State Judges

Judge Wade McCree

You must remember Judge Wade McCree. Not only is he the son of the first African-American to be appointed to the Sixth Circuit, but he’s also the man who sent sext messages to his bailiff and had an affair with one of the litigants who appeared before him while he was on the bench. Note that we’re no longer using the word “allegedly” in that sentence.

We now know for sure that McCree — who’s been referred to as Judge McCreep since the media caught wind of his sexual derring-do — was getting down and dirty with the woman who he claimed had been stalking and extorting him, the same woman who shouted from the rooftops that she’d banged McCree’s gavel “[o]n his desk, in the chair, the couch, you name it.”

We know with relative certainty that McCree did all of these things because he just admitted it all in his response to the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission’s (MJTC) formal complaint.

Let’s see if he’s got any “shame in [his] game” now….

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My personal favorite: Peepemptory Challenges.

* To those of you who celebrate it, Happy Easter! Welcome the holiday by voting in the ABA Journal’s fifth annual “Peeps in Law” contest. [ABA Journal]

* If law firm brackets aren’t your thing, check out Professor Kyle Graham’s brackets for (1) law school classes and (2) law blogs. I’m thankful for ATL’s #1 seed but terrified by who we’re up against (because they’ve ripped me a new one before). [noncuratlex]

* Sorry, Judge Steiner, you wuz robbed; you should have been our Judge of the Day. It’s tough to top “allegations of a sexual quid pro quo with a female lawyer and the eye-opening confiscation of carpet from [chambers] for forensic analysis.” [OC Weekly]

William Shatner

* “William Shatner’s Seductive Powers Don’t Create a Fiduciary Duty.” Robyn Hagan Cain explains why. [U.S. Second Circuit / FindLaw]

* Citi settles securities cases for $730 million. Matt Levine is not impressed. [Dealbreaker]

* And Ted Frank is incensed by Bernstein Litowitz’s nine-figure fee request. [Point of Law]

* If you’re already depressed by public ignorance about the Supreme Court, don’t look at the responses to question 9 of this opinion poll. [Penn Schoen Berland]

* Steven Harper — author of a new (and very good) book about the legal profession, The Lawyer Bubble (affiliate link) — offers thoughts on the billable hour in the wake of the DLA Piper overbilling allegations. [New York Times]

Remember Judge William M. “Chip” Watkins III? He’s the temperamental West Virginia jurist who was recorded on video yelling at — and we mean literally yelling at, not just “scolding” or “raising his voice at” — a pastor. In another case, Judge Watkins called a woman seeking a protective order against her husband “stupid,” criticizing her for “shooting off [her] fat mouth about what happened.”

Last summer, Judge Watkins was hit with expedited ethics charges. This week, the West Virginia Supreme Court issued its ruling. What do you think happened? Take a guess….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: Old Yeller Learns His Fate”

Debra Milke

We will be appealing this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Court takes the appeal, I will argue it personally as I have done in two previous cases over the past five months. In my last case, the Supreme Court accepted my argument and overruled the Ninth Circuit’s decision unanimously.

– Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, commenting on the Ninth Circuit’s grant of federal habeas relief to Debra Milke, who has been on Arizona’s death row for 22 years.

(Why is Milke sometimes called the “Arizona sister” of Casey Anthony? Keep reading….)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Reverse Benchslap of the Day: Arizona Attorney General Predicts SCOTUS Smackdown of Ninth Circuit”

Detroit man, what the hell? Didn’t we save the auto industry? Shouldn’t you guys be doing better now?

A Detroit prosecutor says that after budget cuts she can no longer afford to have prosecutors cover misdemeanor traffic and assault cases, so people are walking away from court scot-free when their prosecutors don’t show up.

We’re talking about drunk driving cases and one misdemeanor domestic violence case.

At least the Detroit prosecutor still has staff to sue the county executive over her budget or lack thereof….

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Oh my god, I’m going to kill you.

Lindsay Lohan, muttering under her breath in frustration during her court appearance yesterday after her lawyer, Mark Heller — a man who was previously scolded by Judge James Dabney for being “incompetent” as to California law — kept speaking even though the starlet had already directed him to shut up, numerous times.

(Don’t believe us? We’ve got the video to prove it.)

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‘We have ways of making you talk…’

Earlier this week, Judge William Sylvester, the Colorado state judge presiding over the James Holmes trial, ruled that prosecutors are allowed to apply “truth serum” to Holmes if/when he decides to plead not guilty by way of insanity.

Holmes, you may remember, is the jackhole who allegedly (to the extent he has not yet entered his own plea) murdered 12 people and injured 58 others in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. He’s expected to cop an insanity plea, citing a bunch of troubling facts, including the fact that he was obsessed with the Joker, leading him to dye his hair orange, which, when you think about it, undermines his obsession claim since the Joker clearly has green hair.

But the decision to forcibly inject Holmes with so-called “truth serum” to test his insanity claims, not only sounds like a plot device from a really terrible Bond movie (let’s just assume Die Another Day), but it also seems like a genuinely terrible legal ruling….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Tell the Truth and Nothing But… Aw Screw It, Bring Out the Truth Serum!’”

The job market sure is rough right now, but the blow job market is an entirely different playing field. If you really want to be counted as one of those employed nine months after graduation, you’ve got to to put up or shut up — or in this case, put out or get out.

It seems that Scott Steiner, a California judge and adjunct law professor at Chapman University School of Law, allegedly decided to trade sex for job placement opportunities. The woman whom he allegedly entered into an affair with eventually landed a position with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the place where he used to work. Steiner used to work in the DA’s Gang Unit, but given the allegations here, the good judge may as well have worked in the Gang Bang Unit.

Oh, and we should probably mention that this woman may have been a law student….

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* Congratulations on your law degree! Here’s a list of the other professions you can go into, because “being a lawyer” might not be in your future. [Associate's Mind]

* Deleting unhelpful text messages is a poor litigation strategy [IT-Lex]

* Aaron Zelinsky wants your help coming up with legal aptonyms for an upcoming article. Do you not know what an aptonym is? It’s okay, just read his post and he’ll explain it for you. [Concurring Opinions]

* Rand Paul spoke for 13 hours. It only took two sentences to make him stop. Eric Holder has a great ROI. [Balloon-Juice]

* Cleveland Judge Pinkey Carr has issued another sentence making a convict wear a sign in public. [Columbus Dispatch]

* This grammar rant figuratively blew my mind. [3 Geeks and a Law Blog]

There are two schools of thought on drafting a benchslap. One method involves laying out the most egregious behavior of the target right up front to set the tone for the scathing punishment to follow. The other, subtler method involves slow-playing the transgressions in a glorious crescendo of suspect conduct.

Senior Judge Victor Musleh of the 5th Judicial Circuit in Lake County, Florida ascribes to the latter school. When his February 28th order in Wells Fargo v. Granger hit the ATL tips inbox, I thought it was a mild story. But this page-turner of an order raised the stakes with each paragraph….

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