Sean Combs

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

* Professor Carlton Larson has a great new paper exploring possible constitutional limitations on state laws regulating baby names. Could parental rights to name a child “Dumb Motherf**ker,” “Preserved Fish,” or “Latrina” be protected by the First Amendment? [SSRN via Legal Blog Watch]

* Speaking of the Wise Latrina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor is a fan of bipartisan seating at the State of the Union. Her colleagues’ email skills? Not so much. [How Appealing]

* Illinois law professor Larry Ribstein on the Rahm Emanuel ruling: “Illinois law is better interpreted to say that before a Washington pol runs again in the midwest he needs some time reacquaint himself with the real world.” [Truth on the Market]

* Congratulations to DLA Piper, which will become the world’s largest law firm after a merger Down Under. [Bloomberg]

* And congratulations to former DLA partner Ted Segal — he’s moving over to regional firm Stradley Ronon, in part because of client concerns over billing rates. [Washington Business Journal]

* Wow, that was fast. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has already settled his lawsuit over olive-triggered dental damage. [Dave Weigel / Slate]

Sean Combs aka Diddy

* This complaint makes Jonathan Lee Riches v. Jared Lee Loughner sound like the height of sanity. A woman is suing P. Diddy, blaming him for the collapse of the World Trade Center. [Radar Online]

* A state transit agency in Virginia that has paid Williams Mullen more than $6.5 million over the past five years might be shifting legal work away from the firm. [Virginian-Pilot]

* You can call Above the Law “the most worst legal website published in the State of New York,” and we won’t sue you for defamation. (Cue jokes about truth as a defense in 3, 2, 1….) [New York Law Journal via ABA Journal]

Benjamin Brafman Sean Combs P Diddy Above the Law blog.jpgFollowing in the footsteps of Sullivan & Cromwell partner Eric Krautheimer, today’s Non-Top-Tier Law School Graduate of the Day also has a law degree from a Tier 4 law school, supplemented by an LLM from NYU. And just like Eric Krautheimer, his tremendously successful career provides support for the proposition that it’s not where you got your legal education, but what you do with it, that counts.
Name: Benjamin Brafman
Law School: Ohio Northern University, J.D., with distinction, 1974
Current Position: Partner, Brafman & Associates, P.C.
Why He’s Our Winner: Brafman is one of New York’s top criminal defense attorneys, with a long list of celebrity clients (including, for a time, Michael Jackson). Our tipster sums it up nicely: “He represented Diddy! He probably met J.Lo! How can you beat that?”
Brafman & Associates, P.C. [Lawyers.com]
Benjamin Brafman [Wikipedia]
Little Big Man [New York Magazine]

* District Court can dismiss for forum non conveniens without first determining that it has personal jurisdiction. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* No standing in Colorado Elections Clause case. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* Supreme Court denies Ebbers appeal without comment. [CNN]
* Mo Money, Mo Lawsuits: Diddy sued for alleged assault at party. [AP via Yahoo!]

Musical Chairs Above the Law Legal Blog Above the Law Legal Tabloid Above the Law Legal Gossip Site.GIFPersonnel changes are everywhere today — and not just on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon. Some notable moves within the legal profession:
Lateral Moves:
* Private equity and M&A lawyer Dennis Barsky, to Jones Day, from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
* Corporate lawyer Jonathan Stapleton and investment-funds lawyer Margaret Paradis, to Baker & McKenzie (NY), from Arnold & Porter and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, respectively.
* Insurance and financial services lawyer Chiu-Ti Jansen, to Sidley Austin, from LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
Government to Private Sector:
* Marc Agnifilo, former head of the violent and organized crime unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey, is joining Brafman and Associates. Yes, that Brafman — renowned criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman, Diddy-defending attorney to the stars.
(Disclosure: Marc Agnifilo is a former colleague of ours, as well as a tremendously experienced and exceptionally talented lawyer. He has a fantastic sense of humor. And he’s the nephew of celebrated writer Don DeLillo.)
Firm Adds Two NY Corporate Partners [NYLawyer.com]
NY Private Equity Partner Switches Firms [NYLawyer.com]
NY Lawyers On the Move [NYLawyer.com]
Baker & McKenzie LLP Announces Ambitious New Strategy and Leadership Team in New York [Baker & McKenzie]

paris hilton.jpgVoter turnout in our ATL reader poll, Who Is the Paris Hilton of the Federal Judiciary?, has been surprisingly good. Not as good as turnout in our ERISA Hotties Contest; but certainly stronger than the anemic response to the August 2006 Couple of the Month survey.
If you haven’t already voted, you can review the field and cast your ballot by clicking here. Please note that the poll is being administered by Pollhost. As a result, we have no control over any technological glitches (e.g., being told you already voted when you didn’t — this is probably because someone else in your office already did, and Pollhost treated that IP address as yours).
At the current time, Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit — the reigning male Superhottie of the Federal Judiciary — has a strong lead. But his colleague on the Ninth Circuit, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw — the federal judiciary’s #2 Female Superhottie, as well as its #1 Gay Icon — is running right behind him (her Manolos be damned).
Here’s what one reader had to say about the results thus far:

I am astounded by the vote tally. Judge Kozinski is no Paris Hilton. He’s more like Sean Puffy Combs.

We see this reader’s point. First, Paris Hilton is a woman — and oh what a woman! So the three female judges may have a better claim to her bejeweled mantle than the two men.
Second, the Kozinski-Combs comparison is strong: both men are international superstars, with devoted fans, who are believed to enjoy tequila and fabulous parties.
(But, with all due respect to Judge Kozinski, Sean Combs is a better dresser. The black velvet tux that he wore to the Oscars two years ago is way more stylish than any black robe.)
With the voting well underway, it’s time to declare when the contest will end. The polls will close on Tuesday, September 26, at 1 PM (Eastern time). This will allow the candidates to campaign over the weekend (e.g., by spamming all their former clerks). It will also allow West Coast readers — and contestants — to vote one last time when they get into work that morning.
We wish these five distinguished jurists the best of luck in their quest for this distinction. If they have any campaign messages to disseminate, we invite them to email us.
Think about it, Your Honors. Wouldn’t “The Paris Hilton of the Federal Judiciary” look great in the “Miscellany” section of your Almanac of the Federal Judiciary write-up? Fun stuff!
Earlier: ATL Reader Poll: The Paris Hilton of the Federal Bench

p diddy.jpgOver the years, rap impresario Sean Combs has tried on monikers like designer sneakers. He’s gone by “Puffy,” “Puff Daddy” (our personal favorite), “P. Diddy,” and, most recently, “Diddy.”
But on the other side of the pond, Sean Combs will have to find another nonsensical name to call himself. From the BBC:

Rap star Sean Combs is no longer to be called “Diddy” in the UK after he agreed a settlement with a music producer already known by that name.

The rapper, also known as Puff Daddy and Puffy, agreed to pay more than £110,000 to settle out of court with Richard “Diddy” Dearlove.

Dearlove, best known for his dance remix of the Blondie hit Atomic, had used the name since 1992.

As the AP explains, Richard “Diddy” Dearlove had sued Combs for unfair competition, claiming that the naming confusion was causing him harm:

“I started getting e-mails from Puerto Rican girls asking if they could be in my video and people were asking me to look at their clothing line,” Dearlove was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.

So why exactly did Dearlove sue? Most other music producers would kill for problems like that.
Boricua, morena, boricua, morena…
Rap star loses Diddy name rights [BBC News]
Diddy Can’t Be Diddy in Britain [Associated Press]
(Gavel bang: How Appealing)