Justice Department

Yesterday, with hours to spare, the Mississippi Supreme Court stayed the execution of Willie Manning by a vote of 8-1. The stay was granted based on letters from the Department of Justice casting doubt on the scientific value of testimony from FBI experts at the trial almost 20 years ago.

The lone dissenter, Justice Mike Randolph, outlined his interest in putting someone to death immediately over the objections of the Department of Justice and its FBI experts. The decision reads like satire, making the case for the stay stronger than any majority opinion could. Oh, and then there’s some conspiracy rantings about the Obama Administration because, you know, Mississippi…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “You Stay Classy, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Mike Randolph”

* New York lawyers now must disclose how many hours they work pro bono. How about we get a form that lets lawyers disclose how much they sleep? [New York Law Journal]

* Everything is coming up Penn! They finished fifth in our law school rankings. They won an award for their website. Even their satellite campus in Dickinson is doing well. [National Law Journal]

* Look at me, I’m Sandy Day, bloomin’ with equivocality. Don’t like the right, but didn’t stay to fight, I can’t, I’m Sandy Day. [Slate]

* Speaking of Sandy, co-ops aren’t eligible for disaster relief. [New York Times]

* The Justice Department is coming after Plan B. Sometimes, I wish we had two parties and one of them was progressive. [Washington Post]

* Brian Tamanaha comin’ yo’. Shots fired. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, economic opportunities present themselves at every turn. For example, you could leave the practice of law to start an import/export business. There’s money to be made, and satisfaction to be had, in taking great goods from one country and bringing them over to a new market. Free trade is a beautiful thing (unless you’re unskilled labor).

But how do you figure out what products to import or export? Today’s lawyer turned importer entered the business after buying the product for herself while on vacation. She checked it out with a friend and was blown away by the quality.

What kind of product are we talking about? Well, she started her legal career working for the U.S. Department of Justice, and now she’s a pot dealer….

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This Thanksgiving, five brilliant young lawyers will have something special to give thanks for. Earlier this month, they learned of their selection as the 2013 Bristow Fellows.

Bristow Fellowships, one-year fellowships in the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office, go to recent law school graduates with outstanding academic records and top clerkships. They are generally regarded as second only to Supreme Court clerkships in prestige — and often lead to SCOTUS clerkships as well. You can read more about the Bristow Fellowship, including the job responsibilities and application process, on the Justice Department website.

One of the newest Bristow Fellows is an Above the Law celebrity, whom many of you will recognize. Yes, that’s right — you can appear in the pages of ATL and go on to enjoy great career success in the law….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Congratulations To The 2013 Bristow Fellows”

I’m sure there will be other contenders for the honor teased in the title, but I’m having a hard time thinking of one. Last night, voters went to the polls throughout the country and made their voices heard through the time-honored practice of waiting six hours in line until 1:30 a.m. As the results trickled in, candidates, elected officials, and pundits tossed out a number of pithy reactions, but one takes the cake.

Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado responded to the state’s passage of a ballot measure legalizing marijuana with this gem:

Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.

Now I think Hickenlooper is criminally underselling Bugles, but this is pretty amazing. That’s a sitting United States governor tossing out a rejected line from a Cheech and Chong movie. I love modernity.

But why does Hickenlooper think we should hold on to our munchies?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Greatest Single Election Quote Ever”

On any list of “scum of the Earth,” people who profiteer off of disaster victims have to make the list. Jesus, it’d be worth Hell existing just so there would be a place for people who take advantage of disasters to loot electronics or valuables (food, if you’re hungry and nobody is home, is fair game I guess). I think there are reasonable people on both sides of the New York City marathon debate, but the thought of any police not stopping a looter to deal with the marathon makes me think they should cancel this year’s event.

Of course, looters aren’t the only kinds of criminals trying to take advantage of the hurricane. The Department of Justice is warning people to be on the lookout for Sandy scams…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In The Aftermath Of Disaster, The Scam Artists Come Out”

In the next few months, we’re going to see a lot of lawyers switching jobs in Washington, D.C. Regardless of who wins the election — my current prediction is that Barack Obama will prevail (sorry, Anonymous Partner) — many lawyers will move into and out of government in the weeks before and after Inauguration Day.

For those who joined the Obama Administration early, three or four years is long enough to make them nostalgic for private sector paychecks. What use is a punched ticket if you never redeem it?

In fact, the movement has already started. Today we bring you news of two notable moves from the nation’s capital. One of them involves a lawyer leaving a top government post, and the other concerns an in-house lawyer entering the firm world….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: A Pair of Capital Moves”

Eric Cuellar (left) and Justin Teixeira (right). Image via Gawker (click to enlarge).

Think of this as like the law school version of The Hangover — except that an animal apparently was harmed in the making of this movie.

Over the weekend, we covered the sad and disturbing story of two Boalt Hall law students who stand accused of killing a helmeted guinea fowl. This allegedly went down in a wildlife habitat at the (unfortunately named) Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas.

As we noted in an update, the bird was exotic rather than endangered (well, at least not endangered outside the Flamingo Hotel). But killing such a bird can still be charged as a felony, thanks to a 2011 amendment to Nevada law. And the Berkeley law students in question, Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira, have in fact been charged with felonies — conspiracy and the willful, malicious torture or killing of wildlife.

Let’s take a closer at the two men at the center of this flap. We’ve heard from some Above the Law tipsters who know them….

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Nothing pisses off a lawyer more than uncertainty. Uncertainty gives rise to the risk of undermining the facade of perfect knowledge that attorneys prefer to convey to their clients. Given this character trait, it’s no surprise that the collective white-collar and corporate counsel community is freaking the hell out about every scrap of information it can glean from the Justice Department about its new Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement policy.

So what exactly has these observant lawyers in a tizzy?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Reading Tea Leaves: Defense Bar Freaking Out About the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”

Things continue looking up for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. A few weeks ago, he finally got some of his assets unfrozen so he could throw some dollars in John Quinn’s direction.

Yesterday, he unveiled the teaser for his new music product, known as Megabox. And this morning, he earned an extensive personal apology from New Zealand’s prime minister. Apparently the Kiwi equivalent of the American National Security Administration had unlawfully spied on Dotcom, and Prime Minister John Key said the “basic errors” involved in the mistake were appalling.

Huh, so that’s what it sounds like when a government isn’t “acting as a proxy for private commercial interests”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “MegaMeltdown: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Apologizes to Kim Dotcom”

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