Crime

According to new research from Columbia Law School, this man was executed for a murder he did not commit.

Earlier this week, a group of students at Columbia Law School, along with law professor James Liebman, released a 400-page report detailing the story of a Texas man who was, according to the report, executed for a murder he did not commit.

Released online in The Columbia Human Rights Law Review, the narrative has received massive press attention in the last two days. Many in the media have already described the terrible story as a potential answer to Justice Scalia’s famous quip that if the United States ever executed the wrong man, “the innocent’s name would be shouted from the rooftops.”

The details of Carlos DeLuna’s story are far too numerous to fit into a single post, but keep reading for the key plot points. We also spoke with Shawn Crowley, a 2011 Columbia Law graduate and a co-author of the paper. She talked with us about how the project shaped her law school experience, and she gave some suggestions for other students who are looking for a more personal, relationship-based time in law school.

Let’s dig in…

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Most of the time, the orders coming from certain judicial divas seem slightly, if not overtly, ridiculous and unnecessary. Like, I’m pretty sure Eric Holder knows that he is supposed to respect the Constitution. And sometimes when people sneeze in court, it’s just allergies, not disrespect.

But occasionally, judicial homework assignments seem to make more than a little bit of sense. Take this recent ruling regarding a defendant from Richmond, California. For a 23-year-old accused of trying to sell a grenade launcher to undercover ATF agents in a deal that went wrong and led to a bunch of shooting, the condition of his bond release is quite simple.

In the words of LeVar Burton: take a look, it’s in a book…

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Creepin'

On Friday, we mentioned an East Coast law school student who was arrested for allegedly trying to meet up and have sex with an undercover officer posing as an underage girl. We’ve received numerous tips about the icky news, and we wanted to provide the full, sordid story.

This 3L might have some trouble passing a character and fitness review — or graduating, for that matter. Keep reading for the details (and to learn where he went to law school)….

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* Stab your lawyer with a pencil once, shame on you. Stab him a second time, shame on me. Stab him a third time, they will strap you to your chair with a “stun cuff” so it doesn’t happen a fourth time. [Legal Blog Watch]

* (Crack) cocaine is a hell of a drug. [Legal Juice]

* A first-person account of why you don’t ever, ever want to end up in central booking. [The Crown]

* Telling opposing counsel you hope she “sleep[s] with the fishes” is mean and inappropriate. But on top of that, what the heck do you even stand to gain from saying that sort of thing? [Minneapolis StarTribune]

* If you want to complain about racial profiling at airports, there’s an app for that! [Prawfsblawg]

* To catch (an alleged) law school predator. Icky. [Delaware Online]

* Seriously? This “Is it Kanye or the LSAT?” quiz is surprisingly tricky. [LSAT Blog]

April showers are supposed bring May flowers, but in the law world, April just showered us with a bunch of ridiculous lawyers acting like complete a-holes. One can only hope that May’s crop of nominees for the Lawyer of the Month contest brings us some more worthy competitors.

Drunken hotties? We’ve got ‘em. Nasty note writers? We’ve got those, too.

Let’s check out our nominees for April’s Lawyer of the Month competition….

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Reema Bajaj: lawyer accused of prostitution

Let’s take a break from the sad and serious story of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s downfall and turn (or return) our attention to another kind of going down. In more salacious, racy fare, we bring you updates about female legal eagles who have flown high in these pages before — and now might find themselves crashing earthward.

The first is Reema N. Bajaj, a beautiful young Illinois lawyer who has been accused — perhaps unfairly — of prostitution charges. The second is Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas, a Canadian judge whose nude photos made their way to the internets.

So what’s the latest news about Bajaj and Douglas? Here’s a hint: What does each share in common with Bill Clinton?

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Dewey & LeBoeuf's sign at 1301 Avenue of the Americas. (Photo by David Lat. Feel free to use.)

Let’s take a step back from the hurly-burly of day-to-day, hour-by-hour coverage of Dewey & LeBoeuf, the once-powerful law firm that could soon find itself in bankruptcy or dissolution. We will return to bringing you the latest Dewey news in tomorrow’s Morning Docket. (Of course, as you may have noticed, we added many updates to Tuesday night’s story; refresh that post for the newest developments.)

Let’s take a step back, and ask ourselves: Who is to blame for this sad state of affairs? And what lessons can be learned from the Dewey debacle?

Multiple UPDATES, including a short bio of Stephen DiCarmine, after the jump.

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Thing that can kill you.

Dear Lord, Florida seems like a dangerous place. The only people who are unarmed there are the criminals. Certainly, the lawyers in Florida have guns, and they apparently know how to use them.

A lot of people will see this as a cool story: cat burglars broke into a law office, and an old lawyer who was asleep at his desk defended himself. We like cool stories about lawyers defending themselves, and this one certainly fits the bill.

But what I see is a person who almost died because of Florida’s ridiculous gun laws. I see a person who was not threatened with deadly force use deadly force anyway. And I see no reason to keep praising this vigilante justice where people can take the law into their own hands, even if they are lawyers….

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Elie here. In news that should shock no one, Dewey & LeBoeuf has canceled its 2012 summer program. Honestly, if you were a 2L who was planning on going to Dewey this summer and you are just now figuring out that it’s not going to happen, you should probably spend more time reading Above the Law and less time sniffing glue. (Pro tip: sniffing glue + reading ATL = total awesomeness.)

We’ve also got some additional information about a possible criminal probe into the Dewey situation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. (We briefly considered the headlines “Dewey Have Any Lube for this Probe?” or “Dewey Know Any Good Criminal Defense Lawyers?”)

Let’s get into it. I’ll turn the floor over to Lat….

UPDATE (5:25 PM): Additional info, appended after the jump.

UPDATE (4/30/2012): We’ve added some material to the memo about the cancellation of the summer program that was initially missing when we first published this post.

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(And additional info about a possible criminal probe.)”

Yeardley Love

* Dewey get to see a member of this firm’s chairman’s office strut for a perp walk in the near future? After all, partners reportedly say that it’s thanks to him that D&L may close up shop “as early as next week.” [Law360 (sub. req.)]

* De-equitize this: Oh, how Biglaw firms in America wish that they could return to merry old England, where mandatory retirement policies for old fart partners are the norm, and the courts agree. [Legal Week]

* “We’re about to beat a dead horse here.” Even the judge presiding over the John Edwards trial got pissed when the defense repeatedly asked variations of the same question on cross-examination. [MSNBC]

* Ain’t no shame in his game (well, actually, there is). Judge Wade McCree’s lawyer says he’s sure the judge is sorry for his sext messaging. Yeah, sorry he got caught. [Detroit Free Press]

* Is this the first test of the “ministerial exception” in the Perich case? A teacher at a Catholic school was fired for getting in vitro fertilization treatments, and now she’s suing. [CNN]

* Insert your own UVA joke here, bro. Yeardley Love’s family has filed a $30M wrongful death suit against former college lacrosse player, George Huguely V. [Washington Examiner]

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