Peter Barta 2 Peter A Barta Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe reader tips about Peter Barta, the Legal Aid Lawyer who allegedly made surreptitious videos of his female co-workers getting changed, are starting to flow into our inbox. From a former colleague:

I used to work at the Criminal Defense Division (CDD) in Manhattan with Peter Barta. He would sidle up to female co-workers, bragging about his fluent Hungarian: “Did you know that the only language related to Hungarian is Finnish?”

Uh, yeah, I’m not an idiot. And if I didn’t know that already, I would have remembered from the seventeenth time you told me.

He would then mention, with no apparent self-consciousness, that he lived with his mother. Finally, he’d try to ask the girl — not me, I was too rude to him — out.

We’re repulsed. But at the same time, we can’t help wondering: Was Peter Barta just lonely and misunderstood? Could Judd Apatow, writer of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, write a screenplay that would make Barta appear sympathetic — a lovable schlub, a la Ben Stone (Seth Rogen)?
Even our tipster has a soft spot for her former colleague:

Creepy as he was/is, what a sad way to end one’s legal career. (Though I suppose he should have thought of that before he recorded “bare breasts and buttocks” on a nannycam.)

Ah, the Bartameter. We hardly knew ye …

Food for thought: Would Peter Barta’s clock / camera be covered by the Skadden technology allowance?
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Peter Barta (scroll down)

Peter Barta 2 Peter A Barta Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday we named Peter Barta our Lawyer of the Weekend. Here’s what he allegedly did to earn this distinction, according to the NYDN:

A nerdy legal aid lawyer used a spy camera to videotape female colleagues changing their clothes — until the women turned the tables and caught him red-handed, officials said.

Peter Barta, 32, bought a $179 gizmo from Sharper Image that looked like a desk clock but contained a motion-activated camcorder, prosecutors said.

He allegedly planted the clock in co-workers’ offices and downloaded the racy images onto a tape seized at his Queens home.

We solicited information on Peter Barta from people who know him personally. One high school classmate had this to say:

I guess I’m not surprised that he resorted to these sorts of antics; he always seemed a bit strange. So sad that it’s come down to this in his 30s!

I feel badly. He wasn’t a bad guy, but I guess he was a bit off.

Peter Barta was described in news accounts as a master debater (hehe) at New York’s elite Stuyvesant High School. Another ex-debater chimed in as follows:

Please point out to your readers that Peter Barta was a POLICY debater. Those of us who did L-D [Lincoln-Douglas] debate do NOT want the good name of our event tarnished.

If you have firsthand information about The Bartameter, please email us (subject line: “Peter Barta”). Thanks.
Update: More about Peter Barta appears here.
Earlier: Lawyer of the Weekend: Peter Barta

Do you know this man? His name is Peter Barta, and he’s ATL’s Lawyer of the Day Weekend. If you did what he allegedly did — see here and here (plus more links collected below) — you deserve to be honored on more than one day.
Peter Barta 1 Peter A Barta Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
We’re preparing a more detailed post on Peter Barta that we’ll publish tomorrow. Right now we are collecting information about him from people who know him personally — from high school (Stuyvesant High School in New York), law school (Georgetown Law), work (the Legal Aid Society), or any other context.
We’ve heard from a few folks, but we’re hungry for more. If you have info to share, please email us (subject line: “Peter Barta”). Thanks.
Lawyer Accused of Secretly Filming Colleagues [New York Times]
Geek took secret pix of women – officials [New York Daily News]
Legal Aid Peeping Tom: “Nice,” “Has An Attitude” [Gothamist]
Jeepers, Creepers! [WSJ Law Blog]

* So what’s the solution here? Let another state’s appellate court hear the appeals? [AP via Kane County Chronicle via How Appealing]
* Come on, you can get the man a bond hearing earlier than three weeks from now. They’re killing me with this; let him go, damnit! [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Mississippi sues State Farm for bad faith. [Jurist]
* Texas is uncharacteristically deliberate about executing somebody. [CNN]
* What is it with lawyers and sports tickets? [WSJ Law Blog]

* Martha steps into the minefield of political incorrectness once more. [Racialicious; The Mercury]
* There’s nothing I like more than old-fashioned, non-partisan fun. Hill interns, this is your chance to make a buck from an illicit affair or two, without resorting to Jessica Cutler antics (because prostitution can tarnish even the best CV). [Taegan Goddard's Political Wire]
* You haven’t heard anything since they filed for separation, and you won’t hear anything now that they’ve filed for divorce. And that’s what makes them worth mentioning. (Plus, I have a total girl crush on Catherine Keener and just a regular crush on Dermot Mulroney.) [Yahoo! News]
* An ice cream man in 2007 is a different breed from his 1953 counterpart. (Although a co-worker once did this to me to drive home the point that he was lost without the former girlfriend who used to do his laundry.) [KOCO]

lollipop oral sex fellatio Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgDefendant Genarlow Wilson, who served two years behind bars for having consensual oral sex with another teen, has been ordered released from prison. Wilson’s habeas corpus petition was granted, despite defense counsel being named “B.J. Bernstein.”
(If former President Bill Clinton were asked if Monica’s ministrations were worth it — the impeachment, the ignominy, the imperilment of his presidency — what would he say?)
Judge Throws Out Sentence in Teen Sex Case [New York Times]
Judge Frees Teen Imprisoned for Consensual Oral Sex
[Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Drudge Report]

Boost Plus erections Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGForget about all that Vioxx litigation — this is far more troubling. From the AP:

A man has sued the maker of the health drink Boost Plus, claiming the vitamin-enriched beverage gave him an erection that would not subside and caused him to be hospitalized.

The lawsuit filed by Christopher Woods of New York said he bought the nutrition beverage made by the pharmaceutical company Novartis AG at a drugstore on June 5, 2004, and drank it.

Woods’ court papers say he woke up the next morning “with an erection that would not subside” and sought treatment that day for the condition, called severe priapism.

Okay, maybe Novartis needs to fine-tune the formula a bit. But clearly they are on to something.
Watch out, V1agra; Cia1is s0fttabs, your days are numbered. Boost Plus is hot on your tail!
Man Sues Health Drink Maker Over Erection [Associated Press via Fox News]
Boost Plus [official website]
(Gavel bang: commenter.)

Jessica Cutler Washingtonienne Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThis news is a bit mystifying to us. From the Associated Press:

Jessica Cutler, the former Senate aide whose online sex diary landed her a book deal and a Playboy photo spread but got her kicked off Capitol Hill, has filed for bankruptcy….

Cutler has spent much of her time [recently] fending off a lawsuit by ex-boyfriend and fellow DeWine staffer Robert Steinbuch, who claims Cutler’s blog publicly humiliated him. He is seeking more than $20 million in damages.

In court documents filed in the case Thursday, however, Cutler says she can’t even pay her American Express bill, legal fees and student loans. She submitted to the judge a copy of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed in New York dated Wednesday.

The lawsuit is being closely watched by online privacy groups and bloggers because the case could help establish whether people who keep online diaries are obligated to protect the privacy of the people they interact with offline.

Our advice to Jessica: retain William P. Smith to represent you in bankruptcy court. You can pay his fees in “Happy Meals.”
On a more serious note: How did the Washingtonienne wind up in this financial predicament?
We’re not so good with math, so please help us out. We run some numbers, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Jessica Cutler Files for Bankruptcy”

Faith George Michael Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog.jpg

Well they guess it would be nice
If they could touch his body…

And soon they may have their chance.
George Michael Faces Jail: Michael ‘was on drugs’ court told [BBC News via Drudge Report]

Twin Falls Idaho Above the Law blog.jpgReaders of ATL disagree vehemently over the existence of God. But if God does exist, he has a delightfully sick sense of humor. From ABC News:

Twin brothers Raymon and Richard Miller are the father and uncle to a 3-year-old little girl. The problem is, they don’t know which is which. Or who is who. The identical Missouri twins say they were unknowingly having sex with the same woman. And according to the woman’s testimony, she had sex with each man on the same day. Within hours of each other.

When the woman in question, Holly Marie Adams, got pregnant, she named Raymon the father, but he contested and demanded a paternity test, bringing his own brother Richard to court.

But a paternity test in this case could not help. The test showed that both brothers have over a 99.9 percent probability of being the daddy— and neither one wants to pay the child support. The result of the test has not only brought to light the limits of DNA evidence, it has also led to a three-year legal battle, a Miller family feud and a little girl who may never know who her real father is.

Très trashy — but there’s an actual legal issue here. How was it decided?
Find out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Identical Twins in Paternity Fight”

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