Defamation

FIRST! Assistant United States Attorney.

First amongst weird creation myths is that of the Mbombo god, who is said to have vomited up pretty much all of our world. Similarly, the story of how this website has been… thrown up is worthy of retelling. At its essence, it goes like this: A boy blogs about very sober legal issues in an incredibly earnest way and then the governor of New Jersey tells him to start Above the Law, The End. I may have missed some crucial details and got others flat-out wrong, but I think the kernel of truth is still in there somewhere.

At any rate, that boy was working for the United States Attorney’s office in Newark at the time. Doing anything on the internet, even if it was super-serious and incredibly sincere, could be considered controversial because of the position. The lawyers tasked with working in such a high-profile prosecutorial role must be seen as impartial, lest the cases they take on get tainted by their online presence.

Which is what makes it all the more surprising that history is repeating itself down in New Orleans, where two assistant United States attorneys have become embroiled in scandal after being caught commenting on not just the law in general (like our own dear leader), but the specific cases that came through their office.

It’s almost as if the New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s office is trying to outdo David Lat in some way. Which, I mean, trick please…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Anonymous Commenting Goes Wronger”

* Paul Ceglia lost ANOTHER lawyer, this time after Ceglia got arrested on fraud charges. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* A Las Vegas family court judge has been charged with conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering, for allegedly devising and participating in a $3 million investment fraud scheme. So much for that whole “lest you be judged” thing. [8 News Now]

* Hunter Moore, the patron saint of creepy revenge porn sites, has been sued by Storage Wars star Brandi Passante for defamation. [Los Angeles Intellectual Property Trademark Attorney Blog]

* Speaking of creepy sex, happy Halloween!… unless you’re a registered sex offender. [ABA Journal]

* This discrimination ruling may have established a new judicial precedent: the Jersey Shore test. God help us. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Remember to send us pictures of your legally themed Halloween costumes for our contest! [Above the Law]

At least Casey Anthony knows her new venue motion is laughable.

* Hurricane Sandy is set to arrive today, so batten down the hatches, folks! Everything’s closing down for the storm, but please feel free to email us, if your law school or law firm is encouraging you to work. [Washington Post]

* Thanks to the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United, companies can now recommend how their employees should vote, which is “no different from telling your children: ‘Eat your spinach. It’s good for you.’” [New York Times]

* Biglaw firms are re-negotiating their office space leases in an effort to save money. While some firms have already sealed their new real estate deals, others are still on the prowl — but which ones? [Am Law Daily]

* The University of St. Thomas School of Law has a new dean, and it certainly seems like he’s willing to make some waves to help his students. The first step for Robert Vischer? Reducing tuition. [National Law Journal]

* “I don’t think her popularity has improved since the [murder] verdict.” That’s probably why Casey Anthony’s lawyers are desperately trying to get a new venue for Zenaida Gonzalez’s defamation case. [Orlando Sentinel]

* A man divorced his formerly fugly wife (she had $100K in plastic surgery to correct her looks), sued her for luring him into marriage her under false pretenses, and won. Don’t worry, girls, this happened in China. [FOX]

A 43-year-old trust fund baby?

Talk about #RichPeopleProblems. And #DaddyIssues.

A prominent Manhattan lawyer is suing his own daughter. For libel. Because she allegedly harmed his reputation. By seeking an accounting of her trust fund. Which he set up for her and reportedly administers. Got that?

Yes, Dad v. Daughter. How could something this messed-up not be our Lawsuit of the Day? Especially given the claimed size of the trust fund, stocked with such goodies as Hamptons real estate?

It’s hard to get one’s head around these allegations, but the litigation is for real. Let’s take a look at the competing claims. And how much the trust fund was supposedly worth at one point — we’re talking seven figures here….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: A ‘Big-Shot’ Lawyer Sues His Trust-Fund-Having Daughter — for Defamation?”

Ex-Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones still blames TheDirty.com for ruining her reputation.

Sarah Jones — the ex-teacher, ex-Bengals cheerleader, and wannabe law student, who prepared for her job working with high schoolers by watching Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” video — had to postpone a $11-million defamation lawsuit filed in 2009 against gossip site The Dirty to face criminal charges for allegedly having sex with a teenage student in her English class.

She pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to just five years of probation for making a high school student’s dream of sleeping with his NFL cheerleader teacher come true. She doesn’t even have to register as a sex offender for carrying on a romantic relationship with the then-17-year-old student, which consisted of sex and “voluminous phone calls and [explicit] text messages.” And she left the courtroom with her now 18-year-old “victim,” whose lack of cooperation with the investigation led to her light punishment.

Now that the criminal case is out of the way, her civil case is back on like Donkey Kong. If Donkey Kong were an ephebophile….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ex-Bengals Cheerleader Pleads Guilty To Sex With Student, But Is Still Suing TheDirty.com For ‘Ruining Her Reputation’”

Do you remember Sarah Jones, the high school teacher who moonlighted as a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and sued gossip websites like TheDirty.com in her spare time?

In case you’ve forgotten, allow us to refresh your recollection: Jones sued for defamation and invasion of privacy over a post entitled “The Dirty Bengals Cheerleader” that alleged she had slept with all the members of the Bengals team and had STDs. In that post, TheDirty.com wanted to know the answer to this question: “Why are high school teachers freaks in the sack?”

Perhaps one of Jones’s former students can answer that question for us, because back in March, she was indicted for having sex with one of them. As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Jones took a plea deal yesterday on the lesser charge of sexual misconduct that will allow her to avoid jail time.

Now that she’s got all of this free time on her hands — she resigned from her teaching and cheerleading jobs in late 2011 after rumors of her sexual escapades with a student began to spread — what will she do?

Well, the next logical next step is obviously law school….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ex-Bengals Cheerleader Who Took A Plea Deal On Sexual Misconduct Charges Is Now Considering Law School”

Another (dis)satisfied customer.

* Do we really need another “50 Best Law Schools” ranking list? Debatable. But we know you want to find out if your school made the cut. [Business Insider]

* What’s the hardest part of being a public defender? Is it (a) the low pay, (b) the long hours, or (c) getting punched in the face by an unhappy client? [Huffington Post]

* This lawyer is involved in a mess of defamation accusations because he made the mistake of paying attention to anonymous comments. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Only amateur fibbers simply pretend they have cancer. If you want to be the real deal, you gotta tell all your friends you also don’t have health insurance and get them to raise three grand to pay for your imaginary chemo. [Legal Juice]

* So, I would never fake an injury to get to use a wheelchair, because of the serious karma issues it would probably create in my life (e.g., above blurb). But I will say I went to Disneyland once with a physically disabled friend, and it was freaking amazing. I’ve never waited in so few lines in my life. [Consumerist]

* I think the lesson here is that it’s generally poor parenting to name your child after the sound a bomb makes. [CBS Cleveland via Legal Blog Watch]

Not so fast, Canellas…

* Yeah, about that huge bonus we were going to pay our ex-finance director — we realized how silly that was, so we’re not going to do that. Aww, don’t worry, Dewey & LeBoeuf, you’ll have plenty of other chances to look absurd. [Am Law Daily]

* Not only is Samsung suing Apple for patent infringement, but the company is also trying to get a do over by getting Judge Lucy Koh to throw out the original billion-dollar verdict over jury foreman Velvin Hogan’s alleged misconduct. [Bloomberg]

* “Small deals are easier to swallow, easier to integrate.” Regional firms like Carlton Fields and Adams and Reese are gobbling up smaller firms in what seems to be the latest trend in law firm merger mania activity. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Douglas Arntsen, the former Crowell & Moring associate who had to be extradited from Hong Kong after embezzling $10.7M from clients, pleaded guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence. [New York Law Journal]

* It’s tough to come up with appropriate whistleblower jokes given the background here. We’ll play it straight: Mike McQueary filed a defamation suit against Penn State, and he’s seeking $4M in damages. [ABC News]

* Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant, is fighting for the ability to practice law in Florida, but the members of the state Supreme Court are literally trying to make it into a “federal case.” [Washington Post]

Get. Off. My. Lawn.

* Jury agrees that Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis slandered casino mogul Steve Wynn by saying he threatened to kill Francis over his gambling debt. That’ll be $20 million. Or, Francis can just show Wynn his boobs. [Huffington Post]

* Moonbeam Jerry and Chris “Destroyer of Idiots” Christie are feuding. It’s just like Biggie v. Tupac, but with hot air instead of unregistered firearms. [Daily Dolt]

* Dude spies on his wife in their own home for the better part of a year. Now they’re getting divorced. Mother, tell your husband not to spy my way. [USA Today]

* Judging from the intensity of the ATL Fantasy Football league after just one week of play, a lot of lawyers really wish they had this job. [Sports Illustrated]

* Thank God there were no leaf blowers were involved, or one of these guys may have napalmed the whole neighborhood. [Legal Juice]

* Congratulations to Goodwin Procter on a notable hire out of the Solicitor General’s Office: Willy Jay, who has argued before SCOTUS almost a dozen times. [Goodwin Procter]

* Just a reminder that Elie is speaking in front of the Anti-Defamation League’s Young Lawyers division tomorrow night at the beautiful New York offices of Arnold & Porter. One of his topics is “why you don’t want me deciding your hate speech,” so at the very least, it should be lively. [Anti-Defamation League]

Better than jail…

* “He’s stupid. I wouldn’t even count him as a Republican.” Many Republican women at the RNC wish that the men like Rep. Todd Akin would just shut up about abortion, rape, and contraception. [Reuters]

* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the discrimination against minorities. A panel of judges on a D.C. federal court shot down the state’s redistricting plans for lack of compliance with the VRA. [Washington Post]

* A disgruntled Stanford Law graduate’s defamation and retaliation suit against the school was dismissed. Sorry, but it’s highly doubtful that a law professor blacklisted you from getting a job. [National Law Journal]

* “[T]here’s a surplus of attorneys and not enough jobs for it.” Lincoln Memorial’s president admits amid accreditation issues that perhaps it wasn’t the best time to open Duncan Law. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

* “I don’t know if this was worth it, but I did have a good time in Cancun.” Skipping deliberations to go on vacation is a great way to earn yourself a trip to jail, but this girl got lucky. [Proof & Hearsay / Journal Sentinel]

* Continental faces a lawsuit after baggage handlers allegedly removed a sex toy from a passenger’s luggage and taped it outside the bag for the world to see. At least it wasn’t the TSA. [Courthouse News Service]

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