Free Speech

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    Attorney Misconduct, Blog Wars, Blogging, Feminism, Free Speech, Law Professors, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Rudeness, Women's Issues

    Should Nasty Commenting Trigger An Ethics Probe?

    Law professor seeks ethics inquiry into nasty comments about her online.

    37 Comments / / Jan 7, 2014 at 3:36 PM
  • A@B logo

    Admin, Blogging, Events, Free Speech, Gender, Racism, Shameless Plugs, Social Media, Technology, This Is an Ad

    Announcing The 2014 Attorney@Blog Conference

    RSVP to join us on Friday, March 14th, at the Yale Club of NYC for a convocation of the leading legal bloggers.

    / Dec 19, 2013 at 4:10 PM
  • It just wouldn't be prudent to let him back into society. (Image via Sunday Mercury)

    Animal Law, Bankruptcy, Football, Free Speech, Gay Marriage, Guns / Firearms, Legal Ethics, Non-Sequiturs, Videos

    Non-Sequiturs: 12.10.13

    * Remember the chimps seeking habeas? Well, bad news: they’re staying in custody, per an order from Judge Ralph A. Boniello III. Now their freedom is up to the Army of the 12 Monkeys. [Wired]

    * Elizabeth Coker has announced she is seeking the office of Polk County Criminal District Attorney. While some may disagree, I think this is a great idea. She’s been directing the litigation strategies of prosecutors for some time now. So why does a judge drummed out of office for texting prosecutors think she should go back into public service? Prayer. Of course. [Polk County Today]

    * Judge Steven Rhodes is overseeing the Detroit bankruptcy. He’s not taking any guff off anyone, including an investment banker who pledged that it was “very important” that his firm help the city, prompting Judge Rhodes to point out, “What’s very important to you is to make money.” He’s also a badass rhythm guitarist. [Associated Press via Yahoo!]

    * A Colorado judge has declared that a discriminating baker can no longer prevent gay couples from buying wedding cakes. It’s unclear if he’s ordering the baker to stock those stupid plastic cake toppers in groom & groom format. [Consumerist]

    * Proofreading law school exams. This article is aimed at law students, but maybe it should be directed toward a certain St. John’s professor… [Law School Toolbox]

    * George Zimmerman’s girlfriend wants him out of jail. She originally told police that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun in her face. That’s Princess Bride-level true love s**t right there. [Slate]

    * Michigan State celebrated putting Ohio State in its place by setting “at least 57 fires.” Can someone holding a sign encouraging people to “Burn the Couch” be held liable? A better question is whether West Virginia can sue Michigan State for stealing their hillbilly intellectual property? [PrawfsBlawg]

    * Sadly, Akerman partner Richard Sharpstein was found dead in his home today. He was 63. [Daily Business Review]

    * A few tipsters sent this one in. They claim it’s a law student acting like a jerk trying to buy cigarettes in a drug store. The sound is spotty, so none of us could figure out exactly what was going on, but it’s worth it for the guy who yells: “Yeah, tell him! Tell him when you were born!” Video after the jump….

    5 Comments / / Dec 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM
  • Sarah Jones

    6th Circuit, Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Defamation, Fashion, Free Speech, Law Schools, Media and Journalism, Morning Docket, Patents, Technology

    Morning Docket: 12.09.13

    * After its patent battle in the courts, Apple wants Samsung to pay for a portion of MoFo’s legal fees. When you think of it, $15.7 million is a rather piddling amount when full freight is $60 million. [The Recorder]

    * Say goodbye to your pensions! As it turns out, law review articles aren’t so useless after all. Detroit’s foray into Chapter 9 eligibility is the brainchild of a Jones Day partner and associate duo. [Am Law Daily]

    * It must be really stressful to plan a wedding when your defamation victory is on appeal to the Sixth Circuit. The latest chapter in the Sarah Jones v. TheDirty.com case could mean curtains for online speech. [AP]

    * When it comes to their credit ratings, stand-alone law schools are getting screwed due to their inability to put asses in their empty seats. Four out of five schools profiled could be in big trouble. Which ones? [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * “You need to not dress like that.” TMZ’s attorney, Jason Beckerman, is an alumnus of Kirkland & Ellis, and he was quickly advised by a producer that he needed to lose his lawyer duds. [California Lawyer]

    5 Comments / / Dec 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM
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    Books, Free Speech, Immigration, Non-Sequiturs, Rape, Sports, Technology

    Non-Sequiturs: 11.19.13

    * The newest edition of the Supreme Court coloring book is out! Christmas has come early if your kid reads Babar and Curious George with originalist intent as racist, colonialist tracts. [Lowering the Bar]

    * The Young Conservatives group at the University of Texas has canceled its intended “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” contest amid a firestorm over discrimination vs. free speech. Now Cartman can go back to class. [NPR]

    * The Title IX Network is filing lawsuits against universities that allegedly mishandle sexual assault claims on campus. I mean, if the government isn’t going to do its job, someone has to step in. [Jezebel]

    * An individual has no expectation of privacy in an online dating profile. They should also have no expectation of a fulfilling relationship. [IT-Lex]

    * What is the duty of a sports franchise to protect spectators from flying hot dogs? Asking for a friend… [The Legal Blitz]

    * Real Simple Magazine’s December Book Club nominees are out and the list includes Helen Wan’s The Partner Track (affiliate link). The winner will be determined by online voting and closes Sunday, Nov. 24 at 11:59 PM EST, so please go to this link and vote for The Partner Track! [Real Simple]

    * Popehat has a site store now. As of now they don’t sell branded mitres, which seems like a damn shame. [Popehat]

    * The Obama administration is supporting a ban on unlocking cellphones while publicly supporting unlocking. First they came for unlocking and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t need to unlock my phone. Then they came for Angry Birds and there was no one left to speak for me. [Slate]

    * Dean Frank H. Wu discusses the Jimmy Kimmel controversy. It’s not a funny piece, but neither is Jimmy Kimmel. [Huffington Post]

    0 Comments / / Nov 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM
  • upskirt RF

    Constitutional Law, Free Speech, Perverts, Privacy, Quote of the Day

    Man Claims First Amendment Right To Take Pornographic ‘Upskirt’ Pictures

    Do you have a Constitutional right to be a pervert? This man’s attorney thinks so.

    36 Comments / / Nov 7, 2013 at 3:16 PM
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    Free Speech, Legal Ethics, Marijuana, Non-Sequiturs, Religion, Sentencing Law

    Non-Sequiturs: 11.04.13

    * The NSA protests that its spying on foreign leaders was entirely legal. In defense of the NSA, this latest uproar seems misplaced. Warrantless spying on Americans is illegal, but spying on foreign governments is kind of the whole point of the NSA. [Associated Press]

    * Judge James Bredar has laid out his thoughts on how sentencing judges should deal with the changing legal landscape surrounding marijuana. This is important because those dumb Guidelines still recommend an enhancement for taking One Toke Over the Line. [Sentencing Law & Policy]

    * Should a plagiarizing journalist be allowed to join the ranks of licensed attorneys? Con: his crime suggests low moral character. Pro: He’s going to be a master of boilerplate. [Juice, Justice & Corgis]

    * Jones Day is representing pro bono a number of Catholic institutions ticked off that they might have to buy insurance that their workers might, at some point, maybe use to buy birth control pills. It’s a tremendous intrusion upon religious liberty that Catholic institutions routinely did before they decided to make a political spectacle out of it. [The National Law Journal]

    * A speech to Harvard Law alums about the slow death of free speech at Harvard. By “slow death of free speech” he details how a private, non-governmental institution decided not to tolerate jackassery, but whatever. [Minding the Campus via The Volokh Conspiracy]

    * It’s still several months until the ATL Law Revue competition. So to keep you entertained until then, check out this parody of Lorde’s Royals performed by some law students. It looks like the same geniuses from Auckland Law School behind the Blurred Lines parody. Do the Kiwis have time to do actual law school stuff? Video embedded after the jump… [Legal Cheek]

    4 Comments / / Nov 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM
  • John_McCain_official_portrait_2009

    Election Law, Football, Free Speech, Larry Lessig, Non-Sequiturs, Religion

    Non-Sequiturs: 10.10.13

    * Who says bipartisanship is dead? Senators McCain and Gillibrand hammer Obama’s nominee for Navy Undersecretary. Gillibrand went after her specifically over prosecuting sexual assaults. [Breaking Defense]

    * Lawyers per capita by state. For everyone who says lawyers make the world worse, note that Arkansas has the fewest lawyers per capita and do with that information what you will. [Law School Tuition Bubble]

    * A bunch of rabbis were arrested for plotting to kidnap and torture a guy into granting a Jewish divorce. This is a thing? [Wall Street Journal]

    * Professor Larry Lessig thinks the administration should have made originalist arguments in the McCutcheon case to salvage campaign finance limits. First, I don’t see why this would have worked. Second, someone in Washington has to be an adult and resist the urge to make stupid arguments just because someone might listen. [The Atlantic]

    * An agent is facing 14 felony counts for giving improper benefits to college athletes. For all the alleged cheating, you’d think UNC would be better at football. [Forbes]

    * A Texas judge ordered a teen to move back in with a sex offender. This was a poor decision. [USA Today]

    * Upon hearing former NYC Mayor David Dinkins saying, “You don’t need to be too smart to be a lawyer, so I went to law school,” the dean of New York Law School said, “So you went to Brooklyn Law School?” Which of course Dinkins did. What is wrong with NYU’s Tribeca campus? [NYLS (exchange begins at 23:00)]

    * Is this related to the law? Not really. Is it the cast of Archer doing the video of Danger Zone? Yes…

    3 Comments / / Oct 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM
  • vote voting ballot

    Election Law, Free Speech, Money, Politics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Rumors Of Democracy’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated: Why McCutcheon Can Be A Good Thing

    Sadly, liberals are too busy class-baiting and wailing about Citizens United to have hard conversations about the First Amendment and the political process.

    55 Comments / / Oct 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM
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  • cooley logo RF

    Defamation, Federal Judges, Free Speech, Law Schools, Quote of the Day

    Cooley Law Forgets That Truth Is A Defense To Defamation

    Cooley Law’s defamation suit against the firm that sued over its allegedly misleading job stats gets tossed on summary judgment.

    148 Comments / / Oct 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM
  • Pw37lVR-RF

    Free Speech, Technology

    California College Tells Student He Can’t Hand Out Copies Of The Constitution On Constitution Day

    In the school’s defense, it’s “Constitution Day,” not “Amendments Day”

    10 Comments / / Sep 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM
  • Facebook_like_thumb

    Free Speech, Guns / Firearms, iPhone, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Media and Journalism, New Jersey, Non-Sequiturs, Technology

    Non-Sequiturs: 09.19.13

    Ed. note: Above the Law will be signing off early to begin the ATL/Kaplan Bar Crawl Review. Follow along on social media (Twitter and Facebook) or on the liveblog post after NS, or better yet, come out and join us!

    * A Facebook “Like” is protected by the First Amendment. ATL Likes this. [Atlantic]

    * You can’t get a Frappuccino to go with your Kalashnikov any more. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * The stand-up comic judge has been shut down by the New Jersey Supreme Court in a 7-0 decision. Everyone’s a critic. [ABA Journal]

    * An interview with Alan Page of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and formerly a Defensive Tackle for the Minnesota Vikings. Page’s hometown has a bust of him on display. Not so impressive until you realize he’s from Canton, Ohio.[Coverage Opinions]

    * If you’re looking for some more legal content related to International Talk Like a Pirate Day, check out Buried Treasure: Finders, Keepers, and the Law. [ABA]

    * A list of everything you should be doing with your time instead of getting a law degree. [Yahoo!]

    * Welcome Chris Geidner as the new legal editor of BuzzFeed. In addition to some great content, like his amazing profile of Edie Windsor (first link), stay tuned for “25 Ways Justice Alito Is Like This Cat.” [New York Observer]

    * If you’ve upgraded your iPhone to iOS 7, you’re probably annoyed right now. Here are some tips to help preserve your battery life. We can do nothing about fixing how ungodly ugly it is. [Tuaw]

    0 Comments / / Sep 19, 2013 at 4:26 PM
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    Antitrust, Biglaw, Books, Deaths, Divorce Train Wrecks, Douglas Ginsburg, Fenwick & West, Free Speech, Intellectual Property, Law Professors, Law Schools, Media and Journalism, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Patents, SCOTUS, Suicide, Supreme Court, Technology, Theater

    Morning Docket: 09.13.13

    * Congrats to @FenwickWest on landing the big Twitter IPO! #yaylegalfees [American Lawyer]

    * The Deal Professor, Steven Davidoff, surveys the legal landscape around the Twitter filing, focusing on the #JOBSAct. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Jamie McCourt, a former family law attorney, strikes out in trying to set aside her divorce settlement with Frank McCourt, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. She’s stuck with $131 million and several luxury homes. #richpeopleproblems [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * An inquest reveals that a Hogan Lovells partner who took his own life had warned a colleague that he was going to kill himself the day before his death. [Daily Mail via ABA Journal]

    * Good news for the news business: the Senate Judiciary Committee approves a federal media-shield bill. [Washington Wire / Wall Street Journal]

    * Nathan Myhrvold, the CEO of a patent holding company, warns that anti-patent-troll sentiment could have unforeseen consequences. [Corporate Counsel]

    * Praise in the WSJ for Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare (affiliate link), the new book by Professor Josh Blackman (who recently wrote a guest post for us on Supreme Court beauty contests). [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * Congrats to George Mason Law on its two high-profile hires: D.C. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg and Covington antitrust partner Damien Geradin. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

    * If you’re in New York this weekend, go see Arguendo. Or buy tickets for the 7 p.m. performance on September 22, when I’ll be doing a talkback with artistic director John Collins after the show. Enter the discount code “ABOVE” for $35 tickets (a special rate for ATL readers). [Public Theater]

    3 Comments / / Sep 13, 2013 at 9:17 AM
  • iStock_000016737541XSmall

    Banking Law, Craigslist, DUI / DWI, Free Speech, Guns / Firearms, Jed Rakoff, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, Securities and Exchange Commission, Securities Law

    Non-Sequiturs: 09.10.13

    * How low can the legal market go? Manhattan firm lists full-time associate opening for $10/hr. “NY to 10.” (Screenshot here if the ad is removed). [Craigslist]

    * Iowa is giving out gun permits to the blind. Sadly this is not a new phenomenon as David Sedaris explained years ago. [FindLaw]

    * Business Insider has fired its CTO because… he’s a jerk. An important lesson in what free speech does and doesn’t mean. [Popehat]

    * A UNC professor pulled over for a DWI has sparked a Fourth Amendment battle because she was arrested by a fire truck. [Fox News]

    * Banks facing SEC enforcement actions are basically just spinning a roulette wheel and praying it doesn’t land on “Rakoff.” [Ramblings on Appeal]

    * On a related note, Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke at the AFL-CIO conference and discussed the corporate capture of the federal courts (at 1:23:45 after the jump)…

    3 Comments / / Sep 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM
  • gay marriage cake RF

    Free Speech, Gay, Gay Marriage, Lesbians, Pictures, Politics, Religion, Weddings

    Why Using Anti-Discrimination Laws Against Wedding Photographers Doesn’t Work

    Conservative columnist Tamara Tabo argues against using the law to force businesses to provide services to same-sex couples’ weddings.

    145 Comments / / Sep 5, 2013 at 10:20 AM
  • She's basically Boss Tweed in Tuscaloosa.

    Election Law, Food, Football, Free Speech, Non-Sequiturs, United Kingdom / Great Britain

    Non-Sequiturs: 08.30.13

    Ed. note: Above the Law will not be publishing on Monday, September 2, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

    * Municipal election fraud is being alleged in Tuscaloosa after a sorority bribed people with free drinks to get a University of Alabama Law grad elected (defeating the incumbent, another lawyer — and wife of a UA Law professor). The big question here is how f**king terrible is voter turnout in Tuscaloosa that a sorority can rig an election? [AL.com]

    * A banned food truck launched a First Amendment suit after officials banned the truck for using an ethnic slur in the name. I haven’t seen a food truck shut down like that since “Steak Me Home Tonight.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The NFL looks to London. Tax laws are one of many obstacles. [Grantland]

    * From partner to delivery boy. But hey, definitely go to law school kids! [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

    * A thorough look at the legality of the pending Syria strike. Obama administration addresses these grave concerns with the phrase, “Talk to the hand.” [Foreign Affairs]

    8 Comments / / Aug 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM
  • Airlines Hit Hard By SARS, War And Weak Economy

    Antitrust, Constitutional Law, Election Law, Free Speech, Politics, Religion, Texas, Videos

    Laws Make Strange Bedfellows

    Antitrust, Sharia law, voter suppression, it’s a legal potpourri…

    16 Comments / / Aug 16, 2013 at 5:11 PM