Koch Brothers

Righteous-IndignationThis week, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) announced that it accepted a hefty donation from Koch Industries.  According to NACDL, the grant will fund an initiative to better train indigent defenders and study best practices of current state level indigent defense delivery systems.  The organization points out that over 80 percent of criminal defendants must rely on indigent defense systems for representation, though the systems are “chronically underfunded and overburdened and, as result, in many instances are unable to effectively deliver adequate representation.”  NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer also said, “[W]e are honored that while Koch is providing this significant funding to support NACDL’s efforts, Koch is deferring to NACDL’s expertise in this arena for the grant’s effective deployment.”

Koch Industries is, of course, the Kansas-based, privately-held corporation of Charles and David Koch, often known to their many liberal critics as “the Koch Brothers.”  (Sort of like the Wachowski Brothers but with more money and without the transitioning.)  Critics such as Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid and increasingly agitated AlterNet writers decry the Kochs, who are reportedly each worth $36 billion, for their donations to the GOP and conservative causes.

So, should we be skeptical of the Kochs’ recent gift to help poor folks get adequate legal representation?  After all, how could a Google search for “Koch Brothers Evil” turn up so many seemingly pertinent results, if they were up to any good?  So, how can an organization like NACDL accept money from the ne’er-do-well billionaires who funneled money into such ultra-conservative, oligarchy-preserving causes as . . . the United Negro College Fund?

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Note: This is not using proper, Catalyst-branded rolling papers.

* A lawyer who sold 2200 pounds of marijuana can’t practice in Minnesota any more. That’s a metric tonne, by the way. Jeez, now I sound like Thomas Corwin Mendenhall. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

* If you can use Craigslist to commit crime, you can use it to solve crime. Awesome. Now, if you can use Craigslist to spark a race to the bottom in legal wages, can you use it to reverse that trend. No. [Legal Juice]

* And if you think it’s tough for young lawyers to find a job here, then was a U.K. firm really asking prospective lawyers to invest money in the firm in exchange for a job? [Legal Cheek]

* McGruff the Crime Dog wanted to take a bite out of crime… with a grenade launcher. [CBS Houston]

* How to keep yourself productive. I’m very intrigued by this browser add-on she mentions… [Corporette]

* This may come as a shock, but Glenn Greenwald is troubled by the Obama administration’s legal justification for killing American citizens overseas via drone. [The Guardian]

* The Careerist’s Vivia Chen interviewed David during LegalTech. You can watch it at this link. [Law Technology News]

* Did you see The Daily Show take on a recent trend in election law? Professor Rick Hasen did. And the video is embedded below… [Election Law Blog]

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* Yesterday, we shared Paul Caron’s plan to end the sequester by forcing government officials to experience delays due to air traffic control furloughs. Well, Congress voted to end the furloughs. We should have known that once the sequester inconvenienced a member of Congress this would end. [Reuters via Yahoo!]

* Ken Langone does not agree with Richard Farley of Paul Hastings. And tells him so. Loudly. [DealBreaker]

* If you’re looking for CLE credits in Houston, check out this event where you can win a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun for your trouble. And it counts for Ethics! [NRA Blog]

* “Izadi suggested she could pay her law school tuition by turning tricks.” Is a pimp really that much worse than Sallie Mae? [Las Vegas Review Journal]

* Overlawyered is now part of the CATO Institute. Enjoy working for the Koch brothers! I hear they’re really easy to work with over there. [Overlawyered]

* Getting tossed from a case for “bad behavior”? That’s the Chicago way! [Chicago Tribune]

* An interview with American Lawyer Editor-in-Chief Robin Sparkman about the newly released Am Law 100 law firm rankings, after the jump….

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