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]
How would you define excessive force? There doesn’t seem to be a precise definition, if only because it’s a matter of legalese. Generally speaking, the police shouldn’t be using force beyond what is called for under the circumstances, which is a somewhat subjective test.
We’ll lob you a softball so you can decide the answers to these important questions. Can you use a Taser on a pregnant woman? How many times can you do it? Once? Twice? Three times?
Now, if your initial reaction was something like, “Holy sh*t! Who does that?,” you must be thinking that the police would be crazy to tase a pregnant woman — especially a pregnant woman who’s two months away from her due date. She’d have to have done something egregious to warrant the use of such force.
But that’s not what happened to a pregnant woman in Washington who received the punishment for a mere traffic violation. And the police officers who inflicted her pain want to take the case to the United States Supreme Court….
* Arizona’s immigration law is heading to the Supreme Court today. Meanwhile, former Senator Dennis DeConcini lobbed the worst insult ever against his state. How embarrassing for you, Arizona. [New York Times]
* Will Wal-Mart regret not disclosing its bribery investigation sooner? Not when the delay saved millions in criminal fines. What Wal-Mart will regret is being forced into disclosure by the NYT narcs. [Corporate Counsel]
* Delete all the oil from ocean, and then maybe we’ll care about this. A former BP employee was charged with obstruction of justice for deleting texts having to do with the Deepwater Horizon disaster. [Bloomberg]
* “Once you cross the six-figure mark, you think, what’s a few thousand dollars more?” You’re doing it wrong: you’re supposed to be bragging about a six-figure salary, not a six-figure debt obligation. [Baltimore Sun]
* New Jersey residents don’t always have the great pleasure of nearly being killed by two high-speed Lamborghinis, but when they do, they prefer that police officers be suspended and sue over it. [ABC News]
Oopsie, it’s been quite a while since we last discussed law-related vanity license plates. We haven’t updated the series in a while, but that doesn’t mean we’re not looking for more photos. So if you’re a fan of our Law License Plates posts, please send some in via email (subject line: “Vanity License Plate”).
Today, we’ll be writing about lawyers who really, really love their law schools. Because hey, let’s face it, with six figures of student loan debt, these educational institutions basically own you. Why not brand your car with your law school’s name and let the world know who you’re enslaved to?
But loan debt and all, we really thought that graduates of the so-called “T14″ could afford to drive nicer cars….
UPDATE (12/17/2013, 3 p.m.): Please note that the claims made by the tribe in its lawsuit have been dismissed.
Ever since white people arrived on this continent, we have been no end of trouble for Native Americans. You would think that after a certain point, Caucasians would give them a break. You know, after basically destroying their entire race and civilization.
But no, whitey still can’t even leave Native Americans alone to their casinos and endemic alcoholism. Which brings us to today’s Lawyers of the Day.
Which attorneys are being accused by a Florida tribe of a “secret and sophisticated scheme” to get rich off exorbitant and extraneous legal fees?
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.