* A Russian man is accused of posing as an immigration lawyer and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from fellow countrymen. Police say they knew he was lying when he began doing bizarre, and ridiculously obvious, things with Oreos. [Sun-Sentinel]
* You know how I know President Obama’s latest nominee to the S.D.N.Y, J. Paul Oetken, is gay? Because this article says so. Bonus: Lat quotes! [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]
* “Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is treating her baby’s dad like a bottom feeder.” [New York Post]
* Allen “The Ponz” Stanford was found incompetent to stand trial. Aaaaaayyyyyy *thumbs* [Reuters]
* Before the rampage, Jared Lee Loughner performed internet searches on famous assassins, the death penalty, solitary confinement, and law firm bonuses. I think that’s right. [New York Times]
But the embarrassment of riches in Riches’s latest complaint should remind everyone why he is still the king of pro se whackjobs. On January 24th, he filed for a temporary restraining order against Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter in the Tucson attacks. Riches claims that if the Bureau of Prisons should transfer Loughner to the Lexington, Kentucky facility that currently holds Riches, Loughner might use “his bare hands or a prison shank to kill me for being a moderate Democrat.”
And if you know anything about Riches, you know that quote isn’t anywhere near the craziest claim in his complaint…
Investigators looking at surveillance footage from the Tucson attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords say that Chief Judge John Roll died a hero. According to the New York Times, the video shows that Judge Roll apparently died while helping to save the life of Ronald Barber, a Giffords staffer. Barber, who was shot twice while standing near Congresswoman Giffords, survived the attack and has since left the hospital.
The descriptions of Judge Roll’s actions during the shooting are amazing…
* Arizona has one of the least restrictive laws on involuntary commitment of nutters in the nation. Next time, Arizona. Next time. [Reuters]
* Talk of new gun laws is the perfect time to link to the most criminally underrated movie of all time…UHF. [New York Times]
* Two teen girls in Florida were arrested for creating a fake Facebook profile for another girl and posting fake nudes of her. The detective who cracked the case remarked, “The pictures looked shopped. I could tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.” [Naples News via Gawker]
* A BYU Law grad who lied about his bar membership is charged with being an Indian Taker. [ABA Journal]
* Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty yesterday to having a horrifying life and doing horrifying things that sadly diminish his Hall of Fame Tecmo Bowl career. [ESPN]
* “A naked housecleaner, who advertised services on a gay Website, used fear of police sodomy as a defense against murder charges — and it worked.” [New York Post]
* Brooklyn College kid complains of a hidden camera in her apartment and is sent to psychiatric ward. The thing is, there was a hidden camera in her apartment. And tinfoil hats work. (Only one of those last two sentences is true.) [Forbes]
* Former lawyer decides to devote her time to animals in a very awesome way. She helps people incorporate animal-friendly activities into their travel plans. Which immediately makes her the best travel agent ever. [Your Time Travels]
* Blacks in the military? Check. Women? Check. Gays? Check. Wow, it looks like the military is getting really inclusive… no, no wait, people with bad genes might be need to get out. [Instapundit]
* Meanwhile, newspapers have grappled with how to use the batsh*t mugshot of Jared Loughner. Although “grappled” might be too strong a word as that cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs grin stares out a thousand-fold from every newsstand.[Washington Post]
* Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers are trying to persuade an Italian court that he is immune from prosecution in two separate cases brought against him. Bunga Bunga. [BusinessWeek]
* Eva Longoria was sued for violating California state usury laws. When Tony Parker heard the news, he surrendered. Cause he’s French. He’s French, guys. Get it? [msnbc.com]
* An Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, five of those years for not wearing a hijab. Reports are unclear, however, whether or not she is a lush Persian beauty. [CNN]
* Yesterday, a judge ordered that Michael Jackson’s physician stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s moonwalk off this mortal coil. [ABA Journal]
* “A Spanish teacher who was fired for getting hot and sweaty with another woman in a Brooklyn classroom is suing to get her job back.” [New York Post]
* There is a time when the operation of the merger becomes so odious… plaintiff’s attorneys have got to put their bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and they’ve got to make it more expensive. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Toileteers rejoice! U.S. News might start giving numerical rankings to third-tier law schools. [National Law Journal]
* Julian Assange’s lawyer says the government’s Twitter subpoena amounts to harassment. #unfunnylegalblurbs [Bloomberg]
* This Times article explores the seedy underbelly of bail bondsmen. Apparently there’s more to bail bonds than sponsoring ragtag baseball teams full of misfits. [New York Times]
* If we want to ban threatening speech against Congresspeople, what will we really be banning? [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Apparently my final solution on guns could lead to the well-regulated militia rising up. [First One @ One First]
* Maybe it isn’t impossible to teach transactional practice in law school. [Concurring Opinions]
* Jared Lee Loughnerentered might enter an insanity plea, and it looks like his mug shot will be the first exhibit. [Slate]
And you thought the burger at DB Bistro was expensive....
* If you’re a mere law firm partner — as opposed to a Wall Street managing director or, better yet, a hedge fund mogul — you probably can’t afford the $5,000 hamburger at this Las Vegas resort hotel. [Dealbreaker]
* Bush 43′s dog lent a helping paw in the judicial nomination process. Laugh all you want, but Barney is better than a Ouija board. [Tex Parte Blog]
* Electronic health records can be great — but they present some legal risks, notes Ben Kerschberg. [Huffington Post]
I’m on record as thinking that it’s inappropriate to blame Sarah Palin or any other source of fiery political rhetoric for the horrific shooting that took place in Tucson on Saturday. I said it in real time as facts were coming to light; I said it on Twitter.
There are any number of reasons why psychos like Jared Lee Loughner try to kill people. I don’t think political rhetoric is a useful reason to focus on. The long view of history shows that crazy people will twist any number of words into an excuse for violence.
You can’t talk to crazy. You can’t reason with crazy. You can’t know what crazy will do to your words. I mean, people have used the words of Jesus Christ (a hippie pacifist who hung out with prostitutes and lepers) as a call to violence, bigotry, and hate. If Jesus can’t craft an ironclad message that defies misinterpretation, how can we say that Sarah Palin somehow created a culture of violence? Sorry, but I refuse to live in a world where the rhetorical skills of Sarah Palin explain anything.
Instead, I’d like to blame a much more obvious culprit…
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