I was called to serve jury duty yesterday morning in the pastoral East Bay suburb of Walnut Creek, in Contra Costa County, California.
I only had to stay until about lunchtime, because I actually don’t live in that county, and shouldn’t have been called anyway (my driver’s license still has my parents’ address on it, blah blah). I spent the morning waiting and getting general instructions from the jury clerk. But I was excused pretty much as soon as we actually got into the courtroom, so I didn’t have to have my friend call in a bomb threat to escape serving, like this brainiac.
My colleague Elie Mystal wrote about his jury service somewhat recently, and I have no desire to be repetitious. What was interesting about my experience yesterday was how completely different was from when I was called last year in Oakland.
Let’s just say, “the wilderness downtown” has very different meanings depending on whether you’re in the suburbs or the city….
Some people might imagine that attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals stop interacting with the legal system once they leave the courtroom or their law firm offices. At Above the Law, we know better.
Over the last couple of months, we have seen attorneys chase down muggers on foot and open fire on burglars. Today, we hear about a San Francisco judge who become a victim as a result of her in-court kindness.
The Honorable Lillian Sing, our Judge of the Day, didn’t do anything particularly crazy, other than have the misfortune of parking her car in the wrong place at the wrong time, while trying to help the wrong defendant…
From former Gibson Dunn associate Moshe Gerstein to former Allen & Overy partner Edward De Sear to former Arnold & Porter associate Joshua Gessler, whenever there are allegations of a lawyer’s involvement in a child pornography scandal, we’re here to bring you all of the disgusting details. But why leave all of the disturbing activity to the men?
Last week, Erika Perdue, the wife of a “prominent Dallas intellectual property attorney,” was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. Mrs. Perdue, a woman who’s been classified as a sultry “socialite,” has allegedly been trading kiddie porn with others — including undercover FBI agents — every day while her husband was at work, since at least 1999.
So who is the “wealthy attorney” that she’s married to? And what else do we know about these charges?
Based on the number of submissions we’ve received — please don’t be offended if yours doesn’t make the cut — it seems you’re enjoying our Law License Plates series. Our last post on law-related vanity license plates was a little over a week ago, but we’re always looking for more photos. You can send them via email (subject line: “Vanity License Plate”).
Today, we’ll be writing about lawyers who spend so much time in the courtroom that they’ve decided to slap a verdict on their license plates — literally. And from the looks of it, these litigators’ verdicts have resulted in some pretty big monetary payouts. Unfortunately, it looks like only one of them could afford the “i”….
* Dewey have some novel issues for our bankruptcy lawyers, or what? As we noted last night, now that D&L has filed for Chapter 11, they’ll have to deal with bank debt, and bondholders, and possible criminal proceedings, oh my! [New York Law Journal]
* And did we mention that Dewey’s defectors and their new firms might get screwed out of millions thanks to the recent Coudert decision? You really should’ve tried to finish up your business before the firm flopped. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Our SCOTUS justices’ summer plans don’t include debating the results of their landmark health care and immigration cases. They’ll be off to fabulous destinations to teach by the first week of July. [Associated Press]
* A federal judge in Brooklyn doesn’t like what seems to be happening in the “game of grams” when it comes to mandatory minimum drug sentencing. Perhaps the DOJ will heed his call for reform. [New York Times]
* Facebook’s IPO was an epic fail, but it’s been great business for plaintiffs lawyers. Twelve securities class action firms are gathering leads and getting ready to sue, and two have already sued. [National Law Journal]
* This wasn’t exactly well planned: if you’re involved in state politics, it’s probably not a good idea to fake a legal internship with a state representative so that you can graduate from law school. [Concord Monitor]
* In happier news, a New York Law School graduate walked across the stage to receive her diploma with the help of her seeing-eye dog. The pooch hasn’t lifted a leg on her law degree… yet. [New York Daily News]
... and so do folks down under.
* “Brothels are never going to be a vote winner.” But even so, if you’re looking to get it in down under, a plan to build Australia’s largest cathouse may soon gain approval if lawyers are able to do their work quick and dirty. [Bloomberg]
* Thanks to this case, stupid teenagers in New Jersey who send texts to others that they know are driving can now revel in the fact that they can’t be held liable for injuries that may occur thanks to careless driving. [New Jersey Law Journal]
We’ve got two unrelated First Amendment issues floating around today that I’m mashing into one post, because it is my right to do so.
We all know that money is speech. How we got to the point where money is worth just as much speech as talking is a manner of some contention (see Jeff Toobin’s New Yorker piece and Tom Goldstein’s response), but the question is what other things that don’t involve people saying anything can also be construed as “speech.”
Now Mitt Romney will tell you that money is speech and “corporations are people, my friend.” Fair enough. But I’m not sure he’d defend the free speech rights of people who don’t have any money so they’re asking for it on the streets of Chicago.
And I have no idea how he’d respond if you asked him if cars are people that can flash each other under the protection of the First Amendment….
On Friday evening, we briefly mentioned the tragic news of a bicyclist getting struck and killed in an apparent hit-and-run incident. An attorney from the San Francisco Bay Area was arrested, accused of being the responsible (or not-so-responsible) driver.
This is the kind of story that gives attorneys in general a bad reputation. It’s got everything: possible deceitfulness, apparent lack of ethics, and a fancy car. The vehicle in question wasn’t some junky scraper, but a brand-new Mercedes.
You can’t make this stuff up — unless you want to be accused of ripping off Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities (affiliate link)…
Based on the number of submissions we’ve received — please don’t be offended if yours doesn’t make the cut — it seems you’re enjoying our Law License Plates series. Our last post on law-related vanity license plates was about one month ago, but we’re always looking for more photos. You can send them via email (subject line: “Vanity License Plate”).
Today, we’ll be writing about lawyers who spend so much time in a courtroom that they’ve decided to brand their vehicles with the evidence. Both of these submissions came to us from California, where a career in trial practice (both before and behind the bench) seems to be as hot as the soaring temperatures.
Let’s take a look at what these legal eagles are advertising on their license plates, shall we?
* This NYU Law professor’s apparent hypocrisy makes me want to chew on gravel. Seems like he has earned the digital tar and feathering he’s getting. [Inside the Law School Scam]
* So, Facebook went public today. The life of Facebook’s GC is about to change in big, big ways. [Corporate Counsel]
* The city of Boston filed a complaint against an attorney representing local firefighters for his allegedly offensive, sexist behavior at the negotiating table. How do ya like them misogynist apples? [Boston Globe]
* An allegedly intoxicated woman arrested for driving 90 miles an hour in a construction zone justified her speeding by saying she was late to her child’s birthday party. I imagine little Timmy was more upset that his mother not only missed the party but also spent his birthday in the slammer. [Legal Juice]
* Speaking of people you never want to see on the road, a Bay Area attorney was arrested today on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and manslaughter. Police say the attorney, who has two recent, unrelated speeding tickets, is suspected of striking and killing a bicyclist with his brand-new Mercedes. [San Francisco Chronicle]
* An argument as to why the United States, on a policy level, should become more “420 (and other illegal drug) friendly.” Most stoners might argue their case by saying, “Dude, just chill. Just chill bro.” But this is slightly more complex. [Volokh Conspiracy]
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