Civil Procedure

On Thanksgiving Day, while you were enjoying your turkey (or tofurkey), we wrote about a different bird: namely, the ostrich. In a somewhat snarky opinion, Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit compared a lawyer appearing before him to an ostrich: “The ostrich is a noble animal, but not a proper model for an appellate advocate. The ‘ostrich-like tactic of pretending that potentially dispositive authority against a litigant’s contention does not exist is as unprofessional as it is pointless.'”

Ouch. Judge Posner even included a photo (above right) of a man in a suit burying his head in the sand.

What did the lawyer in question, David “Mac” McKeand of Houston, have to say for himself? And what did McKeand have to say about Judge Posner?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Reverse Benchslap? Chastised Lawyer Lashes Out at Judge Posner”

Happy Thanksgiving, from your friends at Above the Law. As always, we give thanks to our readers, our tipsters, our advertisers, and even our commenters.

We also give thanks to Judge Richard Posner. This brilliant and hilarious jurist has just given us something to chuckle over as we munch on our Thanksgiving turkey.

This opinion by Judge Posner, handed down yesterday, could be viewed as “giving the bird” to an offending attorney. And the bird in question is not a turkey. Can you guess which bird is involved?

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(And a bonus benchslap from Judge Posner.)

When a tipster sent us an e-mail with the subject, “Court awards $700,000+ in sanctions for destruction of FB page,” I thought it sounded like it might be interesting. Because hey, that’s a lot of money.

I didn’t realize it would also be one of the most depressing legal news stories I’ve read since this tragic murder-suicide.

The three-quarters-of-a-million-dollar sanction award was levied against the widower of a woman killed in a car accident and the widower’s lawyer. The ruling was an abrupt table-turn for Isaiah Lester, who had previously won a $10 million wrongful death suit against the driver whose truck overturned and killed his wife.

Keep reading for the depressing details….

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My boyfriend and I always joke with each other that if we get married and one of us is stupid enough to cheat, then we won’t just get mad, we’ll get even. I personally don’t understand why people cheat — it’s a disgusting thing to do to another person. Can’t you just break it off before you get your rocks off with someone else? I mean, come on, have some common courtesy, folks.

A lawyer in Texas shared my point of view on cheating, but he got mad and apparently took the “getting even” part a little bit too far. In the end, while he might have been $155,000 richer, his law license was indefinitely suspended, and his wife was recently disbarred.

How did this all come to pass? And why did she get disbarred, not her husband?

It all started with a “[p]rofessional woman who [wa]s full of desire but not having her needs met”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cheating Wife? Don’t Just Get Mad, Get Even (Then Watch Her Get Disbarred)”

We are less than a month away from our Legal Technology Leadership Summit. It’s taking place from September 6 – 8 on Amelia Island, Florida. You can check out the full agenda here.

It should be an interesting couple of days. You know what else will be fun? Staying at the Ritz off the East Coast of Northern Florida.

Please note that today is the last day that conference attendees will be able to take advantage of our special rate at the hotel for just $199 a night. Click here to register for the conference.

A special thanks to our generous Summit Ambassadors who are making this event possible: Applied Discovery, Autonomy, Clearwell Systems (now a part of Symantec), Datacert, Dell, Ernst & Young, Falcon Discovery, FTI Technology, Guidance Software, Mitratech, Nextpoint, Nuix, Pangea3, Planet Data, ProSearch Strategies, QuisLex, Recommind, Robert Half eDiscovery Services, TCDI, Valora Technologies, and WestlawNext.

We would also like to thank our Law Firm Sponsors: Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP.

We hope to see you there. There’s all kinds of fun we can get into during the event.

If you’re a golf fan, then you should seriously consider attending the 2011 Legal Technology Leadership Summit from September 6 – 8, at Amelia Island, Florida. Attendees will have the chance to go golfing with their legal colleagues shortly after noon on Tuesday, September 6.

Regardless of skill level, foursomes (comprised of 3 golfers and a cart driver/putter) will be able to hit the green and have some fun in the Florida sun. For more information on the courses that will be used for the golf outing, see the Ritz-Carlton website.

But a fun golf outing isn’t all that you’ll get when you attend the Summit. You can take a look at the full conference agenda here. Many experts in the legal technology field will be speaking at the Summit, and after working on your golf swing, you can earn some much-needed continuing legal education credits. We have been approved for CLE credits in the following states (and an accreditation request is pending in Florida):

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

Please sign up to attend. We hope to see you there!

It has been almost six years since the ESI parts of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure became effective on December 1, 2006. In this new age of technology, judges have a lot to say about the level of technical competence of the lawyers appearing before them.

The Legal Technology Leadership Summit at Amelia Island, Florida, from September 6 – 8, will feature a panel of distinguished judges who will offer thoughts on what steps can be taken to have technology-assisted review be deemed defensible. If you attend, you’ll have the chance to hear from these panelists:

  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Lorenzo F. Garcia, D. New Mexico
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig M. Kellison, E.D. California
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith, M.D. Georgia
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Waxse, D. Kansas

You can take a look at the full agenda here. Feedback from federal judges isn’t all that you will receive if you attend the Legal Technology Leadership Summit. We have been approved for CLE credits in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

Accreditation requests are pending in the following jurisdictions:

  • California
  • Florida

Please sign up to attend. We hope to see you there!

In 1995, Betty Dukes took a job at a Wal-Mart near San Francisco, working as a cashier and greeter for $5 an hour. A “greeter” represents the face of the company as consumers walk through the door. Little did Dukes and Wal-Mart know that Dukes would ultimately become a face of Wal-Mart nationally, under much different circumstances. 

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. Dukes is now the lead plantiff in a gender bias suit that may become the largest class action in American history, with attorneys for Dukes seeking to represent a class of possibly 1.6 million women. SCOTUS will be determining if the plaintiff cases against Wal-Mart are sufficiently related for them to be certified as a class. 

So what does this have to do with legal technology, which is what I cover for ATL? Everything. And no matter what the court decides, the legal and technological ramifications of this case do not bode well for the retail giant… 

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Cooley law school logo.jpgWhenever we write about Thomas M. Cooley Law School, commenters cannot resist reminding us of Cooley’s business model. The school admits a large number of 1Ls. If they can’t hack it, they are dismissed.

So what happens to the kids who couldn’t hack it at Cooley? Well, sometimes they sue the school for discrimination. But, because they washed out at Cooley, sometimes they still haven’t learned some very basic 1L principles — like res judicata. Here’s the summary of the Sixth Circuit opinion in the case of Buck v. Thomas M. Cooley Law School:

Plaintiff appeals from the district court’s dismissal of her lawsuit against her former law school as barred by res judicata and a lack of causation. She previously litigated earlier acts of discrimination against her law school in Michigan state courts, and had secured a preliminary injunction allowing her to attend classes. She was then dismissed from the law school on academic grounds. Because plaintiff should have supplemented her complaint in state court with claims that arose during the pendency of that suit, she is precluded by res judicata from raising these claims now. Therefore, we AFFIRM.

It’s a shame that Cooley admits people who can’t understand basic principles of civil procedure. Even if plaintiff Buck had a good argument for setting aside the principle of res judicata, she does a terrible job of making her case to the Sixth Circuit ….

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