Georgia

Stephen McDaniel

I just realized that I share several things in common with Stephen Mark McDaniel, the recent Mercer Law School graduate who has been charged with the grisly murder of his former classmate, Lauren Giddings.

During law school, I served as vice-president of my law school’s Federalist Society chapter. So did Stephen McDaniel (under Lauren Giddings, who served as president).

Through the Federalist Society, I got to meet one of my heroes, Justice Clarence Thomas. So did Stephen McDaniel, who expressed his admiration for Justice Thomas’s integrity.

I once aspired to be a prosecutor and a federal judge. So did Stephen McDaniel, who hoped to serve as a prosecutor on his way to realizing his dream of serving on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stephen McDaniel’s mother, Glenda McDaniel, once asked her son whether romance was possible between him and any woman. My mother has posed similar questions of me.

Lauren Giddings

And this, thankfully, is where the similarities end. My hair, while sometimes problematic, doesn’t look like the result of “a grizzly bear banging Bob Marley’s mom” (as one ATL tipster described McDaniel’s mane). In law school, I wore khakis and button-down shirts to class, not chain mail (which doesn’t sound very comfortable). I have never been accused of burglarizing apartments (to steal condoms). And I’ve certainly never been accused of murder.

As we reported last night, Stephen M. McDaniel, 25, has been charged with the horrific murder of Lauren Giddings, 27, a bright and beautiful recent graduate of Mercer Law. Giddings’s decapitated torso was found on June 30. The search for the rest of her remains continues.

Let’s take a closer look at this deeply disturbing case….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Closer Look at Stephen McDaniel, Lauren Giddings, and Mercer Law School”

It comes as no surprise, but going to a college football game at your alma matter is supposed to be fun, even if your team sucks. And generally speaking, Georgia Tech sucks. Okay fine, the team won the ACC title in 2009, but that title was just vacated. Nobody likes a cheater.

But even if your team sucks more than Tori Black, you can still drink the suck away at a pre-game tailgate party. And if you’re heading to a home game at Georgia Tech, you can grab some Chick-Fil-A before the game, too.

And that is exactly what Georgia Tech alum Mary Clayton did before a football game in September of last year. She might not have been drinking before the game, but she definitely wanted to “eat mor chikin,” so she tried to enter the stadium with a chicken sandwich in hand. What started for Clayton as a game to remember turned into a day she’d like to forget, due to an alleged sandwich security strip search….

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Stephen McDaniel

A recent graduate of Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia, Stephen Mark McDaniel, has been charged with murder, according to inmate information posted tonight on the website of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. As you may recall, Stephen McDaniel was a neighbor and classmate of Lauren Giddings, the slain Mercer Law graduate whose torso was found on June 30, inside a trash bin just outside her apartment building.

McDaniel, 25, was previously identified as a person of interest in the killing of Lauren Giddings, 27. He is currently being held in Bibb County jail, having been charged with two counts of burglary in an unrelated case.

Bibb County jail records are how the murder charge against McDaniel came to light. Let’s take a look at Stephen McDaniel’s inmate information sheet….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Stephen McDaniel Charged With Murder of Lauren Giddings”

In a New York Times op-ed, mentioned previously in Morning Docket, Professor Zachary Shemtob and I argue that executions should be made public. More specifically, we argue that executions should be broadcast live or recorded for future release, on the web or on television.

Public execution has some unsavory connotations, perhaps dating back to the days when hangings took place before rowdy crowds in the public square. But when you stop and think about it, the idea really isn’t all that crazy….

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A week and a half ago, we told you about the death of a Mercer Law student. The student has now been officially identified as Lauren Giddings, a recent Mercer Law graduate who was back in Macon studying for the bar.

The body was found dismembered. Our sources say that the body was decapitated. Police still haven’t found all of the body parts.

We have an update from Macon. Our sources are telling us that the police have two persons of interest, but law students are still being questioned….

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It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. Most lawyers would cringe at the thought of spending their entire careers trying to find loopholes that will release drunk drivers back onto the streets. After all, drunk drivers are one of the few life forms more despised than lawyers.

Southern drunks are in luck, however, because Cerbone DUI Defense are not most lawyers. In fact, the father and son Cerbone team has taken on the job with relish, building an entire DUI defense empire in Savannah, Georgia.

It’s not really surprising that Savannah would need some good DUI lawyers. This is the city that throws the second largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the world. I can also confirm from personal experience that it is one of the few remaining places in the country without an open container law. There is really no shortage of alcohol-related fun to be had in Savannah.

Enter the Cerbone team, stage right. They are waiting around day and night, right outside the police station, to take your case when things get out of hand. You’ll be so happy that they get your case thrown out that you won’t even mind when they use your full name and share the details of your drunken escapades to drum up more business…

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Wouldn't you love to lick one of these?

When faced with a job that isn’t making you happy, sometimes creativity is necessary in order to escape. Because hey, not everyone can enjoy courtroom glory like that of Jose Baez, knight in shining armor for Casey Anthony. And so, for these people, there are many career alternatives to choose from.

We’ve written previously about these creative types: some decided that they’d rather walk across the country than work another day in Biglaw; others decided to hang their own shingles in the wonderful world of mobile cupcakes.

If doing something that will make you or your customers wish for a summer oasis is your thing, then I say go for it.

But some lawyers opt to pair business sense with their creativity. Some lawyers realize that during the summer, the ideal treat is not scaling a mountain or munching on a cupcake, but instead, licking a popsicle or two. And that is how one former prosecutor started a delicious frozen empire in Georgia to become the self-proclaimed Earl of Pops….

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The stories coming out of Mercer Law School yesterday evening and this morning are surreal. Yesterday in Non-Sequiturs we mentioned that a recent Mercer Law graduate, Lauren Giddings, was found dead. Decapitated.

UPDATE: We understand that the Macon police department is not confirming that the body is that of Lauren Giddings. As of now, she’s still listed as missing.

FURTHER UPDATE (7/12/11): It appears that the body found was that of Lauren Giddings. Read more here.

Understandably, this has put the Mercer Law campus on edge. Giddings had returned to school to study for the bar, and there are a lot of people there who are now worrying about their safety.

Even more disturbingly, Giddings’s neighbor, who is also a Mercer Law graduate, has been arrested on burglary charges.

And there are police dogs roving around campus looking for missing body parts…

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Yesterday, we brought you a story about the plight of UGA Law students who were still jonesing for their grades. After having received a number of comments, emails, tweets, and Facebook messages, it seems like the moral of the story for rising 2Ls and 3Ls at UGA Law (and at every other law school) is this: “Quit bitching, gunners.”

I guess everyone will get their grades sooner or later, but to be honest, it will probably be later.

But, in particular, we noted that graduates from the school’s class of 2011 had not yet received their transcripts. The transcripts in question were due to the Georgia Bar yesterday, but as commenters and tipsters alike responded, this really, really isn’t a big deal. Really.

Apparently, UGA Law has some sort of secret agreement with the Georgia Bar that negates the deadline in question…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is Not Getting Your Grades A Big Deal? The Georgia Bar Thinks So”

* Oooh, Obama drama at the White House! They’re fighting with Congress over the legal definition of war “hostilities.” Can’t we all just celebrate good Obama (come on)? [New York Times]

* Schulte Roth’s tech-support crew would love nothing better than to blue screen the entire firm, but instead, they’re suing for overtime pay. [Thomson Reuters]

* At this point, it’s a shame that Charlie Sheen didn’t try to trademark “LOSING.” It looks like the actor won’t get his day in court after all. [Company Town / Los Angeles Times]

* Given my obsession with Lady Gaga, there was no way I was going to leave out this story about “Lawyer Gaga” and her role in the Casey Anthony trial. [WESH Orlando]

* It may be a bad sign for your case when the judge’s name is Thrash. How will Georgia’s tough new immigration law fare against this scary-sounding member of the judiciary? [Forbes]

* This is actually a bit of a surprise because it comes from the land of Jewish grandmas. A middle school in Florida is being sued by the ACLU over “Kick-a-Jew Day.” [Marco Eagle]

* With a motion critiquing opposing counsel’s grasp of the use of apostrophes, Richard Crites’s pleading is a potential candidate for Motion of the Day for sure. [Springfield News-Leader]

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