Screw-Ups

flowers 1-800-flowers Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re a married man planning on sending flowers to your mistress, we have a tip for you: do NOT use 1-800-FLOWERS (as if you needed to be told).
Check out this interesting case, filed in the Southern District of Texas (Houston), and included in this morning’s Courthouse News Service (subscription):

Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com Inc.
8/6/2007
H-07-2543
(Houston)

Breach of contract action in which the defendants agreed to keep the plaintiff’s order of flowers for his girlfriend private, with no record of the transaction mailed to him at his home or office.

Months later, the defendants sent a thank you card to the plaintiff’s home, and his wife called the defendants for proof of the purchase. The defendants faxed the plaintiff’s wife proof of his order of flowers for his girlfriend, which resulted in a divorce being filed.

Oh crap. In terms of tales of infidelity getting exposed, this one is definitely up there.
If plaintiff Leroy Greer prevails, what would be the appropriate measure of damages? Will 1-800-FLOWERS reimburse him for his divorce settlement, as a form of consequential damages?
And what about alimony — will they pick up the tab for that? Or can they just send his ex-wife a bouquet of carnations each month, for the rest of her life?
Update: More details about the lawsuit appear here.
Correction: Thanks, commenters. Scratch the reference to “alimony,” and replace it with “spousal support.”
Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com (subscription) [Courthouse News Service]

For those of you who just took the bar exam, the last thing you want is another essay question. But just for fun, and to see how much you’ve retained, here’s one for you (in the style of an MPT question):

Your client is a junior associate at a top New York law firm. She agreed to be interviewed and photographed for an article in the New York Times.

When the article appeared, your client was captured in this unfortunate pose:

New York Times photograph young lawyer Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg

Your client is distraught. She admits that she consented to the interview and photo shoot. But when she did, she had no idea the Times photo editors would choose THAT picture (out of literally hundreds that were taken).

What possible theories of liability would you explore as the basis for a possible lawsuit by your client against the New York Times?

(Hint: New York does not recognize the tort of “Being negligently photographed in the Sharon Stone pose.”)
Update: At least one of you thinks this photo is no big deal. But we view the photograph as brilliantly composed, fascinating, and tantalizing. It’s like the smile of the Mona Lisa: the more you stare, the more elusive the mystery becomes.
For Young Earners in Big City, a Gap in Women’s Favor [New York Times]

laptop pink girl woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe recently posted about technical difficulties surrounding last week’s administration of the New York bar exam. About ten minutes ago, candidates who sat for the exam received this email:

From: New York Bar Exam Administration
Date: 30 Jul 2007 17:03:09 -0400
Subject: NYS Bar Exam Laptop Program

As you may know, some candidates taking last Tuesday’s bar examination experienced technical problems with the Securexam software during the examination, and some also experienced problems after the examination when attempting to upload their work. The State Board of Law Examiners has been working with Software Secure to resolve the problems.

Our primary focus during these past few days has been collecting exam files from candidates’ computers and confirming that we have all of the essay answers. Software Secure is in the process of sorting through and reviewing the thousands of files that were either uploaded or transferred to them through the utility that was described in an email sent by Software Secure on July 25, 2007.

For those of you who are interested, the rest of the message appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Laptopgate, and the New York Bar Exam: The Aftermath”

yale law school 2.JPGWe dropped the ball by not writing about this news when it first surfaced earlier this year. Now that it’s made Instapundit, though, the entire world knows about it. One Yalie writes:

A bit of an embarrassment for Harold Koh, though no real fault on his part. Still, it might come up if he’s nominated for the Supreme Court.

Fair enough. But we suspect that the good senators will have plenty of other things to question the outspoken dean about if he gets nominated to the SCOTUS.
This Is Kind of Embarrassing [Instapundit]
Man Posed as Yale Aide in Swindle Of Irish Immigrants, Authorities Say [New York Times]
Man accused of defrauding illegal immigrants being held in R.I. [New Haven Register]

laptop pink girl woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve received three of them thus far. It appears that the bar examiners have been having, er, technical difficulties — some pretty serious computer problems. Needless to say, the hapless test takers are not happy campers.
For those of you who are interested, we reprint the stories after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New York Bar Exam Horror Stories”

John Shabaz Judge John C Shabaz John Shabzz Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgNot allowing the defendant to allocute before pronouncing sentence is a rookie mistake for a judge to make. So if a judge makes it, despite having been on the bench for over 25 years, he can expect to get benchslapped. From a Wisconsin reader:

Not sure if this is quite up your alley, but Federal District Judge John Shabaz got bench-slapped pretty hard by the Seventh Circuit in an opinion that came down today.

He’s like a million years old and is best known around here for falling asleep during trials and objecting himself and sustaining his own objections. We’ve decided not to get really worried until he starts overruling himself.

Well, as long as a former clerk doesn’t write a tell-all memoir, Judge Shabaz should be just fine.
Wherrrreeee’s Johnny [Seriatim]
United States v. Luepke (PDF) [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit]
John C. Shabaz bio [FJC]

Bingham McCutchen 2 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgRemember those Bingham McCutchen associates who took buyouts and left the firm? They’re royally p.o.’ed about this article, and they want to set The Record[er] straight about the circumstances surrounding their departures.
Check out their angry letter to The Recorder, plus additional information from an ATL tipster concerning how these buyouts were mishandled, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hell Hath No Fury Like Ex-Bingham McCutchen Associates”

No? Okay. Then they shouldn’t expect him to clean up after them.
Remember that majorly screwed-up tax case? It’s still screwed up.
District Court Refuses to Correct Government’s Botched Plea Agreement in Biggest Tax Fraud Case in History [TaxProf Blog]
Earlier: This Is Why Cite-Checking Matters

Angelina Jolie pic pics photo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWhy is Robert Offer our Lawyer of the Day? Because he’s taking bullets for his superhottie client, Angelina Jolie.
Chivalry is not dead! Even among people who bill by the hour.
(Also, any lawyer who is willing to describe himself as “bone-headed” to the New York Times scores points in our book.)
A Deal Too Far: Interviewers Balk at Jolie’s Terms [New York Times]
Managing the Media: Angelina Jolie’s Media Contracts [Gawker]
The Sloane Offer Partners [Variety]

Alberto Gonzales 4 Attorney General Alberto R Gonzales Above the Law blog.gifWe’ve been doing a lot of Biglaw coverage lately. But since Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is being raked over the coals as we type, in an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, let’s take a timely detour into the U.S. Department of Justice.
The DOJ isn’t looking terribly competent right now. And this latest story won’t burnish their reputation. From a tipster:

As you know, the Justice Department produced a number of documents to Congress, concerning the controversial U.S. Attorney firings. These document productions have not been huge — maybe just a few thousand pages. Nothing like what you see in major commercial litigation.

One such document production showed up on Capitol Hill, in four sets: two sets for the Senate Judiciary Committee (Democrats and Republicans), and two sets for the House Judiciary Committee (Democrats and Republicans). The production arrived on a weekday evening.

A Republican staffer immediately started looking through the production. The staffer noticed that the produced documents didn’t have Bates stamps on them. Oops. Guess the DOJ forgot to have them stamped — a screw-up, although not a cardinal sin.

A few pages later, the staffer noticed something else, on a document with redactions on it. There was redacting tape that was STILL ON THE DOCUMENT. One could access the redacted, privileged material simply by peeling off the tape.

Holy crap. Instead of sending over Bates-stamped photocopies, the DOJ had produced its ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS to the Congress.

Nice. Apparently the Justice Department is less competent than a second-year litigation associate: they can’t do a proper document production.
It gets worse. More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Earth to DOJ: Document Production Isn’t That Hard”

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