Screw-Ups

Happy Thanksgiving, from your friends at Above the Law. As always, we give thanks to our readers, our tipsters, our advertisers, and even our commenters.

We also give thanks to Judge Richard Posner. This brilliant and hilarious jurist has just given us something to chuckle over as we munch on our Thanksgiving turkey.

This opinion by Judge Posner, handed down yesterday, could be viewed as “giving the bird” to an offending attorney. And the bird in question is not a turkey. Can you guess which bird is involved?

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(And a bonus benchslap from Judge Posner.)

Last night, we asked why the New Jersey Bar results were late. Today, they’re up by candidate ID.

Anything else we can help you with today?

UPDATE (10:50 AM): Remember the NJ woman who passed out cold in the middle of the test? Find out if she passed, after the jump.

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I mean, probably not, but when you are primarily responsible for losing millions and millions of dollars, I suppose anything is possible. And remember Jon Corzine does have a documented case of test-taking anxiety. For all we know, MF Global’s money and the New Jersey bar exams are sitting in a basement somewhere being guarded by Real Housewives who can kill you with the piercing sound of their voices.

It sounds farcical, but something is going on with the New Jersey Bar Exam. The New York results came out weeks ago. Yet we’ve heard nothing from Jersey about their bar results, which generally come out around the same time.

And now New Jersey has gone radio silent. There are no results on their website. We left voicemails with two officials at the New Jersey Board of Law Examiners this afternoon, but they have not returned our calls.

My Corzine theory might be off the wall, but others have some more credible thoughts on why there’s been a delay from the Garden State….

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When a tipster sent us an e-mail with the subject, “Court awards $700,000+ in sanctions for destruction of FB page,” I thought it sounded like it might be interesting. Because hey, that’s a lot of money.

I didn’t realize it would also be one of the most depressing legal news stories I’ve read since this tragic murder-suicide.

The three-quarters-of-a-million-dollar sanction award was levied against the widower of a woman killed in a car accident and the widower’s lawyer. The ruling was an abrupt table-turn for Isaiah Lester, who had previously won a $10 million wrongful death suit against the driver whose truck overturned and killed his wife.

Keep reading for the depressing details….

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Nobody ever seems to believe me when I say this, but San Francisco gets chilly. It is cold most of the time. And foggy. The warmest time of year is right now, in late October. If you come to visit in July, and you stay in the city, and you will get cold.

That’s why every San Francisco tourist ever buys those cheesy sweatshirts with “San Francisco” written on them in a font that strangely resembles one of the main logos for our hugely disappointing championship-winning major-league baseball team, the Giants. Actually, it might be exactly the same logo. The baseball team is currently in a trademark dispute with the clothing company from Hayward (Oakland’s smaller, crappier neighbor to the south) over rights to the logo.

But hold on, the Giants have been using it for almost 20 years. They must have gotten the rights locked down years ago, right? Oopsies….

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We enjoy giving our readers the occasional peek behind the Biglaw curtain. Last month, for example, we shared with you the internal interview manual that Sullivan & Cromwell provides to its attorneys who conduct on-campus interviews at law schools.

Today, in a similar spirit, we take an inside look at the annual review process for attorneys at Skadden Arps. We’re into the fourth quarter of 2011, so these reviews are not far away.

In this special report, we’ll provide general observations on the Skadden review process, highlight noteworthy comments from leaked attorney evaluations, and show you a few reviews in their entirety (redacted to remove lawyer and client names). This information should interest Biglaw associates who want to know what partners look for junior lawyers, and it should also appeal to partners at other firms who want ideas on how to structure annual reviews.

If you’re interested in learning more about performance reviews at one of the world’s biggest and best law firms, please keep reading….

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I write about hacking and data security periodically, even though sometimes I get the feeling legal professionals try hard not to think about the subjects. But the stories in this realm bear repeating. Corporate data security is a real concern for many, many corporate attorneys, and especially in-house counsel.

Data security problems used to stem most frequently from weak firewalls or unencrypted equipment. But more and more, the biggest sources of risk and liability are just dumb or technologically overeager employees.

What kind of computer trouble are you and everyone you know getting your company or firm into? Let’s see….

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* After Anwar al-Awlaki’s death, everyone wants to know if it’s legal to kill American citizens abroad. Well, if Ron Paul is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. [New York Daily News]

* Sullivan & Cromwell and the Mailroom of Death: Harry Potter series reject or SCOTUS-bound appeal? If only there were a spell to make this screw-up disappear. [Washington Post]

* A class action suit alleges that Facebook is secretly tracking its users after they log off. Oh hi, Big Brother. I, for one, welcome our new lanky, douche overlord. [Bloomberg]

* When it comes to Scalia, caring about the coed dorm situation at Catholic University was this “Supreme Court justice’s latest supreme lapse of judgment.” Pure pwnage. [New York Times]

* Jared Lee Loughner is still just a tad too crazy to stand trial. Another four-month stay in a rubber room certainly will make his future insanity defense more believable. [Forbes]

* Hooters is suing Twin Peaks, a rival “breastaurant”, for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Boobs, butts, and booze are trade secrets? I guess that means I can’t open Grand Tetons. [Daily Mail]

There’s one guy in your outfit who understands the need not to write stupid e-mails: That’s the guy who just spent all day in deposition being tortured with the stupid e-mails that he wrote three years ago.

That guy will control himself. He’ll write fewer and more carefully phrased e-mails for the next couple of weeks. Then he’ll go back to writing stupid stuff again, just like everyone else.

You can’t win this game; no matter what you say, people will revert to informality and write troublesome e-mails. But you’re not allowed to give up. What’s an in-house lawyer to do?

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Joran van der Sloot

* Bob Morse announces that new jobs data may be used to change the methodology for calculating law school employment rates. Because Bob Morse has to do the ABA’s job for them. HIYOOOO! [U.S. News & World Report]

* And speaking of employment (or lack thereof), it looks like UDel and SUNY Stony Brook have given up their plans to build new law schools. Did they smarten up and start worrying about jobs like we do? [Washington Post]

* Joran van der Sloot: rolling his eyes at murder charges since 2005. More than a year after his arrest, he’s been charged with the murder of Stephany Flores. [CNN]

* Representing a private company, Cadwalader’s antitrust case against Google got tossed. Even Biglawyers can fail to meet their burdens of proof. [CNET]

* ‘Cause tonight we’re robo-signing like it’s 1999? Mortgage paperwork screw-ups aren’t as new as you think – they’ve been around since flannel was still cool. [Associated Press]

* Remember that Oscar de la Hoya lawsuit? The settlement allegedly included $20M in exchange for getting his heels and fishnets back. You can’t keep a good crossdresser down. [New York Post]

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