Lawsuit of the Day

* BP agreed to plead guilty to 14 charges and pay $4.5B in fines, but before going through with it, several Biglaw firms helped the company sell off assets to fund litigation- and spill-related costs. [Am Law Daily]

* According to HBR Consulting, compensation for in-house attorneys has risen over the past year — including bonuses, which went up to $62,500. Sorry, but Biglaw isn’t following suit. [Corporate Counsel]

* It’s better to leave well enough alone: Pryor Cashman was ordered to pay more than $21K in legal fees for filing a frivolous motion over its repeated attempts to dismiss a case. [New York Law Journal]

* Judge Susan McDunn, who claimed that her “life [was] being ruined” by the secret lawsuits of many powerful Chicagoans, has resigned. Looks like her $182K salary wasn’t enough to buy crazy pills. [Chicago Tribune]

* James T. Hayes Jr., the ICE agent who accused his superior of subjecting male employees to her “sexually offensive behavior,” settled his discrimination lawsuit against the government for $175,000. [Washington Post]

A 43-year-old trust fund baby?

Talk about #RichPeopleProblems. And #DaddyIssues.

A prominent Manhattan lawyer is suing his own daughter. For libel. Because she allegedly harmed his reputation. By seeking an accounting of her trust fund. Which he set up for her and reportedly administers. Got that?

Yes, Dad v. Daughter. How could something this messed-up not be our Lawsuit of the Day? Especially given the claimed size of the trust fund, stocked with such goodies as Hamptons real estate?

It’s hard to get one’s head around these allegations, but the litigation is for real. Let’s take a look at the competing claims. And how much the trust fund was supposedly worth at one point — we’re talking seven figures here….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: A ‘Big-Shot’ Lawyer Sues His Trust-Fund-Having Daughter — for Defamation?”

Heather Clem

Sorry if I’m a little bit late to this story, but did you know that Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker for posting a sex tape of Hogan and his friend’s wife?

Let me back up: Gawker had a sex tape up with Hulk Hogan. Hogan initially used the Shaggy Defense, then came clean and contended that his friend Todd Clem (aka: Bubba the Love Sponge) set him up with his estranged wife, Heather Clem (pictured, and apparently able to be used as a floatation device in case of emergency).

Hogan claims that he didn’t know the sex (which took place six years ago) had been recorded, and he is suing Todd Clem, Heather Clem, and Gawker for posting the video.

And… did you know the Hulkster’s real name is Terry Bollea?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What Ya Gonna Do, When Gawker Posts A Sex Tape Of You?”

Say what? One of Above the Law’s favorite subjects, celebrity lawyer and author Elizabeth Wurtzel, got attacked by a penguin?

Yes — in a manner of speaking. Penguin Group, the publishing mega-house, recently sued the bestselling and critically acclaimed authoress, seeking the return of her advance money. Other prominent authors have been sued as well.

How much does the publisher want back from La Wurtzel? What are her possible defenses? And who are some of the other high-profile defendants being pursued by the angry Penguin?

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Ever since the royal wedding last April, the male population writ large has been obsessed with Pippa Middleton’s greatest asset. (Seriously, there’s an entire website dedicated to it.) How dare she steal the spotlight from her sister, Kate Middleton, the blushing bride. But now, more than a year later, it seems that the Duchess of Cambridge herself has given British blokes something to inspire late night thoughts in their bachelor pads, albeit inadvertently: topless pictures.

A French magazine, Closer, took the photos while Kate was vacationing with Prince William, and published them in its latest issue for all the world to see. Needless to say, the royals are positively pissed, because this is the third instance of noble nudity in less than a month. Palace officials took a break from their tea and crumpets to threaten legal action for what they’re calling a “grotesque” invasion of privacy.

But given their celebrity status, are the royals really deserving of the same privacy rights as we commoners?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Potential Lawsuit of the Day: The Royals Are Enraged Over Topless Pics of Kate Middleton”

Watch out Tianna, your parents are right behind you…

You can run all the way to the Olympics, but you can’t hide from your family (rim shot).

It’s always nice when an Olympic story of overcoming hardship results in a lawsuit for libel and slander. Olympic sprinter Tianna Madison won the gold medal as part of the U.S. Women’s 4×100 relay. During the Olympics, Madison revealed that she had been the victim of molestation and that her parents had mismanaged her finances.

To which her parents said, “What”?

So, Madison’s parents did what most loving parents would do when their daughter says something they disagree with — they filed a lawsuit….

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“In accepting the offer to join Ropes & Gray, Ray accepted Roscoe Trimmier’s assurances that Ropes ‘does not see black and white, only shades of Ropes & Gray.’”

That’s paragraph 75 from the latest complaint filed by John H. Ray III, a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School and an African-American man, against his former employer, Ropes & Gray. According to Ray, the firm, after initially embracing him with open arms, turned on him. Ray claims that he was subjected to racial discrimination and retaliation, which made his time at the firm more painful than pleasurable. And, unlike Anastasia Steele of Fifty Shades of Grey (affiliate link), Ray did not enjoy the alleged abuse.

When we first wrote about Ray, he was proceeding pro se against Ropes & Gray. Now he has hired counsel — an experienced employment-discrimination litigator who has appeared before in these pages.

Let’s find out who’s representing John Ray, and take a closer look at the complaint — which features an Above the Law shout-out, interestingly enough….

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You often hear about women filing gender discrimination complaints that allege sexual harassment by lecherous male superiors. It’s less often that you’ll see a man making similar allegations against a woman. But it just so happens that someone in the federal government has lodged these very complaints against a female superior, and boy is his complaint juicy.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, James T. Hayes Jr., a top-level Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, is suing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security because he claims that ICE’s chief of staff, Suzanne Barr, created a hostile working environment — specifically, “a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees.”

What does one have to do to create a “frat house-type atmosphere” in the offices of a federal agency? Let’s check out the allegations made in the complaint….

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Item that zero percent of babies needed for roughly the first 3,000 years of civilization.

Last month, I found myself in a store named “Buy Buy Baby.” That’s not a typo. There’s really a store whose very name encourages rampant consumerism for babies before they can even start forming memories.

Walking around the store, one wondered how human babies survived and thrived for 200,000 years without the $200 Rodeo Child Bike Carrier Seat, or the $650 Baby Jogger Switchback Hybrid Bike.

Needless to say, I was not impressed. At one point, I threatened to buy my baby a wheelbarrow and some duct tape to avoid the stroller hijacking. When that joke didn’t magically make the prices go down, I asked one of the sales clerks what “poor” people do when they have children.

The clerk didn’t miss beat, and said, “You don’t want your baby to feel poor, do you?”

Of course, there is a real answer to the question “what do poor people do.” They go on Craigslist and buy used baby stuff! Because nothing says “broke” like going online and buying crap for your baby that some other baby has already peed and vomited on.

But when you are on Craigslist, buyer beware. And the seller should beware too, because people who buy things on Craigslist might be idiots. That’s something that a local judge in Massachusetts is learning….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Misdemeanor Offense of the Day: Judicial Cribs. Like, Baby Cribs, Not Lawyerly Lairs.”

Sexual harassment in the workplace is never a fun thing to deal with. Those who have had the unique displeasure of experiencing this kind of unwelcome conduct must constantly be looking over their shoulders, always wondering when the next unwanted sexual advance will appear — or in this case, when the next birthday card featuring a gigantic erect penis will allegedly materialize in their mailbox.

This is what a New York public school administrator claims occurred to him. He has filed a lawsuit against his former superior and the New York City Department of Education, and it is filled with a potpourri of sexual harassment allegations.

Apparently everything’s fun and games until somebody gets butthurt over your alleged refusal to participate in a gay foursome….

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