Bullying

Earlier this week, the Michigan Senate passed anti-bullying legislation that included an exception that allowed religious nuts to bully gay kids if they wanted to. The Michigan Senators who voted for the bill wouldn’t characterize it that way, but let’s just say those jackasses won’t be hosting the Oscars, either.

Yesterday, the Michigan House also passed anti-bullying legislation. This time, there wasn’t an exception for those who want to pick on gay kids. House Republicans and Democrats joined on the bill.

As a person who isn’t a fan of anti-bullying legislation in the first place, I’ve kind of been looking at the developments this week with a feeling of: “You see what happens, Michigan?”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Battle in Michigan Over Who Gets to Bully Gay Kids Is On”

* Another victim of the vengeful prosecution of Tyler Clementi’s roommate might be the guy Clementi was hooking up with when Dharun Ravi broadcast it. [Gawker]

* As I said on Twitter, you have to give Obama a little credit: when he uses suspect legal reasoning to do whatever he wants abroad, he comes home with scalps. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Here’s a job opening for an attorney that might not actually exist. [Constitutional Daily]

* This job opening is much cooler. But, don’t get me wrong, no Cooley grads are allowed to apply. Seriously. [The Legal Satyricon]

* I think the lesson here is there’s no reason anybody should ever want to immigrate to Alabama. [Huffington Post]

* Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Halley Catherine Shaw, a law student at Texas Southern University who died in a car crash earlier this week. [ABA Journal]

* Mississippi’s “personhood” ballot measure could ban not only abortion, but birth control, too. This is supposed to “protect women.” Protect women from what, their right to choose? [Huffington Post]

* This defense attorney has seen plenty of big cases before, but this may be his biggest one yet. Paul Bergrin has been given the green light to represent himself in his own racketeering case. [The Record]

* More doctors are facing criminal charges than ever before. Here’s an idea: stop helping cultural icons (yes, this includes Anna Nicole) OD, and we’ll stop prosecuting you. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Raj Rajaratnam still has no idea why he’s been convicted of insider trading, but he’ll have plenty of time to ponder the law if he gets the maximum sentence later this month. [Bloomberg]

* “One of the plaintiffs, Kyle Rooker, 14, has not declared his sexual orientation but . . . likes to wear glittery scarves and belt out Lady Gaga songs.” Most fabulous plaintiff ever? [New York Times]

* Why the hell does Baker & McKenzie think that its associates in Japan need spiritual guidance? Everyone knows that lawyers have no souls. [Careerist]

When I was in college, it was not altogether uncommon for people to leave their laptops unattended with their Facebook accounts still logged in. It was not altogether uncommon for an enterprising prankster to creatively twiddle with said account. A little switch of sexual preference here, a mildly offensive profile picture there, and maybe a nonsensical new profile quote.

It was annoying, and at worst required minor social media damage control, but nobody seemed to care much.

Nowadays, people definitely care. The California Court of Appeals ruled on July 21 that the same sort of online mischief can lead to felony identity theft conviction.

Let’s learn more about Rolando S., a teenager who messed with the wrong Facebook account….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Don’t Mess With Your Friend’s Facebook; It Might Be a Felony”

I’ve said before that I think that parents need to teach their kids coping mechanisms to deal with bullying from their peers. But it might be foolhardy to expect Baby Boomer parents to instill any kind of internal strength in their children.

Instead, it’s much more likely that the only thing kids these days will learn from their parents will be how to sue those who annoy them. At least, that’s the message one Houston man is teaching his daughter. After a group of middle-school girls apparently posted some nasty comments about his daughter on YouTube, the father — who is also an attorney — sent the girls a cease-and-desist letter. When he didn’t receive a response to the letter, he sued the mean girls for defamation.

For those playing along at home: mean middle-school girls bully other girl, so father uses the law to bully middle-school girls. The only satisfactory ending to this story would be if the fathers of the three defendant girls went over to the lawyer’s house and hoisted him on a flagpole by his underwear….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dad v. Mean Girls”

Molly Wei, the pretty ex-Rutgers student who was charged with two counts of invasion of privacy in the Tyler Clementi case, has reached a deal with the prosecution. Wei, 19, has been admitted to a pre-trial intervention program that could result in the charges against her being dismissed.

What does Wei have to do as part of the PTI program?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Wei To Go (and Testify Against Dharun Ravi)”

* Who are the top plaintiffs firms in securities class-action litigation, ranked by 2010 total settlement value? [RiskMetrics / SCAS via WSJ Law Blog]

* Protip: if you go to a meeting at Deutsche Bank’s New York offices, avoid the men’s room. [Dealbreaker]

* This lawyer has an assistant with an unusual name. [Abuse of Discretion]

* We were impressed by the University of Chicago Law School’s new loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) — and we’re not alone. [The Belly of the Beast]

* Dov Charney’s latest accuser, Kimbra Lo, has an interesting past. Yes, there are pics. [Fashionista]

* You know the whole “anti-bullying” trend has gone too far when plaintiffs’ firms are setting up practice areas for it. [Constitutional Daily]

* Career alternatives for attorneys: meet Akila McConnell, traveler and writer. [Thrillable Hours / Legal Nomads]

* Is the “mommy track” a form of gender bias? [Lawyerist]

* Are prosecutors working on commission in one Colorado district? [ABA Journal]

Justice Kennedy

* How did Howrey start to unravel? The trouble might have started in Europe. [Washington Post]

* Congratulations to Arvo Mikkanen, a Native American nominee to the federal bench in Oklahoma (and “an all-around great dude,” according to a tipster). [The Atlantic]

* Washington & Lee Law School, which we recently praised for its honesty to prospective law students, gets even more transparent — in an interview with Vault. [Vault's Law Blog]

* In a recent visit to USC, Justice Kennedy presided over a Shakespeare-inspired trial — something he has done before — and denied that the justices think about the news media when making their decisions. Methinks His Honor doth protest too much. [USC News]

'Please don't ship me in a box with no air holes.'

* A New York trial court smacks down a claim of cyberbullying. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Taxing alcohol to reduce crime? Sounds like that will lead to more muggings for alcohol money. [Going Concern]

* If you try to mail a puppy from Minnesota to Georgia in a box with no airholes, you don’t get your dog back. Also, you get shipped directly to hell. [Runnin' Scared / Village Voice]

* Blawg Review #297: The Hair Shirt Edition. [Big Legal Brain via Blawg Review]

* Awesome diary of a rich wife trying to cut back on expenses. [Going Concern]

* Justice Elena Kagan — who currently lives in D.C., and apparently plans to stay there — was called for jury duty by the District. She wasn’t seated, since we don’t let supremely qualified people sit on juries. [ABC News]

* Bros at George Washington have been charged with being bros. Given what I think about bullying, you can imagine how little tolerance I have for anti-hazing laws. [Jezebel]

* Real prison time for a virtual bully. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Elective leg amputation? Somebody’s been watching too much House. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

* Is patent law so easy a caveman could do it? Probably not — but a 15-year-old has a shot. [Kansas City Star]

Megyn Kelly of Fox News

I had the opportunity to take my surprisingly controversial argument that bullies shouldn’t be thrown in jail to a television audience. Megyn Kelly, the host of America Live on Fox News and a former litigator at Jones Day, invited me on her program and gave my argument a fair hearing.

Once again, I think my core principles here are sound: children shouldn’t kill themselves, children shouldn’t be incarcerated because other children kill themselves, and children should learn appropriate coping mechanisms when faced with embarrassment and humiliation.

As we all know, I have an insatiable appetite to offend and then devour fresh souls, but I become particularly strong when I can drink the tears of children. Kelly did everything she could to keep me from sounding like a raving lunatic who likes putting babies on spikes, but some people will come away convinced that I’m a heartless sociopath.

What do you think? Take a look at the clip, and let me know just how bad karma will eventually bite me on the backside…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Don’t Put Bullies in Jail: Now With Video!”

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