Kids

Sad fact of the day: about fifty percent of marriages in America end in divorce. Of course, many of you already knew that, because you’re divorced yourself, the child of divorced parents, or a divorce attorney who is rolling around in money. But however you slice it, some of the best divorce train wreck stories are born of child custody battles.

Parents going through a divorce are willing to fight over anything when it comes to the custody of their children (“How dare you feed little Suzie pasta that isn’t organic and gluten-free?!”). Even when a divorce is finalized, sometimes parents are still willing to pull the trigger on any issues that arise. In some cases, though, custody modifications are warranted.

And in this case, an Oregon mother is actually fighting to keep another woman from pulling the trigger on her teenage sons, because she’s done it before….

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'These MBE questions are way easier than the practice ones!'

We thought we had a winner for most gutsy bar exam performance of July 2011. On Thursday, a woman taking the New Jersey bar exam passed out during the test — then picked herself up off the floor, and went right back to typing.

That’s impressive — but we may have spoken too soon. Here’s a labor-intensive story that tops it.

“A friend of mine went into labor while taking the Illinois bar exam,” a tipster told us. “She calmly finished, went to the hospital, and had her baby an hour or two later. Girl’s a real trooper.”

“A certain Northwestern Law alumna went into labor during the second day of the Illinois bar,” said a second source. “She finished the exam and had her baby, her first, at 5:58 p.m. I think that is worth noting.”

You better believe it’s worth noting. If ever there was a baby immaculately conceived by a lawgiver, this might be the one.

We have all the details — including a picture of the Bar Exam Baby, whom we’ll nickname “Baby Bar”….

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This should be a feel good story. Kymberly Wimberly, a young, teenage mother, overcomes adversity (and a horrendously spelled name) to become valedictorian of her high school near Little Rock, Arkansas. She is congratulated and set out as an example to other students, before continuing on her successful journey.

And if Kymberly Wimberly were white, maybe that would be the story coming to a Lifetime special near you. But Wimberly is black, and this is the internet. According to a lawsuit filed by Wimberly’s mother, Molly Bratton, the principal of McGehee Secondary School wanted to avoid the “big mess” that would have ensued if Wimberly had been named sole valedictorian, to be applauded at graduation by McGehee’s majority-white parents. Bratton claims that this is just the latest in a pattern of discrimination against black students at the majority-white school.

Thanks to the internet, I think Principal Darrell Thompson is about to learn a whole new definition for “big mess”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Many Kids Can You Have And Still Be High-School Valedictorian?”

* Lindsay Lohan is headed back to court today. She’s expected to be arraigned on charges of being the best actress ever. [Hollywood Life]

* Another future Nobelist, Kim Kardashian, has filed a lawsuit against the Gap for using what this article calls “a faux-dashian model in a commercial for its Old Navy brand.” May you live in frighteningly vapid times. [CNNMoney]

* Texas executed a man last night who went on a random brown person killing spree after 9/11. [Fox News]

* Two 14-year-old boys in New Jersey will be forced to register as sex offenders after dropping trou and throwing their stinkholes on two other kids’ faces. Motorboating: taint what it used to be. [WSJ Law Blog]

* The Dodgers squared off against Major League Baseball in a Delaware bankruptcy court yesterday. For more on this story, here’s a dog wearing a toupee. [CBSSports.com]

* Former Congressman and current law firm partner Martin Frost took to the cyberpages of Politico to brag about stealing unflattering file photos of a female judge he clerked for from the Dallas Morning News back in the 1970s. If that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because I don’t really understand what’s going on here. Also, I don’t write good. [Politico via ABA Journal]

Edward De Sear

On Friday we brought you the story of Edward De Sear, a former partner at several top law firms who now faces a charge of child pornography distribution. De Sear — a graduate of Columbia and UVA Law, who is now one of the nation’s leading capital-markets lawyers — has been a partner at Allen & Overy, Bingham McCutchen, McKee Nelson, Orrick, and Milbank Tweed. As we mentioned in our prior post, the charges against De Sear came as a shock to fellow New York lawyers and to neighbors of his in Saddle River, New Jersey (my hometown — I can walk to De Sear’s place from my parents’ house).

After our story appeared, a former colleague of Ed De Sear came forward, to share some recollections. “I’m completely stunned,” said this attorney.

What could our source recall about De Sear?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More About the Former Biglaw Partner Accused of Child Porn Distribution”

Edward De Sear

I grew up in the town of Saddle River, New Jersey, a suburb about 40 minutes outside of New York City. With its wooded rolling landscape and small-town charm, Saddle River is a pleasant place to live. Large houses, a mix of stately older homes and well-executed McMansions, sit on sizable plots of land, thanks to two-acre zoning.

It was a peaceful and bucolic locale, and when I visit my parents, it seems much the same. My colleague Staci Zaretsky, our newest full-time contributor here at ATL, also grew up there — and concurs with my assessment.

But Saddle River, like the suburbs depicted in such films as American Beauty and Happiness, is not without its drama. Yesterday Edward De Sear, 64, a resident of Saddle River and a capital-markets partner at the distinguished international law firm of Allen & Overy, was arrested at his home and charged with distributing child pornography. The charge of distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

UPDATE (12:00 PM): Make that a former partner of Allen & Overy. De Sear has resigned from the firm, according to a statement issued by A&O. Read it in full after the jump.

Let’s learn more about the allegations against Ed De Sear, hear from someone who knows him, meet his high-powered defense counsel — and check out his beautiful and historic home….

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If they ask your kid to pose for stock photography that will come up when somebody searches for "fat kid," that's not a good sign.

An article from the Journal of the American Medical Association is making the rounds today. It’s written by a lawyer and a doctor. The authors argue that obese children should be taken away from their parents and placed in foster care.

Yes, it’s entirely possible that this country has become so vain that people want to make letting your kids get fat an offense tantamount to child abuse. But that’s not what’s going on here. The authors aren’t suggesting that parents should lose custody rights if little Johnny has a tubby tummy. Instead, the authors are concerned when little Johnny has diabetes and a measurable gravitational pull by the time he’s 11.

If it weren’t for the fact that foster care in this country is just a little bit better than sending kids to concentration camps, I think I would support this idea. Parents should be on a shorter leash in general….

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* TLC’s Sister Wives are challenging Utah’s bigamy laws. More power to these polygamist people, especially the men. They deserve some credit for tolerating a handful of wives. [Jonathan Turley]

* Screw law students, we need to keep our professors employed. This is definitely the most important thing the ABA needs to worry about right now. [TaxProf Blog]

* Even though the fan who caught the ball on Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit is swimming in student loans, he may still have to pony up taxes on all of his new Yankees loot. [Going Concern]

* We all know Julian Assange doesn’t want to get extradited to Sweden because no one understands zeeur phuenteec lungooege-a boollsheet. Börk, börk, börk! [Constitutional Daily]

* A PA restaurant is banning kids under 6 because they are LOUD, NOISY a-holes. Parents, WHY do you think it’s okay to bring your kids to a restaurant if they can’t behave? I’ll never get this. [CNN]

* Crackpot Law, starring Herb Titus and Michele Bachmann. You better get armed and dangerous in God’s Law and “normal people values” if you know what’s good for you. [Religion Dispatches]

* If you think that your law school loans ruined your credit, you should try being “dead.” [ABA Journal]

As many of you already know, if you don’t want to use email, you can send tips to Above the Law by text message. The number to use is 646-820-TIPS (or 646-820-8477).

That number, which is hooked up to our Google Voice account, also accepts voice mails. We strongly prefer text-based tips, via email or text message, over voicemail tips (which require us to listen and transcribe). But you can leave us voicemails if you like.

In the wake of the Casey Anthony verdict, one reader left us a, um, very interesting voice-mail. Check it out — it’s under 10 seconds….

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Celebrity Skin: a great album, by the way.

Last month, we asked: Who are this year’s celebrity summer associates? In recent years, major law firms have hosted famous figures as summer associates, including a successful author, a not-so-successful author, and a reality TV beauty.

This year, the celebrity wattage is considerably lower. But there are still a few notable names floating out there (and we welcome additional submissions, by email). For example, we recently wrote about actor Wai Choy, a former co-star of Lindsay Lohan who is now summering at Proskauer in New York.

Our next celebrity summer associate isn’t super-famous in his own right (even though he’s as good-looking as many a Hollywood actor). Instead, he derives his celebrity from a famous father.

So who is he, and where does he work?

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