Lawyer of the Day

1974: It was a very good year?

Ed. note: The following is an article written by Juggs in December 2010. Consider this the Hall of Fame for the ATL Lawyer Letter Bracket going on now.

1974 was a good year. The IRA bombed the Tower of London, President Nixon was forced to resign in scandal,gasoline shortages led to long lines at the pump, asmallpox epidemic ripped through India, and faminesavaged the continent of Africa. So yeah… great year, history!

But in the midst of all this human suffering, there werelulz to be had. All it took was a litigious Cleveland Browns fan and an attorney with balls big enough to set the Cuyahoga on fire (awesome metaphor!).

After the jump, a letter from the fan, Dale Cox, followed by the rejoinder from ATL’s Lawyer of the Year for 1974, one James N. Bailey…

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Claire Ogilvie, in happier times

Sometimes the people we write about have reached a point in their lives when their cords to reality have snapped. It wasn’t always like this. They once had the capacity to attend and graduate from Ivy League schools and hold down employment at some of the most elite law firms on the planet. Their résumés were gleaming, as were their personalities. Now, they’re the subjects of criminal investigations.

Take, for example, the case of Claire Kennedy Ogilvie. She attended Yale University and George Washington Law, and then snagged a position as a patent attorney at Foley & Lardner. Once she decided she’d had enough of her litigious lifestyle, she quit and became a teacher.

And then, something happened. Ogilvie is currently being held without bond at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail on charges of burglary, abduction, and malicious wounding, all felonies, after allegedly breaking into a married man’s house and attacking his wife. Did we mention that this man is a major political player in Virginia?

Former Biglaw attorneys do the darndest things….

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Judge Frank Easterbrook

Let’s play a game of circuit-court word association.

D.C. Circuit? Prestigious.

Ninth Circuit? Wacky.

Sixth Circuit? Vicious.

Seventh Circuit? Benchslappy.

If you question this assessment, please consider the latest benchslaps emanating from 219 South Dearborn Street….

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Here was the ominous message that my colleague Joe Patrice received late last week from Georgia personal-injury lawyer Jamie Casino:

Hey Joe,

I saw the [story] you wrote about me. Good work. I got something big coming out at halftime during the Super bowl. Be sure to check it out.

JC

I didn’t know if that was a threat, but now I see that it was a promise. We couldn’t “check it out” during the game, being up here in New York, but afterwards readers started sending us tips about an explosive lawyer ad that had played locally in Georgia.

Uhh… be sure to check it out…

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Did you know that approximately one-fourth of every children’s song or story somehow involves ducks? It feels like it’s true! For reasons that make neither commercial nor evolutionary sense, the cuteness of ducklings is ingrained from birth. So I feel like it takes a certain special kind of jackass to run over ducks with your car.

Then again, it takes a special kind of person to go to Harvard College and yet end up at Suffolk Law…

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Except, apparently, one lawyer in Iowa.

Which is worse: to be unethical or to be stupid — really, really stupid?

Who says you have to choose? That’s the lesson of today’s story about a lawyer who fell for a Nigerian inheritance scam, dragged his clients into the mess as well, and just got his law license suspended by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Dear Friend: Please permit me to make your acquaintance in so informal a manner. This is necessitated by my urgent need to reach a dependable and trust wordy partner. We do not know each other, it does not matter.

My tale will not cause discomfort or embarrassment in whatever form, except to a monumentally moronic lawyer — who got cleared on some (but not all) of the ethics charges against him because he genuinely believed that a trunk full of money was going to magically show up on his office doorstep….

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If you think Biglaw has a quality control problem, then you should check out the tactical decisions coming from some prosecutors’ offices. You’d think there would be someone in the chain of command who would see motions like these come across the desk and say, “Hey, maybe this will make us look incredibly stupid.”

At least we hope this is a quality control problem. It’d be way worse if tactical decisions this asinine came down from on high.

Anyway, the government in this case made a huge mistake. Sorry, I mean “the prosecutors,” because they don’t want to be called “the government” anymore, and filed a motion in limine to that effect.

Thankfully, this clever attorney wrote an epic response trolling the prosecutors for their ludicrous motion….

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Counselor, you’re out of order.

Lawyer jokes notwithstanding, most lawyers are ethical, honorable, and competent. That’s why we tend to focus on attorney misbehavior in these pages; it’s more newsworthy. If a lawyer complies with the law or serves a client well, that’s not exactly “news”; it’s what lawyers are supposed to do, and what most lawyers do most of the time.

Alas, sometimes lawyers fall short of our profession’s high standards. Today we look at allegations of a high-ranking government lawyer abusing the perks of his office, a tax lawyer engaging in tax fraud, and a real estate lawyer who has people real mad — after taking $4 million from them.

Which of these attorneys deserves to be our Lawyer of the Day? We’ll describe their alleged misdeeds, outline the reasons for and against Lawyer of the Day honors, then let you vote for the winner….

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I was raised to never hit a girl. I was raised at a time when you had no concept of a girl doing that. In the 1950s, girls didn’t snatch purses. They wore petticoats.

Jonathan Damon, a Michigan lawyer, in remarks made after subduing Mikayla Danielle Hull, an alleged purse snatcher. During the course of the struggle, thinking that Hull was a man, Damon punched her in the face repeatedly after she bit his wrist, breaking the skin. Damon will not be charged for hitting Hull.

(Want to see the video of this lawyer’s heroics? We’ve got it, after the jump.)

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Prowling leopard = cute. Prowling 59-year-olds = gross.

I think we can all agree that Peeping Toms are creepy. We have the internet if you like looking at somebody who is (pretending to be) unaware of a camera recording their intimate moments. I guess what I’m saying is: people who don’t know how to use the internet are creepy.

In Florida, a city attorney is under arrest. He’s accused of being a creeper who was caught prowling around a woman’s home. Naked. And by “around a woman’s home,” I mean that he was allegedly in her bedroom. Naked.

Authorities then Tased the man. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on his apparent inability to use the internet to satiate his alleged perversions — after all, the man is 59 years old….

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