Maryland

As the days roll on, more and more bar exam results from the July 2013 administration of the test are being released.

We’ve actually reached the point where just about every state in the country has unleashed its exam results except for Maryland (expected by end of business today), New Jersey, and California. Those folks still have some time to wait on pins and needles, but for now, we’ve got confirmed news about results from states that came out on Halloween, just in time for festive holiday celebrations.

So it’s time for a round-up of all of the results that went live yesterday, including Texas and Virginia, and some rumors we’ve heard about Maryland. Here’s an open thread for you to discuss your thoughts…

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Maryland (Kind Of?), Texas, Virginia — any others?

We all know that drinking can cause a lot of problems. We also all know that prohibiting drinking doesn’t work. Therefore, we are left with the choice of trying to ameliorate the problems associated with drinking (here’s a thought, let’s not have drunk people with weapons) or we can pretend that people are not going to drink to excess and hope for the best.

I’m a fan of amelioration. Cabs, tough domestic violence laws, liver cloning, abortions, whatever it takes to make sure drunken indiscretions don’t ruin lives. That goes for underage drinking too. Sure, it would be great if people under 18 didn’t drink (I refuse to act like a 19-year-old who could be drafted into the Army is “underage” when he cracks open a beer), but that’s not going to happen. Instead of having a stupid “abstinence only” policy when it comes to teen drinking, we should be doing more to help the kids get home safely, with their eyebrows still attached, as they experiment with our national solvent.

Of course, I’m just a mere blogger. If you are a politician — a state attorney general and gubernatorial candidate — who talks tough on the stump about underage drinking but then turn a blind eye to it when you go chat with your son at a raging teenage house party, well, then your “boys will be boys” stance can only be chased with a strong swig of hypocrisy…

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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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We saw Nova Scotia deliver the worst in cyberbullying laws (Canadian edition) earlier this year. Like most bad cyberbullying legislation, this one was prompted by the suicide of a teen. It’s too tempting for legislators to rush into action with no real idea on how to solve the problem, much less mitigate it, and the attendant public uproar contributes nothing in terms of clear thinking or common sense.

As a result, laws like Nova Scotia’s get passed — laws that rely on purely subjective measures. If someone feels offended, they can press charges, utilizing a non-adversarial process that allows the accuser to present his or her case directly to a judge, who then decides whether or not it’s actually cyberbullying. This opens the accused up to civil proceedings, criminal charges and a chance of being banned not just from social media but from the internet entirely, along with being banned from using electronic devices — like a phone….

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Even Tommy Carcetti would be more realistic about law school ‘stats’ than this guy.

I think I’m going to have the vapors.

A guy running for governor is promising to add a law school in his state if he’s elected. Not subtract. Not regulate. Not offer basic consumer protection to people in his state duped into legal education by charlatans greedy for government student loan funds. Nope, this guy says he’s going to open another one, like it’s just another pork barrel promise to be made on the campaign trail.

That’s what gets me: he thinks it’s pork. He thinks promising a new law school should be uttered in the same stump speech as promising infrastructure projects, or business incentives. Like, he would say, “I’m going to build a railroad, and right here on this spot I will build an institution to take advantage of the hopes and dreams of low-information college graduates.” He wouldn’t say that out loud. But he thinks saying “I’m going to build a law school” is something that he can say out loud. He thinks it’s something that will be met with cheers. Whether or not he does build a law school, he thinks saying “new law school” is what the people want to hear.

That makes me a sad panda. Despite all the information and statistics available, your average schmo on the street probably thinks, “A law school? Sure why not? Now tell me more about the unmarried man who tweeted with a stripper without judging her and telling her to find Jesus”…

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* Profiling the new talent appearing before the Supreme Court this term. Honestly, I can’t get excited about oral arguments that don’t involve the Ninth Circuit cracking one-liners anymore. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* The Montana man sentenced to 30 days in jail for raping a 14-year-old is out. I wonder if he can make it on the outside after being institutionalized for a whole month. [CNN]

* As we predicted, political battles have exhausted the budget of federal defenders programs. At least in Ohio there’s a guy willing to bend the laws of time and space to represent indigent clients. [Federal Times]

* Keith Lee of Associate’s Mind has a new book out, The Marble and the Sculptor: From Law School to Law Practice (affiliate link). The image of The Thinker on the cover is appropriate: most law school grads these days do just sit there wondering how to get jobs. [Associate's Mind]

* Maryland gubernatorial campaign promising to build another law school. Newsflash: Ray Lewis has retired! You don’t need more lawyers! [Baltimore Sun]

* The Daily Beast’s Josh Rogin mocked a stand-up act over Twitter last night. He was punched in the face for his efforts. The comic was arrested. Punching Rogin for criticizing the act was uncalled for. Punching Rogin for working for the Daily Beast on the other hand… [IT-Lex]

* Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot at an abusive husband, is getting a new trial. Since George Zimmerman got a decorative fruit basket for actually killing someone a few miles away, Alexander has to like her chances. [First Coast News]

Hope you enjoyed your small summer classes.

* “[J]ust because something is constitutional doesn’t mean it’s the best idea, or even a good one.” Perhaps we’ve given Chief Justice John Roberts a little too much to do. No wonder he’s gotten cranky. [Opinionator / New York Times]

* “It’s raining lawsuits.” As Justice Scalia predicted, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Windsor case, gay couples across the nation have banded together to challenge bans on same-sex marriage. [NBC News]

* The Fourth Circuit ruled that state authorities in Maryland can’t arrest and detain people just because they look like they might be illegal immigrants. They can only do that in Arizona. [Baltimore Sun]

* No more fun during sequestration, ever! Judges, get ready to kiss your “lavish accommodations” at judicial conferences goodbye, because Senator Tom Coburn is on the case. [National Law Journal]

* For all of the talk that Biglaw is in recovery, summer associate hiring just isn’t what it used to be. Summer class sizes shrank since last year. We’ll have more on this later today. [Am Law Daily]

* On Friday, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will consider making changes to its law school accreditation standards. Yes, the ABA does have standards. [ABA Journal]

* Open wide and suck this down: A film on the life and times of porn star Linda Lovelace may be lost to the cutting room floor because Deep Throat’s rights holders are seeking an injunction. [The Guardian]

I should be clear, this isn’t a story about a replica law school building made out of Lego pieces. I’m pretty sure a lot of people have already done that — maybe Nathan Sawaya, lawyer turned Lego artist. And this isn’t a story about a life-sized law school building made out of Lego pieces; I’m pretty sure some online law school has “neato” plans already underway for such a brick-and-mortar plastic-and-Krazy-Glue supplement to their accreditation application to the ABA.

No, this story is about a brand-new, modern, actually quite interesting-looking law school building, which just looks like it was made by a child Colossus playing with a box of interconnecting building blocks. The progressive urban planner in me says, “That’s actually pretty cool.” The righteous crusader in me asks, “Dear GOD, how much did that cost?”

And the legal blogger in me just really wants the name “Lego Law School” to stick around for a generation or two….

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Justice Kennedy announced the majority opinion in a long anticipated case today. It was met with a blistering dissent by Justice Scalia.

Unfortunately for most Court watchers, it was not the opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas, the latest in the Court’s attempts to resolve whether affirmative action in higher education is constitutional. Some observers expressed annoyance.

Instead, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Maryland v. King, which Justice Alito previously identified as potentially the most important law enforcement decision in decades. The Court held that the police can take your DNA any time you’ve been arrested for a “serious” crime.

But the real fun was in the dissent….

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Imagine you’re in a negotiation to buy a used car. You use the Blue Book — the Kelley Blue Book, not the legal Bluebook — to set the starting point on the price. You do your research at home based on the blue book that’s online, which says the starting point for the car you want is $10,000.

Then, when you get to the used car dealer, you find out that they have a new blue book, one that just came out that day. It says that the starting point for the car you want is really $12,000.

You’d probably be annoyed, maybe angry. The whole starting point for your conversation about the price of the car changed.

Yet, the dealer could tell you, and you could still agree with him to pay any amount you’d like for the car. The starting point doesn’t necessarily set the ending point.

This was, basically, the situation the Supreme Court was called in to referee in this morning’s oral argument in Peugh v. United States….

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