Pornography

avatar Frolic and Detour ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by FROLIC & DETOUR, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Frolic & Detour's avatar (at right).]

Reno 911 sack inspection.jpgA man claiming to be a police detective entered a Longmont, Colo. adult store and demanded to see the X-rated videos for free.
The ponytailed man claimed he was an officer in the “age verification unit,” and he had to ensure that the performers in the porn videos weren’t underage.
“It was inventive on his part, I’ll give him that,” said the real police officer investigating the case.
Somehow, the video clerks weren’t convinced by the man’s business card, which had no name on it. Since the scheme didn’t work the first time, the man tried it a second and then a third time…at the same store. Unfortunately, Randal wasn’t there that day, and the clerks called the cops.
The man may drive a red Dodge neon, which explains why he isn’t getting laid.

Kozinski.jpgWe have. So, barring major new developments, we’re cutting back on our coverage of the controversy surrounding Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit. As we suggested yesterday, the story is petering out anyway; but if you’re still interested in following it, check out Patterico’s Pontifications, which has been offering excellent, wall-to-wall coverage.
Before we take our leave of this tale, here are a few notable links:
1. Judges Named To Head Kozinski Inquiry [AP]
This is the only real news to emerge since our last post. Chief Justice John Roberts, responding to Chief Judge Kozinski’s request for an investigation, has named five jurists to the investigatory panel: Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, Judge Marjorie Rendell, and Judge Walter Stapleton, of the Third Circuit; Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III (E.D. Pa.); and Chief Judge Garrett Brown Jr. (D.N.J.). This is a solid group of judges; expect their investigation to be thorough and proper.
2. Cyrus Sanai: Kozinski investigation “is part of a litigation strategy” [Overlawyered]
The Kozinski archenemy who tipped off the Los Angeles Times to the judge’s website — L.A. lawyer Cyrus Sanai, who has been feuding with the judge since 2005 — is a real piece of work. At Overlawyered, Ted Frank chronicles how Sanai has been benchslapped by numerous judges, both federal and state, at the trial and appellate levels. Sanai blames the mountain of adverse on rulings on bias. Frank writes:

One has much sympathy for Cyrus Sanai, who has suffered the extraordinary misfortune of four trial judges in three different jurisdictions who are biased against him, and that does not include the appellate judges like the Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, Gerry Alexander; Washington State Court of Appeals judges Marlin Applewick, Anne Ellington and William Baker; or Judge Kozinski on the Ninth Circuit, all of whom Sanai has accused of bias. We wish that a just result is reached in Sanai’s various appeals, and pray that a just result is reached if a California legal disciplinary body ever decides to investigate what biased judges have been saying about Sanai.

3. Who’s at Fault For the Kozinski Kerfluffle? [Simple Justice]
Scott Greenfield writes:

David Lat, who has feasted on unsubstantiated gossip at Above the Law as well as his blog dedicated to sifting the salacious from the judicious, Underneath Their Robes (where he blogged anonymously as Article III Groupie, or A3G as he came to be known), joins the chorus [of Kozinski defenders]. But does the former AUSA explain his sudden conversion? Isn’t this the guy who is first on line (and online) to publish a smear of any lawyer or judge? In fairness, Lat’s connection to Kozinski is well-known to his long-time followers, but the new reader would be left out in the cold.

As Greenfield suggests, we view our connection to Chief Judge Kozinski as very well-known, and therefore not worth belaboring. But if he wants some sort of formal disclosure, here it is.
Disclosure: We have a great deal of respect and affection for Chief Judge Kozinski, whom we consider a friend. He helped launch our blogging career with his support of our first foray into the blogosphere, Underneath Their Robes (started four years ago this month). Our coverage of him is biased. If you’d like to read harsh personal attacks upon Chief Judge Kozinski, you should look elsewhere.
Above the Law is an independent blog. Unlike MSM-sponsored blogs such as the WSJ or the BLT, ATL makes no claim to “objectivity.” Considering that we opine daily on all sorts of topics, in ways that would be unacceptable for pure news reporters to do, we don’t see how anyone could mistake ATL for an objective news source. But if you want an express disclaimer of objectivity, consider this it.
Finally, we’d like to clarify our views of the “Kozinski Kerfluffle,” as Greenfield aptly dubs it. Consistent with our general antipathy to privacy, we don’t entirely agree with observers who see what Sanai and the L.A. Times did as an egregious privacy violation. On this we agree with Ted Frank:

I don’t think I fully endorse Lessig’s view on this — accessing a directory on a public website may be slightly creepy, but it’s not the same as breaking and entering a house to peer inside the photo albums in the den; it’s not even at the level of obnoxiousness as a guest inspecting the medicine cabinets of a host’s bathroom.

What we do think, however, is that the whole matter has become completely overblown. All it shows is that federal judges enjoy the occasional dirty joke and have risque material on their computers — in other words, “they’re just like us.” Considering that we launched a blog devoted to this very proposition four years ago, we find it hard to get that excited about it now.
4. Defending Judge Kozinski, and Online Privacy [The Lede / NYT]
ATL gets a shout-out from Mike Nizza in the Lede, a New York Times blog, in this concise round-up of the latest developments.
Judges named to head Kozinski inquiry [AP]
Cyrus Sanai: Kozinski investigation “is part of a litigation strategy” [Overlawyered]
Who’s at Fault For the Kozinski Kerfluffle? [Simple Justice]
Defending Judge Kozinski, and Online Privacy [The Lede / New York Times]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (scroll down)

Alex Kozinski small Alex S Kozinski Judge Above the Law hot hottie superhottie federal judiciary.JPGApologies for the downtime. We were off being interviewed by CNN Headline News about the controversy surrounding Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit. We’ll post a link to the interview if and when it becomes available.
Speaking of Chief Judge Kozinski, here’s the latest news:

The 9th Circuit judge, who posted sexually explicit material on his own site, according to a Los Angeles Times story yesterday, has just released this statement:

I have asked the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit to take steps pursuant to Rule 26, of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct and Disability, and to initiate proceedings concerning the article that appeared in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. I will cooperate fully in any investigation.

Is it unusual for a judge to call for an investigation of himself? Sure. But it’s a testament to Chief Judge Kozinski’s integrity and forthrightness; he’s not trying to hide anything underneath his robe. This is a smart move, a lesson in good crisis management.
Kozinski Calls for Investigation of Himself [WSJ Law Blog]
Judge wants panel to investigate his porn postings [Associated Press]

Jose Padilla 2 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Jose Padilla gets 17 years. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* A merger between Anderson Kill and Reed Smith? Maybe not. But 55 of Anderson Kill’s 126 lawyers have decamped for Reed Smith. [WSJ Law Blog; WSJ Law Blog]
* Ted Frank on yesterday’s Enron cert denial: Extortion, interrupted? [New York Sun]
* China shuts down “real-time” porn site, as part of its crackdown on online porn. [Reuters]
* Law tie (however tenuous) to Heath Ledger story: “Nicole Vaughan, 24, a law student at New York University, was in a seminar about Jesus when someone sent her a message about Mr. Ledger. She checked the Web, then walked to the apartment ‘because of the way our generation is; we sort of feel we’re a part of each other’s lives.’” [New York Times]
* Apparently Bill Clinton enjoys the Yale Law / Harvard Law rivalry: “I kind of like to see Barack and Hillary fight.” [NYDN via Drudge]

Life's Short Get A Divorce billboard Fetman Garland Above the Law blog.jpg

As you know, here at ATL we have a weakness for lawyers who pose in the nude. So today’s pick for Lawyer of the Day should surprise no one. From Legal Blog Watch:

Remember the racy billboard ads posted by Chicago law firm Fetman, Garland & Associates that raised so much controversy last spring? The ads featured two photographs, centered on the chest of a scantily clad man and woman with the slug line, “Life’s Short. Get A Divorce.”

Now, one of the firm’s principals, Corri Fetman, has revealed something else about her firm’s revealing ads. In this press release issued today, we learn that “the sexy female in the ads is none other than Corri herself.” Fetman first shared “the naked truth” about the ads in the February 2008 issue of Playboy, which includes another law firm ad, a “provocative nude pictorial of Corri” and a new online column by Fetman, entitled Lawyer of Love.

Carolyn Elefant disapproves:

[I thought] that Fetman’s billboard ad was an effective form of advertising, because it made a point clearly, provoked an emotional response and generated buzz. But the nude spread in Playboy goes too far. As a pure marketing ploy, I’m hard pressed to figure out what kind of clients Fetman is trying to target by posing nude in Playboy.

Horny male ones? Surely men in need of matrimonial counsel are disproportionately represented among the ranks of Playboy readers.
Elefant anticipates this argument:

Even if her spread did generate some decent clients, Fetman would spend hundreds of hours culling through all kinds of calls from various perverts and weirdos contacting her for reasons other than aggressive legal representation.

Hehe. Hey Beavis. She said “aggressive legal representation.”
Lawyer With Racy Divorce Ads Exposed — Literally! [Legal Blog Watch]
‘Life’s Short, Get a Divorce’ Attorney Corri Fetman Bares All for Playboy.com [EarthTimes.org (press release)]
Corri D. Fetman bio [Fetman, Garland & Associates]

Congratulations to former judge Roger Wall, who’s getting a belated holiday gift. From the Springfield News-Leader:

After three indictments and nearly three years, a former Douglas County judge will not stand trial on child pornography charges, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. That’s because repeated delays on the part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office violated Roger Wall’s right to a speedy trial.

In a stinging order dismissing the case, U.S. District Court Judge Richard E. Dorr called the government’s handling of the case “disappointing” and “out of control.” And unlike Dorr’s dismissal of the same charges against Wall in September, Tuesday’s ruling was “with prejudice,” meaning attorneys may not refile charges.

So that’s the end of that. What was Judge Wall accused of?

The case against Wall began in early 2005, when the government alleged the man was in possession of three tapes showing, among other things, a female minor having sex with her boyfriend. Acting on an anonymous tip, federal agents had seized envelopes containing the videos from an Ava woman’s residence. Wall was alleged to have given the items to the woman for safe keeping.

It’s especially troubling when a judge stands accused of such offenses, since they have no excuse for such behavior. If they have a weakness for youthful flesh, they ought to just stick to their clerks.
Earlier: Former judge will not face trial in porn case

DePaul Law School De Paul University College of Law Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re looking to buy someone a belated holiday gift, and have $100,000 to spare — perhaps you’re a senior associate in New York who just earned $110,000 or $115,000 in year-end and special bonuses — check out this item, currently up for bids on eBay:

So America… just how much is an education worth? Let’s find out. Up for sale is my law degree. Yes, you read correctly. Three years and $100,000 plus of debt for your pleasure. Please note that I am in no way claiming that by purchasing this degree you will be given credit for having attended an accredited law school and completing its course of study nor will it give you the necessary credentials to take the bar exam. You will not be able to become a lawyer by purchasing this degree. However this would make a great collectible if your name happens to be [redacted].

Why am I selling this great item? Because it has been nothing but a curse and aggrevation in my life. Going to school for this degree has been a joke, and has only brought me stress and misery. This degree has been a great invitation to work at least 60 hours a week at a place where I don’t want to be for people that I don’t care about. It has helped me develop great relationships with bill collectors as I can’t afford the cost this great privilege has afforded me. It has limited my abiltity to pursue other work options as people just can’t understand why someone with a law degree wouldn’t want to be a lawyer. Believe it or not, the extensive job dissatisfaction amongst lawyers, high suicide rates, and failed personal relationships that lawyers have isn’t enough to convince others that it’s not a healthy, worthy pursuit. And of course even if I would be happier as a bartender, I couldn’t afford to pay back the loans needed to earn this degree. Though that’s true of many that I graduated with. Individuals that wanted to practice law for the benefit of the poor or impoverished or those who can’t afford legal counsel are having a hard time too because they aren’t paid enough. But that’s justice.

And that’s just the start of it. Read the full lament cum listing by clicking here.
But why should you buy this law degree for $100,000? Justice Clarence Thomas might sell you his Yale Law School degree for fifteen cents.
As for what motivated the seller to put up this listing, it appears to be an attempt to promote an adult entertainment site that he’s launched. We won’t include a link to it here because obviously it is NSFW (and the woman splashed all over the site is no Kumari Fulbright).
The conventional wisdom is true: there are a million things you can do with a law degree.
My Law Degree [eBay]
Justice Says Law Degree ‘Worth 15 Cents’ [AP via Huffington Post]

Playboy Cover model Thacher Proffitt Wood Above the Law blog.jpgIf you go to Thacher Proffitt & Wood, you might get laid off. Or you might get…. oh, never mind.
From Roll On Friday:

In an exciting development for lonely male structured finance lawyers, US firm Thacher Proffitt has recruited a former Playboy model to join its structured finance group.

The lawyer bared all back in 1999 while she was at university but has now joined the firm as an associate. However, she may yet be grateful for another career to fall back on: this week the firm warned 24 of its structured finance and real estate associates that they are likely to be laid off in the New Year.

Managing partner Paul Tvetenstrand (try saying that after a couple of pints) blamed the lay-offs on the slow market following the credit crunch. Putting a brave face on the news, he claimed that it would be “unfair” on the associates for them to keep their jobs as that would mean “putting their careers on hold”. RollOnFriday suspects the unfortunate associates might not see it that way.

Tvetenstrand declined to comment on whether or not he had previously had a modelling career.

In addition to the likely layoffs, TPW is encouraging first-year associates to depart voluntarily. But is giving them an ex-Playmate for a colleague likely to encourage associate attrition? We have our doubts.
Thacher Proffitt recruits Playboy model [RollOnFriday.com]
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Thacher Proffitt Announces Likely Future Layoffs

Playboy 2 Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, not in the centerfold — we wish. But as we recently mentioned, this fine website is featured in the December 2007 issue of Playboy magazine (p. 61). It’s far more thrilling than a shout-out in the New York Times or the Washington Post.
A reader kindly sent the mention our way; it appears to the right. In case you’re curious about what surrounded the item, check out more of the page, after the jump.
Speaking of playboys, check out this article — an oldie, but a goodie — about Germany’s answer to Hugh Hefner. From Spiegel Online:

Aging German playboy Rolf Eden has rarely taken no for an answer. And he’s not about to start. He has filed charges against a 19-year-old for refusing to sleep with him. The complaint? Ageism….

the 77-year-old Eden has filed suit against a 19-year-old Berlin woman for the following reason: Despite a night on the town with Eden, which ended back at his place, she refused to have sex with him, saying the he was too old for her.

“That was shattering. No woman has ever said that to me before,” Eden told the tabloid. “I was crushed.” He has filed charges with the prosecutors’ office, he said. “After all, there are laws against discrimination.”

Partners whose advances have been rejected by summer associates surely agree.
German Playboy, 77, Sues for Sex [Spiegel Online]
Earlier: Not Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “My blood runs cold / My memory has just been sold
ATL in the centerfold! ATL in the centerfold!”

We enjoy keeping track of law firm screw-ups during the recruiting process. See, e.g., here and here.
But not everything that’s embarrassing is accidental; some tackiness is intentional. From a tipster:

“A friend of mine was recently rejected by Nixon Peabody. They broke the news by sending her the attached notice printed on an envelope-sized piece of cardboard.”

(Thumbnail image; click to enlarge.)

Nixon Peabody 2 rejection card AboveTheLaw Above the Law blog.JPG
Makes sense to us. Why waste perfectly good letterhead on personalized rejection letters? Save the money for your theme song (mp3).
P.S. Speaking of the Nixon Peabody theme song controversy, we hear there’s a shout-out to it (and Above the Law) in the December 2007 issue of Playboy (p. 61).
Now, we haven’t seen this for ourselves, ’cause Playboy isn’t our cup of tea, you see. But if somebody would like to send us a scan of the relevant page, we’d be most grateful.
ATL has been mentioned in such publications as the New York Times and the Washington Post (which dubbed it “a must-read legal blog”). But an appearance in Playboy? This is our proudest moment.
Earlier: Public Humiliation, Courtesy of Your Friends at Wilson Sonsini
Fall Recruiting Snafu Watch: You Know They Really Don’t Want You When…

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