Bad Ideas

People are idiots. Maybe that should be the official motto of this column.

(Maybe, given what I wrote in The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law, that should be the official motto of my life.)

Today’s column draws, as always (except when I’m making stuff up), on true life.

A friend at a London law firm wanted to meet a senior executive at my company. I asked the executive if he cared to join my friend and me for lunch. I naturally placed no pressure on the exec: “I’m happy to have lunch with this guy alone, or I’m happy to set up something for the three of us. What do you prefer?”

Somewhat to my surprise, the exec accepted the lunch date. I told my friend. And my buddy promptly sent an invitation for the appointed date and time scheduling lunch in a conference room at his law firm, halfway across London from our corporate offices.

Get our your Bluebook and start spotting issues!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Inside Straight: No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”

If you’re an avid watcher of reality television and you’re a fan of Gordon “F**king” Ramsay’s charm, then you probably saw the episode of Kitchen Nightmares that featured Amy’s Baking Company. You see, their food and service didn’t suck; all the Yelpers who gave them horrible reviews were liars. If you’re not familiar with what happened, Chef Ramsay walked out on owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo — who were seen pilfering servers’ tips, physically fighting with and threatening customers, and acting in an otherwise delusional way — because they were “incapable of listening.”

But what happened after the show aired is every rabid social media addict’s dream: when they received an even greater amount of negative reviews on Yelp and Reddit, the Bouzaglos took to their Facebook page to settle the score as politely and as delicately as they could manage See e.g., “PISS OFF ALL OF YOU. F**K REDDITS, F**K YELP AND F**K ALL OF YOU.” They really are lovely people.

Apparently the couple behind the self-immolating restaurant were planning to host a news conference today to speak about their experience on the show and its aftermath (and to pimp their bistro’s reopening). More than 1,500 people tried to snag a reservation to watch the expected insanity unfold.

Enter the lawyers at Davis Wright Tremaine to wag their fingers in Mutombo-esque fashion with threats of liquidated damages…

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‘Oh my God! My career! Nooooooooooo!’

A few weeks ago, we learned that when it comes to failed professional endeavors, hell hath no fury like a patent attorney scorned. Now we know the same sentiment applies to their failed romantic wranglings.

What would a patent partner do if a summer associate turned away his sexual advances? He’d do what any dork would: in the hopes of ruining her budding career, he’d obtain a movie clip of the girl in a state of undress and pass it around via email to more than 50 Biglaw attorneys.

Of course, this led to a disciplinary action in which the brokenhearted patent practitioner employed some pretty wild defenses, the most entertaining one being that his slut-shaming was beyond ethical reproach because it was constitutionally protected speech….

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Now that law schools have been forced to be more transparent about the true employment opportunities for law school graduates, many prospective law students have changed their tunes and have decided not to pursue degrees that may come at a very high cost with very little chance of reward in the job market.

Other prospective law students, however, are diehards for the cause. They’ll go to law school no matter who advises them otherwise, and no matter how many warnings they’ve seen. Why? Because they, of course, being the very special snowflakes that they are, will be able to overcome the harsh realities of the job market. I think that’s just precious.

Even knowing that only 56% of the class of 2012 were able to get jobs as attorneys, these people aren’t worried about employment statistics like that, because they DON’T WANT TO BE LAWYERS. I’ll pause here for a second so you can digest that statement and try to comprehend it.

Now let’s try to figure out why the hell these people want to go to law school in the first place….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “If You Don’t Want to Be a Lawyer, Don’t Go to Law School”

A while back, we wrote an article about Cody Wilson, the University of Texas law student on a quest to use the new technology of 3D printing to design assault weapons that can be constructed in the comfort of your own home, evading normal regulations.

Wilson has made major inroads since that article, as revealed in a short new documentary featuring his design project, his interaction with federal authorities, and a demonstration of his homemade, printed AR-15…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “3D Printers Don’t Kill People, Guns Made With 3D Printers Kill People.”

Did you know public drinking fountains were a Prohibition-era program to provide an alternative to liquor and beer? More factoids from Ken Burns’s Prohibition at 11:00.

It’s about to be law school “prom” season. This is a fun season for Above the Law. Law students go out, get drunk, and have adventures. Then we write stories about it.

Then the law schools get embarrassed and make rules and engage in hand-wringing over adults drinking like children. It’s the circle of life.

I think concern over rampant student binge drinking is a little overwrought, but then I heard about the school that will be rationing free water at the prom this year and thought, “Boy, way to not do the one thing that would really help….”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Later, When Students Have Sex On Or With A Duck Boat, The Law School Will Regret Rationing Water”

Let me regale you with two recent examples of lawyers disclosing client confidences. There’s a lesson tucked into each.

First: An acquaintance sent me the résumé of, and asked me to speak to, a young lawyer. The idea was to give some general career advice, rather than necessarily to hire the person.

I’m a pushover, so I agreed to have a cup of coffee with the relatively new lawyer. Over coffee, he (or she, but I’ll use the masculine) explained that what he liked least about the job he’d just left (which was identified on his résumé) was being asked to do unethical things. My curiosity piqued, I asked for an example. He explained that he’d been asked to draft a contract that committed his employer to violating the law as part of the contractual relationship. (Think along the lines of, “We will ship the illegal weapons to you in New York.”) My young acquaintance said that he’d gone to the general counsel, who had instructed him to draft whatever contract the business wanted. The earnest young lawyer had solved the ethical problem by drafting a contract that, when read carefully, would prohibit the illegal conduct. (Think: “Under no circumstance will any weapons of any type be shipped pursuant to this contract.”)

I’m afraid I won’t be recommending this person for any jobs. . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Inside Straight: On Blabbing”

The Challenger looked pretty good when it launched.

Houston, we have a problem.

We’ve mentioned the new proposed law school in the Daytona Beach area before, but I don’t think we’ve devoted a whole post to this project. Florida already has 12 freaking law schools. Twelve. Can we really pretend that one more is going to significantly change the comically (or tragically) over-saturated legal market in one of the states hardest hit by the housing market collapse?

Plus, it’s Florida… since when do people down there listen to reason? They can’t run an election. They’re unleashing their rednecks to battle their snake problem. I just don’t think anybody cares if they further damage their legal economy or take advantage of additional dumbasses who don’t know any better.

I really wasn’t going to write another full thing about it. And then, this morning, I learned that they intend to call the thing “Florida Space Coast School of Law.”

I mean… what can men do against such reckless hate?

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McLeod Bethel-Thompson

I have careers I want to do after football. Eventually, I want to go to law school. That’s kind of down the road. I don’t actually want to study law. I want to train my mind in law school because I believe that is the most disciplining and cognitive power you can have is law school. I just want to have that training under my belt.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson, third-string quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, commenting on his post-football plans and future career aspirations.

Chris Christie, king of the prose-ticians.

* U.S. Attorneys are rising up, taking office, and conducting their business like hard-ass prosecutors. [Wall Street Journal]

* If only they had more guns at the police station, this might never have happened. [Fox News]

* Of course, out in Arizona, the state attorney general is pushing for an “armed posse” to patrol schools. Arizona: where bad ideas go to be fruitful and multiply. [NBC News]

* Would you give your kidney to your favorite law professor? I wouldn’t, but I would consider taking the kidney of my least favorite law professor and giving it to, well, pretty much anybody else. [Wake Forest School of Law]

* “Aereokiller” has been ordered to stop killing TV networks. [Film On]

* Wait, we still have “longshoremen”? For real, not just as the backdrop for a season of the Wire? [Miami Herald]

* Should law deans be “disbarred”? I like how people have to spend all this time just trying to figure out how to get law deans to tell the truth. [Tax Prof Blog]

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