Canada

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. Why don’t we implement this in the United States? Until I found out that at the end of the process they actually unlock the door and they let them out.

– Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, riffing on the Supreme Court of Canada’s practice of briefing reporters on new rulings inside of a locked room, in remarks he delivered at Roger Williams University School of Law.

* Patton Boggs partner Benjamin Ginsberg serves as the Mitt Romney campaign’s top lawyer, and he’s taking flak for GOP rules revisions that have been likened to “killing a fly with a sledgehammer.” [Am Law Daily]

* “I am still shocked that I did everything right and find myself on the brink of destitution.” This just in from the Things Everyone Already Knew Desk: even law firms have been hit hard by the recession. [Washington Times]

* The lead lawyer in the inquisition against Madam Justice Lori Douglas turned in a resignation letter. Perhaps he grew tired of being part of judicial farce that’s spread wider than Her Honor’s legs. [Canadian Press]

* Penn State Dickinson School of Law might not be losing its accreditation, but it will be reducing enrollment and consolidating all first-year classes at its University Park campus. [Central Penn Business Journal]

* A would-be law student wants to know if he has a good chance of getting into a top 20 school with a low 150s LSAT and an average GPA. You’ll get in everywhere you apply! [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

* Roger Fisher, Harvard Law School professor and co-author of “Getting to Yes,” RIP. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Little known fact of the day: the late comedienne Phyllis Diller apparently had a storybook romance with Paul Hastings name partner, Robert Hastings. She once said that her longtime Biglaw beau was the “love of [her] life.” [Am Law Daily]

* The Federal Trade Commission has closed its antitrust review of Facebook’s proposed Instagram purchase, clearing the way for the social networking site’s users to post grainy pictures to their hearts’ content. [Bloomberg]

* A former Vancouver lawyer serving a 15-year sentence for money laundering claims that one of the Mounties who investigated his case played a game of “hide the Canadian bacon” with Judge Ursula Ungaro. [Province]

* A judge who resigned in April has been retroactively removed from office for admitting to having sexual contact with his five-year-old niece. He presided over family court matters. Figures. [New York Law Journal]

* Which accomplishments and activities should you leave off your résumé? A) law review editor in chief; B) second in the class; C) 4.05 GPA; D) nonprofit executive director; E) child porn aficionado. [Willamette Week]

* Stabbing your lawyer is so last season. Another criminal defendant reportedly attacked his defense attorney in court, but this time chose to whack his own counsel in the head with his handcuffed hand. [Boston Globe]


Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas

The ethics investigation by the Canadian Judicial Council of Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in nude photographs that her husband took and then posted to the internet, has ended for now. The hearing adjourned on Friday and will resume at some point in the fall.

The latest noteworthy development was testimony to the panel to the effect that the committee considering Lori Douglas for appointment to the bench already knew about the nude photos when it evaluated her judicial application. This supports Justice Douglas’s claim that she did not improperly conceal information when applying to be a judge. “There was knowledge of the photographs and we were to follow up,” testified Justice Martin Freedman, who chaired the committee that screened Douglas for the bench.

With the hearings in recess, now is a good time to pause and take stock of the charges against Justice Lori Douglas. What is the best case that can be made against her?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Case Against Madam Justice Lori Douglas”

A Biglaw football commercial?

* Dewey know whether this revised partner contribution plan will be well received? Well, from the looks of it, the firm’s executive committee members are being asked to repay a greater sum of money, so people will probably be happier. [Am Law Daily]

* Arnold & Porter’s William Baer, the man nominated to lead the DOJ Antitrust Division, received a warm reception from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it was all because of his “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. [National Law Journal]

* What do you get when you cross a Biglaw patent associate from Steptoe & Johnson with an NFL Redskins quarterback? A pretty cool hobby, and a new Adidas commercial. [Capital Business Blog / Washington Post]

* Up next in this judicial gong show, Madam Justice Lori Douglas’s lawyer has asked the Canadian Judicial Council to recuse itself and terminate the legal ethics inquiry against her client. [Full Comment / National Post]

* You saw this coming: attorneys for the man identified as Victim 2 in the Jerry Sandusky trial have released voice mails allegedly left by the former coach, and plan to use them in a civil suit against Penn State. [CNN]

* A lawyer’s former mistress who attempted to kill his wife on several occasions is expected to take a plea deal today in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence. Sounds like a soap opera plot. [Houston Chronicle]

* “Don’t say another word, because you’re just pissing me off.” Former adjunct law prof Clark Calvin Griffith said some interesting things to a judge during his indecent exposure sentencing hearing. [Pioneer Press]

This is as close as I came to hiking up that mountain.

If somebody suggested I go on a hike for fun, I’d probably punch him in the face. Since when is walking fun? To me, calling a hike a summer associate “event” is like calling the Bataan Death March a hike.

Obviously, I don’t work at Quinn Emanuel. Quinn has been running a hiking event for summer associates for years, and it’s one of the most popular events in all of Biglaw.

It’s unique. People have a good time — well, maybe not everyone, but most people.

And if somebody needs to be helicoptered out, well, that just strengthens the bonding experience for the survivors….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dear Summer Associates: Read The Fine Print Before Signing Up For the Mountain Hiking, So The Firm Doesn’t Have To Send A Helicopter For You”

Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas

The sordid and sad story of Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in nude photographs that her husband took and then posted to the internet, is starting to get picked up by U.S. media outlets. Yesterday, for example, it made the pages of the New York Daily News.

It’s not surprising that the story is spreading wider than Her Honor’s legs beyond Canada. An ethics inquiry arising out of the pornographic pictures is nearing its climax. This week, Justice Douglas’s husband, lawyer Jack King, has been testifying to the Canadian Judicial Council.

What does King have to say for himself?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What Was He Thinking? Justice Lori Douglas’s Husband Takes the Stand”

Last week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this photo:

On Tuesday, you voted on the finalists, and now it’s time to announce the winner of our caption contest….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Winner: Employed Nine Months After Graduation in a Full-Time JD Advantage Position”

Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas

Yesterday and today, witnesses testified at the public hearing into ethics charges against Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures reflecting BDSM themes. Thus far, the proceedings haven’t been pretty — just like the nude pictures that started this whole mess.

Alex Chapman, the African-Canadian gentleman who claimed that Justice Douglas and her husband sexually harassed him, recently condemned the inquiry as “a bloody cover up.” Alas, cover up is one thing that this matter could have used more of. This headline from a Canadian news article says it all: “Despite attempts at propriety, little can hide tawdry nature of Manitoba judge’s sex trial.”

Tawdry indeed. Let’s look at the latest lurid allegations, including a claim by Alex Chapman that Lori Douglas touched his body….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Witness Claims Canadian Judge of Nude Photo Fame Touched His Muscles”

Even people inside the Ivory Tower can tell that legal education needs serious reform.

I just got back from the International Legal Ethics Conference in Banff, Alberta. I feel like I literally just got back, since WestJet made an atrocious decision to detour a direct Calgary to Newark flight — full of people who had already cleared U.S. Customs — to Toronto, where we were trapped on the tarmac for six hours.

In any event, the ILEC conference was full of law professors from just about everywhere. I enjoyed many discussions about how the next generation of lawyers are being trained. I’m happy to report that a lot of the professors I talked to understood that one of the big problems facing American law students is the out-of-control cost of legal education. And I spoke to many American professors who understood that high professorial salaries are partially responsible for the runaway cost of tuition. There were lots of innovative ideas about how to make legal education cheaper for students, and more useful for clients.

Unfortunately, while there are many great ideas out there, the 800-pound gorilla is the restrictive American Bar Association, and it didn’t even have to bother being in the room for everybody to feel its weight. The ABA is perhaps the only organization in the world that doesn’t understand that the American legal education system is horribly flawed.

If the ABA could get a clue, there are a lot of people willing to go into the laboratory and experiment with new ideas. I was at ILEC on a panel about whether or not law should be an undergraduate degree. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but the ABA needs to realize that almost anything is better than the current system.

You don’t have to listen to me, you can listen to the New York Times….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Will American Law Schools Adapt To The Changing Legal Market? Ever? Do They Even Care?”

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