Erie Doctrine

Perhaps a little less ‘undead’ than this.

* The many legal perils of being undead. [The Legal Geeks]

* A rundown of the St. Patrick’s Day crime in Chicago. Bravo. [Crime In Wrigleyville + Boystown]

* Why don’t clients do more to embarrass lawyers for billing to research mundane, obvious legal principles? [Inside Counsel]

* The real-life detective story that solved a 1407 murder. It’s like Murder, She Wrote: The Early Years. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

* Mmmmmm. Delicious, delicious evidence. [Lowering the Bar]

* It may not seem like it, but the Obama administration has done a pretty good job on antitrust matters. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

* Yes. Pay your interns. [Law and More]

* Erie Railroad is 75 and here’s a look back at its illustrious run. Well, it turned 75 last year, but it takes some time to publish a journal about it. Just pretend it’s last year and read the damn articles, all right? [The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy via the American Enterprise Institute]

My first job out of law school was at a five-lawyer employment-law boutique: two partners, two other associates, and me. (OK, it was my only job out of law school; I started my firm after four years at this boutique.) The other two associates were third-years when I started. To be sure, they were both excellent lawyers and had already gained much experience working in a small firm with top-quality partners.

(I’ve often said that I’d take a third-year small-firm associate over a Biglaw third-year any day. The Biglaw associates have spent two years reading cases and writing memos; the small-firm lawyers have actually been doing, you know, lawyer work.)

I got along well with both associates, but one of them had more of a hierarchical view of the firm. One day, after I’d been there a couple months, that associate said to me, “I have an assignment for you.”

Being the new kid at the firm, the proper and deferential response might have been “Great. Thanks. Happy to help.” But my answer was less proper and by no means deferential.

And even though it ruffled some feathers, I’d recommend it to any new associate at a small firm. What I said was …

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