Politics

Dodgeball Thelen Reid Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* She was listed in the NYT wedding announcements as an HLS magna grad — and would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids! [Jossip] [FN1]
* Don’t dress up in a giant pink bunny suit and hang out by a bank, unless you want to get yo’self tasered. [FourthAmendment.com]
* Thelen kicks O’Melveny’s ass — in dodgeball. [Legal Pad]
* Not worth a separate post, but here’s a link, plus a comment: “Dickie C is taking the reigns while GW gets poked in the anus. What’s funny about this is how the media reports this as news. As if Dick isn’t always in control.” [AFP]
[FN1] In response to an email we received: our tagline is tongue-in-cheek. We have no reason to doubt the Times’s explanation that the magna mistake resulted from “an editing error,” and not any attempt at deception by the bride.
(Jeez, people, you need to lighten up a bit…)

Valerie Plame Wilson Patricia Wettig Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Let’s just steal Drudge’s tagline: “JUDGE: PLAME HAS NO GAME.” [Washington Post; Associated Press]
(But she does bear an uncanny resemblance to Patricia Wettig, who plays Holly Harper on Brothers and Sisters. See photos at right.)
* A lawsuit against Hillary’s pollster, Mark Penn, has been dropped. [AP]
(Watch out: your employer might be reading your Blackberry messages.)
* Lots of lawyers among the D.C. Madam’s clientele. [CNN]
(“[B]ut of course in Washington it sometimes feels like everyone is a lawyer.”)
* Escalation in the battle over executive privilege. [Washington Post]
(Bush Administration to Congress: “You wanna prosecute us for contempt? You and what prosecutor?”)

bar exam failures famous failed bar exam Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
Yesterday we wrote about Paulina Bandy, that poor creature who failed the California bar exam thirteen times, before finally passing it on try #14. Her story seems to have freaked out some of you who are sitting for the bar exam later this month next week.

Relax. Take a deep breath. You won’t wind up in a 365-square-foot shack in your mom’s backyard. We think.

Chances are, you will pass. And even if you fail the bar once or twice, you’re still not on your way towards Paulina Bandy-dom.

As it turns out, a number of well-known individuals — some famous for their accomplishments in law, and others for different reasons — didn’t pass the bar on the first (or even second) try.

To get the ball rolling, here’s a short list of a few bar exam failures. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Bar Exam: A List of Famous Failures”

mussel mussels musel muscle Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Washingtonienne, the sequel? But this time around, blame the “backdoor action” on the Spicy Mussel Soup. [Medill Reports]
* A compelling defense of Judge Dennis Jacobs’s “look ma, no eyes” approach to dissenting. [ProfessorBainbridge.com]
* “My friends said to me, ‘It would take a murder trial for you to meet the right person.’” [Associated Press]
* Because we need to use the “Weirdness” tag at least once a day. [Underbelly]

Frank Lasee.jpg
Ann Althouse, call your dean! A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to address what he thinks is an overpopulation of lawyers in the state — by ending state funding for the University of Wisconsin Law School.

State Representative Frank Lasee (Lah-SAY’) says the state doesn’t need any more ambulance chasers or frivolous lawsuits. The Green Bay Republican convinced his colleagues in the GOP-controlled Assembly to include his plan in their version of the 2-year budget approved Tuesday.
But the proposal appears to have little chance at becoming law. Governor Doyle called it ridiculous and bizarre during an appearance today in Milwaukee.
The plan would cut state funding for the law school over the next three years before eliminating it completely in 2010. Lasee says the school would be forced to raise tuition to cover the cuts or stop admitting as many students.

You can follow Lasee’s other exploits on his blog, which includes jokes, French-bashing, and other random musings.
(Of course we’re mocking Lasee’s proposal, but we should note that it’s not unheard-of for a public law school to reduce its dependence on state funding. UVA’s law school, for example, has done it voluntarily.)
Update: Ann Althouse’s post on this subject appears here.

Earlier we covered Harriet Miers impending date with destiny in the form of the House Judiciary Committee. Well, it looks like Miers needed some more time to polish up on her French.
From the report from AP via the Reno Gazette-Journal on the hearing that went down sans Miers:

A House panel cleared the way Thursday for contempt proceedings against former White House counsel Harriet Miers after she obeyed President Bush and skipped a hearing on the firings of federal prosecutors.
Addressing the empty chair where Miers had been subpoenaed to testify, Rep. Linda Sanchez ruled out of order Bush’s executive privilege claim that his former advisers are immune from being summoned before Congress.

The contempt issue would go next to the full Judiciary Committee, and ultimately to the entire House.
You at least have to admire Miers for going all the way in following Bush’s order, instead of the I’m-testifying-but-not-really tapdance that Sara Taylor attempted yesterday.

One of the biggest legal and political stories today is the congressional testimony of Sara Taylor, former White House political director. Taylor declined to answer a number of questions, based on executive privilege.
We’ll leave substantive discussion of the Taylor testimony to others, and focus instead on matters of style. From a tipster:

“Check out this photo essay. I don’t mean to sound catty, but shouldn’t she have used Monica Goodling’s stylist?”

Sara Taylor Testimony Senate Judiciary Committee Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
We agree wholeheartedly. Screw executive privilege — what about stylist’s privilege?
We comment on some of the Sara Taylor photos, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Sara Taylor Testimony: A Photo Essay”

David Vitter Senator David Bruce Vitter Sen David B Vitter Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s a quick follow-up on yesterday’s Lawyer of the DaySenator David Vitter (R-LA), who recently confessed to having been a client of the escort service run by the so-called “D.C. Madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.
Check out this video, put together by the TPM crew. These were our favorite parts:

1. Vitter’s daughter: “Way to move it, Dad!”

2. Sen. Vitter: “In life’s most important moments, we’re not Republicans or Democrats. We’re parents.”

Or, more accurately, philandering spouses.

3. The senator’s wife, Wendy Vitter (also noted by various commenters):

“I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

If the Ginsu guy rings your doorbell, Senator Vitter, you’d best send him packing.
Update: Another ex-madam has fingered Sen. Vitter. See here.
Vitter Va-Va-Voom! [TPMtv / Talking Points Memo]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: David Vitter

Peter Barta 2 Peter A Barta Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe continue to follow the story of Peter Barta, the Legal Aid lawyer who allegedly made secret videotapes of his female colleagues getting dressed. Tales like this — along with associate pay raises, of course — are the raison d’etre of ATL.
After we quoted a tipster stressing that Peter Barta did policy or cross-examination debate in high school, rather than Lincoln-Douglas debate, commenters argued vociferously over whether C-X or L-D debaters get laid more. One commenter helpfully provided a link to the website for alumni of the Stuyvesant High School debate team. Here’s the entry on Barta:

Peter Barta ’92 – Debated with Eric Yuen. Came back and coached for a while. “After NYU, I went to law school at Georgetown. Now, I work as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan. Essentially, I’m still debating.” (3/12/03)

And still acting like a horny high schooler. And living at home with mom.
As it turns out, though, Peter Barta is not the Stuy policy debate team’s most (in)famous alumnus. That honor surely belongs to Dick Morris, the noted political commentator and consultant.
Yes, THAT Dick Morris. The self-described “sex addict”. And devotee of toe-sucking.
A new nickname for C-X debaters: C-XXX debaters?
Stuyvesant Policy Debate Alumni [official website]

David Vitter Senator David Bruce Vitter Sen David B Vitter Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThanks to Senator David Vitter for making it so easy to pick our Lawyer of the Day. From today’s Washington Post:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the “D.C. Madam,” making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.

The statement containing Vitter’s apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004….

“This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,” Vitter, 46, said in a statement….

This is not the first time Vitter has found himself in a sticky situation:

During his Senate campaign, Vitter was accused by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee of carrying on a lengthy affair with a prostitute in New Orleans’s French Quarter. In a radio interview, Vitter then called the allegation “absolutely and completely untrue” and dismissed it as “just crass Louisiana politics.”

We believe him. The French Quarter? How tawdry!
For a Harvard grad and Rhodes Scholar like Vitter, only the high-class escorts of Pamela Martin & Associates — college-educated women, including at least one Ph.D. — would do.
(Random speculation: Might Senator Vitter have been a client of the Akin Gump Escort?)
Senator’s Number on ‘Madam’ Phone List [Washington Post]
Sen. Vitter Apologizes for Number Showing Up on Phone Records of Alleged Prostitution Ring [Fox News]

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