Above the Law

Recent Headlines from Above the Law

 

* The lawyer who shot himself in the back and lied about it has pleaded guilty since his defense was full of self-inflicted holes. [WBIW]

* Do you want to be a partner? These 12 simple rules are a good start. (Not featured: Rule 13. Have incriminating pictures of the other partners.) [At Counsel Table]

* The University of Vermont and Vermont Law School are considering a joint “3-2″ degree program. So if you’re 18 years old and positive you want to grow up to be a lawyer, you may soon have a lower cost option. You’re also probably a tool. [AP via Boston.com]

* Can introverts be solo practitioners? It’s an interesting question, but since Growth is Dead (affiliate link) notes that even rainmakers are tragically lacking in sociability, it’s likely that most lawyers across firms are introverted. [Lawpolis]

* St. Louis University Law School has taken over and refurbished an old building in downtown St. Louis. See, it’s possible to run a law school without spending money on MOAR BUILDINGS! [Urban Review STL]

* A poem about CLE. Wait, are there people not doing their CLE online? [Poetic Justice]

* How to pick a good divorce lawyer. Done. [Huffington Post]

* Matthew Martens, the senior SEC attorney who ran the “Fabulous Fab” trial, is leaving the agency. Possible landing spots for Martens include Kirkland & Ellis; Paul Weiss; WilmerHale; Latham & Watkins; and Cleary Gottlieb. [Wealth Management]

* A judge in Kentucky moonlights as the PA announcer for high school football games. He’s also blind. Eschewing the obvious “he still sees better than the refs” joke, my question is why isn’t it just more efficient to make his spotter the PA announcer? Video after the jump…

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‘I f**kin’ love torts, man!’

Lawyers sure like to drink, and it’s been a growing problem within the legal profession, as the rate of alcoholism continues to rise. But considering that many of these people are high-functioning alcoholics and that even prospective law students are looking for the best party schools, law schools should probably get these newbies started on the right foot.

“Bar reviews” are no longer good enough; they take place just once a week. Drunken law proms are no longer cutting it; they take place only once a year. With applications dropping, law schools need a new selling point for students who are looking to slam back a few cold ones before getting grilled in class every single day.

That’s probably why one law school is opening up a brand new bar right inside of its main academic building…

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SLU Law’s recent deanship drama?

* The Department of Justice announced federal charges against suspected Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev yesterday, leaving the decision of whether the death penalty will be sought in Eric Holder’s hands. [National Law Journal]

* Andrew Ceresney, most recently of Debevoise, was appointed to run the SEC’s enforcement bureau alongside George Canellos, an agency veteran. Maybe they’ll both be able to boost morale. [DealBook / New York Times]

* “[T]he best way to find Albany on a map is to look for the intersection of greed and ambition.” Preet Bharara is mad as hell about corruption, and he’s not going to take it anymore. [New York Law Journal]

* If Anthony Weiner decides to join the New York City mayoral race, partners from Am Law 200 firms will be responsible for his second coming thanks to their pre-wiener scandal funding. [Am Law Daily]

* “It’s done. Turn the page. The distraction is over.” The new dean of St. Louis University’s law school would like to move forward from the “slow-motion train wreck” of years past. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

I’m not even sure if the ten little Indians song is still kosher, so I’m guessing that jokes about ten big Indians are obviously wrong.

Last night, we told you that the interim dean of Saint Louis University School of Law was stepping down because of “inappropriate comments.”

Dean Tom Q. Keefe admitted to making inappropriate comments. But he didn’t exactly apologize for them. Instead he said: “The problem is I’m just too politically incorrect to be a dean.”

I guess thinking for yourself as a casualty of “political correctness” is one way to avoid actually confronting and dealing with your own inappropriate behavior. But when your law dean allegedly says that he’s “drunker than ten big Indians,” I don’t think the problem is that people are oversensitive….

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Tom Q. Keefe

From the files of “things that are entirely predictable to everybody except for the guy in charge,” Interim Law Dean Tom Q. Keefe has been pushed out at St. Louis University School of Law. Well, “fired” according to some reports.

You mean bringing in a straight-talking law dean who was a personal injury attorney with no ties to the law faculty and was hand picked by the increasingly unpopular university president didn’t work out? SHOCKING! Tell me more….

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DVF: ‘You must be kidding me.’

* “This is a total victory not just for the C.F.T.C., but also for financial reform.” Regulators, mount up, because you basically just got a free pass to do your jobs and keep a more watchful and vigilant eye on Wall Street. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Last year, China officially surpassed the United States in terms of the number of patent applications filed. China’s probably surpassed the United States in terms of patents infringed, but that’s neither here nor there. [National Law Journal]

* And now we see why St. Louis University School of Law’s interim dean said he’d be donating his salary to the school. He’s no “butt boy” — he’s settled $25M worth of cases since the fall. [Madison-St. Clair Record]

* “Help me, I’m poor”: the Huffington Post’s army of unpaid bloggers will continue to be unpaid, because the Second Circuit recently affirmed the S.D.N.Y.’s decision to toss out their case. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* Diane von Furstenberg, the fashion designer behind luxury brand DVF, is suing an ex-distributor for selling her wares on the cheap to the likes of TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Ugh, cringe… that’s très déclassé. [Bloomberg]

The people out at Saint Louis University School of Law sure know how to get in the news. First, the law school dean resigns behind an epic departure memo. Then they hire a new law dean who is really a personal injury attorney. Then the personal injury attorney/law dean says he’s not a “butt boy” to the University President, Father Lawrence Biondi.

I think from now on the logo should read: “SLU Law: When the law stops being polite, and starts getting real.”

While New Jersey law students have been swimming to school, out in the heartland the kids are protesting the university president. And the law faculty issued a historic vote of “no confidence” in the university leadership…

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* Everyone’s happy about the Dewey & LeBoeuf settlement except the Ad Hoc Committee and its LeBoeuf retirees, who called Judge Martin Glenn’s attempt to slap them down an “insult to injury.” [WSJ Law Blog]

* While South Carolina’s voter ID law wasn’t found to be inherently discriminatory, its enforcement was still blocked because people will be unable to get their sh*t together in time for the election. [Bloomberg]

* VP debate moderator Martha Raddatz’s 1991 wedding guest list has come under fire because Barack Obama was invited. Clearly there’s a conflict of interest worth arguing about here. [Washington Post]

* This man is nobody’s “butt boy”: Tom Keefe, the interim dean over at Saint Louis Law School, will be footing a $14,212 bill for his students in the form of ABA Law Student Division memberships. [National Law Journal]

* Strippers in California, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Texas, and Nevada will be making it rain, because they just scored a $12.9M class action settlement. That’s a whole lot of “college tuition”! [Courthouse News Service]

Oh my god, he’s got a gun!

* Interim SLU Law Dean Tom Keefe said he’s nobody’s “butt boy.” Will that change if Father Lawrence Biondi succeeds in eliminating tenure? Your move, Keefe. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

* Defending one’s right to carry an AK-47 around a park is kind of like defending your right to drink milkshakes and eat waffle fries until your heart explodes. There’s no f**king point, other than really wanting to show you can. Except that milkshakes are delicious. Guns, not so much. [FindLaw]

* A penny saved is a penny earned grounds for a huge lawsuit. [Daily Business Review]

* Japan said Samsung didn’t infringe on Apple’s patents. Woooo. Three different Apple v. Samsung cases down, 10 million more countries to go. [Ars Technica]

* The TSA should seriously come out and say they just want to see us naked. Then at least we’d all be on the same page. [Threat Level / Wired]

* Ms. Spanjer, yeeeah, we’re sorry but you’re going to have to change your son’s name. As you’re probably aware, he’s deaf. I know, so sad. He’s a wonderful child, but when he signs his name, it looks like a gun. And, obviously, we have no tolerance for violence at this pre-school. [Jonathan Turley]

SLU Law Dean Tom Keefe. He definitely doesn’t look like a butt boy to me.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve covered Saint Louis University School of Law more than I could have ever possibly imagined.

It all started when their dean, Annette Clark, resigned her deanship (or resigned before she was fired, depending on whom you believe). After issuing a public and scathing farewell letter, Professor Clark fled back to Seattle, where she rejoined the faculty of the Seattle University School of Law.

To fill the void, the president of SLU, Father Lawrence Biondi, appointed outspoken personal injury lawyer Tom Keefe as interim dean of the law school.

If you thought having a personal injury lawyer as dean of a law school would result in fun for readers of Above the Law, you were right. This guy is going to be a riot — before he (almost inevitably) flames out…

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  • 5 Questions with Dean Keefe

    Provided by the school

    What are your goals and expectations for the year?

    My first goal is to persuade everyone – students, faculty, alumni and the entire community – to just give me a chance to do this job. I understand that I am not a logical choice, but I have skills, including 35 years of successfully advocating for my clients. This law school is now my client, and my goal is to bring every tool I have to fight for this client. No individual is bigger than the institution they serve, whether it is a dean, a vice-president, a provost or even the president. I fully expect that out of this seeming chaos we face today this school will emerge stronger, better and perfectly situated in the heart of the action where lawyers lawyer and judges judge.

    What sets SLU LAW apart as a special place to learn the law? Why have you stayed so connected to the school?

    To me it has been a tone set by the late, great Vince Immel. Vince (and so many other faculty members both before and after him) was deeply committed to the welfare of his students, but never at the expense of legal scholarship and teaching excellence. He loved us, but in the classroom it was a tough love which prepared each of us to be great practitioners which drove us to always make him proud. And then, after all of those years of sacrifice, he left his entire estate to Saint Louis University School of Law, believing this school is great and will remain great. Since Vince Immel was smarter than me, I’m putting at least some of my time and money where he put his.

    How will your background as an alumnus and practicing attorney influence your approach to help the law school succeed in this period of transition?

    The first thing I will do is try to listen – which is hard since I so deeply love the sound of my own voice. I hope to learn from all of the school’s constituencies what makes them happy and what concerns them.

    I’m a trial lawyer. I advocate for clients. To do that you must understand and believe in your case and then be persuasive in your presentation, and then just outwork the opposition. That’s the only way I know how to approach problems, and that’s the approach I intend to bring in hopes of helping this school succeed during this period of transition.

    Read more…