Politics

Here’s the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. If you’re not already a member of Lateral Link, you can sign up through their website. Membership, which is free and confidential, allows you to learn about new legal opportunities as they become available.
Position: Staff Counsel
Company: ActBlue
Location: Boston, MA
Position Description: Staff Counsel will report to Executive Director. Initial responsibilities will include:
• Research of campaign finance laws and regulations at the federal, state and local levels.
• Developing and implementing legal and lobbying strategies to expand ActBlue’s ability to operate at the state level.
• Ensuring compliance with all applicable campaign finance and privacy laws.
• Cultivating relationships with election offices and local campaign finance attorneys across the country.
• Responding to legal inquiries and complaints.
Additional information, after the jump.

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Richard Scruggs 2 Dick Scruggs Dickie Scruggs Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday the FBI executed a search warrant on the Scruggs Law Firm in Oxford, Mississippi — the shop of high-flying plaintiffs’ lawyer Dickie Scruggs. It wasn’t immediately clear what investigation the search was related to. Here’s some commentary on the situation that we enjoyed, from David Rossmiller (in brackets, following excerpt from news article):

“This is a surprise to everybody connected to the Scruggs Firm,” [lawyer Joey] Langston said, “but I’ve got to tell you people who are very high profile and very successful have to contend with unpleasantries and this is unpleasant, but we’ll contend with it.”

[I like the touch of noblesse oblige here -- as if the FBI descending on one's place of business is the same as, say, getting heckled by drunken lumpenproletariat while showing up in top hat and tails to receive an award for charitable giving.]

suitcase briefcase cash money Above the Law blog.jpgNow we have a better idea of what the office search was probably about. From the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger:

Multimillionaire trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs has been indicted on charges of conspiring to bribe a judge in the case involving $26.5-million in attorney fees involving Katrina claims….

According to the indictment, Lafayette County Circuit Judge Henry Lackey cooperated with the FBI in the investigation after reporting a bribery overture to authorities.

According to the indictment, Scruggs and others tried to influence Lackey by giving him $40,000 in cash to resolve the attorney fees’ dispute in favor of Scruggs’ law firm. Some of the conversations between Balducci and Lackey were captured on tape.

An interesting observation, from the WSJ Law Blog:

Down in Mississippi, there has been speculation of a connection between the FBI search warrant and this week’s surprise resignation of Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), Scruggs’s brother-in-law. Lott’s office told the Sun Herald the two events were but a mere coincidence.

Because, you know, it’s so much better to have people think you stepped down because of a gay sex scandal, as opposed to your brother-in-law’s indictment.
(For the record, the rumors about Sen. Lott and the gay sex scandal appear to be unfounded. See HuffPo and Wonkette — two sites that would, of course, love for the rumors to be true.)
Scruggs arrested on bribery charges [Clarion-Ledger]
More on FBI search of Scruggs’ law offices [Insurance Coverage Law Blog]
Dickie Scruggs Indicted On Federal Bribery Charges [WSJ Law Blog]

Nancy Cohen Nancy Sher Cohen diva Heller Ehrman Above the Law blog.jpgSome of our prior coverage of Heller Ehrman has been a bit gloomy. We take it all back. Now that the firm’s Los Angeles office is under a magnificent new leader — Nancy Sher Cohen, whom we have previously praised in these pages — we see nothing but good things ahead.
Legal Pad conducts a very interesting interview with Nancy Cohen. Here’s an excerpt:

Legal Pad: How do you feel about “Above the Law” blog calling you “divalicious”?

Cohen: I found out about it from several associate who came to show it to me. Isn’t that funny? I just looked at it and howled. There is a lesson there. You just never know who is going to be writing about you, thinking about you, making comments about you. It’s a reminder that you should always do your best and always be sensitive and nice, civil.

We’re confused. Does Ms. Cohen think that we were speaking negatively of her? To the contrary, we had only good things to say. From our prior post:

When we were in private practice, our experiences with Heller Ehrman were quite positive. We attended several depositions defended by the diva-licious Nancy Sher Cohen, who protected her witnesses like a lioness protecting her cubs. We were most impressed by this badass litigatrix (who is also a community activist and cancer survivor; see this profile).

As for the “diva-licious” quip, let the record reflect that the term “diva” is ATL’s highest form of praise. Longtime readers are well aware of our obsession with strong-willed women — especially women who have managed to achieve tremendous success in a traditionally male-dominated field like law.
This is why we are such fans of Senatrix Hillary Clinton, who is a tough, smart, fearless leader. We have no clue why some of you seem to think we don’t like her. We think Senator Clinton is fabulous.
Why do you think we’ve snapped up so many domain names related to her? Visit HillaryClintonIsMyGirl.com, HillaryIsMyGirl.com, Hillarylicious.com, HillaryIsSexy.com, HillarySexy.com, or HillarySex.com. Where do you get redirected to?
‘Badass Diva’ Ready to Run Heller in L.A. [Legal Pad /CalLaw]
Earlier: Going to Heller in a Handbasket? (Part 2)

* Apparently the President of the United States is somehow involved in the judicial nomination process. [The Weekly Standard via How Appealing]
* Too much litigation? Blame all those conservative trial lawyers. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Vick’s state trial date will be set today. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Nevada tries to smoke out some justice. [Reno Gazette-Journal]
* How tough can you be on protestors at a free speech debate? [BBC]

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s time as a summer associate may come back to haunt her. And not because she stripped down to her undies and took a swan dive into the Hudson.
Rather, it’s because she worked for a bunch of Commies. From a piece by Josh Gerstein in the New York Sun:

Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton young woman Communist law firm Above the Law blog.jpgIn a life marked largely by political caution, one entry on Senator Clinton’s résumé stands out: her clerkship in 1971 at one of America’s most radical law firms, Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein.

One partner at the firm, Doris Walker, was a Communist Party member at the time. Another partner, Robert Treuhaft, had left the party in 1958, several years after being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and labeled as one of America’s most “dangerously subversive” lawyers. The Oakland-based firm was renowned for taking clients others rejected as too controversial, including Communists, draft resisters, and members of the African-American militant group known as the Black Panthers.

To this day, Mrs. Clinton’s decision to work at the unabashedly left-wing firm is surprising, even shocking, to some of her former colleagues there and to those supporting her bid for the presidency. To the former first lady’s enemies and political opponents, her summer at the Treuhaft firm is yet another indication that radical ideology lurks beneath the patina of moderation she has adopted in public life.

Senator Clinton tends to be tight-lipped about Treuhaft. In her memoir, Living History, she gives her summer stint rather cursory treatment:

I told Bill about my summer plans to clerk at Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, a small law firm in Oakland, California and he announced that he would like to go with me. I spent most of my time working for Mal Burnstein researching, writing legal motions and briefs for a child custody case.

Why doesn’t Hillary make more of her time at this ultra-liberal law firm, and embrace her past as a radical leftist? Might the Daily Kos krowd warm up to her, if they knew about her time as a fellow traveler?
Hillary Clinton’s Radical Summer: A Season of Love and Leftists [New York Sun]

* Feds use real-time tracking data from cellphones to locate criminal suspects. It’s like Dodgeball for the bad guys. [Washington Post]
* Barry Bonds to bulk up… his legal team. [New York Times]
* Spotlight on Justice Stevens — and the SCOTUS post-JPS. [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* Interview with neo-Nazi triggers German lawsuit against Vanity Fair. [Jerusalem Post via Drudge Report]
* And you thought you ate too much yesterday. Try running for President! [New York Times]

south carolina map bar exam controversy.jpgFor those of you who followed the South Carolina bar exam controversy, previously discussed here and here, we bring you an update.
The South Carolina Supreme Court recently issued a supplemental statement on the matter. According to the Court, the elimination of the Trusts and Estates section from the scoring process had nothing to do with complaints from the kids of prominent public figures.
An excerpt from the court’s statement, after the jump.

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In the Senate chamber yesterday, crickets were chirping. From the New York Times:

Jim Webb Senator James Webb Above the Law blog.jpgWho says the Senate cannot act quickly? It conducted a full day’s business in less than 30 seconds on Tuesday.

Of course, there was no real business to conduct. But fearing that President Bush would again use a Congressional recess to install disputed executive branch appointees without Senate confirmation, Democrats convened the Senate for the first of four microsessions to be held during the holiday break, precisely to thwart such an end run….

No legislation can pass at pro forma sessions, but they allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional requirement that, when not in recess, it meet on the day following three consecutive days off. Tuesday’s session was such a rush job that the traditional opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance were dispensed with. [Virginia Senator Jim Webb] was the only senator in the chamber, and even the otherwise ever-present teenage pages were absent, having been sent home for Thanksgiving.

Jim Webb has flashbacks to his 11th birthday party, when he sat all alone at the skating rink because none of the guests showed up.
Also, note the omission of the prayer and the Pledge. Godless Democrats!
Democrats Move to Block Bush Appointments [New York Times]

* Judge Mark Filip (N.D. Ill.) picked to be Mukasey’s deputy. [AP via How Appealing]
* SCOTUS stays Florida execution like I said they would. [New York Times]
* Hmm…Bush administration didn’t properly consider impact of climate change…. shocking. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* Hillary Clinton takes the gloves off, giving “her most commanding performance to date” in last night’s debate. [The Atlantic (Marc Ambinder)]

Pakistan Flag.jpgSo how did yesterday’s rallying in support of Pakistani lawyers go? It depends on whom you ask.
It was a smashing success, according to Eric Turkewitz:

Hundreds of New York attorneys tuned out at 1:00 today to rally in support of Pakistani lawyers that were arrested for demonstrating against the firing of the Pakistani Supreme Court….

By my eye, the crowd looked to be about 300-400 lawyers, well in excess of what I had anticipated. Attorneys filled the steps of the courthouse and spilled out onto the sidewalk below.

It was a big disappointment, according to David Giacalone:

… [F]ewer than 800 hundred lawyers took part yesterday in the two Pakistan solidarity rallies. Sadly, I do not believe it was because no one knew (did Musharaff jam everyone’s Blackberries and cellphones?) or because the protests were “splintered.” Everyone just had higher priorities at lunchtime on a lovely autumn day in Manhattan. Seems to me, curiosity alone should have ensured more than a triple-digit body count.

Will D.C-area lawyers, and those congregating from around the country to the Nation’s Capital, make a better show of solidarity today around the U.S. Supreme Court at Noon today?

Good question. If you attended the D.C. march, feel free to share your observations in the comments.
New York Lawyers Rally By Hundreds In Support of Pakistani Lawyers [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]
not impressed yet by U.S. lawyers re Pakistan [f/k/a]
Attack of the Lawyers! (subscription) [TNR (Ben Wittes)]
Earlier: Something To Do on Your Lunch Break Today

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