makes for not-so-strange bedfellows. [Overlawyered; Overlawyered]
* Some undergraduates earn cash by selling their class notes online. How long before this trend takes hold in law schools? [Conglomerate]
* Who says Yale Law grads can’t be funny? [Wonkette]

* How much will various law-related search terms cost you on Google? Adam Liptak has collected some interesting examples: “Asbestos attorney” = $51.68, “Pro bono lawyer” = $2.89. [NYT via WSJ Law Blog]
* Another day, another Republican politician in a gay sex scandal. [Green Bay Press-Gazette]
* Not law-related, but interesting to those who follow the blogosphere: Vanessa Grigoriadis’s detailed profile of Gawker Media. [New York Magazine]
* Blawg Review #130, presented on two attorney/mediator law blogs — a Southern Hemisphere edition from New Zealand, and a Northern Hemisphere edition from the USA — recognizes Blog Action Day and International Conflict Resolution Day. [mediator blah... blah... and Online Guide to Mediation, via Blawg Review]

Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies logo Above the Law blog.jpgWe know how you all love to argue about affirmative action. It’s a hot-button topic here at ATL.
So here’s a proposal worth considering, from Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw (via Paul Caron):

If right-wingers are underrepresented in universities relative to the population and discriminated against by the left-wing majority, as [former Harvard president] Larry [Summers] suggests, should there be affirmative action for right-leaning academics?

It seems that, on principle, those on the left (who favor affirmative action to promote diversity and correct past injustice) should endorse such a university policy, and those on the right (who more often oppose affirmative action) would be against.

One could argue that a conservative law professor — especially a hard-core social conservative, not a law-and-economics or libertarian type — contributes as much to law school diversity (and discourse) as an African-American or female law professor from a socioeconomically privileged background, who went to an elite college and an elite law school, and has the standard liberal views of most legal academics.
Thoughts?
Mankiw: Affirmative Action for Conservative Professors? [TaxProf Blog]
Is academia serious about diversity? [Greg Mankiw]
The Liberal (and Moderating) Professoriate [Inside Higher Ed]

bonsai tree AboveTheLaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Across the pond, Allen & Overy hopes to pick up recruits — quite literally. [Charon QC: The Blawg]
* One path to a judgeship: marry a prominent political fundraiser. [Daily Business Review]
* Alberto Gonzales and George Terwilliger should get along famously. [Washington Briefs]
* The fame of the S&C bonsai trees spreads, as ATL earns a shout-out in the Washington Post’s Express. [Read Express]

Larry Craig barbershop quartet Above the Law blog.jpgCNN is reporting that the Minnesota judge presiding over Larry Craig’s case has refused to let him undo his guilty plea stemming from his “wide stance” episode in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. The judge said that the plea was “knowing, voluntary, and intelligent.” We question the intelligent part, but we know what he means.
So will he leave the Senate now?
Update: Sen. Craig not resigning despite judge’s ruling [CNN]

Clarence Thomas 2 Justice Clarence Thomas Above the Law blog.jpgEd. notes: First, B. Clerker is unavailable this morning, so we’re doing Morning Docket ourselves. Second, by the time you read this, we’ll be attending this event. But we’ve arranged for previously written posts (like this one) to be published in our absence.
* John Edwards tries to put a noble spin on the financial desperation of his flailing campaign. Stick a fork in him; he’s done. [WP; NYT]
* Jena One released on bail. [AP]
* Fourteen “high-value” terrorism suspects will be allowed to request lawyers. KSM will use his to sue Teleflex. [WP]
* In Pakistan, the Supreme Court gets involved in elections too. From the gallery: “Go, Musharraf, go!” [AP via WP]
* Set your TiVo, judicial groupies: Justice Thomas will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Thankfully, his interview — in which he’s rumored to call Anita Hill “a nappy-headed ho” — doesn”t conflict with the season premiere of Desperate Housewives. [WSJ Law Blog]

Chelsea Clinton Osso Bucco Nino Selimaj Above the Law blog.jpgWe met Chelsea Clinton at a wedding once. She wasn’t super-friendly; in fact, she was downright standoffish. She gave off this aloof, “stay away starf**kers” sort of vibe.
Chilly Chelsea couldn’t be more different from her gregarious parents, whom we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Bill and Hillary Clinton are friendly and down-to-earth, despite being far more recognizable than even their famous daughter.
(Yeah, we know, they’re politicians and she’s an ordinary citizen. But that doesn’t means she can’t be nice to people.)
Based on our firsthand experience with Chelsea Clinton — and it was an overseas wedding, so we were actually in her presence for several days — we weren’t that surprised to read this story. From WCBSTV:

A celebrity photo has led a former president to send a threatening letter to a Manhattan restaurant owner.

President Bill Clinton has demanded that the owner of Greenwich Village restaurant Osso Buco remove a picture of his daughter Chelsea that’s been gracing the walls of the family-style Italian eatery, alongside other celebrity photographs.

Owner Nino Selimaj tells CBS 2 that the picture has been up for years and has never posed a problem until now.

What’s the big deal? Such pictures are commonplace in restaurants of a certain type, and they’re all over the place at Osso Buco — placing Chelsea on notice, when she posed for the photo, that it might be hung on the wall.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “(Threatened) Lawsuit of the Day: Chelsea Clinton Sics Dad on Italian Eatery”

Mikal Watts Mikal C Watts Law Firm Above the Law blog.jpgEven when they’re not getting indicted or pleading guilty, high-profile plaintiffs’ lawyers can still entertain us with their antics. From Walter Olson, over at Overlawyered:

Looks as if the legal tactics of one politically ambitious Texas plaintiff’s lawyer may have blown up in his face:

“Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mikal Watts of San Antonio once tried to pressure a legal opponent into a $60 million personal injury lawsuit settlement by claiming he would have an advantage on appeal because of his firm’s ‘heavy’ campaign financial support to an appellate court’s justices, ‘all of whom are good Democrats.’

Guess Brad Schlozman isn’t the only arbiter of “good”-ness. Anyway, back to Watts:

A “nine-page letter Watts wrote to opposing counsel in 2001 apparently was intended to make an out-of-state corporation think the donations could sway” the 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi. The letter was sent to a defense lawyer representing American Electric Power in an auto-accident case. “Politely put, south Texas venue by itself makes this a very dangerous lawsuit,” Watts wrote.

We commend Mikal Watts for his candor. Why should walking into a south Texas courtroom be a trap for the unwary?
Furor over Mikal Watts “judges owe us” letter [Overlawyered]

Gibson Dunn Crutcher LLP Above the Law blog.JPGIt appears that Quinn Emanuel isn’t the only law firm with a snazzy new website. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

Okay, we’re not necessarily proud of our law-firm Web site fetish, so forgive us for spilling a few pixels over the spanking-new page the folks at Gibson Dunn put up.

[Ed. note: Racy stuff, esp. for the Wall Street Journal! That sentence -- with its references to a "fetish," "spilling a few pixels" (hehe), and "spanking" -- is chock full of double entendres.]

We’re not sure it offers more or better content than the average firm site… but check out that design! We’re big fans, from the newspapery layout to the McSweeney’s-esque literary feel to the overall minimialist aesthetic….

Take, for instance, the six videos on firm diversity. There’s one entitled Out, with gay partners talking about their sexual orientation. And then there’s one called Red & Blue, about the firm’s political diversity, including an interview with former Congressman Mel Levine (Blue) and former Solictor General Ted Olson (Red)…

Unlike those rascals over at Quinn Emanuel, the GDC folks haven’t pulled their videos. And hopefully they will leave them up, even after we poke (gentle) fun of them.
Which we proceed to do, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Methinks that Gibson Doth Protest Too Much”

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Evil Has Landed New York Daily News Above the Law blog.jpgEarlier today, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a controversial appearance at Columbia University. The decision to invite Ahmadinejad was defended by President Lee Bollinger, who criticized Ahmadinejad and his views while introducing him, but condemned by Columbia Law School Dean David Schizer.
Dean Schizer’s statement provides us with enough of a “law” hook to write about the controversy. Here’s what he had to say:

This event raises deep and complicated issues about how best to express our commitment to intellectual freedom, and to our free way of life. Although we believe in free and open debate at Columbia and should never suppress points of view, we are also committed to academic standards. A high-quality academic discussion depends on intellectual honesty but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are true. Therefore, my personal opinion is that he should not be invited to speak. Mr. Ahmadinejad is a reprehensible and dangerous figure who presides over a repressive regime, is responsible for the death of American soldiers, denies the Holocaust, and calls for the destruction of Israel. It would be deeply regrettable if some misread this invitation as lending prestige or legitimacy to his views.

Our university is a pluralistic place, and I recognize that others within our community take a different view in good faith, and that they have the right to extend invitations that I personally would not extend. I know that we will learn from each other in discussing the difficult questions prompted by this invitation.

Do you agree with President Bollinger or Dean Schizer? Take our poll:


Statement By David M. Schizer Re: SIPA Invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [Columbia Law School]
Tough US Welcome for Iran’s Ahmadinejad [Associated Press]
Columbia law dean slams Ahmadinejad invite [JTA]
QuickSpec- Judgement Day edition [The Bwog]

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