Rape

Back in April, we wrote about Mark and Rhonda Lesher, a couple in rural Texas who won a massive defamation verdict against formerly anonymous online commenters. The online comments followed a trial during which they were acquitted of sexual assault. The multimillion dollar verdict appeared to set things right.

But it turns out there is much, much more to their story. Theirs is an unsettling tale of small-town justice, politics, and Mark Lesher, a lawyer-slash-“professional agitator,” who tried to do the right thing in a town that apparently wanted none of it.

Let’s start with news that the defamation verdict was overturned last month, and go backwards from there….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Don’t Mess With This Texan: He is One Tough Underdog”

Jerry Sandusky

I’m dealing with this, but if I have to sit around in this cell for a few more days, I am going to go nutty.

Jerry Sandusky, via his lawyer, Karl Rominger, commenting on his time in an isolation cell while on suicide watch after his conviction for child sex abuse on Friday.

Jerry Sandusky

Earlier tonight, Jerry Sandusky’s defense attorney, Joe Amendola, said that he would probably “die of a heart attack” if his client were acquitted on all counts. That must feel great to hear that as a client, don’t you think? But perhaps it served as a much needed 1-800-REALITY check.

Sandusky, Penn State’s former assistant football coach, has been charged with 48 counts of sex abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period, and after only two days of deliberations, Jerry Sandusky’s fate has been sealed by a jury of his peers.

What was the jury’s decision?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Verdict Reached in the Jerry Sandusky Case”

This community service stinks.

Ahh, “sh*t law.” In case you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s what some lawyers rudely and condescendingly call legal practice outside of Biglaw. From traffic tickets to personal injury, you name it, and it’s apparently a derivative of “sh*t law.”

Back in March, we brought you a story about Joseph Neal Jr., the apparent king of one of these so-called “sh*t law” practices in Augusta, Georgia. Neal, a prominent personal injury attorney, earned our Lawyer of the Day title after he and his ex-wife racked up criminal charges for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting the family babysitter. Neal later went on to earn 21% of the vote in our March Lawyer of the Month competition.

Now, just a few short months later, Neal has been sentenced after accepting the terms of a plea bargain. The deal reduced a felony rape charge to two misdemeanors. Neal will serve three years of supervised probation, and he’ll also commit to a term of community service that some would call a bit of poetic justice….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Sh*t Law’ Attorney Sentenced to Perform Community Service at Sewage Treatment Plant”

* There’s a war on prison rape. I’m excited about this. I can’t wait to bang prison rape in the ass. [Simple Justice]

* Meanwhile, there’s more rape probing on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn front from a French prosecutor. [Fox News]

* On the eve of his law school graduation, a student reflects on “the most colossal f*** up of [his] life.” [Shady Nation]

* Jamie Dimon has had better months. [Dealbreaker]

* Defamation by half-truth. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* The California bar results are out. Congratulations to all who passed. [State Bar of California]

* There are a lot of bones to pick with this week’s Blawg Review. [Cyberlaw Central via Blawg Review]

* Here’s a reason why Proskauer Rose and Chadbourne & Parke might skip out on spring bonuses this year: millions of dollars worth of blowback from Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* And speaking of spring bonuses, a lot of people noticed that Sullivan & Cromwell seems to have misled associates. “Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it won’t.” Yeah, right. [Am Law Daily]

* Next up in the war on women: a senator from Idaho thinks that women are such strumpets that they might be lying their way into abortions by claiming rape. Because that’s not incredibly insensitive. [Washington Post]

* Apparently George Zimmerman, the man accused of fatally shooting a boy armed with a pack of Skittles, wanted to become a police officer. Looks like it’s time to kiss that dream goodbye. [Los Angeles Times]

* Give me your lunch money, kid! Teachers aren’t supposed to be bullying students, but that’s what one Baltimore mother is alleging in a $200K lawsuit against the city’s school board. [New York Daily News]

It’s been quite a day here at Above the Law in terms of our coverage of lecherous lawyers, specifically those who like to leer at ladies.

For our Lawyer of the Day, we bring you yet another sordid story, this time about a prominent personal injury attorney; his young, gorgeous, allegedly abusive ex-wife; and the criminal charges they currently face for allegedly drugging and assaulting a young woman.

Whoa, that is a mouthful. Let’s sort this out, and check out some pictures of the former couple….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Non-Consensual Sex, Drugs, and a Smokin’ Ex-Wife”

Ex-judge of the day, David E. Barrett.


I don’t even know where to begin with this, so let’s just play it straight:

Last week, a now ex-judge in Georgia pulled out a handgun during a bond hearing, pretended to hand it to an alleged rape victim who was testifying, and said she was “killing her case” and “might as well shoot” her lawyer.

What?

I wish this was a joke or a hoax story. But no, it actually happened.

Keep reading to find out who this former judge is (spoiler: it’s not Rooster Cogburn) and why he pulled his piece in court…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ex-Judge of the Day: Yes, Flashing Your Piece in Court Is a ‘Poor Rhetorical Point’”

Why don't jurors listen to directions?

As we heard from Elie last week, a jury is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. The already unpredictable American jury system has gotten even more chaotic over the last several years as the internet has become ubiquitous, at home and in court.

Juror misconduct by internet can lead to mistrials, and it’s becoming increasingly (and unfortunately) more common. Last month the Vermont Supreme Court overturned an unsettling child sexual assault conviction because a juror conducted his own research about the Somali Bantu culture central to the parties in the case.

What a mess…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Child Sexual Assault Conviction Tossed Because of Juror’s ‘Online Cultural Research’”

Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual.

* “Based on history, it’s tough to make the case that there should be mandatory protection [for Supreme Court justices].” That may be so, but the fact that Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed by machete point should at least make the case for SCOTUS sword fighting lessons. [New York Times]

* Speaking of the wealthy and well-traveled Justice Breyer, a suspect has been identified in his robbery. [Associated Press]

* And speaking of the Supreme Court, this week the justices will hear arguments over the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act, which criminalizes lies about military service. Unfortunately, this means you will all have to wait to hear about the time Lat and I fought through 25 Taliban sharpshooters with only our pocket knives in order to save an entire orphanage from certain annihilation. [Fox News]

* Two female students at the University of Oregon School of Law accused a male student of drugging and raping them. How did the student body respond? A listserv flame war, of course. [Portland Oregonian]

* Attorneys representing survivors in the Costa Concordia crash claim that traces of cocaine were found in the hair of the ship’s captain. I’m not sure how, but this needs to be the basis for a Head and Shoulders commercial. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Heads are rolling over at ESPN after the network made several unfortunate references to a “chink in the armor” of New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin. Yes, we get it. Everyone’s a little bit racist. [ESPN via Deadspin]

* Judge Roger J. Miner (2d Cir.), RIP. [New York Law Journal]

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