Stupid Lawyer Tricks

Last week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture (click to enlarge):

Let’s have a look at what our readers came up with, and vote on the finalists…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Finalists: The State Of The Legal Profession In One Sad Graphic”

In this economy, lawyers are being forced to roll up their sleeves and learn new tricks of the trade. Some have even taken up the practice of Door Law — they’ll take any case that walks through the door. Other lawyers have expanded their horizons to offer services that are wholly unrelated to the law. Desperate times call for truly desperate measures.

Check out this advertisement — if you can even call it that — for a lawyer who really seems willing to do just about anything for a buck…

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Our last post on law-related vanity license plates was about two weeks ago. We’re always looking for more photos, so if you’re a fan of the Law License Plates series, please send some in via email (subject line: “Vanity License Plate”).

Today, we are writing about legal professionals who are so proud of what they do that they’ve slapped their titles on their license plates. If this isn’t an invitation to get rear-ended, then I don’t know what is. These submissions come to us from New York, Ohio, and Tennessee, proving that stupid lawyer tricks know no bounds across state lines.

Let’s take a look at what these legal eagles are advertising on their license plates, shall we?

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After the 1L money runs out....

That’s the question essentially posed in a long and interesting New York Times article, Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win (which we previously mentioned on Saturday; yes, we do post on weekends). The piece is by David Segal, who also wrote a big and buzzy piece back in January, Is Law School a Losing Game?

Segal’s latest article is more interesting than the January one. His January piece, while well-crafted and solidly (if imperfectly) reported, covered ground that had already been covered by many other outlets. Readers of Above the Law, other legal industry publications, or the numerous “scamblogs” already knew that the value proposition of going to law school was very much open to question (to put it mildly).

This weekend’s piece focuses on a less familiar aspect of the law school process, namely, merit scholarships. You might think that these grants, which help law students pay for their education in an age of ever-growing debt loads and skyrocketing tuition, are undoubtedly a good thing.

Well, think again….

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By the middle of second semester of that first year, everyone saw the system for what it was. We were furious. We realized that statistically, because of the curve, there was no way for many of us to keep our scholarships. But at that point, you’re a year in. They’ve got you. You feel stuck.

Alexandra Leumer, a 2009 graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law, quoted in an interesting and provocative New York Times article suggesting that law school “merit scholarships” can be a bit of a scam unfair in the eyes of some recipients, due to the fact that so many students lose them after their 1L year by not achieving the required GPA.

(We’ll probably have more to say about this piece, entitled Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win, on Monday — but in the meantime, feel free to discuss it in the comments.)

e-mail scam.jpgDear sirs. We are a legal blog based in the New York City. One of our Nigerian investors has mysteriously passed away and left us a lot of money. We are trying to increase the number of advertisers on our site, and have a unique proposal for you. We will send you the money and then we would like you buy adds on our site. You can keep some of the money for your trouble. We only want to do this deal with the “Guest” commenter. If you are “Guest,” please send us your bank details to [email protected] and we will send you a check.
We doubt that would work on you, oh savvy ATL readers, but it might work on Bradley Arant Boult Cummings (a firm that came out of Southern merger mania). The firm was recently taken in an e-mail scam and lost $400,000. From the ABA Journal:

The Nashville Post (sub. req.) reported yesterday that the law firm wired more than $400,000 to the foreign bank account of a scammer posing as a client. Lawyers at the firm believed the funds were covered by a check it had deposited–a check that turned out to be phony.
The law firm says it quickly reported the scam to the FBI, leading to the arrest of suspects and the freezing of the funds. “It was an elaborate criminal plan on many levels,” Bradley Arant managing partner John Grenier said in a statement released to the ABA Journal. The firm quickly reported the crime, leading to “the apprehension of the suspects in this scheme and the freezing of the funds.”

How did the firm get taken by the elaborate criminal plan? After the jump.

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inebriation 3 lawyer attorney drink drunk drinking excusable neglect motion 1.JPG

In case you’re wondering about the outcome, our tipster states: “Amazingly, the Judge granted the motion.”

We contacted the attorney responsible for this court filing, to verify its authenticity. She responded: “Can I ask what your interest is, please, and how you acquired these?”

We’re taking that as a “Yes, they’re authentic.” We gave the lawyer in question an opportunity to deny authenticity — or to deny her use of a smiley-face emoticon in a court document — and she did not.

We responded to her message, explaining that they were forwarded to us by tipsters (whose identities we always keep confidential, unless they request otherwise).

In her next email, she had a little more to say. We reprint her comments after the jump.

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Snell Wilmer LLP Character Comes Through Above the Law blog.jpgWe have obtained a letter that Snell & Wilmer partner Tracy Fowler sent to Judge Dale Kimball (D. Utah) concerning Timestampgate.
Our source for the letter expressed the following opinion (opinion! opinion! no verifiable statement of fact!):

Attached is a letter Tracy Fowler sent to Judge Kimball explaining that he is “shocked and embarrassed” that his firm was caught for the SECOND time [allegedly] trying to deceive the court. Not surprisingly, Fowler claims to have no knowledge of what transpired and assures the court that Snell & Wilmer is undertaking a thorough investigation.

The fact that the letter came from Fowler, the partner on the case in question, rather than the managing partner of Snell & Wilmer is kind of like the fox assuring the farmer that he will conduct a thorough investigation into the hens missing from the hen house.

We hope you noticed the colorful rhetoric and hyperbole employed by our source’s “hen house” comparison — which, as noted, is merely opinion (opinion! opinion! no verifiable statement of fact!).
One could hold a very different opinion based on the same facts. For example, one could argue that it was most logical for the letter to come from Tracy Fowler, rather than some other Snell & Wilmer partner, because Fowler is lead counsel in this case.
Okay, enough preliminaries. The letter appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Timestampgate: Snell & Wilmer’s Letter to Judge Dale Kimball”

Snell Wilmer LLP Character Comes Through Above the Law blog.jpgLast week, we did an item on Judge Dale Kimball (D. Utah) benchslapping some Snell & Wilmer lawyers for allegedly engaging in questionable conduct involving the court’s time stamp machine and outside drop box.
Yesterday the WSJ Law Blog put up a post on the controversy. Most of their post will be familiar to readers of our earlier item. But here’s a new tidbit they unearthed:

The Law Blog spoke with Alan Sullivan, managing partner of Snell & Wilmer’s Salt Lake City office, who said that his law firm took responsibility for the improperly dated court filings. He also confirmed said that a Snell & Wilmer associate staffed on the Yamaha matter resigned from the law firm on Friday.

A question: Was the associate in question entirely responsible for the alleged conduct? Or did partner Tracy Fowler, who remains at Snell & Wilmer, know anything about it?
In case you’re curious, we believe that this individual is the associate who resigned last week. Her bio on the Snell & Wilmer website was functional as of Friday, but it has since been taken down. If you go to where her bio used to be, you’re informed that “the current record has been deleted.”
Thank God for Google Cache and Archive.org. For those of you who are curious — nobody’s forcing you to look at it — a screenshot of this associate’s bio appears after the jump.

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Snell Wilmer LLP Character Comes Through Above the Law blog.jpgFrom a correspondent in the Beehive State:

Dying for just a few extra days on that brief? Ever thought about trying to game that little date stamp machine outside the court house?

The attached order has been causing some buzz here in Salt Lake City. Judge Dale Kimball is not exactly a divo, but I love this order, not only for the slimy behavior of the Snell & Wilmer attorneys that got totally busted (check the docket for the exact attorney names), but also for the clever detective work by the court staff.

This is a good lesson. And a great example of an attorney getting benchslapped!

Here’s the first page of the order:
Boss Industries Yamaha Motor 1.jpg
And now it’s time for this court to rip counsel a new one. The rest of order follows after the jump.

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