Pornography

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…

threesome threeway Above the Law blog.jpg* Professor Eugene Volokh wonders: Does engaging in a three-way with a current client and the client’s girlfriend count as having sex “with a current client” — a practice forbidden by state bar rules? [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Professor Ann Bartow wonders: Why call it “law porn”? [Feminist Law Professors via Blawg Review]
* Paralegal of the Day? [TPM Muckraker]
* A way for that Cleary Gottlieb Glamour editor to earn some extra cash on the side? [City Room]
* “Law school grads: burnt by the job search process? A journalist wants to hear about it.” [JD Underground]

Peter Barta 2 Peter A Barta Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTime for a quick update on a past Lawyer of the Day Weekend. From New York Newsday:

A former Legal Aid Society lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally using a hidden videocamera to spy on female co-workers as they changed clothes in their offices.

Peter Barta, 32, of Queens, used a camera hidden in a clock to videotape five co-workers in the public defense agency’s Manhattan offices, recording at least one woman with her breasts and buttocks bared….

Barta, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful surveillance, a felony, in exchange for a conditional discharge. The case will be dismissed and sealed after he completes a year of counseling.

Barta will be automatically disbarred. But clerking doesn’t constitute the practice of law, which is why you don’t need to be admitted to the bar to do it. Maybe Peter Barta can land a clerkship with this fine jurist?
Legal Aid lawyer plead guilty in coworker voyeurism case [New York Newsday]
Voyeur lawyer pleads guilty to oogling co-workers [AP]
Inside the Apartment of a Peeping Tom [Gothamist]
‘PEEP’ LAWYER HAD KINKY TOY TROVE [New York Post]

* He likes ‘em young. [WNBC]
* WSJ Law Blog follows SCOTUS comedy. [WSJ Law Blog]
* More Jack Thompson chicanery. [GamePolitics]
* In keeping with the non-top-tier theme, here’s a Tier 4 that’s moving. [WRAL]
* Sorry, Howard Bashman. [Yahoo!]

Jenna Jameson How to Make Love Like a Porn Star Above the Law blog.jpgEarlier this week, we explained why you shouldn’t file gay pornography with Judge Adalberto Jordan. No word on whether straight porn is okay with His Honor.
It seems we’re not the only ones with porn on the mind. Check out the the links collected below. In the past day or two, smut has been a major theme in the legal news and blogosphere.
What’s going on? Why is everyone feeling so frisky as of late?
A Prosecution Tests the Definition of Obscenity [New York Times]
Lawyer Admits Destroying Evidence of Pornography [New York Times]
The Origins of Justice Stewart’s “I Know It When I See It” [WSJ Law Blog]
How to make a federal judge really angry [Southern District of Florida Blog]
Earlier: ATL Practice Pointers: Do Not File Gay Porn With Judge Jordan

gay porn do not file Above the Law blog.jpgWhen it comes to knowing how to make proper court filings, don’t bother with the FRCP, or even the local rules. Just read ATL.
We tell you everything you need to know. E.g., don’t file an egg with Judge James Muirhead (D.N.H.).
And don’t file gay pornography with Judge Adalberto Jordan (S.D. Fla.). From GamePolitics.com:

That gurgling sound you hear could be Jack Thompson’s legal career swirling down the ‘loo.

The frequent video game critic, already facing professional misconduct charges from the Florida Bar which could see him stripped of his license to practice law, has outraged a U.S. District Court judge by including images of men having sex in a document filed with the court last week.

What was he thinking? And no, the gay porn was not essential to the case (as it might have been in, say, an obscenity prosecution arising out of said porn).
More details — if you want them — after the jump.

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