The maglia nera, or black jersey, is a “prize” that was awarded to a cyclist in the Giro d’Italia from 1946 to 1951. The “winner” of the black jersey was the cyclist who finished last. The first man to “win” the black jersey was Luigi Malabrocca, who managed to double the amount of time it took him to finish the race when he won/lost his second black jersey.
“Especially noted are the struggles between Sante Carollo and Luigi Malabrocca, to see who could waste the most time,” according to the Wikipedia entry for the maglia nera. “Each tried to lose more time than the other by hiding in bars, barns, and behind hedges, or even by puncturing their own wheels.”
This is just great. The wiki entry also notes that one winner was lauded for finishing the race despite suffering a broken hand and having to push his bike uphill during mountain stages. The jersey, you see, was not just won by clowns, but also by sad clowns. The entirety of our pointless struggle seems to have been contained in this maglia nera.
And by our pointless struggle, I mean the legal profession….
Is there anything more American than an argument at the Supreme Court about affirmative action?
It combines so many things unique to our country: an obsession with elite institutions (including both the Supreme Court and the University of Texas, one of our best public schools); passionate arguments about our nation’s long and complicated relationship with race; the relentless striving for success and attainment familiar to so many of us who want to be a named plaintiff in a Supreme Court case (or get into college, depending); and, of course, protests outside a government building.
My fellow lawyers, Alexis de Tocqueville was right — “[s]carcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.” Surely this form of American exceptionalism should be the most celebrated by the noble readers of Above the Law.
If there is any advantage to the way some in our nation attempt to affect the presence of minorities in elite colleges — through litigation rather than, say, appropriations — it’s that it leads to an awesome spectacle at One First Street NE.
I realize, as a San Franciscan, my views on marijuana are somewhat out-of-the-ordinary relative to many other Americans. More specifically, San Franciscans as a group tend to forget pot is illegal at all.
But maybe we ain’t as crazy and/or progressive as we’d like to think of ourselves. Case in point: a prosecutor down south was busted this week when a joint fell out of his pocket — in court, while he was chatting with a police officer. Whoops!
* Concussion litigation expert Paul D. Anderson discusses the nitty-gritty of all those football players suing because their job may have gave them brain damage. [Legal Blitz]
* In unnerving lawyer news, a Seattle litigator was arrested on accusations of sexually assaulting a masseuse at knifepoint. [Komo News]
* And on the other side of the country, a Pennsylvania attorney was specifically targeted in a home invasion that left him in the hospital with gunshot wounds. What is wrong with people this week? [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* This whole disastrous domestic dispute-turned-shooting could have been avoided by marrying a dog-lover instead of a cat lady. [Legal Juice]
* Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson explains why he’s putting all his chips on Mitt Romney. [Huffington Post]
* Here are some tips on acing your call-back interview. Seriously though, you really only need one item: a Trapper Keeper. [The Careerist]
* You can kiss your dreams of seeing Prop 8 being taken up by the Supreme Court goodbye if the justices decide to proceed with “more cautious DOMA challenges.” [Slate]
* Well, at least one person is getting annoyed by the endless back and forth between Posner and Scalia. But that’s just one person. We’ll continue to beat that horse until it’s extra dead. [Althouse]
* Is this like the new WebMD, but for law? With prompts like, “Can that crazy neighbor buy a gun?,” it looks like a suitable place for legal hypochondriacs to call home. [myRight]
* Oh yay, I don’t like to get into election law and politics, so it’s a good thing that The Simpsons did all my work for me on this one: “Stopping all Americans from voting is for the protection of all Americans.” [PrawfsBlawg]
* Kat over at Corporette wants to know what your top five tailoring alterations are — because after all, it’s pretty hard to dress for success in Biglaw if your pants are dragging on the floor. [Corporette]
* You’d have to be super-dee-duper high to think that disguising your pot plants as Christmas trees in the middle of the desert to throw the police off your tracks would actually work. [Legally Weird / FindLaw]
While liberals and the “lamestream media” are fixated on the planks dealing with “abortion” and “gay marriage,” the platform includes some lower-profile planks worth checking out. Here are five that stuck out to me as a lawyer….
As a member of a Greek life organization, you’ll be able to learn some very important lessons with the help of your brothers and sisters. For example, you’ll learn how to mix various types of liquor to create drinks that only the bravest of human beings can stomach; how to stop funneling like you’re drinking from a teacup; how to send passive-aggressive emails; how to evade police questioning; and, most importantly, how to fight for your right to party.
That last skill is coming in handy for a fraternity at Miami University in Ohio. After being suspended for their drunken antics, the frat sued the school in a $10 million lawsuit, claiming that university officials “acted recklessly and maliciously” in imposing punishment on the frat brothers. Not only did the school interfere with their right to party, but it apparently did so in an unconstitutional manner.
This sounds like Animal House, but without the double-secret probation….
This week, we’ve got a recent (and reluctant) ex-judge from Georgia who faces allegations of propositioning a woman to be his mistress. When she declined and talked to the press, the woman claims the judge planted drugs on her car.
And, according to state officials investigating the judge, this might be just the beginning of the trouble he’s in….
* So now the judge accused of watching porn from a courthouse computer admits to watching porn on a courthouse computer. Let me just get this out of the way: if I’ve used your computer, it was probably to watch porn. [Chicago Sun-Times]
* Too soon for Aurora jokes? I think it’s weird that more people believe in waiting periods for zingers than for handguns. [Tax Prof Blog]
* Lance Armstrong’s suit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks. How come the only athlete that seemed to get his day in court was Roger Clemens? [Bloomberg]
* Another kid is packing in his sports dreams to go to law school. Though, in fairness, one of the few things worse than the law graduate economy is probably the NHL economy. [North Dakota Inforum]
* I think Republican political candidates should know by now that they only bands they are allowed to like are country music bands. If they want to like non-country music, they should get the artist’s approval, in writing. Meanwhile, liberals are allowed like all kinds of music, even music performed by people who don’t know what they are talking about. [What About Clients?]
* Attorney and rape victim Shauna Prewitt has some facts about rape that apparently Todd Akin didn’t know. [xoJane]
Back in June, we brought you a story about some mom-and-dad law grads who had been accused of planting a potpourri of pills and pot on a parent volunteer from their son’s school. Kent W. Easter, a UCLA Law graduate, is (or was) a partner at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, a midsize California firm. His wife, Jillianne B. Easter, is a Boalt Hall grad and former lawyer who dabbles in crime fiction writing (and bad plastic surgery, from the looks of it).
Apparently the Easters thought that they could get away with the perfect crime, but alas, that only happens in books written by partner wives. Now, the Easters are looking at additional legal troubles: their alleged victim, Kelli Peters, has filed a civil suit against the couple that contains some interesting allegations. In fact, the page-turner of a complaint reads like it was written by a crime writer far more talented than Mrs. Easter (aka Ava Bjork).
Let’s check out the complaint, and see what the Easters are up against….
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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