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.
Check out this rather odd appeal from Florida, arising out of a prosecution for sexual assault charges. The defendant was originally charged with three counts of sexual battery, but was convicted on lesser included charges of misdemeanor battery.
One of the issues was whether the trial court should have granted a continuance based on the availability of a defense witness (even though the defense failed to move for a continuance at the time). From the opinion (PDF):
Defense counsel proffered one aspect of the urologist’s testimony: because Tyrrell’s penis was “smaller than average size” it “could not have caused” the injuries that Nurse Gibson observed during the rape exam.
You don’t normally see a man proclaiming his small penis size in public proceedings. But if a teeny weenie is a “get out of jail free” card, expect the defendant to play it. Think of it as the flip side of that Japanese appeal, in which a busty babe overturned her conviction by arguing that she was too well-endowed to fit through a hole she allegedly used to enter a building.
Our tipster described a second strange argument raised by the defense:
[The defense also argued] that the injuries were caused by the victim’s “aggressive” use of a dildo. [The opinion] mentions that the defense lawyer wanted the victim to identify the dildo from a “dildo lineup,” and that the defense attorney “extensively explored” the dildo issue with the victim on cross.
Seriously. The words “dildo lineup” actually appear in the opinion (and not even in scare quotes):
Tyrrell first argues that his “right to due process and right to confront witnesses” was violated because the state did not produce the [sex toys] that were the subject of the July 23 and August 2 orders….
Tyrrell contends that the trial court erred in failing to let him show the victim a dildo lineup.
If that doesn’t violate the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause, which guarantees a criminal defendant the right “to be confronted with the [dildos] against him,” we don’t know what does.
Tyrrell v. State (PDF) [Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal]
Marc J. Randazza fills us in on the Texas sex toy ban, just struck down by the Fifth Circuit. According to Marc, the arguments for outlawing the sale of toys for your pleasure-parts are thus:
(1) If the Texas dildo law is invalidated as an improper encroachment upon personal liberty, this will open the floodgates, and laws on bigamy and incest will be struck down too.
(2) Striking down the law “impermissibly overrides state lawmakers’ settled ‘authority to regulate commercial activity they deem harmful to the public’” (naturally citing a dissenting opinion from the 11th Circuit).
Marc slams the arguments for his own well-articulated reasons at the link. To us, the first argument is a slippery (heh) slope argument, which is usually a weak logical tactic. The second argument is stronger, although we’d like to see a list of reasons why sex toys are so harmful.
It is still illegal to sell sex toys in Alabama. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an Alabama case in 2007 on the subject, so the lower court’s ruling (upholding the ban) remains intact. This quote, from Alabama store owner Sherri Williams (the store’s name is “Pleasures”) sums up the passion of people across the Southland who find the ban ridiculous:
“My motto has been they are going to have to pry this vibrator from my cold, dead hand. I refuse to give up,” she said.
You go, girl. By contrast, guns are perfectly legal in both states.
Texas — Still Obsessed With Dildos [Legal Satyricon]
- Cass Sunstein, Celebrities, Harvard, Hotties, Law Professors, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Martha Nussbaum, Musical Chairs, Romance and Dating, Samantha Power, Sex
We greatly enjoyed our recent visit to the University of Chicago Law School. The U. Chicago students were very welcoming and made us feel right at home, even inviting us to their law school musical — which, by the way, was delightful.
(We added many of them as friends on Facebook before we were mysteriously banned from the site, without notice or explanation. So if you no longer see us on FB, it’s not because we “de-friended” you, but because our account was disabled.)
A few Chicago students, however, had a bone to pick with us. They objected to this ATL post, which cast the recently announced departure of Professor Cass Sunstein — prominent scholar, beloved teacher, and possible Supreme Court nominee under President Obama — as a hiring coup by Harvard Law School, a triumph by HLS over Chicago. They emphasized that Professor Sunstein’s leaving the Windy City for Cambridge was prompted by personal rather than professional reasons.
Professor Sunstein said as much his farewell email (emphasis added; in fact, all emphases added throughout this post, unless otherwise indicated):
I’m writing to say that I’ve just accepted an appointment at Harvard Law School. It is an understatement to say that I don’t take this step easily or lightly. As most of you know, I’ve been reflecting on this question for several years. I finally decided, for personal reasons, that I need a change.
Since he’s a prominent Obama supporter — as well an adviser to the campaign, but more on that later, since it ties into our tale — it’s not surprising that Professor Sunstein is All About Change.
The law school’s popular leader, Dean Saul Levmore, also stressed the personal component to Professor Sunstein’s move. As he told the University of Chicago’s student newspaper, the Maroon:
“I’m sort of embarrassed that [the story] said that the University of Chicago couldn’t be reached for comment,” Levmore said. “It looks like we didn’t want to talk, but the truth is that this decision [to leave Chicago for Harvard] was based on personal reasons and I respect that privacy. The media will find out about them soon enough.“
With a comment like this, Dean Levmore was basically begging us to go digging. So dig we did.
Let’s see, Cass Sunstein’s “personal reasons” for leaving U. Chicago… hold on a sec. Isn’t Professor Sunstein part of legal academia’s most fabulous power couple, together with that renowned philosopher queen, Professor Martha Nussbaum? And didn’t Professor Nussbaum just turn down a Harvard offer?
That was then; this is now. What we learned in our investigation is consistent with this ATL comment, as well as this (subsequently removed) Wikipedia edit.
It appears that Professor Sunstein may be part of a new “power couple” — in the most literal sense. Rumor has it that he’s romantically involved with Professor Samantha Power — a beautiful, brainy professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who is roughly 15 years his junior. She is a Pulitzer Prize winner who has also been profiled in Men’s Vogue (see glamorous photo, at the top of this post). What’s not to like?
Update: More about Samantha Power here (from a college classmate who tried to hit on her, without success, and just ended arguing politics with her).
Now, please don’t give us full credit (or blame) for bringing to light the Sunstein-Power relationship. When we attended the Chicago Law School musical last weekend, Samantha Power got a shout-out near the end of the show, when the Cass Sunstein character announced his departure for Harvard. So the rumor of her romance with Professor Sunstein is already widely known throughout the U. Chicago community (and beyond); it’s no state secret. It is already known to hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
We reached out to all three members of this Mensalicious love triangle, which seems to come straight out of a Saul Bellow novel. Find out what we learned — two of them had no comment, but one of them did — after the jump.
One of our favorite lawyers, Michael Inglimo, is back in the headlines. You may remember him from this post on the Volokh Conspiracy, linked to on ATL, which raised the following question:
Does “engaging in a three-way sexual encounter with [a current client] and [the client's] girlfriend” count as having sex “with a current client” (a practice forbidden by state bar rules)?
Wisconsin answered in the negative, but disciplined him for other infractions. Now Minnesota has stepped in. From the Pioneer Press:
The three-way sex did not get a lawyer’s license suspended – but plenty of other things did.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered that attorney Michael R. Inglimo stop practicing law for three years….
The high court decision comes after the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended Inglimo’s license in October for illegal drug use with clients, having sex with a client’s wife, misuse of a client’s trust account, failure to maintain proper trust account records and criminal conviction for possession of marijuana. The Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility sought reciprocal discipline.
And got it — for the next three years, Inglino can’t practice in Minnesota as well as Wisconsin. There’s no split in authority, then, on the question of three-way jurisprudence originally posed.
3-way sex did not suspend lawyer’s license [Pioneer Press]
Hey, if they can make it past the metal detector at One First Street, it’s all good. Is that a gavel under your robe, Your Honor — or are you just reviewing the Joint Appendix?
This is certainly one of the more interesting circuit splits out there. Let’s hope for a cert petition and a speedy grant.
Dildoes Going to the Supreme Court? [Volokh Conspiracy]
UPDATE (5/14/2014): The charge discussed in this story was refused on April 28, 2008, and the arrest record was expunged; see end of story below.
We do not intend to diminish the seriousness of attempted rape charges. But the bizarreness of this fact pattern cannot be denied. From WBRZ News:
A New Orleans lawyer sporting a purple cape, top hat and carrying a suitcase full of sex toys who visited a 24-year-old house-sitter has been arrested on counts of attempted rape and other crimes, police said.
Lawrence J. Goldstein, 40, attacked the woman early Monday, ripping her clothes off, torturing her, and forcing her to inhale “laughing gas” and smoke marijuana, Covington police said in a statement Tuesday.
Goldstein, who had sprayed the upper half of his body pink and sprinkled it with glitter, also brought a canister of nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, police said.
The woman fled and called the police. Here’s what they encountered when they showed up, from the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
- Andrew Cuomo, Celebrities, Dan Markel, New York Times, Non-Sequiturs, Pets, Politics, Sex, Sports, Tax Law, Vicious Infighting
* The NYT’s official statement on L’Affaire Berenson. [Starkman & Associates]
* A slew of law school hypotheticals about sex with and between minors, triggered by Carl Stanley McGee, our Lawyer of the Day. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Second runner-up for Lawyer of the Day? And a punitive damages award of $33 million. Ouch. [How Appealing]
* Man saves dog; law student saves man. Congratulations to GW’s Jason Coates, our Law Student of the Day! [GW Hatchet]
* “Derek Jeter has romanced Mariah Carey, squired Jessica Biel, sweet-talked Scarlett Johansson — and now he’s made it to first base with the state taxman.” [TaxProf Blog]
* Wow, this is wild. Has Gary Crossen, a former federal prosecutor and partner at Foley Hoag, read too many John Grisham novels? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Speaking of white-collar criminal defense lawyers, more business may be headed their way, courtesy of Andrew Cuomo. [DealBreaker]
* You’ve got… male? [Reuters]
* Are you a Disgruntled Republican? Join the club — or buy a mug. [Zazzle]
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]
In last week’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we asked you about how often you cancelled your personal plans for work.
We received 633 responses, and, by and large, you should just stop making personal plans. Thirty-six percent of respondents had cancelled plans “too many times to count” last year, while another 17% had cancelled plans six to ten times. Eighteen percent had broken plans three to five times, and sixteen percent had cancelled plans only once or twice. Only thirteen percent of respondents never cancelled personal plans over work last year.
Associates in New York and Los Angeles were the most frequent date-breakers, with 78% of respondents in each city cancelling plans at least three to five times, and over 40% cancelling plans too many times to count. Washington, DC and the Bay Area were close behind. Associates in Atlanta, Boston, and Texas were more likely to have personal lives, with Chicago somewhere in the middle.
Most respondents, 84%, simply missed dinner, and about 70% of associates have worked through the weekend. Fifty-six percent of respondents blew off parties, and about half missed family dates. Around forty percent of associates missed dates, TV, or holidays, and around a third cancelled vacations. One quarter of associates reported that they have skipped sex to work, but only eleven percent said they had missed a religious event. Associates in Chicago were the most likely to miss dinner, while Bostonians were the most likely to cancel a date — but the least likely to miss sex.
Why all the social de-scheduling? Sixty-five percent of respondents have put their personal plans on hold because a partner asked them to finish something. Another sixty percent just decided they had things they needed to get done. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said a client told them to do it. Twelve percent needed the hours. Five and a half percent of associates just wanted to impress someone. A little over half of respondents thought the work was not important enough to justify breaking their plans.
These numbers were dramatically different for the respondents who had actually blown off sex to work. Ninety percent of these respondents were asked to finish something by a partner (at the office). Sixty percent were asked by a client. Almost a quarter thought they needed the hours, while eleven percent skipped their personal plans because they “wanted to impress people.”