Chicago

Drew Peterson

The filing should be stricken. It’s absolute insanity. It’s bizarre beyond belief. It’s so unbelievable, I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless.

– Joel Brodsky, lead attorney for convicted murderer Drew Peterson, responding to attorney John Paul Carroll’s motion for a new trial. Carroll has not been involved in the case thus far, except as a consultant to advise Peterson about his pension rights.

I assume the hero in this story looks like Gandalf.

Every once in a while, we cover special Lawyers of the Day who earn spots on ATL not for embarrassing goofs, but for making unique attempts do the right thing — from outside the courtroom. Often, these stories end happily, like the attorney who chased down some cell phone thieves.

Earlier this week, a tipster told us about a heroic Chicago prosecutor who helped some imperiled strangers, but wound up getting stabbed and beaten in the process. Thankfully, police have arrested a suspect. No good deed goes unpunished, but looks like the odds aren’t much better for bad ones either….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: It’s Merely A Flesh Wound”

When people leave the Chicago office of Sidley Austin, they do it in style. Remember the humorous departure memo of partner David B. Johnson, who left the firm to pursue a career as a novelist? Or the epic farewell message of associate Tyler Coulson, who left to hike across the country with his dog?

(And write a book about the experience, with a great title: By Men or By the Earth: A Corporate Lawyer Walks Out on Law, Love, and Life, and Walks Across America With His Adopted Dog (affiliate link).)

Today we have news of another lawyer leaving the Chicago office of Sidley. But this departure reads more like a mystery novel than a memoir. Let’s find out who’s leaving, even if we don’t yet know why….

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Strike a pose.

Over the last week or so, the internet has gone a little bonkers over the newest viral video sensation, in the tradition of the Chris Brown wedding dance and athletes lip-synching to Call Me Maybe.

If you don’t know the video I’m talking about, it’s an old home movie from 1992 of Shaun Sperling’s bar mitzvah. In the video, the then 13-year-old boy dances — quite enthusiastically, in front of dozens of cheering friends and family members — to Madonna’s “Vogue.” It’s just as goofy and awesome as it sounds.

Well, 20 years later Sperling is a commercial litigation attorney in Chicago. In between appearances on the Today Show and Jimmy Kimmel, we caught up with him to ask if his newfound fame has affected his legal work over the last few weeks. In short: it’s been great.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Strike a Pose: Meet the Attorney Behind That Fabulous Madonna Bar Mitzvah Dance Video”

It's great to work this hard and get paid less than minimum wage. And by 'great' I mean 'amazingly horrible.'

Welcome to Above the Law’s ongoing series: “Jobs that will put y’all back in chains.”

Unlike many of our terrible jobs, today’s story about the terrible job market is at least a job for lawyers that involves the practice of law. And earning money.

Mind you, it’s not a lot of money. Depending on how many hours you work, it’s below minimum wage. And the ad says that the hours are grueling.

But the combination of low pay and hard work isn’t what makes this job particularly horrible. It’s the fact that the employer thinks they’re going to attract the best of the best with this pathetic excuse for legal work….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Aggressive’ Associate Wanted, Albeit One With Extremely Low Expectations”

This brings new meaning to 'cigarette butt'

* This guy gets an A for imagination, but he fails the whole “How do you not realize that emergency dispatch will not send you a ride to go on a beer run, even if you call 911 nine times” test. [WCTI12]

* You know you’re addicted to cigarettes when you’ll smoke cigarettes that were hidden in a baby’s diaper. Then again, smoking already involves inhaling something covered in s**t. [Legal Juice]

* If you think tenants should get screwed because of a landlord who can’t pay his bills, you’re probably a horrible landlord. [The Consumerist]

* A 49-year-old attorney is charged with sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman in her room at the Chicago W Hotel. Bad news Bears. Seriously, ugh. [Chicago Tribune]

* Just give me all the foreclosed homes you have. Wait, wait. I worry what you just heard was ‘give me a lot of foreclosed homes.’ What I said was: Give me all the foreclosed homes you have. Do you understand? [My Fox Detroit via Legal Blog Watch]

* Whoever produces public-service announcements forgot that not only are drugs bad but so is a propensity toward violent anger. One could argue the latter is more likely to land you in jail. Either way, hilarious. [BuzzFeed]

Well, it’s that time. This is the final installment of the 2012 Bar Review Diaries. It’s been a wild-ish ride.

But we’ve reached our last check-in with Andrew, Jeanette, and Nathan. And then we must set them free to the wilds of post-bar exam life, urban Chicago, and… South Dakota?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bar Review Diaries: Into the Great Law Yonder”

It’s over! Do a little dance, make a little noise, get down tonight… etc. etc. As most of you probably know, the bar exam was last week. Duh. Our three Bar Review Diarists thankfully made it through the test without dealing with nightmares like rats or murdered cats, but they do have some interesting stories to tell.

Jeanette, Nathan, and Andrew, you just took the bar exam… how does it feel?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bar Review Diaries: Thank God That’s Over!”

Well, here we are, just one week ago until those fateful days. How are Nathan, Jeanette, and Andrew doing? Well, understandably they feel a little under the gun.

Our Bar Review Diarists all seem to have their own last-minute procrastination tools: Nathan went to a music festival, Jeanette watches bad television, and Andrew continues making far-out pop culture references. All perfectly normal, perfectly healthy….

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We only have two weeks left until the test. It’s about that time: our columnists’ brains are fried. They have been studying so long it seems they may have forgotten the most basic of non-lawyerly communication skills.

Let’s check in with Jeanette, Nathan, and Andrew as they compare their lives variously to Groundhog Day, feverishly come up with mnemonic devices, and transliterate show tunes into bar exam songs.

Paging Colonel Kurtz….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bar Review Diaries: We’re All Mad Here”

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