Guess we picked our Lawyer of the Day too soon.
Update (2:30 PM): Press conference scheduled for 2:15 p.m., but Governor Spitzer is running 15 minutes late. “I don’t blame him,” said Ben Smith of the Politico, interviewed just now on CNN.
Update (2:35 PM): Jeffrey Toobin, who was an HLS classmate of Eliot Spitzer, described the news as “a total shock.” He said Spitzer has been “nothing but a straight arrow” for many years.
Update (2:50 PM): Still no press conference. Brooke Masters, author of Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer, was just interviewed on CNN. She noted that this scandal comes at a bad time for Spitzer politically, in the wake of last year’s scandal involving his misuse of the State Police for political purposes.
Update (3 PM): We’re stepping away for a bit, to give a talk at Stanford Law School. We’ll be back online as soon as we can. Some content will be posted while we’re gone (material prepared ahead of time, not Spitzer updates).
Developing… Check back for updates.
Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring [New York TImes]
Guess we picked our Lawyer of the Day too soon.
The day is still young, but we already have our Lawyer of the Day — and we doubt that anyone we hear about later today can steal this honor away from him. Via the Boston Globe:
A top official in the [Gov. Deval] Patrick administration has been placed on unpaid leave because he was arrested in Florida and charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male in a steam room at a $500-a-night Gulf Coast resort.
Carl Stanley McGee, 38, assistant secretary for policy and planning, is scheduled to be arraigned next week for sexual battery in Lee County, Fla…. According to police reports, McGee was arrested Dec. 28 and accused of performing oral sex on the 15-year-old, who was a guest at The Gasparilla Inn & Club, a 95-year-old hotel and championship golf course in Boca Grande.
As they like to say up in Massachusetts, “Thar he blows.”
McGee, a former Rhodes scholar and Harvard Law School graduate, was previously a corporate lawyer at the law firm WilmerHale. He was instrumental in the movement seeking to defeat efforts to overturn legalization of same-sex marriage, serving as director of the civic and business outreach efforts of the advocacy group MassEquality.
A year after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in May 2004, McGee’s wedding to John Finley IV was highlighted in the “Vows” section of The New York Times….
Known for his shock of platinum hair, McGee was named one of The Boston Globe’s 25 most stylish Bostonians in November. In the article, he described his style as “traditional, but it’s also subversive and ironic.”
“Traditional,” but “subversive.” Sort of like married men engaging in steam-room hook-ups?
Good thing Carl McGee isn’t running for office. We’re reminded of the famous quotation by former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, who once boasted that he couldn’t lose an upcoming election unless he was “caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.”
Update: Just a reminder that these are obviously mere allegations. Sources mentioned in the Globe article said they “were stunned by the news of McGee’s arrest and said they do not believe the charges.” One colleague of McGee told the paper, “I know it didn’t happen.”
Further Update: Best comment thus far, from an observant, Spanish-speaking reader: “He was arrested for blowing a 15 year old in… huhuhuh… Boca Grande…”
Key aide to Patrick accused of sex assault [Boston Globe]
John Finley IV and Stan McGee [New York Times]
For Monday’s Lawyer of the Day, we faced an embarrassment of riches — of embarrassment. So we nominated a quintet of contenders: a North Carolina lawyer caught reading Maxim in court, a former prosecutor who allegedly had sex with two teenage boys, an AUSA arrested on DUI charges, a Canadian lawyer/politician who allegedly overbilled an order of nuns, and a Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine’s car. Then we had you vote on who should take the honors.
Participation was enthusiastic, with almost 1,300 votes cast. Two contenders emerged early in the voting: Beth Modica, the allegedly predatory prosecutrix, and Jay Grodner, who pleaded guilty to keying the Marine’s vehicle. Competition was fierce. But in the end, Mrs. Modica came out on top.
So congratulations, Beth Modica. You take the prize as Monday’s Lawyer of the Day!
Read more about her alleged misadventures, after the jump.
- Bad Ideas, Drinking, DUI / DWI, Lawyer of the Day, Rank Stupidity, Reader Polls, Rudeness, Sex Scandals
Last week was a busy one in terms of bonus news. In addition, we were prevented from publishing as much as we wanted by technical difficulties (which lie outside the jurisdiction of your undersigned blogger, a mere writer and not a tech person).
Our recent neglect of the “misbehaving lawyers” beat has given rise to a backlog of possible Lawyers of the Day. We’ve decided to clear the backlog by tossing out five nominees and having you vote on who should get the honor.
Click on each lawyer’s name to read more about their alleged misadventures. Then vote on who should be our Lawyer of the Day.
1. Todd Paris: This North Carolina lawyer was held in contempt after a judge caught him reading Maxim [quasi-NSFW] in court. “When [Judge Kevin] Eddinger gave Paris a chance to respond he apologized and ‘stated in his view the magazine was not pornography, was available at local stores and that he did not intend contempt,’ the [contempt] order said.”
2. Beth Modica: “A former suburban prosecutor and PTA president had sex with two underage boys, joined many other teens in booze and pot parties and kept it all a secret from her police chief husband, officials said Tuesday. Beth Modica, 44, was indicted on 35 counts alleging statutory rape, criminal sex acts, sex abuse and endangering children. Wearing an olive-gray suit and handcuffs, she pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Rockland County Court and was ordered held on $75,000 bail.”
3. Mikal Hanson: “Pierre police early Thursday morning arrested an assistant U.S. attorney, who is accused of drunken driving and speeding. Mikal Hanson, 52, an assistant U.S. attorney in Sioux Falls, was stopped by police shortly before 1 a.m. for speeding, said Pierre Police Chief Elton Blemaster. The arresting officer could smell alcohol on Hanson and asked him to perform field sobriety tests, Blemaster said. ‘Mr. Hanson didn’t complete them as instructed,’ he said.”
4. Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer: “Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer is under investigation by the Law Society of British Columbia for allegedly overbilling one of her legal clients, including charging for 30 hours of work in a single day…. Jaffer has been called before the law society to account for more than $6 million in legal bills charged to her former client, a Catholic missionary order known as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.”
5. Jay Grodner: From the Chicago Tribune (via Blackfive.net):
Jay Grodner, the Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine’s car in anger because the car had military plates and a Marine insignia, finally got his day in court last week. Grodner pleaded guilty in a Chicago courtroom packed with former Marines. They came to support Marine Sgt. Michael McNulty, whose car Grodner defaced in December, but who couldn’t attend because he’s preparing for his second tour in Iraq….
“You caused damage to this young Marine sergeant’s car because you were offended by his Marine Corps license plates,” said Judge [William] O’Malley….
“That’s because there is a little principle that the Marine Corps has had since 1775,” the judge continued. “When they fought and lost their lives so that people like you could enjoy the freedom of this country. It is a little proverb that we follow: “No Marine is left behind.
“So Sgt. McNulty couldn’t be here. But other Marines showed up in his stead. Take him away,” said the judge and former Marine.
So those are the five contestants. Here’s the poll:
The great state of Michigan, recent host to presidential primaries, is also the home of our Lawyer of the Day. A correspondent writes:
The mayor of Detroit was sexing up his chief of staff, who just happened to be a Wayne State Law Student. The mayor happens to be married with three kids. They may have perjured themselves.
No, not the kids — Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his lover. From the Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his chief of staff lied about their relationship last summer at a police whistle-blower trial that has cost the cash-strapped city more than $9 million, according to records obtained by the Free Press.
The false testimony potentially exposes them to felony perjury charges, legal experts say.
Kilpatrick and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied during testimony in August that they had a sexual relationship. But the records, a series of text messages, show them engaged in romantic banter as well as planning and recounting sexual liaisons.
Dirty details, below the fold.
- Canada, Douglas Berman, Drinking, Federal Judges, Hillary Clinton, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, Sex Scandals, Yul Kwon
* Calling all cougars — and the young studs who love them. If you’re a single female who earns more than $500,000 a year (e.g., a Biglaw partner), you should check out this event. [DealBreaker]
* Canadian lawyers are horndogs, too. [Legal Blog Watch]
* “Though I did not think Judge Kopf owed me anything, I was not about to refuse a beer from a federal judge.” [Sentencing Law & Policy]
* Hillary Clinton as Tracy Flick? [Slate TV via Althouse]
* Survivor winner Yul Kwon, with whom we went to law school, contemplates a congressional run. Go Yul! [Washington Examiner]
Municipal court is not exactly the pinnacle of judicial office. But we think that Colleen Hartl, until recently a (rather attractive) municipal court judge in Washington state, is still a worthy Judge of the Day. From the AP:
A Federal Way [that's a WA city name] Municipal Court judge has resigned after hosting a holiday party at which she claimed to be having an affair with a public defender who routinely appeared in her court.
Judge Colleen Hartl quit Dec. 19, less than a week after telling her guests — including five court employees — that she had sex with public defender Sean Cecil and displaying a text message in which he complimented how she looked in “tight jeans,” Michael Morgan, the court’s presiding judge, said Wednesday.
So she’s proud about how good her butt looks in tight jeans. What’s so wrong with that?
Even after admitting the affair at the Friday night party, Hartl showed up for work the next Monday morning and presided over several cases handled by Cecil, Morgan said. At lunchtime that day, Morgan — who attended the party but left before Hartl’s admission — was advised of the relationship by a court staff member who witnessed the statement. Morgan suggested that Hartl not sit on any cases that afternoon, and she resigned two days later.
Judge Hartl, we like your style.
Update: More here from Federal Way News.
Federal Way judge quits; talked of affair with lawyer [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
Affair with lawyer linked to judge’s resignation [Federal Way News]
the Day Last Month: Talk About a ‘Special’ Bonus
(The bonus you claim after pleading guilty to paying a mom so you can have sex with her two underage daughters)
(We missed this case because it happened over the holidays, when we were away from ATL. But we’ve received several requests to cover this super-juicy story, so we’ll go for it, despite being so late to the party.)
We described Schoenfeld v. Allen & Overy, a lawsuit by a Jewish associate against his former law firm, as “the Jewish version of Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell.” Now we’re looking at “the pervert-who-has-sex-with-13-and-15-year-old-sisters version of Charney v. S&C.”
From the New York Daily News:
A disgraced lawyer who paid a mother to allow him to have sex with her underage daughters is looking for a payday of his own – from the elite law firm where he once worked.
James Colliton is suing Cravath, Swaine & Moore for $1.45 million, accusing the white-shoe firm of stiffing him on an annual bonus, salary and vacation pay.
Reached by phone at his home in Poughkeepsie, the convicted sex offender refused to talk about his suit, which was handwritten on notebook paper.
“It’s all in there,” Colliton said.
That’s what he told her. Also, we’d expect better than a complaint “handwritten on notebook paper” from James Colliton. If Aaron Charney can type up his pro se complaint against his former firm, surely an ex-Cravath lawyer can do the same.
More discussion, beyond the jump.
Lawsuit of the Day: Model Files Suit Over Super-Sexy Spot
(No, Not That Spot. Jeez. You’re Such a Sicko.)
A model who says she has worked hard to maintain a wholesome image has filed a $5 million lawsuit complaining that a jewelry company’s video advertisement in which she writhes and moans looks pornographic.
The commercial, seen on the Internet in a clip entitled “Rock Her World,” shows a woman wearing blue lacy lingerie and a diamond necklace while moaning and stroking her face and neck. It ends with the Web address for the jewelry company, Szul.com.
The 37-year-old woman claims in her lawsuit that she did not “consent to or authorize the use of her likeness, picture, image or name to simulate a female having an orgasm or otherwise experiencing sexual pleasure.”
Actually, we prefer the description of the New York Daily News:
The 35-second “Rock Her World” spot features the model rubbing her teal teddy and purring with pleasure to the hard-grinding sounds of a guitar as the slogan, “Jewelry works every time” pops up onscreen.
But look, no need to rely on print descriptions of the ad. One of the beauties of the internet as a medium is that, when it comes to audio or video, you can judge for yourself. So check out the clip — which, we warn you, is quasi-NSFW (at least with the sound turned on) — over at Blogonaut.
Done watching? Okay. We concur with our fellow blogger:
[W]e find it hard to believe that Jane Doe’s behavior on the ad could be taken for anything resembling the “wholesome” persona she claims was maligned. What could she have been thinking when she made the ad?
Indeed. What exactly did she think she was advertising when she consented to be filmed, clad in pastel lingerie, writhing on a bed? Anti-epilepsy drugs?
Anyway, casting directors, consider yourselves warned. If the woman from the Szul Jewelry ad shows up for your casting call, don’t even think of using her in that Herbal Essences ad.
Oh, and the “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from When Harry Met Sally? NOT FUNNY.
Update: Ted Frank has written about the case at Overlawyered. We like the title of his post, as well as this quip: “And, of course, she didn’t have to roll around on the bed in the first place.”
But he notes, in fairness, that the model-plaintiff is claiming no release (hehe). That might be a legitimate basis for a lawsuit.
Model’s suit: You used the video you took of me [Overlawyered]
NY Model Sues Jewelry Co for $5M Over R-Rated Web Ad [Blogonaut]
Model sues Szul Jewelry over Web ad [New York Daily News]
NY Lawsuit: My Commercial Looks Lewd [Associated Press]
Rock Her World [YouTube (mildly NSFW)]
- Judge of the Day, Perverts, Sex, Sex Scandals, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Torture, Weirdness
Last month, Judge John B. Hagler, a state court judge in Tennessee, stepped down from the bench. Here’s why, from the AP:
A Tennessee judge resigned last month after making a recording of fantasies so lurid that when the tape fell into the hands of the police and FBI, they thought they were listening to a torture session and believed it might be linked to a murder case.
Police have cleared the judge in the murder case. But a hearing started yesterday over whether they must release the tape.
So, pray tell, what exactly is this tape about?
“It sounded like someone being tortured,” Chattanooga police Sgt. Alan Franks testified Wednesday, offering the first details of what is on the tape.
Franks said the recording was investigated in relation to a still-unsolved 1997 murder. He gave no other details on the murder case.
“The content was so shocking. I have been a police officer for 24 years,” Franks said before his testimony was cut off by an objection.
Well! What does Judge Hagler have to say for himself?
Hagler said that he had done nothing wrong but that the recording had caused great embarrassment to friends, family and the courts. Hagler, who is 65 and married, has been a circuit judge in Cleveland, Tenn., since 1990 and served three terms as president of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association.
“The description of it as containing ‘graphic fantasies’ … is an accurate and sufficient description and all any decent person would want to hear of it,” the judge said in a statement.
Should we be troubled by the trend of excessively scrutinizing the unorthodox sexual practices of judges? See also Judge Herman Thomas, aka the Spanking Judge, who resigned a few months ago.
Aren’t judges entitled to be a little kinky too? If judges have to worry about their personal lives being placed under the microscope, will the state and federal benches lose out on potentially talented jurists, who just happen to have a little sumthin sumthin going on under those robes?
Update: More coverage, from the ABA Journal.
Tenn. judge resigns over fantasies tape [Associated Press]
Ex-Judge Fights Release of Lurid Audiotape [ABA Journal]