Rudeness

James Shull Judge James Michael Shull James M Shull Above the Law blog.jpgOn some days, the posts just write themselves. From Blogonaut:

James Michael Shull is no longer a Virginia Judge, thanks to the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court that unanimously upheld his removal from the bench.

Shull’s misconduct on the bench included ordering a woman to pull down her pants in open court during a hearing—ostensibly to view a claimed injury—exposing everything not covered by a pair of g-string panties the woman was wearing.

If she was humiliated, she deserved it. What was she doing in a g-string? Everyone knows that acceptable courtroom attire is a sober black skirt suit — with granny panties underneath.

Schull also decided child custody matters by tossing a coin in the air, initiated ex-parte contact with witnesses outside the presence of the attorneys for either side in a dispute, and was discourteous to litigants.

Independent of making them strip in open court, of course.
Judge Defrocked for Deciding Cases by Coin Toss, Making Woman Pull Pants Down in Court [Blogonaut]

We are not easily offended, nor are we very politically correct. Sometimes we write things that upset or antagonize people (sometimes intentionally, and sometimes not).
But this discussion of women lawyers, while certainly provocative, is a bit too inflammatory for our taste. We won’t post excerpts here (because finding a portion that isn’t offensive is difficult).
It’s generating discussion and making the rounds by email, however, and people have brought it to our attention. We’re passing it along for your consideration, so you can see what all the fuss is about. But please keep in mind that we agree with Jeff Jarvis’s linking philosophy: “A link is not necessarily an endorsement, but a way to say ‘you go judge for yourself.’”
What A Girl’s Job Tells You [Roissy in DC]

Anthony Ciolli Anthony Cioli AutoAdmit xoxohth Above the Law blog.jpgRemember the lawsuit filed by two female Yale Law School students over various allegedly defamatory and threatening comments posted about them on AutoAdmit.com? The plaintiffs are in the process of amending their complaint, and they’ve sought extra time in which to do so. From a tipster:

[T]he third motion for an extension of time was requested October 4, and it asked for 30 days. I can’t imagine them going to a fourth motion, so the deadline should be fast approaching around this weekend.

That said… it appears from the first couple of motions they didn’t have any real leads and were still investigating, and now they may have a real lead.

Interesting. We’ll keep you posted.
Doe 1 et al v. Ciolli et al [Justia]
Earlier: Has AutoAdmit Been Pwn3d?

gay football 2 Abercrombie Ftich Above the Law blog.jpgActually, as it turns out, Judge Jeffrey Levenson DID say he was sorry — immediately after making the ill-considered gay football / “wide receiver” crack that made him our Judge of the Day. And he apologized repeatedly during the course of the hearing, too.
But that hasn’t stopped the hue and cry. From the Daily Business Review:

Bar leaders and the public defender issued new calls Thursday for sensitivity training for Broward judges after Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson made an off-color joke in his courtroom about a teenage boy who allegedly had sex with an adult male defendant.

“If this incident doesn’t scream loudly how desperately we need diversity and sensitivity training in this circuit, then I don’t know what will,” said Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein. “In a matter of a year or two years, we had a judge insult Haitian-Americans, another insult African-Americans, had a third judge insulting blacks, Hispanics and Catholics, and a fourth judge insulting gay people.”

Maybe Judge Levenson should skip the sensitivity training and become a television judge. After all, TV judges get PAID to insult the litigants.
Food for thought: Why does Florida produce so many TV judges? It is because of their penchant, noted by PD Howard Finkelstein, for being rude and abusive?
The following are former Floridian jurists who left the state bench for the boob tube: Marilyn Milian, of the People’s Court (previously discussed here); Alex Ferrer, a/k/a “Judge Alex”; David Young, the gay TV judge; and the notorious Anna Nicole Smith judge, Larry Seidlin (not on air yet, but rumored to arrive in fall 2008).
Broward Courts: New chief’s honeymoon over [Daily Business Review]
Earlier: Judge of the Day: Jeffrey Levenson

Tony Sirico Paulie Walnuts Ed Nottingham Edward Nottingham Judge Edward W Nottingham Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGRemember Chief Judge Edward Nottingham (D. Colorado)? We named him our Judge of the Day back in August, after he reportedly “was too drunk to remember how he spent more than $3,000 at a strip club in two consecutive days.” We subsequently honored him as our Paulie Walnuts Doppelgänger of the Day.
We are hereby declaring Judge Nottingham ineligible for future Judge of the Day contests. Like the Honorable Elizabeth Halverson, he has transcended the competition, joining the Judge of the Day Hall of Fame.
Read about his latest misadventures, in the ABA Journal:

A Denver lawyer has filed a complaint claiming the chief judge of the Colorado federal courts threatened to call authorities when she confronted him about parking in a handicapped space.

The lawyer, Jeanne Elliott, was paralyzed in 1986 when she was shot by an angry litigant. She told KUSA in Denver that she waited in her wheelchair behind the illegally parked SUV outside a Walgreens. Judge Edward Nottingham arrived and threatened to call the U.S. Marshals service when she didn’t move, according to her grievance (PDF) filed with the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He later called 911.

More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Chief Judge Nottingham Likes Strippers; Handicapped People, Not So Much”

He likes PD butts, and he cannot lie. From the New York Daily News (of course):

skirt suit nice butt Above the Law blog.jpgWhen a local judge laughingly said in open court that criminal defense lawyer Ruth Boyer had “a nice butt,” she was not flattered.

The sexist comment by LaGrange Town Justice Edmund Caplicki, made in July 2005, was reported to the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which yesterday publicly scolded the jurist for his “inappropriate” remark.

Caplicki, 62, told the watchdog group he was merely parroting the comments Boyer’s client – a man accused of theft – had made about the lawyer’s backside. But the panel noted the jurist not only quizzed three other male defendants on whether they agreed with the evaluation, but then mentioned it again to Boyer….

Boyer’s supervisor at the Dutchess County Public Defender’s office had the incident reported to the commission. Friends described Boyer, 42, as being anything but thin-skinned. “She has a very cordial, respectful and diplomatic approach to everything,” an assistant at Boyer’s law office, Larry Clark, told the Daily News. “It’s very hard to get a rise out of her.”

“But apparently not so difficult to get a rise out of Justice Caplicki,” as one of you notes.
Someone should put the Ed Caplicki in touch with Peter Barta, another connoisseur of court-appointed ass. And keep His Honor away from Ursula Ungaro at judicial conferences.
Public censure for judge who said lawyer had ‘nice butt’ [New York Daily News]

Adam Key Adam M Key Regent Law School Above the Law blog.jpgThe most famous student or graduate of Regent University School of Law, the conservative law school founded by the American televangelist Pat Robertson, is probably the fabulous Monica Goodling. If you’re on Facebook, you can join her fan club here.
But a husky, heavily tattooed freak-show 2L is giving La Goodling a run for her money. From the Virginian-Pilot:

Regent University officials have threatened to discipline a law student for posting on his Facebook page an unflattering photo of Regent President Pat Robertson.

The student, Adam M. Key, defended his action as constitutionally protected free speech in a 14-page legal brief he presented to the dean of the law school.

Regent officials gave Key two choices: publicly apologize for posting the picture and refrain from commenting about the matter in a “public medium,” or write a brief defending the posting. He faces punishment that could include expulsion.

Key, a second-year law student, said he refused to apologize and “be muzzled” by the university, so he composed the document, which includes citations from noted First Amendment cases.

More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Regent Law School in the News Once Again”

email e-mail message microsoft outlook Above the Law.jpgIn case you’ve forgotten, this week is still Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. It has been a big hit, as reflected in both site traffic and the number of reader comments on posts. If you don’t like this theme — if, for example, you see it as patronizing or degrading (which is not our intention; our coverage is partly tongue-in-cheek, poking fun at the ridiculous elitism of the legal profession) — then come back next week.
Still here? Okay. On this week’s theme, a reader sent us this inquiry:

Whatever happened to Diana “bla bla bla” Abdala? You should post an APB to figure out what happened.

If you don’t remember the infamous Dianna Abdala, a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law (Tier 3), then refresh your recollection over here.
So, does anyone know what Ms. Abdala might be up to these days? If so, we’d love to hear from you (in the comments, or by email). Thanks.
P.S. We usually omit the names of people who commit Abdala-esque career suicide gaffes. But since she is all over the internets, with her very own Wikipedia entry, we figure this cat is already out of the bag.
P.P.S. The high number of Google results associated with Dianna Abdala makes it harder to find out what she’s up to these days. We were too lazy to look past the first 10 (of over 10,000) Google hits associated with her name. Hence this post.
We Reap The Emails That You Sew [WSJ Law Blog]
Dianna L. Abdala [Wikipedia]

Wayne State University Law School Above the Law blog.jpgThis email exchange is rapidly making the rounds. It doesn’t rise to the level of Dianna Abdala, but it’s not bad — and perfectly suitable for a slow Friday afternoon.
The tipster who sent it to us introduced it as follows:

This is pretty funny. It goes to show you that tier four students are just as entitled and obnoxious as their tier one counterparts!

Here’s the first email, from a student at Wayne State University Law School (who shall remain nameless; please keep him that way):

From: [redacted]
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 9:05 AM
To: [Partner at four-person law firm]
Subject: Interview?
Sir, let me begin by noting that I understand your time is very valuable
and I anticipate that your work day is very hectic. However, my time is
valuable to me and sitting at the interview location waiting for you has
resulted in a fantastic waste of a potentially productive Friday
morning.
I was very interested in your firm. I believe that there are many ways
of becoming a good lawyer, and felt that employment at your firm would
be one of them. Though I find myself being pushed in the direction of
the large firms as a result of my grades, I had high hopes that getting
involved in a smaller and yet equally productive camp would be the best
fit for me. Sadly, it seems that I will not find out if my suspicions
were correct.
I realize I am just an naive law student in your eyes but I assure you
sir that a day will come when I command a level of respect that would
make [sic] idea of standing me up unimaginable. As I was your first interview
this morning I feel that a phone call was in order from your end. Good
luck with the rest of your interviews.
Sincerely,
[redacted]

Right now you might be thinking, “Good for you, Wayne State Guy! Just because you go to a Tier Four doesn’t mean you can be jerked around.”
But the truth turns out to be more complex. Read the partner’s response, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tier Four Law Students: They Can Be Pissy Bitches, Too”

Absolutely Fabulous Ab Fab AbFab Above the Law blog.jpgMaybe we should feature stories about the full-time associates who mistreat summer associates. For one such story, involving a senior associate in New York who’s an a**hole of Ari Gold proportions, see here.
Or maybe we should feature stories about partners who, despite being partners, comport themselves in a manner that would make Aquagirl blush. For one such story — from a few years ago, and from the other side of the pond, but trust us, it’s good — see here.
We’ll tell you that the two naughty female partners were from Shearman & Sterling. But please respect the house rules and don’t identify them further. Considering the great nicknames developed for partner #2, including “The Human Stain” and “The Sprinker,” it’s just not necessary. Thanks.
Stories from the Belly of Biglaw: Curious George [Urbanagora]
Yank skanks [TheLawyer.com]

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