Family Law

I can now perform 'mawwages.'

On Friday, I took a little trip to the New York County Clerk’s office to become registered as a marriage officiant in the state of New York.

Let me say that again: I can now legally marry people. Like a mayor. Or a ship’s captain.

Going through the process of becoming a marriage officiant has given me a wonderful look at the state of our marriage laws, and my hours at the clerk’s office were the perfect icing. Let me say just say that the closer you get to the legal process of marriage, the more ridiculous gay marriage opponents appear.

I mean, come on, if I can legally marry people, how “sacred” or “traditional” is the institution of marriage really? Besides, have you looked at some of the man/woman combinations that are getting married these days? I just think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fists at Him and say, “Instead of helping the poor or sick or infirm, we’re all going to eat chicken sandwiches to show that we’ll defend as sacred something that can be done in two hours at the freaking clerk’s office.”

Let’s just say that the number of gay people getting marriage licenses was dwarfed by the number of men standing their with pregnant girlfriends looking like their balls were being held in a vise grip….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Can Now Legally Perform Weddings: Now Tell Me How Marriage Is A Sacred Institution”

I’m not going to pretend to care about Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. And here’s why: I don’t care about vampires, werewolves, trolls, magical rings, wands, space, fantasy or anything that encourages nerds of the world to be even more annoying. I am tired of walking by hoards of absolute losers waiting in costume at 4 p.m. for a midnight showing of a 3D movie about sexy blue people that live in a fake jungle on a different planet. I will not read a 700-page book about wizards and gargoyles. And since I do not wear Pink University sweatpants, listen to “OneDirection” or hang out at Cinnabon at the mall, there is absolutely no reason for me to see, or care, about Twilight.

But I do care about Twilight dogs. Obviously we all do.

You’ve no doubt heard that shifty minx “KStew” cheated on “RPat,” her boyfriend of three years, with Rupert Sanders, her creepy married director from Snow White and the Hunstman. This turn of events of was absolutely shocking because it destroyed eveybody’s faith in true love and also Kristin and Rob were supposed to maintain their sham relationship until their Twilight promotional duties are over for the third and mercifully final installment, to be released this November.

But when life veers off-script, true actors improvise and deliver the satisfying alternate storyline…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: The Dogs of Twilight”

* The easiest way to stop James Holmes from becoming a celebrity and inspiring copycats is to stop trying to monetize the Aurora killings to turn a profit with ad revenue, but Professor David Kopel says it in more elegant terms. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Of course there’s a law school death watch list. Now, it would be nice to think that these law schools would shut down, but there are still people willing to fill the seats. You should’ve known better than to assume a silly thing like employment statistics would stop people from applying. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Divorce for men: it’s “not for women.” These family law practitioners may want to get together with Dr. Pepper for some kind of a licensing deal. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A pube sandwich is a very creative culinary treat — unfortunately, the recipe isn’t taught in sandwich artist school. FYI, the price to serve it to a police officer is $13,750. [Gothamist]

* The next time your husband complains about your sex life or lack thereof, just tell him that it’s against the law for married women to fornicate. Or that you’ve had a headache for the past few years. [Legal Juice]

* In a Supreme Court decision split across gender lines, prosecutors can now get a do-over on criminal charges without double jeopardy, even if an otherwise deadlocked jury unanimously rejected them. [New York Times]

* And yet another day ended without a verdict in the John Edwards campaign finance trial, but the jury asked to review every exhibit in the case. The former presidential candidate must feel like he’s being punk’d. [CNN]

* The DOJ found that two prosecutors in the Ted Stevens case committed reckless professional misconduct punishable by unpaid time off. Looks like they’ll be getting an extended Memorial Day break. [Blog of Legal Times]

* Hot on the heels of Obama’s announcement in support of gay marriage, yet another California judge has found that DOMA is unconstitutional (along with a provision of the tax code). [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* Occupy Wall Street is suing for $48K over the destruction of the group’s “People’s Library” after their eviction from Zuccotti Park. But let’s get real, who wants used books that reek like patchouli and pot? [Bloomberg]

* More than one million “de facto spouses” in Quebec may soon be automatically married by the state against their will. Imagine how much fun it’ll be to get a divorce from someone you never actually married. [Slate]

* Two waitresses who claim they were fired for complaining about their former employer’s “no fatties” policy will get to bring their $15M lawsuit before a jury. Hopefully Peter Griffin isn’t a juror. [Law & Daily Life / FindLaw]

In every single state, a wealthy person is better with a prenup. I cannot comprehend Zuckerberg marrying without one.

Garrett Dailey, a certified California family law specialist, commenting on the particulars of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s recent surprise marriage to Priscilla Chan.

If you’ve been representing someone in a knock-down, drag-out, decade-long divorce action, with no end in sight, it’s understandable that you’d be a little pissed off. And while some attorneys prefer to write “not so sincere” letters calling opposing counsel “a**holes,” others find more creative ways to channel their anger for the sake of poetic justice.

And while poetry may be the best way to make passive-aggressive complaints about your case, the next time you’re considering writing a four-page, 60-line email riffing on a classic holiday poem, you might want to consider your audience. Some people might not be fans of your rhyme scheme….

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Steven Simkin: now with neckwear.

Remember Steven Simkin, the prominent Paul Weiss partner who sued his ex-wife for a better divorce deal? Simkin argued that even though he negotiated for and obtained the couple’s investment account with one Bernard Madoff as part of their 2006 separation agreement, his former wife should now pay him more money — since it was subsequently revealed, years later, that Madoff was running a huge Ponzi scheme.

As you may recall, I was not terribly sympathetic to Simkin. In my view, an expert negotiator like Simkin — the head of PW’s real estate practice, who was also represented by separate counsel in the divorce — should be required to live with the bargain he struck. In negotiating for and taking on the Madoff account, he also took on the risks associated with that investment.

An intermediate appeals court sided with Simkin. But now New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has spoken….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New York Court Rules on Biglaw Partner’s Request for a Divorce Deal Do-Over”

If you took a professional responsibility course in law school, or even studied for the MPRE, then you’re familiar with the the main takeaway on legal ethics for attorneys. You know that you have to zealously represent your clients without doing anything illegal. (And if you do decide to take a walk on the wild side, you know that you should try not to get caught.)

It looks like an attorney from New Mexico — one who had already been disbarred for cocaine possession — missed the memo on that one. Apparently his definition of zealous representation includes kicking down doors and burglarizing homes.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, we’ve got it on film….

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Where's our spring bonus?

* Lawyers at this Biglaw firm may learn a thing or two about respecting their elders later this week. Kelley Drye is close to settling an age discrimination suit filed by Eugene D’Ablemont, one of its many de-equitized partners. [Wall Street Journal]

* Well, this could definitely be one of the reasons why Cravath hasn’t given out any spring bonuses to associates yet this year. They probably had to spend all of their money to clean up their allegedly fly-infested cafeteria. [Am Law Daily]

* Women in Virginia will now be able to politely decline their pre-abortion transvaginal ultrasounds in favor of abdominal ones. Oh, how nice! Look at that, girls, we totally won the war on women. [CBS News]

* Things Dharun Ravi texted to Tyler Clementi on the night the latter committed suicide? “I’ve known you were gay and I have no problem with it.” Of course you knew, you watched his sexual encounters via webcam. [CNN]

* According to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, this equation makes sense: donor sperm + donor eggs + an estranged wife + consent to post-separation IVF = a child support obligation. [Boston Globe]

The story of the tangled relationship between Casey Greenfield, a rising star in New York legal circles, and Jeffrey Toobin, arguably the nation’s leading legal journalist, has gone mainstream. Over the long weekend, the New York Times wrote an 1,800-word story on their affair.

Actually, to be fair, the story was mainly about Casey Greenfield and her law partner, Scott Labby, launching their boutique law firm, Greenfield Labby (which has a beautifully designed website, by the way). The firm specializes in what the Times describes as “high-stakes family law,” which includes not just divorce and custody litigation, but “[c]risis management, strategic planning and contract resolution.”

The story of Greenfield and Labby launching a new small law firm is both interesting and inspiring. But, at the same time, it’s one that we’ve seen — and written — before. You can read our earlier write-up of Greenfield Labby’s launch over here.

The most interesting parts of the NYT piece concern Casey Greenfield’s affair with the then-married (and still-married) Jeff Toobin, a long-running relationship that produced a baby boy. The writer, Times reporter Robin Finn, unearthed several juicy, previously unreported details….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The New York Times Spills the Beans on the Casey Greenfield / Jeffrey Toobin Affair”

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