Deaths

* It’s about freakin’ time. Guess who’s jumped on board the ever popular “blame the ABA” bandwagon? None other than David Segal, the New York Times equivalent of the law school scam blogger. [New York Times]

* Newt says that as president, he’d ignore SCOTUS decisions. Raise your hand if you want to elect someone who doesn’t understand our government’s system of checks and balances. [Los Angeles Times]

* Remember that time you applied for the DOJ Honors Program? You were probably rejected because you were a damn, dirty, liberal hippie. [CNN]

* Facebook is threatening to sue Mark Zuckerberg. No, not one — he founded the company. The other one — no, not the lawyer. This guy: the “ultimate Facebook troll.” [Hollywood Reporter]

* “We are the 99 percent.” You know that our country is circling the drain when even Yale Law thinks that the Occupy Wall Street movement coined 2011′s quote of the year. [ABC News]

* North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has died. Say hello to his slightly taller successor. [Bloomberg]

As we mentioned in Morning Docket on Friday, prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty against Stephen McDaniel if he is convicted of the murder of Lauren Giddings, his former neighbor and classmate at Mercer Law School.

The Bibb County District Attorney calls the crime “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved depravity of mind,” which is one standard the prosecution has to meet to seek the death penalty in Georgia.

The Macon Telegraph conducted a long interview with Lauren Giddings’s boyfriend, David Vandiver. The King & Spalding lawyer wonders if Giddings’s final email to him was entirely hers….

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A close friend’s father passed away. He was 71, a retired school teacher and a great man. A man dying at 71 used to seem far off in my comprehension of time, but as I get older, it’s really not. I learned of his death the day after ATL had posted a story about a Morgan Lewis partner who died at his desk. That same night, Joe Paterno was fired, rightfully so, and part of a campus rioted.

All three men leave tremendous legacies in their own way. They worked diligently at their chosen careers, were long-time employees, and outwardly, at least, left behind loving families, students, mentees, and friends. (I know, Paterno isn’t dead, but he is finished). I was scanning through the comments following that ATL story, and was quite frankly amazed by how “gentle” the majority of the opinions were. Something about one of “us” dying at our desks just wasn’t worthy of snark. It was worthy of reflection….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “House Rules: Requiem”

* The list of words that you can’t text in Pakistan. There are way more than seven. [Gizmodo]

* No charges have yet been filed against the Yale student who drove a U-Haul truck that killed a person at the Harvard-Yale tailgate. [CNN]

* Now more than ever, you should take time off between college and law school. [AOL Jobs]

* Money is speech for a corporation. But sleeping isn’t speech for a human. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* The Stephen Baum foreclosure mill is closing. The lesson: when you crush poor people, don’t look like you’re enjoying it. [Gawker]

* You know how sometimes guys get dumped by their fiancée and then sue to get the ring back? This guy didn’t have to go through all that, but he did have an awesome plan for the money. [Shortlist]

* Another lawyer joins the new-media world: Richard Chen, formerly of Arnold & Porter, joins the Hedge Fund Law Report as editor-in-chief. [Hedge Fund Law Report]

Stephen McDaniel

This should not come as a great shock, since he’s been in jail since July, but Stephen Mark McDaniel has been indicted by a grand jury for the murder of Lauren Giddings. McDaniel and Giddings graduated earlier this year from Mercer Law School, where they were classmates, and they were also neighbors in the Barristers Hall apartment complex in Macon, Georgia.

In addition to being charged with the Giddings murder, McDaniel has been indicted for other creepy crimes….

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Back in June, we wrote about Lisa M. Johnstone, a corporate associate in the Los Angeles office of Skadden who passed away in her home.

At the time, we didn’t have the autopsy report (as we noted in our story). But I, and some of Johnstone’s Skadden colleagues, used her passing as an occasion for reflecting on nature of working in Biglaw.

The autopsy is out now. While the cause of death is inconclusive, the toxicology report found no trace of drugs….

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Whenever a person passes away while they are literally at their desk, we feel compelled to mention it. When these kinds of things happen, it affects a much wider circle of people than the family and friends of the deceased. It’s almost impossible not to think of your own mortality — and what you are doing with the limited time you have — when confronted with a person who passed away while diligently working and serving his clients.

For many people, working in Biglaw until the day they die would sound like a nightmare. The nature of the profession is that the high salaries and high status attract a number of people to the field who have no desire to actually practice law or service clients over the long term. There are so many people in Biglaw who are there to make enough money so they can do other things with their life. There are so many who are trying to get out before they end up there forever.

But there are others who are in Biglaw because they like it. There are those who honestly love the work, people who get so much intellectual and even emotional satisfaction from the work that their salary and status are non-concerns.

From all indications, Mark P. Edwards, a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius who died at his desk on Friday, was one of those people. His friends and family will mourn that his life was too short, but hopefully they will feel that he died doing what he wanted to do….

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If we try hard enough, I bet we can blame the entire collapse of the American economy on some Lehman Brothers dudes who had too much Four Loko.

We’ve been following the successful crusade to get the original Four Loko banned because of its “dangerous” combination of caffeine and alcohol. Outlawing one specific mixture of alcohol and caffeine in a society where both alcohol and caffeine are abundant has always seemed stupid to me. It’s blaming a drink manufacturer for other people’s lack of personal responsibility. Four Loko, when enjoyed responsibly, was no more dangerous than any other alcoholic drink. When it was enjoyed by idiots, stupid things happened. Banning Four Loko just encourages blaming others for your own stupid and drunken behavior.

We recently saw what has to be the height of this Four Loko lunacy. A college student was shot to death last year, and now his family is suing the makers of Four Loko….

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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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Dr. Conrad Murray

With hundreds gathered outside of a courthouse in California (with a stunning lack of Michael Jackson impersonators), we can finally answer this lingering question.

Who’s bad? Dr. Conrad Murray.

Dr. Murray, the King of Pop’s doctor, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

What kind of sentence is Dr. Murray looking at?

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