Quote of the Day

Today’s opinion opens a whole new field of constitutionalized criminal procedure: the field of plea-bargaining law. The court announces this new field in opinions that almost seem designed to sow confusion.

– Justice Antonin Scalia discussing his dissents in Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 split decisions in both cases (published today) extended the constitutional right to effective legal assistance in cases of plea bargain deals that are rejected or lapsed due to bad lawyer advice.

The court does not expect the parties to hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ around a campfire beside the Medina River. Nor does the court expect the respondents to engage in a public spectacle of self-flaggellation for communicating words better left unsaid. Moreover, the court does not expect plaintiffs to become Traditional Christians, though the court suggests plaintiffs might follow the moral and civility lessons of Matthew 5:39 (‘if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also’)[.]

– Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery’s “non-Kumbaya” order in a contentious San Antonio-area school prayer case.

What you do in mediation is recite the realities. You don’t have to be brilliant. It’s called common sense.

Mario M. Cuomo, the former New York governor who spoke to the New York Times about mediating the lawsuit brought against the New York Mets by the trustee for the victims of Bernie Madoff. Today, the parties agreed to settle for $162 million.

For years you had the haves and have-nots. What’s happening now, is the haves are not getting paid.

– a former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on the basis of anonymity, commenting on the firm’s alleged habit of issuing IOUs to partner-level attorneys due to lack of cash flow.

Judge Jed Rakoff

It is commonplace for settlements to include no binding admission of liability. A settlement is by definition a compromise. We know of no precedent that supports the proposition that a settlement will not be found to be fair, adequate, reasonable, or in the public interest unless liability has been conceded or proved and is embodied in the judgment. We doubt whether it lies within a court’s proper discretion to reject a settlement on the basis that liability has not been conclusively determined.

Having considered the various explanations given by the district court for its refusal to permit the settlement, we conclude that the S.E.C. and Citigroup have a strong likelihood of success in their joint effort to overturn the district court’s ruling.

– A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a per curiam opinion granting a stay pending appeal in the SEC’s case against Citigroup.

(A quick refresher on this case, after the jump.)

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NJ Governor Chris Christie

He acted like an idiot. He’s an idiot. I don’t have any regret about it at all.

– New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, defending remarks he made to a Rutgers Law – Camden student at a town hall meeting last week. If you recall from our prior coverage, Christie called the student, a former Navy SEAL, an “idiot.”

Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner

For far too long, elected officials, especially women — we have abdicated our responsibility to show men as much love in the reproductive health arena as they have shown us over the years. And so we must do something about this. So my bill, Senate Bill 307, is all about the love, and making sure we look out for men’s sexual health.

– Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, explaining her introduction of a bill that would limit men’s access to Viagra and other similar erectile dysfunction drugs. Turner’s bill comes in the wake of several anti-abortion bills that have passed in state legislatures.

(What does Turner want men to do in order to get their Viagra prescriptions? This might be a little hard to swallow, but let’s take a look….)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quote of the Day: Talk About a Poison Pill…”

Justice Elena Kagan

It seems like we’re all working hard. It’s not like we’re playing golf on Wednesday afternoons.

– Justice Elena Kagan, in remarks delivered at Harvard Law School this past Friday to the National Association of Women Judges.

(A second Quote of the Day, from a circuit judge who feeds clerks to Justice Kagan, after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quotes of the Day: On Wednesdays We Wear Black!”


The nameplate is like only $40, not that big of a crime, but what an idiot. He puts it on Facebook.

Al Lamberti, Broward County Sheriff, commenting on the pictorial evidence supplied by Steven Mulhall, a young Florida man who stands accused of stealing Judge Michael Orlando’s courtroom nameplate.

CHECK YOU PRECEDENT.

The issues presented in this appeal have been previously decided. Counsel were given an opportunity to distinguish our prior cases but Appellant’s counsel used that opportunity to criticize, rather than distinguish, them. There is nothing more to say. AFFIRMED.

– A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in a non-precedential order disposing of the appeal in Commonwealth Property Advocates v. U.S. Bank National Association.

(This unpublished order reminded me of two prior benchslaps, discussed below.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslap of the Day: You Can’t Fight City Hall (or Adverse Precedent)”

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